Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Distract and delay: easier said than done

I was aware of the six fresh, bakery-baked cookies resting on the kitchen counter all weekend. Slowly, the number of them decreased. A treat for my son; hubby ate one or two.

I knew the cookies were there, because I bought them. It’s like the automatic pilot was on and I couldn’t stop. I read the sign for the cookies; buying a half dozen is cheaper, so instead of getting one or two, I bought six.

I tell myself: I can have one (or all for that matter) if I really want one. But I will feel better and look better if I chose to not eat anything or eat something healthy. I’m not going to dwell on the fact that I am not going to eat these cookies.

Easier said than done.

My anxiety level rises. I can’t seem to shake the focus on the cookies. So I decide to take a new approach.

I tell myself: I can have one (or all for that matter) if I really want one. But, I have to wait until I drink my chamomile tea.

Interesting: once I finished my tea, the need to eat the cookies waned. All weekend, when the need to eat a cookie rose to an unbearable level, I would find more tasks (do dishes, put kids in bed, eat lunch) to delay eating those cookies.

Delay and distract is not a new weight loss strategy to me, but somehow knowing that I am feeling anxiety and not hunger made this approach is easier to apply. Previously I would think to myself: what is the point of delaying something I’m going to do anyway? Now I know that: the need to eat may go away and whatever I eat will taste better if I wait.

So, of the six cookies, I ate one and a half. A quarter of the cookie on Sunday afternoon and the remaining one and a quarter cookies on Monday night; after the kids went to bed and I enjoyed my chamomile tea.

1 week / -4.5 / -8.0

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