Saturday, March 15, 2014

Confessions of a Naturalista: Emotional Eating

I never considered myself an emotional eater until after I completed the Daniel Fast.  I've been in denial and truth be told I felt a bit superior to people who accepted that title.  What I've learned about myself is that I don't eat very much when I'm depressed,  and I do eat junk food when I'm stressed or feeling inadequate. Why junk food and not fruit, vegetables and nuts??? Because junk food = comfort food.  Comfort food makes you feel good because it tastes good and is familiar. The problem with eating junk food to ease stress is that it's not good for you, adds unnecessary fat, calories, sugar and salt to your diet and promotes weight gain. Both situations  (not eating and eating junk food) shine light on unhealthy coping skills.

Since 2014 started my stress levels have been through the roof! I think I bit off more than I can chew.  I feel it in my body and I SEE it when I look in the mirror.  Since I've admitted my emotional eater status, I've been making calculated moves to NOT indulge in junk food and look for alternatives.  I bathed in essential oils and salts three times in one week - it was awesome!  I'm also sharing an article (more for me than you) I wrote last year on ways to relieve stress.  I came up with 11 natural and low cost ways to eliminate stress.  I'll definitely be trying all of these out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Stress is a killer and I need to get rid of this emotional eating baggage!

11 Natural Ways to Eliminate Stress:

1.     Eliminate the effect of foolishness on your mind.  You cannot control people, but you can control how they affect you. Turn the volume down on the outside "noise" or mute it altogether.  (free)

2.      Pray/meditate. (free)

3.     Find ways to RELAX: bubble baths, massage therapy, aroma therapy. My favorite essential oils for relaxation are: lavender, chamomile and sage.

4.    Have fun! Watch funny TV shows or movies, go to comedy shows, and hang out with amazingly positive people who are invested in your well-being.  This means there will be no drama or sharing of conversations with anyone who has no right to be in your business (!!!).  (mostly free)


Amazing friends work wonders for eliminating stress
 

5.     Get involved in things outside yourself: volunteer for a cause.  Make sure you are helping somebody with something EVERYDAY. (could be free)

6.     Re-awaken the hobbies or activities you REALLY ENJOY.  Reading, crafts, travel, etc.

7.      Get in the gym or on the track, trail, tennis court, kick ball field, or roller skating rink…. and work it out!  Allow your body to release endorphins that will put some pep in your step and calm your nerves. 


Cricket???



 8.    Don’t let your undies get in a bunch and don’t sweat the small stuff.  If your undies are always bunched up or you find yourself sweating too much….evaluate how you are reacting to people and situations around you.  I consider myself a “reactor”.  I react in some way shape or form (internally or externally to EVERYTHING).  I am learning to TRULY pick my battles and to be less reactive. Thank you Lord!  It’s so much easier this way.  I feel more balanced.  You will still have to address pertinent issues…but the situations will be more controlled. (free)
 
9.  Eliminate/Manage stress factors:  You know what the stress factors are in your life.  I know what mine are, and I have to manage them in order to be sane. (free) Some examples include:
  •  Crazy drama filled friends – who needs the extra drama? Just watch SCANDAL J
  • Pressure from work - set boundaries so you don’t lose your mind or over commit.
  • Hyper children - do not feed them any sugar, make sure they have a well-balanced diet and are in bed as early as possible.  That leaves more down time for you and provides an opportunity to get other things done.

10.   EAT GOOD, NOURISHING FOOD.  This tip is in capital letters because we don’t realize how important our diet is to our emotional and mental health.  We overlook what we put in our mouths and focus on the external stress factors.  Eating well will help.  Stress is an emotional reaction and can manifest in the physical and mental arenas of our lives.

An apple a day keeps the stress away (Robert Couse-Baker)

 
Too much refined sugar, caffeine, salt and dead food puts us on a mood swing roller coaster and does not provide the nourishment our minds and bodies need to be strong, quick and sharp.

11.    Get plenty of rest.  This is something I am still struggling with.  When I do sleep well I can tell the difference! (free)