Weighty Matters

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The Impulse to Eat

on October 22, 2013

It’s 9 p.m. on the first day of my seven day reboot and I’ve had a good day. I stuck to the plan and did not deviate with compulsive eating. Protein smoothies, yummy organic soups, a sugar free cherry ice. Everything was delicious but to quote a saying from OA, nothing tastes as good as abstinence feels. I also enjoyed some green tea and kept hydrated with water throughout the day.

I picked up the pups from the boarding facility after work and spent time playing with them at home. After feeding them, it was still such a lovely evening that I set out for a bike ride. I logged between eight and nine miles. All told, right now I feel pretty good for the day.

Do any of you use the MyFitnessPal app? I hadn’t logged my food for awhile and recently downloaded an update. Love the improvements! I am particularly fond of the scanner that reads the bar code on products and gives me the nutritional data. So much more convenient than having to input the numbers myself or scroll through the database.

Even though I had a successful day, I won’t say that sticking to my abstinence and plan was a slam dunk. I was very aware of how easily the impulse to eat catches my attention. For example, someone left the rest of a bag of granola in the kitchen in the “If it’s here, it’s up for grabs” location. I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, saw the bag of granola and reached for it. My response was that automatic. Thankfully, I stopped myself, got the hot water I wanted, and left the room.

I don’t know how many times throughout the day that I get food impulses, but I know it happens a lot. It sort of sucks, to be honest. Part of the struggle is armoring myself against the thoughts. These aren’t the same things as physical urges I used to experience when I was in the process of quitting smoking. I wish they were. One of the most effective pieces of information I gained during the smoking cessation programs was that there is a timeline to the physical urge for nicotine. More importantly, that urge will pass whether or not you smoke. The whole arc lasts about 10 minutes, but if you make it through the peak when the urge is strongest, the desire will ease. (Side note: I’m approaching my 27th anniversary of quitting smoking. Booyah!)

Unfortunately, the food obsession doesn’t behave in the same way, so I work on other methods like redirecting my attention, distracting myself with another activity, substituting something else like a drink of water or tea, or just trying to ignore the urges. The practice of just saying no also comes into play.

Today, I was successful. I hope that success breeds more success. It might happen one impulse at a time to build one day at a time, but I’m ready to give it all my best shot again tomorrow.

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5 responses to “The Impulse to Eat

  1. Hope says:

    I was using My Fitness Pal, but haven’t been on there in a while. I really hate tracking calories, like reeeeeally hate it. I’ve pretty much plateaued lately, so I should probably get my butt back on there.

  2. Nan says:

    Yes, Mary, I use My Fitness Pal and love it! The multi-add feature is new too and so much faster for logging! Good for you! A successful day!

  3. Cathy M says:

    This may be simplistic, but it sounds like your desire to remain healthy is stronger than the attraction of foods that would work against your goals. Shifting the focus from living to eat to eating to live is not easy and I admire your commitment.

  4. Susanne says:

    Sounds like you’re in the moment so that really helps with mindless eating.

    Good luck with day 2.

  5. Skye says:

    Good to know that day 1 worked out fine! Congratulations on catching your automatic response to the granola and diverting it, and congratulations on acknowledging today’s success. Plus, I’m so glad you quit smoking and stayed off it! Yay!!!

    I know you can and will do just as well tomorrow!

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