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That 'conversation' with yourself in your head...

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Old 07-05-2010, 11:31 AM   #1
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Default That 'conversation' with yourself in your head...

I read something that is really sticking with me. It basically said: The next time you have the urge to eat something unplanned, notice what is going through your mind. It is often a discussion or conflict with yourself about it. (Should I eat this or not..just one bite....this little bit won't count....I can make up for this later, etc) It's a way of 'fooling yourself.'

I have been thinking about those 'conversations'. It is so true. It the first indication that eating that unplanned food isn't really in my best interest.

This has actually been helpful to me. Thought I'd share.

In a 'perfect world' the day to day facing of unplanned/tempting food wouldn't be an issue. But, it is there for all of us whether we are losing or maintaining.

Do you ever have that 'conversation' with yourself?
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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Every day, every time I see something to do with food. It's always an argument with myself and has been ending poorly over the last few days, but I plan on changing that soon (TODAY, AGAIN)!
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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Oh, gosh, all the time. It does get way easier, though, as I go along, and I'm able to quell my non-helpful food urges with relatively little effort. Usually just reminding myself that remorse has an awful aftertaste is enough to get me to move on to something else.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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I vary between not needing the conversation (Last 42 days) and having a voice in my head shouting, "I'm angry. Feed me!" (today)

I keep asking the voice why I'm angry but I can't work it out. At least I've been able to keep telling it that food is not the answer.....
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:31 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, I know this little voice all too well....for me, it is less about food and more about talking myself out of exercising "it won't matter if you miss today....it's just one day" and if that were true, one day wouldn't be a big deal. For me, though, one day all too easily leads to two then three....yea, NOT good!!!
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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Interesting question....

The single most interesting thing I learned along my journey was something I read in the book The End of Overeating by David Kessler. He was talking about "the conversation" and he said that once you enter into the "should I or shouldn't I" dialogue with yourself then the battle is pretty much lost.

Well, for me, these were the "right words at the right time." I got myself morbidly obese singing the "should I or shouldn't I?" song.

He was right. As soon as I asked myself the question, there was more than a fifty percent chance (probably upwards of a 90% chance) that the answer would end up being me eating the thing.... and if I chose not to eat it, the little voice got louder and louder until it was screaming EAT ME NOW OR I'LL MAKE YOUR LIFE MISERABLE!!!!

So, for the me, the "solution" was to answer the question NO before the question got asked. No reason to ask "should I or shouldn't I eat one piece of candy from the break room table" because the answer was planned in advance to be NO one hundred per cent of the time. Crazy, simplistic, and yet brilliant. YMMV, but it worked *for me.* I NEVER would have believed that this was true, but now if there is candy on the break room table, most of the time I don't even see it.

Now, "the conversation" terrifies me, and I've programmed myself to recognize it and shut it off.

The rest of time I just know that there is no point in asking myself, because the answer is always the same: I just don't eat that stuff.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:27 PM   #7
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I've been having that conversation for so many years. I've only recently started telling her to shut up!
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
Interesting question....

The single most interesting thing I learned along my journey was something I read in the book The End of Overeating by David Kessler. He was talking about "the conversation" and he said that once you enter into the "should I or shouldn't I" dialogue with yourself then the battle is pretty much lost.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. If I start the negotiations or rationalization, it's all over.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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Yep I've had the conversation, although not as much now. Most of the time I ask myself do I really want whatever it is? How many calories are in it and is it really worth it? How much other food could i have for the same amount of calories? By this time, i don't even want the stuff.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:19 AM   #10
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Most of the time I don't allow myself to get into the conversation, but it does still happy occasionally, like this last Sunday. I'd had my planned treats on Saturday and was determined it wasn't going to turn into a 24-36hr binge like the last few weeks. But then Sunday afternoon I desparately wanted chocolate and the conversation started. I'm happy to say though that I just told myself "no", you've had your treats, you'll have to wait til next week, you are NOT going to blow another weekend and spend all week playing catch up. AND IT WORKED!!!
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
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Oh my gosh, I've said this soooo many times - making definite no's, took away that "should I?/shouldn't I" equation that ALWAYS led to disaster. Once I made certain foods off limits, that was it. It was no longer an option TO eat it. That's what I HAD to do. I had to make those definite no's. I had to put roadblocks in place to ban/stop that little voice in my head, "just this once, one bite won't hurt?." But it does. Because one bite leads to two leads to ten. Just this once, just one bite I have FINALLY learned is NOT a good strategy. It took me decades to figure that out. I had to stop having that dialogue in my head - that's where my definite no's came into play, my counting of calories, my pre-planning my foods, my you write it BEFORE you bite it all came into play.

I hear all the time around here how restriction is not a good thing and, how people feel deprived if they can't have something, and everything in moderation, and people saying that once they tell themselves they can't have something, they then want it more. I never understood that, because *for me*, making those rules, setting those boundaries was the key to ending that dialogue (for the most part). And even if I did have it initially (and still occasionally) I had a real good way to answer it and turn it off.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:32 AM   #12
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Ubergirl wrote:
Quote:
... [F]or the me, the "solution" was to answer the question NO before the question got asked. No reason to ask "should I or shouldn't I eat one piece of candy from the break room table" because the answer was planned in advance to be NO one hundred per cent of the time. [Snip] Now, "the conversation" terrifies me, and I've programmed myself to recognize it and shut it off.

