Thursday, March 3, 2011

Eating away your setback....

How could I ever be mad at this face?
I shared in late January that I suffered a setback when Clubber broke my toe.  I discussed how we need to ensure we plan for setbacks--have you taken the opportunity to think about how you could deal with a setback when/if it occurs?

For me, this setback has been quite a challenge, and as of yesterday will still be a challenge for another month.  I discovered that although my setback is not allowing me to do what I WANT to do, there is always something else that I CAN do.  I've been working hard on studying for the Personal Trainer exam, catching up with friends, but also training with the TRX Force system (Thanks to my sister, Crystal!).  It has been quite the life saver for me the past (almost) two months.  I've decided that my plan for future setbacks, because something is inevitably going to happen that will cause another, is to try to always have a backup exercise.  If I'm completely limited from mobility, there are always some of the postural and isometric contractions. :)

Now, on to the title for today:  Eating away your setback.  I found that I have to be really careful (and I've certainly slipped up a good bit) with not overeating since my exercise is still slightly limited.  Overeating is often easy to do when you're feeling down and out about something, because we often feed our emotions.  The hardest nights are always Wednesday, because this is the night of my favorite class that I not only cannot teach but I cannot even take without lots of modification.  Last night, I realized that I was about to feed my emotions after my appointment when I found out that I was unable to run and resume full activity for another month.  I was able to stop myself, and think about the situation before giving in to emotional eating.  Instead, I chose a better snack (a half of piece of cheese and a handful of Pop Chips) and went for a full walk with Clubber, and then an insane TRX Force workout.  Yay!!

Here's the challenge:  Can stop yourself from emotional eating and determine if you really want to consume the food that is about to fuel your emotions..... is it worth it?  Do you REALLY need to eat because you're hungry or are you just eating because you're upset/sad/depressed, etc.?  What else could you eat that is better for you, but will also satisfy you?  What else could you do to keep your hands busy so that you don't eat??  Can you stop yourself and think about food consumption when you're already emotional?  This is tough, but with good structure and self control YOU CAN DO THIS!

I know for women, emotional eating is always on movies and TV shows and it is even considered the "norm." How many movies or magazines portray a break up or an emotional event with a girl devouring a giant bowl of ice cream with a girlie movie?? 

Let's change this:  Find an alternative food and ensure that you have not only planned for your setback, but that you anticipate an emotional eating encounter.  If you want chocolate, eat ONE square of 72% and above of dark chocolate (86% Cacao from Ghiradelli is my FAV!).  If it is ice cream, then try to find a sorbet or try So Delicious coconut milk ice cream, or even the Almond Dream bites.  My friend and I discovered them and just 2-3 is perfect to hit the sweet spot.  Whatever you're feeling will satisfy your emotions, you should be able to step back and look at it and determine if you REALLY need it, if it will REALLY satisfy you and your emotions.  If it does, then so be it (try to be mindful at least of moderation or a once a week sort of thing).... if it is really the emotions, then try to pick an alternative so you aren't regretting the decision to further pursue those emotions and/or setback.

Feel free to share your emotional eating encounters and/or what you plan to replace your favorite emotional eating choice with. 

In the meantime, keep your chin up and keep smiling...... and have a GREAT day!!!!


  1. Thanks for the encouragement, April, I needed this! I don't have a problem with overeating but I do have a serious sugar addiction. So as soon as I was up and about after my surgery, I was making cookies without soccer or yoga to work them off.

  2. April - great stuff, as always.

    Even as a guy, I noticed this emotional eating pattern once when I was in the middle of a 10 day fast. There would be strife in the house with kids or whatever, and I would find myself standing in front of the pantry looking for something to munch on. I reminded myself that I wasn't eating anything (because of the fast) and then I'd find myself back in front of the pantry 10 minutes later - without even realizing how I had gotten there!!

    I also think boredom plays a role with this tendency - I know when I get bored I can start munching!!

    Thanks for the thoughts and the advice!!