Eating out of "Boredom"

Monday, August 08, 2011

After just passing through my first weekend on the Ideal Protein eating plan, I thought I'd post about eating out of "boredom."

Boredom isn't an emotion. In reading a few books on eating normally, the challenge when you think you're bored is to dig deeper into your being to see what emotion you're actually trying to placate with food.

Being on a strict eating plan this weekend, I found myself constantly turning to the thought of food (sometimes, I was legitimately hungry, so I'd find something on plan to eat). So, I'd sit with the question - "what are you actually trying to feed?" - which is a hard question if you normally feed that feeling with food. For me, the answer wasn't something simple like...feeling lonely. It actually has roots in that, but it goes a little deeper.

Not so long ago, I was in a job that essentially robbed me of my will to do anything other than work. It seemed my day consisted of waking up, going to work, coming home, passing out. Weekends were sleeping, waking up, watching my recorded shows from the week, going to sleep. I didn't want to hang out with friends or go out because I was just too exhausted.

It was during this stressful, adrenal gland-depleting time that I would continually graze through the weekend. I'd get cravings for something and I'd eat it. That's all I did: Watch TV, eat, Watch TV, eat. And the pounds packed on.

When I began working through normal eating and identifying emotional triggers for binging , weekends were the first thing that showed their true nature to me. I used to call it "boredom eating" but it wasn't.

The truth of the matter was: I was judging myself. The Negative-Me inside kept saying things like "You should be going out!" "You should be thinner!" "You should be out with friends!" "You're so lazy for sitting here all day!" You should...You should...You should. I didn't give myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted on the weekend. (A friend called it "Shouldding all over yourself.")

Since I'm depleted and exhausted (from adrenal fatigue), taking it easy on the weekends and recovering is actually GOOD for me. So, I told that Negative -Me to shut up. That what I was doing on the weekends (or not doing) was MY CHOICE. If I needed to recover and rest up, then so be it!! ...but the habit of grazing through the weekend had been built up (over 4 years).

...So, fast forward to this weekend, where I can't eat whatever I want or whatever my body is craving (that will come once the weight is off). The habit of reaching for something to eat has been so ingrained in my body, that I was literally fighting the reaction to grab something to eat all day Saturday.

Once I sat and realized what was going on, the rest of the weekend was "easy" - meaning, I knew what was going on and I gently checked my actual hunger level and either ate (because I was hungry) or reminded myself that recovering is good.

I knew that choosing Ideal Protein would bring a lot of emotional eating triggers to the surface where I'd have to confront them head-on. I know that years of emotional eating habits won't be shattered in one weekend, but at least I know what's going on now and I can do something about it instead of mindlessly going through the motions.

Good times!! emoticon
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