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The Power of Suggestion - Chocolate BarLuckily, today wasn’t nearly as busy as Monday or Tuesday had been. Even though I still didn’t get as much sleep as I would have hoped, once I got up and moving around and “felt” awake, I was able to get to work only 5 minutes late and then the rest of the working day calmed down. That’s a good thing too because it allows me to think about what I want to eat and not forget about eating. Setting new habits is always hard and since I’m not used to eating 6 meals a day, it’s very easy to skip the snacks and just eat the main meals, or worse, get so hungry I eat anything I might have stashed in my work cabinets.

At Work

For my preference, I would like to eat my meals at 7:30 am, 10:30 am, 1:15 pm, 4:00 pm, 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm. However, that isn’t the real world and that’s ok too. At least there is a plan to get as close to that schedule as possible so I’m eating every 2 – 3 hours. I do know from past experience, once I’m in the habit of eating every couple of hours, within a week or two at most, my belly alarm goes off on 3 hour increments and demands I feed it. If I always feel comfortably full, it makes it so much easier to avoid the snacks I see lying around at work.

Today, it was 11 am before I realized I needed to eat my first snack, so I ducked into the company kitchen and grabbed my new Yopa Strawberry Greek Yogurt that I just had to try. (The verdict is: tastes great!!) I ate lunch at 1:30 and by 4:30 I knew I needed to eat again, so I found a couple of precut and individually packed cheese slices I brought earlier in the week, along with another strawberry yogurt I purchased a few weeks back. Yay, me, I got both snacks in today (as well as breakfast and lunch).

Power of Suggestion

In an interview I just conducted a few weeks ago with James Clear, he mentioned the power of suggestion with visual cues. He gave the example of his girlfriend baking a batch of cookies and setting them on the counter. If he saw the cookies, he wanted to eat them, but if the cookies were put up in a cabinet, he would forget about them. I know I have that same cue within me. I can bake brownies, cookies or cake and if I put them in a sealed container, in an out of the way place, I forget I made them. Granted, I might eat one or two of the dessert that first day, but usually once I put them away, I’m done with them. (Listen to that entire interview in a few weeks, as it will be the first show of 2014!)

However, when in an office situation, it’s not always as easy to avoid the temptations because you might be surrounded by treats, especially this time of year. ¬†For example, the webmaster loves to bring in treats every week, even though I’ve chided her (in good nature) many times because I don’t have much will power to resist her desserts. Usually it’s some sort of baked goodie but the past few weeks, she’s been running to Wal-mart and bringing back Lindor’s truffles. With Christmas season upon us, the stores are full of speciality treats that we don’t normally think about the rest of the year, and now they are hard to resist!

While walking down the hall, I overheard a coworker mention going to a local deli to get a fresh made sandwich. That audible cue made it extremely hard for me not to ditch my soup and go buy my own deli fresh sandwich. What held me back? Probably the icy cold weather we are currently experiencing. (Guess winter provides some benefits for those of us trying to lose or maintain our weight.)

When I went into the kitchen over lunch, I watched one of my competitors in the weight loss challenge grab a left-over roll on the kitchen counter. I was already in the process of heating my soup for lunch but just watching him cut the roll and prepare his sandwich made me want to make a sandwich too!

How did I handle all these powers of suggestion? Well, I turned my back on the roll and focused on the food I brought. The cold weather most likely persuaded me to stay indoors and not venture outside for the fresh made deli sandwich. The lindor chocolates? Well, not quite as good. I grabbed 2 and enjoyed both of them. I guess I should be happy I stopped at 2!

At Home

After work, I had to run to the store to pick up a Christmas present along with a few groceries, then get home and start my weight training program before attending a town meeting at 7 pm. I only had 30 minutes to exercise before going to our meeting, but luckily the transformation workout plan is only 25 minutes long. I like to do a quick warm up on the elliptical to get my body warm before I start lifting weights. Adding that warm-up to my weight training filled up my entire 30 minutes. Yes, I crammed that workout in, but the important thing is, I got it done! Plus, it feels so good to lift weights and know I did something healthy for my body. I’m sure I’ll be feeling sore for a few days because it’s been months since I lifted weights.

Luckily the meeting was basically cancelled due to missing a key person, so that allowed me to get home faster and start on my busy night. Wednesdays are typically my podcast producing night and I hadn’t put out a new show in a few weeks. My husband has always been great about making meals when I don’t have the time. I like to set out all the ingredients for him and tell him basically how to prepare it, then he’s left to make it all. This was one of those nights. Unfortunately, our grill didn’t cooperate. At the last minute, I told him to make the Eating for Life recipe “Chicken with Fettucine” instead of the planned “Parmesan Chicken” and that requires the use of a grill. We just bought this grill 2 months ago, but it’s possible the extremely cold temperatures and wind were somehow affecting it. I was upstairs working on my show and when I thought dinner was ready, I came downstairs to see the noodles boiling away in water and the chicken was in the oven baking. Needless to say, our chicken ended up being overcooked (I tried broiling it to get it done faster) and the noodles were mush. I think the flavor got boiled out of them too. Neither one of us finished our food. The dogs ate well though!

After I pushed out my show at 1 am, I was still hungry. My original thought was to make a protein shake with peanut brittle pieces I bought from the store, but opted for a Heath Klondike bar instead. Sometimes, it’s hard to pass up ice cream, even on a cold night. So, I did some things good today (like weight lifting) but other things not so good (eating too much peanut brittle and the klondike bar). I still feel like I’m making progress, even if it’s not perfection.

Tomorrow’s challenges: Eating 6 meals

Successes: Managed to finally get in a work out!

Failures: Ate a couple of bad items – Lindor’s chocolates, Peanut Brittle and Heath Klondike bar.

Planned Foods for Wednesday:

  • Breakfast
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 Pieces Light Wheat Toast
    • Coffee with Sugar Free Creamer
  • Snack
    • Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  • Lunch
    • Beef and Barley Soup
    • Saltine Crackers
    • Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Cup
  • Snack
    • Greek Key Lime Yogurt
  • Dinner
    • Eating for Life – Chicken Parmesan with Spinach and Fettuccine noodles
  • Snack
    • Peanut Brittle Protein Shake

Actual Foods Eaten:

  • Breakfast
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 Pieces Light Wheat Toast
    • Coffee with Sugar Free Creamer
  • Snack
    • Strawberry Greek Yogurt
  • Lunch
    • Beef and Barley Soup
    • Saltine Crackers
    • Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Cup
  • Snack
    • Greek Key Lime Yogurt
    • 2 Slices of Cheese
    • Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt
    • 2 Lindors Chocolate Truffles
  • Dinner
    • Eating for Life – Chicken Parmesan with Spinach and Fettuccine noodles
    • Eating for Life – Zesty Italian Chicken with Fettuccine noodles
  • Snack
    • Peanut Brittle Protein Shake
    • Peanut Brittle
    • Heath Klondike Bar