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Old 02-14-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
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Default New Strategies for Bad Habits

So this is my terrible terrible habit:

Let me give you an example. Today, a very sweet coworker made me a mini loaf of banana chocolate chip bread. At 8:30AM, I opened it up and cut off a bite. By 9AM, it was half gone. By 10AM, it was all gone. This was AFTER I ate breakfast.

Repeat with the homemade chocolate chip cookies my friend made.
Repeat with Girl Scout Cookies.
Repeat with that chocolate bar you bought last week.

There is a "bad food" in my house, or at my desk, or someone gave me a gift, my reasoning is that I just have to eat all of it to make it "go away." THIS IS CRAZY PANTS.

So I am making up a new strategy that I will take a bite (a cookie, a taste) if (and only IF) I want to (and want to count those calories) and the rest I will immediately throw away or give away but I will do it immediately! No staring it down. No saving it for later (and I know that might mean SECONDS later).

The fact of the matter is, I thought I could handle it but at this stage, I can't. So I would rather face it realistically than pretend I can handle it and get upset when I can't.

So what bad habit are you dealing with and how can you handle it differently?
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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I totally get what you are saying. In the beginning, I was just like you. Except I'd just keep taking tiny bites, tiny breaks, etc. And it would be gone in no time (all in one sitting), it didn't even matter what it was.

Now, I made a deal with myself. I just CAN'T even have one bite, one taste, sometimes not even smell it (esp. homemade breads and cookies!). I told myself it's not forever, someday I can introduce those items back in. But not now, it's too dangerous for me.

I read on a blog a few months back that unless a food is a top "9" or "10" on your favorite foods ever, don't even consider them or waste a calorie on them. That logic really helped me. Why would I waste a calorie on a Little Debbie snack cake or on an Almond Joy bar when I don't even really like them anyway? Just because they are there? No way anymore! Now, the homemade banana bread with the chocolate frosting that someone makes once a year for Christmas breakfast? Yes, that would be TOP on my list as it's a special treat. One serving, got my fix, wait for next year.

I know extremes and goofy logic aren't for everyone. But it has literally saved my weightloss to ask myself if the things I want to eat are a top 9 or 10 on my list. 99% of them aren't....
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:11 PM   #3
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Everyone utilizes different strategies for dealing with temptations.
Here's mine I realize that food exists that for right now that I can not have and am surrounded by at home and work. I learn to coexist with it and draw strength from it.
I bake yummy deserts I am unable to partake in but the act of creating them and smelling them is very comforting. I think it triggers memories in my brain of enjoyable past moments.
The taste of food has a lot to do with memories positive or negative that we associate with them.
We all have self control ,it just depends what your level are at.
Example work fridge your coworker might have brought a yummy lunch ...you would not rip into it and start chowing down on it..that is self control.
We just have to tell ourselves THAT THIS xyz is not meant for us! And say it with
Right now my teenage daughter brought home from school homemade candy for Valentines day for her parents with a beautiful note on it that she made in her Foods class...very very sweet of her ,I will not partake in it ,but the beautiful box she made that will be mine . I will treasure the fact that she made them but I can not eat them at this point and time.
Just because something calls your name ...doesn't mean you have to answer it!
Good Luck,Roo2
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roo2 View Post
We all have self control ,it just depends what your level are at.
Example work fridge your coworker might have brought a yummy lunch ...you would not rip into it and start chowing down on it..that is self control.
We just have to tell ourselves THAT THIS xyz is not meant for us! And say it with
^ This is awesome. I never thought about it this way, especially not in times where I polish off a whole box of Girl Scout cookies I am going to keep this in mind whenever I'm tempted. That "x" belongs to my co-worker and not me so I will not eat it...LOVE it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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:: sigh :: I have this same bad habit. In January- I threw away an entire box of truffles that weren't worth the calories. Thank goodness DH hasn't asked about them! LOL! Luckily he's not really a sweets person.

A lot of things I can mentally walk away from because they contain quite a bit of chemicals. And after doing a lot of research- I simply don't want to consume the chemicals and additives.

Today I made dark chocolate dipped strawberries for a potluck and I actually had to leave the room to let the rest of my co-workers finish them off. They were delicious and chemical free!

I wish it was different for me right now, but I don't want to torture myself- so I just stay away from it. Or...find healthier alternatives- or make healthier alternatives. At the center they have a mint chocolate protein bar that tastes just like a thin mint cookie. YAY! And protein does help- it definitely makes me not want to eat as much in one sitting.
"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." ~Henry James
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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See, my reaction to that would be ( thinking to myself... How sweet of that person to make a treat for me...) then throw away whatever they made cause I don't need it on my thighs...:P
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
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I've gotten much better about eating a small bit, then throwing the rest away. My husband bought WAY too much fudge one day, and I ate part of the pb fudget that he specially got for me. I measured it on the scale, and recorded it, and still stayed under 50 carbs/day, and enjoyed the lovely taste for 2-3 days.... then threw the rest out.
~~ Synger ~~

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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Goddess Jessica: I have the exact same bad habit. I say to myself: "well it's only going to continue to tempt me all week, I may as well get rid of it right away." Except "get rid of it" means "eat it all at once. Oh the foolishness!

