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Book Review: Craving April 4, 2013

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As I read Craving: Why We Can’t Seem to Get Enough, by physician Omar Manejwala, MD, I found myself nodding like a bobble head doll, and also reaching for my pen to underline something on pretty much every page. This is a topic I can relate to. It opens with the question, “What explains the mysterious urge to do something that has caused so much damage in the past?” In other words, haven’t I learned YET?

I read this book to see if I could learn something new for my blog readers, my Weight Watchers members, friends and family that I care about, and of course myself. And while much of the content of the book wasn’t NEW, it was certainly reaffirming and validating of many of the steps I’ve taken that have helped me (and explained how and why I’ve had setbacks).

The book opens with a definition of what craving is: a strong desire that, if unfulfilled, produces a powerful physical and mental suffering. They can range from a passing urge to an all-out, consuming addiction.  The author mentions something called “apparently irrelevant decisions” that can lead to a relapse. Then he explores why cravings matter: because they are uncomfortable, because they cause us stress, and because people who experience cravings are more likely to relapse into behavior that isn’t good for them or aligned with their goals. (nod, nod, underline, underline)

It deals with all different sorts of cravings – from alcohol to food to gambling, smoking and sex. He addresses ways in which these are universal issues, no matter what the substance or behavior.

There’s a big chunk in the book on brain science – the neurobiology of cravings, why they happen and how our brains lie to us to make us do things that we know don’t benefit us. I happen to be a total geek for brain science, especially when it relates to this topic. I find it both reassuring and encouraging – it takes it out of the realm of “I suck because I can’t get a handle on this” and sheds a light on exactly WHY it can be so hard sometimes. The studies that are cited are fascinating.

The good news about our brains leading us around, is that we can actually re-draw the map and get our brains to work in ways that are more beneficial to us. Again, this isn’t new news, but for me, obviously, it is something that I need to learn and read over and over again, and this book does so in a way that is so straightforward and nonjudgmental.

The other good news is that a lot of things that I am already doing, are the things that are proven to work. Group support is key. KEY! (yay Weight Watchers, yay online blogging community, yay friends) Writing things down (i.e. tracking, food journaling etc) is KEY. Forgiveness is key. (One of my favorite, and most startling lines in the book: “Only love can neutralize shame.”)

What can I say? It’s a good book. It’s SOLID. It’s filled with good science, which I find both illuminating and reassuring. It’s filled with concrete, positive suggestions for addressing the issues of craving. It’s also compassionate at its core. It’s like, Give yourself a break. There are reasons you do this stuff, and it’s not your fault, but it’s not helping you, so here are some good tools that can give you a way out.

It so happened that I finished reading this book while alone on my writing retreat. I’m away from home, and out of my normal routine. A little excited (vacation mode), a little anxious, a little lonely here and there. Perfect breeding ground for cravings! I could feel myself veering into potentially dangerous territory. Reading this book was like a little life jacket being thrown my way. It was a voice saying, “You know how to do this. Remember?”

Some of my favorite underlinings:

  • Cravings… are deeply personal. Comparing your cravings with what other people experience is a losing game and can only serve to undermine your success.
  • There is no such thing as a permanent craving; all cravings eventually go away, whether or not we act or act out on them.
  • The ideal time to address your cravings is when you are not actively craving.
  • Another important brain function is to lie to you.
  • Health, happiness and even longevity benefits come from being helpful to others.

It’s good stuff. Check it out! You can pre-order here.

Disclosure:

I was fortunate enough to recently receive a copy of this book for review. For the record, I often get offers to review a product for this blog. My policy (and I am up front about this) is that I will accept things to review, but unless I really like it, I probably won’t take the time to write a review. I don’t really have time for negative reviews. Unless I really, really really DON’T like something. ;-)

 

Day 4 #NHBPM: The Disclosure Post November 4, 2012

Day 4 – Sunday, Nov. 4

Writing Prompts: Disclosure post. How did you decide what to share? What do/don’t you share? OR Write about what’s in your bag / purse / backpack every day

I don’t think anyone is really interested in the contents of my bag or purse, so I’m skipping that one.

