Personal Trainer | Small Group Training Coach
I am an emotional eater. I pretty much knew that already, but 2020-2021 really solidified it for me. I was just coming off my first successful 60day Challenge & feeling the best I had felt in years when the Pandemic hit. I thought I had conquered my weight issues & would never go back. I felt, dare I say, athletic! Then Life Time closed, and I felt lost. My Life Time Trainers were awesome, checking in with me & holding me accountable & for the first few months I was able to stay on track with online classes & caloric tracking.
Life Time opened again, and I thought things were going back to normal. Then the 2nd wave hit, and the gym was closed indefinitely. To say I fell off the wagon is an understatement…. I ate like it was the end of the world, which is how it felt! Candy by the handful, ice cream to celebrate that we had gotten through another week of quarantine, wine at night to wind down from the stress, supporting small local restaurants by ordering all types of food to go…. you name it, I ate it! It took a worldwide pandemic to really open my eyes to my emotional eating & that it does not make anything better! It makes it worse. Eating does not solve my problems or stress; it just masks it.
The problems come roaring back compounded by the sugar low, bloat, & tiredness. It felt great for a bit to eat my cares away but then the craziness of the pandemic slowed down, Life Time opened again, & I was forced to take a good look in the mirror. My weight wasn’t just a problem – my health was. Being obese increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 & I fit squarely in that category. The very thing I was eating to hide from was made worse by the food. I knew that I needed to address the real reason my weight had become so out of control.
I took on this 60day Challenge with a new resolve. I wanted to lose weight & get healthy but more importantly, I knew I really needed to address my emotional eating. I needed to conquer it head-on. This 60day needed to be more than just increasing my exercise & eating less. This 60day needed to be about facing my fears, pushing my boundaries, & really admitting to myself that I could not use food as a crutch any longer. Losing the most amount of weight or body fat could not define success for me this time. Success for me would be to break the most damaging habit I have ever had, emotional eating. I had no idea at the start of this 60day that my decision to address my emotional eating would be tested immediately. In retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened.
Right in the middle of my 60day, I had to move my elderly mother into my home while I find her a facility that can help with her physical challenges. To say I have been stressed is an understatement! In the past this would have been a great excuse to gorge on sweets, eat whatever I want & justify it by saying I am stressed. But I had promised myself that I would commit to 60 days of healthy living, eating & exercise. That promise was important to me & I did not want to break it & disappoint myself.
Instead of eating more, I worked out. Alpha Fight on Mondays became a huge stress reliever for me! Who knew taking your stress out on a punching bag was way more effective than drinking a glass of wine? GTX Strength became my refuge…. instead of eating sweets to soothe me, I pushed myself to lift heavier. Ultra-Fit was an incredible addition to my workout. I was able to spend 60 minutes outside my own head, doing things I never thought I could do in the gym.
And the people….my trainers & my fellow gym members became more than faces I saw a few times a week. I started confiding in them. Talking about what was going on instead of bottling it up inside. I found comraderies & friendship. I found support & strength. I have never been around a group of women & men who lift each other up. Of course, there is good old-fashioned competition but it’s not about competing to be the “best,” it’s to push each other to do better. Life Time has become more than just my gym, it’s my home. My trainers are my friends & I look forward to going each day & seeing all the people who support me; we celebrate our wins and losses together.
Will I stop emotionally eating? Honestly, probably not completely because it’s so ingrained in our culture to celebrate with food. But now I know that I do not need to, I have other options to work things out. This 60day has given me access to more tools to keep in my arsenal when I am faced with stressful & hard situations, but I also know it is a day-by-day challenge that I must stay on top of. Like any habit that is hard to break, you can have all the tools & support at your disposal but unless you put them into practice you will slide right back into your back habits unless you stay on top of it. The Life Time 60day Challenge has taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to. The rest is up to me & I am up to the challenge!