I have been totally emotionally eating the past month since baby Emma arrived.
It came out of nowhere too, because I had zero troubles while pregnant with food in any way.
I'm talking non-stop eating of cookies, Eliana's M&M's we used for potty training, chocolate, candy, popcorn...pretty much anything sweet and junky.
It starts in the afternoon and goes well into the evening.
It's totally correlated to baby Emma's fussy time. As she FINALLY takes a nap, I'm so freakin' anxious about when she is going to wake up that I just start shoveling food in my face.
Do any of you get bad anxiety then want to stuff it down by eating?
A few years ago it got so bad for me that I would have full blown bingeing every single day. But, I thought I had a willpower problem. I was on restrictive diets and always trying to lose weight or "look more lean." This kind of mentality actually DROVE the eating and made it worse!
This time, as I'm sitting here typing this with a bowl of M&M's next to me, I'm taking the pressure off. I TOTALLY get I'm using food and chocolate to calm my anxiety. Does it work? Sure. Temporarily. What DOESN'T work is beating myself up about it and telling myself I'm so "bad!"
Simply ACCEPTING that right now, in my life, chocolate and Christmas cookies are around, and they're what I've been using to take my mind off of my screaming infant and lack of sleep. Are there other acceptable ways to relieve anxiety and stress? Sure! I also like bundling up in snow gear and taking a walk, which has been glorious.
Here's the thing, we all are human and have emotions, right? And we all eat, right? So, of course we eat with emotions! (I think we first need to STOP making emotional eating "bad!")
My hubby used to comment... "Wow. You're off track."
Now, he says nothing and makes zero judgement. Because he's right next to me with a jar of peanut butter drowning in his own stress from lack of sleep and a fussy newborn. Ha!
And sure, you could say I'm "off track."
Here's the thing- there is no "track" I'm on. There is no on or off track anymore for me. This implies that there is a good and bad with eating and food. And I'm a firm believer that if you start labeling foods good and bad, you're setting yourself up for more binge eating and over eating of those exact foods you're trying to avoid by being "on track."
My brain has been REALLY tempted to get on a diet to try to "control" my sugar cravings.
But CONTROL is not what I need. Controlling my sugar intake will NOT help. Because the sugar is NOT the problem.
My problem is lack of sleep, a screaming newborn, a newly potty trained, spirited 2 year old, hubby returning to work Monday...which is ALL A PHASE. This is normal. It's not forever. I will make it. I also know I will not continue eating M&M's every single day, because it really doesn't honor my body. But for right now in my life, it's OKAY that I want something sweet all the time. Will it last forever? NO. But for now, I'm just going with it.
So, now what?
I'm going to take a deep breath, do some yoga, probably eat some more M&M's before the fussy period of my day starts and lasts for like 8 hours like it did yesterday. And then try not to lose my mind and chill.
Newborn life is freakin' hard. Anxiety during this time is normal and okay. If you or someone you know is struggling with emotional eating or anxiety (they're linked by the way) and need some help letting go of some guilt, send them my way. I'd love to just be a friend or lend a listening ear.
Oh, and please tell me I'm not the only one who eating bags of M&M's when stressed? Comment below and tell me what you do when you're feeling anxious!