This past week was an interesting one. Interesting as in let me crawl in my blanket fort and hide.
I experienced anxiety for the first time in ages. None of my usual coping mechanisms were working. I grounded. I worked on my shields. I breathed. I watched Netflix. I walked. In spite of being in the last week of my current Whole30, and not even really wanting sugar, I wanted junk food, and I wanted it BAD.
When I feel stressed, I eat. And you can tell the level of stress by the junk food that I eat. A little stress = chocolate. Moderate stress = chips and chocolate. High stress = Cool Ranch Doritos, Dr. Pepper, and peanut M&Ms. For the first time in over a year, I was at the Dr. Pepper and Doritos stress/anxiety level.
I’m committed to my Whole30, though. I wasn’t about to break the rules. And I had eaten a lovely lunch. I wasn’t even hungry. I sat in observation of myself, this craving that wasn’t coming from anything my body needed (not that it ever did NEED that crap).
It was distracting. (Isn’t that part of the problem with anxiety?) I couldn’t focus on work. Maybe I could go to the health food store around the corner and find some chocolate that wouldn’t break the rules. Though I knew that if I went out, I would end up with something less than healthy, and then I would feel guilty for giving in to junk.
I finally caved (kind of?) and ate some walnuts and dried apples, even though I wasn’t hungry. I’m glad I had a healthy option available. And I’m super proud of myself for not letting the craving get the better of me. I still ate my stress, but not nearly the same way I have in the past. Even better, I was able to observe my response, and make a choice rather than a reflex or habit response. It’s been quite the journey getting to this place, and I hope to continue the progress and move past this altogether.
Do you eat your emotions and stress, or do you starve them? How do you handle your cravings for things that aren’t good for you?