Friday, September 16, 2011

Forget Math, Impulse Control Is Hard!

Sorry to disagree with Barbie, but even when I thought I was bad at math (turns out that many math teachers just suck), it was still easier than saying no to a pile of sugar. Preferably one mixed with butter and baked to delicious golden-ness.

I was planning a post this morning about trying to impose a little self control by making some small changes to my diet. Like maybe cutting out all the sugar. Some of the sugar. Any of the sugar. Then I ate a handful of Indian corn and candy pumpkins for breakfast. So...that's going well.

ADD (or the more modern ADHD if you're nasty...or, you know, you're hyper) is often characterized as an 'attention' problem- it's in the name! And despite thinking the people who named it would know what they were doing, it's usually more helpful to see ADD as a failure in the brain's executive functions, things like impulse control and long term planning. Can you already see where this is going? Unless you're some freak of nature with impulsive salad eating and the ability to literally see food you eat instantly turn into fat, you're going to need these skills to make healthy changes.

It's become really popular to blame one's problems on ADD. "It's not my fault I ate all the cookies! My brain doesn't work well!" It smacks of not taking responsibility for one's actions. And wouldn't that indicate that your 'executive' functions are working really well? Badda-bing!

But there is an upside to blaming ADD for my dietary failures. Until now I've blamed my poor character and generally being a terrible excuse for a human being. It is soooooo much easier to get treatment for ADD than for being pathetic!

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