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!