Weighty Matters

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Identifying Trouble Times

on February 26, 2015

I’m so sorry to have gone AWOL.  I dislike whining, but the last week has just been insanely busy with plenty of stress.  On the nights that I didn’t bring work home, I came home so tired that I couldn’t form coherent enough thoughts to write.

Hopefully, I can keep my thoughts gathered well enough, and long enough tonight.

I’m doing sort of so-so with my eating right now.  I am definitely a stress eater.  Stress is not an excuse, or at least not a justifiable excuse.  It just always challenges me to find ways other than eating to cope with the emotion.

What’s really interesting is that I do much better when I’m under the gun.  During the day when I am super busy — head down, powering through the projects that need to be done — I don’t obsess about the food.  I don’t have time!  Therefore, I have little issues with sticking to the planned-for food items for my mid-morning snack, lunch and mid-afternoon snack.  I can even mostly do well through dinner.

It’s after dinner that presents the biggest challenge.  I’ve had perfect days until around 7 p.m. and then morph into constantly fighting the compulsion to eat this, that or the other thing that isn’t on the plan… and then maybe eat the other thing, that, or this afterwards.  I end up feeling miserable emotionally and mentally — and sometime even physically, depending on what I ate.

I wonder why this pattern repeats.  Why is evening such a trouble time?  It’s almost as if when I’m busy and stressed, I don’t have time to act out on the stress by eating.  Then night rolls around, some of the busy-ness eases off but I’m left with the residual tension.  So I have all of that emotion, not enough to distract me from it, and I end up eating over it.

Having identified the time and the issue, I now need to devise a strategy.  Even if I’m brain weary and physically tired at night, I can find a positive action to engage me instead of reaching for food.

PACE = Positive Action Changes Everything

It will take some extra effort, particularly if I’m worn out.  Maybe I need to think of it in terms of balance and equality.  After all, if I have enough energy to boost myself off of the couch and walk to the kitchen for food, I should be able to muster enough to do something more healthy and constructive.

3 responses to “Identifying Trouble Times

  1. Cathy M says:

    If you’re by nature a “doer” rather than a “sitter”, then evenings without something to “do” are probably golden opportunities for eating to become the easy default setting. I don’t know if you have ever considered trying a craft that would engage your mind and hands, but perhaps that might also be a good alternative to eating.

    If you knit or crochet, you might try making comfort blankets to donate to a local animal shelter. I make kitty blankets and have even tried dog sweaters for a shelter in my area. The animals aren’t critical of your skill; they’re just happy to have something cozy to snuggle.

    Or if yarn crafts aren’t your thing, maybe you might try creating a scrapbook for someone special. I’m not a scrapbooker, but I know it’s really popular for many people. Or what about gathering all the old family photos, have them copied and share them with family to preserve good memories. And if you’re artistic, there is also drawing, painting and pottery.

    I hope you find something more rewarding for your evenings that brings you satisfaction and joy.

  2. Marti91257 says:

    I know it’s not the same, but when I quit smoking I would jump on the treadmill every time I wanted a cigarette. Perhaps you could do some Tai Qi to help reset your stress level and change your thought pattern?

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