Thou shouldst eat to live, not live to eat.

Last night Mike and I were having a difficult conversation, and in the middle of it all I kept thinking about food. (And the conversation. I was still focusing on the conversation. I can think about more than one thing at a time. Yay for multitasking.) Was I hungry? No. I wasn’t hungry at all. I just wanted to eat to make myself feel better. I kept imagining bread sticks from the Olive Garden and brownies and chocolate cake and bread sticks and popcorn. And bread sticks. (Notice that my food fantasies are very carbohydrate-heavy.)

I am, unfortunately, one of those people who eats when I get stressed. I think it is far more desirable to be someone who doesn’t eat at all when she gets stressed. However, that is not my lot in life. (Except those rare moments of extreme stress that only come in times of personal crisis. During those, even I, the queen of comfort eating, cannot eat. But that hardly ever happens.) I didn’t actually eat anything last night, which was good. But that always seems to be my fallback position. I had a bad day? Bring on the chips and salsa!

I come by this pretty honestly – my dad is bad about comfort eating, too, and I eat just like he does. Except, he would tend more towards honeybuns and ice cream, whereas I only want sweet stuff if it’s chocolate. Honeybuns are a waste of my time. I tend to crave salty stuff. You know, like bread sticks.

There’s not really a point to this. I just noticed how easily I defaulted to that last night. Visions of carbohydrates dancing in my head. I am sure there are people who say instead of indulging I should exercise to distract myself. Or journal. Or take a walk. Or just use mind over matter. Those things are all good, but they wouldn’t work in the midst of a hard discussion like last night. And, generally speaking, I have been doing a little better about realizing when I am eating because I am stressed, so I can’t really complain.

So, to those wise people I say, please pass the popcorn. (Don’t forget the exta butter.)

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12 Comments

  1. Shelby

    I had a bad day at work yesterday….I came home and made kettle corn! I should have saved some for you!

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  2. You should have. I will be there after work tonight, instead. 😉

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  3. I do this as well. I also pursue retail therapy.

    For anyone thinking that I’d get both from Mom … no. I got both traits from DAD. Considering that Dad is the prototypical gruff male engineer with zero discernible personality—other than making you feel two inches tall when you’re being an idiot—at work, I’m frankly shocked at it, but it’s the truth.

    At least you’re realizing it, Kari. I think that would be the first step to breaking the habit. [I rarely realize it; I only notice when I’m hitting my local Chinese place too much.]

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  4. I don’t do the retail therapy thing at ALL. I hate shopping. I do the “reading-as-escape” though. I can tell I’m stressed when I’m reading really light/trashy stuff a lot. No thinking required, happy endings a guarantee.

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  5. trey

    I default to smoking.. I always think about smoking in stressful situations.. its my curse..

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  6. Kari, I dont know if they have Pat and Oscars out there, but they have THE best bread sticks. Mind you, I love OG bread sticks as well, but, if you want the really buttery, yummy, melt in your mouth kind, its Oscars. 😉 (I mean really, thier web sit is http://www.breadstick.com/ !)

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  7. okay I checked… I didnt know they were a Ca only place. Sorry to be a tease.

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  8. It’s probably a good thing. I can’t control myself around breadsticks. hehe.

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  9. Trey thinks that driving with me in the middle of the night is stressful, clearly.

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  10. I totally understand. I am such an emotional eater. Tonight especially. It’s a great thing I have no chocolate in the house.

    Posted 8/31/2004 at | Permalink
  11. Roger

    Butter Lover’s Popcorn is the only way to go!
    (stressed or not. Hehe)

    Posted 9/1/2004 at | Permalink
  12. trey

    shut it morris.. I was having a week moment.. plus.. we might have needed them had that storm gotten any worse.. hehe

    Posted 9/1/2004 at | Permalink

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