Monday, February 14, 2011

Emotional Eating


It has been far too long since I posted in this blog.  I had to wipe away cobwebs.  And I even dusted in here.  I must have burned a whole 2 calories doing that, right?  

I had a rough day last Thursday.  It ended up having a total melt down and bawling like an idiot when the straw finally broke the camels back.  It doesn't matter (anymore) the reasons for my stress and mental collapse, it's all over and done with.  And even better, it has been resolved.  What's the point of all this chatter?  Well when faced with adversity, what do you do?  Do you run for cover?  Do you face it head on?  Do you knock over anyone standing in your way?  Or do you turn to chocolate?  Chocolate is one my most favorite healers.  It's so soothing.  Especially the dark stuff.  It is healthier for you and it is proven that there is an ingredient in chocolate that makes us feel good.  But how does it help us feel good if after consuming it, we are laden with guilt?

How do we combat emotional eating?  Oh I wish I had the magic answer.  The one that tells you how to do it, with promises that it will work every time.  Sadly I do not.  I have weapons though.  Your weapons might different than mine.  We are different.  But I will share some here with you.

  1. Keep yourself at satisfied.  Don't let your stomach get too empty. Make sure you eat breakfast every morning, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner a snack.   Remember it is okay to have that sweet treat.  Just recognize the reason you are having it is for hunger. 
  2. Recognize if it is true hunger before you reach for that snack.  True hunger is the stomach is growling, sending a message to you to feed it.
  3. Would you eat an apple?  If no, then food is not the answer.
What makes you feel better besides food?  Yelling?  Punching a pillow?  Slamming pots and pans?  Those can be cathartic I suppose.  How about sending yourself to your room for a time out.  My room isn't spotless clean by any means, but one thing it is, is quiet.  I literally do not hear things when I am up there.  Yeah it is all the way up the stairs, but it is a nice place to be.

In our WW meeting, we were asked to think of 10 things to do keep from emotional eating.  So here are my ten.

  1. Get as far away from the food source as possible
  2. Do some deep breathing for a couple of minutes
  3. Sit and think for a moment about your physical self
  4. write it out...a letter(a blog) a journal
  5. call/email/text a friend
  6. distraction...clean something....heaven knows in my house that would keep me busy for days!
  7. Go through that pile of mail that is sitting on the desk 
  8. Give yourself a manicure/pedicure
  9. Mom time out
  10. plug in the ear buds and listen to some calming music
Now since everyone is different these things may not appeal to you.  I challenge you to make your own list of ten and post it on the fridge to help you remember those things you thought of when you were calm and relaxed.  See if it helps.  If it doesn't, make some changes.  This is all about trial and error.  And remember not to beat yourself up if you "mess up."  We are all human.  Just get right back up again and move forward.

What are your alternatives for stress eating?

Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards.

Sunday, January 30, 2011



When our kids are young and they do something good, we don't hesitate to reward them.  Sometimes we reward them with praise, and sometimes we reward them with hugs.  We also reward them with things.  So doesn't it make sense that we should also reward ourselves when we have done well???

I have spent a year now in my weight loss journey.  I am really struggling with the last 5 pounds.  It would be so easy to just quit.  But I want those last 5 gone. Aside from wanting them gone, what is my motivator to make them be gone?  I mean I do have skinny jeans now.  But, I also still have some muffin top there.    Or as Kim, my WW leader likes to call it, "mom stomach."  Yeah after three babies, it doesn't obey and bounce back into place.  It likes to hang around.  

So what can I do for rewards?  Let's start with the kind that don't cost money.  Food is always first in my thought, but then that is how I got here in the first place.  So onto non food rewards.  How about a nice hot bath.  I know ShortMama said this.  But let's face it, it is a good one.  

How about giving yourself a pedicure.  The whole deal.  Soaking your feet.  Putting lotion on them.  Painting your toes. 

Do you ever feel guilty for taking some time for yourself?  I mean while the kids are still up??  If there is someone home to watch them give yourself a time out.  (This is one I need to work on!) but you earned it.  You are working hard.

