100 Days of Eating Clean – Week 5

air-popped_popcornThis has been a challenging week and I could have handled it better. Last week I talked about ways to avoid stress eating This week I did some stress eating! I hate to admit it, but there it is. I never said I was perfect.

As I mentioned in my last post, some days none of the tools will work. Maybe someday I’ll be that person who applies the right strategy at the right time in every case and always does the right thing…ya, probably not. 🙂 What those tools for dealing with stress do is reduce the times that you make the not so good choices. And, once in a while, that not so good choice really is just what you need.

So, what happened? Some unexpected things happened. Nothing big, all pretty typical stuff. A cancellation here, a disconcerting phone call there, stepping outside my comfort zone to try out some strategies in a new venture, a big deadline approaching…nothing earth shattering but when you add it all together it equals stress. Almost worse, in terms of stress eating, than one big obvious stressful event. These little things build up on you before you realize what’s going on.

One day, I just needed to give myself a break and forget about my workout and forget about my diet. I kept it to that one day and I still ate pretty clean…air popped pop-corn with olive oil and spices and some red wine. This kind of indulgence comes from the rule I’ve followed for a while now… make your own junk food. I didn’t make the wine, but I did make the pop-corn. No chemical laden microwave pop-corn in this house. I think it makes a difference. When you do indulge in something not so good for you, it doesn’t have to be so horrifically bad for you either.

Here’s the good news…it didn’t interfere with my progress. I still lost weight this week and my workouts after that day of taking a little time-out were actually better. I believe that another aspect of my stress was that I just needed a day off but felt too guilty to allow myself to have it. There has to be a balance. All or nothing (close relative of perfectionism) does not work. Balancing things is not easy. It’s an art. It takes time to learn how to do that in a way that really works for you and it’s a little different for each of us. So, part of the process is having patience with yourself. Just like with fitness, you just have to stick with it. You WILL keep improving…even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

So, I guess it’s fitting for the dish of the week to be air-popped popcorn. 🙂 Have you heard of the “make your own junk food” rule? Have you tried it? Do you think it’s made a difference in your health and your waistline?

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