Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Smackdown on Emotions

I'm writing this post at the end of a very emotional day and for those of you that know me, you'll know that these kinds of days aren't my strong suit.

First of all, I started the day by attending Glenda's "Breaking Free From Emotional Eating" class. Wow. What a class.

Being honest, it was really hard for me to sit through. It took everything in my being to sit in that chair, force my ears to be open, and my mind to be accepting. There was so much good information but for someone that doesn't like to "feel" it was a toughie. I identified with almost everything she said and seeing my triggers (depression, anxiety, boredom) all so plainly laid out for me was almost unbearable.

On the one hand, how nice to know what the triggers are. On the other, it meant that I was going to need to process those hard feelings in order to break free from the eating. Inside I was stamping my foot on the ground and shouting "NOOOO!!! You can't MAKE me!" and I left in much this same mindset.

After the class, I headed North to Tenino to see my grandpa that has stage four cancer. I was planning to meet up my parents at his house for dinner. I love my grandpa and coming to terms with the cancer has been difficult to say the least.

Trying to plan for the day in advance, I brought salad, veggies, apples, oranges, strawberries, and string cheese so that I could be on plan throughout the day.

In the past I've been a binge eater (see, I did listen during the class!) and I knew that after an emotional day, I would be tempted to drive to the nearest drive thru or pizza joint and literally pig out until there was no pigging left to do. Having an arsenal of healthy snack options in my truck would hopefully curb my craving.

As an aside, I have to admit (and this is super hard to write) but in the past on a hard day such as today ... or even on an easy day for that matter ... I would pick up a family size pizza and consume the whole thing in 20 minutes without a second thought. Yes, that's one reason why I was over 300 pounds. I knew that the likelihood of my doing something along those lines today, would be high.

Anyway, I did well with the family. I stayed on plan for the most part. I did allow myself one indulgence.

My grandpa makes the most wonderful homemade wild blackberry jam and I just could not be at his house without having a roll with jam. That was one treat that I knew in advance would be on my plate. No guilt.

On the way home, that's when the emotions of seeing my grandpa hit me full in the face. I felt so many things that it's impossible to regurgitate it all here and probably would bore most of you. That's why I pay a counselor, right?!

Around the Kelso exit, my brain was struggling to find a reason why I shouldn't indulge in the McDonald's value meals that called to me through my fog. French Fries would surely drown my thoughts as the blaring music just wasn't able to do much good.

I pulled off the freeway and got to the light at the bottom of the exit.

I don't know why, it wasn't a conscious decision, but instead of turning left to McDonald's, I turned right and made my way to JCPenny's. Going in, I had no plans of what I'd find or do. I was just looking for something to take my mind off my own thoughts.

I grabbed a handful of random clothes from the racks and frankly, I don't even remember looking at sizes as I flung them over my arm. Then I went to the dressing room.

A pair of black stripped pants was the first item I tried on. They were snug but comfortable and ... huh ... kinda cute. All angles seemed to check out ok in the three way scary mirror so I pulled them off and looked at the size ... 12.

I just about fell over.

I used to be 307 pounds and a size 26/28 in Lane Bryant sizes that equates to about a 3x or 4x in other sizes. When I started at THW and didn't want to know my weight, I had set the goal of just getting to a size 12 cause surely then I'd be happy ... right? And here I was, I had just put on and could successfully wear a large ... a size 12. Wow.

I soooo bought those pants!!!!!

But it wasn't the purchasing of the pants that allowed me to move past my craving. However, they did serve to remind me of why eating wasn't going to solve my problem.

I got back in my truck, pulled out my journal and spent the next 20 minutes "feeling" instead of eating.

And wouldn't you know (and this is when Glenda gets to smile her awesome I-told-you so-non-judgemental-supportive-smile) like the dentist's drill, the feelings did subside.

I left that parking lot feeling powerful for making a dent in my own emotional armor.


  1. I have been at THW for a very long time. As much as I love everyone there it is time to be a maintainer!!After taking Glenda's test in class today I know that dealing with the emotional triggers is the key. Congratulations on a positive response to a very emotional day!

  2. Sorry it was such a hard day. We'll need to talk. I saw you called yesterday. Kaden was sick...I think we're all fighting something off so there was a lot of resting going on around here. I hope today is a better day for you. Size 12 pants....WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Oh Wendy...Way to go!! I am so excited that you not only made it through a very difficult day but that you did it so healthily!! About the time in the blog that you mentioned I'd be smiling, I was actually shaking my head and beginning to cry...You are very courageous and I am blessed to be walking beside you on this journey!And to boot... a size 12?? :-) !!!Take care of yourself well today. At the risk of sounding like a counselor, let me just say that sometimes the day after a difficult day can be hard too ~ especially when you processed through it well. Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday at the Challenge! :-)

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