Triggers are interesting things. You donít always know that you have them until youíre knee deep in something you shouldnít be doing. And even if you recognize a trigger, you may not realize that youíve started walking down that path.
Hereís what Iíve been noticing. Iíll be sitting in traffic, and my thoughts will turn to food. Iíll start noticing those fast food places, or the ice cream stands, or delis, or convenience stores, and some of the items in there will run through my head. When I do the Ďbody hunger check,í which includes figuring out when I last ate, itís obvious that Iím not hungry.
But I eat my appropriate, planned snack anyway [in the car Ė you can all slap my wrist if youíd like!], and continue to think about food. And when I get home, I go about my business Ė the dog, the Alzheimerís mom, coping with the family visits [which is why I havenít been posting much], etc. The worst thing is, however, that by the time the house is quiet and Iím all settled, I decide that I need a reward of some sort. Oh dear.
It took awhile to see what was happening and now Iím trying to figure out how to cope. Itís a combination of boredom and stress, combined with my finely honed ability to delay gratification! Who among us really ENJOYS sitting in commuter traffic, knowing that thereís a huge long list of STUFF to do? Add in those visual cues of FOOD everywhere, and Iím looking for comfort and distraction in a big way.
The key for me seems to be recognizing and managing the stress right then and there. Any delay in admitting Iím stressed seems to translate into reward eating later. Itís almost as if I know I want to zone out, to escape, and I simply tell myself Ďnot now, later.í See what I mean about setting off down a path without realizing it?
I can choose to ignore the cues. I can choose to manage my stress. But the real bugaboo is getting out of that Ďfood as rewardí mentality. And frankly, I havenít found anything that works as well, is so portable, requires little effort, and doesnít attract attention.
Except maybe knitting.
Keeping the weight off is a matter of paying attention and making many many tiny little decisions every single day. So, Iíll make some tea, and drive home. Maybe I should just stay out of the car?