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Heartburn, Hiccups, and a Higher Number: My Bounce Back Story



As you might know, I'm passionate about helping people develop healthy relationships with food and their bodies. But guess what? Even I have slip-ups!


I planned a different topic for this week, but as I was prepping the podcast and blog, a new idea popped into my head – one inspired by a friendly reminder on the scale.


Let's back up a bit...


We just returned from a fantastic vacation, and I prided myself on maintaining a mindful approach to food while away. I enjoyed all the delicious things but listened to my body and stopped eating when satisfied. Returning home to my normal way of eating felt seamless!


Then came the 4th of July. I decided to give myself a break and deviate from my daily routine. It wasn't a complete free-for-all, but I did indulge a little more than usual. I baked cookies for the teens, enjoyed some pizza with the family, and even had a slice of this delicious banana pudding pie I made.


Here's the thing: there's nothing inherently wrong with any of this.  But overeating to the point of feeling stuffed didn't feel good. It led to heartburn, a restless night's sleep, and a general sense of blah.


The next morning, I weighed myself (which I do every day) and, as expected, the scale showed a 3-pound weight gain. Now, some people might see that number and spiral. But here's the difference: I didn't!


Instead, I recommitted to my normal eating habits. But even then, there were a few more "treats" over the long holiday weekend, and I could feel myself slipping back into that cycle of overindulging.


Here's the key takeaway: in the past, this entire scenario would have looked very different.


There would have been more food, and the spiral would have lasted much longer. There would have been self-pity, disappointment, and a complete avoidance of the scale. That doesn't happen anymore.


Something else was different this time. I had an interesting realization while we were on vacation.  For me, recovering from serial dieting and emotional eating feels like it could be similar to recovering from any addiction. Meaning, it doesn't go away. There's no magic moment when the addiction is completely gone. It's always with me, and up to me to decide my next step. This is a journey, not a destination. There will be bumps in the road, but the important part is to keep moving forward. 


This realization gave me a sense of peace because there's no perfect ending to chase after. It also felt empowering to reflect on how I've transformed my old patterns and see that I'm in control of food and my weight journey... even when there's a slip.


So, why am I sharing this with you?


Here are a few reasons:


  • We all have slip-ups. It's normal! But what matters most is how you respond.

  • Beating yourself up only makes things worse. Self-compassion is key!

  • You can change your story about food and your body. You have the power!

  • The more you practice mindful eating, the easier it gets to bounce back. This is how you reduce the intensity and length of the spiral.


Here are some bonus tips I mentioned in the podcast that you might find helpful:

 

  • The hunger scale is a powerful tool! It helps you identify true hunger cues and avoid emotional eating. A good goal is to stay between -2 (a rumble in your stomach) and +2 (comfortably satisfied).


  • The scale doesn't define you! Think of it as a tool to provide data. Focus on how you feel and the progress you're making, not just the number.


  • Empower Yourself, Not Blame Yourself.  Instead of searching for someone or something to blame for a slip-up, let's focus on what empowers you to get back on track. This might involve identifying your triggers, planning healthy meals, or practicing self-compassion.


Remember, everyone is on their own journey. What matters most is finding what works for you and being kind to yourself along the way. 


If you're struggling with emotional eating,  don't hesitate to reach out for help.  There are many resources available to support you.


Let me know in the comments below what questions you might have or your own experiences with bouncing back from emotional eating.


xo, Amy

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