Overcoming Emotional Eating?

I mentioned in a previous post that I used to be a SEVERE emotional eater.  Since my “breakthrough” moment in October of 2008, I’ve mostly gotten control of my food intake.  Mostly.

Here’s the thing – up until the last month or so, I felt like I had really grabbed hold of all my food issues and had it all figured out.  I felt like I was at the point that I just had to make a plan and stick to it.  Emotions – both an emotional connection to food and using food as a response to emotion – were no longer a factor.

 

I was SO wrong.

About a month ago, my life started to spin in a less-controlled way, and I started to freak.  This is the first time in years that I have felt this out-of-whack since I began living a healthier lifestyle.  I started noticing cravings that I haven’t had regularly in months, and (worst of all) I noticed that my impulse control was MUCH lower than usual.  This was NOT good.

After realizing over the summer that a bit of perfectionism was causing me to associate scale results with my moods, I’ve decided to go the “Thermometer Jeans” route of measuring progress.  I haven’t gained any size, but I haven’t lost any either.

All of a sudden, after almost two years of effort, I found myself wanting to eat crap – ALL.  THE.  TIME.

This is not good for my weight loss (obviously), but also not good for my new-ish healthy lifestyle.  I’ve begun to associate living this way as part of my identity – and I LIKE this part of myself.  I’m not really sure why I’m unconsciously letting it slip away.

 

But I’m not –

In my darker moments, I feel like I’m falling off the path and doomed to a sedentary life of crap food, stomach cramps, and low energy.  But, I’ve also noticed that, while my habits aren’t as healthy as they normally are, they also aren’t as bad as they were before this all began.  This is progress.

Right now, I’m relying on strategies that were important in the beginning of this journey –

1.  I’m not missing any workouts.  This is good for me.  Exercise helps me feel better physically and mentally.  Plus, I know I’m not completely falling off the wagon if I’m staying on track in the gym.

2.  I’m having lean protein at every meal – and eating it first.  This way, I’m not as hungry when I start eating all the carby, fatty goodness that comes later.

3.  I’ve dug out some of my favorite “healthy” recipes – modifications I’ve made to some favorite recipes to fit them into my lifestyle.

4.  I’m increasing my veggie consumption.

 

I know that I have strategies to keep myself on track, but I’m also dealing with the anger of knowing that I thought I had this figured out – and I really don’t.  There might never be a time that I can completely let go of making consciously healthy food choices.  I will always have to be aware.  This is a good thing, I think.  Not being conscious of what I put in my body is what caused me to be miserable and out of shape in the first place.

 

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