The Trick That Keeps Me Positive After a Bad Eating Day

October 21, 2014 · 3 comments


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that although I am a Health Coach, I am by no means a clean-eating little angel. I still have setbacks from time to time, and I’m pretty certain that no matter how much progress I continue to make, I will struggle with emotional eating to some degree for the rest of my life. And truthfully, most days I am cool with that. I have finally accepted my reality, and it feels better to embrace it than waste energy fighting it.

When I have a slip-up, I don’t really get upset about the extra calories I’ve consumed. It’s more about why I over-indulged that bugs me, which more times than not is for an emotional reason. It also is usually on food that is not all that good or worth it. That’s the worst! I pretty much never feel guilty about consuming treats I really love because they are just so darn tasty.

Butterlane cupcakes in the East VillageButterlane cupcakes. The guilty pleasure I don’t feel guilty about.

So, onto my confession…
Over Columbus Day weekend I went to South Carolina to visit my best friend Courtenay, and we had a full three days of fitness, healthy eating, relaxing and playing with her two adorable daughters. With the exception of a few too many cocktails on Saturday night, I stayed true to my usual everyday habits, even though I was out of town and off my normal routine. And, it felt easy. Great. Excellent. Fantastic. Bravo, Ellen!

Healthy Halloween treats for kids.I mean really…how cute are these boogers? Sorry Hayden, I couldn’t resist!

However, airports tend to trigger my emotional eating tendencies, and let’s just say that I was not exactly eating kale — or anything green for that matter — on my trip back to NYC. I wasn’t actually hungry when I got to the airport, and none of the fast food options sounded good to me (which, I guess is actually a positive thing), but somehow I found myself in line at Tequileria ordering a plate of nachos topped with chicken, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, guacamole and a sprinkling of lettuce faster than you can say chimichanga. Thankfully, I was able to intervene on the situation when I sat down and decided to just eat off the toppings and have a small handful of chips. That was actually easy to do because they were way too salty.  OK, fine. No big deal.

Related: How to bounce back from a bad eating day

With over an hour left to kill before my flight I went hunting for something sweet and moseyed on over TCBY. I can’t even remember the last time I had frozen yogurt because I prefer to eat full-fat ice cream (with ingredients I recognize), but nonetheless, I ordered a medium chocolate-vanilla swirl with Health bar topping without hesitation. I will admit that it was…ehhh…pretty good. Again, fine. NBD. I don’t want to make a short, uneventful story even longer, so I will fast forward three hours to when I was still waiting at the airport due to “air traffic” delays. Disgruntled, I went back to TCBY and ordered a small cup of strawberry with Oreo topping, and I can honestly say it tasted pretty gross. I ate the cookie crumbles, threw the rest away and settled down with an issue of InTouch Weekly and a bag of Peanut M&Ms to cap off an all-around unsatisfying eating experience.

Inspirational quotes from Babe Ruth

Well, there you have it. This is certainly not my worst eating moment, but it’s not exactly my proudest either. Although, just writing this post makes me realize how far I have come over the last few years. Even through my less-than-stellar decisions, I was able to be (somewhat) mindful of my actions and I didn’t let one moment dictate my attitude or choices the following day(s) like I used to. This is why I like the Babe Ruth quote above so much. Recently I have started viewing my “strikes” as learning lessons, which helps me to stay positive and not let one moment define who I am or negatively impact what I’ve striving for.

So, I encourage all of you to see what you can learn from your strikes, too. Reflect. Be curious. Ask yourself questions. But please, don’t beat yourself up!

Does anyone else have tricks to bouncing back from a bad eating day?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer October 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

Thank You for this honest post…wow, it was like taking a page from my own life’s story….I too tend to emotionally eat at airports but only when I am coming back from a trip- I do this on road trips too- which I have a mini road trip this weekend, and I am really hoping I can control my urge to splurge on crappy food on my way home on Sunday. Like your recent airport experience, I have noticed that I have been emotionally eating on unsatisfying, not-so-tasty foods, and I even tell myself afterwards that that food was sooo not worth it, I should have just gone out and gotten something worthwhile and I would have been satisfied with less food that way. I have been going through a rough patch of emotional eating, and this post is actually an eye-opener for me. Thank You:)


Teffy November 5, 2014 at 3:10 am

I’m the same at airports! I really need to prepare, or else the boredom of waiting for a flight can really get to me and I start scouring around for anything that can go into my gob to help kill time. It’s horrible! It’s something I’ve definitely been working on, as it really makes no sense! and it’s like you said, it’s not like I’m indulging in a delicious treat, it’s shitty airport food that doesn’t really give what it takes!

{Teffy’s Perks} X


Ellen November 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hi Teffy! Exactly…airport food just isn’t WORTH IT! Let’s both try to remember that the next time we are stuck with delays and traveling frustrations. Maybe if we tell ourselves we can have a delicious burger or ice cream when we get to our destination, it will be easier to forgo the not-worth-it treats in the moment and hold out for something that will be more satisfying! (And by that time the craving might pass and we’ll opt for a salad instead! :)


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