Giving Myself a Break

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.

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About Maura

an erstwhile former weight management blogger writing about life without diet should's and should not's filter.
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6 Responses to Giving Myself a Break

  1. Snoskred says:

    I had a friend – and this is seriously true, not an urban legend – who left a cheeseburger in her backpack for 24 hours, she took it out, put it in the microwave and ate it, and nothing bad happened. That told me everything I need to know right there. Fake food is right. 🙂

    • Maura says:

      David Kessler’s The End of Overeating was almost as enlightening for me as Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Be picky and careful about what what who where and how when it comes to eating.

  2. Zazamataz says:

    Do you ever find that when you’re eating the food you love – perhaps because you’ve denied yourself this food – you feel like you can’t stop as if you will never eat it again? This plan of your’s is what I think is balanced both for eating and our emotional needs. It’s just been hard for me. I buy something I particularly love and I feel like I have to eat it all right away so that it doesn’t tempt me – and that is not really enjoying what I’m eating.

    • Maura says:

      Zazzy – not only do I do that with food I know I love, I also do it with food I think I love. But there is hope. I hit the cookie bar at Whole Foods today – my favorite was there: carmelita squares or something like that. As I ate it, I reminded myself to notice my enjoyment. And what I noticed was that I really wasn’t enjoying it! So I stopped eating it. Baby steps.

  3. Suz says:

    I am there with your sista! Eating healthy is not my problem. I love all the good stuff. For me its the BAD HABIT of snacking all the time in the evening when I am home, even if its healthy stuff. I’m not hungry so why do I need to snack ? Day time is a breeeze for me. Temptation is not an issue. You are correct time to break old habits. I am trying to stay out of the kitchen at night trying to break the habit of mindless eating while i check email. Small steps , small steps !! “Changing life habits does not happen overnight “.

    • Maura says:

      I don’t know if getting married and living with someone is what changed nighttime eating for me – but it changed. I rarely eat anything after dinner. But days are hard and I know it’s because I want a distraction or pseudo comfort. But – I did well today. And am motivated to do well tonight with dinner (brandied chicken in a cream sauce).

      Thanks for stopping by!

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