Naps.  Naps are always good.  I love a nap.  If naps are not for you, how about reading a book or watching a know that you like.

Monetary rewards:  jewelry.  I am not talking fine jewelry here.  I am talking just something to add to an outfit.  

By some stickers like stars or smiley faces.  Put them on the calendar when you have done something good.  Like exercise!  

Not quite in the next size down yet?  Buy a new blouse.  Get a belt to hold up the loose ones in the meantime.  Pick a funky one.  

Do you ever see something at Wally or Target that you want, but feel you just don't buy it because you don't need it?  How about a little gift...even if it is new oven mitts.  (I actually do need some!)

The point is, find a way to reward yourself for doing a good job!  This is not an easy journey.  And there will be bumps and trips along the way.  So why not treat yourself like a star!  How will you reward yourself?

I linked up with ShortMama!  Go and pay her a visit!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Flexible Restraint


When you hear the word "diet" you automatically start thinking of deprivation and lots and lots of lettuce.  Visions of deprivation. Depriving ourselves of things is a set up to not succeed.  I will agree however, that there are just some foods that can not be in the house.  For me this is candy.  I can't have it in the house.  I will eat it.  No matter where I put it, I will eat it.  So I choose not to buy it in mass quantities like I used to.  Now, once in a while I will reward myself with a regular size Hershey Dark.  I don't eat it all at once, though I absolutely could.  No, I just eat a little at a time.  Savor it, and make it last.  It is flexible restraint. 

Just like those rubber bands, we need to be flexible, but with some restraint.  I would not buy a bag of Herhseys Minis because I know I would end up eating most, if not all of them.  So I gave them up.  But I still get my chocolate fix with that regular chocolate bar.  Flexible restraint.

I can bake cookies or brownies from a mix and not even give them a second glance.  Why?  Because I know the difference between box and scratch.  If I make cookies from scratch--which is rare.  It is hard for me not to eat and eat those yummy things.  So I choose not to make them very often. 

But there are things we just will not give up.  And guess what?  You don't have to!  I like hot chocolate at night.  Yum.  I tried the diet stuff.  Gag!  No thanks.  Tried sugar free.  Ugh!  Just give me the regular stuff.  I am not drinking gallons of it.  I just want a nice cup of it now and then.  And sometimes, I get an extra special treat of hot chocolate from Starbuck's.  Sheer heaven. 

We can exercise a little flexible restraint(and portion control) and not have to give up the things we love.  If it proves to be too much, perhaps for a time you need to have it away from you.  Then you can try again later.  What foods or treats will you not give up?  How will you exercise flexible restraint!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I am participating in a blog hop with Shortmama as she continues her Muffin Top journey!  She picks a subject each week to blog about and this time it is motivation!  What is it that motivates you?  This is kind of funny because a friend of mine from church was asking me what it was that got me motivated to do it.  Well it started with three simple things.

  1. Vanity.  I am a vain person.  
  2.  Last year my doctor warned me about my weight and told me she didn't want to end up treating me for diabetes in 3 months time.
  3. And lastly....well this person....
That is me last year and 30 pounds ago.  I really don't want to be her again.
I like her much better this way.

But this did not come easy.  It's been a year of hard work and lots of changes.  So what is it that keeps me motivated?  My family.  My friends.  Seeing myself in clothes that actually fit me for a change.  (all my clothes are now drowning me!)

Another thing that motivates is doing this with my mom and my sister and seeing their progress as well.  The three of us have almost lost a total of 100 pounds!!  And now even more amazing is the three of us are exercising together!  We make a great team.  I also go to my Weight Watchers meetings each week.  My leader is out of this world.  And I have made friends there too.  And they help with the motivation too.  Sometimes I get frustrated.  I get whiny.  I want to give up.    Then I think of all my hard work.  And I look at these pictures and I realize as hard as it gets, I do not want to give it up.  So I keep going!  I have to push harder some days, but the reward is great.

What motivates you?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stay Ahead of Hunger!

