I wrote this over a year ago and never got around to sending it.
I think the hardest thing at this stage is wanting my “regular” routine back. I want to get back to “normal” and that is hard as so many I know do not have power, water or plumbing! And the biggie in FL is power as we need the AC in 90 degree plus heat!
To relieve my stress during the storm I did what I could and posted weather updates online and power outage updates. This kept me busy and appealed to my “geek/nerd” side. I have always liked learning and knowing about “weather” so I had to let this side take over along with my spiritual side to keep me mostly at peace.
I was stressed out though. So I did what probably the whole state of Florida was doing at some point during the storm. I stress ate lots of salty snacks! I thought I would have it under control and not end up stress eating but I did. I went back to work on Wednesday and my pants are a little snugger so I know I did some damage. Yesterday and today it is back to drinking lost more water, eating good fruits and vegetables and trying to avoid anything salty! Salty was my downfall. Pretzels and oven-baked Cheetos, almonds and pecans. That I will remember as hurricane Irma Stress Mix! The only thing missing was M&Ms but thankfully I had none in the house or I am sure I would have eaten those too!
My weigh in day is on Saturday mornings and I am not looking forward to seeing the scale at all!
I survived the weigh in and life did return to normal. But now sitting in Florida over a year later and knowing in contract the devastation that Hurricane Michael did to the Panhandle of Florida and Georgia, my ramblings from a year ago seems so whiny in retrospect. At least I had a house to live in, a roof over my head and I was still living. I cannot imagine coping with the total devastation such as in Mexico Beach, FL. We all need to do whatever we can to assist/help, etc.
This is a continuation of the April 2, 2014 Weights and Balances on focusing on comfort eating.
In many cookbooks and websites, there are now sections on “comfort foods.” What does the term “comfort food” imply? It implies that you can eat these foods to attain or maintain a feeling. That sounds oddly familiar like why a junkie needs his drug! Moods tend to dictate what type of comfort foods that we seek out. Happy moods seem to draw us to pizza and steak, whereas sad moods move us to seek out ice cream and cookies and bored people seek out potato chips. I am a potato chip seeker! (or was) More proof that I had an issue with eating from boredom! (Bad bad habit!)
We tend to over-feed emotions and thus gain weight. We have to learn other coping strategies or we are doomed to keep fighting overweight.
Things to try to keep in focus:
Learn what triggers comfort eating in you (anger, feeling unappreciated, feeling hopeless, feeling out of control, boredom)
Learn to recognize real hunger signals (hallow feeling, mild gnawing sensation in your gut)
Keep of list of things you can do when you realize you are wanting to eat when not hungry
Find a “healthy” alternative comfort food
When faced with something highly fattening, take about four bites and call it quits, equal pleasure with much lower cost
Use moderation, learn to “live with” comfort foods by controlling your portion size of them (individual servings not whole bags/boxes/cartons)
Do not skip meals; this will almost always lead to over-eating
I had someone once tell me that I had to work very hard to stay overweight. Now I am really beginning to understand what that really meant. Eating emotionally is a lifetime habit that is difficult to face but for lasting weight loss and greater health it has to be overcome.
Something to remember, when you slip up and eat emotionally, do not give up on yourself. Self-forgiveness must happen and re-focus on making good choices at the next meal/snack/day. Staying focused on how far you have come and what you have learned from your mistakes will help keep you moving forward in your journey to long-term weigh loss success.