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Press the Pause Button

I made a deal with myself not too long ago that anytime I decided I wanted to eat a house I would wait for 10 minutes. I tried pausing for five minutes, but it wasn’t long enough – nothing changed. When I get to a spot that I really want to dive into emotional eating, I commit to either write for ten minutes or go for a walk. I tell myself as soon as I complete either of the tasks I can eat whatever I damn well please. Let the party begin!

Invariably when the 10 minutes pass, I’ve gathered my thoughts enough to maintain my composure. I may still want to eat, but I no longer feel the need to. This technique worked beautifully yesterday.

I had a day off and I decided to get our taxes done. First mistake. Our taxes are pretty simple. I could do them if I wanted to, but it stresses me out so I choose to pay someone who thinks its fun. I will go to my grave wondering why anyone would want to deal with numbers all day long for 45-50 years, but I’m sure there are people who think words are just as excruciating. I get that. I’m thankful for the variety!

Nothing had really changed from last year to this so I wasn’t expecting any huge surprises. We generally owe a little bit, but I’m OK with that. It simply means the government doesn’t get to use my money for free.

Well, the guy gets through ticking off all his little boxes on the computer screen and proceeds to tell me we’re going to owe thousands of dollars. I nearly fell off my chair. I kept asking questions, but he had an answer for everything. Finally, I got up and staggered home, but not before calling my husband to share the painful news. Share the wealth; share the pain is my motto.

As soon as I walked through the front door I started pacing. I was trying to figure out which part of the house to eat first. Should I start with the appliances or fixtures? Someone was looking after me and screamed, “Go for a walk now before it’s too late!” I managed to stop the pacing long enough to find my tennis shoes, and then the phone rang. Guess who it was? Yep, the tax guy made a mistake! Did he not realize who he was dealing with and the damage that I was trying to avoid? Whew!

I knew I still needed to go for the walk just to clear my head a bit. That is not the kind of adrenaline rush I was looking for on the sunny February afternoon. I walked for about 30 minutes and soaked up some sunshine. I returned home and was quite proud of myself. I recognized and acknowledged my feelings, but I FELT them instead of trying to eat them. Good Job.


3 Responses

  1. Good job indeed!!!!!

    I love this. Somedays it’s 5 minutes at a time instead a day at a time. Putting some time between ourself and the crisis of the day is always a good idea. You’re so smart!!!

  2. Pause is a good thing…I need to practice it in many areas of my life…not just eating!

  3. Yikes! No one needs unexpected or manufactured surprises! You did the right thing to deal with the adrenaline.

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