The Psychology of SCD

Person drowning

It was 2008 and I was crying in a bathroom stall at work again. My boss was calling me on the walkie-talkie, angry that I wasn’t helping them fix a critical machine breakdown in the manufacturing plant. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was stuck on the toilet with Diarrhea… again; he was tired of hearing it.

My job was in jeopardy because of my digestive problems.

The next morning I called Steve… it was one of my lowest moments. He picked me up off the floor and dusted me off. We were going to beat this thing. We were going to Google until we found a way.

I believed him… for some reason I knew he was right. Eventually, a stool test confirmed I had a parasite causing my cyclical diarrhea (another breakthrough in my health). Without Steve there to support me, I probably would have given up.

And what I know after helping thousands of people since:

The people that fail are the ones who give up…

There have been so many times I’ve wanted to give up and just BE SICK… but in some way, shape, or form, my community always saved me. I’m humbled more and more with this simple truth:

I wouldn’t be healthy, and for that matter I might not be alive today, if it wasn’t for the community that got me through it all.

Now we’re here together as part of this amazing Digestive Health community… going through this crazy healing journey with others who know what it’s like.

Today, no matter what you’re going through, no matter how much you want to give up, this post will support you in a way that you’ve never been supported… the same way Steve supported me through these same moments over the years.

This Community Won’t Let You Give Up!

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Pic of brain maze

I looked in the fridge again – 3 cupcakes left. My body was filled with anxiety; I felt like I was powerless to resist, I’d been on SCD for 5 months and didn’t want to cheat… again.

As I paced the room, I knew I should throw them away but didn’t. 30 minutes later I caved and ate them all one right after another. And 4 minutes later, when they were gone, I felt awful –  full of shame, guilt and dreading how my stomach would feel later that day.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever cheated on your diet? I’ll be honest with you; I have many times. I wanted better health but I kept sabotaging my progress. It drove me crazy and I wanted to understand why. Was it psychological? Physiological? Environmental? Habit? Over the years, I’ve gone pretty deep into this and I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned.

The Odds Are Stacked Against New Habits

Anyone who has attempted to make a healthy habit change knows that the odds are stacked against them. We humans are built for routine and deviations from it, especially healthy ones, are notoriously hard to stick to.

There are so many ways we can fall off the wagon and fail.  But there are 4 traps that seem to get most people:

  1. Forgetting the Goal
  2. The “No Progress” Syndrome
  3. The “It’s Only For Me” Complex
  4. The “I’ll Never Make it, No Fun” Loop

If you’ve ever failed at making healthy changes, I’m sure you’ll recognize the 4 traps as soon as I explain them.  All four jump and grab us – sometimes every single day.

If you’re cheating and ready for something different, the following suggestions will help you eliminate these common mind traps.

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Diet Cheating

It’s been said that changing your diet is harder than changing religions.

And if you’ve read my old posts you’d see I feel off the bandwagon over and over again.  Jordan didn’t have this problem, but there sure are many of us who do.

I struggled with this so bad, I once wrote Jordan a check for $1,000 dollars.  If I cheated on SCD he was to cash it immediately and spend it.

At the time I had over $24,000 in credit card debt,$ 90,000 dollars in student loans, and was making $40,000 dollars a year working my day job.  Not only that, but we lost over $4,000 dollars that year on SCD Lifestyle.

In other words, I didn’t have $1,000 dollars.

If he would have cashed it, I would have missed a student loan payment and my rent.  Which is precisely why I was able to go 90 days straight during the summer on SCD.

The summer is the hardest time of the year for me.  And I knew if I was going to get healthy I needed to stop the vicious cycle of self-sabotage. [click to continue…]

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waiting-room

At 2am in an empty hospital waiting room we squared off.

The respected, 30 year surgeon and me.  He had just successfully operated on my dad and I was tremendously grateful, but there were still things to be talked about.

As my mom and sister nervously watched, we intensely debated his plans for my dad.  My heart raced after I asked the tough questions that required me to explain them medically and support with data.

After the tough stuff was done, he took another 15 minutes to chat with me about how and why I knew so much.  He kept digging, and I was trying to dance around the real answers.  Until I gave him what he wanted, exactly what we do here on the blog, in our products and 1-on-1 consulting program.  He was supportive and intrigued a response I didn’t see coming.

Afterwards, chatting with my family they wondered why I was dancing and not more direct with my answers.  Emotionally drained and sleep derived it was actually it remarkably clear.  I’ve seen this before in other areas… this was an important test of my beliefs.

Do you REALLY believe it Steve?  Because either way you are about to create it. [click to continue…]

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Have you ever grabbed any old tool hoping it will get the job done?  Even when you know there is a specialty tool that would do it better?

I have many times.

It seems like the whole time I’m trying to get the job done, sweating and struggling; the little voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that there is a better, faster or safer way to do it.

I think about this conundrum often.

The Right “Tool” Is Always Preferred – Except…

When it’s not.

On one hand, we have path #1, in which I’m happy to have taken action to get what I wanted.  I didn’t let fear, resistance or the lack of a “tool” stop me from getting the job done.  I thought of something, and started it moments later.  No need for the right tool, because I used creativity, hard work and problem solving skills to get it done.

Path #1 example: Like last week when I was trying to replace the battery in my alarm clock.  Instead of using the right screwdriver I backed the screws out with a dime, but it took me forever!

On the other hand, by not choosing path #2, I have wasted time, resources and pain because I choose not to do it with the proper tool or method.  There was a better way and I didn’t use it.  All I needed to do was do a bit of planning, learning or investing and it would have been simpler, faster and cheaper.

Path #2 example: I’ve been learning how to make homemade ice cream, it turns out you can do it without any special equipment, but recently I bought an ice cream maker.  Now instead of waiting 24hrs I can make a smoother flavor ice cream in 30 minutes.

Path 1 or Path 2 will usually get you what you want over time.  But, there are different trade-offs for choosing either.  You might trade more time and sweat for more money like in example 1 or trade less money for more time and quality in example 2.  In every decision there is always a trade-off and understanding what you’re willing to trade is very important.

Sometimes NOT having the right tool or info is used as a reason to not do something… [click to continue…]

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