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Refined Sugar and Me Week 10 — Emotional Eating

Let’s check in on week ten of refined sugar & me in 2017! This week I gained back one pound, so am currently down a total of 9 pounds in ten weeks. You win some, you … don’t lose some? Let’s call that a normal fluctuation and move on. 😉

I will not emotionally eat today…

This afternoon I’ve been sitting here looking at some brownies High School Guy brought home from school… and the leftover Valentine’s candy… and this M&Ms, cream cheese, and graham cracker concoction Mr. 10 just made up. I’m very tired, I’ve had a bad day, and even though I haven’t really been craving sugar or wanting desserts for a while, today I want them all.

But then again, I really don’t. I’m not actually craving the taste of M&Ms and box mix brownies and that cheap waxy Valentine’s chocolate as much as I’m craving the temporary endorphins that will make my bad day seem less bad. I’m not thinking about how good these things will taste (because I know they won’t!); I’m thinking about how they’ll make me feel. I’m not thinking of ways to deal with the underlying issues that have led to my bad day; my knee-jerk reaction is to grab some chocolate to make myself feel better. That’s all… kind of disturbing.

So instead I spent a few minutes making myself this little sign, had a protein-y snack, and now I’m drinking some nice hot black coffee — caffeine will do in a pinch, right? Feel free to borrow my sign if you also need the visual reminder today!

Emotional eating

One of the benefits of giving up most refined sugar this year has been the space it’s given me to step back and think about why I’ve been eating so much sugar all this time. Aside from the fact that it’s in everything, sugar has the magical power to activate those reward centers in your brain and make you feel better — if only temporarily. (It’s been my drug of choice for years!) Think about the language that we use to justify food as a reward — “I need this, I deserve this, I’ve earned this…”

There is a plethora of material out there on sugar addiction and I’m still sorting my way through and figuring out which is legit and which is hyperbole, but I think there’s really something to it. (We’ll address that further in a future installment.)

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