Food response to stress

This morning I intended to fast until about noon or 1pm, by then I’d hit the 16 hour fasting period. Here’s an observation that I made sitting here at my home work desk.

I woke up about an hour early today, so I decided to work on finalizing some paperwork that I need to send off. As I did the work, I noticed that I had missed a few other deadlines that were buried among the pile of paper. I also had a moment where the Mrs kind of scolded me for putting a stamp on something. She was mistaken and realized it, but here’s the thing I want to point out about all this.

Paperwork always makes me feel stressed out. I hate having to do license renewals, passport renewals or having to dig up and write checks. I’m used to doing everything online and when I have to resort to actual paper processes I get really frustrated really fast. I have extremely low patience for things of that nature. I also don’t like being scolded, especially erroneously.

Though I may not react externally and express my feelings, it makes me feel extremely frustrated. I don’t like being nagged or yelled at, especially with the tone of voice that only our family members, especially spouses can take when scolding. That really irritates the hell out of me. Add to that the fact that I was already frustrated due to the paperwork itself and a few other personal things that I’m not at liberty to discuss.

In any case, here’s the real observation, IT MADE ME WANT TO EAT. I wasn’t necessarily hungry, my stomach wasn’t grumbling or anything, I just wanted to chew and swallow. This is an important thing to note because how many times a day do people like me stuff their mouths full of food, not because they are hungry, but because they are stressed out, angry, or frustrated about something?

Even as I prepare for work now and think about this, I want to be eating. This time that I’m using to write could be used to make some food. I don’t think this is a physical need, but an emotional response to the stress. Some people need alcohol or drugs, some of us need food. Isn’t that interesting?

The most important take away from this all is that I identified the problem, I caught it and didn’t give in to the desire to simply chew and swallow when I’m not particularly hungry. Mind you, I’ve already been fasting for about 12 hours, so it is understood that I might be a bit hungry, but not the way my mind was trying to convince me that I was. Try and identify what triggers you to overeat, be aware, and this could get you closer to your fitness goals.

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