Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My Black Dress

What do you do when you come home at night after a very long day to relax? When it's just you, you're hungry but you're too tired to eat, and you're totally key-ed up by a day filled with stress?

It's hard for me to relax during the week, and especially at the end of a really long day. Even if I've gone out and had fun, it's still hard to wind down when I come home. Sometimes I knit, which is relaxing. On occasion, when Rumi is gone, I have baths, which I enjoy.

But, lately, for the past couple of months, I've gotten into the terrible habit of munching. Munch, munch, munch on anything and everything. Salt, sweet, creamy, crunchy - nothing is exactly what I want, or everything is what I want, and I hope from one snack to the next completely unsatisfied.

At my worst, I stop when my TV shows are over or I feel sick.

I can't believe I just wrote that, but it's true. I'm way beyond not stopping when I'm full; I only stop when I feel sick. It only happens at night, when I'm stressed and I have been going, going, going.

I've been going back and forth with this issue for a while now - the issue being this thing with food that has become a problem of late (i.e. when I realized I had gained between 7-10 pounds and was definitely not as skinny or fit as I used to be). At first I thought it would just work itself out. Then I tried a diet, started internally rebelling, and messed myself up more. Then I got off the diet, felt better, and was sure that things would work themselves out. But, now I've realized that the late-night munching thing is yet another expression of this same problem.

It hit me forcefully last night when I went to try on this beautiful black satin dress that I had worn once a few years ago to a black-tie event. It's a gorgeous dress and I still remember how the sales girls oooh-ed and aah-ed over me when I tried it on in the dressing room. Well, last night I couldn't even zip the dang thing up. The unforgiving satin showed clearly where I had gained weight on my hips and butt. Just when I was thinking I should start embracing being a bit curvier, seeing how much I've changed from what I used to be made me sad.

The fact is, I don't want to be curvy. I want to be tight, thin, and strong. I know that eating at night and eating unhealthy things is definitely contributing to this food/weight issue. I know it, but I haven't been able to change it.

I haven't wanted to change because it feels like I would be depriving myself of something good - the taste of chocolate, ice cream, etc. But, looking at that dress riding up on my hips, having to suck in my stomach to get the zipper to fasten all the way, it was inescapable that my bad habits are depriving me of something as well.

I guess I have to decide what I value more: sweet things and the food coma that comes with eating too much or feeling good about myself and being able to wear my old clothes with confidence. It seems like the latter would be a no-brainer. It's so clear that it's mind boggling to me why I'm even having this issue.

What, pray tell is my problem? If I'm really eating as a way to self-medicate, I need to figure out the underlying issue and resolve it. If not for me, then for that black dress. It's far too beautiful to never be worn again.

Artwork Found Here


J. Lynne said...

Very insightful. I've been where you are and I agree that you have to be ready mentally to stop the munching. I have found that doing hobbies that keep my hands busy does help reduce the grazing.

Sparky Duck said...

getting sloshed is so much cheaper then munching anyway. And you can still do this with your favorite shows on

J. Lynne said...

I was thinking about you last night during my Living Well class. One of the ladies is keeping a Food/Mood journal 3 days a week as her "action plan"/homework -- mine is reduced caffeine and more water. But I thought that her plan might be good for you. She is learning a lot about herself, she says, by not only writing down what she's eating but what she's feeling and thinking when she eats or snacks. She's not actually changing her eating right now, she's just keeping the journal so she can study it. You might try doing that a few days a week to try to figure out what's going on with your grazing/binging.

Gypsy said...

I'm sorry you're having some trouble changing your habits. Food is so complicated sometimes. Sigh. I've been eating crap all week and it sucks.