Stressed. Overworked. Upset. Discouraged…..
I could give you a whole list of reasons why I cope with food in my daily life, but these are just the feelings that I have right now as I write this. Emotional eating doesn’t have to be negative… sometimes it’s because you’re happy and having the time of your life — let the good times roll!
For me, though, emotional overeating usually happens when I’m stressed out, upset because I’m on the outs with someone I care about, or because I feel overworked and under-appreciated and I need to “feel better fast.”
We can all say it together if you want. We all know it’s bullshit.
You don’t feel better after you binge on crap. You feel worse, because you know you shouldn’t have done it. And your stomach hurts because bad food does bad things to your body, and you may have physical reactions to food (dairy is NOT my friend, people) … so then there’s all that other bad stuff heaping on top of the original big bad problem.
It’s a no-win situation.
I’ve read all the blogs and help articles about how to tackle this. I always forget them, though, when the time comes and I need the advice. I know one of the things is to call a friend, or to take a walk or do another type of physical activity. I ask you, who feels like unloading on a friend, or doing anything other than wallowing in self pity, when you just want to crawl under a rock because you hate yourself and the situation you’re currently experiencing (ie, whatever made you want to binge in the first place)?
Not me, man. I want to hide under my covers with hot chocolate and a romance novel, or stuff Godiva dark chocolate raspberry bars in my face while I watch a favorite chick flick. I am not someone who wants to reach out and ruin your day with my bad mood.
If you can’t tell, I’m having all of these negative feelings today, yesterday, etc. I’m fighting with people, I feel really low and vulnerable, and I just want to wrap myself in a cocoon of self pity and eat my son’s Dove chocolate bunny that I bought him for Easter. And maybe the Godiva one that my parents got for him, too. And hell with it, while I’m at it, hubs stashed chocolate in the freezer and I think it might still be in there…….
It’s a sick spiral.
BUT. One thing can (and did) change all of that for me.
On my way home from work tonight I stopped by a friend’s house to pick up a piece of furniture she wanted to get rid of. It’s awesome, it’s a bench with drawers and cubbies, and I’m positive I can reupholster the pads on top and sand down the outside and make it shine like a Lara Flea Market Flip find. A few hours pass and I’m deep into my self-loathing, when I get a text from that friend saying how great I look and to keep up the good work.
It worked like a miracle straight from heaven.
I’m down 10lbs now, but it’s still that weird initial weight loss where people aren’t sure if you’re actually skinnier or just dressing right, so they’re afraid to point it out. But to have her say that? It was amazing. It made me throw the bunny idea right out the window along with all of my self-loathing.
Because, yeah, things are far from perfect…. in my life, in my novel I’m writing, at work, at home… but you know what, I’m trying to fix it, I’m working toward something, and I should be damn proud of myself for making an effort to better myself in whatever ways I can. We should all give ourselves a little credit. For me, today, having that friend validate my choices with that compliment was huge, and it stopped me from wanting to go on an all-out binge. I hope that I remember this the next time I want to ruin everything I’ve built and throw a pity party. And I hope you do, too…. know that if you have a friend who’s struggling with a tough time, even just one unprompted kind word could make a huge difference to them.
Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow, I really appreciate the help! 🙂
Image from Eat Like a Goddess.