I (Frankie) am a stress eater. This is a very recent development. Like, in the past year. Before that, I dealt with my stress by not eating and smoking cigarettes instead. Good for my weight, not so good for the rest of me. So I quit smoking and went through the whole phase of eating every time I wanted a cigarette. Then I got that under control and now this.
I've been under a lot of personal stress lately and I just realized last week that I've been eating to deal with it. This wouldn't be a problem if I was eating tons of broccoli or even grapes, but it's been snack cakes and cookies and chips and fast food. Wow, who knew I had such a problem with food? I didn't…until now.
I've discovered stress eating is much easier when you work from home. You aren't in an office and most of the time you're by yourself so you don't have to worry about who is judging you for eating that whole box of donuts. But here's the thing, even though it's easier, and sometimes it can be helpful if you don't overdo it, it makes you feel like crap! I'm not talking about felling guilt or shame and I'm not talking about gaining weight; I'm saying it makes you physically feel like crap. I lost all my energy and all my drive to do anything except lay around and feel sorry for myself. I felt sick to my stomach and headachy and just blah!
Last week I attended a webinar for emotional eating. I was just attending as an observer so I could give feedback, but I realized that this is exactly what I'd been doing for the past three weeks. Wow! So, I said that's enough! I've worked too hard to feel good and I'm not going to destroy that by eating my stress away. Because let's face it, long after that last snack cake, I still felt just as much stress as I did before eating it. I started tapping into my healthy resources for dealing with my stress and anxiety, got back to eating healthy and exercising and I'm feeling much better again.
Moral of the story; sometimes self-soothing with a bowl of ice cream really can lift your spirits and make you feel better. Eating a whole quart of ice cream because you're feeling stressed out…that's a whole other story. Try to recognize when you're going for those donuts to ease your anxiety and go for a walk instead. I promise the walk will make you feel much better and help relieve that stress and anxiety more than junk food ever can.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.