I’ve often said that when you take a gentle approach to overeating, your body will naturally begin to make different choices. That happened to me recently.

During the 7 days of having no power, the second day my family and I went out to get warm. We headed to the IHOP at the Palisades Mall for dinner.

I was ravenous, but not because I was so hungry, as I was feeling shaky and upset about having no access to the internet, being around the family in less than ideal conditions, listening to my husband complaining that we have to think about moving to Florida,¬†letting my son’s fascination with the weather¬†get on my nerves, and just in general feeling frustrated and anxious about being so cold and having no prospect for any improvement for the next 7-10 days. It felt like a death sentence.

So when it came time to ordering my meal, I chose to eat something that I knew would make me feel terrible; cream of potato soup. It was loaded alright–with plenty of lactose; something that I don’t digest well anymore.

After a very uncomfortable night filled with cramps and aches and bloating and yes, gas, I knew that I had to just let it go and forgive myself for making the choice to eat that soup even though I knew how badly it would make me feel.

I resisted the well-worn tendency to beat up on myself and call myself names, and instead I thought carefully about why I was acting so jumpy, like a caged animal and why I felt so vulnerable.

Once I realized what was causing the misery was my feelings of worry about being disconnected from the family, and frustrated about not having access to the internet to run my business; I gave myself the rest of the night to sit with those thoughts and be as miserable as I wanted to be and feel sorry for myself and do all the poor me things that scream victim. I went to bed early and hid under my covers, trying to keep warm. To me, it felt like everyone in the family was against me and annoying me, so I just wanted to be alone.

The next morning I woke up full of cheer and hope, determined to change the direction of what was happening. I knew I couldn’t do anything about the lack of heat, but I could spend the day at the library or out of the house so that I could get warm and gather my thoughts. Once there, I realized all the things that I could do to take small steps and make progress at a time when it seemed completely impossible. I also came up with lots of ideas that brought our family closer together.

I couldn’t have done any of that if I wasn’t willing to sit and feel my feelings of sadness and then just let them go. That’s what I suggest that you do when you find yourself overeating. Don’t spend anytime regretting the food you ate, just think about how you feel and come up with a plan to reclaim your power.