Weighty Matters

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Fighting the Good Fight

on October 29, 2012

Friends, I am experiencing a phenomenal amount of storm-related anxiety today.  Enough so that if I had access to Valium, I would take one.  I don’t feel this much upset when a storm’s cone of doom aims right at the Florida Keys where I live.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy is already impacting the area where I grew up — Southern Jersey Shore — and the area where I lived for many years — Central Jersey Shore, Asbury Park.

I know that there are millions of other people all along the Eastern Seaboard who are also being attacked by this storm but I think it’s understandable why my attention focuses on the areas I called home.  As of this writing, the worst of the storm hasn’t even hit yet, but Asbury Park’s ocean front is already under water.  Parts of Atlantic City and the other towns on Absecon Island — badly flooded.  Cape May, Ocean City, Brigantine. . . It’s horrible, folks.  Just horrible.

One of my Facebook friends is a producer for CNN.  She’s also from South Jersey.  You can bet that she’s tapped into the most current images.  A couple of hours ago, I felt like I needed to throw up because of the photos.  I’m actually sick to my stomach over what’s happening up there and knowing that people I love are so affected.   I finally had to cut myself off from FB and the photos and from watching storm coverage.  Any news reports that make one physically ill should be avoided, don’t you think?

Plus, I was overcome with food cravings.  I was thisclose to getting in the car and driving to the cupcake bakery for something rich, chocolatey and sweet.  I didn’t do it.  I remembered what I posted about being the person who doesn’t give into emotional eating or food compulsions, about wanting to be the one who makes healthy food choices.  I also remembered that eating a cupcake was not going to make me feel better.  If anything, it would make me feel worse to give into the compulsion.

Cupcakes don’t cure storm anxiety.  The sugar and carb rush might temporarily distract me, but in the end, I’d just feel even more crappy.

Instead, since  I didn’t have to work today,  I went to a morning Zumba class.  I came home and ate a good quality protein lunch.  I asked a friend to go out to dinner with me tonight so that I can have a nice respite from storm coverage.  Tonight I’ll settle in and watch television that doesn’t focus on wind, rain and flood images and then go to bed early.  I’m already exhausted and I’m sure that isn’t going to get better between now and bedtime.

When I lie down and put my head on the pillow, I want to feel better about the day, not worse.  I want to know that I took care of myself and didn’t let my compulsive behavior get the best of me.  I want to go to sleep knowing that, for today, I fought the good fight and won.

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6 responses to “Fighting the Good Fight

  1. Skye says:

    Good for you for turning off FB and the TV and not going out for cupcakes! That’s all really significant and shows a high level of self-awareness and self-control. You totally rock.

    And ditto what Karen said about them showing the worst possible pictures on TV.

  2. Martha Andrews says:

    Hey Mary, I haven’t had the TV on all day, other than to watch concerts on Netflix (Queen, Neil Diamond, Moody Blues, Neil Young and Jethro Tull so far!)… News and weather would just make me more tense about Sandy. I can see the weather outside my window, I sure don’t need to watch it on TV! Instead I’ve been looking at the pictures on FB (which are reminiscent of the March Storm) and commenting and sharing as I see fit. Being inland, we’re not AS affected as the shore communities. The wind is blowing, it’s raining, and NOT watching the news helps me to keep the experience MY experience, which isn’t what I would consider to be either severe or life threatening in any sense of the word (except, possibly to those who chose to “ride it out” after mandatory evacuations)… It’s just been a day wind and rain, rain and wind…oh yeah and the inevitable basement flooding that comes with any heavy rain… the fact that it *just* started flooding also makes it seem not so bad… we’re just about at the half way point, she’s making landfall soon, so we’re heading for the downhill side… Actually, in my not so humble opinion, the derecho we experienced in June was MUCH scarier and worse than this! Granted, it was here for a much shorter period of time but it seemed a LOT more powerful and dangerous.

  3. christineabush says:

    Thanks for your words, Mary, and the reminder that cupcakes don’t cure hurricanes! Wierd how stress triggers those thoughts! XXOO

  4. Cathy M says:

    It sounds as if you have a good plan for coping with the distressing things happening up north. If there’s nothing you can do to change the situation and continuing to watch the news reports only makes you anxious, why do it?

    I think it’s great that you made the truly thoughtful choice about how to deal with your emotions and food cravings. Not everyone can see the motivation for the choices they make. And sometimes we see the why but say screw it anyway.

    I think if we all tallyed up the amount of money we spent on junk food for the past month and donated that to the Red Cross for disaster relief, we’d have a head start on helping the people who are being affected by Hurricane Sandy.

  5. Watch a good movie. Read a good book. DO NOT TURN ON THE TV. Really. Say a prayer and know that your friends are smart enough to take care of themselves. You know they show the absolute worst images they can find on tv.

    We lost power and have the generator going. I’m making pork tenderloin, brown rice and bok choy for dinner – yay for gas stoves. It’s very windy and rainy but nothing too bad where we are.

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