Today sucks. Today I don’t feel good.
I have been on the SCD Diet for almost two years and I still have bad days every once in a while. I have to preface that the last few months my digestion has been flawless – nothing but better and better days.
Then, all of the sudden I started feeling bad last night and today I have been in-and-out of the bathroom at work. Today is an SCD setback for me. Tomorrow, I know I will be fine and I want to share with you why I know that and the psychology I use to beat my SCD setbacks.
If you can learn what I am going to share with you and implement it on your down days, you will be able to control emotional cheating days, quiet the voice in your head telling you it’s pointless, and alleviate the constant drive to use Google to diagnose your latest ailment.
Good Psychology = SCD Success
This diet is more mental than anything else. More than the food, more than the sickness, more than the social anxiety – this diet is about your head.
The good days are great and the bad days suck. But the reality of it is that you’re getting better, albeit slowly, you’re getting better and better. But it’s so easy to ride those highs and let those lows drown you. Trust me I have been through many of them.
If you’re anything like I was at first this morning, as soon as you start to get that inkling that something down there is going wrong the voice in your head starts to gets loud. Here’s how my morning went:
“God, I feel like crap – I wonder what it could have been?”
“Maybe it was the new batch of sauerkraut I made the other day”
“No, no that can’t be it. It must be that I ate too much avocado over the last two days”
“No it can’t be that, I wonder if it was the raw broccoli I ate last night?”
“Dang, this sucks, I should just fast all day and eliminate some things from my diet.”
“I wonder what Google has to say about this?”
STOP RIGHT THERE!
Once you fall off the deep end and start Googling, it’s over. You’re going to be chasing a new diagnosis like “fungus of the left earlobe” or something, and soon enough you will be ordering a super secret herb that you can’t pronounce from some place in China that is sure to cure you.
How do I get through a setback anyway?
It’s all in your head. And I have to keep telling myself that this morning and all day. I’ve used the following four step process to use psychology to beat an SCD setback:
Step 1: Accept that I don’t feel good today and be OK with it. I just realize I am sick today and I just ride it out like a wave. It will crash to the shore eventually and I know I will feel better. The number one thing is to know that I am sick, communicate that to the people I love, and make an effort not to make any big decisions today (like buying that new car that might make me feel emotionally better for five minutes).
Step 2: I stop panicking about what caused it. I logically open up my food journal and review what I have been eating. If nothing is obvious like “I tried raw almonds last night,” then I am just going to make sure I don’t overreact. In many cases, it’s not even related to food! Sleep and stress have more to do with your digestion than you might ever want to admit to yourself.
Step 3: I take a step back and review my journal to see, how was I feeling 30 days ago? How was I feeling 90 days ago? How was I feeling a year ago? That really puts things in perspective for me. I know that a year ago, I was just happy to be able to hold a poop for 20 minutes. Now, I get cranky if I get gas! That’s important to review because it tells you the big realization of “I am getting better slowly over time.” There are going to be ups and downs – you just can’t let yourself follow them.
Step 4: I make sure not to give into emotional decisions that I will regret (like chugging half a bottle of honey). It’s so easy to fall into the trap of, “I already feel like crap today, what’s it going to hurt if I just eat a whole batch of SCD blueberry muffins.” When I am looking for emotional comfort during a setback I “change my mental state.” So, do something physical like 10 push-ups, or chug a glass of water, or brush your teeth (thanks for that one Paul). Do something to change your mental state away from emotional and stop thinking about that emotional comfort.
If you follow these 4 steps carefully to use psychology to beat an SCD setback, you will be able to control emotional cheating days, quiet the voice in your head telling you it’s pointless, and alleviate the constant drive to use Google to diagnose your latest ailment.
Remember that sometimes it really isn’t about the food. There are so many extraneous things that can affect digestion. Once you get a good diet in place, you’re simply going to have setbacks that you can’t explain every once in a while. I know by looking at my food journal that I really didn’t change much. So, I also I know that tomorrow I will probably be fine and back to another upswing, even if I keep eating the same things. Now, if I’m still feeling bad four days from now, it’s probably something I’m eating and I would start to get more serious. The point is: I don’t overreact.
These are all parts of a bigger picture. 90% of the SCD Diet is mental (seriously), which is why the first two chapters of our eBook are all about your brain and how to use it to be successful. If you want to learn more about using psychology to ensure your SCD success and get through any SCD setback, click here to see what I mean: “SCD Lifestyle – Surviving to Thriving.”
What tricks do you use to get through setbacks? Leave a comment. Maybe it will help someone else if they don’t feel good today.