Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 315 - A Few Tips on How to Avoid Overeating

I like to eat.  In the past I have often overate and at times binged.  It would be easy for me to make my past actions present.  Every day I need to make a conscience decision to keep those habits in the past.  How have I been able to do it?  The following are a few things that are working for me:

1. I have to make the conscience (not passive) decision to want to take care of my body.  I need to make a firm decision that I am going to make good decisions. I have to literally tell myself that I want to do better in my eating, to eat in a manner that I need to so I can stay healthy. If I don't, I am passively giving myself permission to have one more day of bad food choices, overeating and feeling like a failure.  Back in those days of struggle, I would scream it to myself and often times, I would ignore it.  As each day passes, my internal voice doesn't have to be as loud either. Now, I can just think it, "Good choices." 

2. I need to give myself a split second to think about what I am going to eat when it's something that tempts me.  I used to hear it all the time in my WW meetings.  "Visualize what you want to achieve.  Visualize what you are eating.  Visualize.  Visualize. Visualize."  Used to make me crazy!!  I thought, if I am going to think about that brownie so much, of course I am going to eat it!!  But this year, I finally got it.  It clicked.  I made visualization work!  I first noticed back in March.  I had just started to make some progress loosing a few pounds.  We were at a social event and they were serving one of my most favorite desserts, and it was HOMEMADE. It is easier for me to avoid fake, processed treats, but when it's homemade?  That is my weakness.  They were serving brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  At first I panicked.  How was I going to make it through this?  I had been so good but I felt like I was on the edge, that on any moment, with the right temptation, I was going to loose it and return to that dark place I was at the beginning of the year.  Suddenly my mind worked for me.  For a split second I visualized how I would feel after I ate the whole thing.  That milky coating on my tongue. That sweet overload of the senses when the spoon flops into the empty bowl.  The guilt of knowing I just lost control...again.  After passing through those feelings, that brownie sundae no longer held me in it's control.  I felt empowered.  I didn't want to feel like I knew I was going to feel.  I also knew if I deprived myself, my sense of control could snap and I could just loose it.  So I asked my son for a bite of his.  That was one delicious bite...and that was all I needed.  For the rest of the evening, I was satisfied, complete.  That brownie sundae no longer mattered. Now when faced with a temptation, I take that split second to really visualize, and I can find the control needed to make the choice that brings health and keeps me in my new jeans. :o)

3. Working out during my trouble time really helps to control the munchies.  My most challenging time of day with eating is after dinner.  I used to pack in nearly a days worth of calories after dinner during the time I was trying to "relax" from my day.  When I hop on my elliptical soon after dinner, that workout completely curbs any cravings.  I have also learned that if I can wrap myself up into something with my hands during my trouble time, I am completely distracted.  A good book, a crochet or any craft project for that matter, will keep my hands busy and my mouth empty too.

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