Letting emotions get the best of me

I’ve fallen into a bad habit that’s been horrible for my waistline and my health. I’ve fallen into the trap of emotional eating as a way to celebrate events, but also to suppress stress and sadness.

For example, one of our kids comes home for the weekend or vacation. Of course, we need to celebrate, right? We’ll go out to a fun restaurant. Instead, of eating a normal amount, I load up on carbs or calories that I really don’t need. It’s all in good fun. We don’t get to see our kids that much. 

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But, it’s happening too much. 

Here’s what I mean: 

  • The kids have left, it’s back to my wife and I being empty nesters, oh, we have to commiserate. Let’s go out.
  • The Eagles are playing on Monday Night Football. Let’s get some wings.
  • It’s Wednesday, my wife needs a break from cooking. Let’s go out to eat.
  • It’s Thursday, I don’t feel like cooking. Let’s go out to eat.
  • It’ Friday, we need to celebrate the ending of a long week. Let’s go out to eat. 
  • It’s Saturday. It’s the weekend, let’s go out to eat. 
  • It’s Sunday night. Oh, the weekend is coming to a close, let’s go out to eat. 

When I was working out regularly, the celebrations and missteps off of a healthy diet weren’t all that damaging. I could work them off. When the pandemic hit and I had less of a commute, but also walked less throughout the day, my falling off the bandwagon hit me even harder.

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So, I’m turning a new page. I’m getting back into the workout routine, trying to eat healthier, trying to focus on my eating, meaning think about everything I eat before I eat it. Oh, I know that we’ll still have a few “celebrations” in the future, but I have to eat smarter. 

I’m serious about getting healthy. Here’s how I know. God forbid, I’m even trying to give up Diet Pepsi and stick to one coffee per day. If you’re religious, pray for me. If you’re not religious, pray for me even more.

My only problem is that there’s so much crazy and incorrect advice out there. Yes, I would love to lose 25 pounds in two weeks, but I know it doesn’t work that way. It takes hard work. I hear a lot about intermittent fasting, the keto and paleo diets, Goli gummies and a host of other trends, some good, some full of hot air.

I want to hear from real people. What advice do you have for me? 

30 thoughts on “Letting emotions get the best of me

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  1. I never had problems with weight. I exercise daily, a total of one hour among weight training, yoga, walking and running. When I am short of time, I walk to errands. Park the car far from the stores, try to keep moving. Eat plenty of veggies, fresh food, I avoid processed like the plague. The problem with eating out, look at the portions! Get to the restaurant order your food and a box. When the food comes, split it in half and take the box home for another meal. If you stick with whole fresh foods for the most part and avoid processed and sweets, it will help immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Alessandra! All great advice and all things that I’ve been avoiding! You’re right about the portions. I find the portions where I live tend to be huge and I need to control that better. At home, I’ trying to go with our smaller plates to try and trick my brain into going with “normal” portion sizes. Thanks for the great ideas.


