Weighty Matters

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Mood and Food Connections

on February 13, 2015

It’s been a crazy week.  Correction, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks — all work/industry related.  Lots of work, often unexpectedly, which took higher priority over the many projects already on my list of things that needed to be accomplished.  This all creates no small amount of related stress.  I’ve never been one who could just leave it all behind at the office when I leave.  Out of sight is definitely not out of mind.  I keep thinking about the circumstances, working on solutions or tactics, figuring on what needs to be done, what could be done better, what I can bring to the table in a positive way, how can I best serve.  All that kind of stuff goes on in my brain whether I’m at work actively devoting time to the situation or not.

Even some people who are not compulsive overeaters with eating disorders will stress-eat.  (Or stress drink, stress shop, stress whatever.)  Whether the behavior distracts from that which is creating the stress, or whether the food or other behavior is a form of self-medication, it is still not the healthiest coping mechanism in the world.  In my case, it can trigger repeated compulsive eating, even when I am no longer strongly in the throes of the stress incident/situation itself.  The long-term residual effects can be much more damaging than the temporary handful of chips or extra piece of chocolate.  Then the fact that I was compulsive creates further negative reactions because I get all kinds of pissed off at myself for not handling the situation without using food.

The mood-food connection is strong.  Sometimes I am stronger; sometimes I’m not.  In order to combat the increased stress and craziness of the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried to be good to myself whenever I can.  No, I’m not always eating right, but I’m trying to keep up with the two decent dog walks a day. (By the way, I finally ordered myself another Fitbit to replace the one I ruined by including it in the wash-dry cycle.  The replacement arrives by Tuesday so I’ll get back to logging my steps.  I find it’s very motivating to go for the minimum of 10K steps a day!)  I practice my Tai Chi which is not only good physical exercise, but good for easing stress.  I keep up with my daily readings and do my best to practice self-kindness and acceptance to replace beating myself up for imperfect actions.

This weekend, I’ve scheduled a facial which is so much more than taking care of my skin.  It’s very relaxing and good for my spirit.  I have a lot of chores around the house that need to be done, but I’m also going to take some time to go and paint pottery.  A little time in creative endeavors will also nourish my serenity and calmness.  I can focus on that and not on stressful things.  Keeping my fingers crossed for calm winds on Sunday so I can also take a boat ride.  It’s been too long since I splashed my boat and time on the water is one of the most relaxing things that I can do.

Food-wise, I have yummy fresh vegetables in the house from our organics delivery earlier this week.  I attempted to make a version of fried tomatoes last night.  The results weren’t great, but they weren’t totally inedible.  I also roasted some romanesco which is a very pretty cousin of broccoli and cauliflower.  I have fresh Brussels sprouts to cook in a favorite recipe too.  Eating nourishing, delicious food that aligns with my food plan reinforces good self-care.  The act of cooking said delicious food is relaxing.  I can connect mood and food in positive, not damaging ways.  Healthier all around.

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Update to the February 3rd Post about Facing a Fear:  I successfully faced my fear and climbed up the temporary tower.  My heart pounded the whole way and was still pounding when I stood up there the first time.  I was even more nervous about climbing down.  However, I did the return trip successfully as well.  So, I’m good to go and can participate in the activity.  I know that I’m not going to fall or break anything on the structure.  So, booyah to me!

 

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One response to “Mood and Food Connections

  1. Susanne says:

    Re facing a fear:

    You rock!

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