Thursday, July 7, 2016

Baby Steps

It's actually a very comfortable, not-too-humid summer afternoon here in Chicagoland. I've had a pleasant day, walking around the Lone Wolf wetland, and hanging out at the library. These two things, walking the nearby trails and spending time at the library, are two of my three favorite things to do while Chuck is at work on Take Your Wife to Work Days. The other activity I enjoy is shopping, but I'm trying to spend less time and money in the stores these days.

When I dropped Chuck off at work after lunch, RIGHT AFTER WE ATE, I thought, "Some frozen yogurt sounds good."

Except, my tummy didn't even want to eat. I wonder why I immediately thought of treating myself to a cold and creamy treat. I was not hungry; I was actually kind of uncomfortable. I had had a decent lunch. Maybe it was just too early to eat again. 

Gee, ya think?

You may wonder what I decided to do. At that moment, I decided I could have the yogurt later, when I was actually hungry. I went to the library, and read some more of the latest Jen Lancaster book, I Regret Nothing, and later, when I determined I was actually ready to eat, and not just looking for something to do to fill the time, I treated myself to a modest four ounce serving of frozen yogurt. Go, me. It's all about moving in the right direction this summer, not perfection. This is new territory for me.

When it comes to snacking, I find myself trying to wait awhile to see if I'm really hungry. More often than not, I'm not. Ugh. No wonder my pants had gotten so tight. Most of my life I just ate because I was on autopilot, grazing my way through the fridge and the cupboards, looking for the one thing I thought would squelch my craving. I was trying to satisfy my hunger with the wrong stuff all along.

As much as I'm trying to give up the "all or none," "good or bad," "right or wrong" mentality of eating, some days are better than others. I'm trying hard to learn what is driving my eating when I seem compelled to eat, despite the fact that there is no physical hunger present. Sometimes I realize I'm overtired, and sometimes I realize I'm not owning my emotions, and I just want to shellac over them with a little ice cream varnish, instead of doing the work of examining and dealing with them. 

On days like those, I may eat more than is satisfying, but then I examine my heart and mind, and try to get to the bottom of whatever it is that needs to see the light of day; a worry, a concern, or the emotion I am trying to stuff down with food.

Do I really believe that I'm going to lose <insert desirable number here> pounds by dealing with my emotions? If I'm honest, I HOPE that my clothes are going to fit better once I better manage my emotions, and therefore, my relationship with food. What I am realizing, though, is a big part of this process is accepting who I am, and what I look like, no matter what size or shape I'm in. That piece of the puzzle seems the most daunting. 

I'm working on it. One step at a time. Even if all the steps are baby steps right now. 

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