View 2 More Comments
shinyhan's picture
Aug 12

August 11 metascore 60%. Disappointing. Didn't pack enough food for my daughter and ended going home hungry. Needed to stop at grocery store to buy food plan supplies. Also bought binge food. :(. B/p 2x. But did my physical activities and writing.

Aug 13

@shinyhan I think you might benefit from skipping ahead just a bit in your lessons because of this grocery shortage experience: Lesson 7 deals with a strategy called "Chaining." Here is that lesson.


“While you can’t control your triggers….you can control how you react and what choices you make.”

“If you suddenly find yourself eating off plan or eating for any other reason that to put fuel in you body, know that a trigger was set off that led to your behavior. Get in the habit of noticing your relationship to food and becoming aware of how and why you choose it. Here is another, more common example of how you can use a different style of Chaining to prevent going off course.

Let’s say you’re planning on going to a Mexican restaurant with a group of friends. Your really like Mexican food and you tend to overeat it, so you decide to look the menu up online and decide what you’re going to order in advance so you don’t have to look at the menu when you get there. All’s good.
When you arrive, your friends immediately order a couple of plates of nachos—your fave!--and everyone digs in except you. That is, until the buddy sitting next to you passes them right into your hands. You pull four chips from the towering plate and dig in. Now you can’t keep your eyes off of the cheese oozing tower of goodness. You can’t help but to reach for more. Then more again. Before you know it, you ask for a menu and order the pulled pork enchilada instead of the fish tacos you had planned to order. You say to yourself, “What the heck, I’ve already ruined my plan to eat healthy tonight. “You have entered the mindset of black-and-white thinking.

In reality, you had many opportunities to break a link in the chain that led to overeating by making a different choice along the way. You could have:

ORDERED RIGHT AWAY.. Placing your entree order as soon as you sat down would have eliminated the opportunity to change your mind.

ASKED THE WAITER TO WRAP TWO of the enchiladas in a take-home bag and only serve you one. Telling yourself you’ll only eat half and then asking for a take-home bag doesn’t usually work.

SLOWLY NIBBLED ON YOUR FOUR CHIPS. Savoring the flavors and mindfully paying attention to what you were eating would have helped satiate your desire for the nachos and fortify your resistance for more.

FIRMLY SAY “NO THANK YOU, I DON’T EAT NACHOS.” or push back your chair so they by-passed you instead of landing in your hands. Letting your buddies know that you seriously don’t want the nachos near to you would have eliminated the temptation.

NOT AGREED TO DINE AT THIS PARTICULAR RESTAURANT. When there is too much temptation and you know the situation will be difficult to control, you always have the choice to opt out, suggest an alternative, or let your friends know that you will only be selecting healthy choices so they don’t encourage you.

COOK A MEXICAN MEAL AT HOME. You could have agreed on eating Mexican with your friends but offered to do the cooking yourself, so you could be totally in charge of the menu.

Each of these links formed the chain of opportunities that could have prevented your unwanted behavior. While you might think that tasting that first nacho is what triggered your behavior, in reality the risk of going awry started when you made the decision to go to a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of friends, which created an environment that was hard to control. If you had acted on any of the previous links, you would likely have had a more favorable outcome. And the sooner in the chain you act, the better. You would have ended the night a satiated and happy guy for not caving in to the temptation to overeat.”


“Chaining is an exercise that enables you take complex behaviors and break them down into a series of links in order to better understand why you ended up behaving the way you did. Each link in the chain sets the occasion for the next to take place. Every time you eat off plan or find yourself overeating, chain back through the links you missed that would have broken the chain that led to you unwanted behavior.. It will help you better understand how your behaviors occur and the actions you can take to stop them.” Time to go to and download the form for “Chaining”. I personally used this for twice so far on my program. Once for a day I chose to not exercise and another for a recent binge. The beauty of our exercises is that we can go back to our exercises whenever needed to bolster our program. In this case, choose a recent departure from your program and using the form, chain your behaviors.

“1. How did I go off plan? What happened?

2. What was I thinking just before making the decision?

3. What was I feeling at the time?
4. Build five chains (actions) that could have changed the outcome:

5. What will I do next time?”

“The purpose of Chaining is to condition yourself to become mindful of all the decisions you make around food. People with a Healthy Obsession do it all the time. I love Mexican food, and I have a hard time resisting chips. As soon as I sit down in my favorite restaurant, I immediately tell the waiter not to bring the complimentary chips and salsa. I’m familiar with the menu and know what I should eat, so I never read it. I also love bread, so I always refuse the bread basket in restaurants because I know I will have a hard time stopping at one piece. I don’t miss it when I don’t taste it. This is easy to do when you learn the many ways you can replace your unsuccessful thinking patterns with more successful ones –which is exactly what you’ll be doing in the next two steps, starting with learning how to be more mindful in the way you lead your life (in general) and make you decision around food (in particular.”

show more ⇓
shinyhan's picture
Aug 13

This is so helpful. I will let you know what this exercise reveals. I can see how it will help break down the all or nothing clumping of choices into opportunities to stop the pattern.
Thanks certifiedangus!


Login or Register

You are visiting Support Groups as an anonymous user.

Please consider joining our community and gain access to additional features by

registering or logging into your account