Disclosure. Ahh. Well, in the interest of full disclosure I’m going to disclose that I don’t disclose everything. I’ll be honest. Sometimes when I am making poor choices regarding my health, I don’t write about it. Instead I just won’t say anything, often until after I’ve “recovered” myself and then I might write about it retrospectively.

It’s hard to write about things we don’t feel good about, especially when we are in the midst of doing them. It’s so much easier to write about crossing the finish lane of a race, than writing “I’m lying on the couch watching multiple episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix.” It’s easier to blog about a great healthy recipe than “I just snarfed down half a jar of peanut butter.” Right?

There was a period of time when I was taking pictures of, and then blogging, every single thing I ate. This went on for a few months. I have to say, it was probably one of the healthiest periods of my life. Because I was committed to one hundred percent full disclosure. I didn’t eat mass quantities of peanut butter or chocolate because I knew that if I did, I was going to have to broadcast it visually throughout the internet. So it gave me pause, and made me really fully consider all of my choices. It made me think, Do I want to share this bite/plate/meal with the world? And if I didn’t feel good about that, I didn’t eat it.

Looking back on it, maybe I need to take up that practice again. It was a good one, and I learned a lot from it. Because it’s in periods of “hiding” that I tend to do things I don’t feel good about.

Here’s to writing more from the shadows….

This is the 4th post in a series of National Health Blog Post Month. Join me! And check out these other great health blogs:

 

Lessons Learned from a Hard Week June 12, 2011

Filed under: food,health,lessons learned,overeating,struggle — Susan @ 1:04 am

I really want to thank everyone for the good wishes for my mom. It’s only been a week but it feels like one of the longest weeks ever! Tonight I think I can safely say she is definitely on the mend. After not wanting to eat a bite all week, tonight she asked if we would order Chinese takeout for dinner and she snarfed down a huge plate with gusto. WHEW.

It’s been tough, and rough, but she is one resilient lady. I have spent the week sleeping on the floor of her room, helping her up in the night. Tonight I am sleeping in my own bed again. She can once again make her way up and down the stairs and is taking the doggie for short walks down the street. This is amazing considering where she was just a few days ago.

I have to admit not taking great care of myself this week. For the first few days, she didn’t eat, and I didn’t eat. Then I lost a bunch of sleep. Then when she seemed to get better I suddenly wanted to eat everything in sight. I ate more Chinese food tonight than I think I have in years. Ah well.

This week taught me that I can’t succumb to stress. What if it had lasted longer than a week? Tonight I plan to get a good night’s sleep, then start tomorrow with some good activity and getting back on track.

It’s an old, old lesson but one that needs to be learned over and over again. Food doesn’t fix stress. But some reptilian part of my brain stubbornly wants to believe that it does.

Again, thank y’all for the warm wishes. I think they truly helped. oxoxo

 

Discombobulated December 31, 2010

Filed under: emotions,exercise,overeating,running,struggle,walking — Susan @ 4:13 pm

Longleat Hedge Maze

I had written this post in my head during a very funky run I did on Monday. I felt really messed up. After two days of eating and sloth, I felt really yucky on Monday. Can just two days produce such a change? Yes. But I was feeling funky for many reasons.

