November 10, 2020

Activities That Make Me Happy (and that don't involve food!)

This blog post idea popped into my head as I was walking today, and I thought it'd be a good thing to write about. When losing weight, I had to find ways to occupy my free time that didn't involve eating. It was so hard at first! I had to break a lot of bad habits.

Recently, I've gotten back into bad habits--eating while watching TV at night, mostly. However, I've developed a lot of good habits over the years that have stuck with me. And aside from the habits, I've also learned several things that I enjoy doing that are good for me!

Now, when I say "good for me", I don't mean that they necessarily make me healthier. I just mean that they aren't contributing to weight gain or making me unhealthy. They are pastimes that I enjoy and that help me to get through a tough day when all I want to do is eat until I can't eat anymore.

Work on a puzzle while watching a mindless show on TV. 

I grew to really love working on 1,000-piece puzzles! I set up my laptop on the table where I was working on the puzzle and I watched a show that didn't really require a lot of attention. I could have listened to podcasts of audiobooks instead, but I chose the TV. I watched the entire season of Gilmore Girls this way. (Jerry left me this note before he went to work...)

Play a game on my phone.

This isn't exactly an active thing to do, but in times where I have a lot of anxiety and/or I want to eat mindlessly, I love to play a game on my phone. It started with Lumosity, then I switched to Peak, and now I'm completely obsessed with a game called Best Fiends (note that the "fiends" doesn't have an R in it--that's not a typo).

Playing Best Fiends is something that I really look forward to! There are more productive things I could be doing, but when I need a break from reality or if I need to calm my anxiety, this is one of my go-to's.

Talk a walk.

This is SO cliché that I almost didn't include it on the list. I always hated walking! However, once I discovered how much I love audiobooks, going for a walk is something I truly look forward to. I like to listen to suspense/thriller books (the narrator makes a big difference in whether the book will be good or not, so keep trying different ones until you find one you like). 

I get super absorbed in my audiobooks and I only allow myself to listen to them while I'm walking, so going for a walk is no longer a chore for me. I truly enjoy it! I look forward to listening to my books.

Working on a home project.

This is probably my favorite. Whether it's building something out of wood or simply organizing a drawer or cupboard, I can always distract myself for hours! And I feel really good about it when I'm done--I feel productive and like I've done something worthwhile. This photo is from when I built our kitchen countertops. I was so impressed with myself!

Play a good old-fashioned game of solitaire.

Grandma's Game is my favorite (here is a link to my explanation of it). It's so much more fun to use "real" cards instead of doing it digitally. 

Write a list.

Mostly, I like to make lists of things that I have to do. For some reason, writing out a "to-do" list makes me feel good. I feel organized and ready to tackle what needs to be done. I also like to make lists of goals, which inspires me. 

Getting sucked into the rabbit hole of YouTube.

Occasionally, I'll search for something on YouTube (like tips for drywalling, hahaha) and then I just get sucked into it and before I know it, it's four hours later! I have learned SO much from watching YouTube and that's how I remodeled my entire house.

Just today, I searched for the difference between saw blades for my table saw--hahaha! Yes, laugh all you want... but then I got sucked into learning all about saw blades.

Read a good book.

The keyword here is "good". I can't read a book unless I am totally hooked on it. Books aren't distracting for me unless I simply can't put it down! But when I do find a book like that, I don't even think about food. I just want to devour the book. (I don't remember if I loved this book... it was just the most recent photo I could find of me reading a book!)

Learning a new skill.

There are so many new pastimes to learn! Knitting/crocheting, sewing, woodworking, upcycling furniture, painting, drawing, sports, and SO many more. When I was losing the majority of my weight in 2009-2010, I did a LOT of knitting and crocheting. Most recently, I've been really into all things DIY--woodworking, drywalling, upcycling. This is a photo from my attempt to learn drawing...


I'm well aware that organizing is most definitely NOT something that many people enjoy, but I happen to love it. Cleaning and organizing a messy drawer, cupboard, or closet is so much fun for me! The best part is that the time passes SO quickly when I'm organizing that I forget about everything else--including eating. I don't snack mindlessly. I just stop to eat when I am truly hungry. This pic is from when I built shelves for Eli's closet and tried to organize all of his junk. (He loves to collect stuff!)

Play a game with Jerry and/or the kids.

We've been doing this a lot more lately. I go through phases where I like to play games a lot and then when I don't want to play at all. Regardless, when I'm in the mood to play it's a fun pastime to spend quality time with the family.

Watch a cheesy movie in my pajamas while comfy on my couch.

This definitely isn't the "most healthy" thing to do, but when all else fails and I just need some "chill time", this is my favorite way to chill by myself. I usually watch a B-horror movie while curled up on the couch with 2-3 cats on my lap. 

So like I said, these aren't the sort of healthy activities that you may typically think of--yoga, cycling, running, etc. But these are "activities" that help me to keep from binge eating or from just eating for emotional reasons or boredom. 

What are some of your favorite pastimes? I'd love to read them!


  1. Love this list! That cat drawing is are so creative and talented

  2. That note he left you - adorable and so supportive. He is a gem!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive