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A little Spark love, please....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm eating for comfort sometimes, and for reward. I'm eating sweets. It doesn't feel good.

There are some reasons, I'm sure, and I examine them to try to find solutions.

1) I miss summer fruit. It really did do away with my sugar cravings. So I have come up with some alternatives. They involve going to the store and doing some food prep. Okay, I will do that in the morning. I'll make a healthy fruit crisp, and buy the fixings for fruit smoothies, and I'll even pay too much money for the last California strawberries if they're still available!

2) The changing weather. It's just a hunch, but the lack of sunshine seems to bring about major carb cravings. I have been trying to get out every time the clouds part, but that hasn't been very often. Sigh.

3) Extra stress at work. I read recently that stress, real or perceived, depletes serotonin, leading to cravings for tryptophan-containing foods. I've also been craving dairy A LOT -- and eating way too much of it.

4) Loneliness. My closest friend has kind of disappeared. I feel sad. She's got some stuff going on, but it's just weird to be without her company. We spent so much time together, and it's like she's vanished in the last month. Sad. I've been reaching out, getting together with other friends, but it's not the same. I miss her.

Then, after I list all these things, I feel like I have no legitimate reason to be discontented. I have an enviable life. People all over the world are suffering all kinds of agony, while I'm privileged beyond belief. So I'm minimizing my feelings and acting like they're not valid, which isn't particularly healthy....

For the first four months of my sparking, the eating part was a breeze. I wasn't hungry, and I felt so good all the time about my choices. I ate extremely healthily and felt like I'd found the answer to a life-long dilemma. Now some of my old emotional eating has returned. I eat sugar, and I crave more, and I get weirdly hungry at odd times. Sometimes I want to binge. I just want to give up, let go, and eat until it hurts. YUCK!!!!! I don't like that feeling at all. It's wretched to feel that way again.

I'm still doing mostly all right. My weight loss has slowed, but that's okay. Over the past 5 weeks, I've lost 4 pounds. For the first four months, I was losing at a rate of almost double that. It's okay. I'm okay, sort of. I'm just not doing as well as I was before.

I'm writing about this because I want to get back to that positive place, where I am excited about the Spark journey. I haven't been blogging much, probably because I don't want to share the crappy stuff, only the good stuff. Well, here it is, all the crappy stuff. I'm blah right now -- not feeling terrible, but not really great either. Just blah.

I really, really want to stick with Spark. These changes are so important to me and I don't want to give up! I started to cry as I typed this…. It matters so much to me. Being able to change my eating and exercise, and therefore my body, has been so empowering! It's been like the final frontier. I managed to go back to school and get a career that is satisfying. I got my life together in lots of other areas too, and the last hurdle was this habit I had of eating my feelings. Letting go of that felt like an entry into a whole new life. And now it's back, at least a little.

Eating for emotional comfort has been in my life since childhood, and there was a good reason I kept doing it: it worked. If it hadn't worked, I wouldn't have done it. It just has some very unfortunate side effects, so it's time to stop, time to start a new chapter.

Anyway, I know that some of you out there in Spark land will have gone through a blah patch, or had your old habits rear their ugly heads after you thought they were finally gone, so I'm hoping you'll have some advice for me. I could really use some comfort that isn't food right now.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HEATHER1969
    Well, I can't say anything different than whats already been said by all these wonderful Spark women!

    Just don't stop, keep your foot in the door of your new lifestyle, keep tracking and moving.... just keep moving forward and if you have a day or two that you fall off the wagon that is ok because everyday is a NEW day.... a new day to get out of bed and say " I CAN DO THIS FOR ME! I DESERVE THIS! I AM WORTH THE EFFORT! "

    Big HUGS emoticon
    3194 days ago
  • ANEPANALIPTI
    This is wisdom for u! From the moment that you started making this effort to change your life, you gave yourself a gift. You believed in yourself. And no matter HOW MANY times you fall.............. that little part of you that believed in the beginning doesn't go away, it survives ANYTHING, it survives a nuclear bomb, a tsunami, "falls" of epic proportions. It's like you discovered a little piece of gold inside you when you decided to try. And it'll ALWAYS be there 2 return to! So... no matter how lost u may feel, there is ALWAYS a way out, just keep blogging journaling working thru it! U got this!

    and if u ever want 2 skype just let me know! :* emoticon

    Dimitra
    3195 days ago
  • HEALTH4MICHELLE
    Hang in there! You are doing great! Even the fact that you are blogging about your feelings is a good thing.

