let's talk about food

8 Feb

Thanks so much for all the sweet well wishes for the husband’s first day on the new job. Ya’ll are so sweet.  I texted him mid-day to see how it was going and he texted back “it’s going really well.  A great company to work for…and so much to learn!”  Today and tomorrow are basically just orientation days, and then Wednesday will be his first day in the office.  That is, unless the predicted 6-10 inches of snow keeps him home (fingers crossed:).  Anyway, I’ve always been so thankful that he has a job he loves, and I feel that way even more now.  Every time I ask him about how he’s feeling regarding the change, he just starts talking about how great he feels about this company and the difference they’re making in people’s lives.  Yay.

Now let’s just see if I can get a job as well!

I started off yesterday morning with a serious craving for yogurt and raw oatmeal.

1/3 cup raw oats, whole soy yogurt, chia seeds, dried cranberries and cinnamon

Totally hit the spot.  Sometimes I feel myself getting tired of foods that I’ve been eating a lot of, and all it takes is scrolling back through my blog a little bit to find inspiration.  I can almost always find a basic meal that I haven’t had in awhile to bring back all fresh and new!  This oldie was definitely a highlight to start the day.

Other highlights for the day included but were not limited to the following:

  • painting my nails mint green

  • spending a little extra time with God this morning

  • making my green smoothie with a scoop of natural peanut butter and chocolate almond milk for lunch

  • having a really great conversation with my mom on the phone this afternoon

  • eating yet another leftover cinnamon roll for a snack this afternoon (I know).  One a day does = moderation.  It does!

I have had two tasty meals in my head all day today, but I’ve been on kind of a weird schedule (hence the green smoothie for lunch), so I haven’t been able to make either one of them.  One is the veggie chili I made for the husband’s work party a couple of months ago, and the other is a really simple lunch idea that I just can’t get out of my mind.  I’m thinking I’ll be enjoying it for lunch today, and if so then I’ll share it later on!  As far as the chili goes, I think it’ll be the perfect meal for Wednesday when we’re all snowed in again.  mmmm.

The last part of this post has been pretty much all about food, ha!  Food is where it’s at, though.  Even Mr. Squirrel agrees.

He sits right outside our kitchen window almost every morning, munching on all kinds of nuts and seeds.  Gives me a hankering for nuts and seeds myself, just watching him.

But really food is such a big part of life, you know?  We need it for fuel and nourishment…but it also affects us in psychological ways. We celebrate with it.  We comfort with it during times of loss.  We have memories attached to it.

I’m not encouraging emotional eating in the sense of eating to hide or cover up emotions, but we’d be crazy to say that food isn’t tied to something besides a physical need.

I’ve never really talked about this on the blog before, but in the past I’ve had issues with emotional eating, and it wasn’t in a positive way.  Sometimes, whether I’d be feeling stressed, sad or just plain tired, I would go straight to the pantry and just eat mindlessly.  And then when I would finish, I’d feel guilty and even more stressed, not to mention physically kind of sick.  I remember at times feeling like I’d never be able to break the cycle.  I ate healthy enough all the rest of the time and exercised enough that I never really put on any visible weight, but the emotional weight it was adding on was not a good thing.  It was a bad habit…and I needed to break it.

It has been a long time since this last happened.  I still get carried away with the chips and salsa occasionally (okay, often;), but it’s not the same kind of destructive behavior.  It’s no longer me trying to cover up an emotion…it’s more just about liking blue corn tortilla chips a little too much. ha.  I think the point that I really was able to gain control of what I was doing was when I recognized the true issue behind the behavior.  After a lot of prayer and internal processing, I realized that I was eating at these times in an effort to relieve the negative emotions I was feeling inside.  Food was a way to cover those emotions up by doing something that felt good right at that moment.

