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Anti-stress eating

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I often find it interesting how different people respond to stress and food. My husband openly admits to stress eating. When he is stressed, he pretty much eats and sleeps. I have heard other folks talk about stress eating too--just eating because they are upset/sad/stressed. Maybe emotional eating is a better word for it.

I do the opposite. I lose all desire for food when stressed or upset. This week has been a hard one for me. I struggled as a former Bostonian watching the news on Monday and Friday. I just kept reloading one friend's page on facebook, hoping for updates that she was ok (she lived on the street of the Thursday shootout). And through all of it, I could barely convince myself to eat.

Friends often say they are jealous, but I know it's terrible for your health to just stop eating, and it certainly doesn't help weight loss or fitness goals. It's hard to get up the energy to work, chase around a toddler, make meals, and do basic day to day things on 600 calories a day. And it kills your immune system (which is likely why I'm now fighting off one heck of a cold).

I often wonder why I do these things to myself. I KNOW what happens when I'm stressed. I know how much havoc it causes to my body. But I let it happen again and again. I tried a few things this week to help me bump up the calories, but I wasn't particularly successful. I tried pre-entering food so that I would know what else I had to eat that day to hit at least a minimal calorie goal. I tried having easy calorie uppers around the house (yay celery and peanut butter), but in both cases, I just couldn't force myself to eat.

Even worse, my little girl hasn't seen me eat all week. I've been skipping dinner (I sit with her during all meals I'm home), and while she's only 18 months, I think it's important to model appropriate food behavior from a young age. My mother and sister both have eating disorders, and I think it's one of my most important jobs as a mother of a little girl to teach her to have a healthy attitude toward food and health.

So that's my goal for this week. I will eat a meal with my daughter whenever I'm home for meals. Because even if I can't convince myself that I need to eat more for me, I know I'll be able to do it for her.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I do that too. Actually I do both--when there's a "regular" life stress, like looking for a new job, I tend to want comfort food, but when something big happens like a death, I shut down and stop eating. I remember when my dog died, I got invited over to my employer's house for dinner, I think, so they could make sure I was eating. It took a long time to get through the meal, but I did it because someone was watching me. I hope your tactic of being aware of your daughter watching works well for you.
    1794 days ago
  • 2BEHEALTHY2014
    When I'm stressed, I want fattening comfort foods. I hope you hear from your friend and are sable to start eating again. Sending hugs your way
    1794 days ago
    I hope your friend is okay; and good for you wanting to model appropriate behaviour for the baby!
    1795 days ago
    find other avenues for stress relief. i walk
    1795 days ago
    Hope your friend is okay.
    1795 days ago
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