    When I was in Weight Watchers, a leader said "If you tripped on the 3rd step on your way up a staircase, would you give up and say 'I guess I just can't go upstairs!'? Of course you wouldn't!"

    I'm not sure if that resonates with you but, it helps me when I want to give up. I don't want to start at the bottom of the staircase again (or, slip to a lower level).

    Hang in there!!

    3196 days ago
  • MUSICALLYMINDED
    I understand. Today we had some dreary weather here and all I wanted to do after work was crawl under the blanket with some of my favorite comfort foods and just eat and relax. The only thing that kept me from doing that was knowing I had my Zumba class to get to... a happy, fun workout. And once I was done sweating my butt off, I didn't want to completely undo it with my eating.
    3196 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    I was thinking about you this morning, after I read this blog (and then had a computer glitch so am just now posting). I can relate to what you have written here. One thing I thought I would mention is that I make sure to get outdoors and exercise in all but the absolute WORST weather (think ice or lightening or something really bad). With your health concerns, this may not be as much of an option for you. How did your Zumba class go? Is that an option? I am thinking something that keeps you moving, and around positive people, would be a nice balm for your weary spirit. It sounds like maybe you have some low-level mourning going on, so maybe you just need to listen to your sadness and then it will move on. Maybe none of what I have written is even close to the mark. What I am really trying to say is I am thinking of you. Please take care.
    3196 days ago
  • MSKIMBOLINA
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with such honesty.
    3196 days ago
  • UTMIZ_2000
    Guess who fell back into the ice cream habit? *raises hand*

    So you are not alone. I can make all the excuses in the world - and I have plenty of those - but it still doesn't make me feel any better as I'm starting to see that "pregnant" look again.

    Go ahead, EXPRESS YOURSELF! Get it out. Ice cream is my good 'ol friend. I hang out with ice cream when I get tired of cooking - or maybe right now it's more the pain is getting in the way. I've put on 4 pounds. Okay, so now you know my dirty little secret.

    See, we all do it. It doesn't mean you aren't sparking, it means you've just had a momentary stall. So let's you and I get back in the sprarky groove and kick some weight loss butt!

    I'm encouraged and motivated already. I needed this blog. It brought me out into the open. THANKS!!!

    emoticon emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • CROOKEDLETTER
    Sending keep your chin up fairies your way, their job is to hold your chin up when you can't. So just imagine them there right now, their little wings brushing the underside of your chin, a few forgetting their duty and playing hide and seek around your head, one lazy one making a hammock in your hair, just below your right eye and swinging, almost a living earring, that gently snores. It is comforting and just a wee bit irritating, that snoring. An earnestly, goody goody, overachiever fairie stands sentinel at your mouth. Inspecting your choices and being just a bit too officious. You will have to look down your nose at her/him (gender hard to tell on these small little critters) and proceed to eat despite finger shaking. A few fairies hang around your pants and when they get bored, which seems to happen when you are feeling the need to eat to fill an emotional hole, they pull on your pants legs and make you walk around the neighborhood. At their most mischievous they pretend you are a marionette and make you dance for a few minutes.
    3197 days ago
  • KALIGIRL
    No advice but lots of emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • TMCLEOD4
    I'm having some trouble staying on track lately, too. I think it's the weather. Thinking about how good I feel when I exercise and eat healthy helps keep me on track. Next time you start to shove a "treat" into your mouth ask yourself "why am I doing this?" Then, put it down and go for a walk or do some exercise. You'll feel so much better afterward.
    emoticon emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7651842
    I don't know if I'm good in the advice area. I've not succeeded in this journey myself. I do know that I have "blah" spells. I feel like quitting. I eat everything I can get my hands on. I feel lousy inside and out. I wallow in my misery and want to quit.
    Then, I remember how AWESOME I feel when I'm eating right. I remember how POWERFUL I feel after a good workout. I feel so strong and lean when I do my yoga/stretching each day and even though I'm still fat, I'm NOT as fat as I was and I look pretty darn good.
    One thing I've NEVER done is stop Sparking. I might not blog, but I read others and I see that they are going through the same thing. I give Goodies and pats on the back for a job well done. By helping others, I intern help myself.
    Then I pick myself up, brush myself off, and go on down the road (of my journey).
    My journey is to get healthy and fit. Sometimes I stump my toe and fall down but I don't stay down. No, I've not lost the weight that I would've liked to have lost by now. Yes, at times it's a rollercoaster ride. It's frustrating and aggravating and I want to scream but I FEEL AWESOME............................


