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    SUSANNAH31   12,785
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Filling in the Gap

Friday, May 10, 2013

Filling in the Gap...

Have you ever thought about how much of our time and emotional energy has been taken up by our poor eating behaviors?

Just think of all the time we once spent on planning, buying, preparing, (perhaps hiding) and eating the food we once ate. Think of all the emotional energy that was required to deal with feelings of guilt, remorse, failure, and with repeated resolutions for future diets .

For those of us who are working toward weight loss, there is a need to fill the resulting gap that used to be filled by food. We are eating less.
What do we do with all that extra time and energy?

Some of that gap can be filled with time spent on SP. We can still plan, buy, and prepare food - - the new kind of food -- that will keep us healthy and lead us to our weight loss goals. We can monitor our food input on the food tracker. We can set goals for our eating and learn strategies for meeting those goals.

We can also set goals for other areas in our life that we want to change. We can imagine ourselves in the future, how we want that future to look, and what steps we can take to achieve those changes.

Change is never easy. It requires focus and emotional support. We can get some of that emotional support right here on SP. We can share our struggles and insights with our friends. We can read their blogs and learn from their successes and failures. We can learn to understand ourselves better by reflecting on our new behaviors and writing blogs of our own. We can feel the support of those who respond to our blogs.

Exercise is the other main activity to fill the gap. Walking, running, bike riding, dancing, swimming, skiing, and weight training will all make us feel good while we are losing weight. Any one of them performed on a regular basis will also help to speed up or maintain the weight loss.
Look at all of the successful SPers who now find themselves participating in marathons and writing about it in their blogs!

In addition, we can spend time on a project or activity that we consider to be worthwhile. It can be a creative activity, a learning activity, or a service activity. It can be a job that we already work at, or it can be something new that we are just beginning.
The important point is that it is an activity that we value and consider to be important and worthy of our newly found time and energy.

Whatever it takes to fill the gap, we should be aware of it, and consciously decide how to fill it.
The last thing we would want to happen is to have food slowly moving back in to fill that gap once again.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 5/11/2013 6:41PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 5/11/2013 6:25AM

    Similar story at OA: we are advised to put at least the amount of energy and time into recovery activities as we did into compulsive overeating, and it works both ways: to grow in understanding of the recovered lifestyle and to create a replacement for the payoff involved in overeating. We have to surrender everything that compulsive overeating meant to us and this is our way of doing that.

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MANDELOVICH 5/10/2013 10:53PM

    I like the idea of a life without the food preoccupation! I look forward to that space - for all the rest of what life has to offer!!

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CATLADY52 5/10/2013 5:11PM

    emoticon for the reminder to slow down and appreciate the food planning and preparation time we have.. Some more, some less. It's more about what we are doing with the time we have. emoticon

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IMAVISION 5/10/2013 4:35PM

    Very insightful!

God bless!

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MOBYCARP 5/10/2013 4:15PM

    YMMV. I spend a lot more time planning, buying, preparing, and eating food now than I did when I was overweight and in denial about the need to eat healthy and control portions. Well, maybe not more time eating . . . but certainly more attention to eating, and *much* more time planning, buying, and preparing.

Exercise also takes more time, particularly being sure to get those steps every day. Rather than having extra time, I find some of the non-food activities I enjoyed pre-Spark have been crowded out. But, it's worth it. I like how I feel, and I like being able to do things physically that I couldn't do before.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/10/2013 2:47PM

    Actually since I cook 3 meals a day from scratch I actually spend more time on food preparation than I did before when I could just hit the drive through. Although I want to be healthy I have found that for me it requires a major investment in time and energy. I have to exercise 2 hours a day plus all the meal preparation. I'm glad that at least some people have more time and not less like me. It has really consumed a lot of my day. Maybe some day I will be in your shoes.

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WATERMELLEN 5/10/2013 2:26PM

    Great blog: I "liked" it! I need to think about food as fuel. That's why I eat pretty much the same things day after day: although there is plenty of variety in my salads, chopped fruit, soups. Less time inquiring about what I'd like to eat (always a dangerous question for me!). And also why I spend pretty much no time considering new recipes etc.

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IMPROVINGME 5/10/2013 12:20PM

    And it's so easy to let that emotional eating bring those harmful foods right back into our lives. I agree that we have to always be mindful of the role that food, exercise, and healthy practices affect our energy and daily living.

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SUZCQT 5/10/2013 12:20PM

    emoticon Awesome reminder... thank you for sharing!

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