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Day 33: Eliminate Emotional Eating

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

(one of the Beck Diet Solution steps)
This challenge is going to be a long process for me. I shall persevere. Beck has many good instructions.

Right now the Emotional Eating issue reminds me of the "Bear Hunt" chant I learned in Girl Scouts: Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go through it, GOTTA GO AROUND IT! So far my "going around it" is DOING the processes as I'm instructed in Spark and Beck. Along the way, emotional stuff gets dealt with. Along the way, I'm getting stronger, and able to deal with additional emotional stuff. In the meantime, the helpful behaviors produce physical results which make me feel better.

One anecdote:
I was running behind and grabbed the bag of Wasabi Almonds as I left for a meeting. My husband was driving us the short distance.
First thought: We'll be there in just a couple minutes; I'll just nibble a few out of the bag. Second thought: No, I always need to portion it out; I know the calories for 22 almonds so just take that many. I count them and seal the bag.
Something reminds me of an argument I witnessed earlier. I'm thinking of what she said and what he said and what they coulda woulda shoulda said. A couple minutes, literally.
I look down and see 9 almonds in my hand. NINE.
I have NO MEMORY of eating 13 almonds.
BUT because of the principle and habit of not eating out of the bag, my mindless eating could only go so far. At least this time I didn't snap out of my reverie to find I'd unconsciously eaten half the bag!

During the extended process to Eliminate Emotional Eating, Beck's prescription makes the journey go a lot smoother.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGLITTLEWOMAN 3/17/2010 12:38PM

    If we were outside of ourselves and could watch ourselves, we would see these things we do, these habits that hurt us. But from the inside we just don't see it. Amazing.

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HGISFM 3/17/2010 12:18PM

    Great reminder, thanks!

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KISSFAN1 3/17/2010 7:00AM

    I almost always count or measure my almonds but was in a stressful situation one day this week with a family member and had the bag in my hand. I reverted to old habits for a second and was eating them out of the bag and realized instantly what I was doing. I stopped and thankfully was able to mentally realize how many I ate already and then counted out the rest and closed up the bag.

The family member asked me why I was counting almonds, LOL.

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ANNANN63 3/16/2010 10:11PM

    I too am guilty of having no memory of actually eating the food I have chosen for a meal or snack. There is something about the process of eating rather than the pleasure of the food that takes over. When I really eat consciously, I generally don't eat much at all. But I rarely eat consciously. I am not sure what the answer is but I celebrate logging what I eat and counting the calories so when I get to my daily limit, I literally stop eating.

I believe that eventually I will understand what I am doing with the mindless eating but for now, I am pleased that I keep it under control. I am glad you wrote this blog. I hadn't realized how important it is to figure this issue out.

Thank you.


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SUCHAHOOT 3/16/2010 7:21PM

    Counting is a good thing!!

I still catch myself not even realizing it's in my mouth before it's already on it's way down the hatch! I really don' t think I'd be overweight, at least not to this degree if not for this very problem. I still haven't quite figured out what it is about eating that eases the emotions.... sometimes the chemical reactions from specific foods, but it's not always that.

Enjoyed your blog as always.


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DAY 32: Prepare for Travel

Monday, March 15, 2010

On a last-minute out-of-state trip, this response card saved the day: "I can stick to my eating plan no matter what is going on in my life." Although I scoffed when I first read this statement in the Beck Diet Solution, I made a choice to behave as if it were true . . . essentially to make it come true.

I need lots of this, since for many years I practiced unhealthy eating, so I have to REPLACE many strong emotional links between travel activities and junk food or junk choices.
I had a favorite junk-food combo for mid-afternoon at the beach. I replaced that with black grapes & habanero almonds, which taste great to me. I had to visualize myself utterly relaxed, loving the beach, and thrilled with my healthy snack. I did this before we left and I "practiced" each night before a beach outing.
My travel strategy is to review the next day's upcoming activities, as best I can predict, and mentally rehearse healthy choices in each situation. If I know a restaurant or at least what type, I plan a likely food order and visualize myself eating it with delight.
I mentally rehearse what might be necessary to keep myself plentifully supplied with water, since not drinking enough will sink my efforts faster than anything!
I love it that positive choices breed more positive choices: when I am successful doing it the healthy way, I am building up a new memory bank of good choices . . . creating new grooves of habit to make it easier next time.

