Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Instead of eating the house, I’m blogging.


[Warning: Rambly]

I feel stressed tonight. I’m not sure where it came from, but it hit me very suddenly and I found myself racing around the law school, putting up posters for an event I’m running on Friday, and fighting the increasing urge to go home and stuff my face.

Interestingly, when the urge reached its peak I also had a completely clear awareness of the fact that I was not physically hungry. I could see the forest for the trees, so to speak, and I was crystal clear on the fact that I was anxious and stressed, and that eating good-tasting food would calm me down. It would make me feel good to have a nice taste in my mouth, and it would use up some aggression to crunch on something like popcorn or an apple.

Yes, I was craving “healthy” foods. But healthy foods eaten to alleviate stress become a bit less healthy, don’t they? It’s still an unhealthy eating behavior, whether I munch on carrots or chocolate bars.

So instead of eating these crunchy, stress-relieving, pacifying foods, I changed into PJs and plopped myself on the futon with my laptop. I’m perusing the message boards, playing online poker, and planning to get to bed early. I may even brew a cup of tea.

Here’s why I think this happened:
  • Although I had a “good” day today, I didn’t get a lot of studying done. I’m mostly stressed about the prospect of being unprepared on my exam.
  • Planning for this event on Friday is making me nervous that people will not show up.
  • I did not eat well for most of the day. My timing was strange this morning and I did not have a healthy breakfast. I find that if I don’t have a good, balanced breakfast, I go a bit off the deep end in the evening. I do fine for most of the day, but I find it MUCH more difficult to listen to my satisfaction signals at night if I didn’t start the day out right.
This is one of the things the Simply Filling Technique (SFT) has taught me. With points, I “paid” for the ability to maintain my bad habits. An apple eaten out of stress is the same number of points as an apple eaten because I was hungry. With SFT, the program won’t really work if I am constantly ignoring my hunger signals and eating like I’m at an all-you-can-eat buffet of filling foods. With SFT, I really need to struggle to fix some of these behaviors.

I was talking to my wonderful weight watchers leader before my weekly meeting today. I am moving to D.C. for the summer and will need to transfer my weight history to a new meeting location. She and I both kind of realized that I would probably not be hitting my goal weight before I left. This isn’t a big deal, time-wise...I’m not in a rush to hit goal, and have always felt as though I am happy to take all the time I need. But it’s sad because I have grown attached to the women in my meeting. They are lovely people and I went through my ENTIRE 26 pound journey with them...and I wanted them to be there when I reached goal, too.

As I talked with Cami, I wondered whether I’d made a mistake switching to SFT when I was so close to my goal weight (I was 136.6 when I switched. My goal at the time was 135; I’ve now moved it to 136). I was SO close, and probably would be at goal right now if I’d stuck with points. I lost much more consistently on points, after all.

But a bigger part of me is glad I took this detour. I feel as though I’m struggling with some of the “rebound” I would have had to face on maintenance anyway. I don’t know whether I will switch back to points...I might have to...but for now, as I blog instead of eat away my stress, as I feel more in tune with my body than I have in months...I’m glad I tried something different.

I still have faith I can make this work.

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