Over these past few weeks, as I have been back sliding, one of the vices that found its way back into my routine is mindless snacking. Whether it be while watching TV, working from home in my office, visiting with friends, or playing a game with my wife, I have found myself increasingly turning to snacking.
When I am not being mindful in my life, I tend to be an emotional eater. I used to laugh it away with a quip like this…
Am I an emotional eater? Sure! I will eat because I am happy, sad, frustrated, angry, celebrating or grieving . Pretty much, if I am having an emotion, I want to eat!
Since starting down my journey toward better health in March of 2014, I have worked hard to control my eating urges. I have avoided using food and drink to sooth my nerves or calm my emotions. But since the first of the year, that effort has ebbed.
The good news is that in the last two and a half years my snacks of choice have changed. These days I am much more likely to reach for an apple, orange, or some other handy fruit. When I want something salty, I might grab 15 or 20 pistachios. And I LOVE air-popped popcorn. The problem isn’t with WHAT I am choosing to eat, it is that I am allowing myself to go over on my goals for the day (especially when pistachios or popcorn are in the mix).
This week, as I am plowing through my 50 days, I created this sign which now hangs on my refrigerator:
With this reminder plastered in front of me, I will once again become more mindful in my eating.
So far this week I am well on track. I have made a hand-written chart for myself where each night I record how I did against my goals for the day. When I am done, I highlight the individual lines, then color in the box with red, yellow or green highlighter to indicate my success level for the day. Thus far, with 5 days in the books, I am happy to say that 4 of the days are colored in green, and one is yellow. The yellow came on Sunday because while I tracked my food, I am not sure I was completely accurate and may have gone over. All of the other days I have kept to my points, and have exceeded my activity and exercise goals.
I am starting to feel like I have a small bit of my momentum back. Time will tell, but right now this feels like more than just a short burst.