Lots of folks like to use the word “journey” when they talk about weight loss because for all intents and purposes it adequately describes the process. I think however, that I will use the term “travels” to describe my efforts at dealing with my emotional eating issue. “Travels” sounds very cosmopolitan (something I am most decidedly not), don’t you think?
I think of this whole issue as a destination that I’m trying to reach. I often say “I’m trying to get to the other side of this thing” when talking about weight loss or conquering emotional eating (which will henceforth be referred to as “emo eating” because I’m already tired of typing out the whole blasted word). And I sort of think of all the steps as…not really obstacles…how about detours? Yes, they are detours on the highway of my destination. If I can learn to keep driving by the detours, if I can learn to not be so distracted by the detours, then maybe eventually I’ll get to where I’m going.
I feel as if I’ve mostly conquered detour #1, which is that I’m no longer afraid of hunger. I used to think of hunger as this big angry lion…fierce and unrelenting, but now I think of hunger as merely a signal. It’s no longer a painful thing to avoid at all costs – it’s only a signal that my body gives me to alert me to the fact that my stomach has used up all the food I had previously given to it. Now when I feel hunger coming on, it’s a slow, warm feeling and I can calmly say “oh, wow. Yep, I am hungry” and I don’t flail around like Kermit the Frog and hoover any and all foods within reach like I used to. Hunger is a signal just like getting sleepy is a signal that I need rest, or that feeling my bladder gives me when it’s full (although now that I’m over 40, sometimes I miss that signal until I sneeze or cough – thanks Mother Nature. You suck.). It’s not something that I have to avoid like the plague…it’s just one cog in the gears of my body’s systems.
I’m not sure which detour is next because there are so many of them and sometimes they pop up in the weirdest places. But at least I’m working on them, one at a time, and developing habits that will help me stay the course. I’ve got several road maps that I can use and reference whenever I need them, so I feel confident that with time and effort, I’ll get there eventually.