Balancing Act

I think it’s funny how often I’ve started my day with one blog topic in mind, only to switch gears by the end of the day. This morning I started a post about going into the 3rd week of my challenge strong-willed and steadfast.

But then TODAY happened. It was one of Those days (yes, with a capital T) where everything goes wrong and all you’re doing is putting out fires. Everything seemed to be working against me and as each little obstacle came up, I found myself thinking through a few things. The first is that there are a few common emotions that almost always want me to eat bad, primarily:

  • Anger
  • Stress
  • Frustration
  • Feeling overwhelmed

When these emotions rear up my first instinct is to either mindlessly snack or to indulge in comfort foods.

After such a frustrating day I came home and flopped on my couch, too tired and brain-dead to carry on a conversation with my husband. I did not work out this morning because I had to go into work early and I got home an hour and a half later than I had planned. To top it off, the same circumstances that required me to go in early also kept me from walking the stairs at work or walking at lunch.

Wallowing on the couch, I debated whether I should attempt an evening workout. We had plans tonight that began an hour and a half after I got home so any type of workout would require immediate action upon getting home, especially if eating dinner and showering were factored in.

As I wrestled with myself over what I should do, I contemplated the difference between being reasonable and making excuses. Most of my weight issues have been a result of making excuses. Today has been sooo difficult but a bowl of ice cream is sure to make it better! Sound familiar? I want to avoid making excuses and letting my emotions control my eating at all costs. On the other hand, I feel that being unreasonably strict during previous weight loss regiments is probably the main reason my past efforts have failed. Eventually I become so frustrated at depriving myself that I overindulge and fall off track.

balancing act, mindful eating, mindfulness

So where is the balance? How do you keep yourself from crossing that fine line from being reasonable to making excuses? How do you avoid letting your emotions control what you eat? I think the answer goes back to the mindfulness that I’ve been talking about recently. At the end of the day here is where I found myself on good vs “bad” decisions and what led to each one:

Good:

  • Cookie avoidance. Cookies were being passed around like crazy today at work but I steadfastly resisted every offer despite my normal inclination to seek solace in sweets.
  • A healthy lunch. Despite a frustrating start to the day and the necessity to eat lunch out, I remained good, opting for a soup/salad combo instead of fried chicken, which is one of my big comfort foods.
  • A normal dinner. By the time I got home, all I wanted was an easy-to-make, fattening, carb-heavy plate of deliciousness. I opted for what I call a “normal” dinner – something that’s not crazy bad but also not crazy good. This is how my typical dinners are right now because I’m not forcing myself to be super strict anyway.
  • Dessert avoidance. Dessert was an option while we were out tonight and even though it was calling my name I reverted back to my rule of not giving in unless my husband opts for dessert. He didn’t, so I didn’t.

“Bad”:

  • I ended up not working out. Since this is the first day I’ve missed a workout, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’m going to try for more activity time tomorrow to help make it up.

Overall, I’m still counting today as a win. I avoided more temptations than I gave into and I don’t feel like I was unreasonable with what I did do. Now, the key will be to not let those temptations take over too often!

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