Emo eating, addiction and wellness

Back to being a gym rat.

I broke my foot in June and quickly gained 14 pounds — faster, you might say, than a heifer on a feed lot. That was five months ago. Since September I’ve carved off nine of those pounds — as slowly as sculpting marble with a butter knife. Aaargh, that’s all I can say.

(Of course, it’s not all.) I realized — again! — at summer’s start that my first response to tension, sorrow, anxiety, anger, frustration, all of those emotions, was eating. When I’m tired, which is almost always, I eat. When I’m depressed, ditto,  I eat. I needed another, healthier tool.

About that time I read — again! — about someone giving up alcohol one day at a time. The words that stuck with me — finally! — were something to the effect that “Before I knew it, I’d gone a week without alcohol.” That’s all I have to worry about — today. Just make it until bedtime and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be the start of my 11th week without falling face forward into the bucket (I am not making this up) of tiny chocolate bars (spawn of the devil) at the office. I have to walk past this damn bucket every single freakin’ time I go in or out of my room into the lobby, to the restroom, to the supply room, etc. But I started telling myself, “Just for today. Tomorrow maybe you can grab a fistful as is your wont.”

But if you grab that fistful, you give up the good work of yesterday and all the yesterdays before that.

I haven’t said no sugar ever again. I would feel deprived (can’t have that). I am sticking to no chocolate bars in the office. I have discovered Medjool dates (4 points each out of my 23 daily Weight Watchers points). At night when I’m in the kitchen alone, on my way to bed, I can have one for the road, up the stairs. It’s really, really sweet and not refined sugar.

I’ve split a couple weekend desserts with others during these 10 weeks. Also, a tiny fundraiser candy bar with my husband. Those were real treats. The oatmeal bread he bakes every weekend tastes sweeter, now that I’m not cramming refined sugars into my mouth at every turn.

I’m back at the Y five or six days a week. Haven’t taken the injured foot on the treadmill yet, but I have used the elliptical twice. I’m jotting down a minute-by-minute schedule on those mornings I have to be at that chocolate-contaminated office so I can get to the Y before I go. I’ve also learned I do not go to the Y after work, no matter how good my morning intentions. I’m trying not to eat after 9 p.m.

A Silver Sneakers newsletter this week said the three main reasons why people of a certain age (mine) don’t lose or put on weight: We’re not eating enough protein, our sense of smell is fading and we don’t get enough sleep. I find the second particularly interesting because a diminished sense of smell means we crave stronger flavors, just like those engineered into processed foods.

When I’m drooping, I try walking around — even a few steps help. I try a bottle of water. Just as Weight Watchers has recommended for years, but maybe I’m finally ready to listen.

You might notice how many times the word “again!” appears in this post. That’s because sometimes it takes a lifetime, or a significant chunk of one, to change bad habits into good. That’s why the average opioid addict needs something like six or eight tries at rehab before it takes. Don’t give up on yourself or on me.

Along with the dates, I’ve discovered Skinny Pop popcorn. I was trying to avoid all the chemistry in microwave anything, but for now, it’s a filling, tasty snack and I’m not eating a trashcan-sized container full of popcorn.

I plan, plan and plan again. Knowing what’s for supper or evening snacks helps with the daytime munchies. Really. Some might call this obsessive. I’m calling it discipline. And I’m also planning on shedding that stinkin’ five pounds by New Year’s.






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