Call me stupid, crazy, naïve, or all of the above … but I assumed that when I stopped chewing and spitting, I’d lose the 5-7 lbs I’d gained during those two years of my peak disorderedness.
HA!!! How wrong was I?!
In fact, not only did I maintain that weight gain, but I even gained another 5-7 on top of it! Ouch.
Granted, I’m 30 now (not 24 like I was when I first joined WW) and I realize I have a desk job and (despite being active at the gym) I realize I don’t walk to the Metro every day like I did back then … but I think it’s much bigger than just that.
In doing a little self-analysis, I think it’s because stopping chewing/spitting only put a Band-Aid on the real problem: I went from using chewing and spitting as a coping mechanism for anxiety to using emotional eating/impulse buying as a coping mechanism for anxiety.
See a common denominator here? Anxiety still remains.
Ultimately, I still haven’t been able to really get a grasp on my anxiety levels. Sometimes I think I’m OK, but other times, not so much.
It’s as though I replaced one issue with another; truly, it’s no wonder I’ve not been able to get a grip! I’m battling myself here.
I know Dr. G. would tell me I need to come up with another coping mechanism … and I don’t dispute that, I need a healthier alternative for sure — writing, talking to my husband or calling a friend or family member, etc., but this stuff is often so private that it’s hard to open up about it; no one really gets it (and I can’t/don’t expect them to).
I think I need to do what worked for chewing and spitting and apply it to my emotional eating/impulse buying problem — and that means choosing pride over guilt once again and just saying no.
Literally, March 15, I woke up and vowed not to chew and spit. And I haven’t since. I made a firm decision and stuck to it. I feel recovered from that disordered behavior.
But the impulsive/emotional stuff requires thought before action. And that’s where I still struggle. In fact, outside of this disordered eating realm, I struggle with impulsiveness — opening my mouth before thinking, jumping into a conversation that maybe I don’t need to be a part of, etc.
I need that next level of mindfulness and since awareness is half the battle, I think I’m going to start journaling my emotions in addition to my usual journaling. I’m hoping it’ll help with the other stuff.
I don’t want to go back to Dr. G., but I’m not ruling out the possibility of seeing a different therapist because ultimately, while I know therapy helped, it definitely wasn’t the end of the road for me. There’s still work to do upstairs … and I’m not giving up.
I feel optimistic right now … thanks for listening.
How about you? What are some of the coping mechanisms you use? And did you find you traded one for another, or were you able to nip them all?