(This same logic applies to my strong stance that you need to focus on your behaviors, not the number on the scale. The behaviors will effect that number, but you have no control over the number. You have control over the behaviors.). Since the eating is the problem, that's what we need to address: Why we eat.
Obviously, if we all ate only when we are hungry we would probably not be in the situation we are in. It's all the extra eating we do that leads to the problems: the weight gain, the health issues, the quality of life issues.
So that leads to the obvious question: Why DO we eat?
I think this is such an important topic because every single one of us eats for reasons other than hunger. And it's so important to be aware of those reasons so we can address them and ultimately change those behaviors.
You can probably think of a few circumstances off the top of your head that trigger you to eat - certain emotions (happiness? anger? sadness? stress? boredom?) or situations (certain people/places/events) that cause you to self medicate with comfort foods. But as you think about all those times you've turned to food to comfort you, I want you to ask yourself: Did the food help? If you're honest with yourself, you'll acknowledge that no, the food did not help.
The food did NOT cheer you up.
The food did NOT solve a problem at work.
The food did NOT bring back a lost love.
The food did NOT make your kids behave any better.
If anything, the food introduced a whole new problem. And it surely did nothing to solve the original problem.
Turning to food in situations and for reasons other than hunger are merely habits we've picked up over the course of our lives. They are only habits. We have control over habits. We have the power to change them. We just need to be aware of them and be willing to make an effort to do so.
My biggest non-hunger related food triggers were:
- Stress at work
- Night time eating
- Certain places/situations (usually things like treating myself to something when I go shopping - like a 12 point dark chocolate bar)
As for the nighttime eating, again I stopped bringing certain food items into the apartment - things I would be likely to have trouble stopping if I started eating them. I also have a 'brush my teeth after dinner' rule. This helps me mentally feel like my mouth is 'off' for the night. And I don't want to ruin my clean mouth feeling.
And as for the treating myself when shopping, that usually involves me avoiding the trouble zones: the chocolate section and the baked good section. At most stores, I can reason with myself that the items aren't vegan, and therefore are off limits. But at places like Whole Foods, where they have vegan chocolate and vegan baked goods, I either avoid them or tell myself that I do not NEED those things and they are not going to help me. I look at them and tell them they have no power over me.
As for addressing and changing your own behaviors, I am not suggesting this is quick or easy - but it can be done. Personally, I think it *must* be done for long-term success. It's the behaviors that led us to eat the food. It's the behaviors that put the extra weight on us. It's the behaviors that brought us to the point where we are today. And we are totally capable of changing those behaviors so that we aren't hindering our efforts and our health.
Now for my weekly questions:
What did I accomplish this week? (Holy Moly - so much, I'm like superwoman!!)
- I tracked everything for 7 days! Everything! I am *so* proud of this! Not only that, but I stayed within my points. I used all my daily points and 33/35 weekly points. I didn't touch my activity points! Here's a snapshot of my journal:
- I TWIETed again today (Tweet What I Eat Tuesday) I really enjoy doing this. I just hope my non-WW Twitter followers don't stop following me... This keeps me so accountable and I get a lot of feedback from my Twitter followers, so I am going to continue doing this on Tuesdays.
- I made it to Pilates on Sunday like I said I would. And as a bonus, I found out my Pilates teacher reads this blog! And he had so many nice things to say about it! Thank you, Max :)
- My experiment to leave a bite or so at the end of each meal is still going well and becoming a little more automatic.
- My sweet co-worker William is out for a week and a half. Normally he drives us to the gym on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Last Thursday, I considered not going to the gym since I'd have to walk there and back (just over half a mile away), it was cold out, and it would take over an hour to walk there, change, workout, and walk back. But then I reminded myself that the gym is just a block from Target. And I walk to Target once a week, so why shouldn't I walk to the gym? To save some time, I changed into my workout clothes at work (instead of bringing them and changing at the gym) and walked there, did my workout and walked back. I did this on Thursday, Friday, and again today. And because of the walk there and back, I burned even more calories!
- As planned, I used the Wii Fit on Sunday.
- When I did the body test portion, I thought they were just weighing me. But when I saw that they had also been testing my balance, and it was nearly perfect, I almost fell off my Wii Balance Board! Look at this!!
- New record on the stairs: Distance! I normally do the stairs on Tuesday, but yesterday it was raining and super windy and I didn't want to walk to the gym, so instead of doing NOTHING, I changed my schedule and swapped gym day with stair day. But even better was that I decided to challenge myself to do 12 sets, for a total of 96 flights of stairs. Yes, I said NINETY. SIX. And I did it!! In just over 33 minutes! Here I am before I began (I seriously look super tiny here):
- I made my own snack bags and didn't *eat* any of the snacks as I did it! I made baggies with 1/4 cup of raisins (2 points) and .6 oz mixed nuts (2 points). This may not sound like a big deal to some of you, but it was for me - not only did I portion these items so that I wouldn't eat more at at time than I should, but I managed to not indulge in them as I did it.
- I worked out every day this week, earning 31 Activity Points! Here is my activity spreadsheet from this week:
What do I want to work towards?
- Continue to work on leaving a bite at each meal.
- I want to have another stellar week of tracking: 7 days!
- Pilates and Wii again on Sunday (I need to make this a weekly thing)
- TWIET again on Tuesday
- I have a new WW recipe I want to try, and will photograph it for a blog.
On a final note, here are thanks to more bloggers for mentioning me or linking to me recently:
- Drea (Eye of the 'Drea)
- Michele (In Pursuit of my Inner Pinup)
- Morgan (For the Love of Skinny)
- Pinky McPie (Lowfat Pie)