Emotional eating…we all do it

I think I have touched on this subject before, but I thought it would be worth talking about again – emotional eating. The kind of eating that most often leads us to trouble.

Wednesday morning, I was on my computer and decided to post something to my Confesssions of a Fat Girl Facebook page; this is what it was: "Don’t let emotions control your eating habits. If you are mad, sad, stressed or tired, don’t let food be your relief. Instead, call a friend, go for a walk, go work out or do anything that keeps you out of the refrigerator and your cupboards. If food is what you really want, grab an apple or an orange instead of a candy bar or bag of chips."

That post was at 6:44 a.m.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting at 8 a.m. Want to know what the topic was? Yep, you guessed it. It was emotional eating. Weird, huh? It actually kind of freaked me out.

I know we have all done it. I have done it a ton lately, and I am not sure why. Maybe it’s the winter doldrums. I’m not much of a cold-weather person so I tend to stay cooped up inside the house quite a bit, which doesn’t help matters any.

So, when I am bored, I tend to take many trips into the kitchen. I open up the fridge, look around, most often not grabbing anything. Then, I go to the cupboards, open the doors, look around, most often not grabbing anything. But, sometimes, I grab something to eat every single time. And it’s not always something healthy. I bet there are days I do this at least 10 times. Now keep in mind, between these times, I haven’t gone grocery shopping or anything. So really, what do I expect when I open the doors to the cupboard or fridge eight hundred times a day? I mean seriously, all the food is the same. It’s not like some magic food fairy came by and filled the fridge with something magical!

But it’s not just when I am bored that I do this. If I have had a crappy day at work, which most often doesn’t happen (thankfully), I get home and do the same food-hunting process. Open the doors, look around and then most of the time, walk away. But I am not always fortunate enough to walk away. I don’t always have willpower or the strength. Sometimes I just grab something and don’t really even pay attention and just eat just to make myself feel better. Sometimes, it’s a piece of fruit and sometimes, it’s not. Maybe it’s a piece of candy or two or three or four…

But it’s not always boredom and frustration that causes me to go on my food hunts. Sometimes, I am anxious or sad or stressed or even happy. So, what can I do and what can you do? We can learn to read our body’s signals. We can learn to determine if it’s physical hunger or our emotions. At my meeting, the leader talked about identifying actual physical hunger – such as when our stomach growls or we feel lightheaded, have a loss of energy or even, get the shakes. These types of symptoms are signals that we are hungry and actually NEED food. Not just want it because it might make us feel better – for the short term anyway.

Most often, when I eat mindlessly because my emotions take over, I feel worse afterward because I will most often eat something I shouldn’t have or shouldn’t have had so much of. You know what I mean.

So, next time you are heading to the kitchen, stop. Think about what you are doing. Determine if you are really hungry – as in your have physical signs that your body needs to be refueled – or if it’s just your emotions taking over. If it turns out to be emotional eating, then do something else – put a puzzle together, paint, draw, exercise, read, chew on a piece of gum, call a family member or friend, exercise, take a bath, do some deep breathing, exercise, clean your house, clean your car, exercise…I think you get the picture. Do something other than eat. Unless, you really NEED it.

A little disappointed

Today was weigh-in day at my Weight Watchers meeting. I really, really, really, really…okay, I think you get the picture…DID NOT want to weigh in. But I did.

I wish I hadn’t. But I know it’s the only way I can stay accountable. I had my biggest gain today in about 12 weeks. My goal weight when I started WW was 155 and at my August 12 weigh-in, I reached it. I hit 154.6. Since that time, I have lost and gained and at one point (it was October 28), reached my all-time lowest in more than 16 years – I was an even 148 pounds. Yep, that’s right, 1-4-8. Since then, I have fluctuated up and down .4 here or maybe 1.2 there, but today, I was up 2.2 pounds from last week’s weight of 148.2. So, I am now at 150.4. 

I know, it’s not that big of deal, right? But for some reason, it really bothered me. I think because it was all at once. I  mean, 2.2 pounds. Yikes. Although, really, I am still under my goal weight, which makes me uber excited. Seriously, I haven’t been this thin – OMG, I actually just said the word thin…wow, that sounded weird – since before my son was born and as many of you know, he is a teenager with a driver’s license and his own car!

I know the gain is completely my fault. This past week, I have been totally lax about my eating, and kind of, about my tracking, too. There may have been more than one occasion where I forgot to log a piece of candy or a handful of Doritos or something else sinful and oh-so-bad-for-me. Now that I think about it, it may have been two or three or, okay, maybe it was five or six times I didn’t log the food I was shoveling into my mouth. Why? As my son always says when I ask him a question, "I don’t know." I guess it was laziness or it could have been my attitude. I simply didn’t feel like it or didn’t care for some unknown reason.