Last August, Rich had shoulder surgery.  To help minimize pain he was given medicine.  He was also advised to stay ahead of the pain.  For instance he would take the pain meds before physical therapy.  Just like staying ahead of pain, we need to stay ahead of hunger. Why?  Well think about shopping when you are hungry.  What happens to your cart?  If it is like mine it is quickly filled with mysterious items, most of which I have no idea how they got there!!  It's the same thing when we are at home, at work or running errands.  We need to stay ahead of the hunger. So how do we do this?

We can stay ahead of the hunger with "power foods."  Weight Watchers describes "power foods" as  foods that have the ability to satisfy and on their impact on health.  Power Food are:  Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Non-Fat Dairy and Dairy Substitutes, Lean Proteins and more.

Fruits...all fruits, fresh, frozen and canned in their juices--(drained).
Not on the list:  Dried fruits and Juice--you can still have them but they are not considered a power food.

Veggies:  Pretty much all of them....with a few minor exceptions...

Juices (V-8)
Avocados.  They possess the "good for you fat." but they are not a power food.
Sweet pickles. 

whole grains:

Brown rices and wild
hot cereals (without added sugars, fruits or nuts)  Here's a tip can add your own fresh/frozen fruits and a little sugar or sugar substitute
Think Whole Grain with your pastas.
Popcorn!!  (94% Fat Free microwave or air popped)
Choose cereals with 4 more grams of fiber.


Think Low-Fat and Fat Free.  I started at 2% milk a year ago and now we are Fat Free. 
Red Meat:  keep it lean
Poultry:  Go skinless
Fish:  (Salmon has to be wild caught and not born in a tub)

Bonus:  Light English Muffins and other light breads
Light hot dogs (Hebrew National has a 99% fat free dog--very good.  And I don't even like hot dogs!)

Now start thinking of ways to put these foods together for your snacks and meals.  Try and decide if you are really hungry.  Here's a way:  Are you hungry enough to eat an apple?  If not, probably not real hunger yet.

Snack Ideas:  Apple and a small amount of PB (1 to 2 Tablespoons) Slice it up and dip away.  Or yogurt.  Maybe a low-fat string cheese.  Yes that candy bar sure is tasty but it will only last you about 5 minutes of satisfaction.  The apple and yogurt will last you til dinner. 

What satisfying foods are you going to include in your diet?

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start TODAY and make a new ending"  --Maria Robertson, Health Educator

Monday, January 10, 2011

Exercise Bingo & 100 Days


No, I have not called BINGO...nor have I completed 100 days of exercise.  The cool thing about the BINGO one is you can be very creative with how you use the letter.  For instance, Z was for Zumba.  Well I am going back on Friday..what will I call it then?  HOw about "D" for Dance?  "S" for Salsa.  Or as our teacher said...B for "baile.

The cool thing about the 100 day challenge is the guy who is doing it says that he doesn't care when you start.  He just wants you to start!  I will add to that by saying...does it have to be 100 consecutive days?  For some, maybe it does.  For me?  No.  I think if I fill in a square 3 or 4 times a week I am doing awesome.  

Remember for the 100 day challenge it is 30 minutes of activity (total) don't have to do it all at once.  Blackout bingo each letter represents exercise.  For me this was...

C:  Clean out the car
W:  Walking
Z: Zumba

Tell me about your exercise!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Exercise Bingo

What exactly is exercise BINGO?  Well I am so glad you asked!  See my Weight Watchers leader issued this challenge to her members and I am extending it to you...along with a giveaway.  Nothing fancy, just something fun for playing along.  How do you play?  Well let me tell you.  First of all it's blackout bingo.  You get one free square.  For each letter think of a kind of exercise to do.  W could be walking and Z for Zumba.  When you do an exercise black out the square and write down what you have done.  So far I have two.  C:  Clean out car....that was a real work out!  And W: walking.  Now you should be able to click on the picture to make it bigger and then print it off.   Check back on Monday to see my progress and tell me yours!!  Each time you report and comment with me it will give you an entry.  When you call BINGO you will be given 5 bonus entries.  See so easy!