I surprised myself and went to weigh in on Saturday morning. I hadn’t scheduled time with Amalia for Saturday because I had a bunch of plans in the morning. When plans changed, I made a quick run to Jenny to weigh-in. And, I was so glad that I did!
This Week’s Loss: - 1.0 lbs
Total Weight Loss: - 84.6 lbs
Now, the rest of the weekend… I wish I could say that I was disciplined in my eating and I leveraged this loss to work on that last 6 pounds until goal. I COULD tell you that… but I’d be lying.
It’s been a really hard eating weekend. I had one of those Saturdays where I ate too much, and honestly, I know that I wasn’t just eating food. I was eating my feelings.
One thing that I didn’t expect about Fitbloggin’ is that it got me to think about my weight gain. I don’t spend much time in that space. I tend to focus on the positive and to focus on the losing process. In reality, for me to have gained as much weight as I did, there are certainly some skeletons in the closet. Skeletons that I’ve refused to look at for years and years.
Over the weekend, a few conversations with close friends had me thinking more about it. Thinking about those FEELINGS and attempting to understand them brought up so much more than I had expected.
Some of it, I clearly remember. Some of it, I suspect. And more than anything, I feel like I know my triggers. I know my behaviors. Now it’s just a matter of what I do with this information.
I also know that some of the issues I’ve experienced go way back to this girl.
When I look at my relationship with food, I know that even today it’s wildly unhealthy. It’s gotten SO much better, but I know that it’s a conscious decision EVERY SINGLE DAY to eat well.
Here’s a shocker:
Just because I’ve lost 85 lbs doesn’t mean I wake up craving lettuce.
I also know that my trigger for eating excess food is to cover up how I feel. This is a habit I started before I even knew what a habit was, and one I wish every day that I’d never learned. If you’ve never experienced emotional eating, I know you’ve experienced Thanksgiving and I’ll use it to explain what it’s like.
Picture it, Thanksgiving day: You’ve eaten that big meal, that extra serving of turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy. You know your mom is cleaning up the kitchen, but you just want to… well, lay on the couch. You feel lethargic. Worse than that, your mind isn’t sharp. You’re physically lazy and your mind doesn’t process as well. Seriously, is it even a good meal when you feel like that?
For someone who is an emotional eater, you unconsciously recreate the “Thanksgiving effect” over and over again. Afterall, food brings pleasure. It stimulates all those places in your mind that bring you satisfaction. And, when you’re feeling emotional, you subconsciously seek pleasure where you can find it. And, sometimes, that’s in the form of a big greasy hamburger snack. I say “snack” because when you’re eating poorly, the hamburger is just the beginning of it.
Two years into this journey, my emotional eating is under control about 95% of the time. And, when I have episodes of emotional eating, they’re so much different than in the past. This weekend, for example, I overate… with excess snacks. And, my snacks aren’t those 800 calorie snacks of the past… but that doesn’t make me feel any healthier about it.
End of day, my goal is to find ways to cope with the emotions when they come up. As for this weekend, I know the trip through the drive thru at Panda Express to get spring rolls was triggered by emotion. And this morning at Starbucks, the 390-calorie slice of pumpkin bread were triggered by emotion as well.
I share this with you because it’s something I want to learn more about. Something I want to explore more… something I’d like to build stronger defense mechanisms against.
I also share this story because I know I can’t be the only one trying to cope with it. I’ve read entire books about the topic. I’ve read articles in magazines. I’ve read other bloggers’ commentary on their experience. Now, I just need to practice what I’ve learned, to execute the new positive habits.
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Maybe it takes about 21 times of fighting the urge to emotionally eat to conquer it once and for all. That’s my plan. And, let’s begin counting, folks….
Do you struggle with emotional eating? What healthy ways have you found to circumvent it?