Saturday, April 19, 2008

POWER! Identifying triggers

So, let me start from the beginning.

When my doctor told me 18 months ago that I'd die young if I didn't get this weight off, and that it was time to do something drastic, he encouraged me to look into gastric bypass and lap band, etc. Darren was completely against it, 100%. One of the reasons *I* decided against it as well is, I felt like I needed to be ready to lose the weight psychologically and emotionally before I did anything drastic. I've heard of too many people who have the surgery just to gain it all back, and I didn't want to be one of those people. For me, I knew that half the battle was in my head.

Finally, through a whole bunch of little things that are starting to be clear to me now, I reached that psychological/emotional place - in just the last couple of months. Slowly, I'm starting to identify triggers in me - emotional triggers, mental triggers, whatever - that cause me to engage in unhealthy habits. It's so empowering to identify those and battle them head to head!

Thursday night, we had a program at school (Ian's Kindergarten class was performing), so we had to grab a quick dinner. We decided to stop at L'il Caesar's for a couple of their $5 Hot-n-Ready pizzas. There's a Subway right next door, so I went in and ordered a Veggie Delight Sub. The pizza hadn't even sounded appetizing to me when we ordered it, but when we got home and Darren opened the pizza boxes, I swear, saliva dribbled down my chin. I quickly put it out of my mind and dined on my sub instead. Then I got rid of the pizza leftovers by giving them to a friend who came over later.

Friday, I took the boys to 7-11 after school for a treat. It's something we do about once a month to reward them for good behavior at school. I always, ALWAYS get a candy bar (or two!) when I'm there, along with a Diet Coke. I stared longingly at the 3 Musketeers, Reese's, Heath., Skor; all of my favorites were there. Beside the candy... a freezer full of pint-size Ben and Jerry's. I haven't craved chocolate or candy since I began this journey 3 weeks ago, but Friday, I had a battle of wills right there on the candy aisle. Eventually I made my way to the nuts and grabbed a packet of whole natural almonds. Instead of Coke, I rewarded myself with strawberry Propel (water) - the first flavored drink I've had in 3 weeks today! (but who's counting!)

Anyway. One of my triggers is so simple. It's the Because It's There trigger. If there's food before me, or the opportunity to GET food, I've always felt like I'd be a fool not to take it. There've been times when, at 7-11, I've gotten TWO candy bars for myself, because "I might get a hankerin' for a candy bar tomorrow, so it'll be good to have an extra one on hand." Then of course, I'd devour BOTH candy bars in the car on the way home. Often, I'd eat when I wasn't even HUNGRY (especially at parties, where the food is laid out before me). Sometimes I'd eat beforehand, to try to keep myself from eating too much while I was out. It backfired everytime. I ended up eating at home AND pigging out at the party. Because it was there.

So. I can't avoid the trigger of having food there. It'll always be there. But it feels good to identify it as a trigger and make myself think about how to react to it. Today, I reacted by choosing something healthy. I really was hungry - it was time for my afternoon snack anyway. But the fact that I recognized the trigger (I didn't want the candy until it was there in front of me), then analyzed it, identified true hunger, and made a good choice.... man. That's POWER!!

I have a bunch more issues to tackle, and I know that most of them will be a lot more profound than this one. Still, it feels great to have this one behind me.

By the way - I'm 10% of the way to my goal! I've lost 15 pounds since March 29. Go me!!


Brynn said...

WOW, good for you Stacy!!! You're doing so well & really motivating many others. Stay strong, you're doing GREAT!!!

Veronica said...

Congratulations Stacy - both on identifying your triggers and reaching such a significant milestone.

I have found that one of my triggers was obviously working in a place I hated. I can certainly feel that a few kilos (pounds ;)) have dropped off in the last few weeks - and I have made no effort to achieve that. I haven't weighed myself, but my clothes are more comfortable - and some are even a little loose.

I guess that's just another hint that I have done the right thing :)

Donna said...

Congratulations Stacy! You are really inspiring me to think about my choices too. Keep up the good work!

Lee said...

Go you, is right. That's fantastic Stacy! Good for you. Looking forward to less of you ;)

agent713 said...

Wow this is so true. Thank you for sharing this. It helps me too.

Kathy in MI said...

Way to go Stacy!! Your willpower is inspiring.

Bryan said...

Stacy, you are off to a great start! Identifying your triggers is very important, as is finding effective ways to handle them. As you said, you can't always avoid them.

I am sure this isn't the case for everyone, but I've found that with time it becomes easier and easier to face your triggers and win. Eventually, you don't even realize that you faced down a trigger, it just becomes second nature.

Keep up the great work!

Lita said...

Congrats Stacy - finding the triggers is the hard part!! I've identified the 'Coz its there' trigger to fight it :)
Well sone with the weight loss - you go girl! lol

Ethan's Mom said...

You really are an inspiration! Thanks so much for being open to sharing this part of your life.