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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