Using All Of Your Senses For Weightloss

December 4, 2010 at 11:26 am 3 comments

I recently had a conversation with a friend about shopping and I told her how I was changing my thoughts about that temptation and was now finding that I wasn’t spending as much as I used to. I had been going into stores, and buying things that I didn’t really need. In fact, when I was decluttering the house 2 months ago, I found 2 or 3 bags of things I had bought for Christmas decorations LAST YEAR, that I had brought home, and then put aside where I promptly forgot about them.  And trust me, these weren’t the only purchases I found still in their wrapping and shopping bags.  Sad.

I  started to think about what the pleasure was for me when I was shopping. Was the pleasure the end result of bringing that thing home? Not always, because most of the time I realized I could have done without it, and then felt guilty about spending the money. I can’t begin to tell you how many candles, candle holders, potpourri holders, bath oils, lotions and other tchotchkes I’ve picked up thinking that I need them, only to find find out I have (lots of) something similar at home.  I’ve bought things simply because I was offered something free (often something else I didn’t need) with the purchase. I’ve also done this with clothing – picking something out, buying it, bringing it home and then realizing that I have 3 (or more!) other perfectly good (brand new) white shirts, or black slacks, etc., etc., (don’t get me started about shoes!) and that in the end I really didn’t need more, or that I didn’t like it as much at home as I did in the store. You know, I recently went through my nail polish collection, and found that I have 10 bottles of red OPI nail polish! They all have different names – OPI is famous for their fun naming of polish, but they are essentially the same red nail polish. Even if I had a manicure and pedicure twice a week, it would take me years before I would go through all of that polish.

I realized that there were two things in my life that I was using as substitutes to try make myself feel happy (which in the end, didn’t really work). Shopping and food.

What I’ve found, is that what I enjoy about shopping is not always the purchase, but the wander around the shop, picking up things that I think are beautiful and then imagining where they would go in my home or in my wardrobe. I’ve now started to change the outcome of these trips.  I’ll still look at things, imagine them and enjoy them, marvel at the great bargain they are, and then put them in my cart and continue shopping – all the while completely enjoying the experience.  The difference now is that when I’m ready to go and line up, I take a look again at everything again, and what I find most times is that they weren’t such a bargain or that I don’t really need or even want 99% of the things I’ve put in my cart.  I’ve managed to control my mindless shopping and my bank balance is better for it.

I’m sure you’ve heard that to save money on groceries and not buy things you don’t want, that you should make a list and not go shopping on an empty stomach. I put that principle in place last night before I went out to my holiday party.

I ate my dinner according to my meal plan, drank lots of water, and then went out with a plan in place for the evening.

I treated the buffet and appetizer table as I do the beautiful home decor stores I shop browse in.  I took some time and viewed the offerings, deciding which things I had to have, the things I could live without, the things I could eat without feeling guilty, and the things that I wanted just a taste of.  This is a completely different mindset than when I’ve approached food before.  As I have been guilty of mindless shopping, I’ve been guilty of mindless eating. The old me would have taken everything on the table, and lots of it.  Not so last night.  Last night I enjoyed all the senses I was experiencing – how good all the baked goods looked, the smell of the items (seasoned fries and wings were there),  and yes the memory of what these foods taste like (you know how your mouth waters just thinking about certain foods?)  I enjoyed the smell, the visual, the texture, and the anticipation of what these foods taste like.  And for the first time in a long time, that was a large part of the enjoyment of the food, not the actual consuming of it.  And because of how I approached the table, I resisted many things I would have put on my plate and just mindlessly ate.

A great weight (not sure if there was a pun intended) has been lifted off of me since coming to the realization that I have been a mindless shopper and eater. Just as I bought things just for the sake of having them, I ate things for the same reason. I’ve just sat and gulped down and often gorged myself with my food.  When I’ve sat down to eat a nice meal, I’ve always thought the smell was wonderful, but during the meal I don’t think I sat and appreciated all the other senses of eating.

When I think back on great meals, I’ve often forgotten the reason we gathered together.  When someone would say – do you remember so and so’s wedding, lately the first thing that would come to mind is the great chicken they served, or the dessert table.  But when I think about it, I realize that the reason I enjoyed the event was because of the company of the people I was with, and that the food was just one part of that enjoyment, not the sole cause.

Will I be perfect in resisting these two temptations?  Not always, but by realizing that I have more power over the outcome than I thought I had, I can be much better than I have been in the past. I’m starting starting to control my mindless eating, and my body will be better because of it.

I’m going to stop being like Pavlov’s dogs. Now that’s using the senses I was given!

Thanks to Racheal@thegracefulskinny for a really great suggestion last night before I went out.  She suggested wearing Spanx to keep the expansion room down!  LOL Thanks Rachael!

Here’s a few more ideas to help over the holidays!  (I think they’ll work all year round too)  I like the peppermint idea.

Here’s todays reward for last week’s efforts – 1.8 pounds down for a total of 10 pounds lost since November 1st.





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‘Tis The Season (Or Let the Challenges Begin) Six Word Saturday Part 2

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Julie  |  December 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Wow am I impressed. Very good. Very good ideas and just WOW. It’s amazing when you write it all down just what you learn. You are doing fantasticly. I am proud of you. 10 lbs is a great thing, keep it up.
    Take care and have a blessed weekend.

    • 2. Patricia Eales  |  December 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks Julie. It wasn’t until I put on a pair of pants I haven’t worn in a while ,that I truly realized how much weightloss 10 lbs really is!

  • 3. thegracefulskinny  |  December 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    So happy that the spanxs worked out for you. Congrats on the 10 pounds! That’s great!!!


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Goals for 2011

* Participate in the 100 days of intentional movement
* Walk 2011 miles in 2011
* Continue my healthy eating and exercise program
* Lower my body weight by 10% by February 1st, 2011
* Lose the next 10% of body weight (17 lbs) by April 1, 2011
* Read at least one book per month that provides spiritual sustenance or enlightenment.

Scale Goals for 2011
02/01/11 - 174
04/01/11 - 156.6
06/01/11 - 141

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