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I think of it in terms of things I do and do not eat, rather than things I “can’t have.” I think that subtle linguistic acknowledgement of choice is self-reinforcing for me. I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for over 12 years, and meat doesn’t even register as food to me at this point. A bit over two years ago I discovered I have an allergy to gluten, and again, gluten-containing foods are things I “don’t” eat, rather than things I “can’t” eat. A similar mentality has been helping me with the candida diet (I’ve been on it not quite a month at this point). I didn’t purge my house of food when I started, because I frequently buy non-perishables in bulk, and it would literally take me months to work through it all. Resultantly, there’s a butternut squash in my kitchen, gluten-free grains and flours galore in my pantry, maple syrup in my fridge, jars of nuts…this could be seen as maddening temptation, but I almost think it’s comforting to know that someday — though presumably not someday particularly soon — I’ll get to eat those things again, though obviously with care and measure. I try to take a long-term view of things, knowing that not eating something RIGHT NOW doesn’t mean it’ll stop existing and that I’ll never get to eat it again.
A friend commented yesterday that as an INTJ in MBTI jargon, I possibly also have above-average self-discipline. I have no idea if there’s any truth to that.
I hope you figure out something that works for you.