As a result, it's important that I ask myself the "Don't Go Hungry" questions prior to eating. This helped me today. Some lucky person at work must have received a gift basket over the holidays. Fruit (nice), cake (nice, but no thanks), nuts (nice, but not right now) and other delectable-looking items sit on a table in the break room tempting us all to 'have just one.' For most people that wouldn't be detrimental, for me it would. I looked at the items and thought about the questions and came up with a new boundary for myself at the workplace:
If I didn't bring it from home, I don't want it.
This will help me in so many ways. I am pretty much a food snob - I want real food, as few preservatives as possible, and I want to know what's in it. If I bring it from home, I meet those wants because most of what I have at home is prepared at home - I make my own yogurt. I try to have sweet potatoes instead of cereal for breakfast, but if I have cereal, I know what's in it. I have a bag of Lindt 70% Excellence Squares in my desk drawer. I bought the bag and brought it in from home. I know what is in the treat - 1 square = 30 calories of not too sweet yumminess. Great for that post-lunch "I need something sweet" feeling. But above all else, the benefits of sticking to the boundary "If I didn't bring it from home, I don't want it" is that it makes it tons easier to exercise control over my eating. I don't have to try to just have one chocolate covered cherry or one piece of cake. I didn't bring it from home, so I don't want it.
Notice my language - WANT not NEED. We all know I don't need it. Need isn't choice. Want is choice. By using the word want, I give myself choice. That's important too. I choose to limit my food to items I bring from home. That's empowering.
And so are boundaries.