So tired. Need chocolate.

8 Mar

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I was starting a food log as part of the Love to Eat, Hate to Eat book study I’m doing with my church, and as a way to be more mindful of what I eat. I have been faithful in logging my food everyday, even on Tuesday when I was stuck in a meeting in the same freezing room for 12. hours. straight. Well, we did get a few breaks. But it was a looong day. Everyone at work was still exhausted yesterday. I feel mostly recovered. Wowza.

At first, I thought that my eating log wouldn’t be a true representation of my eating habits – wouldn’t knowing I was going to write it all down motivate me to choose wiser than normal? Perhaps it did for the first few days. But just like I can slouch on an exercise ball, I can eat for emotional reasons even if I’m tracking it.

I have been encouraged to see that 85% of my eating is not emotional. Some days I don’t even make one emotional choice. But then I have days like yesterday, when I’m exhausted and grumpy, and I just want sugar, sugar and more sugar, and throw all discipline and control out the window.

The biggest surprise shock has been to actually see how many calories I eat. In the past when I’ve counted calories or tracked my eating, I’ve conveniently ignored the times when I eat a little bit too much, or regret my dinner choice. “The damage is done – I’m moving on” was my mentality.

But if I am really trying to please God with my eating habits, I can’t just ignore the ugly parts. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). So to bring everything into the light, I’ve kept track of everything – the little bites here and there, the candy, the condiments, everything (even Tums!).

During the first week, I counted calories as I wrote my food down. But I could feel the temptation to become obsessed with the numbers and this is supposed to be about gaining insight and not about making changes. So last week, I decided that I’d leave that part off.

This morning, though, I went through my log from last week and tallied it up (mostly out of curiosity). I don’t believe that our bodies operate on a 24-hour schedule like we do, so I am using a 7-day average as the measuring stick. While some days are scary high (pushing 3,000 calories), the weekly averages for both last week and the first week are around 2,190 calories a day. According to this calculator of Daily Calorie Needs for a moderate activity level (I sit around at work but am fairly active otherwise), I’m eating the right amount for my body size and activity level. My scale agrees. I’m still at the same weight I was 2 weeks ago, 2 months ago, and 2 years ago. My body just likes this weight. So while the sticker shock has yet to wear off, I think that I’m feeding my body an appropriate amount.

That leaves me to tackle the whole emotional aspect of my eating habits. I wish it were as easy to solve that issue as it is to tally a bunch of numbers on a piece of paper. But it isn’t. On days like yesterday, when I am so moody and emotional in general, the idea of not eating the delicious-though-they-cost-$1.25 Reese’s peanut butter cups awaiting me in the vending machine makes me want to yell or hit the first person who dares to annoy me. Glorify God? Respect the temple? I. Don’t. Care. 

Even though I don’t have the solution figured out when I’m already in a bad mood, I do have one insight into prevention: SLEEP. It is no coincidence that yesterday was my roughest day eating-wise, and also the day I felt like a walking zombie. I’ve known for a while that Tiredness + Kathy = Bad Life Food Decisions. I think I also channeled my frustration over having to be at work into eating – Maybe this donut will send me into a wonderfully numb sugar coma so that I don’t realize I’m still here.

“Need to get more sleep” has been written on my log more days than not over the past 2 weeks. I haven’t been doing my morning routine of Bible + writing because I wake up sooooo tired (which is not normal for me). Several days, I’ve woken up to see that I had been hitting my snooze for 45 minutes without even realizing it. Yesterday after work, I walked in the door and promptly laid down on the couch. I didn’t even take my jacket off. I seriously would’ve gone to bed right after dinner if I hadn’t had my ladies group, and I would’ve skipped that, if I hadn’t been the one leading the discussion. I left right after we were done, went straight to bed when I got home, and then… I couldn’t fall asleep. {My mind was running a mile a minute. Even about work stuff. Seriously? So I finished reading Robinson Crusoe. The book was okay. It was pretty slow moving, which isn’t that surprising since it was first published in 1719 (100 years before Dickens was even born!).}

Anyway, to sum it all up, my eating log has helped me be more mindful of what I’m eating, but I have yet to eradicate emotional eating. Stay tuned for more on that…

Do you like reading old classics like Dickens, Tolstoy, or Twain? Which book is your favorite?

6 Responses to “So tired. Need chocolate.”

  1. Becca March 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    It’s really neat that you’re learning so much about yourself by tracking your food. What kind of template do you use to keep track/write down all of your food? I’ve tried to use various calorie counter websites but I find, like you, that it makes me focus on the calories more than my actual habits. Maybe I need to start writing it down by hand as well!

  2. specialkkluthe March 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    @Becca – You can see the template I’m using in my previous post – https://specialkkluthe.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/eating-plan-for-lent/. I just made a table in Word and printed it out. I like doing it by hand a lot better than other methods I’ve used.

  3. Jen March 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Hey Kathy, thanks for sharing! I do enjoy Tolstoy. Especially some of his short stories, the ones written after he became a Christian!

  4. B. in the Know March 9, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I am not a huge fan of reading classics, but I do love reading. I love reading non-fiction books that deal with society liek Blink and Tipping Point or memoirs – those are my absolute favorite. I have been so tired recently though and so I have not been giving myself time to read – I need to change that.
    Much love,
    B

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Keeping the wheels from falling off « - March 28, 2012

    […] well until about 4 pm and then ate everything in sight. A couple of weeks ago, I said that I was being more mindful of what I eat, but I was still struggling with emotional […]

  2. The Blessing of a Broken Routine « - April 7, 2012

    […] the truth of my eating habits, even when they’re not pretty. And even though at first, I was surprised at how much I ate (which ended up being a higher-calorie week than average anyway), I’m now surprised that […]

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