Domino Effect

Domino-EffectWhenever we played with dominoes, I always enjoyed the setting up part more than the knocking down part. Does this surprise you? I loved the tedious process of balancing the dominoes, lining them up in an elaborate shape and admiring my hard work even though I knew, of course, that the whole point was to eventually force that first domino to fall backward onto the next domino creating a chain reaction that everyone would enjoy watching. Then, in a matter of a few seconds, my masterpiece was gone and the thought of starting the process all over again never seemed as appealing the second or third time around.

Last week it dawned on me, that while I may no longer play with actual dominoes, I still play the game of dominoes almost everyday.  Each day is like a piece that I tediously work to put in place – a day where I don’t eat sugar or flour, a day where I pick up after myself or a day where I decline something  for a more simple life. All it takes is one slip to start a “domino effect”.

I had been doing so well ever since my re-committment to the no-sugar no-flour lifestyle, but when I finished my race in October, the only thing I could think about was having a piece of pizza. I figured after 13.1 miles I deserved it, and I did! But that one piece seemed to be the very first domino that started a chain reaction and I’ve struggled ever since then to set the pieces back in place, allowing myself just a piece of candy here and a slice of bread there. Maybe some people are better at getting back on track, but not me.

Then there was my birthday-celebration-shopping-trip. I had been doing so well at appreciating the wardrobe that I have, knowing that I have more than enough clothes, shoes and accessories to put together great outfits day after day. All it took was that first purchase, a pair of boots, and suddenly I had to have this and that and everything in the store looked so cute!  The more simple life I had been trying to embody was knocked down in a matter of seconds and I am now trying to garner the motivation to start the tedious process of re-building my crazy, elaborate line of dominoes.

I know this probably sounds a little obsessive compulsive, but I know myself well enough now to know that while I have great will power and motivation, my key to success is continuing that day after day. Indulgences, treats and slip-ups are hard for me to overcome. I will always allow myself treats, but now I know it will just take time to set the pieces back in place.


4 thoughts on “Domino Effect

  1. Andrea

    I completely know know what you mean. It’s so easy to “fall off the wagon” when I’m not really regimented. I read once that you shouldn’t do “cheat days” for that exact reason. I definitely need to work on my discipline in a few areas of life, especially as we go into the holiday season!

  2. Alicia Johnston (@aliciajaybird)

    I am all too familiar with the domino effect when it comes to no flour or sugar (or dairy). After keeping to a set paleo diet for a long time, my sugar cravings lessened drastically…but it just took one sweet for me to fall face-first in a pile of goodies! I like the one day at a time approach you’ve mentioned here. One day at a time, and no beating yourself up–just reset and carry on with even greater determination!

    1. Katelyn Post author

      Alicia – it’s the same for me. I don’t even miss sweets and then I’ll have one in a moment of weakness and it’s all down hill from there!


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