I have trained myself to only take a certain amount of cash money to the supermarket so I don’t get tempted to stray too far from my shopping list. My shopping list, however, is based on a more or less rough meal plan. I usually have the same breakfast for one week Monday to Friday (and then allow myself to get a bit fancy-pancy on the weekends, but skip lunch), so I buy $breakfast_ingredient and nothing more.
Also, I stick to the outer aisles of the supermarket and pick the supermarket with the most seductive veggie/fruit area so I get stuck there. This particular supermarket has a very well hidden sweets/snack area and I just don’t go there unless I have a special snack item planned. But then again, the lack of money will keep me from buying more than that.
To get myself to workout in the morning I put away my desk chair so I can only stand in front of my PC in the morning. This will soon annoy me enough to open the workout files and get started. Of course I could get the chair back, but that would be openly admitting “defeat” and I just won’t do it. It strongly discourages me to get involved in Facebook or forums before I have finished the workout.
Also, I will put my normal clothes out of reach and put my workout clothes right beside me. Our bedroom has freezing temparatures, so I won’t get up and walk around to fetch the normal stuff, but I will grab my gym clothes.
This one sounds mean, but I have tricked myself out of taking the dogs out early in the morning. This means, by noon they will get really impatient and annoy me into taking the big walk. That way I make sure I always get out early enough so I always have time to finish the BIG 5 miles walk and not get away with the “oh the dogs need to pee” cheat walk (2-3 miles). I really only use the cheat walk on emergency days.
I see myself as a great encourager, but when I talk to myself it is just the opposite! I don’t know why. I know I’m worthy, but deep down I doubt. I’m always focusing on the things about me that I don’t like, and I see the flab, jiggle and fat as an affirmation of my unworthiness. It’s deeper than being overweight. Your post stopped me in my tracks. I really need to fix this, too.
It’s very helpful to know that the hardest part of getting myself to workout (on days when I don’t feel like it) is getting up from the chair. So I organize everything in a way that forces me to get up and go somewhere. I drink lots of water, so I have to get up to pee. I keep my credit card on the other end of the house so everytime I buy something online, I need to get up and get it.
And of course I put my snack foods so far away that it will be a real hassle to reach them. I usually put them in a cupboard I can only reach by pulling up a chair. If I muster that much energy, I might as well either skip the snack (when I’m lazy) or as I am going to make a big effort in the kitchen anyway, chances are that I will prepare something healthy. I keep comfort food in the house, except I make sure it’s never comfortable to get it.
Also, I feed myself well if I can afford it. That applies to maintenance only, but in maintenance I do take care of my preemptive eating and try not to skip meals. Or only after a really big breakfast. The routine helps me not thinking about food too much.
Phew, well I have hundreds of those strategies and sometimes I even forget I’ve tricked myself. It has just become a habit. I just know what is going to make me fail, because I’ve done a good job at failing for a long time. I don’t feel bad saying that. Actually I feel clever because most of the time I manage quite well to trick myself. So the couple of times when I “fail” it isn’t that much of a catastrophe anyway.
Also, I need a lot less tricks when I’m in maintenance, because all of those eating desires are not there. As long as I stick to whole foods, it’s hard for me to overeat. But that’s also a learning experience: to know when you need to watch yourself and to know when you can let yourself off the leash.
Just to add some interesting tidbits on a side note: when my husband bought our farm it didn’t have electric heating and we only have a wooden outdoor sauna, so we have to carry water there, chop our firewood and do a lot of carrying stuff around, shoveling snow etc. And when he suggested we should get an electric oven for the sauna, get electric heating and get an automatic waterpump, I refused because that’s free exercise.
Even if I don’t exercise, the farm (and all of the animals there) force us to stay active anyway. Well I’m not suggesting that everyone gets themselves an organic farm and a couple of retired working horses, BUT maybe think about that next time when you plan to make your life more comfortable. Comfortable isn’t always better.
Being kind and patient with yourself is so so so important. I am reminded of a favorite Dr. Suess quote: Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!