When Stress Takes My Hand And Leads Me To The Refrigerator

 

day 75

Image by kygp via Flickr

 

I could say that eating unabashedly after dinner is not my fault. I could say that my hormones take over and I just go blindly to the kitchen without thought or reason. That’s partially true. It’s 10:00pm, “do you know where your children are?” asks  Channel 5 (or what I refer to as the “murder channel.”) Yes, I know where my children are but do they know where I am? Probably. They hear my not-so-lightly-padded- feet in the kitchen, the sound of the refrigerator opening and closing, cabinets flung open and the sound of crackling from aluminum packages. When there is something stressful going on in my life I get extraordinarly hungry. No, not at meal times. Not for breakfast or lunch or dinner. I’m doing a days worth of snacking after dinner and while I know its wrong, I still do it. What leads me to the refrigerator at night, is pure and simple, stress. When I am anxious, I eat. I eat, therefore I am. Food comforts me and even thought it’s not a popular thing to say or an easy one to admit, it’s true.

While I grab and choose food there’s usually something that prompts me: a commercial on television, a friend’s description of her lunch or I just need sweet than salty, sweet than salty and  yes, sweet AND salty. Sigh. It’s a vicious circle and I can’t blame anyone except myself or my evil twin as I like to call her. An example of my choices: pretzels dipped in Boursin cheese, Yoo-Hoo, my beverage of choice, vanilla cake, Oreo cookies, Munster cheese spread with strawberry jam, left over pizza with salt, Yodels, rice with ketchup, chips with salsa and guacamole, 100 calorie packs (because they don’t count!), chocolate covered cherries and baked Lays potato chips (because I am watching my weight) GRIN.

Full disclosure: I have been known (infrequently) to have a sample of all of the above when I am not stressed (or don’t know I am stressed) and just hungry. I know it’s bad when I don’t think about what I want to eat, I just grab and stuff. If you ask me if I feel guilty about it, I would have to say, in all honesty, no. While I am eating I don’t think about it, the day after is another story. I am able to forgive myself quickly and at least try to eat healthy food the next  day. Luckily, this bingeing doesn’t last more than a few hours at a time. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t do drugs, my vice, when stressed or just hungry is simple: food. I am a foodie and my idea of a lovely evening is going out with my husband or friends to a delicious meal. It’s gluttony, it’s enjoyment and it’s food. I take full responsibility for my actions, stressful or starving, I’m ready to order.

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The Chocolate Covered Cherry Diet

I’ve discovered a secret to losing weight AND having whatever sweet treat you like most. Notice I said like, not love. There’s an important distinction. For me it’s called the “Chocolate Covered Cherry” diet and I have perfected it. My husband once bought me an entire box of  chocolate covered cherries, which to me, is my kind of sweet heaven. Instead of putting them high up  in the pantry closet or having my husband hide them from me, I discovered  another option, a better option. It’s full disclosure.

I put the entire box of chocolate covered cherries (I’m drooling) in our bedroom on my dresser. Right, smack, in the middle. I opened the box and ate one and told myself I could eat one, just one, every night if I wanted to. Part of me, knowing they were so easily accessible didn’t even want to have one every night. But, when I wanted one I had permission to eat it and found, except for one time when I ate two, I did stop at one.  They are SO sweet that you don’t want to eat more than one.

There are limits to this dieting technique. You can’t do it with something known to be your weakness or downfall. For me, I could not have a dozen jelly doughnuts on my dresser because they are my ultimate weakness.  I wouldn’t stand a chance of having one bite every night or even one doughnut every night. You need to know which food will help satisfy your sweet craving and which food item will start you bingeing .

Choose wisely. Very wisely.

Try it and see how it works for you. Remember the secret is not to set yourself up to fail. DON’T buy anything you feel is absolutely irresistable to you. Purchase something that you really like and whose flavor is so sweet, so intense that having another would be really too much.  For me, the chocolate cherries work. However, don’t  substitute them for anything with marzipan, jelly or vanilla. There are just some things, I can’t resist. Unfortunately, I know that from experience.

Off I go to the drugstore now, to buy my chocolate covered cherries that I need, for my diet.