There are certain places in my house where I tend to eat, and other places where I don’t.
Take the comfy chair that seems to have my butt imprinted on the cushion, for example. Something happens when I sit there. Some conditioned response that sends my mind into overdrive thinking about food. Probably because I have, over the years, spent entirely too much time sitting in that chair with my feet up, watching TV or reading a book and mindlessly eating. There is a little table where I can put a dish, or I can balance a snack quite nicely on the wide chair arms. And this chair is within easy walking distance to all the food in my kitchen. I don’t even have to wait for a commercial to raid the pantry.
On the other hand, there is my desk. Where my computer lives. In the furthest corner of my basement from the kitchen. But distance is not important here, because for some reason, I don’t ever eat while working on the computer. Either because my hands are otherwise occupied or my mind is otherwise distracted. Sometimes I make a conscious effort to bring a drink down so that I can get in some of my daily hydration while typing away. But food never occurs to me here.
There is a small voice in my head that says “Karen, you should only eat at the kitchen table.” That is the same voice that is so wise in all things diet and weight related. But, much like my teen son when I tell him to pick up after himself, I hear the voice but I choose not to obey. Yes, I am sure that if I only allowed myself to eat while sitting at the kitchen table I would actually control a lot of my snacking and overeating by default. Seems like such a simple, rational solution. And yet I just don’t want to do that, I say stomping my foot in my mind like a toddler throwing a tantrum. How crazy am I that I resist this simple little change that may make a huge difference in my eating lifestyle?
I had not intended to go this direction when I started this post, but as I write these words and they resonate in my mind, I realize that the time has come to try an experiment. Much as I really don’t want to do it. For one week, I will eat only at the kitchen table. I am shuddering just thinking about it. But I know this will be good for me.
So here are my challenge goals for next week:
- Any meals and snacks at home will be eaten at the kitchen table.
- Stay on plan with all eating. This means that I will watch quantity as well – no more “cheating without really cheating.”
- No bread (unless it is a sandwich in the car to/from the lake).
And I want to share that just setting this goal in its simplicity is a big step for me. Because I started working on this post a week ago and have spent all that time vacillating and considering what exceptions I should allow myself. Like lunch, which I usually eat in my comfy arm chair, catching up on the morning’s recorded news shows. But, I decided that the time had come to “man up” and stop giving myself loopholes. So no exceptions when I am eating at home. At the table period. Yikes.
What about you? Does location impact your eating?
Note: For a recap of how I did on last week’s goals, read here.