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.