Worry Eating

I know the only reason I should eat is if I’m hungry.  For me, it’s so much harder than it sounds.  I’m not making an excuse…I’m admitting my fault.

I can’t remember a time in my life when food was a friend and not a foe.  My parents have always struggled with their weight and to a lesser degree both my sister and I have as well.  One saving grace has been my activity level.  Over the years I’ve had times where my life has been more or less active.  Recently I’ve fallen on the low activity end of the scale due to three serious knee surgeries in three years.  Luckily, my knee is doing better (not perfect) so my activity level is once again on the upswing.

What isn’t under control right now, and never has been, is my inclination to turn to food in times of significant stress or worry.  Sometimes I make better choices than others but I can guarantee that food is at least on my mind when I’m stressed or worried.  In those moments, I never know if I will be able to fight off the urge to suffocate my stress or worry with quantities of high-calorie/high-fat food.

For a couple of days this week the answer was clearly “no”.  When confronted with worrying about something I said at work and how it might come back to bit me in the ass.  I could not control the urge to eat.  I even stopped at the grocery store and picked up “bad food” since I’m careful not to keep that type of food in my house.  I broke a lot of “eating healthy” rules that night…I ate when I wasn’t hungry, I ate beyond fullness (way beyond…and, I knew it when I was doing it), and I even ate at 12:30am.  What was I doing up that late when I usually go to sleep at 10:00pm during the week?  The same worry caused a serious bout of insomnia.

The next morning, on the way to work, I was still worrying but the commute gave me a new perspective.  I could not magically rewind what I said.  I also realized that even though what I said could have been taken out of context (which is what I was worrying about), there was nothing I could do about it.  If my words were passed along, out of context, then I’d have to do damage control.  It’s been a few days and nothing has been said/done.  All my worrying and eating were probably for nothing.

Now that I’ve got my head on straight again, I better start focusing on eating healthy for the next week to make up for this week’s indiscretions.

Do you eat due to stress or worry?  If you don’t, do you think about it?  Are you able to fight stress/worry eating off?  Or, are you one of those people, that I strive to be, and only eat when you are hungry?

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