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Just noticing...and why that's important

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm just noticing this morning that the scale says I'm up two pounds. Well, damn, I say.

On the other hand, maybe my reaction should be: Hmmm, that's interesting.

Here's why I'm thinking that the second reaction might be more useful.

There was a great article this morning on Spark People about taming the emotional eating beast. The gist of it was that emotional eating mostly has to do with anxiety (and boredom) and that we literally go into a different state of mind when we get triggered to do that. That state of mind has different "rules" about what's okay and not okay. Among the "okay" things to do in that state of mind are mindless eating to soothe the anxiety or relieve the boredom.

The suggestions are, of course, to use distraction, waiting, and alternative soothing/stimulation methods (like a walk, a hot bath, or a chat with a friend).

What does this have to do with my reaction to a two-pound weight gain? Well: The weight gain stems *from* anxiety. My finances are pretty tricky...I just got paid after a few weeks without a check and while it's not a big amount of money, I felt relief about having money in my account. That relief -- coupled with ongoing tension about where my money is coming from -- created a "rock in slingshot" effect. I kept on buying: Some things I needed...and some things I didn't (i.e., calorically dense food).

The equation looks like this: Partial relief from anxiety = Mindless eating beast aroused = weight gain.

And then, when I saw this morning that the result of the mindless eating was weight gain, well, that aroused some MORE anxiety. And you know where that can lead.

What if, instead, I thought like a scientist and detached myself a tiny bit. "Hmmmm...interesting...you have gained some weight as a result of some extra eating. Nothing to worry about here, since you know exactly how to take that weight back off again. And besides -- you feel much better when you eat well. "

That means that I'll be using the techniques suggested in this morning's Spark article: My "alternative soothing methods" are to eat well and to get enough exercise -- beause living in a healthy way and living in a healthy body are all relief from anxiety!

Okey dokey!

Kathleen

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PHEBESS
    Yup - the detached viewpoint often works, because then you stop beating yourself up and go ahead and DO something about it!
    2614 days ago
  • FRANCESCANAZ
    You are one smart coconut! Te amo emoticon
    2614 days ago
  • WATERMELLEN
    Very interesting blog: for me (still) weight creep is most often associated with inappropriate self-medication for anxiety!! The kind of anxiety which is actually an inescapable element of being human and alive and stuff going on . . . .

    And: if I can characterize hunger as a signal that I'm really going to enjoy my next preplanned meal . . . in 20 minutes or 2 hours or whatever . . . that helps a whole lot in deciding that hunger is not an emergency!

    Thanks for your encouraging comment on my recent blog!
    2614 days ago
  • VALERIEMAHA
    What useful reflections...thanks for sharing the process, Kathleen.

    I checked out that amazing Dean Anderson (WAAAAH! I want Dean to come back!!!) article you made reference to and one of the comments caught my eye, "MSANDERS0803 - A really great book to read on this topic is Laurel Mellon's Wired for Joy..." Interesting hypothesis and research! Check it out:

    http://tinyurl.com/3ga3
    b5b

    I love seeing you back in the fray! I sense an increasing sense of well bring shining through! And I loveLoveLOVE your profile image, you hottie, you!
    emoticon
    Maha
    2615 days ago
  • LAURELSPARK
    I'm going to distract myself by going for a short walk! Have a super Saturday!
    2615 days ago
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