Today, I had a really rough meeting. To give you an idea, the meeting started at ten. Two hours later, at noon, we broke for lunch, and we still weren’t done. After coming back from lunch at one, I was released at three.
My coworkers and I went out to lunch at a bar across the street from us, and I ordered not one but two bowls of french fries as my coworkers lifted their eyebrows and sipped on their alcohol.
It was delicious. But, of course, the aftermath was not. The food high from the fries got me through the next two hours of my meeting, but it is now nearly 8PM and I am still full. This means I ate a LOT.
I have written before about how we ought not to excuse our stress and emotional eating. In that same post, I said that we should not wallow in guilt, either. How do we strike a balance? How can I successfully hold myself accountable for my emotional eating without making myself feel guilty?
Dilute the poison
Often times when I eat starches, especially when I indulge in them, I feel like I’ve eaten a fistful of poison. It sits heavy in my stomach, and that heavy feeling keeps me from moving forward from the slip up. Sometimes I wish I could throw up. Not necessarily because I feel like that’s a great way to lose weight (hint: it’s not), but because I feel like I have put something bad in my body, and my body wants it out.
You can’t undo your mistake, but you can help “water-down” both the logged feeling and the guilt feelings. Two ways to do this:
1) Drink a lot of water — and I mean a lot. Keep a bottle by your side and suck or sip on it until its gone. Then go get another one. There isn’t really a “counter-effect”when you drink water, but drinking water is good for your body. If you’re consistently doing something you know is good for you, it can help mitigate the full carb-logged feeling and help alleviate some of the guilt.
2) Exercise! — Even after I had finished my french fries, I still really wanted to go for a run. If it had been an option for me, I might have done that in the first place. Exercising can help work off the loaded, heavy feeling as you work off the calories you ingested. Additionally, exercise is a great stress reliever and can help you eliminate the shitty feeling that made you go eat in the first place in addition to helping you shake the guilt of going to eat in the first place.
Reflect on the Problem
I ate the two bowls of french fries in full knowledge of what I was doing. I knew that I was stressed, that there was nothing I could do about the situation, and felt I needed a prop to get me through the rest of the day. That made me feel justified in eating the fries, and ultimately why I chomped them down. If you don’t know why you’re stress eating, that’s the best place to start — why are you doing it?
If you do know why, but are doing it anyway, welcome to my boat. Let’s explore some more ways to reflect on the problem.
Often times when I go to eat bad things, it is because I feel justified in some way. Today it was because I “knew” I “needed” it to get through the rest of my day. Both of those assumptions — that I needed the food and that I knew I needed it — should come under some pretty heavy examination. Did I really need the french fries? Am I not a strong enough person to deal with the stress without having to dope myself up with endorphins? Absolutely, if I am awesome enough to handle my own social awkwardness without depending on alcohol, I can certainly handle a little (a lot) of incompetence without having to binge on fries.
This is something I highly suggest talking about with someone else, more than any of the others. Just like attempting to find solutions for problems in any other realm of your life, you can’t always do it yourself. Find someone you trust, and work with them.
I haven’t gone through this part of the process myself yet, but when I can get my fiance to respond to my gchats, I am hoping to explore the following question with him; “If I were in the exact same situation tomorrow, what could I do differently?” I am going to tackle this idea of feeling justified in going off paleo, and ways to head that feeling off. I am not 100% sure what the best way to approach this is, but I am confident that with his help, I can work it out.
Where you’ve been, where you’re going
Finally, as Hermione says, it’s important to keep perspective. You need to remember where you’ve been and the progress you’ve made to keep yourself from feeling guilty. You need to remind yourself of where you’re going so you don’t get complacent.
I have been trying to do better about this lately. On the my letter of love to myself, I have a chart keeping track of how much weight I’ve lost — 42 pounds!! — and I need to remind myself of that sometimes.
Additionally, visual stimulation helps. When I went and looked back through this blog, I was shocked to come across these two pictures:
I looked at those and then quickly thumbed back to my Facebook change to see a pic taken of me last week, and I am amazed with what I’ve done the past six months.
I need to keep that in mind to keep myself from slipping into the guilt-eating death cycle of doom. I need to remember how awesome my trip has been, the benefits the paleo has brought to my life, and the great successes that I have had. I don’t drink soda anymore, and really have kicked back tea and juice to “moderation.” I am HUGELY more aware of what I am eating, and more importantly why.
But I still have progress to go. I want to get a manifesto going of what kind of person I want to be physically, so that I have something tangible to work towards. That way, I can keep an eye on my future as well as my past.
I feel much better after writing this post, and I hope you do too, if you’re having similar issues. For those of you who are also dieting and struggle with emotional eating, how do you bounce back after a relapse?
I’m hella sleepy, so this may end up being a short post, but there are a few more things I want to get off my chest.
I am not really feeling better since my “invisible no more” post. Usually when I talk about things, it helps me be aware of them and helps me fix things, but I am having trouble getting over this hill. I am not really sure what to do. Perhaps it is just a feeling that will fade in time.
At the moment, I am really struggling to find reasons to keep going with the weight loss. I started doing this for health reasons, and that is mostly why I am doing this, but I have to work on my mental health, too. And if I’m just not comfortable in my body, I don’t know if keeping attempting to change it is a good idea.
But perhaps those are just excuses. I think maybe they might be.
The fact remains that I am hitting a mental block, here, and I need to break by it. So I’ve been thinking of reasons for me to focus on to keep doing paleo.
