Saturday, June 5, 2010

Habit inventory: summer 2010 mix tape

I just finished the week after Memorial Day, which primarily consisted of three days down in Washington, D.C.  While there, I spent considerable time catching up with my family (I'm from the DC area), socializing, going to work lunches, etc.  Overall, I had a great time, and I definitely do not regret any of the excess calories that were finding their way into my system during sanctioned social events.  That said, I found myself undertaking a number of grievous actions against myself including:

  • Wednesday night:  roomservice desert at 11 PM (apple pie a la mode).  Let me just say that there is never a good or justifiable reason for me to do this at this time of night.  Yes, the desert was tasty, but that experience lasted about 12 seconds.  Feeling guilty as I shamefully parked the tray outside my hotel door lasted a good bit longer.  
  • Thursday lunch:  went to the restaurant where I worked for a summer in college (the Tombs in Georgetown).  Had a cobb salad, and was HORRIFIED to discover that it came with fried chicken.  Which I ate with a big, fat smile on my face.  Not an awesome choice, but it's good to have a fried fix now and again.  
  • Thursday night:  minor mini-bar abuse (Pringles and a Cliff bar).  Again, not necessary or really all that enjoyable. 
  • Friday:  repeated acceptance of nuts being offered by the conductor on the Amtrak train back to NY

My meals were actually very restrained and healthy across the board.  Further, I worked out hard throughout the week (other than Friday morning -- my day started too early to allow for the gym).  So this morning I asked myself how I felt about my performance during the week.  My answer to me:  "not bad, but you are kind of flirting with some old demons."

Therefore, I feel like it's time for me to update my personal healthy habit inventory (I did this roughly six months ago).  So here we go.  First the good stuff:

  • Working out:  I feel really good about this part of the equation.  I'm pushing myself harder and harder, particularly on cardio workouts.  I am totally feeling the benefit, as I feel my endurance continue to increase.  I'm pretty sure that exercise has been saving my bacon (pardon the pun) vy covering for my slipping on some other habits (see below).  
  • Breakfast:  As has been the case for some time now, I rule breakfast.  Just like Jerry McGuire ruled the living room speech, I own breakfast.    
  • Lunch:  Good boy David!  Staying pretty good here, even on weekends.  
  • Dinner:  Again, not bad even when I'm eating out.  
Said differently, in public situations (the gym, the kitchen when I'm with family, workplace, restaurants), I come across as pretty saintly.  However, in private situations, I have some nasty little habits that I just haven't kicked:
  • Sneaking:  ugh.  Just did this with a vengeance last night.  Waited for my DSW to head up for the night, and I pillaged the refrigerator like a Hun with a bad attitude.  
  • Grazing:  this one is making me just flat out crazy.  Boredom eating is my Waterloo.  I'm still doing it (witness the ransacking of the mini bar), and I just can't seem to get a grip on this.  
  • Accepting gifts from transportation professionals:  nuts on airplanes.  Nuff said.  
  • Clean plate club:  at least I'm ordering healthy plates, but I'm still polishing them to unnatural levels of cleanness.  

Of the four nasty habits above, the sneaking, clean plate club and grazing ones are my real issues.  The odd bowl of almonds won't kill me.  I feel like I can get a little focus on clean plate club and find a way to make myself leave just a little bit of food, mostly at dinner time.  However, I have to admit that I just don't have a grazing/sneaking plan.  And I need one.  So I am going to make a plan.

Any and all advice on sneaking and grazing is, as always, welcome.  How are all of you dealing with this?




  1. I have suffered from sneaking food (or as I put it, eating alone) as well. In order to stop this, I recall what I looked like when I started my WW journey in February (some 31 pounds ago) and how I felt. That seems to do it for me. Also the "what you eat in private shows up in public" quote is a constant reminder to stop!

