Thursday, June 23, 2011
I encountered a cue for overeating last night when I spide some cookie dough which I bought from my daughter's fundraiser. That is the only product they sold for this fundraiser so I bought a lot since we don't like going door to door.
I thought I would bake it for bake sales, but the bake sales are few and far between these days.
So with my re-commitment to no-sugar, I was alarmed, shocked, amazed, that just seeing the cookie dough at the bottom of the freezer triggered the following thought: "Maybe I can turn the oven on tomorrow and snack on cookies all day long." I was so comforted by the thought of warm cookies and the sweet smell, and the nice and neat project of baking. I thought of the feel of the cookies in my mouth and how "right" it felt to be doing something so normal and homey as baking. Baking those cookies would be soooo easy. No recipe to look up, no ingredients to look for, add to the list, shop for. Just plop the dough on the cookie sheet and you are in heaven!
I am a closet-eater so with no one home i would have the house to myself and be able to "get away" with baking and eating as much as I wanted. Plus cooler weather was predicted so I wouldn't mind having the oven on.
Now where the heck did that beautiful scene of "heaven" come from! My next thought was "that is NOT what you want." Followed very closely by "They would be so comforting." and finally, as I firmly closed the freezer and walked away from the source, "I am going to have to analyze this cue/reward and figure out how to tame it."
So it is the morning after that cue, and I am going to try to analyze it. I know from reading "The End of Overeating" by Dr. David Kessler that I need a rule, at least for now, so that I can avoid my habit of baking cookies and eating "as many as I want."
Rational thought process: First of all, that cookie dough is pretty much useless when it comes to nutrition, AND they don't taste all that great. If I wouldn't want to ingest them myself, please tell me that I wouldn't want to foist them on my friends and acquaintances either! There is really no place for that sub-par "food" on this planet, is there? Who ever said that--I lost my memory of you!--about food going to waste was so right. It will go to waste if I don't eat it, and it will also go to waste if I do eat it. One way, I'll be healthier but have lost some money in the deal. The other way, I'll be in worse health, and I will have paid dearly for getting that reward of eating bad cookies. One way is a win-lose-lose-win (win health, lose sweet reward, lose money, win feel good about my choice) and the other is a win-lose-lose-lose (win sweet reward, lose money still, lose-health, lose-feel bad about choice).
When will I learn!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Now, for a rule and some great thoughts to think when attacked by the cookie cue-urge-reward pattern. Hmmm.
1) I don't eat crappy food. (now how true is that? Pretty true unless I am out or at family functions)
2) I certainly don't eat processed crappy food. (Usually true)
3) If I am going to bake, I make it worth my time and put some effort into it. (Good rule to have)
4) I don't bake just because there is an easy thing to bake. I bake because I need some crackers. (first food that came to mind that I wanted to try again, but emphasize that it is planned, not spur of the moment)
5) I throw out junk food. I don't keep it around "just in case." (I do? I didn't know that. That one won't work because I still hate to throw out food. Oooops--that was my old rule. I have a new rule now about "going to waste" so maybe I hate to throw out food but I REALLY hate to EAT bad food. How about: I would rather throw out bad food than eat it. That's a better rule for me.)
6) I can't bake cookies right now because I know I will want to eat too many. (Wholesome home-made or junkie processed cookie dough--I will try the dough itself, try one from the first batch to check, try one from a too-browned batch, try one from a not-done-enough batch, eat the too-big ones, the too-little ones, the funny-shaped ones.)
Someday, I hope to be able to post about baking cookies and not eating any of them because I really like to bake!
Now I need to look for another cracker recipe so I will be ready when I get that cue again. And think really really hard about throwing away that cookie dough.