I’ve never been a stress eater, in fact, I’m more of a stress non-eater. I forget about food, I’m not even hungry during stressful situations. We all react differently to stress and we can react differently to each type of stress we encounter.
For some of us, frustration or feeling lack of control in a situation will cause us to eat, and often we will choose hard, crunchy items – things that make noise to get our non-verbal point across or to simply ‘vent’ in solitude.Maybe you’re bored, so you eat. Maybe you lose hope, care or interest in your best health and/or goals so you sabotage your ‘diet’; only to feel regret later. Other times we might feel lost, lonely, and out of touch and so food becomes our friend, our comfort.
Recently, I have noticed a pattern with my own behavior. Winter brings long and sometimes lonely nights, lonely days and some kind of sadness for me for several reasons that I’ll get to another time. Recently, having accepted the winter routine, I found myself at peace with it and with my mealtime habits. I wasn’t eating as much, I didn’t snack much at night and I was feeling pretty good, inside and out. I felt an energy inside and a positive I can do anything attitude; then came what many people feel is their own special day, my birthday; it came and went, barely noticed by the one person I’d expect to celebrate my day. It brought me down. I worked on letting it go but it wouldn’t let me go. The words “do unto others” keeps running through my mind. The week following, our schedule has gone back to normal due to no snow storms this week. The unsettling thing I have noticed is that all I want to do is eat at night I eat three meals a day plus healthy snacks throughout the day but when night comes and my S/O is home, I look for food. I feel my stomach turning, growling and my mind is filled with thoughts of food. I forage through the pantry only to find things I don’t want but eat anyways. I regret it later. I know that I have sabotaged myself.
Have you ever punished yourself for someone else’s actions or in-actions? Have you thought to yourself, “why should I try? why should I care? no one else does”? My guess is yes, you have. I have thought those same words and on the inside I know that statement isn’t true’ ‘no one’ else cares – no one is usually that one persona who is closest to you, that one persona you expect would care the most; ‘no one’ isn’t everyone, he/she is the only one in our eyes though. Don’t let this ‘no one’ allow you to treat yourself with less love and respect than you would give them.
When you’re eating from emotions rather than to simply fuel your body with healthy nutrients, step back and assess your situation. Write notes on your mood, your inner-most feelings, your actions, words, and self-thoughts. Make note of how your view yourself on the inside and on the outside. Do you see yourself as wholesome and worthy of self-respect? If you’re not respecting yourself, others won’t think you need or deserve it either.
Show yourself the kindness and nurturing that you wish for from others. Stop using food as your weapon of self-destruction. Don’t give others satisfaction of believing their actions/in-actions toward you are deserved.
Treat others as you wish to be treated; treat yourself as you expect to be treated.