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Old 01-24-2004, 09:30 AM   #1
Meg
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Default Non-Food Comforts And Rewards

Food -- especially the chocolate kind -- used to be my best friend, there for me when I was happy, sad, bored, stressed, tired (you name it ). Hands down, my favorite escape in the world was a good book and chocolate chip cookies.

So it's a big shift for me to think of food as fuel for my body and not as a reward or comfort or source of pleasure (even thought my head keeps wanting to run back there at times). I was wondering what everyone here has found for substitutes for those occasions when we used to reach for food?
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Old 01-24-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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Default From the "believe it or not" files

I have a minimal gym in my house and I've more than once hopped on the exercise bike or hit the smith machine instead of eating. I've also logged onto 3FC, emailed friends , or just crawled into bed with a book rather than go anywhere near the kitchen. Every once in a while I'll do retail therapy, since mall food really doesn't appeal to me, it's safe. Nothing extravagant- even a new t-shirt from TJ Max or Marshalls makes me happy. Tho usually one glance in a dressing room mirror and I'm cured of wanting to eat for a while :lo:

If I get too cocky and think just once won't hurt, I go try on the size 2 pants that fit for a nanosecond last year, and they prove to me that a bite, followed by another and another WILL hurt.

Of course, I've also grabbed a cookie occasionally which is why the size 2's don't and probably won't fit.

I doubt I'll ever get to the "food is fuel" mentality. I was raised in a food is love, comfort, celebration, anti-stressor environment by a mother and grandmother who lived through or was born during the Depression. Food was precious and that meant eating every morsel that was available. I ate for the starving kids in Africa, Appalachia, concentration camp victims, Israel, China....Now there's the way to world peace: let's all eat for each other

Gotta go to the gym and run off the breakfast I just ate for North Korea.

Mel
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Old 01-24-2004, 10:27 AM   #3
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OMG Meg - what a great topic!

Myself, I still think of food often as a source of pleasure - living in the San Francisco area, where foodies and restaurants abound, it's kind of difficult NOT to - even at work (our cafeteria has a full-time sushi chef!). However, in those instances, I try to concentrate on quality rather than quantity of food. Most of the 'good' restaurants around here (many of you regulars know that part of my job entails travel and taking groups out to fancy dinners) and in places such as NYC, London, etc. serve very small portions of excellent food - set out on the plate almost like precious jewels, too pretty to eat almost - but meant to be savored and enjoyed. I think these days, with obesity being epidemic in America and other countries, one of the problems that I see is that soooo many people INHALE their food instead of sitting down and enjoying it. (I'm guilty of that myself, esp. when working on a project and I grab a bite to eat at my desk).

Our Uncle Charles, who passed on late last year at the age of 95, was a regular at all family gatherings and holiday celebrations. It was interesting to watch him eat his meal - one of us gals would prepare a plate for him and set it before him...before he picked up his fork he would look at the food and enjoy the aroma...then take small bites, not rushing at all - he lived on his own until the day he died and didn't need help to eat, he just wasn't in any hurry and really enjoyed the flavors. These days...I see so many people rushing through the drive-thru, shoving supersized orders of french fries in their mouths...not tasting (actually, McDonald's fries have REALLY gone downhill since they changed the shortening over 10 years ago IMO!)...almost like they're throwing garbage into a dumpster or something. (this is why Jim and I don't go to buffets like Fresh Choice anymore - it is pretty unappetizing to see the way so many people stuff themselves there, on crap mostly).

Whew! ANYWAY, that's not what the topic of this thread is about, is it?!? It's about finding non-food related stuff to do...

Okay - y'all know I love to ride and be with Dakota and the rest of the horses...if I could I would be there every single day! Dr. Phil's book has an interesting list (it's actually in both books) of "Incompatable Substitutes for Overeating":

Quote:
Activities for Fun and Enjoyment

Pursue a favorite hobby, or take up something new you'd like to learn.
Work on a craft.
Work in your garden.
Play a game with your kids or your friends.
Learn a new sport or game.
Visit your neighbors, or talk to a friend.
Write letters or send emails to friends or family.
Write in your journal.
Give yourself a manicure.
Go to a good movie, or rent a video. (Okay, that might not work for ME - I have a tendency to crave popcorn and Milk Duds at the movies!)
Read your favorite magazine.
Read a good book.
Plan your next vacation.
Watch a sunrise or sunset.
Spend time with your children.

Activites for Relaxation
Do relaxation exercises such as deep breathing or yoga.
Go for a walk, jog, swim, or bike ride.
Head to the gym and work out.
Exercise to an exercise video.
Dance to some upbeat music.
Take a shower or leisurely bath.
Have a massage.
Pamper yourself with a day of beauty at a day spa or salon.
Listen to music.
Sing along with your favorite music.
Engage in prayer or mediation.
Write a poem.
Take a short nap.
Take the day off and go on a day trip.

