Thanks so much for all the comments yesterday. Its always good to know we are not alone. One commenter asked if I knew of a way to stop the stress eating, and that made me think.
I think that the first thing is what Miz commented: love yourself. That is usually not a problem for me. But sometimes in the area of overeating, I can really get down on myself and despair. There’s just no point to that. And I’m not going to stop trying to eat well. “NEVER GIVE UP,” as Linda so wisely pointed out.
And when I thought about it, I did notice a trend. For me, the stress eating usually happens when I am away from home. And even though I usually bring a lot of my own food, it is not the same as being home and preparing really good food for myself. So I usually stop at the grocery store on the way home. And I stock up on my favorite fruits and vegetables. And just a note here: if you are inclined to deprive yourself of cherries (or whatever favorite fruit) in winter because they are ‘so expensive,’ compare them to the price of your favorite candy. Cherries at $3/pound (I have even paid $7/pound) is not much compared to my favorite See’s candy at $13/pound.
And then I think about all my favorite (good) food combos. Any kind of fruit and cottage cheese. “Cherries in the Snow” (my fancy name for cherries–I recommend investing in a cherry pitter–with 2 Tbsp cottage cheese mixed with 2 Tbsp lite cool whip.) Lite vanilla yogurt with apples, walnuts, and dates. Blueberry pancakes. Fat-free sugar-free cook-and-serve chocolate pudding. Pumpkin custard. Roasted veggies w/ parmesan. ‘Healthy’ microwave popcorn.
And then I write down a food plan for the day. I let myself eat every 2 1/2 hours if I need to. I let myself eat a little more than usual of my favorites. They are still a TON better than the old favorites (cookies, candy, breads, etc.) I guess its almost like a detox day. But much more enjoyable. I still think A LOT about the other stuff I could indulge in (cookies in the freezer, candy in the cupboard, etc.) But by having a lot of the good stuff around, I usually come down on the side of the good stuff, because I know I can have more of it. I know I will feel much better afterwards. I notice on these days that I am heavy on the fruit, but again, that is much preferable to heavy on the candy and cookies. And I really do try to incorporate some kind of protein in at least 3 of the mini-meals. Because I know that will make it last longer.
And, last of all, if I can possibly force myself to do it, I will go out for a walk. I never want to exercise when I am feeling stressed (‘I deserve to just relax’) but it sure makes me feel better afterwards. And to be honest, the motivating factor that gets me out the door is usually ‘you can eat a little more if you will exercise.’
Well, as you can tell by the many phrases ‘I can eat more,’ ‘more food,’ ‘eat more often,’ etc., I have a problem. It will never go away. But I can ‘manage’ it.