Thursday, October 27, 2005

Self control

On Tuesday I put a piece of chocolate in my bag and carried it round with me all day before eating it at a time that suited me late on in the afternoon. Yet another victory for self control.

This is something I've been trying to work on. It's OK singlemindedly cutting out or avoiding certain types of food to lose the weight, but then what do you do? Can you keep that level of control up? So I've been consciously focussing on modifying my attitude towards food at a deeper level than just hitting myself with a big stick when I slip up, and trying to gain the upper hand in that mental struggle. You can't live life in a sterile environment, cleansed of all those trigger foods, and you can't expect to always be able to plan ahead. What you can do is control how you react to those difficult situations and how you deal with temptation.

So my big thing at the moment is to confront the old foods, and then to walk away, knowing I don't want to eat them. If I can do this now and ingrain the habit, while the weight loss motivation is still there, it will be easier later to stop myself stumbling. So I look at cakes in the supermarket, ask myself whether I really want to eat them, and leave them on the shelf. I make a point of really looking at the nutritional information, so I can make an informed decision, and I remind myself that I control what I put in my body, not the other way round. I need to know that I can live with chocolate in my bag, or my house, or anywhere where I am without feeling the need to eat it. And I'm getting there.

The other thing I'm really trying to control at the moment is how I eat. It sounds less obvious, but has really helped. One thing I absolutely refuse to do now is to eat while I'm walking or (mainly) when I'm standing up. If I'm going to eat something, even a bar of chocolate, I sit down, then I eat it. It's strange, but it's really started to bug me when I see other people doing it now. People who buy a bar of chocolate in the supermarket or the shop over the road from work and who are biting into it before they even get out of the door. People who buy a bacon sandwich on the way to work and have finished it before they get to their desk.

If I did that, I would see that as a sign that the food is getting back in control of me rather than the other way round, which isn't a position that I want to be in. That I can't have something in my hand and not eat it, that I can't even defer the eating for 2 minutes. So I make sure that I decide when and where I'm going to eat something, not the other way round. Even if there's nowhere to sit, I'll stop and stand still, out of the way, and eat on my terms.

I'm in control, and I'm intending to stay that way.


Today's installment of betting on my arse comes courtesy of the secretaries. Rather than focussing on speed and athletic prowess, their interest is in the clothes size. Apparently this is a regular topic of discussion, and the general consensus seems to be that I look like a 12.

If only. Still, if I can't actually be a size 12 yet, I can console myself with the thought that misguided people think I look like one…


I had a meeting today on an ongoing project we've been doing. My first meeting on it was in about May, and I haven't met with the client since about June (I drafted a contract, they put it in a tender pack and have spend months going through the tender/clarification process, and have only now come back for amendments). Anyway, the last time they saw me must have been about 40lb (and several haircuts) ago, and they never even saw me at my heaviest.

So I walk down to reception to meet them and notice the looks. Two middle aged blokes, probably the least likely people to comment, but they've noticed. Clearly. I wonder whether they're going to say anything, but they manage to cover up the amazement and act all professional. Then an hour or so later, under the cover of a conversation going on elsewhere in the room, one of them says under his breath "I don't mean to be rude, but can you tell me what diet you're on so I can do it, I've never seen anything work like that"! Of course the other people overhear and ask what he said so he ends up repeating it in front of the room.

I still find it very funny though to see the disappointment on their faces when I reply. "It's exercise, sorry…"


Blogger dietgirl said...

i can't believe your colleagues... the attention must be nice at times but bloody infuriating. but it is always fun to tell people that it came down to exercise... they always look so crushed :)

excellent point about the bacon-rolls-on-the-way-to-work kind of eating. this has worked brilliantly for me - ie no longer eating on the run, in the car, etc etc. i only eat when i am fully conscious of the moment, ie sitting down, making a cup of tea first, blah blah... if i am going to eat some chocolate i want to be completely present in the moment and know what i've eaten. does that sound wanky? but it works.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Haloranch said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I just loved your control comments today. They hit me on the head with a resounding whack. Many years ago I quit smoking and ended up carrying a dried up package of cigarettes in my purse to prove to myself that they were there if I wanted them, but I was delighted that I could leave them. It never occurred to me to do it with food.

I am not quite there yet, where you are, to look at the food, evaluate it, and then turn it down. I still long for it too much and it's too early in my health improvement program to give myself this challenge. But I look forward to the day when I will be in control again, and not my stomach.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

That control thing is phenomenal. It's great to do with healthy food too. Yesterday at lunch I had a baked potato and I stopped when I was hungry. I am totally fascinated by my ability to do this. It's great.

8:05 PM  

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