Life has gotten in the way of my best intentions, where diet is concerned. Well, no, not really. I have gotten in my own way.
It seems that I do, in fact, eat as a form of escape from strong emotions. I don't eat when I'm bored, but I do eat when I'm angry, or sad. I seek comfort in familiar flavours, textures and scents. I remove myself from the world and live only in the moment, in my tastebuds.
I love food, and I always will. Using it as a distraction from life never helps in the long term. In fact adding guilt and stress about overeating to my emotional state definitely just makes things worse.
There have been some real stresses in my life, through February and March, and I haven't dealt with them well. I have gained weight, and kind of quit trying to do anything about it.
The most devastating event was the death of a friend. She was a beautiful, charismatic 27 year old woman, a nurse who was also the mama of two sweet little children. I knew her for a long time on a message board before I met her in person, almost as a fluke, in the maternity ward when I had my third child.
She and I kept in touch mostly by Blackberry messenger, and went for coffee from time to time. We had a lot in common, and similar struggles in our lives, so our conversations were always very meaningful. She was so generous, and expended her energy, time, focus and love on others.
We spoke on a Saturday and then again on Sunday, trying to finalize our plans of getting our kids together for a playdate and spending a day together. And then on Monday, she went out to an oil lease near town, and shot herself.
I feel crushed. I wish she had let me help, or let someone help. I knew about the stresses in her life, and I knew she was feeling defeated by some of them, but I had no idea things were so bad. Taking your own life is bad enough, but to end it so violently, and so *finally*... It has really impacted me.
I also have an infant who has been sick and miserable, with a croupey cough and a stuffy head. That necessitated me taking last week off work. There was little sleep, and I struggled to keep things done around the house while needing to hold her upright so she could breathe.
She started to get better, and then the other three got sick. Fevers, runny nose, and a nasty wet cough, with the moods to go with them, are the story of my life. I'm home from work still, and we'll see what this week brings.
I know I can't rely on food to make it all ok. I KNOW it doesn't have that power.
I'm trying to spend some more time talking to God about all of this, because that is the only helpful starting point.
And I'm texting a girlfriend what I eat, before I put anything in my mouth. Today, I've sent her: "Small bowl of multigrain Cheerios, skim milk", and "I want the leftover chicken. Making oatmeal with skim milk and strawberries."
She is sending me her eats, too. Maybe having to tell someone about every bite will remind me to make healthy choices. And maybe I'll talk to her about why I'm eating, instead of just dealing with the emotions on my own and running for the fridge.
The fridge is not a good counsellor. More of an enabler. Here's to the rest of my diet week.
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