Before I started eating more healthy I would eat sweet foods nearly almost every day. It was really because I craved it. I would always want more and more and more, I could never seem to get enough. But, since I started my New Food Plan, which, if you hadn’t read about it in my previous posts, currently consists of two “Cheat Days.” I may have something sweet once or twice a week, and even then, it’s not all throughout the day.
But, earlier this year I started paying attention to how my body responded to certain foods, and I learned that cookies were a trigger food for me. I spiral out of control when I eat them. So, I hadn’t touched a cookie for months. But, today was a planned Cheat day for me. My coworkers know that I jokingly call it Wild Out Wednesday. It’s nice to have a break from planning out healthy meals and kind of just eat whatever. I usually don’t eat with complete reckless abandon, but I just eat what I feel like without guilt. Today, we went to a local restaurant called Blues City Deli. It’s one of the best places to get a deli sandwich in St. Louis. They also had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies at the counter that I usually avoid. They looked so good, and after all, it was my Cheat day. And I’ve been doing so well, I weighed myself this morning, and I’m down 22 pounds, so, why not? It wasn’t a craving, it wasn’t something I had to have, it was just sort of like eh, why not?
Well, now I have about 1 MILLION reasons why not.
After eating the huge roast beef sandwich followed by that cookie, I for some reason still felt unsatisfied. I had that craving for “something more.” After lunch I grabbed a orange iced cookie off the office kitchen counter that I had resisted with hardly any difficulty all day yesterday. Then for an afternoon snack I ate an ice cream cone out the freezer that I had previously managed to resist for the last week or two. The peanuts in my snack drawer seemed completely uninteresting, but I still wanted more junk food. What is going on?! I asked myself. I felt sluggish, like I was just dragging along. Then I realized it was probably that darn cookie at lunch that spiked this vicious cycle. I guess cookies really are a trigger food for me. Well, maybe I’m just making all of this up in my head, maybe there’s really no such thing as a “trigger food,” maybe I’m just using it as an excuse to eat more junk?
Later in the evening, I had to have a brownie sundae. Not just any brownie sundae. The brownie had to be fresh and hot and the ice cream had to be Häagen-Dazs Dulce De leche. I hoped nobody would see me with it in the checkout line and wonder if I was “ruining my diet.” Was I really resorting back to sneaking food and feeling guilty? I got so frustrated because I haven’t had all of these negative emotional feelings attached with food for a while. I really almost forgot just how uncomfortable it is and how out of control I feel. Ugh. Then, once I ate the brownie sundae, it wasn’t just like “mmmm this tastes good,” it was like “mmmmmmm this is wonderful! I feel good, happy, excited!” I had to STOP the insanity. I am NOT going back down this road.
I’m mentally healthy enough that I can realize that cookies cause a problem for me. I don’t know if it’s the warm/gooey/fat/sugar/chocolate combo that makes my brain scramble or whether it’s some weird emotional trigger that I’ve conjured up in my mind. At this point in my journey, it doesn’t really matter, all I know is that cookies are a problem for me, and that I’m more in control of my food and make healthier choices when I don’t eat them. After the brownie incident and the resurfacing of all those yucky feelings, I packed my Greek yogurt with Kashi cereal and fruit for breakfast and spinach salad with beef strips and feta cheese for lunch. My uneaten snack peanuts are already at my desk at work. I don’t feel bad or guilty at all right now as I write this. I’ve given myself enough grace to realize that I’m going to make mistakes. Just as I predicted, this day would come, because I’m human. I feel like I tested the cookie waters and I found out it was way too hot, and I jumped out as fast as I could! Tomorrow will be a Winning Day, back to my regular healthy food plan! Do you have any trigger foods that you have to avoid? What are your thoughts?