Robin wrote:
Quote:
I hear all the time around here how restriction is not a good thing and, how people feel deprived if they can't have something, and everything in moderation, and people saying that once they tell themselves they can't have something, they then want it more. I never understood that, because *for me*, making those rules, setting those boundaries was the key to ending that dialogue (for the most part).
Thank you, both of you, for describing a strategy that applies to me, and also the reasons for following it. For me, "denying myself" -- I don't even like that language, since it sounds so authoritative & self-abusing; I'd really prefer "choosing not to partake" -- does not lead to this incredible pent-up desire that finally explodes in an uncontrollable binge. I have dealt with binge eating disorder & I know its limits now. Time & patience wears it out. I'm not still thinking about what I didn't eat for days afterward. After a time, my mind moves onto other things.

Look, there are a lot of other things in life I can't have or can't immediately indulge myself in. I just know they'e not for me. Travel sections in magazines & newspapers show gorgeous landscapes -- and I can't drop everything & fly off there immediately. Saying "no" doesn't lead me to an eventual travel binge. The NY Times has gorgeous ads on the weekend for new clothes in the dep't stores & for jewelry. I am pretty much always saying "no" to that $895 Bloomingdale's dress and that Tiffany's $2,500 pair of earrings. It doesn't mean I go off & binge on Target clothes or buy up all the beaded craft earrings on Etsy. So why is food so special & so dangerous that simply accepting that some things are basically unaffordable to me -- for calories or for health reasons, rather than in cost -- that "depriving myself" of it is the worst possible thing I could do to myself? I don't get it.

That voice is always scanning the landscape, wanting things. And it's not just food. And I'm often having to tell it "no" as it never thinks of consequences, to my body, to my bank account, to my credit cards, etc. It's part of being an adult.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Robin originally posted I hear all the time around here how restriction is not a good thing and, how people feel deprived if they can't have something, and everything in moderation, and people saying that once they tell themselves they can't have something, they then want it more. I never understood that, because *for me*, making those rules, setting those boundaries was the key to ending that dialogue (for the most part). And even if I did have it initially (and still occasionally) I had a real good way to answer it and turn it off.
Recently, I fell for the "moderation" way of thinking. It took awhile, but I started listening to those who champion moderation. I got to thinking that now that I have lost so much weight that I should learn how to eat treats in moderation. This past weekend, while at my parents', I decided that I could eat some cake or blueberry cobbler "in moderation". What happened? The "conversation" started in my head and I couldn't stop eating. This was the first time this has happened in about 18 months. Then I has sugar carvings all day yesterday. This morning the vending machine is calling me after all this time. I am going through sugar detox AGAIN.

Lesson learned........AGAIN. Next time I am telling that dang voice, "I don't eat that PERIOD!! So just hush!"

I am a sugar addict. Just like an alcoholic can't have alcohol in moderation, I can't have sugar in moderation. It is just a simple fact.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #14
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I have gotten so much from what you folks have shared about 'conversations we have in our head'. I just knew you would. You are all very insightful. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
I hear all the time around here how restriction is not a good thing and, how people feel deprived if they can't have something, and everything in moderation, and people saying that once they tell themselves they can't have something, they then want it more.
I have to say that I spent more than 20 years CONVINCED that this applied to me.... I thought that because I was a binge eater I simply could not control myself, no matter how badly I wanted to, and that restricting led to binging, therefore I could not restrict-- this led to twenty straight years of gains and I ended up weighing almost 300lbs.

Looking back, this was a very destructive and yet self-serving belief....OF COURSE I could control myself. And the hint that I finally really examined was when I realized that I could have binge-type food lying around right under my nose and not touch it IF I thought of the food as "off limits".

Let's say, for example, I bought I birthday cake for my daughter's bday party. Cake, frosting... BINGE FOOD. Did I uncontrollably grab it off the counter and wolf half of it down before the party? Of course not! Did I find it almost impossible to resist AFTER the party. Yes. Would I ever eat the last slice that she was saving for herself? NEVER. And the same goes for many other things....I bag of chocolate chips that I need to make cookies for a field trip-- off limits-- an open bag of chocolate chips sitting in the cupboard: fair game.

See what I'm getting at? We CAN and DO control ourselves around food all the time.....it's when we leave that door open a crack and we offer ourselves the possibility, and it's a CHOICE: immediate pleasure (eat it) vs. uncertain possible long term reward (don't eat it) well, me, in the past, I always went for the immediate hit of pleasure.

Now, I don't think that everyone is a binge eater, and techniques for weight loss seem to really differ depending on the factors that made you obese in the first place.... but for the group who gets sucked into the whole should I or shouldn't I debate-- I think making definite NO's seems to work well.
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