Stress Eating and The Holidays Day 2
What sort of things can we do instead of eating when we are upset?
– call a friend who truly gets you and vent
– take a walk
– watch an episode of Friends
– play Ms. Pac-Man
– 1876 other things than eat
Take a minute to make a list on your phone or nearby of what you can or will do when
you have a desire to go drown your Holiday frustrations in a vat of frosting. Have this list
handy, you could need it at any given moment given the pressure of the Holidays is only
intensifying with each passing day.
Some of us are so disconnected from actual hunger, we think we are hungry when we are
just upset. It can take a while to know the difference.
How do I tell emotional hunger from physical hunger in myself?
1. Emotional hunger comes on super strong. Let’s use this example: I spoke to my Sister
and now I want ice cream. I need ice cream now. I need it so badly, I am eating it
while on the phone with her. If someone comes in the room, I am embarrassed and I
act as though I am not eating the ice cream. I do not want an apple or a kale salad.
Only ice cream would satisfy me.
2. When I have the ice cream, I feel guilty about it. I am ashamed of my choice.
3. I do not even realize I have eaten the whole container until it is done. I tell myself it
doesn’t really matter since I worked out today, but this clearly matters. I am going
through a whole mental game trying to make it ok that I ate this. Would I be doing
this over chicken? Or ice cream I ate with other humans rather than in the dark? (I’m
still not assigning any bandwidth to the issue with Sister since I have a new
4. After I have the acknowledged that I consumed the ice cream, my mind goes to how I
can make up for the ice cream. (Still nothing about Sister.)
5. For the next day or two, I am so busy being consumed with self-loathing and over-
exercising and under-eating, I do not address the emotions that were stirred up during
the phone call with Sister. Look, I have a problem I am a little more ok with
addressing!: the ramifications of the ice cream. I am not sleeping well as my body is
trying to handle all the sugar, the chemicals in the protein halo top thing, and all the
stress I am putting on my body by doing doubles at the gym. (Still no time to think
about my Sister, too busy weighing my carrots.)
How many times have you done this? I have at least 1000 times. I used to think ice cream
was the problem, if only I could find a way to live in a world without ice cream then
everything would be fine. Now, I realize ice cream was only a symptom and if I try and
not feel my feelings, it will only lead to bigger problems down the line.
Feeling our feelings can be scary and a little time-consuming. Two things I am not always
Tomorrow: what to do post Emotional Eating episode