I’m telling you, I am not sure I could do WW without my weekly meeting. It’s what gives me the support I need to stay on track, but it is far too easy for me to just eat junk and be happy about it. You see, food is my drug of choice. I’ve mentioned that before and no matter how much I KNOW this to be true it doesn’t keep me from abusing it. Last week, in our WW workshop, the weekly topic was emotional eating. I thought it poignant that Barbara (our fearless leader) noted that we learn emotional eating at an early age. As in shortly after our first breath when we let out our first cries and a bottle or ninny is immediately shoved in our mouth. That statement was an eye-opener for me.

There are days and even weeks that I have no problem feeding my body what it needs–good, healthy food. And then, there are days I feel like eating nothing but junk. I’ll have every intention of eating well. I’ll start out eating good, healthy food but by 2 pm, I want a snack and what I’m thinking isn’t an apple or some carrots. I need something more along the lines of chocolate. I know now to stock my desk drawer with WW sweet snacks…and believe me, it’s stocked!

By 5 pm, I’m hungry and not in the mood to wait until dinner is ready to get something….anything….in my belly. And this starts the guilt. I feel guilty that I’ve been snacking before dinner. Then the guilt (yes, more guilt) when I eat all of my dinner as if I haven’t had any snacks when I walked in the door. What I’ve found is that guilt is a heavy emotion for me. And it’s one that triggers my eating. And anyone who has ever struggled with their weight knows the binge/guilt thing well. The good news is that I am aware of this issue and I do my best to keep it under control.

I’m also a serious stress eater. My job doesn’t typically strike me as stressful. I was stressed out when my manager quit back in January. I adore this woman and when she had a greater opportunity, I never begrudged her for taking it. I just stressed out a lot because my safety net was leaving. I feel like I ate and ate, and then, I ate some more. It was April before I got that under control. I still notice when I am stressing that I will eat a bit more than normal. I may not even know what it is that is bothering me, but I know there is an issue if my eating is out of control.

I have worked hard to figure out my emotional triggers. When I was in my 30s, I realized that I couldn’t walk in my parents house and NOT eat something. I would walk in the door and go straight to the kitchen to rummage around. That was the craziest thing to me. My childhood home was a trigger for me. After plenty of therapy, I am happy to report that the reason this was a trigger for me is because this was a house full of people and I was afraid there was never enough. I have never gone hungry. Sure, we had our share of chipped beef on toast. Some people love that stuff, but it’s a very inexpensive meal. I remember once my mom ran out of milk and tried to give us powdered milk for our cereal. I never knew if this was because we had to or because she just couldn’t get to the store. Whatever it was, I developed a fear of not having enough. I still have to deal with that fear….you should see my pantry. Always stocked FULL. And this unwarranted fear is what still drives me today. I have to work on that emotional almost on a daily basis.

I think the toughest part in this journey is figuring out your food triggers. Its the same with anything, though. Once you figure out the trigger, you figure out how to deal with it. It’s half the battle in the fight against emotional eating.

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