Changing Compulsive Behavior

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • This week I was already at my maximum allowed weight (set by me) before we even ate Thanksgiving dinner. After that, I stopped weighing myself. For some reason, I don’t seem to be able to stop my compulsive eating in front of the TV at night while watching Netflix movies.

    When I wake up at 2 a.m. with heartburn, I tell myself I will not eat anything after dinner the following night. But that intention floats away on the ether when nighttime arrives. I have a small piece of apple pie. Then a small bowl of nuts and m&ms. Then I see Adrian eating a piece of leftover Mexican cornbread (rich with cheese and spicy), so I grab a small piece, too. Notice the adjective “small” in front of everything. My intentions are good. But I finish off with a medium-sized bowl of chocolate mint chip ice-cream. And at 2 a.m. I’m reaching for the antacids again.
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    During the day, I eat very sensibly. Three healthy meals with lots of vegetables and salads, and no snacking in between. But after supper I always seem to feel that I deserve a reward for getting through the day. And that reward includes a glass of wine and dessert. Then, once I get started, I slide down the rabbit hole and never look back.

    What’s the solution? Well, when the overeating and drinking interferes with my sleep enough, I eventually muster up the willpower to cut back for a while. But then, as soon as things are better, I go back to my bad habits.

    How can we stop our compulsive behaviors? Sometimes I think we have to wait until the consequences get bad enough in order to find the motivation. I just wish I was moved as much by the positive rewards, like getting a good night’s sleep and losing weight, instead of having to wait until things get bad. What about you?

    Tell us how you control compulsive behavior in the message boards.
Published On: November 29, 2006