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Old 08-20-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
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Default Self-Made Rules

Do any of you make up rules for yourself to help you with your weight loss? If so, how do you get yourself to stick to them? I have been thinking about making some rules for myself. Maybe, "no eating in the car" or "NO fast food" or something along those lines. But just thinking, "okay, this is a rule now" is not very effective. How do you make it something you will abide by?
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:09 AM   #2
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The book Slim Chance in a Fat World talks about how we are behaviorally triggered to eat...so if we eat in front of the tv the tv becomes a trigger to eat. My rules are pretty simple.

1) I only eat at the table or in the kitchen. (Okay, I am a taster when I am cooking.)

2) I don't eat in the car.

I make myself do it by making it harder for me to break the rule. I try to keep nice things or things I don't want to have food on at the couch (knitting, puzzles etc) to keep my hands busy. I keep my car clean to make it less likely that I "mess it up". (And I also don't allow others to eat in the car.)

I think I make it something that I will abide by by being absolutely rigid about it until it is a habit...and by not trying to set rules that are unliveable for me. (No food in front of the tv has been such a long time rule that I don't even think about it any more...although I am sometimes sorely tested about whether I want to watch tv or eat something.

There isn't an easy answer, as you know. Limiting the cues for me to eat has been helpful.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:37 AM   #3
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I set little games for myself (sticker charts and everything). It's childish - but I've never really grown up, and don't intend to.

It's like I've got multiple personalities (except they all live in my head quite happily, and all know each other), and if the adult Colleens (they're really outnumbered by all of the children Colleens) try to enforce too many rules, the children Colleens all throw tantrums.

Ok, that sounds alot crazier than it really is, but when I try to force myself into rigid rules, I rebel against myself (nope, that doesn't sound any less crazy).

We'll shut up now.
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Old 08-20-2008, 02:52 AM   #4
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I hate rules too (I think it's that "demand resistance" thing discussed in the book "Do It Now"). I can't stand counting anything or writing anything down. So I'm not following a diet -- just trying to make changes I can live with long term.

But my guidelines are few: 1. No sugar; 2. No eating between meals; 3. No junk food -- chips, fries, etc.; 4. No diet frankenfoods.

I stick to #1 because I have no "off" button where sugar is concerned. I remind myself of Proverbs 26:11: "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness." I look at chocolate cake and think "dog vomit."

I don't stick to #2 or #3 perfectly. But I don't kick myself...because I didn't break a rule -- I just didn't do as well as I would have liked. So I try again. ("They may trip seven times, but each time they will rise again." - Prov. 24:16a)

#4 has not been a problem.

I'm losing very slowly this way, but I'm committed. And I'll make changes to my guidelines as necessary.

That's my two cents.

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Old 08-20-2008, 03:02 AM   #5
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I stay away from candy at the moment, but I don't have any rules. I allow myself to have one piece of candy if I am craving it. Although, I make room to add it into my calories for the day. So I only really have guidelines like how many calories I eat... As for eating in the car... I don't even do that
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:07 AM   #6
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My one hard and fast rule is that I write down everything I eat - planned or unplanned. That's a huge reality check for me - and it says everything about my daily life with food. Hopefully, I learn from it...sometimes yes...sometimes, no.

Since I always write down my food...at the end of the day I draw myself a smiley face or frustrated face drawing in my journal. It's nice to rack up lots of smiley's at the end of the week/month.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:30 AM   #7
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I have to stay away from caffeine. It took me 24 years of dieting to recognize that it is a super-trigger for my eating.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:29 AM   #8
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I used to graze a lot, getting a bite to eat when I started getting a headache, or edgy, or irritable. But it was never planned. It was reactive.

Now that I'm working on Radiant Recovery, I only eat meals and planned snacks at planned times. Because my blood sugar is more constant, and fueled by enough protein during mealtimes and snacks, I am much less tempted to snack at other times. It started out as a rule, but I find I'm just not interested in popcorn in the evening, or ice cream between lunch and dinner after we go to the library.

So "no unplanned snacks" is a rule, I guess. Or at least, it's how I'm living now.

