Out of Sight
February 7th, 2003 by Anna

I’m sitting here in a training meeting right now (obviously off task). There are snacks at the tables, none of which are even remotely healthy. There are lots of hard candies, chocolates, Tootsie rolls… that kind of stuff. Sitting in front of me is a Nutty Bite. I have no idea what a Nutty Bite tastes like but it’s got peanut butter and chocolate so how could you go wrong? I picked it up and looked for calorie and fat info but it’s obviously part of a big pack and the nutritional content isn’t on this packaging. So I was good and didn’t eat it. I could probably safely decide 3 points but I don’t know so I’m not going to eat it. But the darn thing is calling me. I can hear it. It’s right there and it’s staring at me and calling me. I could shut it up if I just ate it, but I don’t really want to spend my points on that. I know I could spend my points on that, and eat sensibly for the rest of the day… but I would really prefer to have my ice cream at the end of the day. So I’m going to ignore its call. But why is it calling me? Because I can see the darn thing. I had forgotten about it, its voice had faded, until a co-worker of mine picked it up and looked at it. I’ll bet she was looking for the nutritional content, too. I’ll bet it was calling her, too. But she had the strength to put it down. I’m proud of her. I know she’s trying to lose weight and that’s a big deal – putting down a piece of chocolate.

So back to why it’s calling us… it’s because we see it. We’re bored at this meeting, so we’re looking around and we keep focusing on that darned piece of chocolate. So… I’m going to move it. I’m going to hide it. Out of site, out of mind. It really does work.

The other day, Jonathan and I were at Red Lobster. I didn’t want to spend the points on their biscuits, which are heavenly, but I didn’t want to use my points on them. When they were brought to the table, I really really wanted one. Jonathan asked if I was going to have one and when I said no, he moved the drink menu that sits on the table and basically hid the basket of biscuits behind that menu stand. He was very, very discreet when he ate the one biscuit he had. And it was only a couple of minutes before I completely forgot that the biscuits were at the table! If they had been sitting in front of me, I would have wanted one. I would have heard them calling me and I would have felt suddenly deprived. I would have gone back to telling myself that I deserve to have that biscuit and I would have started down that spiral again.

I know further back in my journal I gave kudos to my husband for being aware of my issues and being discreet about eating my red-light foods and hiding the biscuits at the table. But I need to bring that up again because it’s that hiding that makes such a huge difference in how I eat. It really helps to not have quick access to foods that make me overeat.

I love Pringles. Luckily, Pringles has a fat-free version. You can have 15 chips for just a point. Whoo hoo! But I could eat the whole can without thinking about it. That’s seven points. A third of my points for the day? Is it really worth it? The thing is, probably 90% of the time that I eat Pringles, it’s not because I went to the pantry to get them. It’s because I saw them in the pantry when I went to get something else. So I didn’t really want them in the first place.

So my new thing to work on is to not allow myself to impulse eat. If I see something and want to eat it, I’m going to wait 15 minutes and see if I even think about it then. I won’t set a timer, of course, because hearing the timer will be trigger enough. But if, in 15 minutes, I still want to eat what I saw, then I will allow myself to have it. Counting points, of course.

By the way, this worked as pain management when I had my daughters. I had both of my girls completely drug free. I didn’t even have an IV with my second daughter. If I said I wanted something for pain, Jonathan and my doula were told to make me wait 15 minutes before requesting the nurse. If I asked for it again, then okay. Well, not okay… I’m sure they would have tried other ways to convince me I didn’t need them. You know, I never asked for drugs. Oh it was painful, that’s for sure. And I did say things like, “I can’t do this. This hurts too much.” But I didn’t specifically say I wanted drugs. Maybe because I knew that in 15 minutes, if I said it again, I might get them. And in the end, I wanted a drug-free birth. I had an out but I didn’t take it.

I’m hoping that this new rule for myself will have the same affect. I’m hoping that it will neutralize the call of that impulse snack. I’m hoping that having that out will give myself the strength to say, “I didn’t want those Pringles two seconds ago, I won’t want them 15 minutes from now because I won’t even be thinking about them, so I don’t want them now.”

It’s all a mind game, isn’t it? Well, I’m going to win this one. :)

2 Responses  
  • james writes:
    February 11th, 20036:37 pmat

    I had some of those Pringles last week. I was stuck working in the Student Union building of a local college campus, and what was right next to me? The cafeteria. All you can eat. Luckily, their prices were such that it was slightly out of reach *anyways*.

    BUT, they did have a store downstairs, and in that store, they had an assortment of Pringles, including the Fat Free can. I almost picked up a regular can, until I saw the Fat Free one and got that one instead.

    Let me tell you… I wasn’t able to physically GO anywhere for lunch, so they helped me to get over my hunger. And I ony had about 4-5 points in the meantime, lol.

  • Anna writes:
    February 12th, 200310:09 amat

    See now, you’re good. If that’s all I had for lunch, most likely I would have scarfed that can. Did I mention I love Pringles? I’d own stock in the company if I weren’t afraid that’d be a good excuse for me to eat more of them. And my daughter is addicted as well. She’s 3. Hmm… there’s a whole ‘nuther weight topic for me to post on…

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