At the beginning of June I was six pounds away from my Summer 2014 goal. In the middle of June one of my Aunts passed away unexpectedly and needless to say, those six pounds were the last thing on my mind.
I spent the first few days grieving alone. I live in New York City and the majority of my family is in California, so all I wanted to do was fly home and be with people who understood our loss. There were people I needed to embrace, there were people I needed to embrace me. As I waited for arrangements and booked flights I felt like I was under water, swimming through the sudden void we had in our family.
There are people who write about grief and loss much better than I can. My girl Ty wrote a blog post one year after her mother died here. #PSPfit Cheer Squad member, Brianne shared a beautiful letter from her Dad after he passed away here.
What I thought we could talk about today is how loss, grief and bereavement can affect our journey towards healthy living. For me emotional health is as much a part of my #PSPfit lifestyle as my eating or hitting the gym. If I sprained my ankle and couldn’t work out, I’d look at ways to stay on track in spite of my injury. So what should we do when our emotions are injured?
Unexpected loss could happen at any time. We could lose a job, a relationship or a loved one at the drop of a hat. As an emotional eater, my tendencies to want to fill voids with food can show up at times like this and its a slippery slope before I’m eating unsupportive foods I haven’t touched in years in an effort to find comfort.
When I was in California, we had an abundance of foods that would “keep” around my Grandmothers house. Trays of baked goods, macaroni and cheese, enchiladas, tamales were constantly dropped off from family friends and neighbors.
Bringing food to families that are grieving is something we all do. Food is brings us together, food makes us feel comfort and logistically, we want to make sure anyone who is in the midst of funeral arrangements doesn’t have to come home and worry about cooking.
In talking with our #PSPfit nutrition coach, Abra, I came to an understanding that finding comfort in family, friends and food during a time of grief isn’t anything to be ashamed of. The hard part for me was navigating the transition between grief eating and my healthy curves lifestyle. In theory, the minute I flew back to NYC after the funeral, I should have left the baked good, mac and cheese, etc. in California but that didn’t happen.
I’ve fallen off the wagon before and managed to undo months of hard work in a matter of weeks. The difference this time was that even though my emotional eating was in full effect and I was binging on foods that were unsupportive, my healthy choices never went away. When I felt sad said yes to foods I had no business eating… but I also said yes to my whole grains, leafy greens and workouts.
So, now I’m 15 pounds away from my summer 2014 goal instead of six. Not great, but trust me it could have been worse. For me this weight gain has brought back some things like my eczema flare ups and some PCOS symptoms that had gone away are back. I’m finally getting to a place emotionally where I can think about, care about and do something about the impact of these 15 pounds on my body.
I’ve mapped out a plan to finish 2014 strong when it comes to my health and if you’re interested in staying/getting back on track, I’d love for you to join me so we can keep each other accountable. On Wednesdays blog post, I’ll post the full details on a little #PSPfit Pre-game challenge I’m cooking up.
That’s it. My emotions and my eating are intertwined, but I know I have it in me to make these commitments to myself and get my life together a bit more before the end of the year.
How have you girls been doing on your healthy curves journeys? Any set backs? Big wins?