Friday, June 21, 2019

Stress Eating

I haven't blogged since November of 2018. Why? Well . . .I'm not totally sure. That last post was a fun one -- I won a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle!! Right around that time our daughter and son-in-law shared with us that they were expecting their first baby but we were sworn to secrecy. I was afraid I would slip and tell someone!

Then we had Christmas and New Year's. We've been under a massive construction project at work. Things have been going on!

If you are one of my friends or family who likes to "fix" things - STOP reading now. Just close your phone or computer and move on to something else. I don't need "fixing." I just realized last night, while home alone, that I needed to talk through some things.

See, it's like this. I've lost about 80 pounds over the last 2 years. FYI - 70 of those have been through using the WW (Weight Watchers) program. I thought that I had changed all of my habits over those 30 months but I realized last night that I still struggle with at lease one issue. At some point in my crazy past, I learned to "stuff" my feelings by eating. When I'm stressed, I want to eat. I noticed the struggle a couple of weeks ago but was able to manage by eating an extra piece of fruit or a protein bar, etc. Last night, I was home alone and over the course of several hours, I realized that I had eaten an entire cup (in tiny increments) of peanuts. On Weight Watchers, you get 23 points a day. A cup of peanuts has 26 points. I can't eat my regular food PLUS a cup of peanuts. This would definitely cause weight gain if I did it again . . .and I've worked way too hard.

So what has me stressed out? This is not anyone's fault -- this is my long-time habit of the way I deal with things. No . . I do not need time off. No . . .I do not need you to talk me through this. No . . .I don't need suggestions of what to do (I've been exercising twice a day; sleeping enough; etc.). I just need to process these thoughts and maybe my words might resonate with someone else and help them through a rough patch, too . . .so they won't eat a cup of peanuts!!

My sweet mother-in-law was put into the hospital last Friday and had to have a pacemaker installed on Saturday. She is over 90 (she doesn't like us to share her age) and she did well. She had another hospitalization back in October. We think she is going to live forever but reality has been knocking in the back of my head this last week. My mom died when I was 15. Mark and I have been married 35 years and dated two before that. Susie has been my mom for 37 years now - more than double the time I had with my own mother. Hospitals stress me out.

Our son and daughter-in-law moved to a lovely new home with an incredible yard. That shouldn't be stressful for me - I didn't go anywhere but I have felt stressed about their move.

Our daughter and son-in-law are expecting a sweet baby girl to arrive in July but our daughter has had some complications with her pregnancy. She lives an hour and a half away and her complications have been stressful for this mama bear (but nothing like the stress it has caused the two of them).

Just putting these thoughts down on paper (not really paper, is it??) is freeing up my mind. I follow several other folks on social media who have lost 100+ pounds and some of those folks are stress eaters, too. We can learn to deal with it but first we all have to recognize it. I'm recognizing it and claiming it and declaring it and dealing with it.

Last year, we participated in Celebrate Recovery as a staff. I didn't want to participate but it ended up being a really important step in my journey. I have to admit things -- TO MYSELF. I have to recognize these things. I also read Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen back in May and realized that I do indeed suffer from an eating disorder. Maybe not an eating disorder just like anyone else's but I have my own issues.

I'm also a number one on the Enneagram so I like things to be perfect. In the past, if I fell off the wagon . . .I stayed off the wagon because it (I) wasn't perfect. This journey is not about perfection. This journey is about permanent change -- a change that will add years to my life. Originally, I didn't even share with people that I was working on losing weight because if I failed, I thought I would quit (again!!). Somewhere along this journey, I realized that I can keep going - even when I eat a cup of peanuts. I've come way too far.

Maybe you drink too much. Maybe you eat too much. Maybe you struggle in some other area of your life. We don't have to do this alone. Hang in there. Recognize your struggles. If you need a friend, I'll even listen.