Emotional eating

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 10:25 PM | comments: 0

I know I'm getting back to a more sensible place in terms of eating when it's getting late and I'm already thinking about that leftover turkey burger for lunch tomorrow. It means I'm in that groove that leads to better decisions as a mode of daily lifestyle. I've been there before, and I know how I slip out of it, too.

In this case, I think I scared myself back into the groove. In purging some of my boxes of crap, I found a photo of myself from around the turn of the century that was, at the very least, not flattering. It was clearly from the time that I weighed about 30 pounds more than I do now, and that 30 pounds is pretty dramatic. I don't think I'm at risk of going back to that, but I do see that my old habits can be scary.

It's not really the weight that concerns me (though I'd be perfectly happy to shed another 20 pounds or so), but more my level of fitness. Prior to my realization around weight and fitness back in 2005, I would get winded going up stairs. I would play volleyball with the kids I was coaching, but I couldn't keep up. What a difference it made the year I did the high school season at The Elms. I couldn't believe how long I could play or how high I could jump, because I was focused on eating less and being just a little more active.

In the years since, I've been up and down a bit, but never back to those dark days. In Seattle it was warm enough to be walking about year-round. When I worked remotely, I played tennis. When I moved to Florida, well, how can you not be active outside when it's sunny almost every day? Getting a FitBit made me even more self-aware.

While I've stayed active enough to be able to log 10 miles around a theme park in any given day without being tired or hurting, I haven't been keeping honest about eating. I'm an emotional eater, and I know it. When I'm stressed, anxious or lonely, I throw portion control out the window. I actually feel intense sensations of joy when I hold a burrito in my hand or tear through a half-dozen boneless wings. I did that quite a bit starting in February, because of all the drama around the house and, for completely irrational reasons, my job search. Now we're getting comfortable in our house, and I'm in a full-time gig, so that has passed. (I still need to prove I don't suck, but I think I can do that.) I'm getting the mental bandwidth back to say, "No, stupid, you can't have a McHockeyPuck for breakfast, a burrito for lunch and chocolate covered chicken wings for dinner and expect to feel healthy."

Knowing that I'll go out for lunch a lot less will certainly help me a lot, too. If there's one thing that works for me when telecommuting, it's that I rarely miss breakfast, and I don't eat out as much. It does require being proactive about physical activity, since you don't even walk to your car, but I just need to find that groove.


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