Why I was entitled to eat emotionally today
1. Planned morning exercise was trumped by mandatory parent meeting.
2. Driver at the head of the line hadn't bought tokens and couldn't exit the lot, blocking us all in.
3. Thinking about earthquakes while driving over the innerbelt bridge.
4. Broken van door.
5. Wrong turn.
6. Restaurant got the kids' orders wrong – to our disadvantage, but kids were already halfway through their food and wouldn't let me get it fixed.
7. Cars not stopping at stop signs, causing me to worry they're going to crash into my side door.
8. Van filled with Girl Scout cookies.
9. Person who not only locked the public locker room at the gym, but refused requests to unlock the door, thereby denying everyone else access to their own belongings.
Why I chose not to eat emotionally today
1. Want to see a smaller number at the scale.
2. Didn't want to undo my hard work at the gym.
Especially after the gym incident, I was sorely tempted to soothe myself by consuming calories. Before I left the parking lot, I phoned a friend to vent; no luck, she wasn't home. So instead I seethed and fumed in the privacy of my own van, spitting out every mean and angry insult I could think of about the person who was the straw that broke the camel's back. I tried to give the benefit of the doubt, but was too mad to do that in a generous way.
When I got home and my kids wanted Girl Scout cookies (they knew I'd be picking 'em up), I told them somewhat calmly and rather goofily about the gym incident. It made me feel better to speak in a manner appropriate to kids, telling them how frustrated I was. I didn't yell (though I did growl & groan), I didn't have a tantrum, and I didn't turn to calories. Instead I did what I needed to do: I took a shower.
What did I learn? Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting stronger in my pursuit of health. And that two good reasons for doing things well is more motivating than nine stupid reasons to mess up. Food is for hunger and physical nourishment. Other tools – talking, deep breathing, showering – are for emotional nourishment. I wouldn't use a hammer to unscrew a faceplate; I'm learning to not use food to fix my emotions.