Activities You Must Do
Do housework. (this is on MY schedule for today!)
Work on a home improvement project.
Pay your bills.
Balance your checkbook.
Rearrange the furniture in a room or two.
Wash your car.
Clean out your closets or your drawers.
Run errands.
Do all the things your dentist wants you to do - brush, floss, rinse with mouthwash.
Volunteer for a project, then follow through on your commitments.
Take your dog for a walk.
Well, there's something to start with...
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Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

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Old 01-24-2004, 08:24 PM   #4
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or sometimes I just eat everything in sight and try to remember how awful I feel.
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Falling down is not failure....Failure is staying down.
Save the Earth, it's the only planet with chocolate and wine.

It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

9 years at or under goal weight! Working Maintenance Everyday

Last edited by meliris; 01-25-2004 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-25-2004, 12:36 AM   #5
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knitting
not letting myself get too hungry
walking the dog, who's getting much svelter than i am!!!!
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start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
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Old 01-25-2004, 07:22 AM   #6
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Default Rewards And Distractions

Back in my "want to be invisible" days, I didn't think that I was worthy of spending time or money on my appearance. I didn't want anyone to notice me and certainly didn't want anyone to think that I cared about how I looked (then I'd have to admit that I hated being fat). So I never indulged in any of the "girlie stuff" (Jif's term -- I love it ).

I've discovered a whole world of non-food indulgences now, like manicures, pedicures, clothes, highlights in my hair, etc. They're a both a reward and a way to feel good about my new body.

About ways to distract myself when I want to eat everything that isn't nailed down: the best is to physically remove myself from the food -- like getting out of the house! Going shopping or going to the gym. At least getting out of the kitchen, even if it means leaving the dirty dishes. If that's not possible, brushing my teeth and rinsing with Listerine helps, for some reason (who wants to eat after that? ) If I'm tired, just going to bed early.

And just talking to myself, endlessly. It's all a head game, as Karen once posted and we lost in the Great Crash (want to post it again? it was awesome!). I try to remind myself how far I've come, where I want to be, and that the comfort and pleasure of food are very temporary but its negative effects (physical and psychological) are much more permanent.
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:25 PM   #7
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You know we have other senses than taste, but that's the easiest one to please, so we do it.

Some other ways to please our other senses -- Yes, listening to GREAT music, lighting a candle, going to bed early to read (and get away from nighttime snacking), giving yourself a facial, have a cup of tea (I know that's food but it doesn't count).
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
I was wondering what everyone here has found for substitutes for those occasions when we used to reach for food?
I go on a cleaning/organizing frenzy. I am a Virgo and I can tell you I fit what they say astrological wise about them to a T. I am a perfectionist...I like things neat and in their place (Pics of My Living Room re-Organizational Project) and so when I think "Oooo a Twix bar sounds good right about now..." I tell myself "Yes but that bookshelf will look REALLY nice if you clean it and organize it!!" Organizing beats out the food almost every time.
Other things I do...

I play with my rats (God I love them so...)
I play cards
I garden
I call a friend on the tele
I read my movitational magazines like Shape, Womans Day, etc.
I watch a medical program on TV
Most of all... I come here!! I feel like I am more accountable for my actions HERE than anywhere else...so I strive to not slip unless I really really really have too have a piece of chocolate. Then I just suck on and enjoy 1-2 pieces of the "good" chocolate...the dark kind.
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[b] The word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos which means “messenger from God,” and it holds within its sound great power.

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Old 03-26-2004, 12:02 PM   #9
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Actually I started dressing better from the very beginning, got a decent haircut, etc. I picked up that idea from "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher. (I steal from the best, having few, if any, original ideas.) She said the very act of caring for yourself, treating yourself as if you have self-worth, tends to increase real feelings of self-worth, which makes you want to care for yourself even better, etc. In other words, a positive cycle starts up. As I was raised Methodist, that idea made a lot of sense to me.

The only down side is, now I've got some nice suits and Ralph Lauren tweeds that are way too big, and probably too expensive to alter down to the size I am now. So I'm donating them to Dress for Success, so some other woman can experience the positive vibes they gave me.

And thank you, Ralph Lauren, for making quality, dignified clothing in plus sizes, BTW.
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:11 PM   #10
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Noodles, wanna come over to my house? My husband would love someone to organize it (it ain’t happenin’ w/ me!).

SeekInnerThinChick, I also starting improving my appearance when I first began my “weight loss journey.” I started to treat myself right: taking long baths, giving myself manicures & pedicures, etc. I find that when I feel attractive that I’m less likely to gorge myself (there must be a connection in our minds there, i.e., unattractiveness = gluttony).

