Friday, February 8, 2008

Emotional eating

I was watching a story about Lynn Bering this morning on CNN. Her blog is here. She was talking on CNN primarily about emotional eating. It made me think about me, a little... to what extent do I still do this? Certainly it's the story of much of my life, sitting with a book in my hand and whatever's on hand to eat, shutting out the world. I don't do that any more, not really, although it's still true that if I have something to eat, I'm also happier if I have something to read. But that's not emotional eating exactly, although certainly anyone talking about the habit-based parts of eating would say, turn off the TV, put down the book, focus on what you're eating instead of shoving food into your mouth. I suppose I'm still a bit guilty on that one.

I don't know what would happen in some world that was different from this. I'm not so hungry these days, and when I am, it's a "good" hunger, a real hunger. But in the year between moving out of my old house (and marriage) and Michael coming, I was right back to sitting with a book and a pile of food. You know it's not a good thing when your 11 year old son tells you that eating chocolate is not going help anything. (Easy for him to say; my changeling child doesn't like chocolate!) Without Michael, would I be back to square one with this?

I think I make better choices these days, and its partly because my habits are different. But in truth, those habits are partly different because of having someone else to care about. Would they stay? Unanswerable questions, I suppose. I see that it's harder for Michael, a lot harder. In particular, that connection between anxiety and wanting to eat (especially sweets) is strong for him. And boredom eating, the habit bits. These days, it's my goal never to say, do you really want that, because he takes it wrong. But what I mean is, if you want to win the food battle, you have to think about what you eat and why. There's absolutely no way of eating that's going to succeed against the forces of boredom and anxiety and depression, not really. All those extra things just add way up too fast.

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