Reasons to keep doing Paleo
1) I’m at 155lbs, only 6 pounds away from being a healthy weight.
Oh good lord, I am SO CLOSE. I really don’t feel like I can stop now. It’s so intense to think about how far I have come in so short of a time. If I gave up before I got into the 140s, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself. I think this is the chief reason why I want to, and still will, keep on this diet and lifestyle.
2) I’ve been happier, generally, since starting.
It’s really easy to get bogged down in the feeling of being oggled, but I have to remember a lot of the great emotional benefits I have gotten from eating paleo. Key to this is that I’ve pretty much cut out my binge eating, and almost entirely negated my stress eating. These are HUGE ACHIEVEMENTS, and I want to keep these habits.
One thing I am really proud of is that when I have been breaking in the paleo, I haven’t binged. Yes, I’ve had ice cream, Ben and Jerry’s, DQ, but it’s been like… a fraction of the container that I get. I have a control now that I didn’t before, and I can only get better.
3) I’m really close to a normal bra size…
I had a really disappointing bra shopping trip yesterday, in which it was revealed that I was a 32DDD, and I’m a “big” 32 at that. If I can get down to a normal weight, perhaps that will come off of my bust and get me down into a standard size bra.
4) I don’t want to give up.
I’m not a quitter, and I realize the ONLY way I will have failed in this endeavor is if I give up, and that’s just… not an option. If I give up, if I let myself gain weight, then it really is sacrificing control over my body.
If I stop now, in a way, I let those people win (even though it’s not really what they wanted). My body is mine, and I’m taking ownership of it, gods damn it. And if someone wants to stare at me, fine. If I notice, and it makes me uncomfortable, then it’s their fault, not mine, and I have the right to tell them to find a spot on the wall and stare at it, cause if they don’t, I’ll kick their face into it.
Maybe it’s the weather, but I am feeling very down today, and I was yesterday too. Since one of the main contributing factors to my weight is stress eating, I figure it might be fruitful to try and express some of the feelings rather than keeping them to myself.
Trying to eat paleo at my school is really…impossible. I went into the dining hall yesterday for lunch and the only thing I could eat was chicken soup, and even it had potatoes in it that I had to eat around. I ended up meeting up with my friend Annalise and had a grilled chicken breast over a bed of spinach, but there’s not much I can do about that. I might have the same thing again today. It’s frustrating, even though I have a sense of pride from walking past the pasta and the french fries. Suzie over at Waste and Taste is bringing her lunch to school, which sounds like a great idea … if you can afford that sort of thing, which, I can’t.
Which brings me to the greatest grump-factor in my life at the moment. My school, again in its brilliance, has constructed a situation in which I don’t get paid till March. It is not as if I am going to run out of money, but I still don’t like pulling from my savings, and I don’t like the fact that I can’t spend my birthday money, even though I know that depositing it is the responsible thing to do. I was really happy when I built up my savings last semester, and now that seems to be crumbling at my feet, and I’m frustrated with that.
I’m also switching banks soon, so that is something else I need/have to worry about.
My classes on Monday and Wednesday look to be good, with my T/Th not quite as much. Fiction workshop just makes me feel very self-conscious, and the professor makes me feel uncomfortable. For some reason, I had forgotten these things from when I took intro to fiction with her. I have yet to figure out how I can manage that class and that professor, but I think I need to figure it out soon else my self-esteem will take a nose dive. haha.
As much as I don’t want to admit it and I don’t want to think about it, the fact that I haven’t heard back from the internship that I want this summer worries me. It makes sense for me to be worried because I’ve kinda got most of my eggs in this basket, and it’s past the time that last year they said I had made it to the second round. But at the same time, the application deadline hasn’t even passed yet, so I really, really, need to chill.
^^ That is something that I’m embarrassed about being worried about.
I’m also really sick and tired of waking up and having to blow my gods-loving brains out due to the sickness. I can’t WAIT for that to be done.
Now that I’m done bitching …
I’m going to try some of that “positive thinking” that I have said I was going to try.
First and foremost, my boss just brought me a smoothie.
Hell yes. Neta’s the best.
I don’t think I’m technically supposed to have it because I’m “drinking calories,” but I have said to myself that I am going to make an exception for smoothies, as long as they don’t have dairy in them. Anyway, it is tasty, and my boss is awesome. End of story.
I haven’t written about it here yet, but on Monday I broke my board in Taekwondo, which, if you remember, did not go well the first time. I also got my yellow belt!!! 😀 So I am actually pretty stoked about that. I will have to get pictures up here soon, but I can’t at the moment.
I have some other good news that is not yet widely known, largely because I don’t want to jinx it. So I won’t write about it here, but I am thinking about it in my head. Mmmmm…. yay. 😀
I have a wonderful, excellent boyfriend who loves me and is willing to let me borrow his laptop for school, since my netbook’s battery is having issues.
My best friend has been a lot more present this semester, owing to the fact that we have a class together and I have made more of an effort to do my homework (or, you know, not do it) in the living room. I also have more time to spend, having left my second job due to sanity issues (his).
I don’t have to go to Savannah this Wed-Thurs, due to the fact that attempting to sing makes my throat seize up, and no one wants that in a concert.
The weather is nice and chilly even if it is cloudy, and I love the wind on my face.
Monetarily, I am lucky/fortunate that I could save up some money so I don’t have to go into debt or not pay my bills in order to make ends meet.
They haven’t rejected me! 😀
Even though I gained 3.5 pounds, I am convinced that some of it is mucus, and I will be back on track to lose 50 pounds before this coming December!