The Discipline of Recovery

When I was in the depths of hell with my bulimia, my mother used to rant, “All you need is structure and discipline to help your habits .” Besides being completely reductive, to some extent, she was right. I didn’t have structure, nor discipline; I was totally out of control.

Years later, while studying The Road Less Traveled in my philosophy class, discipline popped up again. Dr. Peck stated four components to discipline:

1. Delaying Gratification
2. Acceptance of Responsibility
3. Dedication to Truth
4. Balancing

Yesterday, I picked up the book again, and after reading about discipline, I had to get honest with myself about my own discipline, or rather, lack thereof.

While I’m very disciplined in my studies, my work, meeting deadlines, etc., I’m not disciplined at all with my food. I’ve always prided myself on this, because I don’t want to be tethered to Tupperware containers or have to eat exactly what’s on my food plan, in order to say I’m abstinent. For me, that isn’t freedom. However, I feel guilty much of the time for my food choices—because I don’t eat perfectly.

What does this have to do with discipline? Well… even in abstinence, I don’t like to delay gratification. Because I don’t have good and bad foods, I eat what I want. Rarely, do I delay gratification.

My point is that I’d like to be able to delay gratification with my food, and not eat something just because I think it will provide me with nutrition that will emotionally nurture me.