On the way back from the cemetery last Tuesday, the first thing I did was pass by the pharmacy to pay a small debt and to check my weight. I had gained almost a kilo, which was no surprise after a week of being housebound, as well as having cookies and cake (which visitors had brought) under my nose the whole week. I accepted that slight gain as pretty inevitable, but was sure that I would be back on track immediately. I was determined NOT to "fall off the bandwagon"; and I even reassured a worried friend that "No, I am NOT going to let Ricki's death push me off my diet!"
However, despite going out walking early Friday morning (walking generally decreases my appetite), I found myself overeating on Friday and Shabbas. Not too drastically, but enough that I gained over the weekend. My knee-jerk reaction was to start brow-beating myself, but after a moment I stopped and took stock:
-I want to keep on track.
-I am committed to keeping on track.
-Yes, I am under stress, but is that REALLY the reason?????
The magic question:
WHY am I overeating?!? WHAT is going on here?!? WHAT feelings are causing this?
After a few moments pause, the answer came to me easily. I was exhausted. During the shiva week, even on shabbas, I had slept no more than 4 out of 24. The following days had been full of "catching up" and I was TIRED. Being tired AND stressed was simply too lethal of a cocktail to fight. The solution was obvious. Since there is no way I can lessen the stress of the mourning, it is IMPERATIVE that I get enough sleep. With enough sleep under my belt, I should feel well enough to deal with my emotions without the crutch of food.
So I am back on track. Why? Because instead of simply "blaming" myself, I EVALUATED. If you have been eating sensibly for a good period, and suddenly stop doing so, stop and TAKE STOCK. Be careful. (It would have been very easy to blame it all on the shiva, emotions, etc) Look beyond the obvious to what is REALLY happening. Once you know what is triggering overeating, fighting it is much easier.