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Old 04-29-2009, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default When surrounded by food...

I work full-time at a small bakery/cafe. This means that for the better part of my week, I am surrounded by DELICIOUS, homemade FOOD! I have found that my sweet tooth (which has always been a problem) has grown to what -feels- like out-of-control. But I don't want to see food as "evil"...I think women spend so much energy on that..

I know that many of you, while perhaps not in this exact situation, have found successful ways of dealing with the "food is everywhere" issue. I've tried gum, mints, vowing to abstain... nothing seems to work..or truthfully, I can't seem to get it together.

I've gained weight since I started working there, and while I like my job and would be loath to quit in this economy, it's becoming a real strain -- not only on my body. I love to be active and outside, but recently I've been so disgusted with myself that I don't want to do much -- and that's a dangerous cycle.

So I guess there are two parts to my question: first, for those of you who have learned how to block out a food-soaked environment, how did you do it? And second, any tips to reign in the self-loathing? It's really tiring me out.

Oh, and I'm new. HI!
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. --Kierkegaard

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.-- Woody Allen
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #2
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I think the key is going to be to NOT take that first bite. Declare that food OFF LIMITS. No exceptions. You can have a piece of pie later if you really want it, but NOT from work - that food is NOT YOURS. Period. Making that rule and enforcing it will be rough at first, but once you have a habit of turning down that food, it'll get easier.

As for the self-loathing, have you tried doing self talk? It sounds kind of hokey, but 1 minute in the mirror in the morning, telling yourself something positive about yourself, can really make a difference. Give it a shot!
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:09 PM   #3
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What I do is disassociate from the food. I tell myself that instead of a luscious fluffy pastry (for example) it's merely a pillow. Then I just keep telling myself "it's a pillow; I can handle pillows (or sticks or what have you) without putting them in my mouth; it's a pillow"

Now, the interesting thing is that I recently read a study (which of course I can't find online right now) that was working on studying willpower with children. They would put a cookie in front of the kid, tell them that if they did not eat the cookie while the adult was out of the room, then they would get 3 cookies instead -- something like that. And the children who were successful were those who did as I do - disassociate from the food. The ones who weren't successful (most of them) gobbled the cookie immediately.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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I've worked in food service for 15 years, my office is currently upstairs in a restaurant that sells lots of foods I love love love... Like Amanda said - just don't eat it! The minute you give in you go to far... I eat a lot of grilled chicken salads for lunch instead of onion rings and hot dogs, because that is the food item I allow myself from the restaurant where I work. I wasn't as diligent in the past, and put on a good bit of weight from it. I got that weight off, and now that I'm in the habit of not ordering the onion rings I'm much better off. I drink a lot of water during the day, too.

On the self loathing - the daily positive reinforcement really helped me. Like Amanda said, and someone on another thread, I used to tell myself every morning three things I did well the day before, and three things I planned to do well that day. Made a difference, once i got past feeling a little silly doing it, I promise!
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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2 tips I live by:

1) Imagine the food was sneezed on or had a bunch of grubby hands all over it and is crawling with germs. (even if you were actually the one that prepared it. lol) No matter what the tasty treat is, I'm normally turned off if I am imagining this. Helps that I saw a lady at Costco a few weeks back at those trial stations blow her nose with gloves on, then proceed with serving food using her gloved fingers. yuck.

2) As the ladies mentioned already, give yourself set restrictions that you can. not. break. period. If it's during the day nibbles that are a problem, then you can not eat any of it at all during the day. Make sure you bring you own food and don't eat anything other than it. If you need to then you may have something after work, but you've lasted the whole day and can use logic to dissuade you further as you're leaving. That is how I stopped buying things to eat in the car. My car became a no food area and it's cut out all my little goody stops on the way home.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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Wow...in the time it took me to shower, you ladies came to my rescue! Thank you lovelies I am definitely going to try your dissociation idea, Newleaf. It might be kind of fun..cookies will be frisbies; frosting is mayonnaise. Or ooh! Styrofoam.

And Prepping, Mandalinn, and Shannon..you are so right. That food does NOT belong to me...and putting it in my body is just as much of a "waste" as throwing it away.

Keep em coming! I'll let you know how I do...please send some "strong vibes" my way!
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. --Kierkegaard

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.-- Woody Allen
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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I've been reading "Thin Tastes Better", by Stephen Gullo, and he has a few great ideas about dealing with "trigger" foods. My favorite thing I've picked up from the book is the saying, "I don't start, I don't have a problem." How true, how true! So now, even though there may be chocolate in the next office over, I know that if I don't start on the sweets, I don't have a problem.

The other great idea was stop looking upon this stuff as somehow good, or satisfying, or gratifying...this food has made you fat. You don't like being fat. So drop the food, like a hot rock. If you had a friend who caused you misery and unhappiness and manipulated your life so that you could not live it to its fullest, would you keep that friend around? NO!

I sure do feel for you, though. That's got to be a tough thing to face every day. Stay strong!
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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Peep -- interesting points! Maybe I should post that saying on my forehead.

One complicating factor is that I am actually slightly underweight. I was anorexic in my teens, and had a loooong adverse relationship with nearly -all- foods, which I worked very hard to overcome. That is why the idea of 'vilifying' a food or category of food is so unappealing to me. The problem is, I have swung so far in the other direction, to the point where I don't get anywhere near a proper range of nutrients.

So I know gaining weight isn't bad and may actually be a good thing, even if my brain has a hard time accepting that. But I don't want to do it this way...feeding myself nutritionless junk, developing unhealthy habits.

I REFUSE to disrespect my body any more. I WILL feed it what it needs to perform at its very best.
!!!!! And don't let me forget it!
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. --Kierkegaard

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.-- Woody Allen
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:20 AM   #9
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Simple carbs are trigger foods for me, so as some of the others have already suggested, it's easier for me to just not eat that first bite. I'm not good at having "just a little". I don't have to work around food, but I've been to lots of social gatherings with tons of goodies. I just tell myself that it's "not for me" and try to block out the very idea of eating any. It's not evil, it's just not there for me to eat.

I do love sweets though, and have tried to find alternatives to satisfy those cravings in a healthier way. I eat things like fruits, and nonfat sugar free yogurt, and sugar free pudding. I'll either take it along to eat instead, or just have my treats at home, later.

In your case, where you are not actively trying to lose weight, perhaps you just need to plan a healthier menu (along with your healthy sweet treats), take your food to work, and just stick with that? You should be eating regularly during the day anyway, and if you don't get TOO hungry, then you won't be as tempted to reach for the sweets that you really don't want anyway.
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