The opportunity to eat

When I say you need to make the most of the time to get yourself into good habits in the first 6-12 months after surgery I am not kidding. One habit I fall back into far too easily still, even more than two years out from surgery, is snacking. Snacking has been the bane of my life for the past few months and of course, like everything else, since it has been on my mind I tend to think about it far too much.

Having an awareness around food and what triggers things like snacking is really important. I know that one of my biggest triggers, still, is boredom. Another thing I’ve also recognised recently but didn’t really realise before was simply having the opportunity to eat. In theory the bariatric way of eating that my team recommend of three meals a day and no snacks is quite easy to follow. In reality though, since I’ve been aware of it and thinking about snacking a lot lately, I have realised that we are presented with so many opportunities each day to eat.

Each day we start with a clean slate and a whole heap of decisions to make if we want to stay on the right track. Getting myself back on track with not snacking has meant I’ve had to be really invested in making the right decisions for myself, sometimes over and over each day. Knowing that these opportunities are going to present themselves and having a plan for when you are presented with these decisions is the best way to make sure you stay on the right track.

A great example is when I go to a café for a coffee. I still out of habit, even after this long, look at the sweet treats and wonder what I’d like. Then my brain kicks in and I remember that for a start I can’t do food and liquid at the same time, I realise I don’t need it and then I remember I’m making a conscious effort not to snack so don’t consider it as an option anymore. Surprise morning teas in the office is another good example. You weren’t planning on snacking, someone has made something that looks delicious and a little bite wouldn’t hurt right?

Another danger time for me is when I’m making my little guys dinner right when I get home from work. During the week he has dinner the minute we walk in the door and when I’m making it for him it’s really tempting to have a little bite, or three, or five. All of these opportunities to eat are things that can really get in your way when you’re trying to stay on track.

I find once I get in the habit of snacking it can be really hard to break. When my body is in the habit of having something, no matter how small, at around the same time everyday it begins to expect it and tries to tell me I’m hungry even though I know that, physically at least, I am not hungry. Realising all of these small things on an intellectual level makes it easier when I am getting myself back on the wagon and away from the snacks.

I’ve made the decision (again!) recently that I need to start putting myself first. I need to make the right choices for myself because, quite frankly, no one else can do this for me. Life had got pretty stressful and busy and I had put myself far down my list of priorities. Realising that these frequent opportunities to eat were helping me snack when I didn’t want to and know I don’t need to were a realisation I needed to be able to help myself say no and choose me. We are presented with the opportunity to look after ourselves and nurture our bodies and we need to make sure we’re looking after ourselves first.

Do you find it harder to say no the more opportunities you are presented with to eat? Was this something you had thought about before of have I made a lightbulb go off for you? Comment below and let me know I’d love to hear what you think.

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