Dealing with Food Associations

 

FOOD ASSOCIATIONS…..

Yep, I’m going to talk about them again!

May was a month of vacays, biz trips, and travels. Normally in those times, I would have called a break from my weight loss protocol—and started collecting junk food for our travels.

I used to go to Walmart and buy a lot of junk food.

Then I would come home and organized it into tubs by type. (I told you I was a crazy organizing woman!)

Then we would stop at Cracker Barrel and gas stations for more….the more “specialized” things that we couldn’t get at Walmart.

But this association had to go.

(It doesn’t have to go for you! You choose the food associations that you want to keep and that fit in your personal protocol!)

I let this one go because it isn’t special enough.

It’s way more special to eat out after we arrive at our destination.

It’s way more special to me to gather around a table with my family or sneak into a booth with my hubby at a nice restaurant than it is to eat junk food as we travel.

I couldn’t have it all and meet my goals.

So I had to choose my special carefully.

Two more weekend trips coming up…..and there will be no wild gas station purchases….not because that’s “bad” or because you shouldn’t eat “treats.”

But because I had to choose my specials carefully. Since I began this way of life six months ago, I’ve lost 15 pounds and a full size. I feel amazing. I enjoy “specials” every single week. But this one had to go.

There are only so many specials that will fit into a weight management IF protocol. And letting food associations go is a step in the right direction to attaining our goals.

I’ve had to let other food associations go as well—

~Eating while I work at the table before 3:00 in the afternoon or so.

~Eating Cracker Barrel breakfasts while we travel.

~Eating snacks in the car as we travel (unless my window is open, and I am choosing to have my one snack while we drive).

~Eating after 7 or 8 in the evening

~Eating in bed while we watch our show

 

Food Associations with IF

 

But there are many others that I have kept—birthday cakes, out with the family, dinner before a concert, popcorn at the movie, dessert by my daughter, candy at a concert…..

Choose your specials carefully….drop the food associations that are not truly special. Make this a way of life!

When dropping food associations, it is important to substitute something else for them. We must find enjoyable non-food things to add to that association.

When I quit eating during the daytime as I work (from home), I had to work in different positions—move around a little. Not always sit in the same spot where I used to eat snacks, breakfast sandwiches, lunch, and Diet Coke.

When we quit eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel as we traveled, I had to be sure to get plenty of talking books to listen to to make the morning travels less tedious. Morning travels are no longer associated with breakfast.

I learned to plan my work and leisure better for long car trips when we used to mindlessly snack just to have something to do. I used time blocking to plan the hours of my trip—and associated different tasks with the car hours rather than snacks.

We started watching a series on Netflix every night rather than snacking in bed. I even told myself aloud, “I don’t eat snacks in bed because I don’t need them. I’m not hungry. Now I get to watch television instead.” (I never watched television shows for the first 25 years of raising my kids—so this is super fun for me!)

I evaluated my food associations and decided which ones I wanted to keep and which ones could be dropped more easily without taking away from my quality of life. (Yes, food, sharing meals with others, and treats do affect our quality of life!)

I am getting magazines from the library for my next road trip. I never read magazines. I started doing more on Pinterest just for fun (not just for work/business). All of these are new associations that are replacing food associations.

Not all food associations are bad. Some still fit into a Daily IF protocol. But replacing those that don’t will be a huge step in weight management success.

It’s worth it!

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