My usual strategy is to gather a crowd and draw attention to the food and share it immediately I get it, so that I don't get more than a piece. I know myself, there's no such thing as 1 serving where my favourite things are concerned, I keep going back till it's all gone.

An alternative strategy for me is to put the food in a public place. I don't know why but I'm always shy about being seen as a Miss Greedy-Pants. Heaven forbid the world knows I could eat a whole pan of brownies by myself in an hour even though I can, easily!

The fact is even with a pan of brownies, I'd still count all those calories. So sometimes, like today, my calorie count might include stuff like "898 calories of carrot cake." That's actual fact. But that was breakfast. And I guess lunch and maybe dinner, a little bit. I guess the key is to stay accountable and keep working on strategies to make better decisions.
Original start/HW: Jan 2009: 275lb; 3FC Start Weight: July 19, 2009: 257lb; Record Low Weight: Oct 21, 2012: 152lb

Losing the Regain- September 2017-December 2017
SW:180 CW:191.5 GW:155
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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toasted, I'm like you and have been really good in recording even my stealing of treats in my house. I'm cutting them out little by little, and usually only have my one SkinnyCow ice cream bar in the venings after everyone has calmed down for the night. But even when I have more than that, or those 5 M&Ms, or steal a bite of a cookie, I have been marking it down on my food log app. I figure sure, I might do it, but this way, I'm accountable, and sometimes yes, I see that my snack pile of my daily app has a longer list of foods than all the other meals combined, but it is what it is, and I'm learning from it, and slowly changing it.

First major goal to lose 10% of my 355lb weight Jan 1, 2013 (35.5lbs=319.5)!! MET IT ON FEB 2014!!
Next goal 20% of my 355lb weight (20% = 284#)
1 dancing marshmallow for every 5 pounds I lose to not look like one anymore!

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #10
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Since starting with intuitive eating and using hypnotherapy support CDs, I really haven't had a problem with this. Usually I don't eat desserts because my rule is that I only eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I tend to fill up on my main meal. And when I'm hungry to begin with I find I don't want to eat sweets.

My weakness is chips/crisps and salty snacks. But I've been doing pretty well. I don't keep them around a lot though. Today my son begged me for a big bag of Doritos. Not so long ago I would have bought it and snorfed the lot (with my son eating some, too). Today I bought him a small bag and didn't have any.

If somebody brought me a chocolate chip banana cake, I would bring it home for my husband. But chocolate is well down on my yummy list. But if it was homemade banana bread. Oh yeah, I'd save that til I was hungry and enjoy the heck out of it.

Lose 25lbs by 15 April (10 Mar)
Get to 100 kg (220) by 1 May (7 Apr)
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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I'm being lazy and not looking up specifics but there is definitely research out there showing that food journalling helps. Even when you include the "extras" or however you want to describe them, the act of writing it down and seeing it in front of you helps to stay in control and not use it as an excuse to just give up.

and I'm definitely a big fan of removing temptation whenever possible. It's tough with homemade things because you feel like it's not being respectful of the time and effort someone put into it, but still, it's we owe ourselves and our bodies the right to be at the top of the list of the things we respect and honor. So I also have no compunctions about getting rid of things - giving away whenever possible, but throwing away when needed.

And for me, being a fairly picky eater helps - with most homemade desserts, there are usually one or two ingredients in there that I don't like so it makes it easy to not even be tempted. So I guess that is my tip to add to the list - don't give in at all, even for that one bite, unless something is EXACTLY how you love it. It's just not worth it otherwise. Save that bite for something that is perfect and then enjoy the h*** out of it.
Restart 1/6/13 - GOAL (for now) back to prior low

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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My rule is "no unplanned snacking at work".

That means I can have whatever I planned for about 3:00 (and my stomach tells me by 3:15 it's hungry). If someone brings something in, I can't have it--it's not on my plan. No matter how it looks, "Nope--I can't have that."

So today, my planned snack is 1/2 of Planter's peanut package--that's all I can have. There are still chocolate covered cherries out on the "put food here" desk--but I don't eat unplanned snacks at work, so as far as I'm concerned, they don't exist.

This is the beginning of week 7 of that rule--and it's gotten pretty easy. (I'm glad I didn't start it Valentine's Day week!) I don't make a daily choice--it's very simple--I don't eat it. I don't have to argue with myself, because the decision is already made and all I have to do is follow it.

