Friday, October 12, 2007

Food Masks Don't Work

For some reason my Candida problem reared its ugly head last night. I was pretty sick, cramping and running back and forth to the bathroom. I'll spare you the ugly details. I couldn't figure out what caused it to flare up, then I remembered that I ate 7 onion rings yesterday. If I eat anything that has white flour it causes it to flare up. Goodbye onion rings. I only see you rarely, so it's time to say goodbye forever.

So I don't know if it was a loss of extra water or what, but my scale said that I was hydrated. I didn't work out so I was in bed for an extra hour, but when I got on the scale I was 210.8. Yes, I squealed. I haven't seen that number for about 3 years!!!! I hope I didn't ruin it by eating too much yesterday.

Last night I kept wanting to eat. I was struggling to resist, and I would stay away for a while, then go back to the kitchen to look for something else. I kept looking around, wanting some kind of snacky thing, wishing I had some chocolate. Warning bells started going off in my head, but I ignored them. Lucky for me I didn't have anything that was chocolatey or snacky hanging around. Later, I was sitting on the couch, eating a substantial amount of reduced-fat cheddar and Triscuits, when I realized that I wasn't hungry anymore. I get hungry a lot more often since I've been eating much healthier and less total food, and exercising. But I wasn't hungry, but kept feeling the compulsion to eat.

I stopped to think. "Why do I keep feeling the need to eat?" I asked myself. I realized that I had been feeling the need to eat so as not to feel what was bothering me. I'm pretty stressed right now as this is my first month coordinating for a natural foods co-op, and today's my first delivery being in charge. I've only been a member for 4 months. I took over because no one else would, it was a big mess and many people had left, so I spent many, many hours sorting everything out. There's a lot of pressure on me to make sure it goes well today. Thankfully there is another lady who stepped up to help, and she's wonderful. I don't know what I'd do without her.

When I realized what was going on, I thought further. There was something else bothering me. James works full-time and now he's working on his Master's degree as well at night. He's gone SO much, I don't see much of him at all. Not to mention that it's a lot harder on the kids, the boys really, really miss their daddy. I'm thankful that he doesn't have to travel almost ever, or go overseas, but I still miss him. I didn't think that we would be in this part of our lives ever again when he graduated before. I was so glad to kiss those days goodbye, but they're back again. I found myself crying for a little while because I miss him. I know that he's doing the right thing, and I admire him for working so hard for our family. I know he'd rather be here with us. I wholeheartedly support him in going to school, but that doesn't make me miss him any less.

After I cried for a bit, I felt better. And, I lost the desire to eat anything else. The next time I feel that compulsion, I'm going to stop right away and figure out what's bothering me. Eating mindlessly never fills me up. I could eat until I was ready to explode and just feel bad about it, but still wish I had room for more. When I actually let go and FEEL what my heart is upset about, the problem gets dealt with. Food is NOT a good placebo for emotion. Food is good for energy. It doesn't work well as a mask to hide my feelings behind.


mindyluwho said...

Very insightful! I never thought that I was an emotional eater, but I have gone to the pantry time and time again looking for something to fill me time I'm going to stop and think it through, maybe I do eat for emotion more than I think. Stress would probably be the culprit.

I'm fortunate that my husband isn't gone so much, I think that would be really hard. My heart goes out to you.

Rebecca said...

Thank you, Mindy. Thinking back to it, that restless, mindless opening of the cupboards over and over was probably all because of emotions I didn't realize I needed to deal with.

It is hard having my husband gone so much. It would be much harder if he were gone to Iraq or wasn't here at all, so I count my blessings, even when I grumble sometimes.

Amy said...

Thank you for your comment on Calamity Jane's blog. Isn't she great?! I too have learned a lot from her.

Hey, a huge congrats to you!!! We have the same goal, under 200 by New Year's. I have 13 more pounds to go.

Emotional eating is how I got this overweight. Food isn't a good mask, but somehow it's the first thing my mind turns to. Interesting... I love that you stepped back and identified what was bothering you. Way to go!