It was the perfect day to plug away at a few nagging tasks that I’d been putting off, like catching up on homework for a nutrition class I’m taking.
At seven in the morning, I was up and eating breakfast . It seemed to make sense to get my errands out of the way; so, I jumped in my car and went the market for my weekly stash of fresh local organic produce.
By the time I got home, I’d hit a wall. It was like I had completely fizzled out. My daughter was awake, wanting to chat and hang out with me. So we did. But I felt like I couldn’t focus. I felt blah, like I’d had enough of just about everything and had no desire to do anything. My energy was low, as was my motivation. I wanted to eat and eat something sweet. Instead of noshing on brownies, which I really would have enjoyed, I made lunch. When I sat down to eat and the salad I’d made, it didn’t even taste good and definitely wasn’t satisfying!
Then, it suddenly it dawned on me. I had an extremely busy week starting on the Thursday before – leaving to travel to Maine for my college reunion, returning home Sunday to Pennsylvania to find my sister and her family at my house. That was planned, but what happened was that one thing melted into the next, including a busy week with a handful of new clients, a critical meeting with our school district regarding our daughter’s placement for next year, and ending on Friday with my husband’s birthday. Not to mention that it was the first day in over a month that someone wasn’t at our house banging on the roof, remodeling the kitchen or painting the basement.
So, I realized I hadn’t really come up for air and hadn’t appreciated how busy I’d been. That tired, spent feeling led to my lackluster mood and aches of loneliness.
Once I paused to reflect, I realized perhaps I needed to give myself a break – and not eat the brownies but instead find what I really needed and do that. Succumbing to the reality that I was just tired, helped a ton. I was able to give myself permission to rest, relax and go at my own pace instead of pushing through the lack of energy or numbing out with food which would only perpetuate the inevitable. I needed some quiet alone time even if I was resisting it.
Besides have you ever noticed that it takes much more energy to fight it than to give in? That checking out doesn’t work. That dancing around the issue or ignoring our needs is only asking for more of the same.
When it comes to diet, that is one of the biggest reasons people stray from what they know they should be doing or can’t stick to it, is because of emotions like these. So if you are feeling bored, lonely, fed up, or stressed out here’s a few suggestions for what do instead of reaching for the cookie jar, ice cream pint, or bag of chips.
First step is always awareness. Once you have that then it’s much easier to step back and acknowledge what’s happening and how you feel. Most of us don’t really want to admit stress is impacting us, but it is.
So, if you are feeling:
Stressed – since crunching helps relieve anxiety and stress, find a crunchy snack that won’t zap your energy such as raw veggies or nuts. Or chew some gum. My favorite is to add some purple cabbage to my salad or make an entire salad from purple cabbage. It’s super crunchy and satisfying.
Bored of same old thing – then get up and move. Change your routine. Dance. Play a game.
Lonely, in need of conversation or company – go out. Meet a friend for tea or lunch or walk. Sign up for a volunteer job.
Tired but wanting to push forward – stop and rest, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Give yourself permission to put your feet up. Go ahead, get cozy and give in to relaxing.
Foggy or unable to focus – start one small task and focus on just that until it is finished, like cleaning out a junk drawer. Accomplishing even the smallest of tasks can help get the momentum going.
These are just a few ideas. Once you get started thinking about what you could do instead of using food to numb out or push emotions down deeper, the possibilities are endless….
And if you still struggle with emotional eating, contact me. I’d be happy to help!
Have some of your own ideas about how to manage emotional eating? Leave me a comment below