    I am still a member of the clean plate club; however, my portions are much smaller than they used to be; I weigh and measure everything before it goes on my plate. I have found that continuing to be monitor my portions helps me to avoid overeating.

  2. Going outside my comfort zone,(my home cooked meals), seems so hard to control my portions and temptations. DH wanted to go to a particular restraurant after church, so we did. I had fried jumbo shrimp and fried sweet potatoes. Not WW points friendly foods. I ate all of it. I need to prepare ahead of time by either checking on-line about the nutritional info, ask for a nutritional guide or ask the server to put half my food in a container right away, after the food arrives. Bad habits need to go or I won't maintain the weight loss! I can't go back! It took alot of work to get this far!

  3. I graze...I learned to do it with a passion while I drove my patrol car around, snacking so I didn't have to stop to eat a real meal that would be interrupted anyway by a well-meaning citizen...grrr. Anyway, grazing is OK as long as I keep the right "fodder" around. It's harder to do but if I plan correctly, the wrong fodder doesn't find my mouth.

  4. I don't understand the issue with the Clean Plate Club. If every bit of food on the plate has had points allocated for it, why not clean the plate?

    I can understand if you've only allocated points for half a baked potato and eaten the whole thing resulting in a clean plate, but if they points are allocated, go ahead clean your plate. You've paid your points for it, might as well eat it is my theory.

    In my case where I'm struggling to keep weight on after losing 63lbs, I need to make sure I eat all my points and to full value.

  5. I've been trying to pay attention to the 'satisfied' signals, and find that I notice them, often with 1 or 2 or 5 bites of food left on my plate. Do I eat those bites? Yes! I do wonder how much more weight I would lose if I left them behind. It is something I work on.

  6. I don't worry about the clean plate, becasue I allocate everything on it. Weighed and measured. I work nights, so my Waterloo is not eating at night on the nights when I don't have to work. I keep popcorn and good snacks around the house for those nights. If I start to feel too desperate, I get out of the house and engage in soem points free karaoke. Just me, some singing, and some diet Coke. Being around others keeps me honest since I finally told everyone I am on WW.

  7. Your first two bad habits are also my bad habits. I had a terrible day at the scales today after missing two meetings in a row. So, I'm facing my demons head on this week!

  8. To prevent grazing at work, I always boil a pot of hot water, and sip on decaf green tea/passion tea through out meals... it keeps my hands/mouth preoccupied, with out adding any additional calories. It typically gets me between meals with out even thinking about food...

    As far as snacking goes, I ALWAYS bring fruit/nuts/or sliced veggies with me to the office so I have options if I do find myself wanting to snack...

  9. I work from home - grazing/boredom eating is a HUGE problem for me. The only way I can keep it in check aside from keeping myself very busy is to keep "grazable" food out of the house which is almost impossible because of my kids and husband. So basically it usually comes down to pure will power. The other solution for me is to have really good healthy 0-1 point foods around to graze on. Snap peas, baby carrots, small chunks of low fat cheese, etc.

    I have a clean plate issue too, which usually rears its head when I'm eating out. So I try to portion it out at the beginning and push the "extra" to the side or give it to my husband who is super skinny and has an annoyingly high metabolism

    And eating late at night is my other big one. For some reason around 9oclock I have this insatiable urge to eat and not stop even though I'm not hungry. It might go back to the boredom issue but I think there's also an emotional component since my husband is often gone at night.

  10. David,

    I appreciate your honesty. I only lost .2 this past week. That was disappointing to me, and I used that as an excuse to basically eat what I wanted. I ate about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of frozen yogurt on top of a large grilled chicken salad last night. Needless to say, I counted points, but I'm lamenting on the realization I ate most of my flex points for the week. I am still exercising an hour a day. I must think long term and accept these little glitches. I've lost 25 pounds and I want to continue the process. It's the ole - pick yourself up, brush yourself off and move on!!

