Sunday Scenes + Emotional Eating

>> Monday, September 2, 2013

I've always had difficulty when attempting to change my definition of "comfort food." And only recently did I start to understand or, rather, accept that the reason has nothing to do with self control or inability to truly enjoy "good," healthy foods. I fill my belly with plenty of kale, carrots, and other nutrient-dense produce. Comfort food is what it is because it serves an emotional purpose. Even the act of baking itself feeds my soul.

I've read of different methods + tricks to change out of eating my feelings in books + magazines, and, of course, on blogs. Paint your nails (I bite mine). Take a luxurious bath (I hate baths). Walk around the block (I get more than enough exercise). Drink a glass of water (my bladder is already bursting as it is). Eat celery instead (which gets my in the kitchen anyway). Basically, indulge in some other way that doesn't involve food.

And yet . . .

Doughnuts are sort of the ultimate for me when it comes to emotional eating. So, I made them yesterday. And not the healthier baked variety either. I tried replicating the same yeasted fry cakes we get at local farms in autumn. Except I didn't have any cider to go with them, so my experience was somewhat limited.

I guess what this divulges to you all is that it was a rough weekend in many respects. (And, if I'm being totally honest, the rough continues.) Between Ada's impending MRI appointment and all the worry that goes along with it, Stephen's dwindling summer vacation (which ends today), deadlines, a wildly messy house I just can't seem to tame, and a list of other stresses that seems to build . . . because I let them.

Anyway, these doughnuts were good, but not good enough for a recipe feature on the blog. So, I'm making them again soon -- happily. I'll be using pumpkin puree and a bit more sugar next time around. (Yes, even though I bake and indulge in a solid share of comfort food, I do make an effort to use healthy substitutions when they make sense. It's give/take.)

My thoughts toward emotional eating have changed a lot over the years. I can recognize when I'm doing it now, whether it's to mark a dark point in my day/week/month/life or to celebrate some momentous occasion. (Yup! I don't eat just for upset – I eat for joy as well.) But I've started shedding the guilt I used to associate with it which, in turn, has lessened the quantity of food I consume. In some blissful compromise, it seems.

I'm trying in this decade to enjoy food versus battling it. To give myself freedom from guilt and negativity where it's just not necessary to inject. What I'm finding already is that letting go in this way has extended beyond the food to other areas of my life. A "don't sweat the small stuff" reaction, if you will. So, if you're finding yourself in a bad loop, give it a try. I'm still very much in process, but the internal progress is compelling.

Those of you off on holiday today, enjoy! I have some fun stuff in the queue for this week, including more about my month's worth of shopping at the grocery store yesterday. I could hardly turn my cart down the aisles it was so heavy!

Time to cook 24 more meals to accompany all that tangy BBQ sauce. Go!

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