Diet as a Primer for Making the 'Right Choice'

Growth Continuum:
(12/20) — Going Deep
(05/21) — Going Deep: Follow-Up Pt. 1
(07/22) — Digital Minimalism Follow-Up Pt. 2
(07/22) — Procrastination Illustrated
(10/22) — Diet as a Primer for Making the ‘Right Choice’ (This page)
(10/22) — My Morning Routine, Explained
(04/23) — Avoiding the In-Between
(04/23) — Back to the iPhone: The Luddite iPhone
(05/24) — …back to Facebook (!?)

One of the things I try to do every morning during my routine is write. As I’ve been on a journey of focus and productivity over the last two and a half years, mixing in the journey of diet and food-choice control over the last six months has added new dimensions to my understanding of focus! I wanted to share here an excerpt from my notebook the other morning regarding these two things. For a little context, my wife and I took a cruise at the beginning of August and considered that to be the book-end of our keto diet. We’d been on keto for about three months at the time and knew that we wanted to be fully “on carbs” for the cruise, but we decided against returning to keto after the cruise. While I’m now back on a different diet plan (one more geared toward maintaining), not being on a diet at all for the month of August and some of September brought new challenges to my psyche. This excerpt was written as I’ve now resumed my full morning routine:

It’s good to be back at it. I’d lost my consistency in my jog, some of my focus, and some of my productivity since pre-cruise. I wonder too if not being on a diet hurt me in other areas. Obviously supporting your body with sugar and junk all the time isn’t good metabolically and those sorts of foods probably aren’t focus-inducing nutrients (their direct effect), but I think there’s also the deeper layer of having your decision-making, “do the hard thing”, “the payoff is worth it” muscles exercised constantly. Similar to how reading in the morning hones and dials in your focus muscles for the work you’re going to do afterwards, I imagine too that being in a constant state of diet and making hard choices to stay responsible to that diet — constantly having to stay strong in the face of (dietary) temptation — also hones the same mental muscle that you fight every morning when it’s cold and you don’t want to run! (Or when it’s mid-morning and you’d rather catch up on YouTube than work) The moment of “I just want to sleep in” or “I don’t want to do my whole morning routine…” or “Waking up early alone is enough!” is the same moment as “a little cake won’t hurt” and “maybe I don’t need to be on a diet” and “is this diet even worth it? I’m a social weirdo on it!“. I think these are all the same muscle. And I know that real, legitimate success in focus and productivity, especially when it comes to accomplishing ‘great things’, comes from this muscle being strong. I wonder if diet is the easiest way to start this daily exercise to keep that muscle primed for other areas of life throughout the day.

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