Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 208 - Stress

I have learned a lot about stress and how I deal with it in the last few weeks. I have come to the conclusion in my life that there are at least 2 ways my body can deal with it. Emotionally or physically. My ENTIRE life, I have dealt with stress through emotional eating. No matter what was going on, if I ate, I felt better for the time being. Chocolate, cake, pop corn, chocolate, ice cream, chocolate... you name it, I would crave it until I could put the kids to bed at night and then have my moment to "deal".

Lately, I haven't used this method to deal with the stress in my life. I don't know why either. How can a person who has dealt with stress the same way for the last 25 years by eating, suddenly change her M.O.? Maybe it's the daily exercise? Maybe I shrunk my stomach with smaller portions? Maybe I am just busy in a way I have never been before? For whatever reason, stress now upsets my stomach to the point where the thought of eating makes me want to hurl? I have heard stress causing such physical manifestations on people and I always wish I would have the problem of not eating instead of gorging. Be careful what you wish for!!

So I was thinking the other day that if over eating is an emotional way to deal with stress, how can a person change their perspective? How can a person change their emotional cravings to something more productive? Not eating is never a good thing. No matter what the stress in my life, I am just not going to stop eating, that would be CRAZY! One thing I have been able to notice in myself is that by not having the cravings, the drive to gorge, I have been able to focus and think about healthy food. Lunch comes, and nothing sounds good, so what to do? Eat something healthy even if typically it's not something that would fill you. During this process, I have learned to focus on the food, not the appetite. I used to just follow my appetite and that is where I would get into trouble. If I craved something, I went and got it. If I wanted more, I would eat until I would be physically ill. Understanding that over eating was my way of dealing with stress, I can more identify what I am doing and try to choose something different.

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