This weekend flew by. My plan to take boredom out of the equation sometimes rolls into “too busy to reflect and eat my approved ‘norms'”. Combined with this lack of time is the roll out of messages from advertisements, friends, family, coworkers, and food stores alike.
If a menu offers a salad and something obviously unhealthy (read: smothered, hearty, cheesy etc) Without conscious thought, the consumer is more likely to choose a food item in the middle. This same principle applies to price, and if you haven’t thought about it, trust me, marketers have. *
Here is how I go about the busy times:
- Plan of Action (POA)
- Informed comrades
- Support system
POA: this entails a little bit of work before the busy time hits. I highly recommend writing your POA on paper or in an accessible file on your computer/tablet/phone. The purpose of a POA is to come up with how you will handle a point of inflection or decision before it arises. Eventually, your POA will become automatic.
Here are some things that are on my POA:
- How will I handle going to a restaurant where I do not know the menu?
- How will I handle people trying to get me to drink/eat what they made/are eating?
- What will I do if I am full, but still feeling as though I could eat more?
- How do I slow down my eating?
- How do I handle my “all or nothing” thinking if I eat something not on plan?
- I exercised today, does that = eating something extra or even unhealthy?
- What do I eat when I already had lunch, but need a boost of energy at work?
- How do I handle late night cravings?
- What do I eat when friends want to eat, but I am full?
- How do I stay away from the snacks at parties?
If you want to go a step further, ask “why” you make the decision to begin with to the prior questions. This is to say, if you behave differently to the planned choices above, which does not fit into your transformed self that you outlined.
Informed comrades: People that you trust that know your goals, and are willing to help you implement them. They are not to be your willpower or enforcer. They are to be a positive reminder of the transformed self you are coming into being.
Here are some things my informed comrades do:
- When seeing me pick at my food after I’ve clearly had enough, ask the waiter/ess take the food away or bag it.
- Take a 2 against 1 stand with me when someone is telling me what I should be eating.
- Brings me water instead of something sugary.
- One friend, with a similar goal, has a point system with me on a Google excel sheet that we use to keep accountable.
- Compliments my order when it is something healthy (Positive reinforcement).
If you do not feel like you know anyone that would be willing to do this, please go online. There is plenty of communities that exist for this purpose alone. Ex: bodybuilding.org, fitbit, OA. I do not advise joining “ana” communities.
Support system: a systematic process set in place that is aligned with your transformation.
Here is my system:
- Check in with my accountability partner
- Have mandatory reflection time on Sunday
- Read one chapter/article a week in books or articles related to habit
*If you decided not to trust me and come across reputable information that contradicts this, please tell me, as I am open to learning more.