About seven or eight years ago, I went through a period of time where I was regularly ordering take-out Chinese food. And every single time afterward, I wouldn’t feel that great.
The funny thing was that for a while that didn’t stop me.
I mean, it got delivered to my apartment and it was tasty. What was there not to like?
Nothing. Except the feeling that I got after I ate it.
Probably once a week, maybe once every two weeks, I’d order Chinese food for delivery, and every single time afterward, I’d go, “I’ve gotta stop doing this. I’m not going to order this anymore.”
And then a week later, my doorbell would ring and my lo mein would arrive.
It probably took ten or so times, enough for a pattern to develop, before I finally would think about how I was going to feel after eating the Chinese food, while I was thinking about ordering it.
And then I would go, “Hmmm, I didn’t feel that great last time I ate this, maybe I should eat something else.”
Knowing what was going to happen after I ate the Chinese food, even though I still wanted to eat Chinese food, stopped me from ordering it.
Because the thing is, I never stopped wanting it.
But once a pattern developed and I could see that – over time – the bad feeling happened every time, it made me rethink my desire for Chinese food.
And so the story ends well. I stopped ordering Chinese food, and therefore stopped feeling not-so-great every time I ate it. But it took a little while.
Today, wanting to order Chinese food and knowing how I’m going to feel afterward are intricately tied together, so that when I have the craving I immediately have the realization of how I’m going to feel after, and it stops me. And it’s the only thing that does.
Because, come on, who doesn’t like lo mein?