Talking the Talk and TALKING the Walk…

Otherwise known as “Faking the Funk”.

Conceptually I “get it”. I know what I need to focus on. I know what most of my problem areas are. At least I think I do.

I’ve talked about many of those things here on my blog, and even gone as far as to lay out an action plan to attack those problem areas.

And that’s exactly how far I’ve gone with it in most cases.

What’s up with that? Why don’t I fix it? Why don’t I take those steps I’ve thought out?

Sometimes I will start the plan, then get frustrated with something and throw it all to the wind.

The mind is such a tangled up place. I mean, if I KNOW that things are causing me problems, why is it so hard to change my behavior?

I need both my hands and feet, as well as those of my immediate family, to count all of the things I’ve talked about working on or improving on. I can count on one hand the areas that I’ve made some sort of progress.

I am thankful and proud of myself for that much progress, but there is so much more that I could be doing. Why is it so hard to actually follow through on this stuff?

My therapist and I have been making a lot of progress lately, which is great. I’m starting to find these appointments very productive and helpful and have therefore ramped up the frequency.

At the same time, some of the issues we are beginning to uncover are scary to me. I don’t have any concrete examples – nothing I can put my finger on – but nevertheless these are things that my mind has avoided dealing with for some reason or another. I find that scary. And we have just now begun to slowly chip away at the layers and layers of protection that I have built up around them.


I have so much to gain by working all of this stuff out – but my immediate reaction to the idea of working on any of it is to escape – to ignore it somehow. To distract myself with some short term comfort (ie, food, sleep, TV, some silly project, etc.)

Is it because the problem areas are often things that don’t cause me immediate and sharp pain – like a cut or a burn? Are they areas that I just “know better” but fool myself into thinking I can “get away” with what I’m doing now? Just one more time? Only to cause myself to carry around a thousand pound load of guilt & shame about the long term ramifications?

Is it just me? Any of you out there fight with knowing what needs to be done, but not actually doing anything about it? Or starting to do something, perhaps only half-assed, then when you encounter the tiniest of obstacles you get frustrated and give up? Where’s my commitment and follow through? I have so much to gain. Why is it so hard?

There are times I feel very strong – I will not be beaten by this.

Then there are times where my willpower is about as strong as a wet noodle…

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8 thoughts on “Talking the Talk and TALKING the Walk…

  1. I don’t know you and I don’t want to lecture – it’s just that this post hits home for me right now. I feel like this is my whole life. I know the things I need to do, I just don’t do them. And I’ve been beating myself up for that a lot lately.

    The Buddha said there are four kinds of action. Things that we like to do that are good for us, things we don’t like to do that are bad for us, things we like to do that are bad for us, and things we don’t like to do that are good for us. The first two are easy, without even thinking you do the things you like to do that are good for you and avoid the things you don’t like to do that are bad for you.

    When notice that it is easy to do the things that we like that are bad for us and hard to do the things we don’t like that are good for us we start to think of ourselves as being lazy and think we must have poor willpower. Buddha said that this was a problem we create for ourselves in our own minds. Of course it’s hard to do things that we don’t like to do. It isn’t that we’re lazy – it is that it is really hard.

    The wisdom lies in understanding your own mind and learning to get around the roadblocks you put up for yourself. Get creative. If traditional log books aren’t for you have you tried other options? There are computer programs for monitoring your logs. PDAs. I created a page on my blog and I’m pretty decent about keeping that up to date although I will not write the numbers down.

    Anyway, I guess I want to say don’t be so hard on yourself. Seek the solution instead of beating yourself up for having the problem. And thank you for reminding me about this.

  2. Scott, I found it interesting that this post came after your post on pre-bolusing. To me, the idea of pre-bolusing is a fine tuning issue (so fine, that I don’t do it or plan to). Maybe you’re trying to focus on too many things at once and getting frustrated with that.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I have issues with that as well, and what you say totally resonates with me. I’m no biblical scholar, but the apostle Paul talks about doing precisely that which he does not want to do. Guess what I’m trying to say is you are in good company!

    I recently read a book called Kai Zen, which is about how making very small incremental changes can make a big difference and keep us from getting so overwhelmed with the enormity of something that we give up. Maybe logging is not what you need to focus on right now. Maybe you need to make a smaller change first. Just one. Like buying only the individual serving bags of chips next time you or your wife goes to the store.

    Keep writing and keep sharing. You are right on target!

  3. I’m stuck in a place of weakness right now myself. I don’t know what the answer is. But I do think you’re asking the right questions.

    One of things I’m pondering right now is that my self-care is the first thing to go when I’m under stress. I’ll move mountains to keep my shit together at my job or to take care of someone I care about, but if it’s my health, well, the story plays out rather differently.

    There are probably some pretty intense self worth issues at the bottom of that, and from other folks’ comments I don’t think I’m on my own there.

  4. You are not alone man. I deal with this guilt and shame everyday. Every time I light up a cigarette I beat myself up. Everytime I eat something I shouldn’t I feel shame. It is awful especially when I know better. The weakness I feel makes me embarrassed and ashamed of myself.

    When my kids make a bad choice or don’t follow a rule I tell them, “I would not be upset if you were dumb people. But you are not. You are smart and bright kids, you should always do the right thing!”

    I hate being weak.

  5. Hey Scott,

    You’ve certainly hit the nail on the head. I certainly consider myself a bright person, but when it comes to managing my diabetes, I can be a complete slacker sometimes. I even have conversations in my head as I’m scarfing down a bowl of ice cream that I know I shouldn’t be doing this, and yet I somehow always get to the bottom of the bowl. My more base craving for sweets always beats the more rational part of my brain.

    And to be honest, I haven’t found anything as motivating as some scary symptoms of 27 years of diabetic wear and tear to help me change my behavior. It was these symptoms that first brought me to these blogs. I truly wish there was a way to motivate us with more concrete, short-term results – not just the vague notion of “this is good for you in the long-run.” I mean, you really don’t get any real positive reinforcement for good control aside from some slight self-satisfaction with good numbers staring back at you from your log book. But that’s a pretty weak force compared to the endorphins in your brain when you eat something sweet.

    Eventually the long-run catches up with you, though, and you nearly break your leg kicking yourself for all those days/weeks/months/years of less than attentive care.

    Keep up the questions, the blogging, and the work and the baby steps will add up.

  6. It is not you, Scott. I feel like you took some of my own frustrations and put them into words right here in this post. For, me it seeps into every aspect of my life, but the biggestone is probably diabetes. I know what I should do, it’s just doing it. I have piles of lists and resolutions that never get accomplished. I have been in school on and off since high school (around 13 years) yet still have no degree. I am smart enough I just can’t seem to stick with it.

    I love what you said “The mind is such a tangled up place. I mean, if I KNOW that things are causing me problems, why is it so hard to change my behavior?” I am smart enough to know better, yet I can’t put it into practice. It’s like the saying “ignorance is bliss” there are so many times when I honestly wish that I didn’t know better because then at least there would not be the guilt, the self-loathing and the shame. I have been given all this knowledge and all these great tools to help me deal with diabetes with simply some action on part and yet I can’t seem to put in the necessary effort to live a helathy life. It makes no sense.

    there is great solace in knowing that I am only person out there who goes through this. Maybe we can figure out the missing link and then, write a guide and make tons of money and be hugely succesful or at the very least help each other out 🙂