As I sit here drinking my spiced almond milk, I find myself at the end of Day 5. Today has been the hardest day. It has also been the most revealing day.
Yesterday, our beloved neighbor had a heart attack. The boys witnessed part of it and have been very worried and concerned, especially Emory. Last night I hardly slept. Today has been filled with relief and new worries and constant stress. I will admit that some of my stress and anxiety is selfish…I am worried for our neighbor…real worries…and the selfish part is that I am terrified at even the slightest possibility of needing to break bad news to the boys. We are praying that won’t be the case for all involved…especially his family and own grandchildren.
So with all of those worries, it was also Valentine’s Day. A day of chocolate and sweets and special meals. Fortunately Nathan had to work tonight so a special night out was never even discussed! (Even if he didn’t have games tonight we wouldn’t have done anything super special…he is totally supportive of my current effort.)
It was clear from the first moments of my day (5:15am in case you were wondering…will the time change PLEASE hurry up so Emory can go back to his normal schedule!) that today was going to be hard for so many reasons. It also brought my stress eating/comfort eating to the forefront. I know that I am an emotional eater. I have always have been. When I am stressed I eat. When I am sad I eat. When I am worried I eat. Not surprising then that I am overweight.
But I had a unique opportunity today to sit with these emotions and feel them and deal with them. I was determined to stick to the cleanse even though I was desperate to eat one of the boys’ cupcakes or any other number of things in the house. Friday is “Whataburger Friday” at work. I don’t even like Whataburger and yet it was torture. Then there was my Aunt Pam’s special Valentine’s cake. Every year she makes a supper yummy strawberry cake with amazing strawberry icing in the shape of a heart. I watched every member of my family cut a nice big slice. I sat there eating my blueberries and almonds. Blueberries and almonds are NOT special strawberry Valentine’s cake.
All day I have fought myself. And every time weakness almost overtook me I won. I did binge eat two handful of pecans as a snack…but technically they are raw and nuts are on the cleanse. I was comfort eating…but at least I was choosing something cleanse approved. I consider it a victory…even if it still clearly is not what I should be doing!
This morning I posted on the private Cleanse Facebook page/support group. I received so many inspiring comments that I read many times during the day. But one comment really struck me. She said several things but then said, “Continuing to eat healthy today is teaching your body that eating is not the appropriate response to stress…”.
WOW! Talk about a life changing shift in thought. By recognizing my feelings, by facing them no matter how much they hurt….I was actually teaching my body that eating is not the appropriate response to stress. I have never thought of it that way. Eating in response to stress is a learned behavior. As a learned behavior that means I can “unlearn” it…teach my brain and body a new, better, healthier way to respond. It reminded me that I am in control of myself and my reactions…I don’t have to be held captive by life-long habits…I can change.
That made me feel empowered and strong and proud.
It feels like a huge shift inside of me. I am learning so many things about myself…about food and portions and change.
I won today. It feels really good to win and feel part of who I was before fall away…
Oh….and as an aside…I have also lost 5 lbs….that doesn’t hurt either! :)