Monday, May 9, 2011

An End to Impulsive Grazing

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but the timing couldn't have been better. After the embarrassing bathroom incident (see post, my workplace decided to do a 12-week Biggest Loser competition. I was hesitant to join at first. Our work's last competition had been called "ten weeks, ten pounds, ten bucks." I not only lost my ten bucks but gained ten pounds in ten weeks.

But with the Biggest Loser we'd be weighing in weekly. The accountability might be good. I mean it worked with Nurse Marsha. I'd starve myself the day prior to weighing in. She scared me and I didn't want to risk her disapproval.

My latest strategy had been to weigh with Linda, a coworker, every Monday. Linda's numbers on the scale inched down. Mine went back and forth a half pound each week. Linda enthusiastically congratulated me when I lost the half pound. When I gained the half pound back the next week, she'd remind me that I was really tall (which I wasn't buying because she was practically my height and weighed 40 pounds less). After two months of this, Linda had lost two pounds, and I had a net loss of exactly zero. We started to avoid each other on Mondays, and eventually the whole thing was dropped.

Now it was Thanksgiving. I signed up to do Biggest Loser hoping just to contain the damage through the holidays. I started by loosely following an eating plan that was on my work's website for healthy living. Even though the plan was fairly generous in the amount of food allowed, I quickly realized it was not nearly as generous as what I had been serving up for myself. I upped the plan's protein to help curb my hunger. But I still wanted to gnaw my arm off.

I thought that if I generally ate less, I should be able to lose. I admitted I was fooling myself when I didn't lose anything the first three weeks. The problem was my impulsive grazing. I'd walk by a plate of cookies at work, and all of a sudden one would somehow make it to my mouth. Before when this would happen, I'd think that I had blown it and would proceed to have my head in the feed trough the rest of the day.

It suddenly occurred to me that just because I had taken a bite, there was no rule I had to finish it. I started giving the rest away. But when I kept handing my half-eaten desserts to my brother at a potluck, he accused me of trying to make everyone else obese. He had a point, so I started to save whatever I was eating for later or just smoosh it up into an unappetizing ball and throw it away. The main thing was to get away from the food (or get the food away from me) as soon as I started overeating. This one strategy helped me overcome my compulsive snacking. Eventually, my appetite began to curb and I became less tempted to overeat.

I made it through the competition and lost eight pounds. A victory in itself. I never expected to win, so was surprised when it was announced I was third runner up. The work group decided to do another round, this time doubling the amount of money chipped in. I realized that the winnings would help pay for some badly needed clothes. I was starting to get droopy drawers. I was feeling more confident, not so hungry. I thought I might have a chance.

Next time: It Almost Comes to Blows

P.S. Somewhere along the way I lost my huge appetite, and I no longer feel the need to gnaw my arm off. I do still give my desserts to my brother, Bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment