We don’t deprive ourselves around here. We’re big fans of chocolate and wine. And I can seriously hang when it comes to Chipotle. But I’ll confess: Lately, and not just because of the holidays — because come on, you’re wrong if you don’t go a little overboard during the holidays — I’ve just been overdoing it a little too much. A little too frequently, one piece of chocolate has turned into five. One casual cookie has become a couple of handfuls of Oreos. Popcorn, although a healthy snack, went from being something to munch on when I’m hungry to a nightly thing — even when I wasn’t hungry at all.
Call it emotional eating. Call it stress eating. Call it mindless munching. Whatever you call it, it’s hard to curb once you start getting into the habit. Isn’t it annoying how good habits are so hard to build but bad habits are so easy to slip into?
Luckily, because, you know, Jenn and I wrote a book with an entire chapter about this very topic, I know what to do to get back into my groove. Being aware of it is step one.
My name is Erin, and I’m eating from boredom/stress/chocolate is delicious.
Being sick of it is step two.
Okay, Erin, aren’t you bored of this? Eating too much and waaah, my pants don’t fit?
Putting your energy elsewhere is the next step to kicking the bad habits. (I just wrote “bag” habits — Freudian slip because POPCORN BAG.)
So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. Right now, I kinda want a bag of popcorn. Let me go ahead and tune in to my old hunger meter. Am I hungry? No. Not even a little. Am I stressed? Yes. Let me tune into myself even more: Oh, I’m also dying of thirst. So I’m going to finish this post right on up, go grab a tall glass of water, and get myself to bed. It’ll take a few days for me to get out of my nightly snacking habit; willpower is a muscle just like your bicep. But once I get out of the habit of eating for all the wrong reasons, it’ll be easier to not only tune into my true hunger cues, but it’ll help me face the feelings or stressors I need to deal with.
Anyone else find themselves face first into a pile of chocolate when you’re bored or stressed? How do you kick mindless munching? —Erin