Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stress and Routine

The two biggest issues I tend to have with staying on a diet are stress and routines, or lack there of with the latter. 

Currently my stress level is at an all-time high and my routine has been seriously lacking for the entire month of February due to my son being sick a majority of the month.  Which also means most of the food we are buying is geared towards my son, so hello crackers, bread, soup and extra calories.

I need routine to stay on my diet.  When I don’t have the routine I don’t have meals planned, I make last minute decisions on food, I go for easy or convenient which is not always healthy.

And add stress on top of that and I am done for. 

I have always been an emotional eater, so between the emotions caused by life and the emotions and lack of sleep caused from illness in our house, I have not had the best few weeks in regards to my diet.

Sunday night my 3 year old and I were once again having confrontation after confrontation.  Partly due to the fact he is getting sick…AGAIN.  And partly caused by the fact he is 3 ½ and thinks he knows everything and can do everything, no matter what I tell him.

By bedtime I was almost at the breaking point.  As I sat in the rocking chair and he laid in the bed playing with the toys I told him to stop playing with a half a dozen times and then crying because I took the toys away....my thoughts drifted between frustration and wanting food.

It was weird, like this natural reaction I don’t think I ever noticed I did before…or maybe more accurately, never admitted I did before.  “Nooooo, I am not a stress eater!!  I just like food.” I call bullshit now.  But it was like this urge growing inside of me.  I needed something comforting after having a rough day and that is what I thought about.

I sat in that chair trying to justify the calories and then trying to talk myself out of eating everything anything  when I went downstairs.  “Oh Jenn, you can spare a few calories” (um, have you seen me…no I can’t).  “Jenn, you have come so far and haven’t lost anything the past 2 weeks…DON’T DO IT.”

After he fell asleep I still carried this conversation on with myself.  “DON’T GO IN THE KITCHEN!!  GO TO BED”  “Just have a bowl of cereal or something small.”

I gave in and went to the kitchen and just looked around.  And then this feeling came over me and I grabbed some cheese and crackers (260 calories).  And I ate them.  And I breathed this sigh of relief. It calmed me.  That feeling of eating relaxed me and took away the anxiety that had been building up inside me.   I then had a mini snack bag of dorritos (150calories).

And then as quick as it made me feel better, I felt so sad after.

I have been working so hard, that was 410 calories….almost a 1/3 of what I have been allowing myself each day.  In mere minutes (literally), the food was gone.


Now, in the past that would have just been the appetizer.  The start of a binge that could last an hour.

I did stop, unlike in the past.  Progress?!

But I still felt I needed food.  In that moment of stress, exhaustion, frustration, loneliness…I turned to food.

Obviously I have only been doing this diet for 3 months and I am a work in progress and I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  But it did hit me.  Even though I KNOW and acknowledge now what I am doing, I still went for it.  I haven't decided yet if that is better or worse.

I haven’t lost any weight the past couple weeks.  I haven’t gained.  

I went to bed reaffirming  that tomorrow is a new day and this is just a small bump and I know now I CAN do this and I will get back on track.  I have my food in the fridge again and not just stomach bug kid food.  I calculated everything I would eat for the day and am sticking to it.  I am feeling that hunger again and that is good.

This is a journey, a long journey.  I will not be “fixed” overnight and I accept that.  But I also know, that unlike before, I am not going to get discouraged and fall back into my old routines.  I have already come too far to go back.   I won’t go back…I just have to keep moving forward.

Hopefully in a week I can come back and tell you I am now at 20lbs lost.  That is my goal.