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The Mind-Mouth Connection: How Ignoring Your Emotions can Lead to Crappy Food Choices

11/18/2010

When I opened LiveWriter today, I had plans to take this post in a totally different direction.  It’s T-1 week ‘til Thanksgiving, and I was going to do a Holiday recipe series that will (likely) keep both vegheads and omnis happy.  Then, a funny thing happened…

 

…After I’d polished off the Cashew Goat Cheese I baked up this morning; as I was dipping my fingers into the bowl of leftover buttercream from last week’s muffin-turned-cupcake fiasco and planning to grab a handful of raw almonds on my way out, I realized something.

November is a very emotional month for me.  During the course of this 30 days, just about every milestone in my romantic life took place. And every year, I spend November trying to muddle through & forget my time with the person I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.

 

Today is especially hard.  When I was popping that handful of chocolate chips (I conveniently neglected to mention above), a light bulb went off.  When we bury emotional pain, it bubbles beneath the surface until it boils over. As the pressure built up in my life over the past week, my diet got progressively worse.  More sweets, less greens…until I disintegrated into a pool of vegan goat cheese & semi-sweet chocolate.

 

Now that I realize what’s going on, I have the power to make better choices.  How?

I can address the trauma that’s causing me to reach for sugar & fat (as a pain reliving mechanism) by journaling [or blogging ;-)], talking it out with a fiend, whatever.

I can be more mindful of my food choices until I regain my equilibrium, and re-establish my workout regimen (remember my still painful quad tear?) to get my endorphins flowing again.

I can whip up a green smoothie to jumpstart my detox from the overage of ‘less than optimal’ nutrient-deficient food I’ve been taking in over the last few days.

 

The Moral of the Story

 

When we refuse to deal with our emotions, symptoms of the repression tend to show up in other areas.  If food has any emotional context for you, your diet is likely to be affected.  Listen to your body & be mindful of its signals.  Sometimes that sugar craving is a symptom of something much deeper. Deal with it – when you can, as best you can.  Get help if you need to.  You’re worth it!

 

Have you ever found yourself emotionally eating?  How did/do you deal with it?  Please share your tips!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/19/2010 7:04 am

    Aw, hey I hope you don’t let it get you down. :) Green smoothies are great, I honestly feel so happy when I know I’m doing something good for my body, it automatically lifts my mood.

    • 11/19/2010 3:47 pm

      Thanks Julia!

      Once I figured out what was going on, I released some of the pent-up emotion & started feeling better. Last night I worked out & got my green smoothie on, so I’m definitely more joyous today! I agree, green smoothies just make you feel so very good.

  2. 11/19/2010 7:37 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog site when looking for info abou what to keep in a vegan pantry (that entry of yours is really useful, btw).
    Coming upon this particular post came at just the right time – after a few days of way too much sugar (chocolate) soy lattes (+sugar) and not-vegan brownies, it was really reassuring / refreshing to see someone else say what I’ve known all along – that sugar isn’t the answer – addressing the reason for the “must have more sugar” feelings is the answer. I made a goal to try eating vegan for at least the month of November, and was starting to slip a good bit.
    Thanks for this nudge towards getting back on track with eating the way I *want* to eat :-)

    • 11/21/2010 1:43 am

      Hey AP,

      First off, welcome to the blog! I’m really glad you found something that encouraged/helped you. Believe me, I know the feeling of wanting to do “the right thing” but slipping into old habits instead.

      I think this post might be helpful to you. Just continuing striving. You deserve the best health there is…it’s yours for the taking if you refuse to give up!

      Please feel free to contact me if you have questions. I’m here for you!

      Lena

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