I am rapidly approaching a danger zone: Emotional Eating.
I am feeling pretty stressed today and am very aware of my own, long-standing tendency to overeat mindlessly during difficult times. While I'm still on track, I know it wouldn't take much to push me over the "Give me that hot fudge sundae right now and nobody will get hurt" edge.
According to what I've read, it's important to identify what triggers emotional eating. Since this is an issue I've faced pretty much all my life and have confronted in the past, I'm pretty familiar with what my triggers are:
1. Issues/conflicts relative to my son's care;
2. Anytime I have to have a medical procedure that involves blood work or injections;
3. Waiting -- for anything -- will drive me RIGHT to the kitchen. (I must cultivate patience, but that is a subject for another blog.);
4. My husband's age/health and financial concerns relative to retirement (Financially, we're comfortable, but that could change at the drop of a hat);
5. Any insurance issues;
6. Relationship conflicts, of which, I seem to have many (at least, that's how it seems to me these days)
7. My son having behavioral challenges related to his disability.
So, triggers identified, my next task is to identify strategies I can use in the future to avoid self-medication with food. So far, this is what I've come up with:
2. Do yoga
3. Read a good book
4. Write a blog about what I'm feeling
5. If I'm not sure whether or not I'm really hungry or just craving, give it time to pass.
6. Drink a glass of water
7. Take a walk
8. Watch tv or a movie
9. Train the dogs
10. Listen to music
12. Go over my choral music
13. DO NOT banish "comfort" foods from my menu plan lest I should crave them more
14. Keep healthy snacks readily available
15. Do some form of housework to distract myself and burn off emotionally charged energy
16. Focus on the positive changes I'm making and give myself credit when and where it is due
17. Take a bath in my whirlpool tub
18. Go out to a movie
20. Play a computer game
21. Take a nap (especially since I don't get enough sleep as it is)
22. Drink a cup of herbal tea
24. Go to library to check out new music for my IPod
26. List 10 things for which I'm thankful
27. Watch a funny show and laugh out loud
28. Write down all the reasons I want to reach my healthy weight.
29. Make a list of all the things I want to do as I get closer to and reach my healthy weight.
30. Review and revise the lists I made for numbers 28 & 29.
31. Go to Grounds for Sculpture
32. Investigate new community groups and activities that might help me expand my social network
33. Have a "Photography Day".
34. Go to the gym
35. Fill a bag to go to Goodwill
I think that's a good start.
Oh, and one last thing . . . just keep putting one foot in front of the other, with faith that I will come out all right in the end.