Friday, 22 November 2013

Emotional eating

I used to be an emotional eater, or so I thought. 

I thought that was way behind me. These days, I am a strong, healthy minded individual in charge of life.. Making healthy choices, exercising, drinking lots of water and just loving life. Till today.

You all know I have 5 kids. You may not know that Hugo also has 5. Thankfully, these kids are grown and some even starting to have families of their own. So they are minimal worry to us. They are on track, relatively happy, and making inroads into their lives. They have focus, a purpose, goals and dreams.

Sometimes those goals don't quite go to plan, and they get hurt. They get let down, misled, and disappointed. They make mistakes, they make bigger mistakes, and sometimes they are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.. A lot. :(  

This is what's happened this week. There is nothing more painful than seeing your children make the wrong choices, and not be able to help. It's a learning curve that they must travel themselves in order to learn the lesson from it, but it hurts. As a mother, it breaks my heart to see, to feel their disappointment, their pain and their confusion at how they ended up where they are. 

Thankfully it doesn't happen often, but when it does, I can't sleep. I can't focus, I can't relax. I eat shit. Immediately. It's like the very moment the adrenaline in my body is called to act, it wakes up and says.. "Mate, can't help you till you throw some chocolate flavoured fat in your face". It springs into action craving crap. I worry, I pace, I wring my hands together, I eat anything that has a high fat content. I want chocolate and I want salt. NOW!

Because Hugo and I ordinarily lead such a stress free lifestyle, this really came as a shock to me today. I have not had these feelings in such a long time, it was really hard to resist. I tried diversionary tactics. I went to exercise class as planned, even though my brain was wanting to rip the pantry apart looking for chocolate chips.

I went for a walk, I drank lots of water, I fed and watered the neighbours dog, I cleaned out the linen press. I drank more water, I watered the plants. It was really hard work trying to divert my emotions to something else. And all day I was cross at myself for being like this. I am usually so together, so strong willed, and single minded. Today, I struggled. Heaps.

I remember when Chuck got diagnosed with his brain tumour, I walked out of the surgeons office and to the service station over the road, I bought a king size cherry ripe.. And almost inhaled it. What's real weird is, cherry ripes are not even my vice of choice, so I don't know where that even came from. But, at the time, I gave in, and started making logistical plans of how I, a single mum of 5, was going to manage a child in dire need of emergency surgery in Brisbane. The Cherry Ripe must have given me some kind of super power, because we survived the surgery,the living away from the other kids and the aftermath that ensued.

Today I didn't give in. I ate nuts, peanut butter, even had a small half teaspoon of butter, but I did not eat chocolate. I did not eat Maccas, or KFC, or Gloria Jeans. I drank soda water, I drank water, I drank green tea, I drank black coffee. But I did not eat chocolate. And although none of this will take away my pain and worry at watching a teenager struggle with the real world, it makes me kinda a teeny bit proud of myself inside. I stood strong. I may have cried, and wasting the majority of a working day, but I didn't, for once in my life, eat shit.

And I'm pretty pleased about that.

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