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Weight Loss Journal 10/19/08

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I didn’t quite reach last week’s goal of losing two pounds. But I did lose one pound at this week’s weigh-in, bringing my total down to 274.6 lbs. with a total weight loss of 20.4 (WW)/40.4 (overall) lbs. Where my downfall came this week was allowing myself to get off of my daily schedule and boredom-eat because I wasn’t keeping myself busy enough.

We got a new leader in our WW meeting today, and I think he’s going to be great. Much more dynamic and charismatic than our previous leader. I felt much more empowered and ready to stick to my new goals this week (which I’ll enumerate below). The exercise he had for us (which is the “lesson plan” that all leaders in this area will be using this week) was very helpful to me, because it was about recognizing the emotional triggers for overeating and how to redirect our thoughts (WW calls it “reframing”).

So here’s a fun matching quiz that we were given in our meeting—try to match the emotional trigger with the more positive “redirection” to take to try to keep from emotional eating binges:

1. Insecure A. Control
2. Sad/Depressed B. Freedom
3. Worried C. Healing
4. Bored D. Confidence
5. Frustrated/Stressed E. Happiness
6. Hurt F. Stimulation
7. Trapped G. Contact with Friends
8. Overlooked/Underappreciated H. Calmness/Control
9. Lonely I. Respect

Managing our emotions and our food intake is one of the hardest things to do. I don’t know about you, but I grew up equating food to emotional highs and lows:

  • Got a promotion at work? Let’s go out to eat.
  • A loved one died? People bring food.
  • Bored? Let’s bake cookies.
  • Sad? Chocolate.
  • Happy? Chocolate.
  • Have anything to celebrate? Let’s go out to the favorite/expensive restaurant.
  • Got something accomplished? Treat yourself to your favorite dessert.

And so on.

One of the things that our meeting leader wants us to train ourselves to do is when we’re starting to feel “hungry” (or get the “munchies”), especially shortly after we’ve already eaten a filling meal, is to wait before eating and ask ourselves if we’re really hungry or if we’re substituting food for an emotional need.

As far back as 1990 (though somehow it doesn’t really seem quite that far back, does it?), research had proven that there is a direct connection between reducing emotional eating and weight loss (article in Appetite magazine).

So what are some ways this week that we can redirect ourselves from emotional eating?

Well, one of my biggest triggers is boredom. So my plan this week is to keep myself busy enough—to have a contingency plan in place—that I don’t find myself just sitting in front of the TV wanting something to munch on. I can look back at this past week when I found myself boredom eating (yes, I was eating “good-for-me” stuff like Cheerios or fruit or yogurt—but I wasn’t actually hungry when eating it, so I was going way overboard on portions) when I could have redirected that into taking a walk, writing, reading, e-mailing friends I haven’t talked to in a while, cleaning the house (!!!), preparing meals ahead of time for the next few days, etc. So this week, I’m going to take my white-board into the kitchen and make a list of “boredom activities” that I can do instead of eating, so that it’s right there to remind me whenever I walk into that room on a quest for *something* (anything) to eat because I’m bored.

Goals for the Week:

  • Pre-plan at least four days’ meals
  • Track my eating daily and count points for items not on Core
  • Exercise (walk, go to the gym) at least three days
  • Set a work schedule for the week and make plans to get out of the house each day
  • Lose 1.5 lbs at next weigh-in

What can you do this week to avoid emotional eating? What are your healthy-living goals for the week?

8 Comments
  1. Sunday, October 19, 2008 9:23 pm

    Kudos to you, Kaye, for creating a game plan. May you have much success!

    As for me, I had gained 10 lbs over the course of a year, and realized I was going to keep on gaining if I didn’t change something fast. I decided to change what I was eating (a Little Debbie and a coke almost daily… oh, bad, bad!), and we bought an exercise bike that has a calorie counter on it. I got addicted to that calorie counter, and for a while I was riding off 100o to 2000 calories a day. I lost the weight, but after about six months my sore knees forced me to scale back the distance I ride each day.

    I still ride every day, as much as I can. It’s great because I can ride my calorie count of 500-1000 in small bites, ten, fifteen, twenty minutes at a time. And I get to watch DVDs while I ride. That’s my treat now, instead of food. An episode of one of my favorite shows.

    I agree that boredom eating is hard to beat, but finding how much I love that exercise bike, and getting to watch DVDs and feel like I’m not wasting time, has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself as far as getting in shape goes.

    One other thing I did was find a healthy snack and create a small portion that I could eat, guilt free, as often as I wanted to. If I ate it ten minutes ago, no problem. I could have it again. It’s a mind game that helps me feel like I’m not totally depriving myself, esp. in the afternoon when I often do get the munchies. For me, it’s one dried apricot and four roasted almonds. Usually with a cup of tea. 🙂

    Yeah, it was kinda of a let down at first, going from Little Debbie’s to dried fruit and nuts, but I really love that snack now. Go figure.

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  2. Sunday, October 19, 2008 9:38 pm

    Yum…I love dried apricots. However, I need to actually STOCK them in my cupboard. Major disconnect = one of my food issues. 😛

    I set a goal for myself this week but my weigh-in is tomorrow morning. I’ll check back. 😉

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  3. Sunday, October 19, 2008 11:59 pm

    Since I needed to go to the grocery store tonight, because I knew I would need some things to round out my meals for the week, after I posted this, I went in and planned my meals/snacks for Monday through Thursday this week—so #1 on my list is already accomplished!

    Unfortunately, Kroger didn’t have a great selection of pre-package salads, which I’m willing to pay more for because they have a variety of salad greens and lots of other veggies already in them, so I have to drive down to Publix tomorrow (it’s about 7 or 8 miles away, while I have four or five Krogers within four miles of the house). Plus they’re smaller, so I know I’ll be able to eat all of it before it goes to waste. So in the long run, I am saving money.

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  4. Monday, October 20, 2008 4:52 am

    Okay, so this morning I’m up .5…but if I’d made my weigh-in yesterday I would’ve been down 2.5. Go figure. 😛

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  5. Monday, October 20, 2008 7:58 am

    I had a similar week to you – down 1.6 (wanted 2) – but the weekend was a KILLER. I mean, we had to eat out every single meal practically because we spent the entire weekend at the theatre (our production of “Annnie” opened Thursday.)

    Now, I know I could’ve planned to take meals with me, but there just was no time. It all crept up on me like crazy. I am now completely lost and trying to figure out what in the world I’m going to do to save myself before next Thursday’s weigh-in.

    Ugh. And I have a dinner out at a restaurant for church tonight! This is insane for the WW!!

    Sigh. I have the unfortunate mentality of ‘well, I already messed everything up, I might as well just keep eating…” figuring there’s no way to save myself. bah.

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  6. Monday, October 20, 2008 8:23 am

    I like the keeping busy suggestion. It really does work for me. And since I still have major housework to get caught up on and writing, I’ll make it work for me this week in the eating department, too.

    I’m going to set my work goals as character sketches and GMC charting for my new story, and master bedroom rearranging, and complete painting of living room.

    Thanks for posting all this great info Kaye!

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  7. Barb Raveling permalink
    Monday, October 20, 2008 9:04 am

    I really like these suggestions, especially the whiteboard with the boredom list and making sure you get out of the house once a day!

    I wrote a Bible study on emotional eating and also teach a class on it once a week, so I like to look for tips on the internet to share with my class (and to help me!) I will definitely include these tips – thanks for the ideas.

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  8. Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:20 am

    That’s why I cross-sttich, knit and crochet. Munching and yarn/fabric/embroidery floss do NOT go together at all.

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