Over the weekend I felt particularly glum about the progress, or lack of, that I’ve been making with this ‘ere old emotional eating malarkey. Which in a lot of ways, feels much like ... none whatsoever.
So there I was, feeling all down about it, and woe-is-me-this-is-not-working-and-will-never-work-and-I’ll-be-stuck-like-this-forever.
Which when I think about it, and even at the time I knew it, was largely down to the fact that I was super tired after two late nights and not a lot of sleep whilst I was camping. I was basically being like an over-tired toddler that DOESN’T WANT TO GO TO BED! I knew I was tired, I knew I was eating rubbish because I was tired, and why the hell I didn’t just lie down and have a nap on Sunday afternoon before I hit the kitchen I do not know. But I didn’t and there we go. I ate cookies in the car on the way home in a desperate attempt not to fall asleep on the motorway (in retrospect, I could totally have just stopped at the services and got a tea or coffee to keep me going – caffeine being far more effective than sugar and all that), and then feeling sick from the sugar, I ate crisps when I got home because I was craving salt to counteract it. Yuh huh. Clever.
Monday was better as I’d had a good 10 hour sleep and could focus on things much more logically again, but it wasn’t until I was walking to work this morning that I had a bit of a revelation. Trying to change eating behaviours, is a bit like having physio on a particularly annoying injury. You have to do the exercises, diligently, every day, and some days you’ll forget or just get so annoyed with it because nothing is happening quickly and you still feel rubbish and wonky and whatever. But if you stick in there, eventually, progress starts to happen. Frustratingly slowly often (I should know, I’m currently physio-ing my shoulder and that too is driving me nuts) but if you don’t do anything at all, nothing gets better.
And the fact is that my progress is there – my progress is that I haven’t put weight on despite not being on a specific diet programme anymore, and I’m not yoyo-ing around wildly all over the place. It doesn’t take much more of a change from there, just one more habit gently nudged out before my weight will drop a bit. And then another.
And ok – it’s not quite as easy as I thought it would be, but it’s worth fighting for. I think that I expected that once I understood all my triggers, then they’d just melt away – but maybe it doesn’t work like that. Maybe I have to sit there and resist the call to eat, and acknowledge the discomfort of whatever I’m feeling for me to break the habit of turning to food. And so even though, I’m not on a diet there is still some will power involved – the difference is that this time I know why I’m craving food and I’m making a conscious change to my response rather than just trying to resist with blunt force until I cave under the weight of the craving.
Giving up gets me nowhere – there is no option to not try.