Monday, August 20, 2012

Emotional Eating

I write this at an interesting time in my life. I am newly graduated from college with not one, but two bachelor degrees with well respected fields. I am all packed up to move from one small town to another with hope deep in my heart. So why am I so sad?

I have no attachment to my current house. I have a little to the town only because I spent the past four years of my life here and found myself at my own person rather than an awkward high schooler from Oregon. I learned to fend for myself, fight for myself and have started to learn how to fight for others. I am moving to Idaho for the promise of a better life, better company, and better job prospects.

Better is really the key word in that last phrase. "Better Job Prospects". In my town you are very limited to where you can work. In Idaho, there are many more. But let's face it, the economy has taken a toll everywhere. My issues are many and my solutions for my predicament are few. I have two college degrees. I have some experience, but not a terrible amount. I am willing to do just about anything. Right now I'm just trying to stay alive.

In the current job market, it's easier to make a living being a stripper than it is to be part of the health care system. I don't have waiting experience, therefore I can't be a waitress. I don't have janitorial experience, therefore I cannot be a janitor. What I do have is an education. I know I should feel lucky for that, and I do. But it makes me sick to my stomach that I cannot get a job in my fields because they either want a Master's degree or higher or such specific training that I am not qualified enough. Right now the only job hiring that does not require experience is being a stripper. Even then they want talented dancers (of which my clumsy self is not).

So I find myself searching the internet for hours and hours looking for a job that I may or may not be qualified for, and even if I feel I am qualified, the employer does not think so. I have applied to so many places I get confused when I get a rejection letter from somewhere I forgot I applied to.

Ok, enough self deprecation. Let's move on to how this relates to food.

Comfort food is fabulous. There's nothing I love more than a big bowl of creamy mac and cheese. In times like I have been dealing with the past few months, I am in constant want of something comforting. I can fully understand my body's want for all things pasta and cheese. I also know that unless I stop the constant cycle of comfort food becoming regular food, I'll be completely unable to get a job because I will be dead.

Eating for emotional responses is extremely dangerous. You may not die immediately from that Twinkie that feels so good after a break up. But after the forth, fifth, and tenth Twinkie, you may not feel so good. Let's go through the circle of emotional eating:

Step one: Something happens that causes you to feel stressed.
Step two: You decide to eat something comforting to make you feel a little better about your situation.
Step three: You feel better for about 5 minutes.
Step four: You then try on that new pair of jeans and discover they no longer fit.
Step five: You feel sad and in need of some comfort.
Step six: You go back to step two and repeat the entire circle again.

You're essentially throwing yourself into a vicious cycle of hating yourself. It's a very sad, dark and terrible place to be.

My suggestions:
- Keep comfort food to an absolute minimum. This doesn't mean say no all together, because then you'll crave it.
- Learn what a serving size is and only have one serving. You are only one person, don't eat for 5.
- Seek a healthy alternative like going for a run when you're mad or drawing when you're sad.
- Seek healthy comfort foods. My favorite is red bell peppers and hummus.

The biggest thing that I can't support enough is looking at yourself through a clean lens. You may not like what you see, but be honest with yourself and love yourself anyways.

No comments:

Post a Comment