Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lists... they are our friend

I'm a list maker by nature. Grocery lists, to-do lists, revision lists, packing lists. You name it, I've probably listed it. I could probably even make a list of all my lists, but that'd be silly, huh?

I was reading something the other day that got me thinking about our triggers. Weight gain triggers, overeating triggers, stress triggers. We all have them. It might be a deadline or a family visit. Maybe certain meetings trigger us to make poor eating choices, or rejection letters might send us out in the middle of the night to buy chocolate. Arguments that seem to freeze our ability to choose wisely, instead igniting that comfort-food craving.

And then there are the trigger foods. You know the ones, the can't have just one treats. The 'one chip leads to eating the entire bag' triggers. The 'if I have a beer, I'll quickly have another and then eat anything and everything' triggers. Or the 'skipping lunch and eating three entrees because I'm starving' trigger.

These are so common, and more often than not we don't see them coming. Sometimes, we're able to get ourselves past the trigger quickly before much damage is done and others we could be derailed for weeks.

This is where lists come in!

Make a list of all of your triggers. Trigger events, trigger situtations, trigger foods. Know your challenges, list them all. Even the once a year ones! Remember, knowledge is power and the more you know - or bring to a conscious level - about what challenges you, the easier you can deal with it.

If you're doing a weight-journal, thats the perfect place to keep this list, too.

So - have you ever stopped to consider triggers. Before they are switched on, I mean. Can you recognize them or do you have someone you can talk to that would help you see them more clearly?


Michelle Butler on January 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM said...

I think you are right that forcing yourself to be aware of your triggers is key to giving yourself the ability to resist them. Once you know what they are, you can brainstorm ways to avoid them, resist them, minimize them or overcome them.

With time, all of that will become easier too - at least in my experience. I still trip up every now and then, but I'm so much better at not reacting the way I used to to my triggers. Awareness is the first step.

Beth on January 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM said...

Wow, that's a good question. I think my biggest trigger is when I get stressed from arguing with my husband (luckily, doesn't happen that often *g*) or my kids (happens more often since they're teeangers :-))

But I do try to be aware of it and I try to resist the urge to stuff myself with peanut M&Ms until I'm no longer mad ;-)

Tawny on January 22, 2010 at 4:34 AM said...

Michelle, its funny. Just a year ago, I'd have sworn I wasn't an emotional stress eater. Then I really saw myself this last year and watched how I dealt with some major emotional stresses and Whoa baby, did I eat. It really nudged home the need to be honest with myself and learn my own triggers. Like you say, that doesn't mean just knowing what they are means they no longer trip us up, but at least being aware of why we tripped means we might sidestep it once in awhile, huh?

Tawny on January 22, 2010 at 4:35 AM said...

Oh Beth, I hear you!! Arguments are major trigger-trippers. Its good that you know not only what your trigger is, though, but what you'll reach for to eat *g*

See, now when we fight around here, we make it last for weeks. WEEKS, I tell ya!!! That's a long time to resist M&M's *ggg*

Michelle Butler on January 22, 2010 at 9:16 AM said...

I first recognized that I was an emotional stress eater/eating for reward type more than 10 years ago, but I didn't really figure out how to really combat that until this past year. You can get there! Just be patient and give yourself time. It does get easier with work.

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