Saturday, June 29, 2013

Can it Be as Easy As One, Two, Three?

I've been writing A LOT about exercise since starting up this blog again.  Which is kinda funny, being that I first started out saying that I wasn't going to spend a lot of time worrying about exercise.  

But, I also said that I wouldn't do any fancy diet programs.  I would just watch my calorie intake, eat smaller portions, and avoid white sugar and flour.  Not much of a plan, more of a smart way to eat... that should ultimately have the affect of helping me lose weight.

Planning for eating healthy is pretty easy.  Just planning meals, buying healthier foods, and limiting any junk from entering the house.  I say limit - because at the end of the day, I may be extremely overweight and trying to lose weight, but I refuse to make my children have absolutely no sweets or treats.  They are all very active children, and I see no harm in a sweet treat for them now and then.. in moderation.

But, what about me?  One thing I know about myself is that I can go for a long time without eating anything I shouldn't... but eventually, I fall victim to a temptation and over indulge.  It's always the same process, because I've kept myself from it for so long that one tiny bite or taste causes me to go all stupid and eat WAY too much of whatever it is.

So, the other day, the principal brought donuts to school for all the teachers and bus drivers.  She offered me one and I said no immediately.  I told her I've been working so hard with the kids, I wasn't going to ruin it by eating something like that.  No more sweets for me!

And then, she shared with me a little plan that she's going to try...and when I heard it, I got a little intrigued.

Her plan is simple.  Every third "treat" she comes in to contact with, she's going to eat.  Meaning, if in the morning she's offered a donut...she'll decline.  If at lunch, there are cookies for the staff...she'll decline.  Mid-afternoon, if a student brings her a cupcake from a birthday party...she'll eat it, because it was the third sweet treat she was offered.  So instead of going home at the end of the day having eaten donuts, cookies, and a cupcake.  She would have only eaten a cupcake, which wouldn't do too much damage.  

I tried it that same day.  I didn't eat the donut.  I didn't eat cookies at lunch.  But, I had the Pepsi that a student bought for me from the snack cart.  Then the cycle starts over.  No cookies offered to me by a student that same afternoon, no cookies the next day at lunch time, but I got a shake from Sonic that night... because that was the third temptation.

Yesterday morning I was offered an ice-cream bar for a morning celebration by one of the teachers.  I declined.  I was offered ice-cream again at lunch, I declined again.  Last night, the idea came up for grabbing take-out for dinner.  I was at my third offer, so I accepted.  We ended up getting Chinese food.  That was hardly considered a small "treat" but had I not been at my third offer, I would have declined and made us eat something different.

While I'm still eating stuff I shouldn't be, I'm cutting my sweet (and junk) intake by two-thirds.  It helps me see how many temptations I'm confronted with each day...and I know that the old me gets offered and tempted with stuff so much, that it's got to have some kind of positive impact.  

Take the examples I gave.  In one day, it's nothing for me to eat breakfast, and then have a donut.  Lunch with some kind of cake or cookies for dessert.  Sweet treats in the afternoon offered by students or because of birthday celebrations.  Dessert and sweets in the evening.  Rinse and repeat.  Breakfast and ice-cream.  Lunch and ice-cream.  Take-out dinner.  The amounts of calories I would have consumed, had I accepted everything, is WAY off my calorie intake allowance.  I may go over my allowance by allowing myself every third temptation... but I'll take going over by 50-100 calories rather than 500 to 1000 calories.  

I know that there are many people out there that can avoid sweets and junk food like the plague.  The thought of anything that doesn't fit in to their healthy eating plans turns their stomach and makes them run for the hills.  I idolize those people, but face the reality that I'm not one of them.  I know the damage that crap foods do to my body... hello, I'm living in the damage.  It may make me weak, it may make people think that I'm not really all that committed if I'm allowing myself any form of foods that don't fall in to a healthy lifestyle... but I'm a realist.  I know that there are days when I want to enjoy a chocolate bar, a few chips, a soda, or an adult beverage.  I also know that I just can't eat stuff like that all day long or whenever I want.  I have to have some boundaries, some control.  By only opting for the third thing that comes my way.. I'm limiting myself.  

I'm also adding my own little rule - no more than one thing per day.  Meaning if I get to my third temptation twice in the same day, I will have to wait until the next day.  If that happens, I can have the first thing that's presented the following day, but then the cycle starts over.  If I get to the third thing before the day is over... I still have to decline.  That make sense?

I know I could just say that I only get one sweet or junky thing a day, but it could also play out that I don't get three offers in one day.  While I'm at home, it may be a lot different.  I might go all day long without coming in to contact with any temptations.  I might only come in to contact with one temptation.  If that happens, I could go two or three days without actually accepting a temptation.  So, that's why the 1, 2, 3 factor is somewhat important.  By allowing myself one temptation a day, there's not really that much control that comes in to play.  If I go all day and then want dessert, I have to decline.. because it was the first temptation.  So that's an entire day I've gone without anything I shouldn't eat.  The next day, the kids may want ice-cream.  I have to decline, because that's only the second temptation.  On day three, we may decide to get slushes or shakes.  I can then have one.  And that's two days I've gone with good eating habits and no junk food.

It may sound crazy or stupid, but I'm trying it.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm also going to add another factor... if I'm already at my calorie intake for the day and my temptation has more than 200 calories, I have to decline.  In my mind, if it's early in the day when I get to my third temptation, I can watch how much I eat for the rest of the day to keep me inline with my calorie restrictions.  

In my mind, this is a realistic way of dealing with my food issues.  No matter how much I try, I have NEVER been able to stand strong enough for long enough to completely dispel any and all forms of junk food from my diet.  I don't drink much soda... hardly any.  But, when I tell myself that I absolutely can't have any - I start to want some.  I don't drink much alcohol...hardly any.  But, when I tell myself I can't have a single drop, I start to want some.  It's the same with any and all food and drink that falls in to the same category.  But, at least this way, I know that I can have it...eventually.  And in strict moderation.

We'll see how it goes.  Today, though, I get to have a ME day.  A day all alone, by myself.  I'm going to play bingo.  I can't wait... so I better get to getting some stuff done around here.

Till next time!

a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman


  1. I would just be cautious about the every third treat plan -- because if you are offered three treats a day, you will eat at least one treat a day! What if you were offered six treats a day?

    It might be more beneficial to allow yourself a "treat" every other day, or every three days, or once a week or something - that way you can be sure its a treat you REALLY REALLY want and you aren't just eating whatever random junk food got offered to you third.

    1. I actually explained that. I am not allowed more than one treat per day... and the treat can't put me more than 200 calories over my calorie limit for the day. Also, I explained that there are several days where I don't come in to contact with treats. I didn't all day yesterday, and I don't foresee many offers today.

      And, it's not really "treats". I don't look at it as rewards. I just look at it as a way to start managing and controlling my binge eating. I know, realistically, I just can't go cold turkey on everything... so by cutting down by 2/3rds, it's a start.


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