Parents make rules because they understand that their children might not have the right perspective for good judgement. Parents can see the consequences that are usually beyond the child’s range of experience.
If you have a particularly hard habit to break and you know it’s not good for your wellbeing, consider making it a “house rule” never to have that habit in the home. When something is non-negotiable it removes the inner dialogue where we bargain with ourselves and the simple rule reinforces the right decisions.
Be kind to yourself. Most people don’t respond well to punishment. Treat yourself gently and with consideration. You’ve embarked on an important journey and that requires courage and a large measure of recognition.
Be infinitely patient with yourself, as you would be with a child. If you slip up once, instead of throwing everything out the window, learn to accept the failure and resolve to do better.
Understand why you did what you did. What did you need at that moment? Use your new set of rules to support your new behaviour. The rules are your friends. They are there to help you.
What are your new “house eating rules”? How can you maintain your new habits in a way that is supportive, effective and nurturing?
Here are some examples:
- I always make sure that I have the healthy foods I love at home by doing the shopping myself or by having someone do the shopping for me
- I always make sure that I have a healthy snack available to me in my refrigerator at all times
- I always call restaurants ahead of time to order my personal food requirements so that I won’t feel uncomfortable when I get there
- I always take healthy snacks with me to avoid temptation
- I never allow myself to get too hungry and then I won’t have an excuse to eat unhealthy food
These tried and tested methods allow you to exercise control over your feelings and your environment, removing many of the challenging decisions about food choices by making one powerful, healthy choice for all future situations. As you become more aware of how you feel, catching yourself thinking, feeling and about to do things that are no longer in line with your new commitment to total health, you can let go of the old behaviour and make really great choices that will support your vision of a newer, healthier, happier, slimmer you!
To give you some ideas about typical eating behaviour choices, we’ve prepared a list of situations to see if any of them partly or completely describe your own personal reactions. Remember, you’re the only person who’ll see the answers so be honest with yourself. It isn’t a test. It’s just a lens to help us focus more clearly on the issues.
Please tick those statements that apply to you – even a tiny bit!
- When you eat out at restaurants that have buffets you often overeat. You find it hard to eat in moderation at these restaurants. You find yourself getting seconds and thirds in this situation.
- You are feeling really hungry and start to panic that you really need to eat something… So you grab the first available snack because you are REALLY hungry….
- This is a very busy time in your life. You are always rushed. You don’t have time to cook the right types of food let alone plan them. It seems as if everything that you have time to cook is not allowed on your meal plan. You feel as if you are locked into a never ending cycle. When you don’t eat right, you feel bad, and when you feel bad, you don’t like to eat right.
- During the week you have a very structured routine, but sometimes on the weekends your routine is less structured making meal planning difficult. Often you eat the wrong types of food because you do not plan your meals.
- You have evening activities that prevent you eating a healthy dinner. So you just grab whatever is available and convince yourself “it’s just this once”.
- You are visiting friends for a meal or your vacation. These friends cook with butter and fat and have a cake or pie for dessert every night. You feel that you must eat what is served or not eat at all. You do not feel comfortable asking for foods that fit into your meal plan.
- You are on your way to an important meeting and are running late. If you do not get stopped by any more lights, you will just make the meetings. You look down and see that bag of unhealthy snacks that you picked up this morning. Sometimes you get stressed out; eating something seems to make you feel better. You are tempted to eat the snacks.
- You have had an awful day. You were in line for a promotion or a new contract and your best friend or a competitor got it instead of you. When you went to pick up the laundry at the dry cleaners they had lost it. Then, you got a flat tire only three blocks from home. You feel like “pigging out”. You don’t care what you’re supposed to eat. You are really depressed and you think that you deserve something special.
- You are planning on going to the movies tonight with your friends. Your favorite treat is buttered popcorn and the movie theatre is running a special on large popcorn and free refills on large drinks. What would you do at a sports event in this situation? Would you just wade in and join the feeding frenzy?
Even if there was just one tick, there is room for improvement, because just that one item of behavioral change can make a huge difference to your permanent weight loss outcome!
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