Sunday, January 10, 2010
Just say no!
Tonight I tried some cognitive behavioral therapy on myself. I'm surprised how well it worked.
Earlier tonight I had eaten a nice dinner of a chicken breast with spicy barbecue sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt (my favorite), and a cup of milk (I'm really working on trying to get the Healthy Eight).
I have a planned snack for later of fresh pineapple and yogurt. My plan is to eat this snack at 11pm, my normal bewitching hour, but only if I'm hungry. I want to be prepared to stop a binge if all my resolve falls apart. I've had two good nights, I'm going for three.
After dinner I was reading some blogs and saw someone had a Kashi granola bar for a snack. It reminded me of the nut & fruit bars we bought a few months ago at Costco. They're mostly nuts and seeds, with a little dried fruit. They're delicious but very high in calories and fat (6 Points each). Earlier today I saw my husband eating one. I remembered how good they tasted. I was leaving for the gym and didn't give it another thought. Until I read about the blogger's Kashi bar.
My mind immediately started thinking about the nut & fruit bars, how good they tasted. I thought one would really be good right now. It would kind of be like a dessert since they're a little sweet, and I love nuts. I thought maybe I'll have one. Forget about trying to lose weight, I feel like having one right now.
Then I remembered reading this in "The end of overeating" (pg. 182):
"Effective intervention draws us away from the conditioning power of a stimulus before it triggers its usual response. It reminds us that it's possible to say no. Intervention begins with knowledge that we have a moment of choice--but only a moment--to recognize what is about to happen and do something else instead.
The cornerstone of treatment for conditioned hypereating is developing the capacity to refuse the cue's invitation to the brain in the first place. That refusal must come early, and it must be definitive. It's only at the very beginning, when the invitation arises that you have any control over it. At that point it's still possible to turn away from the stimulus. Once we get started, a cascade of events--stimulation, response, and more stimulation--is likely to drive behavior."
I immediately told myself NO! I'm not screwing up my entire day by eating one of those stupid nut & fruit bars. I don't have the available Points, I don't even like them that much anyway, and I'm not even hungry. I just had dinner. I told myself to stop thinking about it because I wasn't going to happen.
I refused the cue, the mental stimuli I had in my head. Instead I had a glass of ice water. Easy to do? Not totally. Impossible? Of course not.
I really believe we can retrain ourselves to react differently to food stimuli. The trick is that we have to make a conscious effort to do this. We can't waver, keep thinking about the food, should I eat it, should I not?
Just like we'd be assertive with someone that wanted to do something harmful to us, to hurt us, we need to be assertive with ourselves.
Shut down the thought process immediately. If it's not something you planned on eating and you don't have the Points for it, think about something else. The immediate and temporary gratification isn't worth it. Just say no to yourself.