Another one that has completely changed how I "do food" is the breakfast rule. I get breakfast, with adequate protein, within an hour of waking up. I used to wait through my commute and eat cottage cheese and fruit when I got to work, but that's like 3 hours after I wake up. Now I'm eating beforehand, and upping the protein. It's giving me a nice stable platform for the rest of the day. When my food is wobbly, my day gets wobbly. So I focus on a good solid breakfast first.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I set little games for myself (sticker charts and everything). It's childish - but I've never really grown up, and don't intend to.

It's like I've got multiple personalities (except they all live in my head quite happily, and all know each other), and if the adult Colleens (they're really outnumbered by all of the children Colleens) try to enforce too many rules, the children Colleens all throw tantrums.

Ok, that sounds alot crazier than it really is, but when I try to force myself into rigid rules, I rebel against myself (nope, that doesn't sound any less crazy).

We'll shut up now.
Cool...I'm not the only one with a chorus in my head!!!

My big blanket rule is to NOT make any other big blanket rules. I tend to rebel against them, and have a hard time dealing with the "forever concept". I do much better with "I won't eat any Oreos today" and "Today I'll record everything I eat in FitDay". That keeps me on track. Forever I can't deal with. Today I can deal with.

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Old 08-20-2008, 08:53 AM   #10
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My only really big rules right now are these:

1) No sugar (I fall down on this one sometimes, but it's a goal I shoot for)
2) Record all my food for the day in Sparkpeople at the beginning of the day, or the night before. That makes it a lot easier to stick to my plan rather than grazing on cookies or whatever's on the counter at work.
3) Eat the majority of my carbs before 3:00 pm. This is the only way I can lose at all, thanks to my insulin resistance, so it's a rule I abide by.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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I am a big rule makeer. I have a bunch of rules I've been making up as I go along to address bad behaviors. I live in a very small town and the PO, bank, municipal center, school, and tiny little market are all within about 5 blocks, as are many friends' houses, so one of the first rules I made for myself was to walk everywhere unless it is pouring rain (Yes, I am ashamed to admit I would drive the 2 blocks to the PO sometimes).

I also have a nut rule. I tend to over do the nuts, so I am not allowed to eat them alone as a snack unless I am going to be out of the house and can pre-portion. At home, I only use them as an ingredient in cooking.

I have an issue with overdoing the NSA fudgesicles, so I have a new rule that I am only allowed a new box of 12 every 10 days. Even if I am PMSing and go through the box in 4 days, I figure it will even out over time.

Once I identify an issue, I make a rule for it and once it is a rule, I seem more likely to comply. I am a person that functions better with structure, even self-imposed apparently. But there is no magic, you just have to commit, just like there is no magic to make you stick to the eating plan. I feel like I just never learned self control in this food area (obviously), and am now teaching it to myself in baby steps. Rewards for sticking to the rules might help. For me the reward is seeing those "green" on-plan days pile up and seeing results on the scale.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:00 AM   #12
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have you read "the Beck Diet solution" it's about cognitive therapy and making your own rules and how to implement them.

eat sitting down
eat slowly
pay attention


behavior related rules can be hard and fast

food related rules that are rigid tend to be broken, make us feel like failures and continue to 'break the rules'
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:06 AM   #13
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Rules for me have to become habits. I need to write notes to myself when I want to change something, so that I have a concrete taskmaster, so to speak.

Rules like no tv in the evening until I have done x number of chores. So - I make a list of the things that need to be done before I can relax.

For weight loss, it's things like eating dinner at the table and not in the living room. That took practice to make the rule stick, but now it's a habit.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
It's childish - but I've never really grown up, and don't intend to.

It's like I've got multiple personalities (except they all live in my head quite happily, and all know each other), and if the adult Colleens (they're really outnumbered by all of the children Colleens) try to enforce too many rules, the children Colleens all throw tantrums.

Ok, that sounds alot crazier than it really is, but when I try to force myself into rigid rules, I rebel against myself (nope, that doesn't sound any less crazy).

We'll shut up now.
lol!! I love the sticker idea - I'm going to have to try something like that. And you made perfect and complete sense kaplods. I was going to say something along the same lines. I have 'general rules' but when I focus too much on them I just break them.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:47 AM   #15
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My rule is if I can kill it or grow it then I can eat it!!! otherwise try not to eat it and if I am dying to eat it then I can have a small piece of it.
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