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.


  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    So yeah...I don't read many blogs anymore and even when I do I NEVER comment anymore. Mostly because I'm reading from my phone in the middle of doing something else. But tonight? Tonight I am actually reading your page from a computer. I can't even tell you what drew me to your page tonight. But man! Jennnnnn! This is so me. This is so spot on and such a great post. Ugh. It's deflating and enlightening at the same time, right?

    I'm proud of you. You're beautiful. Keep working at this for yourself. I'm trying too...

    Sarah D

    1. That is so funny!!

      Thank you for your comments and support!! It is weird, I always close myself off from people when I am trying to diet/lose weight and I always seem to have more issues and fail. This time I thought to share, even if no one reads...at least I am getting it out there for myself. Because honestly, I got some things to work out!!!

      I have had a few other friends who don't really read/comment often email me and say similar things and share. It is strangely comforting, knowing many of us are going through similar struggles when it comes to food, weight, exercise...whatever the issue.

      For so many years I would beat myself up about my binge eating and stress eating and go back and forth in some viscous cycle instead of acknowledging it and trying to work through it. Now I try to catch myself before it gets that far...or at least THAT bad!! :-)

      I am just trying to rid myself of not feeling so guilty when I do eat (like this weekend we had a party, and family in town and donuts!) because when I feel guilty I eat more. I have a feeling my food issues are something I have to learn to live with for the rest of my life.

      Thank you again for your very kind words!!! It is so nice to know so many kind, beautiful, strong women (like yourself). And to remember that "that number" isn't everything...it is about feeling good in your skin and being healthy.

      You are absolutely amazing my friend!! All we can do is keep trying. My sister sent this to me awhile back when I was down because I was stuck with my weight loss: "If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now." It just speaks SO MUCH to me and every time I think about quitting or get down (which is more frequently then I care to admit!!) I say it. It helps ;-)

  2. Oh Jenn, You're so brave. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Oh man, you're not alone.

    Growing up, food was always a reward. We didn't have much money, so when there was something to celebrate (a good report card, a birthday, a holiday, whatever) -- we always "celebrated" with food. ALWAYS.

    TO THIS DAY - I will be like, you've been doing so well working out! You deserve a ____________. (Fill in the blank with something terrible.) Why in the world would I deserve a COKE for working out? Why do I sabotage my success?

    I so wish I had a non-emotional relationship with food, too. (Maybe a lot of women do?) Like, I watch the husband and he has virtually NO issues with food. At all. He eats when he's hungry. He's never "in the mood" for something in particular; whereas he can plan a meal and if it's not what I want, I literally am angry. Like a petulant child.

    Oh man...

    Well, anyway - your post... it's inspiring a lot of reflection for me.

    And ONWARD you go. I love the idea that we're all imperfectly moving forward. We stumble. We have rough days. But all is not lost, you know? KEEP GOING.

    P.S. I am markedly nasty to my children when I'm hungry. :(

    1. Thank YOU for your kind words and always for your support. It means so much to have this open dialogue and support from a group of such amazing, strong and inspiring friends.

      I hear you on the food thing. Food has always been such a prominent part of our family. Perhaps that happens when you have a mom who is a great cook!! But same with us, rewards were food over some physical thing. Want to pretend you are somewhere…..themed food nights! If you were sad, making our favorite meal cheer us up. Memories of baking and cooking with my mom I cherish. But SO many memories revolve around food for me.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t change any of it, but somewhere along the way I developed this weird relationship with food and that is what I am working to figure out.

      I totally do that too: oh Jenn, you walked today…Have some ice cream! Um.

      And the anger. Oh my gosh, I really thought that was just me! Same here. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten mad…like ready to throw something, scream, cry mad over food. Either over not liking what he picked, or him saying he is not hungry when clearly I AM, or not eating at the exact time. I am embarrassed to admit how many times over the past 15 years I have yelled and gone to my room and cried and was like YOU EAT WHERE YOU WANT, I AM NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE. Sometimes I am like…grow up Jenn!!

      I am finding it very interesting how many people are struggling with similar things. When you are overweight you think only the people who are overweight will understand you and where you are coming from, but that is not at all the case. We all have similar issues with this stuff that we are working out. That is why I really find these comments so inspiring and motivating!!

      (Oh and Terry “jokes” that Henry inherited my temper when I am hungry.)