Besides identifying the root of the problem, another thing that helped a LOT was realizing that just because I disappointed myself by doing this didn’t mean that I should punish myself afterwards.  When I treated my body that way I needed to do something really nice for my body in turn…rather than beating myself up about it.  So, I started going for a long, slow walk,  taking a bubble bath, or just cuddling with Olive for a bit.   I also spent some time identifying the specific reasons why I would eat, and then made an alternative plan for each negative emotion, such as laying down for a twenty minute nap, getting into downward dog and holding it for 20-30 seconds or spending some time in prayer. Basically, I was ready to tackle the problem itself, whatever problem it was, rather than trying to put a band-aide over it.

After so many weeks of implementing my new plan, it became a habit, and now I don’t even think about it.  I’m not saying it was an easy process, and I definitely had my fair share of set-backs, but in the end it was so worth it.  Every time I would fall back into the behavior, I would take time to really process through what I had really been feeling in the moment, work through that emotion (if it was anxiety over my job, I would take 30 minutes and problem solve or call my teacher friend and ask for advice).  And through the whole process, not only have I gained confidence in my ability to eat in a healthy way, but I’ve also become more confident in handling conflict and anxiety.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that has ever dealt with us, but somehow I doubt it.  Just the other day I was talking to the husband, and it suddenly hit me that I hadn’t eaten in this way in a long long time.  I realized that I’d totally forgotten what it was like and is totally out of character for me to do something like now.  I know there’s a possibility that I could fall back into the habit someday, but it feels good to know that making slow progress toward a healthier way of dealing with negative emotions has brought me to a place where I feel much more confident in my relationship with food. Isn’t that how it should be?

Anyway, these are just some thoughts I’d been pondering lately, and I thought I’d share them.  I used to think this issue was something I was ashamed of and wanted to hide.  I’m still not proud that I struggled with it, but I realize now that we all have battles such as this and the best way to overcome those struggles is to bring them out into the light.

What is something you’ve overcome through a lot of time and hard work?  How does it feel to be in a place where you feel confident and at peace in regard to that issue?  Or are you still working through something and trying to get to that place?

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19 Responses to “let's talk about food”

  1. Devon @ Recreation February 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    This post is so timely for me…I have just started seeing how emotional eating is affecting me,(I wrote a quick post about it yesterday, actually!) and trying to figure out a way to deal with it. I am encouraged by your success in overcoming it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      Thanks so much for your comment. It isn’t super easy to put personal stuff like this out for everyone to read…but if even just one person finds a morsel of encouragement then it’s all worth it. I know you’re going to find a way to overcome it – you are stronger than you think!

  2. Heather (Where's the Beach) February 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Those oats actually sound so good to me right now. I’m so stuck on my regular oatmeal. We’ve got that much snow predicted here too. Crazy! I must say that I feel really lucky that I’ve not ever really been an emotional eater. I don’t know why or how I avoided that. Instead I just start to clean, straighten, piddle around the house (never finishing anything mind you) or even just starting lists to clear my head.

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      It is nice to change it up occasionally! Happy you got a snow day – you deserve some rest and relaxation after the past crazy week! Glad you never dealt with EE – it’s hard to beat. You are one of those people I’ve always been jealous of who is always busy/always moving:)

  3. Malissa February 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    I love your ideas on dealing with negative emotions and stress/anxiety and good job! It can be really difficult to recognize a problem and then find a method for dealing with it. That is a really great accomplishment. I don’t feel like I’m an emotional eater but I do internalize negative emotions and feelings. That tends to lead to me having a come-apart (not pretty BTW) over something really trivial. I’m going to try use some of your methods. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks, girl! I think finding a good way to deal with negative emotions is something many people struggle with in one way or another – and we all have to find our own way of dealing I guess. Definitely not a good thing when we let it build up inside – I’m trying to really work on that as well! Hope you’re having another fun day of snow:)

