“The main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human.” ~Aaron Carter
We’re all human, and even those of us that society deems ‘untouchable’ are often publicly humiliated when they make a simple mistake or exhibit poor judgment. But the truth is that we should not attack celebrities or experts for screwing up–unless, that is, they prove to be something other than human.
That point was made crystal clear earlier today when my partner in the Project Blissful & MTM Body 8-Week Dare to Bare Fitness and Weight Loss Challenge, Jamie, had a discussion about a post she shared in our private challenge support group on Facebook.
See that lady? The very fit and attractive one there on the right? This is Jamie. She’s a fitness instructor and the founder of a small business dedicated to fitness and health. And Jamie has a confession to make.
Confessions of a Fitness Guru: I am a closet eater!
“I am a closet eater and I am a repeat offender,” Jamie says. “I wake up every night between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and argue with myself, ‘Don’t get out of bed…it’s not worth it. You will regret it in the morning!”
Jamie adds that she has to physically walk down the stairs to her kitchen to get her late-night snack fix.
“I usually want cookies,” she says. “Chocolate chip cookies. Chips Ahoy! And I need two for in the kitchen…and then I quickly grab three or four more for the journey back to my room.”
She says that, for her, eating those cookies or whatever snack she finds is a form of trying to regain control with past and present issues.
“I stopped once for one year when I was 23 yers old,” Jamie says. “Then, at 24 a traumatic event triggered the behavior. So, I’m back at it for 16 years now! I’m going to stop this time!”
She tells me she will keep me posted on her progress, then adds that she finds that Bella Vi supplements can help keep the cravings at bay.
“My favorite is, but is amazing too,” she says. “It takes away cravings… both do actually. It’s a personal preference.”
But after that, she says, it’s pure will.
“I need to find another way to express my need for things I cannot control,” Jamie says. “This is probably why I love to exercise so much!”
WWAD: What Angie (that’s me) Would Do
Though I still have a bit to go, I’ve lost more than 100 pounds and have learned a thing or two about how to keep those cravings at bay. I first told Jamie that I’d get rid of the cookies. For me, keeping “tempting” foods in the house didn’t work when I struggled with motivation and staying on track–it was much easier to just not buy them.
And since I don’t believe in deprivation, if I wanted to eat something that wasn’t on my regular plan, I could totally do it! But I’d have to go out and purchase an individual serving (if possible) of the item before I could actually eat it. It made a big difference and probably saved me thousands of calories in those early days.
Five Tips to Avoid Midnight Munching
Drink it away: When you wake up starving, try drinking a full glass of water instead. Often we mistake thirst for hunger–especially when we’re tired. Or put a glass of water by the bed and skip the kitchen altogether. Any intentional change in behavior can change the outcome and ultimately the habit.
Wait 20 minutes: When I get those late night munchies, I make myself wait 20 minutes before I eat anything. Nine times out of 10, I’m over it at the end of 20 minutes. If not, I’ll have a snack and not feel guilty about it (this goes back to that no deprivation thing). But if I’m not hungry after that amount of time, I just saved myself from unnecessary calories. And that’s the case 99 percent of the time.
Distract yourself: Get up, go to the bathroom and wash your face and brush your teeth. Then get a drink of water and get your butt back in bed! Stay away from the kitchen.
If you must eat crap, eat healthier crap: If you’re going to snack in the middle of the night, make it something healthy. Carrot sticks, cucumber slices–even a little yogurt–anything healthy that won’t mess with your sleep or digestion too much.
Get support: Find a weight loss buddy or a friend who deals with similar issues and prepare her for your 2 a.m. call. Otherwise, start a blog. Or a Twitter or Tumblr account–and just blog it out. (That blogging it out thing? It totally works for staying on track!)
Do you deal with “midnight munchies” on a regular basis? How do you handle it? Do you feel that it’s related to an emotional issue, or do you just like to eat? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.