Fallin’ Off the Wagon

So, I’ve fallin’ off the wagon. No, I don’t have a drinking problem but I do have a dieting problem. I’ve totally been off my diet for the last three weeks or so and am struggling to get back on that wagon!

To be fair to myself, which I find most dieters (women in particular) are not fair to ourselves, so to be fair, I was quite sick for about two weeks and ate a lot of soup and comfort food.  I’m not trying to make excuses but when you don’t feel well, the last thing you want to eat is a bunch of rabbit food!  To be honest with myself, however, instead of getting right back on track when I started feeling better, I just went with it and fell back in to old patterns of eating.  There, at least I was honest and only had one excuse for eating badly!

Back to being fair though, even being sick and not eating well, most of the time in these last three weeks, I haven’t eaten that badly; during the day!  After work and night time is still a struggle.   I have received a ton of great suggestions on how to combat that and am still working on putting those in place but I’ve really come to recognize that I eat my feelings.

I’ve always known that I was an emotional eater but I’ve given it a lot more thought lately and I like the phrase, ‘I eat my feelings.’ I feel like it is so much more descriptive of what is going on with me than just saying I’m an emotional eater.  For example:  ‘I’m sad’–eat some ice cream!,  ‘I’m bored’–have some salty chips!, ‘I’m stressed and frustrated’–eat a second mini-dinner!  ‘I’m happy’–let’s celebrate with a platter of nachos!  See the pattern?  It doesn’t really seem to matter what the emotion, I eat my feelings!

I think part of my issue is (if I want to be totally psychoanalytical) food is comfort.  Growing up and in my adult life, food has meant comfort.  Whether it be to escape some unpleasantness in life or to celebrate something exciting or merely to spend time with someone I love, food has been at the center of those moments.

So the challenge is how to break that cycle and what to replace it with.  My other challenges are to set REALISTIC goals.  Not the, I will lose 50 pounds in the next month type of craziness but something realistic and obtainable.  Also, figure out a way to get back on track after a slip-up.  Here is my challenge to all of you:  what if any tips, suggestions or helpful hints do you have for my challenges?  How do I get past the emotional component of eating, be realistic and get back up on that wagon!  I look forward to your responses and thank you all for letting me be vulnerable and share my journey with you.

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