Resisting the Diet Side

April 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm 3 comments

I'll take a cookie, please

And by dark side, I mean…the Dieting Side. Or the Cookie Monster side. Let me explain…

I’m in the middle of finals. One class down (actually, the final was cancelled, so automatic A!) and another one to go. I just finished a big project due today. I’m working full time. Matt is at a business conference in sunny Palm Beach and so I am taking care of the Gola Monster alone. It’s a lot, and I’m stressed. And when I’m stressed, I eat (I eat because I am unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat. Movie reference, anyone?) How I wish I was one of those people who lose their appetite during times like this, but alas, not in the cards. Add to that the fact that with my hectic schedule, my workouts have gone from 5-6x/week to about 2x. I’m tired, burnt out, my clothes are tight, and I want a vacation.

So, given all of the above, people handle their stress load in different ways. Some, like many people I know, head to the nearest bar and drink their sorrows away (OK, sometimes nothing quite does it like a glass of wine…or a margarita). Others smoke cigarettes or pot to escape. Or gamble. Well, me? I *used* to exercise, so now…I just eat.

Mind you, I’m not binging like I was like last year. In fact, I haven’t had a binge in several months. But my weight is creeping up, and because I follow the principles of Intuitive Eating, I don’t diet either.

But I hear that Dark Side calling me.

“Come on, Amanda,” it whispers in my ear. “Go back to tracking your calories. You’ll lose the weight fast.”

“Amanda, you know you’re gaining weight and it scares you. How about a little diet to get you back to where you want to me. It won’t hurt, promise.”

People, I’ve been dealing with these inner taunts the past week or so and I’m remaining strong, but I tell you, it’s hard! It would be so simple for me to follow a meal plan, cottage cheese and carrot sticks when I’m told, to ignore my cravings for something warm and cheese-covered.

But NO! Like Luke Skywalker (sorry, lame-o reference) I will remain strong and RESIST the Diet Side!

I am working on accepting that in times of stress, my way of coping is to eat. I might always have this food-mood connection. But what am I doing to manage it? I’m cooking, stocking the fridge with healthy foods, and allowing myself to eat chocolate and soothe myself with food if I need to. I refuse to get angry at myself and my body. We’re a team!

I know this is a rant, but I just wanted to share what I’m going through, because perhaps you, too, eat when you’re stressed. It’s OK if you do. The key is to not get upset with yourself, and at least recognize that you’re doing this. That’s all. Information is power. Perhaps next time a wave of stress hits you, you’ll better manage it with a walk around the block or a bath. But for now, food will have to do. Again, it’s OK. Just be aware.

Nobody’s perfect, certainly not me. Even someone who knows about nutrition struggles with the same things everyone else does (Hello, that’s why we go into nutrition…to help others!)

How do you handle stress?


Entry filed under: nutrition. Tags: , , , .

Give Your Allergies the Smack-Down! Cookin’ w/ myself

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lauren Slayton  |  April 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Great post. Perhaps there’s a way you can have it all. While I think both dieting and stress eating will leave you feeling poorly maybe you can encourage yourself to make good choices. For example, ask yourself what you crave and also what foods give you stamina, make you feel healthy and send you a good message. Anything from prepping fruit and veggies, having a pitcher of water next to you when you study or a cub of tea can help turn the tide. After all, what would be nice is to think less about what you’re eating and not eating and expend that energy toward your studies (and blogging of course).

    • 2. Amanda  |  April 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Lauren,
      Thanks so much for checking in! I think your suggestions are spot-on. During stressful times, I try extra hard to keep healthy foods stocked in my fridge and I prepare healthy meals for myself. I get rid of most of (but not ALL, cause hubby would not be happy) crackers and chocolate. In fact, I don’t keep chocolate in the house anymore, along with the hummus. I’m typing up some notes and I have a tall glass of lemon water right by my side. Thank you!!!

  • 3. Abbey  |  April 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I am SO with you. Cookies are oh-so-comforting and perfectly sized (though when you eat 10 of them, MAYBE, just MAYBE that’s 8 or 9 too many. Anyhow…I say you’re doing all the right things. Eat, baby, eat!


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