|Photo courtesy jules:stonesoup, licenced CC BY SA|
I have to admit that this has been a difficult week for me. I have been snacking. A lot. And not in a reasonable way, with healthy almonds or apples - - this week I have been snacking on chocolate. Lots of it.
I keep a candy machine full of peanut butter M&Ms on my desk, and on special chocolate occasions like Easter, Valentine's Day or Halloween I also put out a candy dish with special chocolates and candy. Mini eggs at Easter, mini chocolate bars at Halloween, chocolate caramel hearts at Valentine's day - - the people in my office love 'em.
I am generally a woman of stone when it comes to eating the chocolates. I typically just don't do it. I know that chocolate is one of my trigger foods, so I tend not to eat it, because if I eat one piece, I want to go back and eat 10 more pieces. The peanut butter M&Ms do not tempt me at all - - they never have - - but I have to be on my guard with the other chocolates.
In the last few weeks I have been sorely tempted by the candy dish, to the point where I finally crossed the line and started to eat the sweets myself. Most days I would be diligent and track what I ate, but a couple of days I went completely and utterly off the reservation and ate chocolate after chocolate after chocolate. Mini peanut butter cups? Sure thing. Hershey's Kisses? Absolutely. Mini Peppermint Patties? Bring 'em on. And on. And on. After a few minutes it was easy to lose track of how many little chocolates I had actually eaten. Enough to have lost count, which is too many, when you think about it.
Once I began the rationalization process involved with having the first little chocolate (so tiny, so few calories, I'm still way under on my calories, I worked out today), eating the next 10 or 15 chocolates was easy. Except for looking at myself and owning up to what I just did - - that was difficult.
I knew that this week I was in danger of sliding completely off the rails. So I did what I should have done last week, and went back to basics.
Yesterday I tried to make it through just one day without illicit snacking. No little chocolates. No mini caramels. No shredded cheese. No bread with margarine. Just three balanced nutritious meals with proper sensible snacks. If I could make it through one day, I thought, I would be able to begin taking back control over my eating.
I made it. Every time I felt tempted to pop a chocolate into my mouth, I took a new piece of gum, or a took a sip of water. Anything to deal with the oral fixation I have been feeding with sweets. And when I got home, I went straight to bed and didn't hang out in the kitchen, looking for snacking ideas.
This morning I felt great. Full of energy for my weights + elliptical day, and a million pounds lighter - - mentally, at least. I had beaten down my impulsive eating and had stuck to my plan, for one day at least. But that one day was a complete win, and I feel great for having that win under my belt. It showed me that I could do it - - I could be in control again.
Today is a new day, of course, and another day to try and hit the plan. Having mastered my impulsive eating once, though, now I know that if I take it just a day at a time and if I keep my focus on the fundamentals I can push past this and return to my healthy eating habits. Today already feels easier than yesterday - - it is requiring less of a physical act of will to resist the siren call of the chocolates.
Tomorrow when the chocolates run out the jar will go away until Back to School season. This little habit is too expensive - - in many ways. Aside from the money I spend subsidizing my co-workers' snacking habits (which is not insignificant - - these guys can put 'em away!), I have fought too hard to develop healthy eating habits to piss them all away on a handful of candy now. I work too hard every day, sweating it out on that damn elliptical, to give it up now with stupid mindless emotional eating.
I am better than this. I can be better than this. One day at a time.