5/26/11

Comfort Foods

Unfortunately, I suffer from chronic pain. It sucks but it is just how it is. As mentioned before, I had worked extremely hard to loose a lot of weight. And for a good four years, I had kept it off. Then it started to slowly creep back. Just a little bit compared to what I has lost but still noticeable. My reason for mentioning this up and down is because today I have had a realization. I have seen a very strong correlation between when I am in pain and a very strong desire to take comfort in food.

Since January,I have lost the weight I had gained. This had me very happy but a bit confused. I hadn't change anything so why now after trying to get my weight back down with no success, did it just fall off?

It was at the end of December that a pain management doctor put me on a medicine to control my chronic pain. Looking back, I really think that is what led to my renewed weight loss. I was not in pain every day which meant I wasn't turning to food to feel better. Of course, while I was eating as a way to calm my pain, I had no idea why I was doing it. Yes, I realized that I had started to slip more and more with my choices of what I was eating. But I still didn't see a connection.  I'm sure I didn't want to see a connection.

I was back in that stage of knowing I wasn't eating right (FYI...if you have to eat it in secret then it probably isn't a good choice for the moment). I knew my clothes didn't fit right. I had even started to buy my clothes a little bigger. I just didn't want to admit why.

So, I started to take the medicine for pain and the weight seemed to fall off. It didn't really. Eventually I realized that I wasn't binging anymore. Why not? The only thing I could come up with was that I wasn't suffering from pain.

I have never seen this connection more clearly than tonight. My hip started hurting this afternoon. I had to be somewhere after dinner. On my way, I kept thinking that I could run by Starbucks and grab a coffee and a scone. I was strong and did not stop. By the time I was ready to leave my first stop to go to my next stop, I hurt so badly. As I pulled away, I thought, I can still stop by Starbucks. I didn't. Then I wondered what I could grab at a McDonalds that wouldn't make my hubby's car smell like fast food. I didn't stop there. My next thought was, "ooh, Dunkin Donuts! They have ice cream!". I kept driving. Meanwhile, I still keep thinking about all these foods that I just had to have. As I got closer to home, there was one more Starbucks so I still had a chance for that scone. I wisely decided not to stop and to go home and take a pain pill so that I could enjoy the rest of my evening with some friends.

It was amazing! By the time I got to our meeting place, enough time had passed that I was no longer hurting. AND...I was no longer obsessed with the idea of eating something unhealthy... right now! I was able to have a terrific night with a great group of ladies. We laughed, talked, and laughed some more. As I was driving home, I saw this strong correlation and  was intrigued. I have no idea why I was able to keep driving passed all those delicious foods that were calling out to me. It was such a strong urge at the time. But I am glad I was able to be in control this time. We all turn to food for the wrong reasons at some point. I'm hoping that now that I have seen how these two things are so closely linked in my life, I can recognize it for what it is a lot earlier and I can make the right choice next time as well.  Seeing this connection makes me feel that I am a little bit wiser and a little bit stronger.

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