Friday, June 29, 2012
I've been having the worst cravings today. I know it's got a lot to do with the fact that it's the time of the month for me and I always get crazy cravings then. But I know the fact that I had a lousy day at work doesn't help either! That made me think about emotional eating, and some of the things in my life that make me want to turn to food for comfort.
First of all, I realize that my anxiety has been a huge reason for my emotional eating in the past. I've been suffering from anxiety for a few years now (ever since I started gaining weight) and eating my 'safe foods' (aka unhealthy foods) made me feel safe and, strangely enough, in control. Whenever things seemed to be out of my control and I felt like I was forced out of my comfort zone, I started miraculously craving for chocolate. Ever since I started following the SparkDiet and making healthy changes in my life, I've slowly overcome my anxiety. I haven't had any anxiety attacks in months and whenever I come across a situation that used to make me nervous and uncomfortable, I find that I am able to deal with the emotions that come with it. When I started my internship as a hotel receptionist (I only have a couple of days left by the way!) I wasn't sure what to expect. I used to be so anxious at some point that dealing with a lot of people while being in a strange environment with people I don't know doing a job I haven't had any training for made me so nervous! But I'm proud to say that I've been doing an amazing job! I'm surprised at how well I have been doing considering my history with anxiety. I'm an introvert by nature, which basically means that I'm the quiet thinker type rather than the loud social butterfly type. I need to time adjust to new things and I like to observe first in new situations. I've come to accept that, FINALLY. I used to beat myself up for being the way I am, but I now realize that it's okay, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Realizing this has made me more patient with myself and it has also given me a lot more ammo to deal with my emotions.
Boredom, depression and anxiety have been the three biggest triggers for emotional eating for me in the past. Today, when things at work seemed more than chaotic, I was reminded again of how I used to turn to food for comfort. I had a bad day at work and by the end of the day, all I could think about was drowning my sorrows in a bag of chips. Once I realized I was feeling this way, I immediately recognized this as an emotional eating tendency and was able to take a step back before going crazy with food. I didn't binge or give into my cravings. Instead, I recognized why I was having those cravings in the first place and tried to deal with the emotions that caused them. I think it worked! Six months or a year later, I would not have been able to do the same.