Mindful Living

Reaching for My Cookie Jar

cookie jar vidya sury

You know, I am quite passionate when it comes to writing about health-related topics (among other things). I really enjoy writing for my health blog at Your Medical Guide and naturally, always on the lookout for good info I can share there.

Now one thing that many people don’t realize they do – probably because it is involuntary, is they tend to eat when they are bored or need comfort or have nothing else to do. Stress can make you reach for food, too, as I’ve realized.

Thing is, emotional eating, though common, is very hard to admit. If someone asked me whether I was prone to this, I’d vehemently deny it. Yet, during the last two or three weeks (okay, could be longer) I’ve found myself snacking more often than I used to. See, I am really not big on snacks, although I do enjoy the occasional splurge. So, when I tried figuring it out, I realized I was doing it because I would delay meal times when I was on my own. When it was past lunch time and the hunger pangs struck, rather than go sit down to a good meal, I’d grab some eats so I could finish what I was working on. Bad idea. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.

Indiscriminate eating makes you gain weight you don’t need without you even being aware of it. And then, one fine day, when you can’t get those buttons to meet on your jeans, you’ll wonder what the heck happened. Okay, I solved that problem with elasticized waists. No, but seriously.

VidyaSury cookieschoc

But that looks yum, does it not?

I am kidding.

The good news is, I’ve been able to arrest this habit by simply setting the alarm clock and revamping my time management.

I can see you wondering what that cookie jar title has to do with all this rambling. I am getting to that, since that’s the whole point of what am saying. Rather than reaching into the cookie jar to make up for a meal or because you need a distraction or because you think you need a reward, maybe, there are other things you can do.

Let us revamp that cookie jar!

Habits are hard to break. So if you find yourself programmed to reach for that cookie jar, here is what you can do.

  • Empty the cookie jar or whatever container whose contents you indulge in
  • Clean it
  • Add two more jars next to it on the same shelf
  • Take a sheet of paper and make a list of all the things you wish you had the time to do. Make sure these activities are fun, enjoyable, help you relax and make you feel good
  • Next to each item on the list, write down how much time you need to accomplish it
  • Take another sheet of paper and tear it into two inch by two inch sized notes
  • On each piece, write down one item from your to-do list with the time
  • In one jar, put all the notes with activities that take less than an hour
  • In the second jar, put notes with activities that take more than an hour
  • Label the jars accordingly

Wondering what to write on those slips? Well, here’s my list – you can add what rings your bells:

  • A long bath
  • Phone a friend (make sure you write a couple of names with numbers)
  • Soak my feet/pedicure
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee/juice/herbal tea
  • Read something
  • Listen to music
  • Go for a walk
  • Work on a crossword puzzle
  • Mend/stitch  a few things (I always have a basket ready)
  • Taking a long bath
  • Paint a pillow cover or T-shirt
  • Organize albums (music or photos)
  • Clean one bookshelf
  • Jot down ideas for blog posts

And so on and so forth. Easy enough. Don’t list “checking email” because that can really suck you in, especially if you need to respond to them. Preferably, list things that take you away from your computer screen.

The next time you reach for your cookie jar, here is what you do. Pick a note from one of these jars, based on the time you have available. And, just do it. You’ll be glad you did. It is a great way to get stuff done and uplift your spirits.

And if you have to snack, make it healthy.

Try it and tell me how it works.

Do you tend towards emotional eating? If yes, how do you tackle it? If no, how do you tackle it?

Please share your tips in the comments!

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  • Reply
    October 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    GREAT ideas! (You can also fill a jar with apples or other fruit!)

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen-Mama
    October 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    What a great idea to put things to do in a jar, even if it’s not because of snacking. Often these jobs only take minutes. Think of everything you could do!!
    Thanks for a great post!!

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Yes, Sheila. 🙂 I have a weakness for roasted pistachios and almonds, too!

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 9, 2011 at 3:44 am

    @Betsy, I got scared about my snacking because suddenly I felt a bit sluggish. Could be my imagination when I realized what I was doing. Nevertheless, nice eye-opener.

    Thanks for dropping by – you know how much I love your blog.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

    wow… just now only i saw this post… its really a good idea :)… will try it for sure 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    October 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

    @Monu – do tell how it worked for you!

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