Like what was written on Day 6, you shouldn't tell people around you that you're dieting if you don't want to. It's true that some people - especially close friends and family members can tease you and try to sabotage your diet by asking you to eat something you're not supposed to when you tell them you're dieting, but looking at the other side of things, it's also great to tell people about your journey because you never know - some of them were just waiting for a companion. When I first traveled this journey in 2007, I told our neighbor Charmy about it and instead of teasing me, she actually supported me and even joined me in my morning walks. My brother sort of teased me at first... but when the family saw (this year) that I was so serious about this and that I am already reaping the success of traveling this journey, my brother is now the first to remind me that I needed to jot down my food intake, he now reminds me that the dish will have pork in it. Overall, telling people about my situation puts me in a much better position, because people are all rooting for my success. I guess it was like that - people will tease you to the point of testing your resistance to certain food... but once you're losing weight, they will be there to back you up.
Today, we will make changes around us. Food is often the biggest reason why people are overweight, so when the need to lose weight arises, dieters first change their eating habits. Dr. Beck shared tips about changing the environment around home:
- Remove your personal temptations. Check the cupboards, fridge and desk drawers. If you keep food items that you think will sabotage your diet, get rid of it - by either trashing it or giving it away. Yes, you used money to buy it and there are so many hungry people around the world... but think about this: would you rather waste the food in the trash can or in your body and health? If you can't bear the idea of trashing good food, then just give it away.
- Rearrange your dishes. As you know by now, small plates mean less food to eat, so replace the plates on your rack with smaller ones, or arrange plates from smallest to biggest, so that the small ones will be easier to reach.
- Consider others. If you share the house with other people - spouse, kids, co-workers, relatives... you might want to ask their help to your advantage: maybe ask them to keep their snack items in places you cannot see (either in their own rooms or maybe in a container at the topmost part of the cupboard). If you don't want to be super imposing, you can ask their help in a very nice way.
I do eat a lot during meals (before entering the journey), but I am not a "serial snacker," like my brother is. Here in our house, we have this containers where we put the snack items, and since these containers are on the floor and most have lids, I sometimes forget what was inside it. My brother has his own container inside his room - and when I started getting rid of softdrinks, he would drink his softdrinks inside his room (or when I wasn't around the dining room). Now that my control is much stronger, he drinks his softdrinks in front of me without worrying I'd take a sip.
I guess I am at the point in the journey that I am much stronger, but I still have so much to learn. I agree with the quote "Out of sight, out of mind," but if you're a parent who has kids who would love their fast food and snacks... you can make a compromise by treating them to a small pack of chips or a small bag of candies every weekends, or maybe encourage them to do good at school and if they get at least 5 stars, they can have the bag of chips. Win-win situation, eh?
For those who are working, changing the environment will be much difficult - because it would seem impossible to ask the admin to get rid or move the vendo machine... and it would seem awkward to ask co-workers to keep their snacks in their drawers and not place it on the table, but you can at least try. Worst case scenario - you have to work on your control; but if things go your way, the better. Don't be afraid to ask things... but of course, you have to be nice and not be so assertive and bossy.
Arranging the environment means compromise. There will be certain things you don't have control of, but always remember... you can control your emotions and perspective. Like what I shared with the "star system," you can also apply it to yourself - you can challenge yourself not to eat any cupcake from Mondays-Thursdays, and come Friday, treat yourself with one cupcake. I don't normally use food as a way of rewarding myself, but if that will get you to eat less, then go for it.
I work at home, so I can only make changes here at home. Aside from keeping certain food items in their own containers with lids (most aren't transparent), I arrange certain items by keeping the healthier options at sight and keep the unhealthy ones under.
This is a difficult task, I know... but just remember the key word: compromise.
ps - the paper bag in the picture contain a lot of snack items - mostly flour based (crackers, cupcakes, biscuits), but none tempts me because I am not into crackers and biscuits, and the idea of eating a small cupcake with 170 calories is enough to lose my interest in it, so even if it's open, I don't glance on it, really. These snack items we will give to kids of the Joy Foundation (I forgot the full name), because they always come here during the holidays.