  1. Junior was enroute to her solo adventure in Thailand. Her landing and arrival in country was kind of on the bumpy side, resulting in Not Much Sleep the night before. Fretful.
  2. I’d eaten too much over the weekend, like I said, and it really took a toll. It wasn’t a HUGE amount but it was more than I am used to and different types of foods – more carbs – than I usually eat. So I felt like a bloated slug.
  3. My trainer is on vacation until 2011 and I really really miss him! Plus the combo of running and core/weights that seem to keep me in balance.
  4. The Garmin Forerunner that I’d asked Santa for had arrived. I was very excited about this, but when I took it out of the box and set it up, all kinds of weird things began happening to me, psychologically.  The reason I had wanted this device was so that I could track my pace and mileage and routes without draining my iPhone (on which I was using Runkeeper). But when I went to set it up, I was taken aback by the tininess of the numbers and buttons and things (old eyes, much?). THEN when I had to set up my profile I got to see their standards: their “walking” was pretty much equal to my “jogging” and their “slow jogging” was about the same pace as my breakneck sprint. As for “running,” I could not move that fast in my wildest dreams. For some reason this affected me WAY MORE than it should have. I mean it threw me into a downward spiral slump and made me develop an instant hatred for this poor inanimate gadget. Suddenly I felt inadequate and ridiculous and like such a stupid poser. (“You think you’re a runner? HAH!”) But it really, really affected me. So much so that when I went for my run, I was already in a terrible mood. I sat in the car at the starting point for an HOUR (I am not kidding) grumbling and cursing. Finally I got out of the car and pushed “START” on the Garmin. And: I kid you not, it took the thing SIX MINUTES to “locate satellites” to active the GPS. By this point I was really, really annoyed that my first 6 minutes were not being recorded. Then about 5 minutes later I realized I had to pee. Major discomfort. No bathroom. I walked, grumpily, a few miles to a nearby hotel. Used the bathroom and then sat down in the lobby to pout. At that moment, Junior texted me from Thailand which instantly perked me up. The rest of the run was better. Not stellar, but better. It was on the short side because I just wanted to get it OVER with.
  5. Much as I have longed for this week off from work, it was also fraught with expectation. I had plans to meet with friends I never see, exercise, rest, declutter my entire house (HA), buy a new car and get some writing done. It was completely unrealistic and the truth of this was sinking in to me big time.
  6. Much as I love having unstructured time, it also can be a tyrant.

So this final week of the year has been kind of funky. I did manage to buy a new car (yay) but that in itself was very very stressful and took almost three entire days. I have not done an iota of decluttering. I have not sent out my holiday cards. And today I woke up with a sore throat and cough which was both distressing and a relief. I’m not doing anything for New Year’s eve tonight. Tomorrow, I’ve been invited to a lovely open house party, but… more food? Do I really need that? I think not.

Sunday morning I will be leading the very first WW meeting of the year! in our area and I am excited about that. I think I just need to take it very, very slowly and not pile too much on my schedule. I want to savor these last days of vacation and be ready for a very busy week ahead.

 

It’s the Food, Stupid! November 23, 2010

Sammy's guacomole

Okay, I shouldn’t be calling myself Stupid. But nor should I be shocked or surprised to return from my little vacation (less than a week!) to stare at a brand-new, unwelcome number on the scale. I was so glad to be all active, and get in runs and hikes and shredding and such, but on the food arena? Not so good.

And the “food part” is really more than half the equation. Some say it is 70%. It’s definitely at least 50%. Food intake and activity are BOTH important. But last week I was being so focused on my activity, I sorta (no, not sorta) turned a blind eye to my food intake. Because it was sooooooooo good.

You know we all engage in some kind of weird magical or wishful thinking when it comes to food. It doesn’t count if… you’re standing up. Or if it’s after midnight. Or you’re wearing a blindfold. For me, I tend to discount my intake if it’s beautiful, expensive, gourmet or lovingly homemade food. I “know” that fast food or junk food can be excessive or whatever, but … what if it’s Chez Panisse? Or some other amazingly wonderful place? I tend to turn a blind eye.

We went to an area that has an incredible bounty of amazing food. It’s the home of Cowgirl Creamery and oysters and and and… we ate at amazing restaurant after amazing restaurant. Then when we were sick of eating out, our friends came up to visit us and brought a crazy array of homemade and bought goods and we had an insanely delicious feast. Juniorette has turned into the world’s most awesome baker and she brought (I am not kidding) the Best Scones I Have Ever Eaten In My Life, plus some beautiful pecan shortbread. Neither of which I could (or wanted to) resist. But here I am now.

It’s the tracking. If I had tracked all that luscious food (which I obviously did not) I would have woken up very quickly to the reality that I was going over my points in every which way. But I am back now. I’m home. I’m back on track and trying to not turn blind eyes anymore.

