Do you mindlessly eat when you're alone? maybe your good intentions go out the window when you are chatting with friends? There are so many different ways in which our weight is affected purely by our behaviour and time structuring & today I'm going to explain them to you.
There are 6 ways in which we choose to spend our time: Withdrawal. Rituals. Past-times. Activities. Games & Intimacy. Each of these ways in which we spend our time can have an affect on our eating and our weight.
Withdrawal is when we spend time on our own. An isolation period from others. Isolation can be good for us as we all need a bit of alone time but sometimes slimmers find that when they are alone they over eat without fear of someone judging what and how much they have eaten. Because of that fear of judgement, slimmers may find that they CHOOSE to be alone to indulge in secret eating.
Have you ever been to an event and there wasn't any food? It's not very common that that happens. Take weddings - a large all you can eat buffet spread put on or a wedding breakfast. You name it, food is usually involved. Throw in a few glasses of that cheeky vino & before you know it your resolve is thrown on the floor (a bit like your dance moves later on). Us humans are creatures of habit too. We do like our structure and routine. How much of your last 24 hours has been spent in your usual routine? wake up, brush teeth, get the children ready for school whilst you get ready for work etc etc. Have you ever thought that your eating could become a routine for you? From what you choose to eat, to when you eat it. We have a routine with our eating and it may not necessarily be doing your waist line any favours.
A few years ago (and i always give this example to explain how habits can quickly form), I worked until late at night. After work one night, i stopped to get petrol and whilst i was there i picked up a lil something something. In my head i liked that thing so next time i finished work and passed that petrol station, i got myself another lil something something. Before I knew it. It was my 'end of work' routine. I'd finish work and go and get that - EVERY TIME!!!
This is where we spend time maybe catching up with friends, chatting about the latest goss or anything predictable as you would when catching up with those that know you. Usually food is involved here to. Maybe a bit of alcohol?
This is where you spend your time 'doing'. Whether it be that housework, going to your actual work place or doing general run around chores. Believe it or not, this activity time can affect how you eat. When at work, do you all get the biccies and cakes out to celebrate Marge's birthday? Maybe whilst at work, you pop to the shop to buy a lunch meal deal?
Games are part of the game playing transactions we all have. You can spot them a mile off and they usually end up with a feeling of 'oh no here we go again'. Lets us an example of Stacey & Jane.
Stacey tells Jane 'I'm so fat and unhappy'. Jane's response to Stacey would be? yup you guessed it 'no you're not'
To which Stacey would tell Jane 'yes i am, i hate it i can't do anything about my weight. It's making me so unhappy'
(Can you see where we're going with this one?)
Jane would probably respond with suggestions
-Why don't you come to the fat fighters club with me on Thursdays
-Why don't you start eating healthily
-Why don't you join a gym
Stacey (because she is unknowingly playing a game) will bat back all of those suggestions because it isn't what she truly wants to hear
_I can't do Thursdays plus it doesn't work
-Eating healthily is too expensive
-The gym is too expensive and i'd feel self conscious
No matter what Jane suggests, it won't work. This will go on and on until one of them starts to feel like a victim 'nothing i suggest seems to help. Don't know why i bother' type of thoughts.
Of course games can be centered around anything in life and some games can be quite serious. Like the games we play with our partners because we are unhappy with our weight/looks and we start to push them away (usually to test our internal theories that we aren't good enough for anyone)
When i usually talk about intimacy when it comes to time structuring, people usually think it means in the literal sense. A bit of candles and Barry White but it can be the total opposite. What I mean is the sense of being true and honest with yourself and others. Opening yourself, raw and pure emotions.
Some of the ways in which we structure our time can really leave us feeling emotionally vulnerable. The emotional risk increases when we move from withdrawal all the way to intimacy.
When we are experiencing withdrawal we are emotionally safe as no-one is able to get in our withdrawal bubble to hurt us. When we are playing games, it may end up resulting in emotional distress for one or both parties.
When we are intimate with another person, we open ourselves up to them. They can bring with themselves positive or negative intimate experiences. How intimate we are with others usually comes from experiences in our childhood. This can affect our ability to get emotionally close as adults, our ability to be honest and true.
We usually spend less time being intimate due to these experiences and the beliefs we have formed around them. Because of this, we usually find it safe for us to be in past-time mode when it comes to other people. It's safe to just generally chit chat and not be true about your emotions. Unfortunately, there can be a downside to that general social situation. Our encounters can become superficial and can fail to stimulate us.
I hope this has given you some insight into time structuring and how it can affect your weight. As you can imagine, all of the ways in which we structure our time DO affect our eating. For example:
Games - when you are left with that bad feeling, you may find yourself reaching for food (emotional eating)
Intimacy - if you aren't being intimate, you may find intimacy from food
For a bit of self development, feel free to answer these questions for yourself:
If you have found this article helpful, please do check out our range of support tools over on the SMLDiet website.
The SMLDiet is a leading weight loss plan in the UK. Specialising in VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diets), TFR (Total Food Replacement products and meal replacements.