Lately, it seems like every night, all I want to do is eat ALL the things. Perhaps, it has something to do with the bad habit Ryan and I have fallen into of eating all our meals in front of the TV, habituating my brain into associating quirky, British broadcasting with stuffing my face. I get to the end of the night and find that I’ve consumed at least another 400 calories that neither I nor my thighs needed in snacks.
I’ve tried different ways of avoiding eating copious amounts of snacks after dinner. I’ve tried to redirect my mind to various sorts of social media. I inevitably start scrolling through Instagram, only to find people posting pictures of decadent desserts and epic cheat meals that make me drool on my smartphone. Frantic, I switch to Facebook and am confronted with ads for tempting abominations like McDonald’s bacon cheese fries or for a particularly delectable-looking pizza that make me want to cry and increases the intense desire to be eating authentic pizza in some cozy Italian villa instead of eating my carrot sticks and hummus. My stomach forgets often that I’m supposed to be going gluten-free when my eyes spy a Panera ad for some treat on ciabatta. Overall, social media only seems to exacerbate the problem, not help.
I’ve also briefly contemplated the practice of mindful eating – A.K.A. solely focusing on eating instead of reading a book or obsessively refreshing my Twitter feed while shoveling food mindlessly down my gullet. I only managed this for 2 meals before I gave up. I sat in the break room surrounded by my equally smartphone-obsessed co-workers and stared off into space and counted how many times I chewed my hard boiled egg. Instead of contemplating how cognizant I now was of my iPhone addiction and determine how to find balance in my life, I tried to determine if perusing weekly grocery specials left lying on the table disqualified my attempts at distraction-free eating. I’m now just trying to cut back a little on my social media consumption rather than trying to go cold turkey, and that seems to be working better. I have not yet reached the elusive plane of mindfulness that people post about on Facebook when they’re trying to talk about how much better than you they are because they did a social media fast or deleted their Snapchat.
But, lest you think that I’m a complete failure, I have found two ways that have helped some curbing my desire to snack. One of them is playing board games with Ryan, which he definitely appreciates and I should definitely do more often. It’s fun as long as it’s not too mentally draining a game to play. Every time, I agree to play a board game with him, he lights up in the same way I do when I come home to him washing dishes and doing laundry at the same time. (It’s truly glorious.) And more often than not, I find myself having a great time despite my initial protests and cries of “I just want to watch ‘Planet Earth VII’ on Netflix; I don’t want to have to think.” Besides, if I play more board games with him, maybe he’ll add vacuuming or dusting to his repertoire, and I’ll swoon from the sheer joy of it all. 😉
The other helpful technique is journaling in my new little notebook that I mentioned in the last post. I allowed myself to be sucked into the vortex of planners and journals at Barnes and Noble, a dangerous place for my organization-loving heart, and emerged with my thick and gorgeous journal. It’s been so long since I gave into the urges and bought a physical notebook for my weird and rambly scribblings. Usually, I just wander into that particular part of the store while Ryan inspects the board game selection and gently touch the perfect, smooth covers, my hand lightly caressing the crisp, perfect pages that are waiting and ready for me to fill them with my thoughts.
That all being said, it is looking more and more likely that I will have an 8 pound gain for 2018 rather than a loss, which is mildly devastating considering I got down 10 pounds in the first three months of the year. I’m desperate for change as 2019 looms nearer, and I’ll be honest that I don’t have it entirely figured out. I will learn from the lessons in 2018 that taught me to listen to my body first and others’ advice second, to devote time to myself and things that make me happier (and therefore less anxious), and to find ways to be happy with how I look right now instead of spewing hateful words towards myself. I will try to keep the snacking to a minimum, even when customers are mean to me or I feel overwhelmed by the amount of dishes in my sink. And most importantly, I’ll never give up.