Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Emo-Eating Despite Stress and Mood Blips this Week, because Food is not the Fix...

First, THANK YOU for celebrating with me on my last two milestones. I appreciate the kind thoughts and words and whoops!!!!!! Muah!

Onto our regularly scheduled post:

My joyous mood has taken a dive since yesterday. It's a couple of stressors that hit--one that may be life-changing in ways I cannot even calculate right now--but I have not gone off on a food bender. Calories for Sunday (1150) and Monday (1280) have been fine. But as soon as the mood cloud passed over Monday evening, I had these incipient thoughts of trigger foods, and it took a good 20 minutes of concerted effort to fight them off.

Then I stayed in the blue zone, but did not go to any old comfort eating habits. All along, it was simply a mantra in the back of my mind, like a soundtrack on low volume, "Food is not the fix. Food is not the fix. Food is not the fix. ..."

Cause unless it's a nutritional deficiency or legitimate hunger, food is NOT the fix. That's the only thing food solves: you need nutrients, you need energy. That's it.

We use food for a lot of non-food stuff--celebrations, comfort, stress relief, erotic satisfaction, self-punishment, etc.

But unless you have anemia, scurvy, Kwashiorkor, hypoglycemia, or haven't consumed enough calories to maintain your normal/healthy weight and meet your nutritional basics, you don't need to eat.

Food is not the fix except for those things which food actually fixes.

So, I haven't been diving into the false fix for my mood/stress issue. I've been trying to not skimp on good rest. I've been praying. I've been reciting affirmations for positive outlook. I've been working in non-caloric ways to handle the stress.

The mess that is this allergy season is also adding to this, no doubt. My eyes itch nearly constantly and the heat rash is cropping up on my legs now. But food can't fix that, although I can add vitamin-C rich foods and quercetin-rich apples more frequently into my diet to help with that. It can't fix my hyperreactive immune system or what is in the air out in Miami. I can take Vit C and Quercetin in supplements and bypass the calories, also. So, again, food is not the FIX (though, granted, eating healthfully can HELP).

I want my happy happy joy back. It's been a good year, mood-wise, very good. Golden.

But this is life. Ups and downs. So, all a chronic overeater with binge issues can do is remember that FOOD IS NOT THE FIX FOR THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU STRESSED OR SAD.

I'm gonna go make my meal now. It will fit into my plan, into my caloric limitation, and be full of nutrition (cause good nutrition makes us better able to handle stressors). I will not binge. I will not overeat. I will not dive into a pizza or a cake or a pile of chocolate bars.

Food can't fix this. It can offer pleasure explosions in my brain that soothe, but that's using food the way a junkie uses drugs to forget his woes and feel good. It can only make a situation worse.

I have to find the path into joy again and it's by working on what can be solved and keeping hope and believing and being optimistic and seeing challenges as something to grow on and not something to cave under.

If you feel you are about to give in, cave utterly to stress or depression driven eating, remember that simple phrase. FOOD IS NOT THE FIX for what is pressing down upon you.

May this Tuesday be a good one for you...


Karen Butler Ogle said...

I'm sorry you are going through this down time but good for you for recognizing what WON'T help the situation. I wish I could always do that when I get the blues. I hope your mood shifts back to normal soon. The longer I have the blues the more likely I am to get in trouble with food. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Princess Dieter said...

Thanks, K. I know you truly do understand how these mood/food things go, and how mood issues can just spring up out of nowhere and mess things up. THANKs.

Deb Willbefree said...

Great insights and grit, Princess. Hang tough. Deb

Jo said...

You are so right! We have used food for emotional support most of our lives, and it's just difficult to stop. I hope you feel better.

Shabby Chic Mom- Susie said...

Hi, new follower. Your dedication and loss is so inspiring. Sorry, you're a bit stressed! I need to put food is not the fix on my fridge when I'm not hungry!!!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Love that quote, I'm using it in tonights EATS post.

Floriana said...

Very true! Food is not the fix. It can't love us, care for us, console us. Food is fuel, that's my mantra.

Sorry that you've been stressed. Hope your mood and the circumstances improve soon.