Depending on where I am mentally or emotionally, sometimes I can have a bag of pretzels at home for two months without going near them or thinking about them …
Other times I can enjoy a small handful now and then and be done with them …
And other times, I can’t get them in the trash quickly enough.
I hate to be wasteful, and I realize how awful it is to throw out food (why buy it in the first place?!). But I liken “what is a trigger food” to how sometimes my IBS (which has been much better the past five years on WW) can flare up from eating, say, tomato sauce one day, and the next day I’ll be fine with it …
In other words, what might be a trigger today might definitely not be tomorrow. And it’s nearly impossible to predict, which makes playing “defense” hard.
And so this weekend I had to toss three triggers that I’d had at home for weeks without nary a problem: delicious yogurt-covered pretzels, fancy white chocolates you get at the bin in speciality stores (forget the brand, but $$), and butterscotch morsels (intended for my oats but they never made it that far). All things I’d managed to enjoy over time, in small increments, as any self-aware, dignified person would.
(Note to self: hmmm … all are sweet …)
I know I am not alone in struggling with triggers.
I had had a particularly stressful weekend and food was, admittedly, a source of comfort … I don’t mean in the sense of a binge, only in that I used food to “numb” what was really bothering me. I knew I was doing it, and didn’t stop myself from reaching for the yogurt pretzels or the butterscotch chips.
Until Sunday night when I was feeling a lot better and realized, “Hey, eating XYZ, even in small, moderate portions, won’t make you feel any better.”
And so one by one, I tossed each item into the trash.
I’m not proud of that fact — especially after having just watched Slumdog Millionaire with my hubby the previous night (incredible movie, we loved it!) — it felt really awful, corrupt, even, to be tossing good food
(And in case you’re wondering, if they were things my husband likes, I def. wouldn’t have tossed them — I’m not that wasteful!)
The truth is, I’d much rather be the girl who can keep a pack of M&Ms on her desk for a week … but I am not her. I’m anxious with things like money and food.
And I know that out of sight, out of mind sometimes is the best solution for me. Last week, not one of these things posed a problem. But some stress building this weekend just shot that notion in the foot, and it was as though all my good intentions were for naught.
Keeping those things around only hampers me from reaching my goal if I’m not in the right frame of mind to have them around. However, it’s hard for me to predict my mood.
And sometimes something as innocuous as carrots or Kashi can be the “fix” of choice at the moment, and I can’t (and won’t) rationally ban all food from my house. It’s kind of an as-it-happens act.
I can, however, work on changing how I react to stress, one of the things I’d like to explore further with Dr. G. this week.
Fortunately, I know what triggered my emotional eating. It certainly wasn’t out of control eating (I just compensated with smaller meals to make up for the unplanned snacks) but the fact that I turned to food for comfort speaks volumes to what I was feeling this weekend.
The good thing is, I can identify it, and I did identify it.
Though I am not too thrilled that’s how things played out this weekend, I still say it’s progress!
How about you? Have you recently had to toss a trigger food or stop buying it?