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Acknowledging a Pattern: Relief Eating

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Yesterday, after a nice breakfast out at our favorite breakfast café, I waved off the most challenging houseguests ever with a smile on my face and a plea to the universe to not bring them back this way any time soon. And then I spent the rest of the day reclaiming our home and eating my way through the leftovers and snacks and whatever else I could find in my kitchen.

I recognized what I was doing, so I wasn't in a binge-y trance. Food that we don't normally keep on hand had made its way into our house. I noted that the blueberry pie from the farmers market was way too sweet for my taste, but that didn't stop me from eating it (flaky, buttery crust, by the way). Our guests had turned up their noses at the good cheese, but I think good cheese is one of life's greatest pleasures, so I had a taste (or three). More for me! An open bag of Gardettos...I do love those rye rounds. Some Rainier cherries (fruit, I can justify that one). Oh, there was that half-a-can of cashews that I'd used for the spinach salad. And after all that salt, I had to have a couple of squares of my Theo dark chocolate. Except for the glorious cheese, none of it was satisfying, and it's not often (or ever) I say that about Rainiers and Theo chocolate.

That was yesterday.

Today, I'm back to my normal eating, recognizing that yesterday is behind me, and trying to let it go.

Relief (release?) eating. This is a not something new to me. I can be mindful at a party or an event, or out at a buffet, or on vacation, or even when dining out with friends -- making good choices, taking a taste or two, feeling good about what I'm eating. But afterward, once I'm home, I often look for "a little something" (as my mother used to say), almost as a reward for "being good." Huh.

I have the knowledge and tools to change this behavior, and I would say I am successful about 80% of the time. This was not one of those times.

Oh, well.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ah, Yes! Relief Eating - what a relief it is! I have had such experiences more than I can count - especially the "I was good so I deserve a "little something" as a reward". I love how you picked yourself up and got back on track the next day. And just think of the positive side - All those left over goodies were gone emoticon
    141 days ago
    It all sounds like tasty food...I am sure I relief eat too. Whether the house guests were challenging or not, it takes constant work and energy to entertain with grace for days on end... It wears you out! Rainiers are only in season for a short time and they are more good for you than bad, so that's just proper nutrition. The rest, well, it was only for a day, and you wouldn't want all that good stuff to go to waste! Glad you have your house back to yourself now. emoticon
    233 days ago
    Think of it as 'most of the time I get it right'
    292 days ago
    I can relate. Relief eating has been one of my biggest problem and probably my biggest remaining eating problem after 9 years in maintenance.
    606 days ago
    I do that too. Didn’t know it had a name!
    609 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    Oh my! So understandable! My DH’s response to the prospect of guests is to put them up at a nice nearby hotel! We did it once!
    609 days ago
    It must be that time of year -- and maybe house guests are getting more and more demanding. Yesterday an acquaintance told me about imminent house guests who gave her a detailed list of food requirements (vegan and gluten free and . . . . and . . . ) plus sleeping requirements (not less than a queen-sized bed). I was astonished: did they think they were checking into a hotel??????
    628 days ago
  • SPICY23
    emoticon Hugs.
    I am coming off 3 weeks of unexpected, high-maintenance house guests too. I hope I was gracious with them while they were here, but my own stress (guilt over missing work and falling behind) grew steadily until I was barely holding my Spark plan together. After they left I gave myself the evening to unwind and not attempt anything. Now I will re-group, clean house, and get back on track. We can do this!

    Peace and Care
    628 days ago
    We just might be clones.
    628 days ago
    One thing is recognizing something out of our "normal" and knowing how to deal with it
    "next time". And i'm sure you will!
    628 days ago
    I can certainly relate. Stress eating, relief eating, reward eating...guilty.
    628 days ago
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