Most of us are aware of AA axiom of "One day at a time." It speaks to secret of any long term goal - concentrate on taking right step and journey will take care of itself. Like alcoholic who faces urge to drink at every turn, overweight fataholic must also steer a narrow passageway through shoals of temptation and deadly barrage of food advertisements, ubiquitous drive-throughs, social occasions, and office treats.
While no one would suggest that a recovering alcoholic has it easy, plain fact is that controlled eating is more difficult because we can't stop cold turkey, at least not on a permanent basis. We must eat to live (but how many of us live to eat?) else die of starvation.
Sometimes, cold turkey seems easiest way to go. Talk to anyone who has been on a fast and they will enthusiastically describe how after about three days, they no longer even wanted to eat, felt no hunger, and blissfully enjoyed their new sense of freedom and independence from food.
But even a fasting proponent will admit that, at some time, eating must be restored, preferably in a measured, controlled sequence. Returning to real life can be a jolt! This real world living of ours demands that we make it through each day with as few lapses as possible, demanding an arsenal of weapons to help us fight good fight against our powerful and omnipresent enemy: fat.
Here are some tools to help you get through each day. Mix, match, add others you find, as needed.
1. Consistent Awareness.
Never, ever, (is that strong enough for you?) allow even a seed to pass your lips without being consciously aware of it. You may choose to eat something or you may elect to skip it. The important concept is that you are making a choice and that you control that choice. How many of us pop something into our mouth absentmindedly, almost unaware of what we are doing? How often have you set a second cookie aside and when you reach for it it'' gone? We don'' even remember eating it so we can'' say we enjoyed it. What a waste --of both an innocent cookie and pleasurable taste it provided.
2. Substitute delay for denial.
It is sometimes just too hard to say no. If that's mood you're in, tell yourself you'll wait a little bit and have it later. Chances are that your mood will change, your better self will regain upper hand, and you'll elect not to have it at all. (And if you do eat it, do it with full awareness and identify your emotional state for recording in your journal).
3. Avoid hot button situations.
If your coworkers pork out on mid-afternoon treats, schedule your beak for that time and go for a walk. You'll feel so virtuous and re-energized by fresh air that when you return to your desk, even remaining scraps will not merit a second glance.
4. Avoid public discussions.
Don't fall into habit of discussing your diet with coworkers. Everyone is on a diet, it seems, and everyone is trying something different. Before you know it, pros and cons are being earnestly discussed, forbidden and allowed foods debated, and whole crew is totally focused on food - a sure recipe (forgive pun) for disaster! We want you to concentrate on that significant portion of world that has absolutely nothing to do with eating. Don't think food, don't talk food, don't visualize food, and likelihood of avoiding eating increases dramatically.
5. Drive past drive-throughs.
No matter their marketing claims, fast food doesn't belong on your diet, any diet. Even salads are drenched with fatty dressings and perked up with extras. Everything else is fried - food cooked in animal fat that barely has to change its chemical composition to turn into human fat. If you're stranded on road, find a good deli.