Thankfully, though, I haven’t been lazy about exercising. I probably would have had a much bigger gain had I not exercised so faithfully. And that is because of Tina, my new workout buddy! Thanks, Tina. Glad we have each other to rely on. Tina and I meet at 6:30 a.m. at my house on Mondays and Fridays and at 5:30 p.m. at her house on Wednesdays. We both do other exercising on the other days, as well. We have been having a blast. 

Well, today is the start of a new week for me. And I am jumping back up on that horse and takin’ it for one heck of a ride. I hope to have those two pounds off at next week’s weigh-in. Luckily, my good attitude is back and I am ready to log everything that goes down my hatch! Wish me luck.

NOTE: I have been meaning to ask, is there anything you want to know? Is there anything that you wonder about me, my eating habits, my exercise regimen or any other topic? Please feel free to post a question or send me an e-mail to celbeam@gmail.com. If you haven’t noticed, I am pretty open and willing to talk about my healthy living/new lifestyle journey. So, don’t be afraid. Ask away. And, as mentioned in the last few posts, Confessions of a Fat Girl is now on Facebook. Look me up and become a fan! Thanks.

Cool invention idea

I came up with a great idea for our break room/kitchen at work – a warning system or signal of some kind that would let employees know when there is tempting food, such as leftover birthday cake, leftover bars, leftover cookies, leftover dessert or leftover whatever, on the table.

Seriously, I am not even kidding. There should be red lights that flash and warning bells that sound loud and clear when I, or, I guess other co-workers, approach the break room. "THIS IS A WARNING. THERE IS TEMPTING FOOD ON THE TABLE…ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!" At that point, I would hope I’d turn right around and go back to my desk. Safe from regret. I would stay out of the kitchen until the next alarm sounded, "THE TABLE IS FREE AND CLEAR OF ALL FATTENING, HIGH-CALORIE TREATS. YOU CAN NOW ENTER AND NOT BE TEMPTED." 

Or maybe, when someone brings a treat and leaves it on the table, it would trigger an all-employee e-mail with this message: "THE KITCHEN IS NOW OFF LIMITS TO THOSE WHO DON’T WANT TO BE TEMPTED BY TASTY TREATS." Then, when all the treats were gone, we would get another e-mail that said, "THE KITCHEN IS ONCE AGAIN A TREAT-FREE ZONE."

Wouldn’t that be awesome? Wouldn’t that rock? I, for one, would LOVE IT!

It used to be worse when our night cleaning person would leave decadent desserts nearly every day. Oh, she was a great baker. I miss her. No wait, I miss her treats. No, just kidding. I miss her and NOT her treats. There would be ooey-gooey caramel bars or delicious mouthwatering chocolate bars or scrumptious cookies on a regular basis. Although that was a long time ago and I didn’t much care back then, there were days when I literally would avoid going into the break room.

This morning, as I was making my way into the kitchen, I passed a co-worker who said, "There’s cake on the table." I sincerely thanked her and thought about turning around, but I didn’t. I proceeded into the kitchen where I filled up my cup with hot water for my morning tea and then slowly, very slowly, walked past the table, turned back around and cut a teeny, tiny piece of cake loaded with frosting, which I immediately shoved in my mouth as quickly as possible. 

Then, with a smirky smile, I walked, no, bounced, back to my desk. Ahhh, sugar is so wonderful so early in the morning. So maybe, that warning system isn’t such a great idea after all. I probably would ignore, just like I did the warning from my co-worker.

P.S. Yes, this is another reminder that you can find Confessions of a Fat Girl on Facebook. So come on, find me and become a fan! Thanks.

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Sunday snackfest

I’m beginning to not like Sundays. Not because I typically do between eight and 10 loads of laundry, but because for some reason, I snack ALL – DAY – LONG!

I don’t know what it is about Sundays that I have this compelling urge to eat all day. And not necessarily healthy eating, either. I wake up and have my usual breakfast and always have good intentions of eating healthy the rest of the day and then, sometimes, within minutes, I am in the kitchen opening the refrigerator and the cupboards trying to find something to snack on. I should count how many times I walk back and forth from the living room to the kitchen on any given Sunday. I wonder if I could count that as exercise? : )

Let me share yesterday’s food frenzy with you. For breakfast, I had two packages of instant grits, which I love by the way. I make it really thick and only add two packs of Equal to it. No milk. No maple syrup. Nothing. Just two packs of Equal. Next, I decided to have one of my Vitalicious muffin tops. As I was warming it up in the microwave, I remembered we had leftover fat free Cool Whip from our Saturday night dinner with friends. I made apple tartlets that had a dollop of Cool Whip on them. Well, my Vita tops are chocolate and so of course, the Cool Whip was a perfect topping for my muffin. Seriously, I eat these muffin tops every morning and I never, I mean NEVER put Cool Whip on them. But because it was in my fridge, I had to finish it. It was divine.

