Sunday, March 07, 2010
Beck recommends that I say "No, thank you" as many times as necessary. Be like a broken record is suggested, and that is effective as far as helping me be firm and not just give in to repeated offers. But what about when the food pusher is someone close to me, or when I wonder if refusal might have social or business repercussions?
I have a theory. I don't think most food pushers have a big stake in what goes down into my belly. Often they are trying to be polite, to show affection or trying to take care of me in a way they know how. Often what they really seek is a meaningful connection with me, or to feel that they're still needed by me (mothers or mother-figures especially). Some are looking for recognition for their artistry, or needing affirmation of the thoughtfulness that motivated the cooking gesture, or appreciation of the generosity of their purchase on my behalf.
Most of the time, if I give a warm, attentive, and appreciative response to the PERSON and to the item itself, that will make the giver perfectly happy. Seldom is it essential that they see me put it in my mouth or even that I put it on my plate.
I have been observing this as I've had to turn down food that is offered by lovely people with warm-hearted intentions. I was very concerned that I not offend them or injure their feelings, so I would be especially gracious in the moment, with smiles and eye contact and a touch if appropriate. Sometimes I think of some sincere compliment or item of interest to them, to provide positive content to the encounter. And I kept noticing with surprise that over and over, people didn't seem to mind a bit that I didn't take the food. They felt good about the moment of interaction and that's all that mattered.
So here's my strategy: Respond in a way that affirms the relationship, recognizes the talent, or praises the value of the gift.
Decorated birthday cake: "How did you ever get that frosting so smooth? I love how you used candies for the flower centers." (Go over and look at it and comment on it. What offends would be the feeling that the cake and their efforts is irrelevant to me because of my diet, not that I don't swallow any.)
"Wow, that smells fabulous! You must be a pie genius!"
"That looks like a high-quality ice-cream, really creamy with lots of . . ."
"Boy, you put a lot of work into these cookies! Is it your own recipe?"
"Look at that color! What a beautiful golden brown!' (Looking and smelling add no calories, but they can make the food pusher feel a lot better that you didn't take any---or perhaps not notice.)
"Cool, does it have raisins in it? My kids love raisins in everything!"
"Wow, that was SO thoughtful of you to get this for me! That's a fascinating store , isn't it . . . "
"You're always doing something nice for me. You're such a sweet friend . . ."
"Look, even the box this came in is cute . . . "
"Awww, you make me feel so pampered . . ."
What I find is that this takes the focus off of the food itself. The underlying need is met, and often they don't even notice whether I actually ate any of what was offered!
Certainly exceptions occur. Also, some people are determined to make me eat it; some people are determined to be offended. These are just a few possible tools to add to the arsenal.
Ideally those who are the very closest to me care enough to pay attention to my true needs and desires, and their suggestions or gifts will reflect respect for my eating plan. Even so, food can have a very complicated position in a household, and when my healthy choices shake things up, it may help if I consider other relationship needs that used to be interwoven with previous food habits!
Saturday, March 06, 2010
I am very happy to officially reach the milestone of 50 pounds lost.
I can just barely lift 50 pounds for a few moments; how could I have carried that mass around for so many years? No wonder I was tired, slu ggish, and my joints ached.
Losing 50 pounds took 14 months. That's less than a pound a week. My weight tracker shows I need to lose 30 more pounds. I definitely have time to reach my goal weight this year. When I arrive at that point, I'll see whether that's a good maintenance point, or whether it would be healthier to lose 10 or 15 pounds more and then maintain.
I am so grateful to the Spark Community for warm and generous support each day. I am grateful to my Creator who gives me breath and strength: He is the ultimate source of every good gift.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Numerous individuals from age 11 to age 20 graze in my kitchen. SOMEONE left a Maple-and-BROWN-SUGAR Bite-Size Mini-Wheat, just one, on the counter. It was just sitting there looking up at me when I came to get my planned food.
A thought fluttered briefly, "Mmmm, I might as well just EAT that one." But almost before I knew it I had raised my hand and FLICKED that little rectangle out of sight.
"Ah HA!" I cried with a maniacal laugh. "You didn't get me that time!"
While puttering around the kitchen I gave thanks to God. Of course that minute of munch would not sink my diet or ruin my day. Yet resisting signalled an internal change, a surprising new set of impulses emerging. And I mused on WHY I was able to prevail against that quick 'n' easy sugary crunch.
Basically . . . that's not the way I eat any more.
I walked into that room already knowing what I was going to have for breakfast, having mentally rehearsed the preparation, portion, and position (sitting at the table with my April Cornell placemat that has birds on it). I was looking forward to it. With God's help, my attention was mostly focused on the plan, so the allure was less.
