I have always been an emotional eater and in times of stress have readily reached for the chocolate and wine. Drinking has in the past helped to temporarily ease pain caused by others – my sure way of getting a nights sleep. The more wine I’d drink the less I cared, and wine became an emotional crutch. Wine o’clock wasn’t just on weekends anymore, if I’d had a stressful day then I’d automatically have a glass of wine to ‘unwind’. When you’re upset you don’t think about calories and to be fair if anyone had told me at that point that alcohol was ’empty calories’ then I’d probably have slapped them.
It’s all very different after you’ve had children, you have to put your own emotions to one side and prioritise their feelings. You can’t grab a bottle of wine anymore as you have homework to do, kids to bathe and dinner to make. This is when you might turn to something that doesn’t obliterate your senses, leaving you perfectly legal to still drive to the hospital should little ‘Amelia’ have a fall later on. This is of course food that gives you a feeling of pleasure as you eat it – chocolates, chips, ice cream etc. because lets be fair salad was never quite going to cut it. As it’s food and not technically a drug it doesn’t seem half as bad but it can have similar consequences – too much alcohol can cause liver complications and too much unhealthy food can cause diabetes, high cholesterol etc. The scary part is that eating unhealthy food can become such a habit that most find it impossible to break.
Recently I have been betrayed by someone very close to me and it’s the third time this betrayal has happened and after overlooking the first few incidents I found it impossible to once again forgive and forget. A betrayal of trust is something that runs deep into your emotions and ordinarily I would have done my usual – shout, scream and then get something comforting to eat, probably chocolate. This time it turned out differently, I listened to the denials and vowed to be strong and I don’t know where this strength has come from but I feel stronger than ever. I have accepted that someone has wronged me, I’ve cried and got upset and then I’ve brushed the tears away and as my good mum would say ‘got on with it’.
This time I haven’t reached for the wine (not even one glass) and I haven’t pigged out on chocolate and pizza and that’s because I’ve realised that although that will make me feel good short term, it wont fix the situation. In fact in the long term things will be worse as after the sugar rush goes down I’ll be left with more weight to shift as well as a broken heart.
Comfort eating is very common with many people and you may not even know if you suffer from it. I have found this comfort eating guide which some of you may find helpful. It gives good advice on how to identify what emotional eating is and also offers advice on combatting it.
My new way of dealing with emotional stress is to make sure that I am meeting my targets. I joined Slimming World on the 5th January and at last week’s first weigh in I had lost 5lb. I have also started working with a Personal Trainer and had a taster session last week, tomorrow will be my first full session with him. I’m looking forward to it as he has guaranteed that he can help me lose two stone by May, so I should look ‘fabulous at forty’! My next weigh for SW is tomorrow, so here’s hoping for another loss 🙂
What I’ve learnt over the years is that if someone hurts you then the best thing you can do is show that you wont be beaten. Stick to your targets, achieve your goals and show them that you couldn’t care less! Give someone the benefit of the doubt but if they continuously hurt you then don’t be manipulated, imagine the worst thing that could happen and then find a solution to prevent it from happening.
You get one go at this life so make sure you’re happy in yours!