So I had a bit of a rough week last week.
Or, rather, I should say that the last half of it or so was kinda rough. I was very anxious to hear back about the Internship of My Life, and I was supposed to hear back from it Friday.
I was not rejected, but the response I got was not satisfying, delaying this process of admission even more rather than giving me an answer.
It was on Monday that I had a realization that even if I got the internship, it was highly possible that I would be placed in a town in the middle of nowhere, and I would be facing the same kind of loneliness and boredom that I did last summer. I am very much afraid of that. Like… whoa.
Anyway, those were sort of the operative things going on in my life, not to mention that I had stuff due for my classes and was almost unable to focus on anything past Friday.
So, I was kinda stressed. And where did I turn?
Yes, the ice cream.
If we remember from a previous post, ice cream has never been a big vice of mine. There’s a point which sweet things just make me nauseous, and I don’t enjoy them as much.
But sugar still ups the dopamine-thingies in the body, so eating ice cream, even if I don’t like it that much, still makes me feel better. So, yeah, I had quite a bit of ice cream last week.
It’s pretty depressing to think that you have at least somewhat handled your stress eating problems and then to realize that all you’ve done at this point was replace the potatoes and salty things with something that you don’t even like as much.
Needless to say I was — am — frustrated. The ice cream and the stress are likely the reasons why I didn’t lose much weight this week.
Of course, the thing that I really need for stress is exercise, and that’s the one thing I really can’t do. Sure, I could go swimming or rowing or lift weights or some such, but… I dunno. I feel like it’s not the same. I do TKD because I intrinsically enjoy it, and I feel like exercising out of obligation or to intentionally relieve stress would only add to it. Maybe I haven’t really given it enough of a chance, but the reason why doing TKD is stress-relieving for me is because I like it so much. There is the added exercise component to it that does help, but I feel like doing something I don’t enjoy just to get rid of stress would be counter-productive.
Finals are around the corner, and I can only imagine my anxiety and stress will increase. I have taken to doing pushups when I get cravings, so perhaps that will help. I don’t know for sure, but I know that, along with potatoes, ice cream is now off the menu.
I had a pretty stressful and sad-making class today. So when I got into the dining hall and found nothing to eat, I shamelessly went and filled up a cup full of frozen yogurt, and that became my lunch.
I fully recognize that this was stress eating, and I will talk in some way about that particular instance later, but I wanted to talk about this article first.
“Emotional Eating isn’t ALWAYS Bad,” is the name of the article which I posted to my facebook page.
The general thrust of the argument is that it’s okay to use food to ease your emotions so long as you do it with presence of mind and you do it efficiently and in a controlled manner.
I pretty much vehemently disagree with this principle. I have come to see emotional eating as on-par with doing drugs. When you’re upset and you go to smoke a joint or drink booze or eat ice cream, you’re knowingly ingest a chemical that you know will make you feel better instead of dealing with the stress and anxiety that got you that way in the first place. You’re covering up your unhappiness instead of changing the situation in which you have become unhappy. To me, that kind of behavior is irresponsible and essentially immoral.
So I’ve pretty much begun to consider emotional eating as equal to ingesting drugs. So to me to say that you can emotionally eat as long as its controlled and you do so with a presence of mine is equally morally wrong as it would be if you said the same of drugs.
I should take time to point out that this is a personal moral conviction. I am not the kind of person who is willing to demand that everyone adhere to my moral code. But this is mine, and that’s what I’m working with.
The notion of guilt
There is a common theme in diet blogs that you DO NOT feel guilty when you end up eating emotionally. There is a certain type of logic to this: if you consume yourself with guilt then you’re more likely to stress eat again and again. So I definitely don’t think it’s a good idea.
But I do think it’s dangerous to not hold yourself accountable for the emotional eating that you do. If you do not recognize that what you have done is wrong, then you have no incentive to not do it again. When you kill someone or when you hurt someone’s feelings, there is an awareness of having done something wrong that you need to have in order to keep you from doing that again.
If you just sorta pass off your stress eating as something that is natural and okay, then you forget why it is that you’re trying not to do it in the first place.
So it’s important to not beat yourself up to the point where you get caught in a vicious cycle of stress eating, making yourself feel bad, and then stress eating some more, but you can’t completely absolve yourself of responsibility for your actions.
Don’t give in to emotional eating. Part of not giving in is not berating yourself into stress eating more. But Part of it is also not absolving yourself of responsibility of your actions. Acknowledge the fact that you just drugged yourself out. Tell yourself that it was wrong (or bad, as the case may be). Don’t forget about it. Don’t let yourself make that instance of stress eating okay, cause it’s not.
But don’t wallow in self-pity. Resolve to do better next time. You can’t really improve unless you recognize and understand what you’ve done wrong.
