Taking the first few bites always seems harmless. You almost are able to rationalize that it was a bad day or you just needed “a little sugar”. Whatever we want to call it there is really only one cause Stress. Stress eating is a real term and one that I came face to face with this week after facing some personal challenges. I am the lucky one I guess that when i get stressed I turn food away instead of turning to food for comfort. I will stick up my nose at most items sent my way and really only eat out of necessity. My husband is the exact opposite and is aware when the stress eating happens.
This week like I said was not a normal week to say the least. It was probably one of the most emotional and stressful weeks that my husband myself and my children have faced. I’m sure there will be more but I can tell you first hand that stress eating can hit you hard during times of family stress. What matters is how you face it, accept it and are able to move on.
We all have stressors in our life every day. Stressors at home, work, social lives. These stressors can create triggers for us and we all have a specific responses to these stressors that occur. Some, like myself lose their appetite and would rather survive on coffee and water than ever think about eating foods. Others like my husband gorge themselves on food in order to fill a void. No matter what our stressor is we have a coping mechanism to deal with it. While both binge eating and not eating at all are both not the best options, let’s face it there are worse things in the world that we could be doing.
One way I find that can help is acceptance. I accepted the fact that I was stressed and needed to understand that I was not going to feel better all at once. My husband said that what he did was realize it was happening, and then try to reverse it. He also gave himself a limit. Since the stress we are facing is lasting more than a week he gave himself to the end of the week then went back to his old routine.
Move on and form a new habit. I went from not eating, back to my running routine which I was out of for the week. Once back in the running routine I found I was able to have a better handle on my stressors and face them logically.
However you deal with stress whether it is eating or lack of eating it is good to try and center yourself as soon as you can. Try looking at things in a new light and know that whatever is your stressor it is not worth giving up your health.