I don’t regret it. I enjoyed every single morsel. But I think if I had it to do over, I would’ve been just…a little…more… mindful.

chocolate pudding stuff from Stellina

clam chowder from the Busy Bee

black cod from the Olema Inn

Juniorette's pecan shortbread

Cowgirl Creamery cheese

Sammy's caramelized onions & mushrooms

insanely good homemade roast beef sandwich (I had mine openfaced)

 

I (heart) Frank Bruni: A Book Review September 9, 2010

I just finished reading Frank Bruni’s memoir, Born Round. When I got to the last page I was a little choked up, feeling like I’d found a real kindred spirit. He’s like another Foodie McBody! Someone who loves and appreciates food, AND who wants to be healthy and fit. I know so many fit people who truly seem unmoved by food, or who see it purely as fuel (and not so much as a source of pleasure) OR as the Enemy. Anybody who knows me knows that I am constantly striving to find ways to have my (cup)cake and eat it too. And of course I also know the foodies who turn a blind eye to fitness or health. Please, can’t I have both?

Enter Frank! OMG. For the first (more than?) half of the book, we follow him through his childhood, where he is a ravenous toddler, and then a huge eater at family feasts orchestrated by his mother and grandmother. The descriptions of the incredible food-a-paloozas were enough to make me faint. Pasta! Italian food! Roast turkey! Frites! (fried stuffed yummy things)

And there’s Frank, simultaneously loving all the food and mortified by his plumpness. And I’m nodding like one of those dashboard bobblehead doggies with its head on a spring. Sigh.

I followed, completely rapt, while Frank joins the swim team and slims down, then joins up with his mother on endless diets (Atkins! I did that one with my dad, back in the 70s), back and forth, back and forth. Ultimately it gets into some pretty dark territory, of bulimia and then bingeing.

It’s a classic tale of Too Much of a Good Thing, when something turns and then doesn’t feel so good anymore. And I feel like I am constantly trying to find that balance. I still want food to be a Good Thing. And it is, until it isn’t. I don’t ever want to fear food or not enjoy it. So it was kind of awe-inspiring and very happy making to read about Frank’s ultimate challenge and job: to be the food critic for the New York Times. How could he manage to eat out 7-8 times a week, at amazing multi-star restaurants, and stay fit and healthy?

Exercise. Of course. Lots of exercise. And portion control. Right? Of course that’s the key. Calories in, calories out. I loved reading about Frank’s bootcampish trainer, Aaron, who sounds like a much meaner version of my own trainer. I was intrigued by his description of Pilates. It was fun following Frank on his transformation from couch-potato-dom to athlete.

The writing in this book is fantastic. Funny, poignant, honest, real. I laughed out loud a LOT, and also cringed and wiped a tear or two. And there was a crazy moment of recognition, much like when I read Kate Moses’ Cakewalk and remembered that I ALSO bit the toes off of rubber alligators from Disneyland (WHAT??? Really!). Maybe not quite as bizarre, but like Frank Bruni, I also had a mad love for cold noodles with sesame paste, something I’d long forgotten (I can’t find this stuff in San Francisco). I used to be obsessssssssssed with those cold noodles when I lived in New York, and my favorite spot was this teeny tiny hole-in-the-wall called OMei in NY’s Chinatown. My friend used to bring me those as a special treat after I moved away. It’s been so many years since I’ve had those noodles, and… sigh. Reading this book brought it all back. (Frank! if you or anybody else knows where I can find these noodles in San Francisco, pleeeeeeeeeease tell me!)

Anyway. Back to the book. I loved it. For someone who loves both Top Chef AND The Biggest Loser, it really spoke to my heart (and my taste buds?).  It made me feel like I had company, in the best way. And after I read it, Frank Bruni joined the ranks of my invisible fit-foodie-community. I finished the book on Monday and in the evening, I was contemplating going out to the cemetery to work out. But it was a Holiday. And I was tired. Suddenly, the voice of Frank’s trainer Aaron popped into my head. “Don’t be a wimpy quitter!” I went out there and did 3.5 miles, and added on 50 pushups and 480 stairs. Then I came home and looked for something really, reallllllllly good to eat.

 

Week 2 of Foodblogging: What I’ve Learned, Part 2 July 19, 2010

I’m still at it. I’m having fun. I’m liking it. And I’m still learning new things.

