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Old 08-16-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
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Default The bane of availability

Just got back from another stint at the cottage. This time I went by myself for 4 days, to decompress, read, write, and figure out how to get my head on straight. I brought exactly as much food as I needed for 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners. There was NO other food available except for things like oil, flour and condiments.

Knowing that I couldn't snack (without eroding a future meal), I simply didn't think about food between meals. Such a difference from my eating patterns at home, where I'm frequently scanning the fridge or cupboards for little things to nibble on. It was a bit of an eye-opener, realizing the large role availability plays in our eating habits.

Unfortunately I can't replicate the cottage environment at home, but I may try to experiment with a no-snacking policy for a while and see if I turn into a pumpkin...

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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In my experience, there are two parts to the equation: Availability ... and my state of mind.

If I'm tense, or if I am fleeing a preoccupation or predicament, then I seem to take refuge in the sight of food or the promise it offers of momentary oblivion and focus on something physical & sensual.

If I were in that cottage and my state of mind was not so good, food meant to last for several days could be gone within a single day.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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I know what you mean. On days when I bring something to work with me for a meal or a snack, I end up eating it right away even if I'm not actually hungry, but when I don't bring anything, I take my lunch break much later — when I'm hungry. Just having something available is definitely enough to make me want it.

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Old 08-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
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The grocery store is a mine field for me. I go in with money in my pocket and the store is just full of delicious things waiting for me to buy them.Most of the time I can get through the store without too much trouble but sometimes I am weak and even though I read labels I still fall victim to advertising and enticing displays. The real problem arises if I do purchase something like that is when I get home. Yesterday at the stores deli counter I bought a small amount of potato salad, about two servings . I took it home, had half with my lunch but before the day was out I had polished off the other half.Evidently I can't be trusted with anything extra, but I don't want to shop everyday for just one day's menu.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #5
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Me too! I find that "if it's there, I'll probably eat it." Healthy, on-plan or off-plan, I'll probably eat it. I usually buy pretty healthy food, but DH brings in junk, which I have repeatedly asked him to refrain from. You know what happens next...

Last edited by losermom; 08-18-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #7
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Definitely something I struggle with too! Even packing food to take to work, I try to pack enough snacks to keep me going but not extras. I've had days where I didn't bring enough food and was starving... sometimes bad things happened as a result, so I get paranoid about bringing enough food. But I do tend to eat all my snacks that I bring daily. I try and find foods I like but don't love. I leave some Fiber One granola bars, raw/plain nuts, and pouches of tuna in my desk for emergencies - I can leave them there without feeling compelled to eat them.

There are definitely foods that don't enter my house for a reason. Potato chips, crackers, pretzels, ice cream, baked goods all call to me and I just can't trust myself to exercise portion control. In the case of those foods, availability is really the driving factor in eating them. "State of mind" as Saef mentioned can play a bigger factor at other times. If I'm in a bored/munchy mood I will overeat the most innocent seeming of foods. It is an ongoing battle
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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For me it has been a mix of availability and state of mind. I know if I overindulge on one day, I'll have to take it into account for my exercise and meal for the next day. I limit what I keep within my line of sight - my small cheat snack happens to be the DoubleStuf Oreos. If I buy a box of them, I keep them out of my easy-snack reach by placing them in the pantry. That way, I'll grab the 3 I'm allotted from a sandwich bag instead of a full stack...
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:10 AM   #9
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Very true for me too. The last small bowl of ice cream in the freezer is currently calling my name. Just because it's there and no one else is awake to complain if I'm eating it or crowd around me and want a bite. If there was no ice cream in the freezer, I wouldn't even be thinking about it at all.

Dh is almost the opposite. He's obsessed with chocolate and always has a large amount in the house (which I make him keep in his office because the kids and I don't need to see it all the time). He will often decide to stop eating chocolate for a week at a time. But, he gets concerned when he starts running short of it and seems (to me) to eat more of it when his supply is running low.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:36 AM   #10
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Anyone ever watch Tiny Toons? There is an episode called "The Cake of Horror" where Hampton pig is on a diet. He has cake inside his house and it then runs around the house screaming: "EAT ME!"

Sometimes I feel like that.

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Old 08-20-2012, 06:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sontaikle View Post

Anyone ever watch Tiny Toons? There is an episode called "The Cake of Horror" where Hampton pig is on a diet. He has cake inside his house and it then runs around the house screaming: "EAT ME!"

Sometimes I feel like that.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:08 AM   #12
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I attribute my latest (and last!) bout of weight loss to my finally moving out of my parents' home and finding my own place. Three reasons:

1) I live in a more urban environment, enabling me to walk more;
2) having to pay for pesky things like a mortgage and property taxes leaves me with less disposable income; and
3) I control what is in my fridge and in my kitchen cabinets.

When I first moved out, I literally had *nothing* in my fridge except for ice, baking soda, and eggs. I went shopping every day after work for my dinner for the evening. I had no leftovers, ever. I made only enough for that day.

I have slowly crept in more food into my condo over time, which I eat only when I planned to eat it. More than one can of soup! More than one box of crackers! Bread that I keep in the freezer! I am pretty proud of myself for this.

Some things I realized about myself in this journey (2.5 years!):

1. Even though I am close to a lot of restaurants and shops (I live above a convenience store), I am not compelled by all that food. I am *that* cheap. However, if those very same foods were in my home, I would eat it all. So, I have a better idea of where my boundaries are.

2. I am okay with food that are still in their package. But if the package is open, I will eat everything in it. So, when I plan to eat some soup for dinner, I know ahead of time that I will be eating that the whole plastic bag of crackers. However, I will not eat the entire box (there are usually four bags in one box). I plan my meals based on that knowledge. That is also I how assemble the leftovers I get from my mom's place (she always wants to feed me). I am able to eat her food now over the course of 2-3 days because I divide the food into different containers. Mentally, it prevents me from overeating.

3. I hate to cook. And I hate to clean. So, I am generally okay with things that require some form of food preparation (even as simple as putting things in the microwave). I won't eat it because I don't want to cook--and worse, wash the dirty dishes and pans and pots that arise. But something like ice cream or almost any dessert? Not in my house!

Last edited by memememe76; 08-21-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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