Eating Your Feelings

I’ve come to the realization that I’m a totally emotional eater. Some people starve themselves (not on purpose) when they’re stressed, upset, or anxious about something. Other people, like me, stuff their faces and try to eat their away their emotions. Let’s discuss.

Friday night, I went home to spend the night at my parents. I met them for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Chiara, and applauded myself for ordering fish and forgoing dessert despite my tequila cocktail induced buzz.

I was SO sore the next morning when I woke up. After my Core Fusion class last week, I taught Advanced spin, and then had a CrossFit WOD Friday morning that consisted of 100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 pull ups, and 100 sit ups. Um yeah. About that. First of all, I was so dead tired I didn’t move in my sleep. Woke up in the same exact position I fell asleep in. That NEVER happens. Probably because I was too sore to move. It was actually painful to lift myself out of bed, everything hurt. But on the bright side…

 

… my abs were all sorts of ripped up (for me at least). Why can’t abs look like that all the time? When you first wake up in the morning, that flat stomach feeling. Β It’s the best. WTF abs. How sore they were.. was not the best. Erica and I were supposed to go to a WOD at her local CrossFit, but we were both so sore that we went for a nice long walk instead. It was much better because it was a beautiful day and gave us a chance to catch up.

I’m getting distracted- I’m here to talk about food. After our walk, I was eating a healthy breakfast at home when my dad came into the kitchen and told me my grandmother (his mom) had just passed away. She had been sick for awhile, and had recently taken a turn for the worst, so the news didn’t come as a total shock, but it was still upsetting to say the least. After running a few errands, we ordered sushi for lunch.

This is where that whole “emotional eating” thing takes a drastic turn…

Tuna, salmon and mango roll paired with a sweet potato tempura roll? Check. Next up was one of my mom’s famous cookies. Not Paleo, not gluten free, not dairy free. They’re made with Reese’s pieces, Reese’s, and chocolate chips. Sidenote- when I was at college, during my pre-Paleo days, my mom would send the cookies in the mail and they’d get all crumbly so I’d put the chunks in a bowl with milk and eat them as cereal. Fact.

When I got back to my apartment late afternoon, I realized I was going to be alone for a couple of hours. That’s another thing about me- if I’m upset, I want to be surrounded by people. I don’t like being alone and sitting around wallowing in my sad feelings. Because then I’ll sit on the couch for 2 hours, ignoring my piles of laundry, watching Keeping up with the Kardashians and eating animal crackers and dark chocolate ginger. That happened. I don’t want that to ever happen again.

Then my boyfriend got home- plus. He also brought home a large Italian sub- negative. Let’s back up a minute. I used to LOVE Italian subs. Like, you don’t understand. My go to sandwich anytime, anywhere. Every kind of cold cut possible, topped with Provolone cheese, toasted, with oil and some hots. Stop. I can’t keep thinking about it without drooling. Did I eat half of my boyfriend’s sub? Yes. Did he purposely get a large one because he knew I would eat half of it? Yes. Bastard.

The rest of the evening was spent curled up on the couch because I was in so much pain I couldn’t move. On top of being upset about my grandmother, I felt like shit because I ate shitty food, my stomach wanted to punch me in the face (my abs were DEFINITELY not photo-worthy then) and I was pissed at myself for having zero self control and eating my feelings. I got my act together on Sunday, and instead of wasting brain cells and going into a gluten induced coma, I went to a spin class. Talk about a total 180. Why do I feel the need to eat my emotions, when I could just go and sweat them out? I felt SO much better after class- energized, refreshed, uplifted. Pumping music, dark room, dripping in sweat, riding next to two of my best friends. Honestly, what the F was I thinking wasting so much of my time, brain cells, and hard work the day before??

As hard as it is to muster up the energy to get your butt off the couch when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and cry- do it. Next time you feel like eating your feelings and drowning your sorrows. Stop. Go sweat them out instead.

How do you guys deal with stress and emotions? Sweat, starve, or splurge? I’m vowing to change from a Splurg-er to a Sweat-er.

Well.. that just sounds awkward.

-Emily

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16 thoughts on “Eating Your Feelings

  1. Man, I couldn’t relate more. I’ve always been an emotional eater, but once I moved to LA and things got stressful like whoa times a million, it was way to easy to transition into a worse ED.
    Luckily, things are shaping up now; 24 days of recovery! And I definitely feel way better when I eat right and get my workouts in.
    My abs aren’t awesome like yours yet… but hopefully I’ll get there soon!!

  2. Daaaang, nice abs! I’m an emotional eater when I get upset about not working out (totally counter active, I know). When stress and anxiety get the best of me, I can’t stomach food, and its the complete opposite. And we all slip up at some point in whatever good habits we have going for us. Every day is a new day though and we just have to move on. πŸ™‚ In any case, sorry to hear about your grandmother.

  3. Wow. You just described everything I would do in that situation. Including the all time #1 most wicked awesome sub, The Italian! Although I would’ve added a Kelly’s Roastbeef sandwich with sauce and cheese along with a bianhi’s Pizza
    GD wtf. Why do we do this to ourselves? We could do an EVA WOD and feel way better

  4. Looking at it scientifically (my reputation as a nerd is compensated for by my amazing taste in music), you can either get your daily dose of endorphins from working out or eating. (Well, there is a third option, πŸ˜‰ but let’s stick with the first two). That would explain, perhaps by correlation rather than causation, that on days you don’t workout, you crave unhealthy foods, like chocolate for example. That’s why I haven’t taken a day off since August 29th I think; I think that was the day Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans, so the gym was closed and running was unadvisable, albeit arguably hardcore πŸ˜› Needless to say, we all have our stress coping mechanism, and the sooner you figure out what it is, the healthier you will be, that is, if your mechanism is meditation or exercising, etc., and not throwin’ back 4 glasses of Jack.

  5. Gah – emotional eating is the worst, and I eat emotionally most when I can’t go for a run or burn up some endorphins. The only time I’ve ever really freaked at my boyfriend was when he turned off the alarm and I missed my 6am gym session. No exercise = serious grump. Problem is that at the moment I’m injured – hyperflexible spine and I’ve irritated discs and my pelvis and hips and so it’s intensive physio rehab and NO exercise whatsoever. Except for a bit of a 5K race the other day, which obviously made the injury flare up again. I guess learning to know when NOT to exercise is a skill that I’m still getting to grips with. But it’s a vicious circle- if I don’t exercise I go crazy, and if I do then I feel better but it’s taking longer to get fit so I can get back in the gym properly! Unbelievably frustrating….

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