    AND SO DO YOU ! ! ! !

    Hang in there, Tara, you are worth it ! ! !

    emoticon
    Dale
    3197 days ago
  • LIBELULITA
    Ahhh...it would be such a shame to have done so well and let it all go now so you mustn't allow this to happen. I've only been on here 6 weeks so I'm still at the easy stage but I have to have daily battles with the voice that screams at me, whispers to me, encourages me to go out right now and buy lots of chocolate. I don't have sugar cravings though for the first time in my life because I've decided to cut out sugar and white flour and artificial foods completely from my diet and I'm amazed at how it has curbed my sweet tooth. Maybe worth a try??

    As your friend isn't there as much for you you'll have more available time to exercise which will release those happy endorphins. It may be hard to get going but I promise you you'll feel happier and better for it afterwards. I don't have any friends at all(!) so I have plenty of time to fill with "ME" things!!

    one more thing, I've read that 2 handfuls of cashew nuts are as effective as taking a Prozac !!!! Worth trying too?

    Remember that success is not a pointing straight upwards path....it doubles back on itself, backwards,sideways and full circle.The most important thing is to keep on it and keep going and you'll get there.

    It's ok and normal to feel down and negative, but the bottomline is that if you comfort eat you'll feel worse, so don't give in to it and give yourself some love.
    3197 days ago
  • BAKERICLISA
    Your 'new life' has not left your, it seems that since you don't have your best friend to share things with, the emotional eating is taking it's place. Realize that you can not change her, but can change who you reach out to, make some SP buddies that you reach out to and communicate with . . . they will be there to support you in your weight loss journey. Congrats on the 4 pounds!!!
    3197 days ago
  • BISCO_
    OMG!!!! I could have written this! I can't believe I have bumped into someone, walking such a similar path! My long time best friend of 23 years - has 'disappeared" as well... she's moved to Denver and started a whole new journey.. Im really happy for her.... however, I am feeling such a loss.. this is someone I have had daily contact with for 20+ years! She started texting a bit before she moved,... but it's been awhile since I've heard from her... I know our friendship is not "lost" but it just needs some time......... Thank you for writing this blog!
    3197 days ago
  • CAROL6X
    You can do it!!! You can get through this!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • SUNSCREENISGOOD
    Keep your head up! You can do it! emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • SUNFLOWERSAVAGE
    First of all (((Tara))) I'm sorry you are feeling this way; however, it is perfectly normal.
    It isn't realistic to be happy and positive all the time. This journey is really hard...and you are doing great.

    I understand the emotional eating. I too have been doing it since I was a child. It would be so nice to go back in time and tell that little girl that it really won't make everything better...that it brings on a whole bunch of new problems. I wish I knew how to get past the emotional eating forever, because I would love to be able to help you with that.

    All I know is that when I get stressed and overwhelmed and feel like eating everything in sight...I get so much strength here. From friends like you. You are so supportive and make me feel like you are with me on this journey.

    You are a strong woman and I have no doubt at all that you can do this. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others!
    emoticon
    3197 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    Tara,

    You have every right to feel "blah"--I spent several months going through a "blah" phase, where I just went through the motions the best I could. I'm sorry that things don't feel like they're falling into place as much right now, but I know you'll get that Sparkly feeling back again.

    I am so unbelievably proud of you, and you inspire me every day with your kindness and attitude. This blog even inspires me. I'm glad you came forth with your feelings and recognize that they are valid, although Empathetic Tara may want to dismiss them. You've taken a huge step in sharing this, and I know you will pull through feeling as victorious as you should.

    emoticon
    3197 days ago
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