Monday, January 5, 2009

Boundaries Revisited

Over my long dieting career, I've often caved to the thinking "I can be normal" when it comes to certain foods.  Cookies, candy, chips, etc.   The truth of the matter is that I can't be normal.  There is something in my make-up that can turn on mindless eating if I just have one bite of a trigger food.   It's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still there.

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.  

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