PopTarts: An Emotional Eating Tale

Let’s just cut to the chase.  On Saturday morning I ate half a Pop Tart.

In a world where my nutrition plan is put together to manipulate my body chemistry such that fat loss happens, this is the ultimate sin.  In my world of justification, it happened on a day I was getting a cheat meal chock full of carbs anyway, so probably not going to screw Leif’s body chemistry plans of his for my body too badly.  Had this happened mid-week, it could foil his whole plan quite drastically and therefore greatly influence my results.  In his plans, it requires 100% follow thru.  Tough.  Really Tough.

In a world of calories in and calories out and overall nutrition, half a pop tart is probably not a big deal.  Not the best choice but not the end of the world either.  Except that in my history, often half a pop tart leads to a whole pop tart…which leads to…and I don’t live in a world of calories in vs calories out anymore.

Get the picture?

It is not about the pop tart.

On Saturday morning, I weighed in and lost nothing.   The week before I had lost 1 lb and before that was a weird combination of gain/lose from my trip to NYC.  Prior to NYC, I was in the low 290’s.  After NYC, I have been hovering above 300 again.  In my head, I KNOW that Leif’s plans all build on each other and while I don’t see the whole chess board or even have a clear vision of my placement on the board, I know that each nutrition plan I get each week is very calculated.  I KNOW that if I followed the plan and maintained, then it is LIKELY what he wanted as he preps my body for the next move that will eventually lead me to winning the game.

I KNOW this.  Intellectually I get it.  However, when you are IN IT, this journey is not all facts and figures and science.  It is heart and soul and emotions.  Facts and figures can be controlled.  The heart and emotions, well they are what they are in any given moment.  And given the places of complete numbness to my feelings and the incredible healing that has occurred in my life, I have learned that my emotions and my heart must be given valid space to be and to feel without justifying, rationalizing, or minimizing.

My current problem is not always recognizing when I am upset.  I am thinking that if I am doing a TON of self talk about what is going on and analyzing of my week and wondering what Leif’s big picture plan is, then I MIGHT be upset.  But this is hindsight knowledge of course.

That morning, the morning of the Pop Tart, I was prepping some meals for my day and getting ready to head off to work and telling myself that “Leif has a plan, trust him.”  I kept reminding myself of this truth and my reality was, I was NOT trusting him, or HIM(God) in those moments.  As I gathered my stuff, I noticed a box of pop tarts on the counter and without thinking I opened a package and popped 2 in the toaster…the whole time thinking “WHAT ARE  YOU DOING?!  STOP NOW!!”

I grabbed them and went out the door and as I drove, I slowly bit into them.  In all honesty they were gross.  Not nearly what I imagined and they certainly didn’t do what food once did for me, which was to numb the swelling tide of emotions that were becoming more apparent and real to me as my morning progressed.  As I drove, I realized how upset I was.  Not at the maintain really, but that I was back over 300 and hanging out there.  That is what was really bothering me.  I had begun to regret NYC.  I am certain I did not do well there or nearly as well as I thought I did when I returned.  In all honesty, I had no idea how to gauge carbs when eating out like I can gauge 4 oz of protein or 10g of fat.  I tried to be reasonable, but I really had no way of knowing and if I did, I didn’t care to do what was necessary to know.  Leif said, “you will be able to eat pretty much what you want in NY, within reason.”  I took that to the bank and used the fact that I was walking 7-10 miles a day as overdraft protection. (Never a good idea to COUNT ON overdraft protection in your finances or your diet)

So these were my thoughts as I nibbled through a Pop Tart.  I didn’t want to regret going to NYC, so many amazing things were seen and getting to see Coach’s new home was amazing.  I was mad that regret was even part of my emotions.  I was mad that the gain of NY was not coming off as fast as I expected/hoped.  I was a boiling pot of emotions.  As I took a step back and looked at what was happening to me from outside of my body, while knowing what was happening within my heart, I just broke.  The emotional energy I was trying to dam up with food broke and I just cried.

It wasn’t about the F’ ing Pop Tart.  It was about my ability to stay true, EVEN when I am upset.  I will NEVER reach goal if every time I get upset I eat.  Granted this doesn’t happen very often anymore, but still, I hate that it does.  I thought I was angry before, but now, I was really angry at myself and my lack of will power or strength.  I hated this weakness in me.  I hated that I could allow my emotions to dictate my actions.  In that moment, I dare say I hated even me…and that killed me.  I have come to love me over the years.  There really is much greatness in me, and I don’t say that in a conceited way, just honestly.  I hated how quickly I could be shoved off-balance in circumstances.  I hated that Pop Tart and all it represented for me.

I took a hit.  I stumbled.  I fell.  I got right back up…but what I really wish I knew was…how do I keep from falling in the first place?   Falling hurts.

Sorry to disappoint you Leif, but I disappointed myself more.

Lesson:  It is OK to feel what I felt.  It is NOT ok to try to numb out with ANY substance.  Food, drugs, alcohol.


One thought on “PopTarts: An Emotional Eating Tale

  1. I don’t think there is a way to keep from falling. We learn over time, and count it a victory if we fall less often, right? But perfection? Unattainable. I’m so glad you are taking the time to STOP and, when it’s not about the Pop Tart, figure out what it IS about. That’s the learning that will allow you to maintain your loss for a lifetime. Hang in there & good job stopping at 1/2!

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