Today’s workout: 40 mins Arc Trainer, Level 3, Wt. Loss program, HR 126-136. I’m going to follow Bob Greene’s theory that, to use exercise as a tool for weight loss or weight maintenance, you should get your heart rate above 70% MHR for 40 minutes or more, 6 days a week.

Today’s walk: None.

Today’s task: Arrange Your Environment

This task is about getting tempting, fattening, and unhealthful foods out of your house, car, and workplace (or at least out of your line of vision).

My kitchen is already well-organized from the first time I went through the book.

• I keep my husband’s candy in a tupperware container in a cupboard that I don’t open very often, so I forget it’s there. In any case, I don’t buy my own favorite types of candy, like chocolate-covered walnuts or truffles.

• I buy only flavors of ice cream that my husband likes and I don’t. Cookie dough – ugh!

• I don’t buy crackers. Cheese and crackers are a deadly combination for me. I could go through a whole box of crackers that way. Without crackers, I eat much less cheese. Maybe an ounce at a time. I also no longer buy the kinds of cheese that I find irresistible, like brie and huntsman.

• Similarly, I don’t keep my favorite kinds of pasta and sauce in the house. My hubby is happy with buttered spaghetti, so I just buy that for him. Same thing with bread. His pumpernickel doesn’t tempt me, unless I had cold cuts to put on it, so guess what else I don’t buy!

• Some foods are so tempting I just can’t buy them at all, such as the makings for nachos and quesadillas, English muffins and jelly, mac & cheese (the kind with the rabbit on it!), and chocolate covered graham crackers.

A lot of people have a problem with eating the goodies that appear in every workplace, but currently that’s not a big problem for me. I declared the breakroom a dead zone for me. There’s a vending machine in there, AND we have a company tradition of bringing in bagels, muffins, etc. for each other. Bagels are probably the least SBD-friendly food there is. Today’s bagels are too big and soft for my tastes, anyhow. And the commercial donuts, muffins, and cupcakes I no longer have a taste for.

However, we do have one evil skinny lady who’s trained as a pastry chef. She brings in the cakes and candies she’s experimenting with. Her stuff is something I would want to eat!! In the past, I would have had a sabotaging thought like, “Well, this stuff is really special, a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I’d be crazy not to at least taste it.” Now I’ve decided I just can’t afford to mess around with stuff like that. I’ll tell myself, “I’m sure it’s amazingly delicious, but it’s for other people to eat, not me.” This works for me. I pretend that all the “foodies” at work are a different clique and I don’t belong to it. I’m one of the crazy people who always order salads and go outside and walks at lunchtime!

My general rule is to eat only food I bring in myself, unless it’s a salad from one of a couple trusted places. Recently I brought my salad to a company pizza lunch, and one of my co-workers was jealous of it!

Taco Bell has been a big problem for me in the past. I’ve had to create a rule against drive-thrus. I just don’t go through them. Our family didn’t do a lot of eating in the car, so I’ve gone back to that mind-set. Who wants spilled food all over their nice car? The last time I went to TB, I felt so horrible afterwards (both emotionally and physically), that I won’t do it again any time soon.

This day’s task also has something to do with “going public” with our diets. I’ve been chatting with a reader about that in the comments, and Dr. Beck brings it up in the chapter. Depending on your situation, changing your food environment (and that of your family or co-workers) can really shake things up, and we need to find ways to deal with it.

Some people are very open about their dieting—like it’s all they ever talk about! I’m the opposite. I find it embarrassing for my eating/not eating to be a topic of conversation. My goal for myself (and I know it will take time), is to normalize healthy eating, so that it’s like any other subject. I will have to come up with responses for when people start to notice that I’m losing weight.

It’s already happened, actually, on Facebook of all places, from someone who’s never seen me in real life noticing a difference in my profile picture! He asked if I had lost weight, and I said, “I’m working on it!” That response works for me, for now.

Another reason this task is a big step is that it requires us to get real and set ourselves up for success. I remember reading this chapter and thinking, “well, if I do all this, I’ll lose weight!” Um…yeah.

Today’s To-Do List:

✓ I read my Advantages list at least twice

✓ I made and read other Response Cards as needed

✓ I ate slowly, sitting down and noticing every bite: Most of the time

✓ I gave myself credit when I engaged in helpful dieting behaviors: Most of the time

✓ I made changes at home

✓ I made changes at work

Today I give myself credit for:

☆ I made changes at home and at work.

☆ When a co-worker offered me candy, I said, “I think I’ll pass and go for a walk instead.”

☆ I responded appropriately when an acquaintance mentioned my weight loss.

☆ I went to the gym 2 days in a row

☆ I increased the intensity level of my exercise

☆ I have stayed on the South Beach Diet for 2 out of 3 meals for at least 7 days in a row. Now to  make it 3 meals!