It's opening night! Normally, the fact that it's a show day would not deter me from my regular workout routine. However, since the knee continues to act up and this is a physically active show (and since I am going directly from here to Chicago --- aka Da Big Time), I'm not taking any chances. I did a light cardio workout -- half an hour on the elliptical; skipped my weight lifting routine because it involves push-ups (I do 'em like a girl on my knees and that is not advisable right now; and although my foot is much better it still doesn't want all that pressure on the toes to do regular macho push-ups); and did 100 crunches plus some yoga instead. I must remember to stretch my hips. It hurts so good. Who knew your hips could get so tight?
Yesterday I also took it easy, and did a little walking and a nice session of yoga. It was a day off (Dark Night, actually; the night before opening), and I drove over to Skanteales. Gorgeous!
It was quite chilly and brisk, and I figure that I burned a lot of "brown fat" just by walking around so much. It was such a gorgeous day, and a beautiful little town. Folks in upstate New York are as friendly and hospitable as Southerners, and you know coming from a Texas girl that's saying a lot. I just love it here.
As I prepare for my two performances, I'm also packing and getting ready to begin rehearsals for Ballo almost immediately, and I am trying to "eat up" everything in the fridge and pantry without buying more food, so nothing goes to waste. This makes for some very odd and not necessarily balanced meals, and I find that I have to be careful not to eat too much just so as not to waste food. One way or the other it will be wasted --- better in the trash can than on my hips! Our minds are full of tricks.
Speaking of which, in yesterday's comments section Sara mentioned that she is still having a hard time with impulse control, even when she realizes that her desire to eat is coming from emotional reasons rather than hunger. "What do you do when you recognize that what you want is emotional but you're still leaning toward the comfort of food anyway?" she asks.
Well, recognizing that you're self-medicating with food is the first step. It takes a while to reprogram responses to this, and sometimes you will be successful, others not. You're not aiming for perfection. You're aiming to keep working on it and to be successful more often than not.
There are several things you can do when confronted with an emotional desire to eat. If it's not time to eat a meal or a scheduled snack, remove yourself from the vicinity of the food. If you're driving past the doughnut shop, just keep driving. And yes, as soon as you can, distract yourself with another activity that will engage your mind and body.
It's painful, but you must confront that emotion that is driving you to eat. Are you eating because you're lonely? Bored? Hurting? Feeling left out? Feeling deprived?
What can you do to address those feelings and comfort yourself, other than to eat? This is where I would whip out my list of reasons that I want to lose weight. The first two years, I kept a list in the kitchen, on my desk, by my bed, and in my purse. Any time the thought of food or eating for any reason other than hunger entered my mind, I read that list. I reminded myself of why I wanted so badly to lose weight and to be healthier. I reminded myself that I wanted that more than I wanted a cookie.
I also reminded myself that if I really, really wanted whatever was tempting me, I could have it. But not today, not right now. If I wanted it, I had to write it down in my food plan. Having that food plan gave me immense freedom. It gave me control. I got to say what I would eat, how much, and when. I found that I could put off eating something indefinitely, because often when it came time to write the plan, the craving had passed, and I felt much more motivated to see a lower number on the scale than I did to eat whatever it was. But I have always scheduled special treats so I never feel deprived!
I had some powerful response cards, as well. I kept a book of them with me at all times and any time I felt tempted, I re-read them. I wrote new ones to respond to new situations. Every time I felt cued to eat when I shouldn't, or something I shouldn't, I responded with one of those cards. It's not enough to just think it; there is power in the written word.This book of responses became my talisman. Even though I rarely read it now, it always travels with me and is always at hand.
This old post of mine might be helpful; and I certainly recommend, as always, Dr. Judith Beck's books, The Beck Diet Solution (which is the single most important tool I used to lose weight) and her newer volume, The Beck Diet Solution for Life.
And now, I have to get ready for my show, and the party afterwards. I have no idea what kind of food to expect but I know I will be drinking some of my carbs. That means healthy snacks now, so I can let loose a little bit later on!