Stress Eating and The Holidays Day 3

Return of the Coping Mechanism

Do you remember the song “Going on a Bear Hunt” from childhood? It is the kind of thing you
would have sung at camp or in primary school. The narrators are going to look for bear and
things keep getting in their way. They encounter things like bridges, mud, fences, snow storms
and finally, they find the bear cave. The premise is you can’t go around the obstacle, under the
obstacle, or over the obstacle – you have to go through the obstacle. This is how we must face
our feelings. I should have never gone to the ice cream after the conversation with my Sister. I
was creating a new problem to solve, one I was more comfortable with solving than the one I
needed to address, the issues with my Sister I could have gotten out my journal, gone and talked
to my husband, called my brother to vent, caught up with my DVR, gone for a workout… there
were about 1000 things I could have done other than create a new problem and distract myself
with food.

To be fair, how familiar were these patterns in my brain? How strong was this bad habit? This is
what I had conditioned myself to do. It had worked for decades, as much as a bad habit can
work. It took a while to fully stop this pattern, and I had to be kind to myself during the process.
Expecting immediate results wasn’t realistic or kind to me.

Once we have calmed down and are trying to figure out what happened, it is very important we
are nice to ourselves, that we do not go down the path of overcorrecting and restricting.

Post episode, remember to:
a) Eat as normally as possible. You might not be hungry for a few hours or even a day. As soon
as you are, get back to your regular types of foods
b) Exercise as you were before. Do NOT double up on classes to “undo” the damage that will
only wear down your body and lead you to be more likely to have another episode
c) Talk to someone about what happened and why. Be completely honest. What was going on
right before you picked up the bag of candy?
d) Get extra sleep, drink plenty of water and be aware you will be experiencing detoxing
symptoms for the next couple of days. You might feel a little sick as you are not going to be
answering the Sugar’s demands for more Sugar.
e) Think positively about yourself and how amazing you are. Everyone messes up, it is what we
are willing to learn from it that truly matters.

Happy Holidays,


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