Friday, October 31, 2014

My Trick to Eating Just ONE Treat Versus Eating the WHOLE Bag

Happy Halloween!  The final day in a week when emotional eating chocolate lovers like me are tortured nearly to death!

There have been more large bowls of candy passed around my company this week than ever before. I even won a large bowl filled with full-size candy bars at a conference (I couldn't win the laptop or the TV.  Nope, my ticket is pulled last for the Candy Bowl Centerpiece!)!  The first few days I completely abstained.  Didn't touch a single wrapper.  On Wednesday I enjoyed one piece of candy - A Peanut Butter Snicker's Square.  Mmmmmmm!  Yesterday when I left my office, I was embarrassed by the number of wrappers in my garbage can.  YIKES!  And I didn't contain my candy feast to just my desk so I know there were more wrappers with my fingerprints scattered in garbage cans throughout our Center. 

As I was thinking about it last night, I had an AH-HA Moment.  What had made the difference?  Purposeful eating.

Those first few days when I abstained from even touching the candy, I was very focused on it.  Most of my time was spent hoping the bowl wouldn't be passed around the Conference Table again.  I was so worried about eating too much.  I even re-routed myself through the office so that I didn't have to pass those who I knew had candy bowls on their desks and would offer me a piece if I popped in to say hi.  I was very uncomfortable.

On Wednesday, I took a cut-up apple with me to a meeting.  When the candy bowl was passed around the first time, I took a piece and set it on the table.  During the meeting I munched on that sweet apple and left that candy bar sit.  After the meeting, I stole a few seconds to myself in a quiet office, stood looking out the window and slowly ate that Peanut Butter Snicker's Square in four bites.  The peanut butter, the peanuts, the chocolate - It was so good!  After that, I didn't really think about candy any more.

Yesterday, when that bowl was passed around the Conference Table the first time, I grabbed a piece, unwrapped it, popped the whole snack-size piece in my mouth and practically swallowed it whole.  There was no thought, no enjoyment, no nothing.  I was not satisfied at all.  And my guard was down.  So the rest of the day I just popped piece after piece of calorie-filled chocolate bars in my mouth.  Meetings.  A Halloween Parade for our participants.  End of the day chaos.  I just went to town and didn't pass up a single piece.  When I saw that pile of wrappers at the end of the day, I felt sick.

Lesson learned!  When I ate slowly and focused on the taste and texture, I was satisfied.  When I thoughtlessly crammed piece after piece in my mouth, I didn't even realize what I was eating let alone enjoy what I was eating.  I just kept eating mindlessly searching for that satisfaction. 

So today - a day filled with lots and lots of treats - I'm not going to trick myself into thinking that I have this eating thing under control.  But, I'm also not going to deprive myself of the joy that comes from chocolate.  I will enjoy a treat or two today, but I will focus on the yummy goodness of those treats and not simply shove empty calories onto my waistline. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Acknowledge. Manage. Move On. FORGIVE. REPEAT.

A few weeks I ago I was watching one of my favorite TV shows - The Biggest Loser.  Trainer Bob was having a conversation with a contestant and they came up with a phrase that Bob said would inspire others:  Acknowledge.  Manage.  Move On.

ACKNOWLEDGE your bad habit or problem.
Come up with a plan to MANAGE it.
Don't get stuck or focused on the problem - MOVE ON focused on the solution.

At first I was so excited by that phrase.  I thought it was perfect.  I repeated it to myself in my head for several days, especially the last part - MOVE ON. 

MOVE ON Lisa - You're done with emotional eating.  You know what to do.
MOVE ON Lisa - You know better than to cave to the exhaustion of stress.  Get moving.
MOVE ON . . . .

I quickly realized that there were two more words that needed to be added on to Bob's inspiring phrase.  FORGIVE and REPEAT.

Sometimes the call of the chips is so much louder than the call of my running shoes.  Sometimes there is literally nothing more I want to do than crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head.  Sometimes I mess up.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  Messing up is not the time to give up.  Messing up is the time to get up and start again.

I need to FORGIVE myself for taking that little detour and rid myself of the guilt that always comes when I screw up.  Then, I go back to the beginning and REPEAT the whole process.

ACKNOWLEDGE my bad habit or problem or mistake.
Come up with a plan to MANAGE it.
Don't get stuck or focused on the problem - MOVE ON focused on the solution.
FORGIVE myself when I make a mistake.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

High Triglycerides . . . This Battle Just Got Real!

At his doctor's appointment this week we reviewed the results of my 15 year-old son's blood work.  Due to a new medication that he is on, he has blood drawn monthly.  Everything has looked great for the past four months, but not this time.  His triglyceride levels have spiked.  High enough that if they are still at this level next month he will have to go off the medication.

I've often worried about my kids and blood work.  Would it reveal high cholesterol?  Pre-diabetes?  Any number of problems that can be caused by being overweight.  Another layer in the coating of worry and guilt that I carry due to the impact my poor coping skills and crazy emotional eating has had on their childhood. 

There are two good points in receiving these bad results:
1) We have some control over his triglyceride levels other than adjusting the medication.  Making changes in his activity level, eating habits and weight can lower those numbers.
2) I am prepared.  For the past four years I have gathered information and tried new things and changed my own life. 

I've been working hard to motivate my kids to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle.  Over the years I've seen multiple successes.  But this battle just got real.  It's no longer about their future health and happiness.  It's about right NOW. 

It's time to be a strong motivator, a creative chef, an educator and an example.  Getting my teenager to eat more fruits and veggies is going to be hard.  Getting my teenager off the couch everyday is going to be hard.  Keeping myself smiling and positive and not frustrated is going to be hard.  But I'm up for the challenge and ready for battle.  Let's Go!!!