Saturday, March 27, 2010

Resisting the Impulse

This morning, I did something emotionally difficult for me. I have connected with many old school friends on FaceBook and one of them holds a special place for me. Unfortunately, there was something this person has been saying on a regular basis which I was troubled by. It wasn't the specifics, but rather the general idea. I had to consider whether or not to say something in a constructive, non-judgmental way that I felt I should say. I didn't think that I should say it because I was emotional or upset, but just because I think that this type of pattern of behavior is destructive on the whole and reflects poorly on people who do it.

In the end, I decided that I would say something because I concluded that it would be better to lose a trivial association with someone I care about than to say nothing and preserve it. In essence, I wanted to say something that would elevate the relationship in a way rather than treat it as two ships passing on FaceBook. I carefully crafted my message in the best way possible, and sent it off.

After sending it, I felt hungry, and I decided to have some grapes. That was fine since breakfast was small, as usual, and a fruit-based snack between breakfast and lunch isn't unusual for me on my plan. After eating the grapes, I was eyeballing a snack cake remainder that had been around for several days and thinking of eating it, too. The portion that was left was only 90 calories, and I could afford it though I'd have to sacrifice a better-timed, more filling snack later.

At this point, I realized that this was not me being hungry or treating myself, but stress-based emotional eating desires manifesting themselves. I'm nervous about how my friend will respond. In particular, I think there is at least a 50-50 chance he'll just boot me from his friend's list without a word in response. While I have some faith in my writing ability, I think that words on a screen are read in the voice of the reader, not the writer, and can be infused with all of the wrong intentions. (Update: he responded kindly and all is well)

I haven't felt much in the way of stress eating as of late, and I even mentioned several posts ago that I consciously dismissed food as an option for comfort in moments of dire emotional stress. It seems, however, that the unconscious urge to eat in times of less acute stress are still there and propelling me. Fortunately, I recognized this for what it was and left the cake alone. I would say that it is amazing that this still happens, but I think it's be more astonishing if it didn't. It's not just the big things that drive me to food, but it's the little ones as well.

For the record, the technique I use when I feel the urge to eat things too early in the day, when it's easier to slip because you have more calories left to "spend", is to go to FitDay and fill out my calorie log for the next meal (or the rest of the day). Seeing the total for food I plan to eat but has not yet been eaten often takes the wind out of my eating sails when I want to do something which is imprudent.

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