  11. I have conquered the pretzels and honey nuts offered by the professionals. However, I was recently on a flight with Emirates. They offered CHOCOLATE CANDY BARS. Both ways. I almost never buy Snickers or Twix in the grocery line anymore, but when it's part of a $1100 airplane ticket? How could I say no?
    Pleasure = 12 seconds
    Guilt and Discomfort = 2 days

  12. I wish I did - I still sneak and boredom graze even though I try and keep myself busy - the food sneaks in. I try and remember to ask myself - is this what I REALLY want? Or do I want the glass of wine and popcorn and how much crap do I have to eat before I decide to have the wine and popcorn and take take of that craving. If I eat what I really am craving, that usually takes care of other issues.

  13. I'm a snacker- especially with two little ones, the house is stocked with salty, crunchy goodness. As I've plateaued for the past 3 months or so, I tried an experiment that seems to be working. I've been wearing a bikini top in the house. Seriously, it keeps me honest. And the slight discomfort is a constant reminder. And staring at my body which isn't where I want it to be, is great motivation to skip that handful of pretzels.

  14. You know, my husband is also a grazer, while I am definitely not...even though I am a SAHM with complete access to the fridge and cabinets, I rarely graze at all. I think the biggest key to both of our weight loss successes so far (since January 9th he's down 54 lbs and I'm down 36) has been to keep a variety of healthy snacks around. We have WW ice cream bars, Sharons Sorbet, pretzels, Baked Lays, and the ubiquitous "parents of toddlers" things like string cheese, yogurt, graham crackers (not really low cal at all) and Goldfish crackers. And fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. There are absolutely never cookies, cakes, etc. in our house anymore, because I. WILL. EAT. THEM.
    So even when I or we feel like grazing, our options are all pretty sane--the key is just remembering there is such a concept as portion control, even when snacking! ;)

  15. David,

    At today's weigh in I reached my goal. It is a goal set by my doctor and not the WW goal. To date I have lost 196.2 pounds which is more than I currently weigh. I teach water aerobics 3 days a week, take a spinning class (bike) once a week, do Zumba 2 times a week and step sculpt once a week-yep 7 days of exercise! Since Dec. I have walked 2 half marathons (13.1 miles) in 15-16 min mile pace. I eat all of my points and I clean my plate. I snack but plan them and I track. I too go crazy and lose sight of what a normal serving is. It is still a process.

    I do have to tell you how extremely disappointed I am that I can not be considered for a position as a Weight Watcher leader because I am not at "their goal weight and BMI". How many leaders do you have who have lost 200 pounds and NOT needed surgery to remove all of the redundant skin? I have 3 physicians who have each told me it would be extremely unhealthy and not safe for me to lose the additional 23 pounds to get to Weight Watchers goal weight. It most certainly would require extensive surgery. What kind of message is the organization sending? I would make an awesome leader.

    Lynn Thompson
    Rock Hill, SC

  16. Lynn: First off, please accept my huge compliments and kudos for your fantastic success and for reaching your personal goal! Regarding your question on the possibility for working for WW, please do send me a message on my Twitter account (@dkirchhoff) with your email address so I can forward to the appropriate person. Again, congrats on your unqualified success!

  17. I am also a WW member and am friends with Lynn. She is an inspiration to everyone. She would make a wonderful leader and would draw a crowd. I exercise with her 7 days a week and have also lost 35lbs. I believe someone who has lost that amount of weight deserves a chance. Please take this into consideration. Thanks, Dawn

  18. I tried to send you a message @dkirchhoff but since you do not follow me this did not work. My Twitter account is @Lynnsthom Looking forward to hearing from Weight Watchers.

  19. Weight Watchers is saving my life!I have lost 16 pounds in eight weeks and I have lowered my blood glucose levels considerably-so much that my Dr. cannot believe what a quick change I have made:)I hope to keep loosing and hope that I can become a team leader and educator for Weight Watchers in the future. I think it is the best thing that has happened to me in my life.