LIVE MINDFULLY or How to keep busy in the evening (instead of eating and eating and eating)
Sunday, May 05, 2013
When I started at Spark People, I went through a time when everything I did made me think of food which translated into eating food. Evenings watching TV with all the food commercials became a field of landmines waiting to explode and destroy my best efforts. I survived by keeping myself busy until those cravings for my triggers finally went away. Yes, it is possible. Some of the things I did then are in the list below. Later, I didn't have to keep my mind off food as much as I just needed to have something valuable to do because I found that mindless sitting resulted in mindless eating. I realized I needed to get away from TV commercials. So I'm starting with my favorite.
1. Create favorite play lists to listen to. Record your favorite shows and listen to your playlists while you do a different activity. When you DO watch the recorded show later, FF over the food commercials, or even all of them. I found that control very satisfying.
2. Box it up: Place an empty carton in the bottom of your closet. Hang a plastic bag over a hangar. Start at one end of your closet and try on clothes. Rehang the clothes that make you look stunning and still stay up on your new frame. Fold everything else and put it in the "Blessing" box or the rag bag. Keep working until the desire to have an unplanned snack is GONE! BTW--I now just leave the the Blessing box and the rag bag in the closet. When I get my clothes ready for the next day, if something no longer fits it goes right in the box or bag. When the box is full, it goes out to the trunk and to the right donation spot the next trip out of the house. Sometimes the rag bag goes into the craft area when it's project time. T-Shirts are great for sopping up glue or cutting into strips for a project. A stained blouse could give you enough for the background on a spot on a scrapbook page.
3. Develop an organizational plan for your refrigerator or pantry.
4. Start scrapbooking your week. An open book spread of the everyday and the special times, the good times, the bad, the temptations, the successes and the failures. Keep a file folder where you drop the papers that have to do with what you did: receipts, tickets, programs, menus. Take pictures and pick out your favorites to print if your are paper scrapbooking. Write the words that tell the stories. You can include major milestones, but think of this as a picture of your everyday life. So that when you look back at the page, you will REMEMBER the sights, sounds, feelings, even smells.
5. Record the program and go for a walk. That way, when you return to watch the program, you can FF over the commercials that trigger the snacking binges.
6. Clean out the refrigerator of all those items that are beyond ANYONE eating and the things which don't fit your collective eating plans now. This is easier for me since I only have to decide for myself. I think if I had someone else in the house, their special items would be on the bottom shelf of the door (think barbecue sauce or ice cream toppings) with the labels facing back toward the door.
7. Move to your studio and work on a favorite hobby. It doesn't need to be a special room. Just a place where your project is right there waiting for you.
8. Plan your menus for the next week.
9. Grab a friend and go for a walk and talk in a favorite spot. Don't think of this as a workout. Think of this as a "keep in touch" moment when you feed relationships as opposed to your fat cells, or the plaque building up in your blood vessels.
10. Enter your menus for the next week in the tracker and check and adjust for key nutrients.
11. Have a brainstorming session where you put up a large sheet of paper and list ideas for activities the family would like to do or pros and cons for a looming decision.
12. Prep some veggies- chop or roast for future meals.
13. Make a memory with some kids. Put one in charge of the camera. Go to a local park. Play a game. Do a craft. Plant a garden (this one requires repeated opportunities to avoid that snacking, unless you plant sugar snap peas) Declutter a room together.
14. Grab the family and package up some healthy snacks into individual serving snack packs.
15. Bake a batch of your favorite healthful cookie with the family, package all of them into one dozen bags, and deliver them to people in your neighborhood who are alone. Be sure to spend some time talking with them before you move on to the next person. Keep one dozen for you, but plan for them in your weekly menu on the tracker. While delivering/visiting keep an eye open for a way you could help your neighbor in the future--do they need weeds pulled, a weekly visit, help washing windows or walking the dog? getting the newspaper in the morning?
16. Indulge in some adult entertainment . . . go dancing; walk along the beach; hike to the top of the nearest highest hill or mountain; go for a drive in an area very different than what you see every day; go swimming, plan a date night and morning after . . .
17. Go shopping for a classic piece of clothing your wardrobe needs. Don't worry about the size. If you still have a ways to go until you reach maintenance, then think BASIC piece: shirt, shorts or pants, belt, bathing suit, workout outfit, underwear. If you have reached your goal, and your new basic wardrobe is complete, then you might look for a pop of color in a shirt or hat or one new trendy piece.
18. Declutter a hotspot--you know--that place that seems to collect everything. Even better, think of a plan so that those things that accumulate in that hot spot have their own place so they land where they belong in the first place.
19. Search local resources for something new you've never done in your area, then go do it.
20. When you go out for one of these alternative outings, take bottled water and a piece of fruit or some of those snacks you packaged up individually for everyone.
My slogan now is a take off on a SP strategy. I have changed "mindful eating" to LIVE MINDFULLY.