Some people may say, ‘just work out when you’re bored.’ This is good advice, however, for someone like me where working out is comparable to donating blood (the effects of the action are good but it can be oh so painful and agonizing to actually do), working out to keep myself from being bored is likely the last thing I would do…ever! Instead of keeping your hands busy with treadmill buttons or loose weights, we all have to find an activity that helps us keep our hands busy and our mouths shut!
My chosen "dietary task" if you will, that keep both my hands and mind occupied is: painting! (it's art-of course I have to emphasize it with color...) Acrylic painting is a passion of mine that I have long loved and worked extremely hard at. However, this passion has dual purposes. First, it lets me relax and express the budding artist I have inside me yearning to break free (did I make that sound artsy enough?), and second, it keeps me from mindlessly eating while watching my favorite primetime Bravo or Food Network show (side note: for any fellow foodie, not eating while watching the Food Network is nearly impossible-light popcorn is a great solution to this-healthy and filling).
As said above, painting is a passion of mine and therefore I could do it for hours at a time without ever needing a ‘snack break;’ but if you’re not ‘artsy fartsy’ in general or would rather rip your hair out than look at a painting for more than 2 seconds, fear not, there are activities out there for you too!
I know many fellow weight loss champions who have found their own busy beaver tasks which assist them in not being struck by the boredom bites. For example, I know people who write, read, knit, journal, scrapbook, even people who play computer games to keep their bites of boredom at bay! If knitting or scrapbooking isn’t manly enough for you true studs out there, there are guys who garden or mow the lawn, who clean their tools, detail their cars, build woodwork of various kinds, and even play poker (please note guys: poker doesn’t count as a healthy alternative activity if you’re smoking cigars, eating pretzels sticks, and drinking beer at the same time). It’s not about what the task is, it’s simply about doing it!
Now I know that admitting to yourself that you eat out of boredom is a hard pill to swallow. And I’m fairly sure many of you will say ‘I don’t eat out of boredom!’ But like they always say, ‘admitting is the first step.’ There are many times that I am eating and I find myself thinking ‘where did that half bag of crackers go’ or even ‘I’m not hungry, why the hell am I eating this?’ When I’m bored, my natural instinct is to keep my hands busy by doing anything, and sadly shoveling food into my vacuum-like mouth has won more times than I would like to admit.
With this being said however, there are times that I literally say, ‘I’m cozy and cuddled up on the couch, this tastes good, I’m eating it anyways’ and that is OK... Maintenance is about balancing times like those with the times where you need to be your own police officer and internally yell ‘You there with the crumbs on your shirt! Put the crackers down, hands up, and back away slowly!’ Even if it is healthy food, it’s still calories you don’t need!
The nights that I paint, I am more relaxed, and eat far less than I would if I was doing no extra activity at all. I love my evenings where I watch the Real Housewives argue, watch my fiancé snore on the couch next to me, all while I just float into my artsy world of painting…. If you find the activity that you LOVE which also keeps your hands busy and mouth shut, you will have further weight loss success without even realizing it.
Infact, as I have written this post I have bulldozed through my 'normal' snack time without even thinking about it...and I'm not hungry one bit!
Below you will see some of my paintings that have helped me to keep the bulge at bay! What are the tasks or activities that you do to keep the bites of boredom away? Please share your thoughts on tasks, pictures of activities, or just your ideas in general!
Until next time, keeping the bulge at bay!