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Day 60 Create a STOP sign


Day 60—Create a Stop Sign

You can develop a "stop everything" response to help you manage your food struggles. From your head hunger and heart hunger lists of things to do instead of eating, select a few that are your favorites. Examples might include grabbing a piece of gum, taking a short walk or writing in your journal for five minutes.

Use these as your stop sign, sort of an emergency countdown plan for emotional hunger. You might want to create one list for head hunger and a different one for heart hunger. Plan that each of your stop signs will include at least three items.

Anytime you're tempted to reach for food, pull out one of your stop signs and do at LEAST THREE things on your list. Carry your lists with you or, better yet, memorize them so you can draw on them instantly whenever the need arises.

Emergency stop signs

Think of situations where you start eating before you even think about what you're doing. Then plan an emergency stop sign that you can use every time you're in that setting. For example, here's how you might use a stop sign to avoid eating M&M's every day right after getting home from work.

The minute I start reaching for the bag of M&M's:

1. Walk, walk, walk. Do something active.

2. Take at least three deep breaths. With each one, keep telling myself, "I am strong!"

3. Put a stick of gum in my mouth to stop my food thoughts.

Once you decide to use your stop sign, do it quickly, before you change your mind. Don't let your resolve weaken or try to convince yourself a little bit of food won't hurt you. In many cases, the food does hurt you by increasing your emotional struggles or by harming your self-esteem.

Pictured is one of my STOP signs. This one hangs on the front of my refrigerator.

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  Anonymous Replied:

I haven't been following the 100 days, but this one really hit home. I am going to have Taylor (my 5 year old daughter) make a stop sign for me. Afterall, SHE is part of the reason for my health quest.
I also use this method in a restaurant. I find something healthy on the menu and then close it and won't look back. The more I look the more likely I am to change my mind to something NOT so healthy.
Thanks for the post Karen. It is a great one to start March Madness with!

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  Anonymous Replied:

March Madness - I like that. My stop signs say "Don't Even Start" and "Don't take money" - When I walk to the pool and then home again I pass a Walgreens. If I am NOT carrying money, I can't stop and buy something I don't need. If I have to carry money, I switch my route, which takes me by the Confectionary, and I can 99% of the time resist buying candy or chocolates.

My new sign is going to say, "Drink some Tea!"

  GiGi Replied:

Thanks, Karen! Like Tina, I haven't been doing the 100 days again this time...but I needed this. I appreciate your stop sign pic..

Exercise helps me to stop...I hate to work my butt off only to mess it up with eating,just because it's there. If it's there...then I can't eat it, so I keep things pretty much cleaned out of my house.

I took a page from your book and drink a nice hot cuppa tea when threatened.

I remember when I first joined said you repeated..."Don't Even Start"...that's stuck in a active corner of my brain...under STOP SIGN file! Thanks for sharing today! gigi

  Sharon VA Replied:

Great post Karen! My stop sign includes
1) Get up and move, add some steps to your day!
2) Drink some water
3) Have a piece of gum
4) Home: get out the brush and groom the fuzzball pets
5) School: grab some bit of paperwork that needs to be delivered somewhere and start walking

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  Anonymous Replied:

Great summar Karen - thanks for the visual too!

My stop sign includes - Walk Away, Think of how I WANT to look in a bathing suit this summer, eat a piece of fruit or other healthy snack

  Shari (CE) Replied:

Some of my stop signs include,
1. Take a deep breath and use H.A.L.T. ask myself am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired - then deal with the real issue.
2. Find a mirror "Tell myself I like the way I look now"
3. Make a cup of tea.
4. Do not sabotage my efforts
5. Do not be a human garbage
Thanks for summary Karen =]

  Gwen Replied:

I like the H.A.L.T. sign very much and will adopt that for myself along with a DON'T START sign and put them on my fridge and in my diary as a bookmark which I will see every time I open it. An instant reaction plan sounds like an essential for me if I am to achieve my long term goals. I do need some way of stopping before I get started, if you know what I mean.

A good stop sign for me would be to stick with a golden rule I made earlier – to eat nothing standing up. This way I won't cheat whilst preparing food. Other stop signs would be to walk for ten minutes before I even go near the kitchen, don't take food into the sitting room and ‘tell myself later, but not now'. There is no doubt that I can always wait for food but my emotions say I can't.

  Gwen Replied:


Am I

Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?


Don't eat just because it's there


My ultimate goal is more important

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.