Reader Question, Office Temptation, Boot Camp

Three topics today.  Let’s get started!

1) Reader Question. I got a great question the other day in the comments section.  Lisa wrote:

I need to lose about 35 lbs. and am working with a trainer. The problem is I am an emotional eater. Before you started this journey, would you say you were an emotional eater? Do you think that’s how you gained the weight? I am talking to a therapist too about this, but I know the best advice comes from people who have experienced this firsthand. My problem is that I use anything “bad” that happens to me during the day as an excuse to emotionally eat. It sucks and I have to get myself out of this rut! I have lost 10 lbs. since Jan. 1st but gained some of it back, despite working out on a regular basis, because of the emotional binges. Anything you can share with me would be a tremendous help!

Ugh, emotional eating is such a hurdle, and I’m sure most of us deal with it in some way.  I wouldn’t say that I used to be an emotional eater, I’d say that I’M STILL an emotional eater, but I’ve developed some habits and techniques to combat tough times.  Food provided comfort in bad times, was a release in stressful times, and was a way of celebrate in good times.  There were very few emotions that I didn’t respond to by eating, so yeah, that’s pretty much the definition of emotional eating!

The good news, though, is that you can combat it, and it sounds like you’re on the right path, and I applaud you for working with a therapist.  Here’s what’s been working for me:  I took reward and celebratory foods off the table.  I used to treat myself:  if I was feeling great because of an accomplishment, than I told myself I could stop for ice cream, pick up a pizza, or load up on candy.  There have been times in my life when I was exercising, but eating poorly, and partly it’d be because I’d think, regularly, “yeah, I can have more fries and a shake – I had a good workout yesterday.”  Not anymore.

Focusing on changing my thought patterns during good times seemed like an easier challenge, because when I was really craving something as a celebratory treat, I could say ‘no’ to myself, and, instead, focus on whatever it was that provided me a reason to celebrate, and still feel great.  What I’ve found is that because I refuse to indulge in reward foods, I now have the great motivator to prevent binging in bad times:  After all, why should I console myself with crappy food when I won’t reward myself with it?  It’s a little mental game that works for me, and maybe it might work for you, too.  I hope this helps, Lisa, and KEEP IT UP!

Have any tips to battle emotional eating?  Share them in the comments section!

2) Office TemptationAs I mentioned yesterday, I recently started at a new job, and get to show up to an office every day for the first time in a few months.  That also means I get to, for the first time in a few months, deal with office temptation.  Here’s what tempted me yesterday:

Look! A fun-sized box of chocolate-covered raisins!

Did I say fun-sized? I meant a THREE-AND-A-HALF-POUND BOX.  Here it is next to my cup of tea:

It’s even bigger than my friend Jamie’s head, who has “a notoriously large head” (her words, not mine):

This beauty (by which I mean the candy, not Jamie, although Jamie is also definitely a beauty) was just sittin’ in the break room, left out for everyone to enjoy.  I don’t know where it came from, but there it was.  And I really wanted to have some… until I crunched some numbers.  Here’s the nutrition label:

There’s 30 chocolate-covered raisins in a serving, and 40 servings in the box, so that’s roughly 1,200 raisins total.  At 170 calories and 6 grams of fat a serving, that box contains 6,800 total calories and 240 total grams of fatGross.  Of course, a numbers for a single serving aren’t terrible, but I know that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, eat just 30.  So I stayed away altogether.  Hopefully the box will be gone tomorrow!

3) Boot Camp. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I took, for the first time ever, two boot camp classes on two consecutive days, and man oh man, am I sore.  On Tuesday, I went to my now-regular boot camp class with Craig Ramsay.  He had us working with DynaBands, these latex stretchy bands that you can use to strengthen and tone your muscles.  It was my first time using a DynaBand, and it was fun, because it was new for me, but like every Craig Ramsay class, it was tough.  The exercises he taught us focused on specific muscles, but we would do them in lunge or squat positions, so other muscles would be utilized for stability and support.  Brutal.

If that wasn’t enough, on Wednesday, I went with my friend Chris (my most recent running buddy) to a boot camp class at his gym, where I had picked up a free 7-day pass so I could work out with him.  That class was taught by a nice woman named Kristy (Christy? Kristi? not sure of the spelling), and it involved free weights, a step, those giant balls, and a mat.  Thankfully not all at once, but I’m sure that day will come.  I’m tired just thinking about it!

This morning, I did cardio: 50 minutes on the elliptical; almost 550 calories burned.

Keep it up, David!

6 Responses to Reader Question, Office Temptation, Boot Camp

  1. Tavi says:

    dear lisa,

    I was speaking with the woman who cuts my hair, who also has issues with emotional eating, during my last hair cut. Eventually what it all boiled down to, for this discussion, was punishment. For some reason, she was using food as a punishment. She was feeling crappy, or sorry for herself, or unworthy of something, or sad about something, so she’d punish herself further by eating crap. On the other side of the spectrum, if she was feeling good about herself, ‘why should anyone feel good about themselves’ – she would enjoy that “treat” to knock herself down to where she felt comfortable again, that place of unworthiness. AND yet another scenario, she would punish herself all day long, by not eating. So I told her to stop punishing herself. Our bodies are out temples- I know it sounds a bit corny, I thought the same thing when I first heard it, but it’s true. I have a job that I have to weigh in. If I gain weight, it could put out of work. So here’s what I think. Always treat yourself. Treat yourself to some delicious carrots, that are high in vit A. or treat yourself to a delicious cucumber, this skin being dark green carries loads of vitamins and the inside is full of hydration… it’s great for your skin. Or treat yourself to an orange (not a glass of orange juice from concentrate) one orange is all you need, plenty of natural sugar- yep, even a sweet treat can be a reward- and vit C! I’m off to treat myself to a yoga class! I love to stretch and strengthen!

    sincerely, Tavi

    PS. that box of oreo’s is not a treat! It’s a processed cookie that your body has no clue what to do with, so it puts it off to the side and stores it as fat! It’s a punishment to the body.

    PPS. it’s time to love yourself and know that you deserve every happiness.

    ppps. happiness is a choice. make it!

    and finally,

    Keep it up!

  2. Pat says:

    I wanna hear more about that beauty “Jamie”!

  3. "Jamie" says:

    I’ll never reveal my true identity. I just walk around with a giant box of raisins in front of my face. I’m pretty sure there are some very specific websites about that sort of thing.

  4. Sheilah Lowe says:

    Congrats on the new job, David. Great advice for Lisa. Tavi, your thoughts were great as well!!!

  5. Lisa says:

    Thanks to you both David and Tavi for your great advice. Makes me realize, this isn’t really about food, it’s about loving myself. I’ve got some serious self esteem issues to work on. I really appreciate your responses! Even if it takes a year, I’m going to lose the weight!

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