I think that I just realized something that I never really understood before. Often, what drives me to the refrigerator is neither hunger nor the need to process emotionally through food. It's boredom. Plain and simple, sometimes food is the only exciting thing in my life.
Part of this, I think, is that I have an exceptionally boring life. Really. I hardly do anything at all. I go to work and sit around signing stuff and trying to make everybody happy (yeah, I know. . . .). Then I come home and, most evenings, spend three or four hours writing stuff--blog posts, book reviews, articles, and the book I have been working on for the last year. And often I read. And sometimes I spend way too much time on social media. That's pretty much it.
And as a practicing Mormon, I don't actually have access to most of the other vices that one can use to forestall boredom. Mainly this means alcohol, but also cigars and even designer coffee. So if I am going to have a party in my mouth, it pretty much has to come in the form of ice cream, big wads of chocolate, deep fried fat with extra salt--that kind of thing.
Since I am really trying to do better, we don't keep any of that stuff around the house. But I did, tonight, after a perfectly adequate meal, manage to polish off two 100 calorie single-serving containers of Greek yogurt--from the supply that was supposed to last me a week. And analyzing my motives, I can think of only one: I was on a writing break and needed something to do.
So the trick now is to process this and develop an internal monologue that goes something like this:
"Dude, you ate eating because you are bored. How can you possibly be bored? You are behind in, like, six things that you should be doing, all of which don't involve eating. And then there is exercise. Go for a walk. Go to the gym. Use that treadmill in the basement that you bought six years ago because you were sure it would help you exercise. Remember that. You haven't even gone inside the room that it's in since you used it to wrap Christmas Presents. And remember that, after you eat that ___________, it will be gone and you will still be bored.And this, it seems to me, is the essence of the problem. This is not an eating issue or a thinking-about-food issue. It's a lifestyle issue: I need to find a hobby that is even more interesting than food.
I'm open to suggestions.