I thought it would be harder than it was to implement this rule--the first week wasn't bad because I was motivated. The beginning of the second week was hard because the scale wasn't cooperative on Monday morning and I felt robbed of success--but I perservered. Now, at the beginning of week 7, I'm down 13 pounds, and it's a change in thinking. (Although I do walk away from items that smell good)

I admit I have promised myself two Girl scout peanut butter sandwich cookies at some point during the cookie season--but I won't have them at work. I've given away 8 boxes to the **Gift of Caring already, but I will have to figure out how to get my hands on 2 Do-Si-Dos.

The weird thing to me is that having a stated rule makes it easier--even though the rule is self-imposed. There's no tension because eating the treat isn't an option.

**The Gift of Caring is a program Girl Scout troops do with donations--every troop distributes their Gift of Caring cookies differently, but common destinations are homeless shelters, women's shelters, troops overseas, Ronald McDonald houses. If the Girl Scouts at the store booths look too cute to say 'no' to, just "buy" a box of cookies and ask them to donate it to the Gift of Caring.
Goal: Back to where I was!
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #13
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You folks have some great ideas. Thanks. I do alot of my work at home. So, for me, it's about what I have around to eat. My food environment.

When there's something around tempting me and it's not been planned I have a few things I think about. The call them the D's.

Distractions: find something else to do from a long list
Distance: distance myself from that food
Deep breathing: I few deep slow breaths can sometimes help
Destroy: DH knows if there's something that tempting me I will douse it with dish soap and pitch it
Drink: drink water.... sometimes that helps
Decoy: I am a night time snacker. My dietician suggested putting the chair in front of the fridge as a sign that that kitchen is closed.
Don't Drive: if I am craving ice cream or any other food just to eat it kind of bingey - I try and remember to not do that. (Stay out of the car)

It all boils down to the 'willingness' to do these things.
Sometimes I talk myself into saying I'll plan for it the next day.
Then sometimes.. I eat it.

Mostly, if it's at home... I throw it away. Better in the trash than in me.

Move ticker, move!
Next Mini Goal - 214

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." - Margaret Thatcher

I can't lose 100 pounds....but, just maybe I can lose five pounds twenty times.

Last edited by Beverlyjoy; 02-18-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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I try to think of throwing food away as the same as eating it. In other words, if my body has enough calories for the day to sustain health and I am adding beyond that, it's just as "wasted" as if it was in the trash. My body didn't need it, so tasting it and eating it is pleasurable, but not utilitarian (serving any purpose other than enjoyment). So, to "get rid of it," I immediately get it out of my sight and into a trash can (tactfully if I need to). But, it's not my bad habit.

My hardest trigger is social eating. To live on 1200 calories/day requires very strict meals, preparation and content. Eating with a friend in a restaurant is difficult at best and to do so ordering something "weird" makes it even harder and draws attention to my weight loss efforts. I am usually very uncomfortable discussing it in public, so I really struggle with this. To combat it, I've found a few things that work most of the time.

If it's a group potluck, I bring "their kind of food" and then eat "my kind of food" before hand so I'm not hungry. When everyone else is eating, I have a list of excuses. "I'm not hungry." "That looks so good, but my stomach is upset. Can I have your recipe?" "I just had some," (as in you missed me, but I ate just a minute ago talking to so and so). And I STAY AWAY from the food. Don't even look at it, try not to smell it and don't even open the pandora's box of one bite.

If it's a restaurant, there are a few I can go to and find foods that I can fit on my plan - Chipotle is one of them and everyone loves Chipotle. Sit down restaurants can be hard.

If it's someone else's house and they are making dinner, I'm just at their mercy and will try to take more of the healthier foods and less of the less healthy ones.

Mostly - I try to avoid social eating when possible so that any damage done is few and far between and I can budget for it. I really wish I could just say, "I don't want to eat that," and then not eat it and not feel awkward or weird or uncomfortable with the conversation that will always follow. (Usually some variation of "I'd like to lose weight too, but excuse XYZ" to which I nod and smile (and keep my opinions to myself). Or it becomes a food pushing seminar and they pay more attention to what I'm eating that meal and later as if I'm some sort of closet anorexic.) Maybe I'll slay that beast some other day. For now, I have coping mechanisms.

HW: 225, lost 75lbs in 2011 LW: 150
Losing again starting from 210 5/9/2017

No words of widsom. After years of reflection and dieting, I still don't have this thing figured out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #15
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BeachBreeze - I understand what you mean about social eating! It's ten times worse if I pair it with social drinking! Luckily, my wee one is a great excuse for not going out to eat much. However, I love to socialize AND cook so I just invite people over and serve my regular food. No one complains.
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