On one trip I noticed I was excusing unhealthy eating by whining to myself, "Everything they serve here is bad for me!" After analysis and prayer I wrote this response card:
"SOMETHING here is a better choice. I can pick what most nearly fits my eating plan. At least I can stick with an appropriate portion. I will be so happy later if I'm resourceful even when the selection is more challenging!"

If I blow it on a trip, it is even more critical to say, "I can get back on track THIS MINUTE!"

I do allot myself extra calories while traveling, according to Beck's option. If I have a goal I can still hit each day, I feel like I'm staying on track, and that really helps my overall motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAZZYR 3/16/2010 4:56PM


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NANCY- 3/16/2010 5:14AM

What a wonderful game plan.
"SOMETHING here is a better choice." is great. Sometimes it is all about attitude and you have a great one.

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FLUENTFROG 3/15/2010 10:38PM

    What wonderful self-awareness you have -- and exercise positively. Awesome!

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ID_VANDAL 3/15/2010 6:48PM

    Perfect - perfect - perfect! What a job and you are so right!

We can all take a lesson from you attitude and approach! The question is - will we take the lesson? I certainly hope so - I intend to.



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GABBYANNIE 3/15/2010 5:21PM

    Great job sticking to your plant!!!! Keep up the good work and have a great time!!!

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    You are in the mental groove of cope, cope and cope some more. Great job. I know if I am traveling, I will come back to your page and find this blog.

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SUCHAHOOT 3/15/2010 2:32PM

    Well, I tried to post once, if there are two...

Thanks for sharing your strategies you have built around the Beck program. The response card you created for travel/eating out is great!

Hope you're having a wonderful, sunny day!


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PRINCESSALICA 3/15/2010 2:22PM

    Great attitude! Good luck! You can and will do this! And remember no food ever tastes as good as skinny feels!

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DAY 31 and Gratitude

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What can I say to my Spark friends and associates who have encouraged me in so many ways . . . your support and kindness really lifted me up from the blues and the blahs. I send to you all an inadequate yet vigorous THANK YOU!!!

With all of your generous help I can sincerely say, OF COURSE I am not going to put that weight back on and OF COURSE I will keep going in this healthy lifestyle. I will reach a healthy weight some time in 2010 and stay in a healthy range while God gives me breath!

I am also giving myself CREDIT that I did not even THINK about eating a donut at church today. That was a previous Waterloo . . . but I'm encouraged that the habit of planning ahead for a healthy Sunday breakfast is so ingrained that I wasn't even tempted. I ate a healthy lunch, except for an unplanned breadstick my son brought home. No big deal.

I'm back on track and keeping myself moderate and sensible, not obsessive. Except about SparkPeople and blogging, of course . . . .

DAY 31 of Beck Diet Solution: "Decide about drinking." Alcohol doesn't appeal to me. It's not really on my radar. Plus it seems to present complications I don't need, such as expense, calories, and (even slight) altered judgment. For Beck's "decision," I'm deciding to skip it entirely. I well understand that I could use a little loosening up, but I'll pursue that through prayer and meditation (especially Scripture), human affection, humor, breathing techniques, aerobic dance, exercise, recreation with my family, volunteer work, calligraphy, crochet, painting and music (both crudely amateur but delightful for me).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUCHAHOOT 3/15/2010 2:21PM

    Thanks for sharing your daily insight around Beck's program. I have a trip coming up next week. The response card you created for travel/restuarants is great!

I'm enjoying a sunny day here. I hope you are having a wonderful day.


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ID_VANDAL 3/15/2010 10:52AM

    Hi there! Day 31 on Beck's - how inspiring! You have blogged about the steps so well and it's great to hear how you are doing! The no donut thing without even thinking about it is just a great example of how well you are doing!!

Keep up the good work and remember your a huge help to all of us out here in Sparkland!!



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JLITT62 3/15/2010 8:12AM

    I haven't drank anything in decades, literally.

I was never a big drinker, so it was no biggie for me to give it up. Decided long ago I'd rather eat than drink my calories (except for fruit smoothies!).

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AMARAN 3/15/2010 7:44AM

    Good for you! Those fellowship times can be tempting.


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NANCY- 3/15/2010 7:03AM

    What a wonderful position of strength you are coming from. Planning ahead does give us the strength to stay the course and help us achieve our goals.
You are doing great and by all means ... keep on blogging.

P.S. love your crocus background.

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    Whew, I am so glad you are feeling better.

