A reporter for Better Homes asked me what I say when people ask me how to quell the pangs that come from emotional eating. Ouch! Tough topic. I've been down that road so many times. And in the distant past, if I had a rough day at work - the candy machine was the best distraction. If my love life was in the toilet bowl, it was ice cream and cake that I would turn to.
The times they are a changing! But how DO I now address those emotional times?
I'm in the process of coming off what could have been a full-fridge horrific breakup. I've been through a couple of those, unfortunately, since the big one - my divorce. I have found that there are two approaches to dealing with stress, anxiety and situational depression in my life and they don't include psychotropic medications.
1 - I stay aware and keep food in perspective. I remember how carbs and sugar will inevitably "crash" my system - make me feel satiated in the short term but zonked after a while and then I will be depressed afterwards. I remember the end product emotion - the depression - that will ensue when I realize I finished the bag of pretzels and washed it down with the entire chocolate bar. And I don't want to feel that way. So even though I'm blue at the moment, I don't want my mood to shift to black...
2 - I stay in motion, to get the good hormones going (endorphins, adrenaline). But how do you drag yourself out of the house to exercise when you feel like the world is crashing down around your head? Again, try to remember the feeling of finishing the workout or long active walk, or whatever it is you do. You feel accomplished. Your muscles are a bit achey but oh, so limber and stretched...and all those feel-good brain chemicals are swimming around in your head. Activity beats couch potato syndrome--especially when you zip your skirt up the next morning.
3 - I meditate. For me that means prayer. Or sometimes a walk along the water - somewhere. Or sometimes a walk with a good friend who will listen. Or better yet, an afternoon of fishing. Just me, the fish, the salt water, a boat...I'm good...
So now that he's history - I'm heading forward - to conquer some new vistas - and to stay healthy, in body, mind and spirit!