Skinny Daily Post


There will be more about this later, but for right now, please believe me when I say that the last few weeks have been extremely stressful, at work and at home. Things have resolved to a large extent, and thereís been some food-related fallout. But something has changed, and itís not clear what it is.

This house is full of stuff I donít need to eat and donít really like. Thereís a big bowl of chocolate on the dining room table for the Alzheimerís mom (AM) Ė and itís not the kind of chocolate I like; in fact, that combination of peanuts and chocolate has always triggered major headaches. But for some reason, the bad taste and the headaches havenít stopped me over the past few weeks?

Eating at work has been fairly well controlled, but whenever the AM was disoriented and asking the same questions over and over and over again, Iíve been automatically reaching for something to put in my mouth. After a few days of this, however, it stopped being quite so automatic, and Iíd stop when I picked something up and look at it Ė wondering why it was in my hand and heading for my mouth.

The next sentence brought the answer: Stress, with the real possibility that the work stress was making the home stress much worse.

So, at least I recognized what had been going on. The next step was a little weird. I seemed to give myself Ďpermissioní to do it, as long as I was conscious of what I was doing and why I was doing it.

And the whole time Iíve been obsessing about the too-snug jeans, and amazed that I was stress eating while staring major regains in the face!

But the past few days, Iíve reached for things Ė cookies, chocolate, whatever Ė and stopped in mid-reach. ďNo, Jane. Youíre thirsty, not hungry.Ē: Or, ďNo, Jane. If you really want that later, you can have it, but this isnít the right time.Ē

So, with a combination of delay and awareness, Iíve been reducing that automatic eating reaction I have. And thatís REDUCING, not ELIMINATING.

And today, I had the courage to face the fear of the too-snug jeans, AND WORE THEM ALL DAY!!!! A few minutes ago, I walked past the bowl, and looked at it, then put the kettle on, grabbed that lovely pink cup and saucer, and made a lovely cup of peppermint tea. Thirst, not hunger, and soothing at the same time.

Step by step, one choice at at time. Sometimes I choose well, and sometimes I donít. But Iím headed in the right direction, for the right reason. Self-love is more helpful than self-hate.

7 thoughts on “Step by Step

  1. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful, courageous post. Thank you.

  2. jessica says:

    You know, I read your peppermint-tea-in-the-pink-teacup trick a few weeks back, and have employed it myself on more than one occasion… I found a decaf peppermint green tea that I love, and invested in a new tea kettle. Now I just need to find the perfect teacup, like yours. ūüôā

    My grandmother died two weeks ago – and I was faced with very similar food-related triggers and traps and I really fell off the wagon big time (chinese, pizza, buffalo wings, mexican, happy hour, beer, wine, chips, cookies all in one weekend), but the tea really helped me get back on track – and it’s not just the tea, it’s the act of drinking it, and of reminding myself while I’m drinking it to take a moment and reflect and relax.

    Thanks for the tip… I hope that your Mom doesn’t suffer too much. My grandmother had the beginning stages of Alzheimers, and it was very painful to watch.


  3. Deirdre says:

    So, with a combination of delay and awareness, Iíve been reducing that automatic eating reaction I have. And thatís REDUCING, not ELIMINATING.

    That’s a LOT considering the stress you’re under at home. Give yourself credit.

  4. Melli says:

    Goooood for YOU!!! This is a major step! It is HARD to get through stressful times and you are at least being AWARE of it — and trying to have control over it, instead of it having control over you! I think that right there is something to be PROUD of!


  5. stretchy says:

    Tea has saved me at gatherings where they serve lots of sweets. Sunday I sipped tea while watching a great big cake disappear into a couple of small women friends. By small I mean they are short. I was glad to have the tea, and I was glad they didn’t pressure me too much to take a slab of cake. ( I had a box of raisins just in case, but they devoured the cake in the end and I never had to employ the raisins.)

    Friendly gatherings turn into sugar feasts, and it isn’t easy, even though my friends might make one vegan dish, I still bring tea bags, fresh fruit, or a big green salad because…you never know. If the gathering is an all-day thing or a Holiday, you want to nibble in a fairly healthy way and it helps to make cups of tea to reduce the food intake.

  6. gp says:

    If you haven’t seen this article yet, you should take a look. It probably requires registration, but that’s free, or you can just grab a username and password from

    “The Cookie Wars”

  7. Jonathan says:

    Self love is pretty much the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal. The power within can be so elusive. But one step at a time, Jane, and you’re getting there!

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