I’m still fighting that “demon” (as Jack said). The only difference is that when I do give in, I try to focus on eating something I really want rather than something to just fill me up. For example, if I really want something salty, I’m going to have a crunchy sourdough pretzel with a slice of cheese. I find that if I eat exactly what I want, I’m less likely to pig out.

As far as other strategies go, I’ll concur w/ what a lot of the others stated: walks, manicures, pedicures, calling a friend, buying something (my favorite strategy, but it’s not easy on the wallet).
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekInnerThinChick
She said the very act of caring for yourself, treating yourself as if you have self-worth, tends to increase real feelings of self-worth, which makes you want to care for yourself even better, etc. In other words, a positive cycle starts up.
Right on!!! I am my worst critic, but for the most part I am also a positive person. It keeps my mental attitude thinking good healthy thoughts instead of negative toxic thoughts cause sometimes those thoughts can lead into doing negative things. I lived with a negative abusive family for years and when I broke free, I also broke that cycle.
I go with the theory that something good always comes out of something bad...When God closes 1 door, He opens another...etc.. I ALWAYS always give my friends and loved ones positive comments, let them know I appreciate them, validate how much they mean to me in my life, and they all know I'd be there in a heartbeat if need be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jack-150
Ladies,You girls are going to think I'm nuts. I like to move furniture. My wife will come home and look around and kind of shake her head and know that it was one of those days.
I don't think your nuts!!! I get the same look when I move stuff around!! Oh and the words.."Again?? Now where did you put it??"

Quote:
Originally Posted by vmelo
Noodles, wanna come over to my house? My husband would love someone to organize it (it ain’t happenin’ w/ me!).
Sure!! I do it all the time for my friends and family. For spring break I am going to a friends house to organize and clean. She just got out of the hospital and needs me. I've lived with them before and when I moved, they cried. "NO ONES gonna cleannnn!!" hahaha. It was the least I could do for free room and board plus I enjoyed it. <Weird Noodles Smiley Here>

I also started improving my appearance when I began my weight loss & de-tox-the-toxic journey. I started making sure no one saw my toenails naked, painted fingernails when I could (bowling dampers this), I started putting on make-up again, started dressing a bit better than my usual T-Shirt and shorts, stuff like that. When I feel like I look better I tend to take better care of myself physically and mentally. It's a cycle that I don't want to stop now.
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[b] The word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos which means “messenger from God,” and it holds within its sound great power.

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Old 03-28-2004, 04:17 PM   #12
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OK, I'm with Mel, sometimes I, too, eat everything in sight and remind myself how disgustingly awful I feel after binging on sugar. But usually I find healthier alternatives. I have a journal where I have written feelings I have before and after binges and when I am really struggling, I read it to remind myself that I will feel so much better if I choose to go down a healthy path, when really all I want to do is eat whoopie pies and chocolate cupcakes.

I also treat myself well, no matter how I feel weight-wise. I used to only wear certain clothes if I was having a "thin" day and have actually avoided seeing people due to feeling so poorly about myself. I refuse to do that anymore. If my favorite jeans are snug, I still wear them, because wearing my baggie clothes just wreaks havoc on my self-esteem and fuels my belief that I'm fat and not worthy. It is a head trip. I wish I had seen Karen's post about head games. That's what its all about for me, and I have to stay in tune with positive thinking about my body, food, health, minute to minute, every day.

Anne
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Old 03-28-2004, 08:18 PM   #13
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When I get the urge to eat I take a bath, the cravings usually happen at night so taking a bath coincides well with bedtime... This is something silly but I watch TV, I was never one to watch TV and eat so this works well for me... Keeps my mind busy as long as there aren't too many dang food commercials... I also have hot water and lemon with Splenda, this is suprisingly filling...

I wear a snug t-shirt, this reminds me to keep the gut in... I also read recently that holding your gut in purposely, shortens the muscles inside and that eventually you won't even think about it and will automatically hold it in...
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Old 03-29-2004, 05:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanaii1
I also read recently that holding your gut in purposely, shortens the muscles inside and that eventually you won't even think about it and will automatically hold it in...
Hey..I hope this theory is right cause I try to suck it in as often as I can remember. This gives me new hope to suck-it-in more!! LOL!!
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[b] The word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos which means “messenger from God,” and it holds within its sound great power.

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Old 04-07-2004, 08:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodles913
Hey..I hope this theory is right cause I try to suck it in as often as I can remember. This gives me new hope to suck-it-in more!! LOL!!
LOL it's true !!!! I do that all the time and I am not even thinking about it. In fact, when I read that post, I was doing that. LOL !!!!!!!!

How funny is that!!
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