Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is food the enemy?

Last week started out fine, but somewhere in between the days I lost my marbles. Continual problems w/ a co-worker made me justify my right to a slice of chocolate cake. A piece of Dove dark chocolate and two homemade chocolate chip cookies later, I was drowning in a chocolaty pool of self-pity. The thing about using food for emotional comfort is that it never works--the problem doesn't go away and you actually feel worse about yourself in the end because not only is the problem still there, but you created a new one.

At that point, I began to beat myself up mentally and was feeling down in the dumps for the next couple of days. The funny thing is, I know this is what's holding me back from losing the weight and I also know that coping through food is partially why I put on as much weight as I did to begin with (about 15 lbs higher than my normal weight). So anyway, I took some time out to collect my thoughts and figure out how I wanted to tackle this issue. More on that in a bit...

Fast forward to the weekend. My friend called me to join her at the Y to work out. I hadn't worked out in several days, so I went begrudgingly. She left before I got there, but I decided to work out anyway since I had already made the effort to get over there. By the end of the workout, I felt great. I felt like I was able to "sweat out" a lot of the stress in my life. Looking back, I'm actually glad I took those few days away from the gym because honestly the guilt inside was killing me and I was in no mental state to work out. Also, I don't want to force myself to work out when I'm not in the mood. Then it begins to feel like an obligation and I don't want to attach any negative feelings towards exercise.

Yesterday when I went to the gym, I tried to take it easy because of my foot problem. I started on the StepMill, then walked on incline on the treadmill for half an hour. I could have been done after that, but I never did break a good sweat and my body was craving it. So I decided to hop on the Elliptical for 15 minutes and did my HIIT routine--2 minutes normal, 2 minutes at high intensity, high resistance. That brought my workout up to a full hour of cardio! GO ME! I actually didn't want to leave the gym and could have stayed a lot longer, but I had other things to do.

I immediately felt much better and all because my body was trying to tell me something--it likes to sweat. It made me think that maybe there is more to working out than just trying to lose weight. I'm starting to notice other benefits as well. Working out is a stress releaser. Also, my body craves working out. When I work out, not only do I feel good, but my body feels good too.

So anyway, I've had my highs and my lows, and I accept that there are going to be challenges in my life that may occasionally slow me down. The important thing is that I recognize and do something about it now, instead of letting it get the best of me. Later this week, I will post more about my little "solution" for how to go about addressing my food issues, so stay tuned!


  1. Great article, Jess! I struggle with emotional eating too and not just when I stress. I can eat for ANY emotion. But, I have to say I am proud of you because I think you found an alternative to grabbing a cookie - working out! It's amazing how the stress just floats away and you feel so much better about you.

    I look forward to seeing your next post :)

  2. Food isn't the enemy. But it dresses up like one on halloween sometimes.

    I have a solution for your food issues: come visit me in SD where no junk food and no red meat is allowed in the house. What are you going to overeat on? Broccoli?!

  3. Give me a pantry and I will find something to overeat on. LOL... seriously I can make these things happen in my sleep!