The other day, my therapist and I were discussing my difficulty with emotional eating. She helped me find some potential ways of dealing with this issue, and the one I settled on was tea. I went out to a tea shop and bought some gourmet tea (none of that “sitting on the shelf wrapped in plastic” crap for me, nosiree!) I bought a delicious Mulberry tea, which I later found out, coincidentally, is supposed to help with weight loss and carb cravings.
So, today I’m testing this theory, to see if I can find comfort in a cup of tea instead of a cookie. Oh, I should mention – my therapist also wanted me to come up with some positive affirmations to use when faced with emotional eating. The favourite one I’ve found so far is, “I’ve worked too hard and come too far to let a cookie tell me what to do!”
As I write this, I’ve got a cup of said mulberry tea beside me. It’s actually quite yummy.
Today was tough. It was a professional day at the school where I work, and we had a guest speaker talking to us about strategies for dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While professionally this topic doesn’t apply too much to me, as I do not work with children in such a capacity, it does apply to me personally. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail about how it applies to me personally, because I’m just not ready to discuss it publicly. However, those dear friends of mine whom I’ve trusted with the information and who read my blog will understand.
During the first part of the presentation, the speaker was discussing the ways in which children on the Autistic Spectrum behave, and I let out a sigh. A friend of mine (one of the world’s most awesome kindergarten teachers, and someone who knows what I’m going through) was sitting beside me and asked me if I was okay. She may not know it, but that meant a lot to me. While the day was informative, I had a hard time focusing on what the speaker was saying, at least from a professional point of view. I continually kept relating what he was saying back to my own issues.
In the car on the way home, I broke down in tears that I had been saving up all afternoon. It’s probably a good thing that I’m broke right now and can’t afford Starbucks, because had I the money, it would have been one of those prime opportunities to soothe myself with a toffee nut latte and a white chocolate macadamia cookie. Fortunately, I keep an apple in my bag for something to munch on while driving home, so I had that.
When I got home, I sat in my car for a few minutes and zoned out. I knew that in the pantry sat an entire box of cookies, some chocolate pudding, and a bunch of granola bars. The ingredients for my ultimate comfort food, a peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwich, were in the kitchen.
In the past, I would’ve went straight for something sweet, without even thinking it through. But today I didn’t. I sat down and played a mindless game on my phone for a while and realized that I was still completely stuffed from the Chinese food I had at lunch. I didn’t need to eat because I wasn’t hungry.
That bears repeating: I didn’t need to eat because I wasn’t hungry.
That’s when I decided to make myself a cup of tea and sit down at the computer to write this post.
I still don’t feel better. My heart is still heavy and the tears shed in the car probably won’t be the last ones I see today. However, I haven’t made myself feel worse by using food to deal with the pain.
I get it now.
I rely on emotional eating to avoid dealing with other emotions. Anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, frustration…. all of those “negative” emotions can be scary. So, instead of dealing with them, I eat, because I can handle the guilt that comes from emotional eating better than I can handle my fear of those scary emotions.
Ok, I sorta already knew that…. but for me, having a cognition about something and really internalizing it are two separate things. I think I’ve just internalized this. Yay me!
I can be proud of myself today because I’m facing my fears without the aid of a cookie. This mulberry tea is actually quite soothing.
So is writing.
Thanks for reading 🙂