This weekend, for example, I learned that it is possible to take photos of your food and still gain weight! (ha) Saturday was a perfect example of Too Much Of A Good Thing. (well, actually, NOT too much, but perhaps too much to LOSE weight) I don’t regret a single bite of anything. I don’t feel like I binged. But I know, and especially looking back, that that was a day that I ate really healthy food (perhaps with the exception of the bread and butter, and the cream puff at the end!) but more than was necessary, um, physiologically speaking. I mean: grilled vegetables! Salmon! Shaved zucchini salad! It was all good good food. It was delicious. I ate “in moderation.” All in all, I’d consider it a Success. I did  not feel deprived; I ate good things, I was happy.

I also learned that it is possible (well, I knew THIS one already) to eat not enough of Not Very Good Food. This was pretty much yesterday. I was still really full from Saturday AND I was really busy so I did not eat very much. But what I did eat wasn’t the most ideal stuff. A lot of carbs, not enough produce.

Last week I took some photos of lunch while at work. I think my co-workers thought I was a little, um… special. As my daughters would say. But I took them anyway.

I’m excited that since I’ve started this process, a few of my blogging buddies have joined in and are photoblogging too. I’m having a great time following their food, and learning all sorts of things. Here’s Karen’s, and Pubsgal’s, and Sweeter’s. Welcome to foodblogging, friends!

The process is continuing to fascinate me and every day I notice more and more new things. Onward!

 

Pressure Cooker July 13, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,friendship,Mindful Eating,overeating — Susan @ 12:31 am
Tags: , ,


Steaming cooker

Originally uploaded by Intrudēr

The next three weeks are going to be the most pressurized, intense weeks of my entire year. I run a camp, that takes all year to prepare for, and it takes place the last week in July.

I’ve been doing this for six years now. For the first several years, I viewed this period of time (actually, all summer) as an opportunity to completely throw in the towel and give up on any remnants of fitness or healthy eating. It was really just an excuse. I’d cancel my trainer, eat like there was no tomorrow, and it was just stress piled on stress. It felt inevitable. When camp itself came, I would literally inhale the crazy carbs they served: sloppy joes and mac and cheese and tacos and hotdogs and french toast and ALL OF IT, and I believed the more I ate, the calmer (read: more anesthetized) I’d feel.

Last year was the first year that I tried to get through the summer without my customary meltdown. It went pretty well and I managed to get to my Lifetime status at WW in the summer. But the ghosts of past camp seasons are always around to haunt, and it’s so easy to just succumb to the pressures and just say “I give up!” for now.

I really don’t want that to happen this year. This year is the biggest camp in our whole history. We’re in a brand-new site that is giving me HIVES with their incomprehensible difficulties and insane little rules. So I am just prime for all sorts of falling down.

Today we had a staff powwow to assess all we need to do in the next 2 weeks. It is a LOT. And either it will get done, or it won’t. But just making that list almost put us all over the top.

One of my co-workers ordered a sandwich with extra bacon. I suddenly thought, what can *I* have?? I deserve this! I need something extra-special!! All the old song and dance. I spied a triple-decker Havarti grilled cheese on the menu of my favorite takeout place. THAT’S what I want! I thought. But I was deep in a task which kept me busy for a while longer. During which time I got to really think about what it was that I wanted.

I wanted to eat something that would not stress me even further, or put me to sleep, or make me feel bad about myself. I thought. I needed PROTEIN. So I went to the Thai place and got a cup of chicken coconut soup, and some chicken satay skewers. I didn’t touch even a grain of rice. I had the cucumber salad and a little dollop of peanut sauce. Then I was able to go back and face the rest of my afternoon (and evening, as it turns out) of work.

It’s going to take EVERYTHING I HAVE to remain conscious, and present, and healthy, during these next weeks. If I can emerge August 1 in a good place, I will be very grateful. Cross your fingers for me. Or leave me lots of comments for strength. <3

 

Anatomy of a Wedding Weekend June 7, 2010

I knew this weekend would be challenging, but I was not exactly sure how. In looking back on this past few days, I look at the ups and downs, the many small choices and challenges I faced, and what I learned from it.

I went into the weekend feeling I had not much wiggle room to spare. I wanted to come out of it maintaining where I was at before I went in. I’m not going to weigh myself until tomorrow or maybe even the next day.

