Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Impulse Control

I have realized recently that I am a very impulsive eater -- very subject to suggestion and the appearance of food. I am no longer the type of binger who would get into my car and drive somewhere to get food to binge on. I used to be the girl driving to Dunkin' Donuts, getting a dozen donuts, and eating part of every single one til I felt sick. I used to drive to the grocery store and fill my cart with all of my favorite binge foods, drive home, and eat as much as I could. Then I'd throw the rest away, vowing to diet the next day. I'm not sure what changed. I haven't done that for many, many years. I don't even every have the urge to buy anything from the vending machine at work.

If the food is readily available, though, I have a tendency to eat it. I tried to legalize ice cream by having it in my freezer all the time for an entire year. I just ended up eating ice cream every day. It never lost its allure for me! If others are eating a snack or a meal, I have the fight the urge to join in, hungry or not. If someone offers me food, I take it almost every time, even if it's something I don't particularly like. If my dh makes popcorn, I immediately want some, hungry or not. If I see that someone has brought in cinnamon rolls to work, my hand starts to reach for one before my brain kicks in to say, "Um...excuse me? White bread, sugar, and fat -- do you REALLY want to eat that?" Sometimes the answer is yes -- most of the time, no. It's partially habit I think. I've been doing it for so many years, it's automatic. So lately I've been practicing saying "no", which is ridiculously difficult. I've so far been able to tell dh "no" every time he's made popcorn in the past couple of weeks. I like popcorn well enough, but don't crave it too often -- and I'm not hungry when he makes it (after dinner). I have not eaten any of the treats at work for the past couple of weeks -- store bought cookies and candy aren't all that exciting anyway. Well -- I take that back -- I did eat that cinnamon roll. But it was homemade and I ate it with my lunch to blunt the sugar rush. It feels good to say "no" when I don't really want whatever is offered. Now the next thing to work on is saying "no" when people directly offer me food -- or taking it but only eating a bite or two. I haven't had the opportunity to try that one out yet.

Things are going quite well for the new me in the new year. I haven't binged since I put all of my new plans into place December 27. I've had a few binge-y moments, but was able to talk myself down before doing too much damage. The worst was the day I ate two packages of 100-calorie Lorna Doones and a small bowl of granola and milk. Not too shabby. I think listening to my meditation CD might be helping me, as well as taking walks with the dog twice a day. I used to walk only with a book on CD, but now I just walk and let my mind wander. I think my brain likes the rest. I think I might have lost a pound or two -- my pants seem a teeny bit looser. I'm resisting getting on the scale until the 27th, however.


Molly said...

Sounds like you're doing well! F. Scott Peck is so right---to achieve anything worthwhile that we want we have to be willing to endure discomfort. Old ways are so comfy and reassuring, it's hard not to slip back into them when you hit a bump in the road or have an especially tough day. Keep it up, especially for those skinny minnies of yours. They listen much more attentively to what we do than to what we say.....And yes, Ireland is a lovely place. So glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any recommendations of books or other resources that have helped you deal with emotional eating?