My husband has been gone for some time. Unlike other times, I have not been able to pick up the phone and talk to him, email him, etc. It has been hard, but I've done OK until the middle of last week. I received a one liner and found out that he was returning to the US earlier than planned. Red flags immediately start waving in my head. This is not normal. There is no shortened trip.
I was on pins and needles as I waited to hear when he was leaving so I'd be able to know when he should be back in the US. Inside I was freaking out. When will he leave? Will he be OK? I wanted to eat crap so badly!
I kept telling myself eating will not help the situation. My husband will not be any safer. It will not make me feel better. It's OK to be scared and anxious. I will not eat crap because of my emotions. But so much of me just didn't care and wanted to eat! And, sure, my em0tional eating has surfaced numerous times over the years and I've navigated it most times successfully and other times not so much, but this was definitely the worst situation that I could remember.
There is a happy ending to this story - whew. My husband made it back to the US safely and will be home later this week. Me, I was able to stick to my normal eating. It was hard and there was some white knuckling involved. I did have to go to the grocery store and I gazed at all that Easter stuff and touched some of my favorite bags...they were glowing and calling my name - for real. Ya, I'm a freak. But now that I'm on the other side of this time, I have to say I am proud of myself. I need to remember this one when I face the urges in the future, because navigating this one proves that I can make it through. Mind over matter.
Here's some of the tools I use:
- Acknowledge the feelings and tell myself it is OK to feel.
- Remind myself how I will feel if I eat (mad, disgusted, disappointed, etc.) and that it solves nothing
- Stop, drop, and roll - OK, kidding, but when urges surface I stop what I am doing and change to some other activity or location. A new location (even inside my house) helps or I've also just left the house and gone for a walk down the block. Somehow for me this breaks the pattern or train of thought. If not, then I just try another tool.
- Give myself a time out---15 minutes to relax and do nothing.
- Stick to my routine for exercise and eating.
- Keep trigger foods out of the house and avoid the store as much as possible (Why make it harder on myself?)
- Telling myself that this will pass and I can do it....repeatedly. :)