  2. Hi Brian. You are right, there is a lot of advice out there. From my experience I would say find an eating and exercise regime that suits you. Being consistent over a longer period of time is better than some of the short sharp fads that seem to be advertised. Sometimes changing the terminology around what you do also helps. Healthy lifestyle seems to be more attractive to the brain than weight loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh — I feel you! I wish I had magic to offer… your post hit a note of recognition. The best thing I’ve done (and am trying to stick with) is keeping a food diary and finding a way to move my body every day, one way or another. Seems like the older I get, the more I’m aware that big pronouncements of doing this or that in the name of a smaller waistline/good health tend to fall flat because I start off strong and then fizzle. Sigh. Thanks for sharing! You are not alone…LOL. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that was my worry about writing anything Victoria. I always hate to see big announcements like the one I just wrote. I’m much more of a “look what I’ve done” vs a “look what I’m going to do” kind of guy. But the false information out there is so plentiful that I really wanted some thoughts from people who’ve done it. I probably should add to that writing the piece is my own recognition of the hard truth: the best way to get healthy is a nutritious, heavy in the vegetables, diet and lots of exercise, including the dreaded lifting weights. Thanks for the idea of the food journal. I’ve just started one. My issue is consistency. I need to keep it up. Thanks and good luck to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eat out or take-aways once a week only 😉 Home cooking is always best: it’s the only way really to control the amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives, carbs and fats that are going in. And getting back into exercise: regular brisk walking is always good, even just a few minutes a day goes a long way! Good luck, Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so easily done, isn’t it? It seems so much nicer to go out to eat; no cooking and best of all, no washing up! From a health and diet point of view, it’s not so good if you do it too often. I don’t eat out much these days, although when my son and the children come over (as they’re doing tomorrow and staying through to Sunday), we nearly always go out to eat. Like you, I’m always tempted into eating the less healthy options and probably too much of them, too. I love pasta and rice dishes and most sauces and accompaniments are high in fat and calories, so not such a good choice, but I’m so tempted. My son always orders nibbles and garlic bread etc., so I find myself tucking into too much of that, also. I don’t have a weight problem, but know I should be making better choices. As for tips, other than having lots of healthy and easy-to-prepare foods indoors, I’m not sure what else I can suggest. Ah, there is one tip – if you’re eating biscuits, for example, always choose the broken ones as they don’t count as calories 😉!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness – I hear you on this, Brian! For these years when my kids are young, I often want to eat if it’s been a hard day of drop-off at daycare or the nighttime routine was stressful. I’ve finally started shedding the pounds by making substitutions that I can live with – apples and carrots instead of chips and sweets. And then saving some energy so I can work out at the end of the day.

    But I’m not giving up my Diet Coke so good luck with that one! 🙂 Seriously – I think intention is half the battle so you’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Diet Pepsi is a tough one. It’s been my go-to drink for most of my life. I’ve never been a big coffee or tea drinker, so cutting down to one coffee a days isn’t that hard for me. The Diet Pepsi is another story. I’ve been successful in the past with giving it up for a while, but have ultimately come back. I’m trying to be more consistent this time. I know that I’ll get there, I just need to patient and work hard. Thanks for the well-wish, positive thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How much time do you have? I have a long lifetime of experience here. The best advice i ever gave myself was “Eat what you want, drop the guilt, and love yourself anyway.” That little self suggestion yielded a two-week binge of bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and popcorn for dinner. What a happy little clam I was. Even happier was I when my advice yielded a 15 pound weight loss in those two weeks. Before long, nature took over and changed my dietary decisions for me, without any argument from me. I’ve discovered along the way that it is not what I put my mouth that adds pounds. It is what I put in my mind. Guilt-free binging. Not fattening! 🙂 Good luck and God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting perspective. Yea, even if I drop some of the sugars, I need to give myself a break. I get it. I need to drop the guilt and love myself for who I am. I definitely have some work there. I’ll get there. Thanks so much for the suggestion and for the well-wishes. Very much appreciated.


  8. Lol. I think you know the answer, Brian; it’s a question of just doing it! Finding the form of exercise that you really enjoy doing makes a big difference. Exercise because it’s something you want to do instead of something you have to do. And, good luck! 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My advice is not to starve yourself. If you do, you’ll destroy your metabolism. You have to eat all meals and snacks and not skip any. Don’t get too busy and forget to eat. Don’t say anything is off limits, otherwise you’ll crave it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Look into the CookingLight Fresh Food Fast series. I buy them used on Amazon. We are going through the same problems. After cooking for 30 years as the Mr. worked to late to eat out, we discovered restaurants during COVID. I’ve come to terms with weight if I can stay in a “normal” body mass index. We walk the dogs at least 30 minutes a day with a goal of 3 miles of steps per day. My husband loses weight eating vegetarian every other day. The hardest thing for me is travel all my routines go out the window and I ask myself why bother? My dental hygienist told me it adds 10? Years to your life if you floss your teeth…that’s my new fitness goal, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we never seemed to go out to eat much until Covid too, now I want to go all the time. A bad habit. We have a dog too, but she’s a lazy mutt so that hasn’t helped me. Yes, it’s on me. I’m slowly getting back into a good routine, slowly. I’ll get there, but I’m kicking and screaming. Thanks for the ideas!


  11. Live a life of balance! Go out to eat, celebrate, enjoy life but make healthier options and drink your water. Before you eat commit to a 45-60 minute workout that will make you sweat.
    But here’s the the thing you and your wife have to enjoy life so make small changes and increase it overtime.

    Liked by 1 person

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