What did I learn last week? The main thing is that my eating habits are so ingrained and automatic that changing them is going to take some time and patience. And a lot of giving myself a break or two along the way.
I thought I published an update about how last week was going, but it didn’t show up. But I learned some things:
- I like to munch when I’m at work
- Being prepared is key
- Being satisfied is key
- Changing lifelong habits doesn’t happen overnight.
Today’s ramble is about that last point. I like to eat. When I’m nervous, it calms me. When I’m happy, it reinforces being happy. When I’m stressed, it provides momentarily relief. I’ve turned to food for a very long time. Out of 1000 attempts at changing my eating habits, 999 have failed. The only one that I’ve stuck with is to boycott McDonald’s. And that’s an easy no brainer. Who wants fake food drenched in sugar solution so you’ll eat more?
I also know that achieving and sustaining a healthy weight means that some of these eating habits are gonna have to change. And I’ve decided to take a completely different approach: I’m adding one teeny tiny small habit and practicing it everyday until it becomes automatic. Then I’ll add another, etc.
One of the key rules of Donut Whispering is to eat what you love. And NOTICE that you’re enjoying the food. I so did not do that this weekend. Not at all.
So, this week, I’ve decided I’m going to eat what I love (Thursday’s menu is simple but oh so Yummy!) and I’m going to know that I’m really enjoying it. And so that this becomes a habit – I’m going to do the Jerry Seinfeld thing of not breaking the chain. This is all I’m going to do to start incorporating Donut Whispering principles as my new habits. No worrying about bites left, etc. Just remember to notice that I’m enjoying my food. This is the break I’m giving myself: Add teeny tiny positive practices that are completely doable. Well – that is as long as I remember to do them.
And well – that’s the crux of it. Every time I eat and don’t follow the practice I want to practice, it’s usually because I simple forgot. Technology to the rescue!
I’m going to set up a daily reminder that will gently remind me that I want to notice I’m enjoying my food. It will ping on my gadget when pull into my garage at home after work. And again just before 6PM. And I’ll have one that asks me if I noticed if I enjoyed my food ping me about 8 PM.
I’m taking a new medication that must be taken every day without fail and should be taken about the same time every day. The first week was horrible – I kept forgetting. I set up redundant reminders and I’ve been on track for over a month now. This principle should work for my new practice of Noticing my food enjoyment.
OK – and for the reality – breakfast, lunches and workday snacks still need to be healthy and portion controlled. That’s OK. I had that habit a few years ago and can get back into it.