Lately I’ve been testing various analogies to see if they can help me wrap up my eating for the day.
I’ve already got a workable analogy for what happens when I don’t: Engine run-on. That sputtering that occurs when I’ve said “enough already” but my hand nonetheless keeps putting things in my mouth.
I’ve written before about how going even 1 Weight Watchers point over my allotment seems to have this effect. I never go just 1 point over, or even 2 or 3. If I miss my stopping point, then I can never seem to shut down until the 5-7 points over range (if then).
To get past this problem — which has been particularly aggravating lately as I try to cut my daily points allowance by another point or two as we enter the last week of Wells Weighs In — I thought I’d work with “controlled stop” metaphors:
Sticking your landing, like in gymnastics. Stopping on a dime (apparently in a car, though one word origins site suggested this may have actually originated with trains.)
Option B quickly emerged as a slightly less awkward mixed metaphor; at least “engine run-on” and “stopping on a dime” both involve vehicles, though one applies to the engine and the other to the brakes.
The question is, how to activate the analogy?
For me, having a specific image or term works on the most basic level to help identify a problem or pattern that previously was just part of the background noise of modern existence.
Thus, “engine run-on” IDs the problem; “stopping on a dime” suggests a solution. Now it’s up to me to figure out what that solution is.
Having detected a numerical pattern in how I blow past my point limit, I thought I’d back up and study what happens when I begin my approach.
I’ve only been scrutinizing this a few days, but thus far it seems like I do better if I stop on a really satisfying multi-point food rather than try to string together a series of single-point items.
More research is clearly needed. But here’s an example from my Monday night fast-breaking after my monthly Weight Watchers scale check:
After filling up on a largish low-points meal of fruit and egg whites with spinach and salsa con queso, then indulging a “junky snack” urge with a serving of Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins, I took a few minutes to calibrate my “dessert” to fit my remaining number of points.
I’d started out planning to make a streamlined version of some peach cobbler I’d successfully avoided over the weekend. But I didn’t want to take the time to convert lite peaches into a pie filling, so I just dumped the can in a small baking dish and covered it with ½ cup of raw oats, 2 T of brown sugar and 1 T of low-cal margarine.
This gave me a giant 7-point “dessert” that was really more like a baked oatmeal. But it was incredibly satisfying — probably all the more so because it took me the precise distance on the number line to my predetermined stopping point.