Not too long ago, I was in a funk. Nothing seemed to be going right, I got charged for something that wasn’t my fault. I over-scheduled myself and was running around like a chicken with my head cut off and I was tired. One thing led to another and I felt myself getting anxious. The familiar sensations hit me. My heart started beating faster, my breathing became shallow and I started looking for food. No, not a delicious salad, fruit or my favorite…Chipotle. I was looking for “the good stuff.” My comfort foods. I was stressed out (because of some situations I created) and I just wanted to hide, to numb out, to escape it, if only for a little while.
This is pretty much how it used to happen before. The difference is I recognized it and stopped myself. I talked to my fiance about what was bothering me and why and could slowly feel my shoulders relax and my breathing calm down. What was really going on is that I felt out of control of my day and immediately wanted to hide and find comfort in the food. We often tell ourselves that we wanted the comfort food, but is it so much that we want to be comforted, or that we want to be in control? In that moment, life felt very out of control, but I could have control over something, I could eat. I get to control that. However, that is not productive long-term. And when I am taking the most care of myself, I will pause for a moment and ask, what do I really need right now? Is it a nap? Do I need to cancel or reschedule something? Do I need to go for a walk or talk to someone?
Guess what? Sometimes we will choose the short-term option and it’s okay. The world will not crash in on us. We do need to remember to be kind with how we speak to ourselves about the circumstances that we believe are driving us to eat and the fact that we are choosing to eat, rather than look at the problem and how to solve it.
The next time you are having a rough day and nothing seems to be going your way, stop and take a look at the situation. How much of this did you take part in creating?
What can you do right now to alleviate the actual problem?
If you decide to eat, own it and stop as soon as you stop enjoying the food.