Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boredom Binging

It's the weekend, we're bored and there's nothing else to do, or there's something else we should be doing but don't want to. So. Let's see what's in the pantry to munch on?

Before you know it, we've downed a half box of Triscuits. Now we want something to off-set that salty taste so now we'll just have a little bite of something sweet. By the end of this food search and destroy mission, it's 4:30 in the afternoon and dinner is just around the corner and we're already well on our way to blowing our day's calorie allotment. We just meant to have a little bite of something, but things got carried away. So now what about dinner? Well, we have to eat something, don't we? And we don't want to deny ourselves a hot meal so let's go ahead and have that, too. Write all that down. Add it all up. Wow. Before you know it, we've had about a thousand calories more than we planned , just because we got a little bored and instead of finding something else to do, we ate.

Here's one way I battle this down-hill slip and slide when it starts: I try to remove myself from the situation and/or get my mind on something else. Changing behavior goes a long way to correcting a bad habit like boredom eating. Experts say boredom is one of the 5 top reasons for emotional eating. Instead of hanging out at the pantry door when you're between projects, do something else. If you're at home, leave the room. Seriously, remove yourself from the area so that you're not staring at food. Go rearrange your sock drawer.

Go clean out that drawer of old make-up in your dressing table. Fess up, we all have them. That alone should be good for several hours if it's anything like mine. If you're at the office, take a break and walk outside for a few minutes instead of going to the vending machine. OK, if you're in Texas and it's 103 degrees, maybe you don't want to walk outside. So go explore another part of the building. Boredom eating is often done in an almost hypnotic half-awake state. We're not all that aware we're doing it until it's over and we end up kicking ourselves for losing control. But the truth is, we didn't so much lose control as we just did what we've always done. The idea here is to break that habit. Several years ago the driver-side window on my car quit working. It wouldn't roll down. I lost 5 pounds! All because I couldn't pull into a drive-thru on my way home!

Turn left instead of right. Go up instead of down. Anything to change that routine and interrupt the same old same old. You're trying to do things differently, trying to change your life and make it better. Don't forget this is a 24/7 battle. It can't be stressed enough that if you don't want to hang onto these same 25-30 pounds for the next 10-years, and possibly add on even more, a lifestyle change has to occur and that includes breaking old habits. Do a crossword puzzle, take up cross stitch, painting, ceramics, anything. Remember you're trying to make yourself better, not bigger.

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