I wanted to thank everyone for their insightful comments on yesterday’s post on Fat Acceptance. It’s a touchy subject and I think everyone had some great thoughts. Reading your comments made me appreciate yet again the power and depth of the blogging community.
What is it about the afternoon that is so difficult? Every morning of the ten years I struggled with my weight I’d swear that I was going to have a good eating day. And sometimes I’d do okay in the morning, but once about 2:30 p.m. rolled around, the afternoon munchie monster began rearing its ugly head.
I’m still amazed at how much I was able to eat in one afternoon. I tried to resist, but oftentimes ended up eating one unhealthy food after another. For example, I may have eaten half a bag of chips, a handful or two of cookies, some leftover biscuits smothered with butter, a spoonful or twelve of ice cream, and anything else I could get my hands on. The couple of hours before dinner time were so hard for me to control my eating.
Even when I was officially “dieting” and had purged the house of most unhealthy foods, I would find all sorts of things to eat. I’d make muffins or cookies. I’d eat the kids animal crackers by the bagful, and search the recesses of the pantry in search for something “good” to eat. The afternoon munchie monster was in full swing. After I had eaten all I could, I’d be so annoyed at myself. Why did I just eat all that when I was so determined to be good that day?
I think there were several factors that contributed to me giving into the afternoon munchie monster:
I didn’t plan ahead.
I had too many tempting foods around.
I thought I had to deprive myself of most sweets to be successful.
I was easily pulled into an emotional eating vortex.
Way back in 1997, when I finally lost my 158 pounds, I worked really hard to conquer the afternoon problem. I used the kitchen timer like I talked about on Dr. Oz. I set it for 15 minutes when I felt the urge to overeat, and nine times out of ten when the timer rang I determined that I wasn’t really hungry, but rather experiencing another type of emotional hunger. In addition to the kitchen timer, I also made sure I had some healthy snacks that I liked around. This made a big difference. And finally, I did not beat myself up if I made a mistake.
Is the afternoon a potentially difficult time for you? If so, what strategies do you employ to tame the monster? Diane