I Will Not Stress Eat

The last seven days have been a mountain of stress for me. Just when everything was swimming along in my life, it was announced that my shift is being eliminated at work. I’m unsure yet as to what this will mean for my employment overall, but you can imagine how news like this can affect you emotionally. Especially when you just had new living room furniture delivered to your house the weekend before, with a large credit card bill coming due.

The first day I was in shock. When I was given the news that morning, I couldn’t sleep. (I work nights, in case you’re new here.) Once I did get a few hours of troubled sleep, I woke up and couldn’t even face the idea of dinner with my family. It’s hard to think I’d ever be too upset to eat, but that was the case for the rest of the night.

I barely ate the next few days as well. The reality slowly sunk in, and while the shock has worn off, the uncertainty at the moment is still very present. It will likely be a few more days before I’ll know the future of my current job situation.

Suddenly the five stages of grief makes sense to me. I went through denial and anger already, and while bargaining doesn’t really make sense in this situation, I know depression is just around the corner. Here’s where I get worried, because depression rarely shows up at my door without a bag of powdered donuts, a pint of ice cream and an extra large spoon. (And as an adult depression also generally brings a box o’ wine along as well, making sure to get the most alcohol for the value. Depression is thrifty like that.)

Before this news hit last week, I was celebrating a new milestone. I finally broke through the 166 pound curse and had officially made it to 165. Since then I’ve dipped down to 164 and even saw 163.8 on Saturday morning. (But won’t officially count it since I know it was partially due to lack of eating while I lived in my head for a few days.) Breaking that plateau was such an accomplishment for me and gave me hope that by the end of my Slim-Fast challenge I’ll reach that goal I set of 158.

So I now find myself scared that all of this uncertainty will destroy the progress I’ve made and send me to the bottom of a fried-dough-and-sugar binge. No matter how much I’m told this job situation had nothing to do with our performance, I still feel like a failure. (Not helped by the news that most of the other two shifts were made company employees while I’ll remain a contractor if I still have a position.) The negative emotion cycle feeds into itself, with any slip on my part interpreted by my brain as more proof of my inability to succeed at anything, which then leads to more self-destruction.

This week’s challenge for myself is to resist the negative self-talk in my head and not give in to stress eating. No matter the outcome of this situation, I can’t let it affect all that I’ve worked for in my personal goals. I’m trying so hard to love myself and reshape myself into a model of good health, and I’m already 80 pounds from where I started.

Failing myself because of the business decisions of men in expensive suits sitting in fancy offices far removed from what I do would be silly. However, that extra large piece of chocolate cake looks like the perfect medication to soothe your soul when your feelings are hurt and depression is holding a chair for you and offering you a fork.

I can be stronger than this situation.

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  1. I understand that struggle. Chocolate cake is not your friend, but it can sure seem like it. I am slowly learning…slowly…that food will not make anything better. My doc found a breast lump and I had to wait for the ultrasound appointment for what seemed like forever, and I definitely fell into stress eating and drinking – though I have to say it was much better than I ever would have done before. I gained half a pound and am glad that was all it was, and also glad to say that the minute I found out the lump was just a lump and not cancer, I climbed right back and started eating well again.

    We have to celebrate the small successes along the way, and I think the fact that you’re aware and determined is a great success. Big hugs. (PS I also feel you on the expensive suit people. I feel like a sword dangles above me every day).

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