I’ve been having trouble getting started again, again. I did so well, losing 10 lbs pretty quickly in Jan/Feb, but then since then I’ve gained it all back and then some! I just need to buckle down and get my eating under control but I find it so hard. Being a behavior analyst (in training) I should be able to alter the environment so that I don’t engage in these harmful behaviors (overeating, eating out) any more. So what would I do if I were my client? I can’t just sit around and feel gross and disappointed in myself any more. My clothes barely fit me and I don’t feel good about anything, even though I’m working out more and harder than ever. i see pictures of people I know or strangers and all i can do is think about what it must be like to be them. Or I compare myself to them, which isn’t helpful either because I never add up. I hate pictures of me because I’m forced to see myself how others see me, and it ain’t pretty. I’ve been feeling this way for so long, I don’t know how to get out of my cycle! I need help!
Let’s look at this from a behavior analytic perspective:
Antecedents (what happens DIRECTLY before the behavior): Long day at work, frustrated, tired, don’t want to cook, don’t want to clean kitchen
Behaviors: Eating too many snacks before dinner, eating too much dinner, eating sweets with or after dinner, going out and eating unhealthy food instead of eating what I should eat
Consequences(what happens DIRECTLY after the behavior) : I feel less tired, less frustrated and temporarily happy. I don’t have to cook and I don’t have to clean the kitchen.
So what can I do to alter my behavior/environment relations?
Well, I think it will always be reinforcing to eat something salty/sweet due to biology. So, I have to think of ways that I can alter my antecedents to alter my behavior.
1. Don’t have crappy snacks around. Off limits = chips and sweets.
2. Stock up on healthy alternatives that I can eat when I get home and feel hungry
-low fat hummus
3. Make dinners at the beginning of the week (or when I have time), measure portions and keep in the fridge. I don’t have to feel responsible to feed my significant other. He’s a big boy. He can manage on his own (I always want to cook big meaty meals for him)
4. pack big enough lunch and snack that I’m not starving on the drive home. Buy some low cal low sugar protein bars for emergency car rides (hell-a traffic is unpredictable at best, predictably terrible at worst)
These are some small, do-able changes I think I can accomplish on my own for the next 2 weeks. I am getting the Bob Harper “Skinny Rules” book soon and I think that will give me some more direction.