Weighty Matters

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Take What You Need, Leave the Rest

on August 11, 2013

I’ve talked a lot about my need to prepare, plan and have the food that I need to eat readily accessible.   I have also discovered that it’s important for me to not take too much.  Sometimes as a compulsive eater, my shut off switch sticks.  Yes, I have the built-in limitation of my reduced capacity stomach, but if I pick over time I can still eat more than I should.  This is another reason why I’m working on acceptance that I need to measure the food that I pack to take to work or elsewhere.

Even a healthy snack mix become less healthy for me if I eat too much.   I was forcefully reminded of this the other day.  I put a full cup of snack mix (almonds, peanuts, raisins, a few bits of dark chocolate) in a container to take to work, absolutely intending for it to provide a single snack a day for a few days.  Wrong.  I kept going back for small amounts over the course of the day, not because I was hungry or stressed or anything.  I snacked simply because it was there in my desk drawer.

So, how do I keep myself from doing this again?  I can give up snack mix, but that option kind of sucks.  Instead, I need to be smarter about my disorder.  I will take only what I need with me and leave the rest at home.  I can’t eat what I can’t reach.

It’s the same philosophy with portion control at ever meal.  If I don’t put too much food on my plate in the first place, I won’t eat too much food.  I’m much better about not going back for seconds or picking because I focus on the meal in front of me and feel my own fullness.    If I eat out, the best strategy for me is to immediately cut and separate the entrée, leaving the appropriate portion in front of me.  Plate-sharing with a friend also works.  If need be, to reinforce my control, I can also ask for a to-go box as soon as my meal is served.  Box up the leftovers and I won’t be tempted to pick if we linger over dinner and my stomach decides it still has a little more room.

I try to be conservation minded in a lot of areas of my life, including the amount of product packaging I use.  For this reason, I’d really rather buy a large chunk of cheese and cut off the right snack portion each day.  (I have great reusable containers to use instead of disposable plastic bags.)  Unfortunately, I love cheese.  If I’m home, I’ll go back and slice off justalittle more.  For work, a slice or measured small chunk just looks so insufficient to me, even if I measure or weigh it.  For this particular food, I really do better with a pre-packaged cheese stick or one of those little individually wrapped rounds or wedges.  I hope Mother Earth will forgive me for putting myself first, at least with this particular food item, and give me points for conserving, recycling, reducing and reusing wherever possible in other ways.

It’s sad that even this far into the successful effort, I can’t trust myself to not eat or snack compulsively when the opportunity presents.  I don’t always give in to the compulsion, but the possibility always exists.  On the other hand, at least I’m willing to devise and employ counter measures.

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2 responses to “Take What You Need, Leave the Rest

  1. Hope says:

    I do the cheese singles too, and for all the same reasons. I hope the polar bears forgive us. You should probably ask the dolphins to put in a good word. :p

  2. Skye says:

    You are a project. Your weight is a project. And you are applying clever and creative and suitable project management techniques to increase your odds of success.

    You are so smart and so aware that it’s a pleasure to read these posts and watch you work your way through things. You give me many ideas for working through my own things, and I thank you for that.

    And sometimes, you have to make a slightly less preferable choice in order to get the highest benefits.

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