  4. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel February 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    i was craving raw oatmeal this morning too, but the only difference is i didnt end up having it! i have a weird fear that raw oatmeal is going to hurt my tummy and i wasn’t sure if people eat it raw or if i was the only one who thought it sounded appetizing. ok, i may be a bit ‘oat ignorant’ lol but now im not and im excited to try adding raw oats to my breakfast!

    can i just say how much I LOVE MR. SQUIRREL. the first picture is the best, i totally think he’s talking to me telepathically 😉

    i love how you’ve written about how you’ve realized the importance of making peace with your mind, your body, and your overall relationship with yourself. the tip about downward dog or any post that allows a quick break to get re-centered is one i follow religiously now. its amazing how quickly it can alleviate a lot of “mind junk” going on for me that bubbles up..

    slow progress is solid progress and every step you take is uniting you closer with who you are and who you will become ❤

    xoxo

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      I never thought about raw oatmeal causing stomach problems – I’ve been doing it for a long time and never had any issues…but that’s not to say that it would be fine for everyone. Hope it works out for you bc it is goooood:)

      haha – you would love Mr. Squirrel! Isn’t he cute:)

      Totally agree about re-centering. It took me a long time to realize that if I don’t take care of my mind as well as my body, then it’s all just a lost cause. It starts with the mental/emotion state for sure. I love your last line – I can apply that to so many things going on my life right now. Thanks for the input:)

  5. kate February 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    I love this point of yours “just because I disappointed myself by doing this didn’t mean that I should punish myself afterwards”. Its so true and I think a lot of us spend a lot of time and energy here.

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      I did for so many years before I realized it just isn’t worth it and only brings more hurt instead of healing. It’s a hard habit to break, though!

  6. kelli February 8, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    great squirrel photos!=)

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      haha, thanks Kelli:) I’d been trying to capture him for months, but he’d always run off before I could get my lens switched. I was so excited that I finally got him! It really is the small things;)

  7. PR_Cal February 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    Great post Candace. A topic that I, like you, am sure many people can relate to. While I am not an emotional eater (in fact am the opposite- when I’m upset/stressed/etc. I have no appetite) there are certain foods that I can just mindlessly eat.

    Popcorn is one for me! I can never, ever, just have a small serving. I have no idea why, but It’s to the point that I should probably not buy it ever!

    Something I’ve struggled with is perfectionism. It is something I am currently working through, but I have also come a long long way!

    Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with your readers.

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks, Callie:)

      I know what you mean about the popcorn issue – mine is blue corn tortilla chips. It’s really hard for me to not just keep eating them! Just yesterday I went to the store to get some groceries since we’ll be snowed in, and I made the executive decision to not buy them…me + being snowed in + chips = no good.

      Good for you for making progress with the perfectionism issue – it really is all about celebrating every little step closer to being free from the issues we deal with most. One day we’ll get there:)

  8. salah@myhealthiestlifestyle February 9, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    This is such a beautifully written post. I have and still do struggle with emotional eating to this day. I think the key thing that has helped me is identifying the reasons why I was emotional eating. I now try to substitute a nice epsom salt bath, or a nice book etc. instead of eating. This post will really touch lives, it touched mine 🙂

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      What a wonderful comment, Salah:) It really helps to know we’re not alone in this struggle…and we can overcome.

  9. Jennifer@ knackfornutrition February 9, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I think you have a really healthy philosophy toward food. I’m still working on some of my issues, but it is definitely coming along.

    In other news, I love the mint green nails!

    • candice February 9, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      haha, thanks Jenn! I love mint green:)

      I’ve been working on my relationship with food for a long time and as much progress as I’ve made, I still have a ways to go. I’m so much happier with every step closer I get, though! Good for you for identifying issues and making progress, that’s at least half the battle right there:)

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  1. Tweets that mention let’s talk about food|Chia Seed Me -- Topsy.com - February 9, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John U Lord, Candice. Candice said: how I became free from emotional eating! what personal battle have you won?! http://bit.ly/i96RrM […]

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