The Beck Diet Solution has hammered some habits into my head, so those routines were my friends this morning. Every little nudge helps. For the last 9 weeks I (mostly) did not allow myself to pop something into my mouth while standing up or walking around. So . . . to eat that Mini-Wheat I would have had to walk to the other side of the room, pull out a chair, and sit down. I would have to put it down in my food tracker and figure out the decimal equivalent of one Mini-Wheat. Small efforts, but I'm holding myself to these routines. I have seen this structure just about eliminate mindless eating . . . pivotal for me, pivotal.
Larger in my consciousness was a reluctance, felt even in that brief second, to expose myself to that taste again. Fifty pounds ago, Brown Sugar Mini-Wheats were a common snack for me. For several months I have avoided them, choosing to spend my calories elsewhere, and I don't want to complicate things. I'm feeling a bit self-protective: what I'm doing is working pretty well---I don't want to flirt with old ineffective patterns.
Friday, March 05, 2010
I practiced these 7 questions (from the Beck Diet Solution) when I wanted to eat leftover chicken and pasta late at night. The desire was a sneak attack, a fierce yearning that distraction did not diminish.
1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
Faulty positive fortune telling. I think eating the pasta will make me very happy.
2. What evidence says this might not be completely true?
In the past, when I've eaten at night, I strongly wish I hadn't. When I exceed my calorie range, I strongly wish I hadn't. "Cheat" indulgences sometimes don't taste quite as good as I expect them to.
3. Is there an alternative way of looking at this?
I can put the chicken and pasta on my food plan and enjoy it for breakfast tomorrow. That's not too far off.
4. What is the most realistic outcome?
Eating the pasta now will bring brief enjoyment, but later I will wish I had those calories back.
5. What is the effect of my believing this thought? What could be the effect of changing my thinking?
Believing the thought that pasta equals happiness tonight will weaken my resistance muscle and cause some regret later. I know how to get past it and move on, but that will use mental & emotional energy that would be better spent elsewhere.
If I tell myself, I will enjoy that food even more if I wait until morning, I can look forward to it with liberty. It will taste very good then. Ten of these wise choices will add up to another pound lost.
6. What would I tell my friend or my daughter if she were in this situation and was asking me about this thought she had?
Last time you told me you wished you hadn't eaten that extra pizza. You said you should have saved it for lunch. If you eat it now, the enjoyment might not be as keen, or last as long, as you expect. Wouldn't it be nice to look forward to having it tomorrow, when it fits into your calorie budget?
7. What should I do now?
Put the chicken and pasta on my food tracker for breakfast, go put that load of clothes in the dryer, and get in bed with a good book.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
"Failing" is only failure if you quit. Otherwise it's a learning opportunity. SparkQuote posted by DivaLady4Life blog 2/22
Oh well. Moving on . . . So I binged one day out of the last 10 days. Not the end of the world. If I get back on track right now, I'll bet I can still have weight loss this week since one day is not such a big deal. It's really good that I am here now, debriefing about what happened... from MORERED blog 2/18
I can't fall off the wagon! I'm the one in the driver's seat! - from TRAVELGRRL blog 2/22
The bottom line is that none of us is perfect. So what, really, is there to fear? Failure? Pick yourself up and start again. You probably learned something from not being perfect. from JLITT62 blog 2/23
How you deal with a set-back and recover quickly is more important than being "perfect" at your eating plan. Use it as a learning experience and think about what you would have preferred to have done. Play it back visually in your mind as if you had made different choices. That will erase the bad feelings and re-program you to change the habitual pattern. from HAPPYWALKER218 comment on Morered blog 2/18
I've never gotten anything other than kindness, warmth, understanding, and wisdom from the folks here at SP. . . My wish for all of you is that, whenever you have a day that goes sideways, you will remember to be just as kind and understanding with yourself as you were with me. - from SlimmerJesse blog 2/21
Cultivating new habits requires patience, repetition and the will to change. Do not quit halfway through due to frustration. It can be done. Persevere and push through. The action has to be repeated over and over again for it to be stored in our subconscious mind and becomes natural. from NANCY- blog 2/17
Why try to climb over or break through this issue - I'm just going to walk around it. After all if a boulder was in the path would you spend hours trying to move it - no you would just walk around it and get on with the journey. - ID_VANDAL blog 2/22
. . . Tomorrow is a clean slate. This isn't an all or nothing approach and I'm learning to balance every day. - from LosingAmber 2/19 commenting on Freelady Day 24 blog
What I realized is that I have a 146 Pound Muscle Machine underneath all this fluff and I know, she is finally ready to reveal herself! - from 330poundWoman external blog
I'm amazed. I'm so very thankful to God for His help! For the first time in my life, I'm actually losing weight, and I don't feel condemnation, legalism, and deprivation. Instead, I feel empowered and free! - from AMARAN blog 2/22
The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. - from the Old Testament, the Book of Lamentations, chapter 3 verses 22 & 23
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