I just passed a big test. I’d been interviewing for a new job and I found out they went with another candidate. It was down to the wire — I was one of the final candidates. During the process, I was hopeful, but realistic. You know how these things go. Once I learned the outcome, visions of ice cream and chocolate kept coming to mind. I wanted some serious comfort food. I thought about a lot of things that “sounded really good.” There was an argument raging in my head all day. For once, I knew I’d be sorry if I gave in to my desire to eat and the enjoyment would be short-lived. I used my basic principle of “Is It Worth It?” over and over. ALL. DAY. LONG. I’m not even kidding. It was an epic battle.

I used to eat my way to comfort. If this were two years ago, I easily would have eaten my way through the kitchen immediately after hanging up the phone. I kept pushing those thoughts away thinking I’ve made it this long today without splurging, I can make it a little longer. And, that’s the thing. If I’m going to splurge I want to enjoy it. I want it to be because I’m having a good time with friends, or celebrating something — not because I’m trying to bury my emotions.

I’m writing (and publishing) this post because I want to share that the struggle is real and I suspect it always will be. Even with all the weight loss success I’ve had, it’s still hard. And, as far as I’ve come, it’s not so far that I was eager to go out for a walk and clear my head. I thought about it, but physical activity is not a comfort to me. I’m not someone who finds a walk (or going to the gym) to be therapeutic. Maybe someday I’ll get there. But I’m not there now. I spent a good part of the day moping and my eating was not stellar, but I stayed away from the big point items. I managed. And, I’ve learned it’s OK to “just” manage. It was far better than it could have been. I am glad I had plans with my sister for dinner that night. It definitely lifted my spirits and I was glad when the day was over and I could go to bed. The next day was a fresh start with new perspective and continued focus — not only on my eating, but on the search for my next career opportunity as well.

How do you manage your emotions without food as a crutch?