Friday morning: Got up in the dark to get to the airport. Had coffee. Got to airport and headed straight to Starbucks for my new favorite breakfast, Perfect Oatmeal. It was perfect. Good way to start the day. Got onto plane #1. Slept. I am grateful that not only am I “able” to sleep on planes; in fact, a plane seat hits me like a tranquilizer gun and I immediately pass out into a deep, drooling coma the instant I feel the wheels lift off. I think this has something to do with a period when I was deathly afraid of flying and I literally learned to hypnotize myself into sleep so that I would not freak out. I don’t freak out so much anymore, but I think it’s because I’m passed out.

Layover: Las Vegas airport. We only had 10 minutes before boarding the next flight and I ran around frantically trying to find something suitable for carry-on lunch. Seemed there was nothing but Burger King and chocolates. Finally found a place that sold sandwiches. Whole wheat baguette turkey sandwich. 470 calories. With nothing on it! Blech! But I was desperate. Grabbed it. Ate half of it on plane. It was awful but I was very hungry. Had a packet of Ritz cracker cheese sandwiches courtesy of Southwest, which immediately transported me to my children’s unfortunately unhealthy childhoods, where they and I consumed mass quantities of those things. I am addicted to them.

Arrived at destination.  Went to hotel gym and spent 45 minutes on elliptical! I was so sweaty and proud of myself, especially after having spent all day in vegetative state on airplanes. Went to awesome hotel restaurant and had a wonderful dinner of 2 deviled eggs, a spinach salad from heaven, and a little bowl of polenta and spinach. That would have been quite fine. It would have been perfect if the evening had ended there, but alas, it did not.

Went to post-rehearsal-pre-wedding reception thingie hosted by groom’s parents. LOVELY home, all catered event. At first all I saw was wine and some platters of strawberries, brownies and cannolis. I was full from dinner and not tempted. I took a teeny nibble from my mother’s brownie & cannoli; both were way too sweet and thought, good, I am home free! Big basket of potato chips. Not tempted. THEN they brought out the gourmet cheese tray thing. I faltered a little. Then I got into a conversation with some relatives who asked some very kind but probing questions about the state of my Writing; something I am NOT feeling good or confident or happy about these days, and the cheese dam just broke.  Gorgonzola and Muenster and Brie and baguette slices and some salami rounds and it all just VANISHED into my mouth. I lost my mind. I lost it completely. I actually could not quite believe it, but there it was. Kablooey!

The next morning I woke up with a cheese hangover and….. a severely throbbing ankle. Apparently it had not been super charmed by my killing the elliptical like that, brace or not. I was very sad. I decided not to return to the gym but instead went to  a street arts festival with my sister in law. I walked around for several hours, but at a relatively slow pace. Better than nothing, right? Still, my ankle was throbbing even more after that. I took a very brief trip to the gym and tried to find something that did not make it hurt. I did not find anything. I was sad.

I had another spinach salad. (sooo good) Felt fortified for the wedding. Got dressed. Squeezed self into Spanx and then into dress. Went to wedding. Short and sweet, followed by reception. I resisted all appetizers, including another cheese plate (this cheese was not nearly as good as Friday’s). How did I do this? I constantly texted my WW BFF with the choices that lay before me. I sent some pictures. It was actually easy. If only I’d done that during Friday night’s cheese debacle! I gleefully reported how I passed up some deep fried raviolis in little dishes of marinara. Yay me! The wedding dinner itself proved quite easy: seared tuna and snow peas, which I’d pre-ordered. They came with wasabi mashed potatoes, which I did not eat, because that sounded like a horrid combination. Lucky me. Then the cake!! At first I wasn’t going to eat any. Then a little bit. Then I decided that the dinner had been so healthy I could go ahead and have a piece. It wasn’t a very small piece. Later, in the hotel, I looked it up: 16 points! Sixteen points for carrot cake! If only I’d know. Oh, the power of knowledge. Next time I will use my WW iPhone app and figure this out before I lift fork to mouth. If I’d known, I would have had like two bites. Which would’ve been fine.

