associations

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So far so good. A clean day. I've just ordered room service from the "Healthy Selections" section of the menu and the road ahead is looking clear.

I decided on a change of scene. Instead of the apartments I stayed in last week, I chose to come back into a CBD hotel. It means getting a train to the client every morning, but this hotel was the location of my triumphant couple of uber-stress-filled-but-ultra-healthy weeks last month, and I could do with some positive reinforcement right about now.

Association is a very strong force for me.

When I used to smoke, which I did for 14 years, I had strong cigarette associations with all sorts of things: coffee, phone calls, car journeys and of course beer. I'd put the phone down after an hour of blethering away to a friend and there'd be two or three fresh cigarette butts sitting in the ashtray that I'd barely even registered smoking.

The associations were so strong they were sub-conscious. When I gave up, I tackled one associated habit at a time. I'd still go out with the girls for the morning smoko break (read: "gossip") but I'd keep my hands and mouth busy with a clementine instead of the cigs. The coffee fag, the driving cig, the morning smoko... each association, one at a time all the way to the booze sticks - the hardest ones of all.

I knew myself, I knew cold turkey wouldn't fly, Telling myself I can't have something is a sure fire way to ensure that's the very thing I'll gorge on, a spot of those deprivation issues you talked about Chub?. For 3 whole months after my last cigarette I still carried a packet around with me, telling myself "if you want one, you CAN have one.... you're just *choosing* not to". I think that half full packet is probably still sitting in a drawer somewhere.

I regularly ponder how to apply those same self-aware principals to my eating. Six years after I kicked the habit, I can still get an urge to have a smoke, but I haven't - not one single cigarette in all that time. Why can't I do that with food?

Some weeks I literally cruise by, whole chunks of time can go by like a breeze, at other times it's a little more touch and go, a tightrope balancing act, and then there are weeks like last week. Last week, all associations were negative. Everything was a binge trigger, a sweet taste didn't mean a pleasurable treat, a full tummy didn't mean satisfaction, everything meant binge. All paths led to food.

I'm hoping for some better associations this week. They've even put me in a room just along the hall from the hotel gym, there has to be a message in that.

2 comments:

chubrubb said...

That's a great thing! When you're on a bidness trip (I will also go on Thurs for 10 days), your environment is ultra important. Good luck to you!

Fat[free]Me said...

I hope you have a good week and that gym gets a good bashing, lol!