I think I have it sorted out in my brain. I did it as a child for 2 reasons - 1) rebellion against being told I wasn't hungry or didn't need a particular food and 2) it was the only way to get what I wanted in the amount I wanted without hearing "You can't possibly be hungry. You don't need that." How the heck did she (mother) know if I was hungry? It made me feel bad for wanting food.
So, fast forward - after years of practicing sneak eating along with habitually eating too much of all the wrong foods and becoming a morbidly obese woman, I lost the weight. I rarely eat 'wrong' foods and rarely eat too much. But I do still, from time to time, practice sneak eating, which with some foods triggers a binge.
Why sneak eat now? 1) I find I still need to avoid perceived criticism about my eating. While D is my number one supporter with my weight management efforts, sometimes his methods are not helpful. Telling me I'm not hungry or questioning why I bought food seems hypercritical to me and my hackles start going up and the rebellious inner brat makes an appearance. 2) I still sometimes try to medicate stress with food. Sneak eating is the only way to do that since my form of food medication is an embarrassing gorge fest.
I also know that when my hackles go up, there's probably a truth in the criticism that I need to face. The truth in D's comments is that I will eat when I'm not hungry if dessert is involved. I want dessert. I can have it - as long as I plan for it and save calories for it. That's the message I need to give him instead of sneaking my desserts.
Yesterday's sneak eat was a result of my hackles being really raised and ignoring stress about the job search, with the added pressure of learning to eat mindfully. I set up an environment where I could practice sneak eating and I did indeed practice it.
The thing is, D doesn't know about the sneak eating. It's like a deep dark secret and a wall between us. I need to tell him and tell him how he can help me. Keeping cookies out of the house won't necessarily work. I'll turn to allowed foods. It's going to be a matter of environmental control along with a slow and deliberate learning to eat mindfully.