If you have been following along with this blog you have:
- Paid attention to your eating behavior and patterns “Do This Now”.
- Have your goal(s) “Start at the End”.
Perhaps you wrote down your goals on an index card as a reminder. I did this on a business card size card stock and had it laminated. I pull it out when I feel out of control to redirect my thoughts from food to the goal.
However, even before you need to pull out your “goal card” to redirect your thoughts it’s important to know what your plans are for the day. If you have control of your day then you won’t become “out of control” and be tempted to make poor decisions about overeating or poor food selections. Make a morning to do list to gain control before you have lost it or become out of control.
Do you need a routine? Establish a routine so you do not have to think about it. Making room for any kind of “Plan B”. Plan a standard menu that you like so there are not too many options and you spend too much time thinking about what you are going to eat. Your easy “go to” menu. You plan this once and have the items ready so it keeps you from thinking about it.
Make plans and adjust the plans for fit the time of day, the season as well as the day of the week. The purpose of putting together a plan for scheduling your time is that you will not have time to think about food. This is not a meal plan that will cause you to focus on when your next meal is and what it will be – it is a plan to fill up your day to keep you distracted from eating and to live your life. That does not mean that you fill up your day with tasks that are labor intensive and not enjoyable. You could plan your day to include a nap, or just sitting in a chair meditating. As long as the plan is not focused on eating but living. Living encompasses a limitless list of activities and just being, it is so much more than being about the food.
You can change out the plans to fit the scenario: Change the plans for the season. You do not have to have all of these plans far in advance you can make them in the morning. However, if you are bored or need a distraction you can create all kinds of plans – plans for the weekend, party strategy, hectic day plan, etc.
All of these plans might seem like a lot of work but think of it as a game. If you were playing a game, you would have game pieces (your goal card) and a strategy for winning (your plans). You win the game when you reach your goal. The goal isn’t a final weight – it is the list of items on what you would do and how you would feel differently – the way you want to feel.
What I know About Myself
Having a plan is important for me because my habit was to walk into the house and head straight to the kitchen to grab something to eat. I would feel anxious from the day and would shovel food into my mouth without enjoying it. Sometimes I wouldn’t even take my coat off and would act like a “wild woman”. All the while knowing my behavior was disgusting. I couldn’t stop the screaming locomotive racing through the kitchen. Once I had that thought of eating in my brain it had a “Vulcan grip” on my thoughts. Now, I visualize before I go home what I will do when I walk through the door. I derail the train before it leaves the station.
The Playtex Living Bra
When you are chubby everything becomes… “chubby”. In the fourth grade I became a candidate for a bra. The popular bra of the day was the “Playtex Living Bra”. I don’t know how it was discovered that I was wearing a bra, probably a wayward bra strap or a top that was clingy. All I remember is girls taunting me to go home and “feed by living bra”. That’s when I started walking hunched over. It’s been a struggle ever since to correct my posture. I have been told I “walk like a man”, “walk like an old lady”, and have the posture of “a boiled shrimp”. It’s ever-present in my mind to stand up straight.
The bra event wasn’t the worst event in my life but when you are singled out for something you get singled out for just about anything. In that same class, I remember having an itch on my face and just scratched the itch. No big thing, right? Well, another boy in class thought differently and imitated me making monkey noises and very exaggerated. Those things are cemented in your mind for – ev – ver. I see him every time I have an itch on my face. Luckily, it’s just a thought and the feelings I felt at the time don’t come up. But let me tell you he was rather unkempt and had long hair that covered his eyes. Not a sight I care to remember but what can you do (ha, ha).