Be a Lab Rat

Be a Lab Rat

When you have a breakthrough and CHOOSE to live a life of Wonderment …(I wonder IF I can xyz?)…’s not a big leap of faith from there to Trying.   And Trying requires experimentation.  Trial and Error.  The “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” sort of thing.  And when you apply this experimentation to your weight loss journey or to an exercise challenge like running, you soon realize that you are the Scientist AND the Lab Rat.   With some helpful advice from the experts (ie, your doctor and the Weight Watchers and C25K’s of the world) and some not-so-experts (think Wikipedia and all the other unproven advice on the www), you set out to create challenges for yourself (the Scientist) and then you have to pull them off (the Lab Rat in the Maze).   Too often we are too set in our ways, and not willing to try something new, a new approach, a variation on a theme — whether it be a new vegetable (endive or red chard anyone?) , or a new behavior ( willing to try staying off the scale at home for the WHOLE week?), or stopping a behavior (deprivation, party of 1?)  It’s this last one I am struggling with and have decided I am going to take on this week.

I’ve been clinging to deprivation as a tool, as a safety net, as an approach to losing weight — only I don’t call it deprivation,  I call it avoiding triggers.  (See?  That sounds like a Good Thing, right??)   My mentality has been — you can’t eat what isn’t there.  Right?  Er….yes, right…. BUT – you CAN eat everything else that IS there because you want that one thing Soooo badly.  And frankly the end result is more damaging in the long-run.  Denise is teaching me that complete avoidance of foods that I have felt “out of control” around is deprivation — and no body has ever lost weight successfully for the long-term through deprivation.  Hmmm.  I had to spend all day Saturday thinking about this one.  I’m not a dis-believer, I’m just a little scared to let this food be around me when I KNOW I’ve had a hard time stopping at One Anything in the past.  But this is the diet versus lifestyle difference that Weight Watchers is trying to get us to embrace.  And even when we “think” we understand and embrace it — our behaviors are where the rubber hits the road, and they say something else.   So, I’m still a little scared, but I’ve DECIDED to Try.  I’m going to be my own Lab Rat this week and conduct Experiment “Treat Yourself”.

Here’s How Experiment “Treat Yourself” goes.

Denise asked me some questions yesterday:

What am I craving?  I answered Chocolate Covered Pretzels.  <check>

How many points are they?  We looked it up and I found a bag where I get 8 chocolate covered pretzels for 4 ppv. <check>

When will I eat them?  Where Will I be?  What will I be doing?  Who will I be with?

Wait, Whoa, no check…..slow down lady…..I’ve never thought this far ahead before.  I just grab what I want, and Maybe, Maybe I check the points ahead of eating it — if I’m lucky.  OK, but I always track it.  Track the damage.  But all these questions caught me by surprise.   So I went home with homework to do.   I began to visualize myself with 8 chocolate pretzels — 4 points worth.  Not alot.  And how I’m going to make them last into a memorable, enjoyable experience?  Cuz,  I’m only having 1 serving.  That’s it!  One.  That’s what this entire experiment is about.  It’s about learning how to eat only 1 delicious anything, and letting it be enough.  Not needing another and another and another, until the sheer thought of one more bite of that delicious anything turns my stomach.

So I began to picture myself and how I could make this a real treat, but also wanted to figure out how to make those 8 little pretzels last so I could REALLY ENJOY them.  Here is what I came up with.

I like to play Pogo Scrabble online.  I play the free version, which has one annoying downside.  Periodically through the game, there is a 35 second intermission where the game plays advertisements, trying to get you to buy products.  I usually turn off the sound and tap my fingers on the kitchen table until the 35 seconds have passed.  So I figured out a Win/Win situation for myself.

So here is the Maze for the Lab Rat (ME)…..

What will I eat?   8 little chocolate covered pretzels

How many points?  4 ppv

Where will I eat them?  At my kitchen table, while I play Pogo Scrabble.

When will I eat them?  Here is the genius!  I’m going to eat 1 chocolate pretzel along with sipping my German Chocolate Cake Keurig coffee at each of the 35 second intermissions.  I’m going to chew them and enjoy them and sip my coffee for 35 seconds, then I’m back to Scrabble, and the other 7 pretzels will have to wait.  I’m busy with Scrabble here!  Sheesh.

In all seriousness, I did this experiment last night, Saturday night — at my kitchen table, and it took me 75 minutes to eat those 8 pretzels and drink 1 cup of coffee. I was overjoyed!  I had a really good time playing Scrabble, it relaxes me.  I loved the coffee, it warmed me up on a chilly November night.  And I didn’t notice the annoying advertisement intermissions, because I was chewing and loving my salty sweet chocolate covered pretzels one…by…one….

I was so happy with myself that I might just do it again tonight!  And if this works this week — I’m going to let myself buy that tin of Peppermint Bark that has been dancing in my dreams and making snake eyes at me in the supermarket.   It’ll be my Experiment for next week!  I just might like this Lab Rat gig!

Ciao for now…..Diane

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