Monday, July 16, 2007

Stress Tests

How do you handle stress? I've talked on this blog about my discovery during my Hurricane Katrina exile that I was a stress eater. You'd think I would have known that already but I guess I needed some extreme stress to figure it out.

It occurred to me yesterday that maybe we learn to be stress eaters at an early age and take it with us like a pacifier wherever we go in life. I had a stressful day yesterday. I should preface this by explaining that my mom, who's in her early 80s, moved in with me a couple of years ago. Which has been overall a good experience, though she's so low-fat-hotwired that it makes low carbing a challenge. And a weight nag, but that's a whole other topic.

Anyway, I was pretty well verbally dissed and treated badly by a longterm coworker yesterday. I won't say now what it was about--maybe in a day or two--but I got my little feelings hurt. Then I was angry. Then I was hurt again. After a little crying jag, my mom--bless her--came and offered me an ice cream sandwich.

Ding ding ding.

Bells went off in my head. I don't remember sweets being offered as consolation when I was a child and was upset but I bet they were. And no, I'm not blaming my mom for my weight problems. It's just natural to try and comfort someone when they're in mental anguish.

I opted for some low-carb chocolate--still using food as comfort but less damaging.

What do "normal" people do to console themselves--exercise? Or do "normal" people get upset without ever feeling the need for consolation from something outside themselves? Or do they eat an ice cream sandwich, never fearing it will send them into a binging spiral?

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