Mental Obsession

I felt the need to share that while I’m 15 weeks into this journey, I must admit that I still struggle with the mental side of obsessing about food. I don’t mean casual thoughts about what to plan for dinner. I mean obsessing. That constant mental thought that can not be shaken.

I could be working on an analysis at work [ice cream]. Finishing it up and prepping for another meeting that I have in about 1 hour 15 minutes [ice cream], which is just after I get back from lunch [there's ice cream in the freezer upstairs!]. I’m leading and I have to get an agenda out [plus, there's that new ice cream shop that just opened down the street!] before I leave for lunch. It would be good to [hold it...they have a drive thru!] jot down some notes about the discussion points. Damn it. I’m leaving for lunch.

I feel the need to put in a disclosure that while these thoughts do occur very similar to how I’ve outlined above, sometimes I succumb to them and sometimes I don’t. If I do succomb, I do log it in my food log / calories consumed. Granted, for the better part of the 15 weeks, I’ve been able to “ignore” those thoughts or distract myself with other tasks. I’m curious whether this will be a life-long habit that I will have to deal with. Because if it is…that sucks. I’m up for doing it. I’m just recognizing that it sucks.

I’ve quit smoking. Haven’t had one in 7 1/2 years now. And I know that I will never have another because I understand that the first one that I “approve” will be the toughest and all my control over the addiction will be out the window. Granted, it is much easier now to say “no” to smoking than it was 2 weeks after I quit (infinitely more easier). But this obsessing is very much like that.

For anyone that’s fought and beaten (or worked with someone that has), any feedback on how you dealt with the mental aspect?

I can only speak to how I handled the smoking addiction and that was one day at a time. Not even that. I focused on very short term goals. …..5 minutes …..I can make it to the next 15 minute mark without a smoke …..I can make it through the drive home without a smoke ….I can make it in the house and change out of my work clothes without a smoke …..I can eat dinner without taking a break for a smoke ……ah, thank goodness, it’s bedtime

That’s how I handled a full elimination habit.

This isn’t full elimination though. This is like quitting smoking, but still buying cigarettes everyday. Having someone light it for me and handing it to me and saying, “Don’t smoke that”. Like I said…I’m not going to. But yes, this sucks.

2 thoughts on “Mental Obsession

  1. I’m with you, some is a lot harder than none. Cigarettes aren’t something that many people indulge at a one or two smoke a day level. Even though the health detriments at that level are lower, they just aren’t part of your lifestyle/diet profile, period.

    I struggle with similar things. Any argument that argues for an increase in consumption from 0 to 1 is basically a valid argument to increase consumption from 1 to 2, and by induction, excess in either serving size or frequency. Marginal benefit does decrease slightly, but I find it hard to see that.. The easiest way I’ve found to reduce things is to say that they are not acceptable and eliminate them completely. I do miss my bread, ice cream, pizza, and other tasty treats, but not as much as I miss my weight.

    Would you trade in the 20 pounds you’ve lost for all the foods that you miss? I think back, and there’s no way I want to be at the steady state weight I was on a different lifestyle, even though I have a long way to go.

  2. Dan is right. The goal keeps us from going back.
    I’ve quit drinking, and quit smoking and the smoking was a lot harder.
    Both of these, I used the same tactics to overcome. I realized my mind was working against me, like you say, reminding me, hinting to me, (you will never drink a cold beer again). Well, that just really pissed me off that my mind was programmed for addiction, and my plan was to do the same tactic to take control.
    When I wanted a cigarette, I would take a breath, hold it, and force myself to remember my goals. Like you and Dan said, small goals that you know will add up to help you reach your bigger goals. Do I worry about not having an adult beverage when everyone else is? No. I remember how I felt back then. I remember trying to quit and the struggle I went through both physically and as you know now, mentally. It is not easy. And when you quit smoking or drinking , or loose weight, people pat you on the back and tell you good job!
    They should, but you know inside how you struggled and the small victories are soooo much better feeling than the pat on the back.
    Again, it isn’t easy, but when you reach a goal, whether it’s an hourly goal, or a large victory, it’s soooo sweet to have reached it, by yourself, and you have taken back to programming of your own mind.
    As a post script, I want to say that I am extremely proud of you.

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