As the New Year begins, it’s normal to reminisce about the happenings of the previous year to decide if the past year was a good one or not. Here are a few of my highlights and lowlights for 2018:
- I weigh over 100 pounds less now than this time last year.
- My dog (and companion) of 12 years died.
- I started writing a blog.
- I ran a 5K.
- I co-authored a book which was launched in November.
- I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel and have been without a kitchen since March.
- Sales are down at work.
Life just showed up in 2018 as it does in any other year. It didn’t matter if I considered the moments good or bad – time marched on from Jan 1st to December 31st. One of the biggest learning lessons for me in 2018 was bringing awareness to how I related to food during my high points and low points. In the past, regardless of whether I was happy or sad, I would justify eating potato chips, cake and those foods which didn’t support my wellness to celebrate a win, or to push through being tired, or to sooth my anger, grief and sadness.
2018 was different. I didn’t use food to pacify my emotions. I used food for fuel. And I found other ways to handle my feelings, including calling a friend, going for a walk, or getting interested in a TV show I hadn’t seen in a while. I quit the habit of eating to make myself feel better. This was new and different to me.
Especially when something “bad” happened and my automatic response was to turn to food. In these moments, my first thought was usually, “go eat something sweet” or I would start thinking about a certain food and how it tasted and eventually make myself crave it – which made it harder to resist temptation.
When I saw this “mechanical” way I was dealing with my emotions (by eating), I had a choice. I was no longer a slave to my automatic behavior. I could see my behavior (the thoughts telling me to eat potato chips) and then asked myself if I was actually hungry. If I was hungry, I ate. If I wasn’t and just wanted to chew on something to avoid feeling, then I found an alternative activity to do. Being aware that I was eating when I wasn’t hungry, but eating when I was happy, sad, tired, angry, <insert emotion here>, freed me of my automatic behavior and ultimately supported me in achieving wellness and health.
As I’m entering 2019, I’m not compelled to make a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, like I had for many years in the past. With this new level of awareness towards eating I’ve learned in 2018, I don’t have to think about or talk to myself in my thoughts about losing weight. I’m excited to see what new adventures and possibilities are in store in the days and moments to come. 2018 marks the year I started this blog, and I want to thank you for joining my journey and taking the time to read it. In 2019, my wish for you is health, wellness and success. You can have whatever you want. Go for it!
All my best… Jen