People told me to DANCE at the wedding, but I really didn’t. This was the first wedding in which I was of the generation older than the wedding couples, and I felt weirdly old fogeyish, my ankle hurt, and my mother (even older than me) realllllly wanted to get out of the loud loud loud venue and go back to the hotel. So we left when the dancing began.

Oh well.

So, today: more drugged sleep-of-the-dead on the plane. More Ritz crackers. Another missed lunch. I was so happy to get home to beautiful unmuggy weather, I pledged to go out and walk. But I did not. I just…… didn’t.

Thus, the weekend got away from me, and I pulled it back, and it was a tug of war back and forth. I don’t know how to score it overall. An overall failure? Overall victory? No. I’d say it was a learning experience.

As we say at WW, it’s either a losing week or a learning week.

I learned:

  • prepare/bring lunch for plane ahead of time. Go to grocery, bring something from home, whatever. Make like a Girl Scout and be prepared.
  • When in a highly charged emotional situation, TRY to have a moment of consciousness and reach out: Twitter or text a friend who can keep you grounded and away from large quantities of cheese.
  • Look up calories/points values of items BEFORE eating so you can at least make an informed decision. I was assuming the carrot cake was about half what it was.
  • Get out and take a walk before catching up with Facebook and blogs, or you’ll never go.

So… I probably got a C- in the weight loss/maintenance arena, and maybe a B+ for learning. And, it was a lovely weekend, a beautiful wedding and great to see family for a brief little time.

EPILOGUE: I did not get a C-!!!!!! Just weighed myself (Monday morning) and my weight is…. UNCHANGED! to the ounce! from when I left. Which was my goal. It’s a new day! It’s a new week! YAY!!!!

 

Emotional Eating in Slow-Mo March 14, 2010

Filed under: emotions,food,Mindful Eating,overeating — Susan @ 6:51 pm

I had an Incident yesterday. I didn’t want to write about it, but my dear friend Shannon urged me to go ahead and blog it because it would help other people somehow. Okaaaaay. Deep breath.

So this is what happened. I really feel like it was one of those slow-motion train wrecks, you know? Where it slows way way way down but still it doesn’t stop. I had so many opportunities to stop it. But I didn’t.

I was in a grocery store. I got a phone call that upset me. It made me really sad. Like deep sad. And I just didn’t want to feel that way. I grabbed a package of shortbread cookies. I actually examined it and determined that each cookie is 100 calories. So, I figured, the whole box would be 800. Wow. I mean wow. I just tucked that little tidbit of information away.

I put the box in the cart and at the last minute, I ALMOST stashed it in the magazine rack before paying. That was out #1. Didn’t take it. Then I thought, I can put it in the trunk with the rest of the groceries. Nope, I took it out of the bag and sat it beside me on the passenger seat of the car. Out #2. THEN I actually sat for a minute and thought, I can Tweet someone. I can call someone. I can DM someone.  Someone will talk me down.

Then I realized, that I did not want anyone to talk me down. I wanted the cookies. Did I really believe that they would make me feel better? Less sad? I don’t know. Not really. But there was something ELSE that believed that it would help, and in that moment, just a teeny bit of pleasure for five minutes felt like it would be a little relief from the overwhelming sadness.

I didn’t call anyone. I ate the cookies. It took about five minutes, yup. They were sort of delicious but also laced with sadness and a feeling of WOW am I really in this place?

When they were gone, I took stock. It was actually a weird kind of experiment. I felt like part of me was standing over myself with a white lab coat and a clipboard, saying, “Well? Do you feel better now?”

You all know the answer to that. No, I did not feel better. All the sad feelings rushed back in. PLUS I had just eaten 800 calories of cookies. But I also did not feel the familiar self loathing of binges past. I just felt a weary kind of disappointment. Because I had pretty much been conscious through the whole episode. It wasn’t like I woke up with crumbs on my pillow. I knew what I was doing. I think I just wanted to SEE, you know? I wanted to see if it actually would help.

I think I can refer back to this post if I feel that temptation again. A reminder. It actually doesn’t help.

(in other, better news, I did my longest run (7.5 miles!) ever this morning and my Runkeeper said I burned – guess what? 800 calories.)

:-)

 

 
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