Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I've been reading David Kessler's amazing "The End of Overeating" and today stumbled upon an amazing quote:
"Your ability to follow your own rules will eventually carry its own reward."
A year ago, when I still weighed 268 pounds, I used food as a reward. If my day was going well, treat. If I felt lonely or sad, treat. Before I knew it, my food wasn't a "treat", it was a daily thing.
According to Kessler's book, this isn't uncommon. A lot of people who are overweight (and some who aren't!) have this same problem - food is a reward, an indulgence, something we can't resist and can't control. If a bag of M&M's is in front of us, we eat it. If we are in a restaurant, we eat the entire plate instead of a proper portion.
But our urges CAN be resisted. We CAN change. Kessler's plan? It's four steps:
Awareness - Be AWARE of your temptations
New Behavior - Change your unhealthy habits. If you drive by a tempting fast food joint on the way home, try a new route. If you come home and eat in front of the TV, switch up your routine so you don't mindlessly eat.
New Thoughts - Don't tell yourself you can't.
Support - Surround yourself with people who can support you in your goals.
And how do you avoid the impulse to begin with? Make rules. Tell yourself what you can and can't do. Don't be wishy-washy about these rules - be firm. If you really want to change, don't wait to make rules when you are standing at the donut shop, staring at your temptation. Do it before hand - "I will ONLY buy a coffee and NOT buy the donuts". "I will go out on a walk at lunch and NOT stop at the fast food joint."
And then the best part: when you follow these rules, you get your reward - a healthy body and a healthy life - a life that isn't ruled by food, a life that is FUELED by food!