[Note of terms: The week after a close relative's death is called the shiva
week, or shiva
. During that period one stays at the house of mourning, and receives visitors who come to console the mourners.]
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
-Yes, I am under stress, but
is that REALLY the reason?????
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.