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ANNANN63 3/14/2010 7:45PM

    So happy to see that you are feeling better. I had a setback today in a non-food goal and for a little while I was feeling bad about myself. Then I asked God to forgive me, accepted he did, and then I forgave myself. Life is good again. It is not the slips that are the problem, it is letting them overwhelm us and get us seriously off track. I am very proud of you.

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Confidence Casualty

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I have an overeating crash, I have been able to get back on track pretty fast with my food choices and planning/tracking. But I've noticed several times that what really suffers is my self-confidence.

Thursday night I was tired and worrying about my 2 sick girls (they're okay now). Plus I felt like I was coming down with their bronchitis myself. I didn't put it in God's hands; I fretted and then I ate some extra stuff. It wasn't very good, and I didn't enjoy it that much, but I didn't stop myself either. I just kept taking what I had put on the plate and loading it in my mouth. I did go ahead and log everything that night and make my food plan for Friday.

Friday I was trying to shake off the cold/cough. I followed my food plan and I told myself the information about getting back on track, but I felt little hope. I gave myself credit for not buying the coke & popcorn I wanted when I got gas, not eating a pastry while I got groceries, not going through the fast-food drive-in window, not eating a sloppy-joe and coke at the basketball concession stand. But I felt like each of those were narrow escapes. My "No Choice" button was broken.

I did go over my Advantages and several other Response Cards. I read several chapters of Beck and my daughter role-played some of the "in sessions" with me. God is helping me get back on track. My food behaviors are on target.

But my confidence is very low. Repeatedly I have to fight the worry that maybe I won't be able to keep losing, that maybe I won't even be able to maintain where I've got thus far. I'm trying to be rational. I know my Spark Friends will help me keep going. I know God is with me. My family will love me no matter what.

I miss that extra oomph that consistency gives me. Yes, it's normal and expected to have eating mistakes. But I want to remember that for me, it can be most costly in terms of mentality and motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGLITTLEWOMAN 3/13/2010 10:00PM

    Don't let one bad decision turn into a bad day. You are tired, the kids are sick and you ate some unplanned food. (probably standing up too, huh?) It is over and done. Look at all the great things you did and have been pointed out in all these other blogs.

Yes you can do this Freelady. It doesn't come easy but didn't Annann spell that out in a great way? I bet you keep some of that for your weekly digest.

I know you will feel better tomorrow and be right back where you need to be. You don't give up the ship over one problem. Also, don't forget that you cannot tell children to "do as I say and not as I do". They will mimic you, want to be like you and follow in your footsteps in more ways than you care to know. Your struggles and your perseverance are wonderful lessons for them to absorb.

I pray that the sun shines for you tomorrow, that the girls feel better, that you know how much you need to do this for yourself, that you gain confidence and recognize how far you have come. Congratulations on achieving so much in such a short time.

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ANNANN63 3/13/2010 6:31PM

    Years ago when I was beating myself up about one of my many failings, I had a realization. If something is really easy for a person to do (or not do) then they don't get much credit for doing it. It is when something is difficult and we keep doing what is right that we get mega credit. If a person who doesn't really enjoy eating (and I have met one in my life) is thin, they just don't get a lot of credit for being thin. There isn't any work involved. If someone has no desire to smoke (that is me) I don't get any special credit for not smoking. It takes nothing for me to not smoke. But when I don't eat something because it is not on my food plan, when I eat reasonable amounts of healthy food, when I exercise when I don't particularly want to; then I get tons of credit. You did the right thing over and over again today. Stop beating yourself up over yesterday--it is long gone. Give yourself major credit and be proud of doing the right things today.

The only way you can fail is if you give up. I love what Kenneth Copeland says: "I don't play 9 innings, I play until I win."

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SUCHAHOOT 3/13/2010 1:58PM

    Remember to give yourself CREDIT where Credit is due!! You said NO to a lot of temptations. Myabe write them down & read them over or re=read your blog. You listed a lot of things you deserve credit for! emoticon

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JLITT62 3/13/2010 1:49PM

    Isn't it interesting how our confidence is all tied up with our food choices? It seems so silly, doesn't it, but it's true!

I think everything has seasons. And there is an ebb and flow to our eating habits, day to day, month to month, season to season, just as surely as there are seasons. So don't worry, because by paying attention your good decisions will come back around again. I promise.

