Friday, October 31, 2014

My Trick to Eating Just ONE Treat Versus Eating the WHOLE Bag

Happy Halloween!  The final day in a week when emotional eating chocolate lovers like me are tortured nearly to death!

There have been more large bowls of candy passed around my company this week than ever before. I even won a large bowl filled with full-size candy bars at a conference (I couldn't win the laptop or the TV.  Nope, my ticket is pulled last for the Candy Bowl Centerpiece!)!  The first few days I completely abstained.  Didn't touch a single wrapper.  On Wednesday I enjoyed one piece of candy - A Peanut Butter Snicker's Square.  Mmmmmmm!  Yesterday when I left my office, I was embarrassed by the number of wrappers in my garbage can.  YIKES!  And I didn't contain my candy feast to just my desk so I know there were more wrappers with my fingerprints scattered in garbage cans throughout our Center. 

As I was thinking about it last night, I had an AH-HA Moment.  What had made the difference?  Purposeful eating.

Those first few days when I abstained from even touching the candy, I was very focused on it.  Most of my time was spent hoping the bowl wouldn't be passed around the Conference Table again.  I was so worried about eating too much.  I even re-routed myself through the office so that I didn't have to pass those who I knew had candy bowls on their desks and would offer me a piece if I popped in to say hi.  I was very uncomfortable.

On Wednesday, I took a cut-up apple with me to a meeting.  When the candy bowl was passed around the first time, I took a piece and set it on the table.  During the meeting I munched on that sweet apple and left that candy bar sit.  After the meeting, I stole a few seconds to myself in a quiet office, stood looking out the window and slowly ate that Peanut Butter Snicker's Square in four bites.  The peanut butter, the peanuts, the chocolate - It was so good!  After that, I didn't really think about candy any more.

Yesterday, when that bowl was passed around the Conference Table the first time, I grabbed a piece, unwrapped it, popped the whole snack-size piece in my mouth and practically swallowed it whole.  There was no thought, no enjoyment, no nothing.  I was not satisfied at all.  And my guard was down.  So the rest of the day I just popped piece after piece of calorie-filled chocolate bars in my mouth.  Meetings.  A Halloween Parade for our participants.  End of the day chaos.  I just went to town and didn't pass up a single piece.  When I saw that pile of wrappers at the end of the day, I felt sick.

Lesson learned!  When I ate slowly and focused on the taste and texture, I was satisfied.  When I thoughtlessly crammed piece after piece in my mouth, I didn't even realize what I was eating let alone enjoy what I was eating.  I just kept eating mindlessly searching for that satisfaction. 

So today - a day filled with lots and lots of treats - I'm not going to trick myself into thinking that I have this eating thing under control.  But, I'm also not going to deprive myself of the joy that comes from chocolate.  I will enjoy a treat or two today, but I will focus on the yummy goodness of those treats and not simply shove empty calories onto my waistline. 

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