Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons from the sleep deprived

I have been learning a lot lately. Some of it is new stuff... some of it is stuff I have learned before but am trying to learn again. I'm really focused on my food and exercise plan right now. But I will tell you a lesson I learned this weekend... all of that focus is easy to toss aside when I'm tired or stressed.

"yeah yeah yeah... common sense" you may say to me. Well, perhaps, in theory, but the thing with me is that I don't often feel stress IN the moment. It's kind of cumulative and I feel it more after a stressful situation has subsided or rather, in hindsight, I realize that stress manifested itself other than in an emotion titled "stress" such as unplanned eating, over eating, etc. etc.

On Thursday, I had an unusually stressful evening in the calm and happiness that is mostly my world and I didn't sleep more than a few hours. Which means I skipped boot camp in exchange for a couple more hours of poor sleep. I had friends over on Friday and although I did PRETTY well on my food choices, I had an apple turnover and about 6 glasses of wine I hadn't planned on and didn't need.

So I go into Saturday still tired and now hungover. I sleep as late as I can but never feel fully myself. I spend the day on the couch until I finally do an hour of working out at home. That night I have a birthday party, dinner with friends, drinks with more friends and a midnight showing of HUMP at Cinema 21. I had food planned out for the night ... but I neglected to consider I'd be hungry when I got to the birthday party, where I planned on eating only veggies. Of which there were none. But what was there instead was Hawaiian food. One of my favorites. Rice. Macaroni salad. Chicken. I eat an entire meal. Plus a small spoonful of seconds. And a ginger-ale. That was not planned. Or necessary. As I learned recently, hunger won't kill me and I very well could have waited until dinner to split my planned hamburger with Special K.

But instead, I started to feel guilty and disappointed in myself. Without much thought other than those two emotions, I had 4 unplanned chicken wings, a handful of bites of the most rich clam chowder I've ever eaten AND the half of burger. And what's worse is that the burger was awful and I was completely unsatisfied. AND I was full before the burger even came and yet I continued to eat it. I ignored my plans and all my body signals. What the hell?

Oh. and I forgot to mention the cup or so of buttered popcorn I had at the movie. Also not planned.

Sunday I ate within my points, but as I reflect today I can clearly see what led up to this. As much as I think it is "unfair" that I'm not a "normal" person, the truth is, I'm not a normal person. And until this becomes easier (b/c it's SO not easy), I have to plan my meals, both at home and away from home and I need to follow the plan. There isn't a whole lot of room for spontaneous eating right now because, as one can see, it leads to more. and more. and then I feel badly, both emotionally and physically. I feel like I'm sabotaging my progress toward the goals I have. And it's not been worth it. I deserve to treat myself better than this despite how much work I have to put in to paying attention to these things.

So the lesson here? Get enough rest. Allow myself to feel stressed out or ask myself, in situations that are clearly stressful, if I'm participating in emotional eating. Oh. I reiterate the get enough rest. At all costs. It's hugely important. And... get back on the horse, even if I'm tempted to just let the damn thing keep dragging me through the mud. One meal, one night, one day... doesn't mean another minute needs to go by before I get back on plan.

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