It’s taken me a few years to recognize that I’m a stress eater. I know people all over the world struggle with food issues. Most can’t get any. Some who have abundance choose not to partake. And then there are those of us who have not developed adequate stress coping skills who devour a box of Reese’s Pieces with a latte chaser in an attempt to reach Nirvana or at least escape for the time it takes to eat the box and down the latte. Stress + Food = short-term calm, long-term weight gain and more stress than before. That formula just isn’t working for me any more.
I don’t have any deep-seated issues around food. I was neither deprived nor overly indulged growing up. I wasn’t guilted in to eating and it wasn’t taken away as a punishment. What was created, through happen stance alone, was a long-standing, deep and abiding, remarkably fulfilling love of sugar. It is to this fine friend, in many forms, that I turn to in times of need and security. Mayhap it was the sugary cereals my dear Grandma used to ply us with to get us to go to bed but I doubt it. This one’s all on me.
I didn’t think it was that out of control until I started using MyFitnessPal. This nifty little program allows you to track your meals and exercise via phone, computer or tablet. Not getting paid to say that, just love the app. With the weight creeping up and summer approaching, I started up my account again. On first day alone, I over indulged my 1400 calorie goal by 565 calories. Those damn Reese’s Pieces really aren’t your friend when they take up 200 precious calories. Add a latte on top of that and your sunk before you’ve begun. Talk about stress.
In light of my food will soothe me mentality, I’ve decided to switch to flowers and smoothies. The flowers to indulge my photography obsession and the smoothies to help up my protein. My hope is that my Magic Bullet will finally shoot dead this yo-yo weight issue and put to rest the battle with food as my soother of choice. It’s more stressful to deal with the weight gain, impact on my clothing budget, impact on my health and self-esteem than it is to recognize this problem for what it is and work on it.
Stress will kill me. Eating to soothe my stress will also kill me. Not learning to manage my stress in a healthier way will kill me. As I have lived this long unaware of a death wish, I’ve decided enough is enough. Will I still have Reese’s Pieces ? You betcha. Will a latte make its way in to my day? Oh yes. But when I think about all the elliptical and Zumba classes I’m going to have to do to burn those yummy little peanut candy shelled bits of fantastic and sugared milk concoctions, I might decide that I’m worth more. I might decide to take a walk, smell the flowers and breathe deeply as I relish taking control of my life and giving stress the firm kick in the ass it deserves. Maybe it’s my ass that will benefit from the kicking, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.