This will be a short missive – at least, that is my intent as I sit here tip-tapping out the first line. I wanted to pop in for a minute or two and tell you about my week. Not because I think it particularly interesting, but rather because I hope it may, at some point, help you out.
There’s never a dull moment around here. As I type, Penelope is lying between the monitor and the keyboard, purring like a freight train, with her head wedged under the top edge of said keyboard. Florence is licking photographs to my right. This week, especially, has not been dull. It’s been a very stressful week involving a lot of nausea, two ginormous mis-understandings with people I care deeply about, a migraine, the death of a friend, the unfortunate aftermath of drinking coffee on an empty stomach, nearly ending up in a ditch after skidding around a bend in the rain, and being late for my boss’ all-day Leadership Meeting. And there was me thinking that things only come in threes. But wait! There’s more! I went ahead and made it all a whole lot worse.
By Tuesday lunchtime I was so stressed that my two-day headache escalated into a migraine. After lying in the dark under my desk at the office for 2 hours – desperately trying and mostly failing to rid myself of it – I attended a business dinner, and when presented with a small slice of baguette I didn’t have the strength of mind to resist. It all went down hill from there. One slice became, oh I’d say about 6 more, and then later a pot of chocolate mousse slid down my throat. Just the mousse you understand.
By Wednesday afternoon I was desperate for more sugar and while buying cables at Best Buy I ate a whole bag of Swedish Fish in 7 minutes. That sudden flash flood of sugar made my brain light up like a heroin addict’s. So Wednesday night I ate a loaf of bread. Safeway, I loathe you for baking that French bread every day at 4 pm. And 6 pm. I’d describe it but that would make you all want to go buy your own.
Thursday, despite my heroic and successful efforts to avoid *inSANEity at an all-day meeting, I swung by Safeway on the way home to pick up another loaf of bread. And ate it.
Friday I ate more bread and then, at the movies, downed a whole bag of Sour Patch Kids, although I did manage to make them last 22 minutes. Pre-bed snack when I got home? More bread.
And so here we are on Saturday morning and I am feeling quite horrid: physically, mentally, and emotionally. UGH. My brain feels foggy, my body is sluggish, my guts are a mess, I’m emotional, and throw in a large dose of lethargy to boot.
What started as a response to stress exploded into a physiological response for more and more sugar – because even though the stress subsided Thursday evening, my brain was by then hell-bent on keeping the supply of its drug of choice flowing into my veins.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I know you have these moments too. You are not alone. Life happens. Emotional and stress-induced eating is real and once you start – even with one bite – it can put you teetering on the edge of one very slippery slope. For me, with my recently healed hormones and metabolism the effects of this weeks inSANEity on my weight have been negligible, but I am acutely aware that if I don’t stop feeding these stress-induced cravings for sugar, slowly but surely I will clog my system and the fat will start to build up again. Because that’s how our bodies work.
I have often mentioned that since my transformation I can eat a treat every once in a while without any issues whatsoever. I now know I need to clarify that by saying I can eat a treat every once in a while as long as I don’t do it when I’m stressed – as long as I don’t do it out of some deep emotional pull. And that’s where being aware of what is driving your desire to eat *inSANEly becomes all important.
So as I sit here this Saturday morning I am focusing on eating proteins and fats to help turn off the physical cravings I reignited. Mentally I am internalizing the fact that my actions were the result of stress. Acknowledging the reason for stepping on the slope makes it a lot easier for me to not slip away from the *SANEity. Because eating *inSANEly intensifies rather than reduces the problem by creating physiological stress in addition to the emotional. Not only that but it typically creates a mass of miserable feelings of failure and self-loathing for being weak-willed or lazy or whatever other crazy lies we tell ourselves about the whole sorry saga.
Don’t let stress woo you into putting your foot on top of that slippery slope. You are worth so much more.
With that I’m off to create some delicious egg casserole thingy to take with me on tomorrow’s Sunday Road Trip so I won’t feel compelled to grab some hideous edible product at the gas station when I roar in to fill up with fuel.
What makes you feel good – do more of that.