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SEWINGMEG 3/13/2010 1:11PM

    I know where you are and have been there many times... You will work through it, and learn each time to move on and learn a lot about yourself too. (((hugs))) You are doing great, I KNOW you will come through on top with the Lord help!

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MAZZYR 3/13/2010 11:43AM

I hear you, especially today. Taking steps to get back on track deserves credit and you deserve credit!

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ID_VANDAL 3/13/2010 11:16AM

    Funny how our mind can take us places even when we know better. As someone else said - I'll bet a lot of us could have written this blog (although not as well as you).

Wish I had the magic answer but I can say this and you know it's true - GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR DOING WHAT YOU DID!! The no popcorn, pastry, fast food - all major victories. We can't and won't win every battle but you certainly won some major ones in the last few days so try to focus on the wins!!

Go outside and enjoy just being alive!!




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ILOVEPEOPLE 3/13/2010 11:05AM

    I just love this blog. I feel as though I could have written it myself. In times likes these I have learned that I need to press into Jesus all the more. I need to remind myself that my lack of confidence because I had fallen is not coming from God, but from the enemy. For years I have listened to his lies and it takes time and practice to tune him out.I have a propensity for worry, but God has been really dealing with that issue in my life and I am so amazed at how much less I now worry. But when I do become anxious my first response is to eat. Now that I can see when that is happening I am able to remind myself to Press in to Jesus. I let myself feel bad and remind myself that it will pass and that this process is not a quick one. I Throw up what I like to affectionately call a "flare prayer." "Emerengcy God, I want to eat!!!, Help!!!"

Thank you for sharing! You are doing so great and I know you will succeed and your confidence will grow each and every day.
You have the victory! emoticon

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HIDIANE 3/13/2010 10:13AM

    I can really relate with you! Emotional eating. Rest assured you are not alone. It usually happens at night for me and I should just force myself to go to bed, but I can't always do that.

Now that you are recognizing the pattern it might become easier to break, and one of these times when the food doesn't taste so good you'll just stop and grab a stick of gum or glass of water and overcome it. Try to stop the worrying, God is in control! As they say, don't borrow trouble...there is enough to think about with current situations, why worry about something that hasn't happened and may not happen?!

Hang in there, YOU CAN DO IT!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLMOMX2 3/13/2010 9:12AM

    emoticon We all backslide at times, however you look like you're straightening out. You have a great family, God and friends to encourage you and YOU WILL DO THIS!! emoticon

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What Works

Friday, March 12, 2010

Here are some excerpts from an amazing site . . .

Works: Non-scale victories. (Resting heart rate down to the 50s from the 70s, swimming a mile at a time, etc.)
Doesn’t work: The number on the scale as a sole measure of success (and worth).

Works: Finding non-food ways to relief stress and nurture myself.
Doesn’t work: Controlling my moods, etc., with food. Acting like I am too tough to need nurturing.

Works: Simple automated visual diary to track food and exercise. Visual representation of goals. (And plan B of jotting notes in planner when I can’t do visual version.)

Doesn’t work: Complicated or inconvenient tracking systems, lack of awareness, not seeing where I am or where I want to go.

Works: Simple intuitive eating. Moderation. Periodic indulgence. Overall whole/”real” food approach.
Doesn’t work: Rigid rules. Extremes. Good food. Bad food. All carbs. No carbs.

Works: Being flexible. Having a plan B. And a plan C. (See no excuses.) Keeping on keepin’ on. Simplicity.
Doesn’t work: Being perfect. And failing. And making resolutions. And starting “fresh” on a magic date or day of week. Over and over.

Works: Humor. Perspective. Will [whatever is stressing me out] really matter in 5 years?
Doesn’t work: Being too serious. Obsessing.

The site has many more excellent pairs.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 3/13/2010 8:10AM

    Great pairs.
Really makes you think.

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ID_VANDAL 3/12/2010 7:29PM

    Thanks for the info FreeLaday - I'm with Skimmerjesse - I'll check it out!

You have a very nice weekend - after all the help you give everyone out here you deserve it!

Thanks for being there for all of us!



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PRINCESSALICA 3/12/2010 2:13PM

    THanks for sharing

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JLITT62 3/12/2010 1:39PM

    Interesting. I'm especially intrigued by the visual automated diary. Wish there was an example.

I use my Fitbook, which I love (enough to just order a whole year's supply).

Thanks for sharing!

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/12/2010 1:25PM

    Great info. I'll check out the website. Thanks for sharing.

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