A Lesson In Emotional Eating

“Women turn to food when they are not hungry because they ARE hungry for something they can’t name: a connection to what is beyond the concerns of daily life … but replacing hunger for divine connection with Double Stuf Oreos is like giving a glass of sand to a person who is dying of thirst. It creates more thirst, more panic.” Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God. 

I Have Emotions. I Eat.

It just so happens that a 6-week food detox won’t automatically fix decades of poor eating habits. I feel like my life class has given me a mid-term exam and I’ve barely passed.

I’d give myself a C. (Maybe a C-)

After my detox was over I started dabbling with a little honey as a sweetener and some dairy, in the form of organic half-and-half for my coffee. Without realizing it, I started increasing the amount of honey I was using. I then started craving more sweets, even indulged in a couple ice creams (curses, Sonic!) and oatmeal cookies that the Mr. brought home. My sleep is starting to suffer, I’ve gone back to sleep aids and experiencing some depression.

The last couple weeks have been particularly stressful… preparing one of our houses for sale, getting the boys ready for their senior year of high school <wipes away tears>, and resuming homeschooling with my 8th-grader. I’ve been ‘too busy’ for my daily walks (although I’ve had plenty of time to finish two novels and report who went home on Project Runway.)

Then the other day a pop quiz landed on my desk and I totally bombed it. I was trying to mentally sort through an emotional friendship situation and couldn’t decide if I was sad, nervous, relieved, confused, inspired… I was one discombobulated lady.

So I turned to food, finding myself binge-eating brownies at 1 am. I don’t mean 1 or 2 brownies. I’m talking FOUR thick, rich, mind-numbing wedges of chocolaty paradise. (Which I should’ve have allowed in the house to begin with.)

I woke up feeling a little ashamed and hung-over, but have decided I have two choices:

  1. Wallow in self-pity and ride this roller coaster right off the track, or…
  2. Look for a redeeming lesson

I Choose Redemption.

I’ve been doodling in my notebook during this life lecture because I already ‘know it all.’ But, thankfully, class isn’t over and I’ve got the rest of my life to keep seeking truth. I’ve learned that I need to keep working on healthy ways to process emotions. I’ve learned that sugar really is a drug and that a little makes me want a little more until a little more isn’t enough. I’ve learned that sugar and caffeine truly effect my sleep, and that lack of sleep makes me ‘mean mommy.’

I’ve learned that brownies, even my friend’s famous, universe-shifting brownies, will only give me an upset stomach/brain/heart when eaten in obscene amounts.

I will always be learning, moment by moment, day by day… dealing with the fact that life is more than avoiding pain and seeking pleasure, that it will never run out of opportunities to test me, that the final semester never really ends.

 And that sand will never, ever be an acceptable substitute for water.

<readjusts book bag and heads to class>


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