Head Hunger Games

Probably the biggest battle in my weight war is what I refer to as “head hunger.”  I’m an emotional eater.  I’m a bored eater.  I’m a sad eater and angry eater, which clearly fall most appropriately under the emotional eater umbrella.  I’m a PMS eater, and most of all, I am a STRESS EATER.

So, what exactly is this head hunger?  Head hunger encompasses all of those times when you’re not hungry, yet you find yourself rooting around in the cupboard for a snack or you’re elbow deep in a chip bag before you even realize that you’ve opened the bag.  Eventually, you realize that your body doesn’t need nor want the food you’re consuming, but something drives you to eat it despite a glimmer of rational thinking regarding your snacking.  That is head hunger, and it’s insidious.

When I started: working out, becoming a runner, eating healthier, drinking more water, and sleeping for more than a handful of hours a night, my body began to change.  Although the afore outlined is hard work, the most difficult task has been changing my thinking, especially in regards to this so-called head hunger.

My biggest battle today is against stress eating head hunger.  I do not feel hunger, and therefore, I do not want to eat.  However, I am currently experiencing a lot of stress, and this is what I mean about the HH being insidious – it’s an old habit, yet the urge to “eat my feelings” is prominent, sneaking into my psyche the moment it saw the slightest opportunity.  Tomorrow may prove to be a pivotal moment in my career, my life.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of my field, I cannot expand beyond that, but anyone who has worked hard for something: something BIG, something MEANINGFUL, something IMPORTANT knows the amount of stress, pressure, and self-doubt that accompanies said work.  In my case, this has been a nearly year long process so I am riddled with the aforementioned (stress, pressure, and self-doubt) nearly twelve-fold.

So yeah, I’m engaged today in a battle against the SEHH.  That battle alone is difficult enough, but to make the battle ever more difficult because hey, it’s Monday after all, there are approximately 100 beautiful cupcakes, slathered with vibrantly colored buttercream frosting, upstairs just screaming for consumption.  The cupcakes always call the most loudly to the cupcake connoisseur!  I keep reminding myself that I will feel better for working through the cravings, the head hunger, than I will feel if I succumb.  In my corner: positive thinking, the will to succeed, the drive to overcome self-sabotage, and it’s still Lent.

. . . I’ve got this!

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I Lent My Cupcakes

As is likely simple to guess based on my blog’s title and description, cupcakes. are. my. JAM!  However, I gave up my cupcakes (actually, ALL sweets) for Lent, and I’m not even counting down the days!!  So, I honestly have no idea that there are only 30-ish more days left.  (It’s the “ish” that really sells it, that makes it seem like I’m not counting).  However, though I joke, I’m really not.

So, why did I choose sweets?  Well, anyone who practices Lent knows that what we choose to give up should not be easy; it’s a sacrifice.  Though I am not Catholic and associate with no particular denomination, I practice Lent because I think it is important for my own well-being.  During February, I completely removed soda from my diet, and I LOVED soda (and YES, that is past tense).  But I digress!  Soda has always been my go to give up for Lent, but it is no longer a viable option.  My other great love: BOOKS.  However, I could not project any feasibility in giving up books, especially when I constantly read for work.  Finally, it came down to cupcakes, and not entirely happy with that, I broadened my decision to all sweets.

I do not consume cupcakes nearly as often as I once did.  Formerly, I would buy a single cupcake every time I went to the grocery store, and I have proudly broken myself of that habit.  I was justifying the cake of the cup variety as my reward for adulting and getting the food shopping done.  However, the cupcake has truly become a once in a while treat.  Since I do not like pie or cheesecake, and I am lukewarm toward donuts, I have been envisioning myself as a casual candy consumer . . . until recently.  As of late, I noticed that I had started to grab a piece of candy from the community candy basket multiple times a day, I was eating M&Ms from the vending machine, I would not settle for my usual, one sliver of cake served for special occasions …

So, I am nipping the behavior in the bud before it becomes problematic.  It has been difficult at times, but I have yet to be tempted to the point of succumbing.  Working in a police department, we have sweets and junk food coming in nearly twenty-four hours a day.  So, it was a good choice in that I have truly been challenged!  To be face-to-face with delicious cookies and cakes and even the cupcakes I have always so coveted, it has forced me to make better decisions food wise.  Lent has given me perspective in how picking up a donut or a cookie had become almost reflexive.