Emotional Eating

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?

Blessings,

Mary

Why Are Good Habits So Hard to Maintain?

The 30/60 blog challenge is over, and I made a commitment to blog twice a week. It’s now Friday, and I am scrambling to get a blog post published today. What’s up with that?

I succeeded. I achieved my goal. And so I tell myself I deserve a break. But that break takes me out of the positive habit I had been building. My motivation is low. I want to watch movies or play games instead of writing.

No Junk FoodI notice this with other positive habits in my life, too. As soon as my stress levels increase for whatever reason, out go the good habits and the bad ones leak out all over the place. I stop journaling, meditating, and exercising. I start eating junk food and seeking escape in games and movies.

I know what keeps me healthy in body, mind and spirit. And most of the time I find joy in doing those things. Then some kind of speed bump happens and it completely derails me. I have to begin the uphill climb of re-establishing my positive habit

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit. And that you can’t just stop a bad habit, you have to replace it with something else. I’ve been exercising three times a week for more than a year, eating a healthy, raw lunch for about a year and a half, and meditating daily for over two years. Definitely more than the 21 days, though admittedly with some speed bumps along the way.

So why is it so easy to fall back into old patterns? I don’t have any answers. I wish I did. Perhaps I can take a little solace in knowing that I am recognizing and catching myself in old patterns more quickly than I used to. I’d really like to understand why they are not gone, though.

I don’t think it’s because I’m lazy. Even when I’m slacking I tend to accomplish more than I give myself credit for. I’d just like to stop falling “off the wagon” when it comes to the things I know are healthy for me.

If you have any insight, or can point me towards any resources that address this, I’d love to hear from you. Even if you just want to let me know I’m not alone, I’d appreciate your comments below.

Blessings,

Mary