Once upon a long while ago I owned a boutique training studio.
I was young. I was naive. With the benefit of hindsight it’s clear how more I learned from my clients (life-wisdom) than they learned from me (sets, reps and stretching).
As with most gyms (& when groups of women gather although I like to believe it’s changing) a regular topic of conversation around the studio was diet.
Diet as far as the traditional definition (overall food one consumes vs restriction), but diet none the less.
Do you think I need a big, major change? A client would ask.
Should I detox or do a fast to get myself started? Another would enquire.
Nope. Not necessary. was generally my response to all variations on these same questions.
For the majority of my clientele it was neither problematic nor dangerous for them to choose the occasional drive-through experience or delivery pizza for their meal.
In addition, I’d witnessed in the past how going cold-turkey from these ‘pleasures’ (even for a short-term detox) didn’t work. Invariably it triggered binging/overeating in a way the client might not have if she didn’t tell herself a particular food group was entirely off-limits.
I’d watched as clients unknowingly bestowed upon food a power it should never possess as an inanimate object.
Start slow. Set yourself up for success. I’d suggest. Begin with a small step like saying to yourself: On Wednesdays I don’t eat junk.
The older I’ve gotten (and the more I’ve experienced) the more strongly I believe in the power behind the phrase “On Wednesdays I don’t do junk.”
The idea behind a digital fast is simple and remarkably like my clients’ food-fast ideas of yore.
The goal with a technology detox is through not indulging in the ‘addiction’ for a stint of time we regain the control we once had over our online lives (versus the supposition they now maintain control over us).
Digital fasts typically last for at least a few days and are often announced with great fanfare on fasters’ social media platforms.
Digital fasts, for me, wouldn’t result in permanent or sustainable change.
Not only is the forbidden far more attractive than when it’s allowed (hello past experiences with Diet Coke) when fasting is complete I’d quickly return to old behaviors or potentially increase my consumption (hello past experiences with Diet Coke).
With technology stick to my “On Wednesdays I don’t do junk” analogy.
I’ve consciously chosen never to ‘technology detox’ and instead consistently implement premeditated offline times and have faith life will provide moments when offline-living happens without planning.
As I shared with clients years ago, substantial change occurs through the act of small shifts maintained over time.
The food parallel is the same as trimming the social media ties.
On a metaphorical Wednesday, when I find myself craving
the connection of FaceBook the hot salty pleasure of a Chick-fil-A waffle-fry I don’t panic/over-consume shouting: I need my People! These are forbidden! When will I ever consume another fry???
I’m not “fasting.” I’m cognizant of the fact the answer to my question is simple: Tomorrow!
To the many of you who swear by the digital detox for the rejuvenating power it has in your life I seek your thoughts:
My digital world doesn’t make me dirty.
I don’t require a fast, detox or cleanse.
- What are your thoughts about the power or lack thereof behind digital fasts?