This blog will be about my most recent experience with emotional eating – particularly BOREDOM eating.
Emotional eating is something I still struggle with from time to time. As we all do, whether we realise it or not. This past weekend, my hubby was working both Saturday and Sunday, for 12 hours straight. I took this opportunity to have some proper “me” time at home, but what I didn’t take into consideration was the fact that during the week, I already work from home, do housework and oftentimes train from home as well. So literally spending the weekend at home ultimately meant boredom set in. I hadn’t noticed it too much before but I had already created the habit during the week of sitting down for my lunches, eating a big meal, along with a big cup of coffee then following it up with some dessert. It was my form of relaxation after spending mornings with clients and programming (which can be mentally draining). This doesn’t sound that bad, but add in the distraction of Netflix episodes (thanks Gossip Girl) and you have the recipe for “mindless eating”.
I can normally control it but over the weekend, I think I just hit a point where I was pretty bored so one piece of chocolate-coated strawberry just didn’t hit the spot. I ended up going back to the fridge to gobble down two more. Then after that, I reached out again and grabbed the block of Old Gold chocolate. Before I knew it, I’d nearly eaten the whole thing and it was then I stopped myself, took a look at my situation and promptly put the leftovers away.
I know that at one point or another, a lot of people can relate to this. I’ve been through it a lot in the past, when I struggled with my eating and body image. What has changed over the years though, is how I handled things. Rather than beating myself up endlessly, I decided enough was enough. Though this was the first time in a LONG time I had over-eaten, I still had to break the habit of mindless eating at lunch times. So I decided to take control of the situation. When these kinds of things happen, don’t just think that the whole day is wasted and you might as well “write the whole day off”. Instead, think of what you can do to improve and LEARN from the situation and kick the rest of the day’s butt.
Here’s what I did to re-claim the day & start to CHANGE my bad habits:
- Inhale, exhale, BREATHE. You made a mistake. It’s okay… that’s called life. Now move on.
- Know that one slip up/over-indulgence won’t make you 10kg heavier or unhealthier or any less worthy.
- Go treat yourself! (Preferably not with food😅) This simple act shows yourself that you are worth it and that you still love yourself. I bought myself a book by nutritionist Jessica Sepel that I’ve been wanting for ages.
- Make a plan of attack! Now that I knew I had a bad habit to change, I could come up with a few ideas of what I could do instead
MY PLAN OF ATTACK
So, I clearly needed to get out of the rut of sitting down at lunch and watching something while I ate.
The next day, I picked out a healthy recipe that I’ve never tried before and decided to make an occasion out of making it. I literally went out, bought new salad bowls (thanks Kmart! #iloveyou), bought the ingredients, put some music on and ENJOYED the process of making something healthy for myself. (Pictured below)
Now this next one is super important –
When I sat down to eat it, I made sure it was with NO distractions that triggered my mindless eating. For some reason, I can eat and READ at the same time, so I read my new book. But when I eat and WATCH something, thats when things go a little overboard, so I made sure to stay away from my triggers such as Netflix and YouTube (now I’ll have to wait to see if Chuck and Blair ever made up lol).
I am on my second day of detaching myself from my unhealthy, mindless lunchtime habit. Today, I did something similar. I ate without watching anything, and I made sure to SLOW DOWN. Then to avoid eating “dessert” and gorging on it, I took myself to a café as soon as I finished lunch, sat down with a coffee and now here I am, typing this blog while I look out at the water and have the breeze playing on my face.
Tomorrow is day 3 and I am going to do the same thing – sit down, no triggers, slow & mindful eating 😊 Food is there to nourish us & make us feel good. Not to leave us feeling guilty and bloated.
I hope that someone took a couple of tips or lessons away from my little mishap! Remember that emotional eating is COMMON but shouldn’t be a norm. Find out WHY you are doing this, and if it is a HABIT then make your PLAN OF ATTACK and develop better habits that will leave you feeling GOOD. Yes, there will be days that are harder than others to resist the temptation of falling back to old habits but learn to get yourself back out of the rut ASAP and the hard days will soon be a more rare occasion.