This year I did something I haven’t really done before, I gave  something up for lent. Talking to my family they were giving up the  usual things, caviar, alcohol or chocolate. I gave up bread. No bread,  pizza, pitta bread, doughnuts or bread of any kind. This was going to  need all the discipline I had within me or so I thought.

I am a person with a huge amount of self discipline when I have a  goal I want to achieve, I focus on the goal, the end state and at every  temptation to falter I can quickly remind myself of the greater purpose  and resist the temptation.

This time though, I didn’t use my self discipline for the 40 days and  nights without the yeasty baked dough that has been part of my daily  life for as long as I can remember. I know what you are thinking, so I  failed right? No.

I changed my thinking

I don’t know why I did this, but somehow I activated my mind that got  me thinking about long term commitments that are part of my life, one  in particular which is my family and my marriage.  I soon realised that I  don’t have to be disciplined to commit to them, I don’t get tempted by  others or an alternate way of life at all, my mind is set, my wife and  my children are there to stay, I love them in a way I can’t even  describe. What if I could do this with other things, set my mind on a  new normal?

Through meditation I decided to focus on all the foods I could enjoy,  fresh tomatoes, basil, avocado, olives, a variety of cheeses, all the  glorious vegetables that are able to provide proper nourishment to my  body and could be enjoyed without being squeezed between two slices of  bread. I did this each day before breakfast and it only took a few  minutes, the purpose being to reinforce the thinking I was trying to  change and it worked.

I no longer feel I need discipline at all for abstaining from bread  or any bread like thing. Actually it doesn’t feel like abstaining, it  just feels like when presented with a choice of bread or something else  there is only one choice. The true test was when I was really hungry and  the buffet I was at had only bread, but they did have fruit and other  bits and bobs for deserts so I just had those.

I now feel great, less bloat, more alert and I lost a bit of weight  too. I may eat bread again, but it won’t be a staple diet item or a  convenience thing, it would be when I choose to eat it.  I know my  thinking towards bread has completely changed so I am not really sure  what would make me want to eat it again though.

Hacking my mind

Did I just hack my mind? Is this repeatable? I think it is, I have a growth mindset.   I have decided to try something else, something a bit bigger,  something to change my fundamental thinking that has been part of who I  am as a person my whole life, I am not quiet ready to share it yet but I  will, it may take a while.