January 13 – Weigh in day, and poetic blindness

“Anger as soon as fed is dead –
‘Tis starved makes it fat.” – Emily Dickinson

I really have no earthly idea how this quote relates to a weight loss program. I read the daily meditation in Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey. It talks about avoidance of emotional eating, which I know to be important, but this quote seems to argue in the opposite direction. Then again, I am fully able to admit that at 6:00am, fresh off a workout, hungry, and a little tired, I might be missing Mrs. Dickinson’s subtlety. Rather than focus on my poetic blindness, I will talk about the more obvious need to avoid emotional eating, and tell you how I did since my last weigh in.

Back in the mid 2000s, I was working on a team of people that was really great. My co-workers and I were all trying to promote better standards of Project Management at our company. Often we were met with skepticism from groups that didn’t want to change their practices. At times it was contentious dealing with project teams that would have preferred we just leave them alone.

At that time I had a manager (two up from me), who had decided to leave our company. This was right at the precipice of the Great Recession. I scheduled a one-on-one meeting to pick his brain about how he came to the decision to leave the company. What professional factors did he weight, etc.. For reasons known only to him, rather than taking a few minutes to mentor someone seeking his guidance, he decided to use the half hour to lob insults at me. He openly (and baselessly), questioned my integrity on several fronts. He essentially called me a fraud and a hypocrite with how I dealt with people. As a man in my 40s at the time, I will tell you I left his office in near tears. The meeting ended just a lunch time.

I walked back to my desk and started talking to my best work friend at the time. I told her what he’d said. She assured me that he was full of it. And, she suggested a trip to Benihana. She and I and another work mate loaded into our cars and feasted for lunch. I am sure I consumed about a day and a half’s worth of food in that single sitting. Clearly I was eating my emotions.

After lunch, and in the coming days I talked to a lot of people whose opinions I trust and asked them to be brutally honest with me about what this manager had said, and whether there was merit. While each said that there were aspects of my life where I could improve (who among us can’t say that?), it was also true that he had grossly over stated the case, and was completely full of it.

I mention this story to illuminate how I used to think. Going out for a calorie-packed lunch after a stressful morning wasn’t an exception, it was the rule. And working in an exceptionally stressful job meant that the lunch rule helped me pack on the pounds. This was in a time of my life when I was steadily climbing in weight.

This week has been stressful at work, as was last week. The first few weeks of the year tend to be this way until the normal processes of the year are established. Yesterday there was a crescendo of stress in a financial review which ended at 11:00am. After that meeting I had my staff meeting, then went to lunch. In years past that would have been a perfect “excuse” to consume mass quantities. Instead, I “treated” myself to eating the lunch I had packed in the break area rather than at my desk.

I will say more as the year goes on about how I fight emotional eating. Yesterday was a victory


This morning, after a 42 minute work out, I stepped on the scale and it read 246.4. For the year (and since the time since my last weigh-in 2 weeks ago), that is a 3.6 pound loss. I was pleasantly surprised, but certainly not satisfied with the result.

These past 2 weeks have been a struggle. I have had a hard time getting, and staying on track. Today I rose at 4:00am, and completed a 42 minute workout. THAT makes me feel good today.

For the week ahead, my intent is to get in a minimum of 3 workouts, with at least one of them being a 58 minute session, rather than the 42. I also intend to track, and stay within my points.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day…Staying away from emotional eating is a habit that I must continue to feed.

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