Let’s see, what came next. Well, I know I ate some Doritos and then four Cinnasticks from Dominos with a container of the icing, a four-cup bag of Jolly Time 100-calorie microwave popcorn in the kettle corn variety, two crusts off my son’s pepperoni Dominos pizza that he had leftover from the night before that he was gnawing on for lunch, a Weight Watchers chocolate creme cake, Hostess 100-calorie lemon cakes, a pear (Wahoo, I actually ate one thing healthy!) and half of the Greek pizza that my husband made for supper. Forty-four Weight Watchers points later – yes, I said 44 points, my day was done. The four Dominos Cinnasticks were 11 points alone. The container of icing was five. YIKES!

My points would have been a lot higher had my son listened to me and drove to store to get the vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup I was craving and so desperately wanted. As mad as he thinks I was, deep down I was really happy he didn’t. I definitely didn’t need it. Thanks, Brandon, I did actually appreciate that for once, you didn’t listen to your mother. 

I know I have to snack some times and not be so rigid when it comes to my healthy living journey, but I do have to admit, it kind of ticked me off. Not necessarily because of everything I ate, but because I felt like I couldn’t control it. Does that make sense? I didn’t beat myself up over it or anything like that, but I just feel disappointed sometimes. Like I said, though, not because of everything I shoveled in, but because I felt compelled or the urgency to eat like that. It’s the not having control that I don’t like.

Well, this morning, I got up at 5:45 a.m., had a healthy breakfast and then worked out. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and did 25 minutes of circuit training. I definitely feel much better and know that I will have a better day today. I almost always do well during the week and even on Saturdays. It’s those darn Sundays that get me. I guess I will have to try better next week.

P.S. I know most of you probably tired of hearing it, but if you are on Facebook, check out Confessions of a Fat Girl and become a fan! Thanks.

Ever feel like giving up?

Giving up. This is definitely something I have thought about more than once during my new healthy living journey. No lie, I probably think about it once a week. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this new lifestyle, I do. Actually, I enjoy it more than I thought I would – well, most of it anyway.

I love eating healthy and trying new recipes. I even love tracking how much goes down the hatch on a daily basis. That’s actually probably the most fun part out of all of this. Why? Because like I have said many times before, I make it a game. I like to see just how much I can actually eat and stay at my daily allowed Weight Watchers points. Sometimes, it’s really crazy just how much does go in my mouth each and every day. Fortunately, nearly all of it is fruits and vegetables and lean proteins and all that healthy stuff I am supposed to eat, which is good. I guess. 

I mean, if I happen to have a DQ blizzard or my all-time favorite ice cream treat from Cold Stone Creamery, I can’t eat much else for the rest of the day. And really, what fun is that? Isn’t quantity sometimes better?

And when it comes to exercise, I do like it. Kind of. Sort of. I have a new exercise buddy, Tina, and it’s really awesome. It is so much better to work out with someone. I love it. But I think I may have figured out why people quit exercising or take a break from it. It’s called sore muscles. Seriously, they hurt. And no matter what anyone says, it’s not always a "good hurt." You would think after doing all the friggin’ squats and blasted lunges – front and back mind you – that I have done in the past six months, my legs would be used to it. 

Nope. They’re not. I am obviously still not in very good shape. Yes, I have lost more than 40 pounds, but dang, my muscles need work. After our last Friday workout and then with Monday’s workout, I really truly was going to quit. Exercising, that is. I could barely walk, my legs hurt. Okay, I am kind of a baby and like to whine, but c’mon, it wasn’t much fun. And okay, it kind of was a "good hurt" – kind of. Fortunately, Tina and I already had plans to meet yesterday otherwise I probably wouldn’t have done anything. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do like to exercise. Most of the time. When I am done doing it, that is. And it does make me feel good and it really does help me make better food choices. Most of the time. Most often, I think, "I am not wasting all that exercise I just did for a lousy cookie or two." But then there are other times I think, "Well, I just exercised for an hour I can eat whatever I feel like." UGH! And someone just told me yesterday that I have such good willpower. Really? You think so? Sometimes, I don’t.

I just wish I was one of those persons who really, honestly, truly, thoroughly loves to exercise. I wish it didn’t seem like a chore or something I HAVE TO do. Maybe I am just sick and tired of being cooped up in the house and need to just get outside and run. Too bad I am such a wimp and won’t do anything outside unless it’s at least 40 degrees or warmer. I know, I AM A WIMP.

At any rate, I will keep plugging along and won’t quit. But sometimes, I sure wish I could.

By the way, for those who don’t yet, Confessions of a Fat Girl is on Facebook, so become a fan! Thanks!