Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kate: Rollecoaster (Week 2)

I think I'm a little bit more sensitive than the average bloke.

I read subtlety between the lines of conversation with friends, and sometimes come away with disappointment, hurt or distrust.

My family has always been a source of emotional conflict - usually relating to feelings of inadequacy, neglect or rivalry.

Whatever the scenario, I have found a friend to help me cope through the heartbreak. I don't know when it started. Maybe over cocoa and Girl Scout cookies. Maybe over a piece of pie leftover from one of my mother's dinner parties.

Food became a tool to fill the void in my heart. When I was young I had no idea I was really filling the void in my stomach (and fat cells).

These days I am acutely aware of this paradigm.

I know that I reach for the ice cream or cookies or chips or cake or you-name-it when I'm feeling empty. That's why I have eradicated any sort of decadence from my refrigerator, freezer or pantry (save for some semi-sweet chocolate chips that are mostly used for baking but sometimes doled out in limited qualities to appease a sweet fix.)

Instead, I relegate my indulgences to one-of experiences requiring a trip to the ice cream parlor, bakery or grocery.

More likely, I fix my need to feed with delicious, sauteed veggies seasoned by whimsy - sometimes flavored with special curries and spices I picked up in Europe, other times I feel like an apothecary finding the perfect cure for the blues in my traditional spice rack. Other times I turn to small bits of cheese and delicious fruits.

That I use food to comfort my mood is the true problem at hand. I know I need to find other ways to address emotion - whether it be with long walks, hikes, bike rides or moments of book reading.

But until I can fix that Pavlovian relationship, I will have to take comfort in knowing I am at least making wiser choices when fixing my feelings with food.

(broke even this week/1.6 lost total)


ShannanB aka Mommy Bits said...

I too have an issue with turning to food when I am stressed, sad, etc. What I have found helps me is buying "treats" that are pre-portioned. Most recently I have taken to Keebler's 100 Calorie Right Bites (Mini Fudge Stripes and Pecan Sandies are my favs). The packages contain small versions of the cookies but in a manageable portion. I know that I can eat the whole bag - 100 cals. and about 3 grams of fat - and not feel bad about it.

It's a win/win. I get my chocolate and I don't jack up my diet.

I keep them in my desk drawer at work and in my purse too.

Amy in Ohio said...

Very well said Kate. Pat yourself on the back - it's all small steps in the right direction, but turning to veggies rather than ice cream - that's HUGE!

The offer is always there for a walking buddy - I'm here!

Monika R. "RedKat" said...

Kate - I am so with you girl. I know that I use food to smooth over the rough patches of my life. But you know what? I'm learning that food cures create their own rough patches. So I'm determined to pick up a new hobby to take the place of eating. First up? Beading!

Anonymous said...

I'm a stress eater myself -- stress eater and bored eater. I prefer the salty to the sweet. I love me some french fries and nachos.

Congrats on turning to the veggies. Lightly salted cucumbers slices have become my snack of choice lately. I highly recommend it. And, they're in season. Lots of delicious, local choices.