Saturday, January 7, 2012

Feelings should be felt, not eaten.

It's been a bumpy week here. We were transitioning back from the holidays and my older son's 5th birthday.  The kids have been trying their hardest to come down from their overstimulated, over-sugared state but are still struggling with bad sleep and bad moods. At the same time, we decided to ditch the diapers with my younger son who will be 3 in March. What was I thinking?

Meanwhile, I've been both excited and overwhelmed by the upcoming Tinker Bell half marathon especially while battling a fierce case of plantar fasciitis which has been at its worst this week. I have an annual meeting and January board meeting to prepare for the non-profit board I serve as President. And finally, I've been feeling my depression creeping up since the weekend pushing me a little more each day into a down of the ups and downs I go through. It will probably only last a couple of days, but it's here and I am fighting. This time though I am not fighting to escape the feeling, but I am fighting to actually feel it.

Each morning, I've woke from a broken night of sleep after denying the toddler wanting to nurse for the umpteenth time to two little boys being rough, loud, and demanding. As I drag myself from my bed to go downstairs I start to dream of what's downstairs to eat. I think there are some left over cookies. Or maybe there's some pie. Or I could make pancakes. Stop, Jamie. You don't need junk. It won't help. Get your coffee and a healthy breakfast and move on.

I get the boys ready and to school, and I come home to a quiet house for 90 minutes of precious solitude. No one's here. It's been a rough morning; I deserve a snack, a treat. It'll help get you through the day. No, Jamie. It won't help you get through the day. It'll start you on a downward spiral. Make your smoothie and get in your strength workout without kids crawling on you. That will help you get through the day.

I go work lunchtime at school. Fifteen preschoolers demanding this and that, herding them from the bathroom to lunch to nap. It feels chaotic. I am overstimulated. I do the dishes and clean up before getting my own boys from their classes and heading home. I feel as though I am dragging them across the parking lot, backpacks, lunchboxes, folders, and jackets all balanced precariously in my arms. I get home. Put one to sleep and set the other up for quiet time. Sigh. Oh Jamie, now you definitely deserve a snack. Find something yummy. Maybe there is some pasta and you could a huge bowl. Whatever leftovers are there. Whatever it is, a lot of it will help you unwind. You get the idea. It continues after a stressful bedtime as I'm convinced I need a bedtime snack to make the day feel better.

All day long, I find myself literally dreaming of food. I feel overstimulated. I feel tired. I feel stressed. I feel frustrated. Whatever it is I feel, I want food to make me stop feeling it. If I can focus on getting food into my mouth, I will momentarily avoid feeling whatever it is I'm feeling. When my belly is uncomfortably full, I can turn my focus to beating myself up instead of feeling whatever there is to feel.

I am an emotional and stress eater. It's not news. It's something I've always lived with, but as I pay more attention to how I fuel my body for my running and my health, I am becoming increasingly aware. This week, I have fought it. I have sat with my feelings instead of eating them. Instead of just distracting myself from what I want to eat as I might have before, I am figuring out why I want to eat it first. I've indulged in a treat or two, but I have thought about what I was eating and why before doing it. It would be so easy to take my stress, my depression, and my injury, and just keep eating to stop feeling any of it turning the 2 pounds I gained from Halloween to New Year's into 10. It's not about the number on the scale. It's about how much worse I would feel physically and emotionally. It's about the way I would beat myself up for doing that. It's about the fact that I wouldn't be any further along on my journey. So instead, I will fight it. I will feel my feelings all while offering myself grace and love instead of shame.


  1. Thank you for sharing your post! It's nice to hear about someone I can relate to. I've had to schedule myself a junk snack time after dinner (if we have the junk in the house), to help myself from eating it all the time. Glad you are finding things that work for you.

  2. Thanks for stopping by English! Great idea with scheduling a snack time.

  3. Yes - feel your feelings, don't eat them. That's something I continue to struggle with... I don't have any tips, but I want to tell you that you aren't alone. :)

  4. Jamie, we have so much in common. I feel like you just recounted my battles as well.


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