Thursday, November 11, 2004

Emotional eating

It starts out innocent enough. You eat the leftover Thai food from the night before, which was probably 3 servings worth, but you didn't realize just how much was in there because you ate it straight from the container instead of putting it on a plate. Any other day you'd have measured every single bite and counted every last point but not today. Why? Because you're upset. It can be a bad day at work or an argument with a loved one. It doesn't matter how big or small the emotional pain or how good you've BEEN doing on your fight to lose your extra weight because right now you feel, even subconsciously, that the only thing that will make you feel better is eating...and so you do.

Now you run out to the store to get something and grab a pint of ice cream barely pausing to think about the fact that you don't really eat that stuff anymore because it is your biggest trigger food. It's the food you tend to eat the most of. You get home, grab a spoon, and belly up to that little Ben & Jerry's carton of heaven and start watching a movie. Like a well oiled machine you take mouthful after mouthful barely even aware of the fact that you're eating something. Now, it's been proven (by some evil scientists) that after the first few bites of ice cream you can't really even taste it anymore because your taste buds are pretty much frozen. Well, you're no quitter. Eat on you say!! Wasn't it your parents that always said that if you're going to start something then finish it? Well, by God, finish it you will...and finish it you did. An entire pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting. You look down at the empty carton of doom and say to yourself, "What did I just do?" This is when you flash back to the carton of Thai you ate an hour ago and start to panic. You run to your room, throw off your clothes & jump on the scale. Then the praying begins "Please God, Please God, Please NOT let it be up too much." You look down, and as if someone were pushing down on your shoulders, you have magically gained 9 pounds in the matter of one day. After verbally berating yourself you cry yourself to sleep.

The next day you get up and hop on that scale again after, of course, going to the bathroom. The praying starts again, much the same as the night before, and when you look down it's a gain of 7 pounds. It took you 3 weeks to lose those 7 pounds and now you've gained it back in ONE DAY! You stomp into the kitchen and make a batch of Almond Poppyseed Muffins. You eat half the batch figuring, "Why not, you've already completely screwed up this week." Then you sit on the couch for 6 hours straight wallowing in your self-pity. You lament over what a complete failure you are. You cry, you berate yourself just a little more and it takes you an entire week to fully get back on track again because you're so upset over what you've done.

You've just experienced a day (or more) in the life of an emotional eater. A day I've had more times than I can count. A day I had last weekend. No, I didn't eat ice cream (thank God) but I have many times, and my Thai food was actually a run to Taco Bell, but the Poppyseed aspect was right on. Why'd I cave? I was upset about an argument I'd had with someone, it's as simple as that. Just when I thought I'd gained my composure, my doctor tells me I have pre-diabetes and I spiraled into a major case of depression, which I'm still in. It's a life of meds and blood testing for me because my doctor treats pre-diabetes as aggressively as diabetes (especially for someone with diabetes in the family). All I want to do is eat everything in site and it's taking all my strength not to. The only bright side I can find is that I'm not emotionally eating as badly as I would have before I got back in the zone. Inevitably, I will gain when I get on the scale tomorrow for my weekly weigh in and that too I will have to deal with. Will it make me even more depressed so that I do give in and eat anything and everything I can? Only time will tell. But I will get on the scale, do my praying for mercy, and then hold myself accountable for every last pound gained.

(Update: I didn't gain...or lose. I stayed exactly the same.)

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