Thursday, October 28, 2010

Emotions at work

Yesterday, I wrote about learning to say "NO" and creating a plan for tackling new tasks.

Then I read a post on Everyday Health, which adds to yesterday's blog. It was talking about emotional eating, something I know about all too well. It's usually never hunger that causes me to reach for foods, but my mood or emotions that keep me from making good choices.

I know when I am tired, I eat more than I should. Ditto for days when the sun's just not shining on my life. Food becomes a distraction, and I usually eat it without thinking twice about what's going in my mouth.

That happened to me two nights ago. We had leftovers from Monday's Thanksgiving feast, and instead of filling my plate with turkey and greens, my plate had a white look to it. Turkey, turnips, corn, stuffing, mashed potatoes. Could I cram anymore starch into my mouth? Yes: a slice of apple pie. And yes it was a small slice, but I really did not need it at all.

Tuesday I was more than exhausted. I didn't sleep well Monday night -- the bowling ball of food rattling in my belly made me very uncomfortable. And now we all know that lack of sleep sets us up for a day of bad eating. When I got home Tuesday, I had enough energy to heat up leftovers -- and not more. We ate dinner on the couch watching TV -- two more no nos -- and then I promptly fell asleep.

Everyday Health claims there are ways to prevent our emotions from getting in the way of weight-loss, and yesterday I gave them a try.

1. Journal: I did that throughout Wednesday. Each time I felt like eating, I wrote down why. It was an interesting exercise, because "bored" and "tired" won out. I also wrote down what and when I ate.
2. Keep yourself distracted. Everyday Health says that instead of focusing on cravings, engross yourself in a good book, listen to music, watch a movie, call a friend, or better yet, hit the gym or head outdoors and get some exercise. At work, I could do known of these things, but I did get up and take a walk around the office. I also drank one glass of water before each walk, and put the kettle on to boil for a cup of tea. It really did help.
3. Cook something healthy. No time last night because I went to yoga. That was my priority. I had a piece of wheat-free bread and some peanut butter for dinner. Everyday Health says if you make the effort to prepare a wholesome meal rather than grabbing convenience food, you’ll really enjoy eating it. Cooking is also great way to take your mind off what’s bothering you.
Before you grab that doughnut, think, “Is this going to make me feel any better?”

Baby steps.....

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