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 think I have been slowly sabotaging myself the past week and a half or so. Popcorn at the movies, ice cream here and there, several instances of cheese.
Each instance of these had their own excuses internally, and I brushed them off, but after talking with my friend Melissa last night, I think they might be signs of something greater. Perhaps stress-eating for stress/upsetness that I didn’t know was there before.
In explaining this better, let me tell a story.
Thursday of last week I left my home to spend the weekend at my boyfriend’s apartment, because he was coming home from a business trip. So once I got settled in, I dashed over to Publix to get some food. I had my headphones in, so I was zoned out pretty hardcore.And then something strange happened. I began to notice that almost every single guy I walked by or walked by me was — what’s the phrase? — rubber-necking. Letting their gaze linger. Whatever.
I felt watched. I felt exposed. I felt… vulerable.
But I tried to move on with it. Sometimes I just get paranoid.
The next day I rode the MARTA down to the airport. I like to curl up in the seats that are catty-cornered to each other, cause then I can pull my knees up and just chill. It’s a comfortable place to me.
Generally when someone sits in the other corner seat it doesn’t bother me, but Friday was different. As I was looking out of the window I could see this fifty-year-old man staring at my chest.
I looked at him, he looked away. I look back at the window and then he continues to gawk.
So I move to another seat — and then the man puts sunglasses on. Keep in mind, this is MARTA, so we’re underground. So this man just put sunglasses on so that he could openly stare at me.
I assumed a dominant posture and, at the very least, I felt better.
It made me really uncomfortable, and I felt very vulnerable. Though I would have punched the motherfucker in the face if he had even so much as thought about touching me, it was not a situation that I wanted to be in.
So, bringing it forward a little bit to this week. I get really confused and worried cause every time I look in the mirror, I see myself as fat. I look in my mind the way I did at 185lb — distended belly, flabby arms, even the muscle definition in my legs didn’t seem as pronounced as it had been a few days ago. I get on the scale and it says 155, but I almost don’t believe it. Everyone commenting on my weight makes me feel worse, not better.
Telling all of this to you now makes it seem pretty obvious what is happening, but I’m not always aware of my internal emotional processes, so I didn’t really stop and think about it until I had a heart-to-heart with my good friend Melissa last night.
I always had a certain amount of comfort in being obese. I got stares and glances sometimes, but they were pretty much few and far between, and the difference is that I weighed more, and so, ironically, I felt more comfortable.
The fact of the matter is, the more I lose weight, the more vulnerable I feel. It’s true that through TKD I’ve gotten ways to defend myself, and probably would be more successful at it than I would have been before, but at least at 185 I was in the same weight class as a lot of men who would try to hurt me. I would have been harder to pick up and carry. And really… a fat girl just doesn’t get noticed.
I was able to successfully hide in my fat and feel powerful. And as ironic as it sounds, the more I have lost weight the more my body image has tanked, because I feel so much less in control. And I have been slowly sabotaging myself to not lose any more weight because of this.
As soon as I voiced these concerns, I got up this morning and my “thin” was back. I am not sure if the distress from this is going to linger or, if it’s left, come back, but I just don’t know what to do about it. I don’t feel comfortable or secure in my body anymore, and that is detrimental to me in my quest to be healthier and also just not good for me. I’ve always had confidence; I’ve always been the person who is comfortable in her own skin. To not be… is almost a fundamental difference in who I am.
And I don’t know what to do.
I was really worried that my week of stress and awful, not to mention the 3 times I broke paleo, was going to have me sitting at 160lbs this weigh in. But nay!
The important thing, for me, to understand is that even though I broke paleo and still lost weight, I did not in any of those circumstances, binge eat. We’re talking two slice of pizza on one meal, a grilled cheese sandwich for another, and then taco Friday where I filled my plate up with meaty, cheesey, tortilla chip goodness, and then stopped eating when I was satisfied.
So I think these are accomplishments too.
Tonight, I will be buying myself a bag of popcorn at the movies. 😀
I am very much on cloud 9 at the moment, with this and other things that have been happening (a welcome respite from , and I took the time and energy I had to do something productive:
I started cleaning out my closet.
I took a bunch of pictures, which I won’t bore you with here, but here are some highlights:
There are some things that don’t fit anymore, like the above, and there are some things that fit MUCH better:
Also, check out the definition in my legs and calves in this shot! That has been coming along really well too…
There are some things that are still too small, but I imagine I will shrink into them a bit better:
So, yeah. I put a lot of stuff in the bag to be donated. There are some things that still pass as fitting me (such as my gray size 14 dress pants), but they are getting a little big.
I also went out and just did a for-fun photo shoot on Saturday, largely because I think I am beautiful and there’s no reason not to.
I am feeling pretty amazing right now, and I just wanted to share that along with the bad stuff that has been happening this week.
|Cleaning out my Closet, pt 1|
Oh my gods, I love pizza.
Or, I guess I should say, I know I used to.
I haven’t had pizza in gods know how long, and whenever I think about “breaking” paleo, pizza is the first thing I jump to. When I think about staying on the paleo diet, thinking about never ever having pizza again is usually the first thing that pops into my mind.
Here’s the dilemma. If I’m not hungry, looking at that picture of pizza makes my stomach turn.
So I both desire and am repulsed by pizza. Even still, the idea of pizza is somehow attractive to me. This has been an ever-present dilemma the past few weeks as this craving for pizza has just popped up over and over again.
I was thinking it would be worthwhile to try and have a slice, much like the Dairy Queen experiment, just to see what happens. But I am very cautious because pizza is something that I actively want, and it is also something that I have used as a stress food/fun food in the past. When I think about eating pizza, I think about ordering a pizza, sitting down with Anthony and Darcy and watching a movie. I think about good times with my dad.
So you see the dilemma. I am repulsed by the idea of pizza (in the carnation that I used to eat it — Pizza Hut) because it’s greasy and gross and has lots of stuff on it that’s really bad for me. But I want it, I think, because I miss hanging out with Darcy, Dad, and in some ways, Anthony (I have been really busy with work lately).
Hm. I had no idea that last sentence was going to come out until it was typed. This post has now become something that I didn’t intend.
Clearly, pizza is not the solution to these problems. Given the circumstances of all three situations, I am not sure if could be remedied. But perhaps now that I am aware of the manifestation of pizza as a sign that something needs to be fixed, I can take a better approach.
I had planned this post to outline a system of testing non-paleo foods, to see how my body reacts to them and to give some more “data” to my consideration of making paleo into a lifestyle. But perhaps I have some other thinking to do. I am sure such a post, if it’s even still necessary, will come later.
Please enjoy Bon Jovi as you read about the awesomeness.
I know that my weigh-in day is on Tuesday and that I said I would stop weighing in on Mondays, but I had to had to weigh in today cause I was suspecting that I was going to reach my halfway point.
And you know what?
I did!! 😀
Look at that little froggie, right in the middle of the bar! 😀
So, it might be prudent to do some before/after values — and by prudent, I would like to brag a bit
Measurements as of 1/1/2011
Measurements as of 3/8/2011
Bust: 38″ — Four inches lost
Waist: 31″ — Four inches lost
Hips: 43″ — Four inches lost
In visual form:
As of today, I have nothing left to do but that which I have already done — here’s to the rest of my journey.