New Coping Mechanisms

Today, I had a really trying day at work and was blindsided by some pretty disappointing news. My normal reaction to sadness or anxiety or disappointment is to EAT. I’m capitalizing it because I don’t just eat, I EAT. I would buy a family-sized bag of potato chips (preferably Middleswarth Kettle Cooked Sour Cream & Onion… maybe Utz… Who am I trying to kid? I’m not picky), probably a pint of Hershey’s ice cream, and maybe even a fifth of Kraken rum. I would sit on the couch and HOUSE all of it. OK, so I wouldn’t drink all of the rum since I get pretty pukey after about 3 mixed drinks, but that’s not the point. (Lightweight.)

On my 45-mile drive home from work, visions of cheeseburgers and subs and pizzas boogied through my imagination like 20-foot-high dancing snacks at a drive-in movie theater. I craved comfort so badly that I felt a physical longing nearing panic for something (anything!) grease-laden and high in trans fats.

Not this time. No, no, no! 

I compromised with myself. When I stopped to buy cat food, I picked up a Diet Pepsi. I figure, sure, it’s bad for me, but at least it’s calorie-free. When I got home, I talked out my day with D, made mini pizzas with turkey pepperoni on English muffins (plus gigantic side salads), and totally enjoyed that Diet Pepsi.

I have worked too hard over the past few weeks to let someone else’s decisions or opinions of me lead me to self-sabotage. I’m not hurting them by turning to food; I’m only hurting myself all over again. I kept repeating this.

While the crisis was averted today, and I’m proud of myself for the way I handled it, I would be lying if I said this behavior wasn’t concerning.

My questions for you:

A) I know that circumstances can’t always be rosy and stable, and I can’t let my emotions dictate my actions. How do I prepare for life’s next disappointment, whatever it may be?

B) I am a renowned self-sabotager – how do I crack the cycle?

3 thoughts on “New Coping Mechanisms

  1. I know how hard that was. I went through the same thing on my way to work this morning. In my mind I was stopping for McDonalds!! Then I thought how gross I would feel afterwards and how gross their food is in general and I felt sick, so I managed to get through that.

    Well done on pushing through! You even stopped somewhere, which if I had done, would have been the end of me, and you didn’t. You managed to leave with just the pepsi.

    The feelings you tapped into today, remember those…that willpower and I am sure it will get you through the next crisis. Food is such a big part of our lives…but we can use it to nourish us, not destroy us. A balancing act we are all trying to figure out. Some days will be easier than others. Some days we will give in, but celebrate the days that you didn’t. On a bad day, remember how proud you felt surviving this day….that may help you push through again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this incredibly insightful comment! I am very proud of the way I handled the situation. The last two days have been much better, thankfully. I hope to hold this experience close to me and recall it in similar situations, like you said. Again, thank you!

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  2. Way to curb your cravings!

    I’m not much of a snacker, but like you, stress lead to comfort eating. It isn’t so much that I would have a family size bag of chips as a snack, I might just add it to dinner. Or eat an entire pizza. And then maybe some ice cream to wash that down.

    I’ve recognized that eating is a horrible response to anything. I still have urges to eat more after stressful days, or when I’m not 100% happy with things, but the diet I’m on has helped me stay on track. Results = motivation.

    To fill my time, I’ve finally decided to start my own business that I’ve been dreaming of for years. Add that too my normal job, and I’ve managed to stay too busy to really want to eat. Portion size control is big, as is quality of food. If you find yourself snacking on cucumbers when you get home, help yourself! Just stay on track and keep away from those foods that end up making you feel worse after eating them. You can do it!

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