I hear ya on schoolwork. I'm in a somewhat similar situation this semester; I'm taking two "theory"-type classes and one programming class, and doing more reading and writing than programming. Since I don't enjoy the writing nearly as much as coding, I'm having to push myself to get the work done. It's strange, I hadn't even thought about food as a reward, other than "if I get this done then I can have dinner".
I see a couple of potential issues with using the food as a "reward", but only you know if these are true for you or not. For me it would be a slippery slope between eating the food AFTER I've done the unpleasant task and eating it to get THROUGH it. Also if I'm really frustrated about the work, having the food might open the floodgates to a binge. This is especially true for me with chocolate, which is one of my trigger foods.
I do "reward" myself: I go workout (yes, most days that's more enjoyable than reading and writing and therefore feels like a reward!); I tell myself if I get this task done I can watch a movie after dinner and spend time with DF and DD instead of doing schoolwork. And frankly, sometimes I goof off and end up just putting myself in the situation where the work must be done or else... I'm working on that last one.
Edited by: LKG9999 at: 10/24/2009 (19:37)
Lisa Height: 5'8" Highest weight: 230 Current weight: 183.1 Target Weight: 160
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I think I know just how you feel. It seems that whenever I don't want to do something I immediately think of food. I think it's a delaying tactic. I'm not even hungry. I now see this pattern since I've read SY. This is my #1 problem. That said, I'm working on breaking the habit of wanting food when there is an unpleasant task at hand. I mostly use self-talk. I find that when I'm done with the unpleasant task that I usually feel good and don't even want the food. I am an ex-smoker. When I did smoke, I wanted a cigarette at certain times. One of these times is when I had to do something I didn't want to do. I immediately lit up to put off what it was that I didn't want to do.
I went back to school as an adult, so I definately understand the frustration of doing homework that you don't especially want to do. You probably don't enjoy the subject and the material is difficult. I would say just do the homework. I think if you reward yourself at a later time with food, then you will always have the problem. Good luck to you. Let us know how you are doing.
Sometimes I have experiences that make me want to eat and I tell myself, 'you can have a piece of chocolate after you deal with this thing you do want to' the thing in your case is homework for me it's housework or girl scout paperwork. So for me it isn't so much a reward as recognizing hey, I want to eat because I'm hungry for it rather than using it to avoid something I don't want to do.
If you win 51% of the battles you have won the war.
You have to be the one to decide if eating the food is a problem. I would want to hold myself to eating it when I was hungry, as well as after I finished work. If it's not inducing you to go on to eat more than you need, I think it's valid.
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It is natural to enjoy food, even enjoy something special. But it you think you are using food in an obsessive or compulsive way, maybe it would be better for you to find some other reward.
Examples: * 5 minutes deep breathing off by yourself. * a foot soak at the end of a day, or a hot bath. * Gently massage your fact and neck. * Give a friend a brief call. * Polish your nails. * Learn to enjoy a tart pickle or some celery.
Actually, what you are describing as treats may be 'taking the edge' off of your appetite, and keeping you from eating more calories, or bingeing. You may just change your mindset about them. Instead of focusing on them as a 'reward' think of them as a 'stabilizing snack'. And use something such as the above as your 'rewards'.
Amber ----------------------------- I admit I am powerless over food - that my life has become unmanageable. ------------------------------- You are looking at the 'main' source of 'all' your health & happiness. ------------------------------- The more you say IT... The more you think IT... The more IT will occur. ------------------------------- When someone shows you who they are, believe them - the FIRST time.
Hi Fellow Shrinkers! I would love your thoughts on this.
You know how Dr. Gould's methods teach us to be aware of our hunger, to know real hunger from emotional hunger, and how to recognize and avoid using food to fall into a 'trance' when we are avoiding something unpleasant... I feel like I've done relatively well in recognizing and dealing, and I have collected some new tools to use when I'm stressed, or feeling powerless.
BUT ... here's my question. Lately I have been really struggling with my school work. I'm taking classes that I don't enjoy, but must take to move on. Some days I just have to force myself to do homework (as there is always something else that needs doing.) I do a lot of self-talk .. reminding myself of my goals, giving my self an 'atta-girl' when I need to. AND, I have been saving one of my daily snacks and using it as a bribe. It isn't taking me over my calorie count, and it is almost always a food I would eat anyway, but it is a 'treat'... a handful of almonds, a banana, a bit of dark chocolate. I say to myself, "ok, you have calories left and you can have that 1 oz of dark chocolate, once you finish that homework." It works -- it gets me to do what I am not liking.
BUT ... I wonder, should I be using food as a reward? I'm torn because I am really starting to learn to love food again, and be snobby -- only eat what I truly love, not just any old thing. I think that is a good thing. However, do you think using food as a reward is a bad habit?? OOOooh don't I just wish that doing 100 crunches or folding laundry felt like a reward (lol).
And, how do you all get yourself to do those things you really really don't want to do?
Enquiring minds want to know!
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