So back to my frozen yogurt lunch. Do I feel guilty about it? No, but I am acutely aware that I have violated my moral codes, and I am working on changing it so that I can do better next time.
Let’s be honest here: Ice cream is not one of my big vices. As previously discussed, chips are my biggest BIGGEST problem and perhaps right after that are french fries. Sweet things, even before I went on paleo, turn my stomach after a while. So when I say that I went to DQ today and enjoyed a cookie dough blizzard and that it really wasn’t that big of a deal, I want you to understand that I’m being honest.
I went for a number of reasons:
1) I wanted ice cream
2) I wanted to test my hypothesis that I had developed a lactose intolerance
3) I wanted to see if it tasted as good as I remembered
4) I was bored
5) More generally, I wanted to see what would happen.
I have been pondering this idea, since my discovery of some things — mayonnaise — not tasting as good as I thought they would. I want to try several of the different things that I remember being really good, and things that I binged on, and now that my palette has “reset” itself, what they taste like and what they’ll do to my body. My plan was to have a day of this stuff and to make myself sick, but the more I think about it, the more I think that that might not be a good idea. Anyway, so me going to get ice cream was partially an experiment in that regard. Darcy has said that there will be some things, no matter what I do, that will always taste good and not make me sick, and that I need to be prepared in that regard. So this trip was prompted by that as well.
So this is the offender in question. Note that it is a small size, which is actually a pretty big achievement for me. My eyes are very often bigger than my stomach when it comes to ordering… anything. But since I was pretty much expecting this to make me sick, I ordered a small, not without noting that on the sign it said “Get more for your money — ORDER A LARGE!”
I wanted to be aware of what I was feeling, both physically and mentally, as I ate the ice cream so I picked a booth in the back, put on my headphones, and ate with ponderance.
All in all, it was “okay.” As Darcy predicted it tasted good and it didn’t make me sick. It did start to make me queasy after a while, but that was more due to the sweetness than the actual dairy. But I think, before I had the ice cream, I had this vision of it being… better. More satisfying, in a way. This time it was just something that I ingested that tasted really sweet. Since I’m not big on sweets, it wasn’t that great. *shrug*
I didn’t finish it, which is also an achievement for me. I often feel this ridiculous pressure to finish things that I buy to eat. When it’s something crappy I have from my school dining hall or something that I have cooked myself that I can put more for leftovers, finishing isn’t that big of a deal. But when I buy something when I’m out, I always feel like I HAVE to finish it, cause even if I take it home, it won’t taste the same.
A couple of things of note. As I was eating the ice cream, I did start craving something salty. Like pizza. Always pizza.
Anyway, there’s the rest of it.
I don’t really feel guilty about this because I learned from it. I wouldn’t say ice cream is something that is off my menu forever and ever, but it may just be something that I will remember wasn’t as good as I thought it was, and therefore not waste my money on it anymore.
I didn’t really have any after-effects, largely because I didn’t binge. I did go home and promptly fall asleep for 2 hours, but I think that has more to do with my period than the dairy. lawl.
P.S. Looking at the advertisements for hamburgers in DQ had no appeal to me at all, even though I used to LOVE DQ hamburgers.
… to resist “bad” foods. I have been good, but while before I didn’t have any sort of cravings, now they assault me at every corner.
Chiefly, I really really really want pizza.
I’ve been thinking about why the sudden onslaught of carb cravings, and I think part of it is due to stress/unhappiness. The past week has, as I have said, been brutal, just with the amount of stuff that I have to do. And then I went and got sick again, which has made me so upset that I’ve broken down at least three times about it. I just got better — I don’t want to be sick again. So I think that’s part of it too.
I knew that getting back to the stress of school would be hard on my resolve, and I feel like this is just the beginning. Being sick doesn’t help, cause doing TKD definitely helps my stress levels, too. We shall see. I have stayed strong thus far and the sooner I get better, the… uh… better.
One of the things that I was able to do, though, was walk past the Dairy Queen, so I made myself a smoothie when I got home.
It does have half-and-half in it, but I have already said I have a dairy exception for smoothies. It is pretty tasty, though I wish I had thought to put the cinnamon in the blender instead of on top of the smoothie. Lessons learned, I suppose.
Due to my frustrations of being sick, I have been recommended by no less than two people I respect to start taking a multivitamin. Usually I balk at such thing, especially since I have never had a problem with my health before, but considering my change in diet and the fact that I’ve gotten sick twice in the past month, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.
I hate hate hate taking pills, so Natalie recommended that I get gummy vitamins! So here they are. Yes, they are loaded with sugar and glucose. No, they are not really paleo, but I think I will live. In fact, this is to support me living. I think it’s more likely that I’ll take them if they’re in gummy form rather than pill form, so there they are.
With that, I am going to enjoy the rest of my Friday. I got a CSS manual that I am actually looking forward to diving into, so I’m going to go do that.