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Eating my feelings?


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Everyone needs a good cry now and then, but I have been crying on and off for 3 days now. I've had a very stressful work week, but this is just not normal. It scares me to think that I'm reacting so emotionally to stress because for the first time in years I can't stress eat my feelings away. Could this be why? Could my hormones also be going a little crazy because of the shift in what I'm eating?

On top of the stress, I planned poorly for today's meals and am starting to doubt whether this is sustainable as a life choice for me. Working from 8 am until 6 PM and then going straight into a 4 hr class requires packing all 3 meals and it's been really tough. It seems so bleak right now and I'm hoping someone can talk me off the "I want to quit this right now" ledge.

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Well you know there is only one way going of that ledge ends: a big ole nasty bloody SPLAT.

It's really just a shame that our food system is so broken that a person cannot just eat at a deli or diner conveniently without getting some of the lowest quality, most highly adulterated "food" imaginable. It's just not right. And it sounds like a real pain in the ass to leave the house in the am with a whole days worth of food, I can see why you're frustrated. I had a few days where I was angry at this program for taking away my "comforts" (namely rice, booze and my vaporizer). And let me tell you trying to stress eat a piece of chicken is just never going work. But for me, I somehow coped without my crutches and vices, and *cue the cliche* I am stronger now for it.

I have no answer for your other questions about hormones but don't worry someone will soon. In the mean time what I recommend is to laugh and/or dance. I'm not gonna lie, I watched a funny kitten video on YouTube the last time I was so cranky and it actually worked.

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I'm not sure what day you're on in your W30 but yes I found myself much more emotional at different points. And yes, this lifestyle takes work and planning but it will eventually feel more like second nature and you will find ways to source compliant foods when things get hectic and you forget or don't have time to pack. Most any restaurant around you can get a salad, skip the cheese, croutons and dressing and ask for a poached or hardboiled egg, in a pinch it'll keep you going.

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It really does get easier as you build habits. Changing habits -- especially when you're stressed out or don't have lots of time -- is really hard. If it doesn't work for you now, don't beat yourself up, but I really would try to keep going if I was you. It's ok to have a hard time. I think the other thing I've been learning (partially through Whole30, partially just through life) is that it's ok to have feelings, even bad ones. It doesn't mean I'm out of control, it just means I'm processing things.

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Hi Kimmy, hang in there it will get better, I promise. W30 is designed, among other things to get our hormones back on track, sometimes it can be a bumpy ride getting there. Also, coping with emotions without stress eating can be really hard. I think we tend to underestimate how hard it can be. I used to work with recovering drug and alcohol addicts and they all said the same thing - once you get over the physical detox the hardest part is facing up to all your emotions without being able to dull them with your drug of choice but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Stress eating has a lot of similarities. As you so eloquently put it, we eat our feelings. I think we've all done it. I remember on one occasion, standing in my kitchen, so angry, I was literally cramming food in my mouth without even tasting it and I think I ate my weight in chocolate going through a divorce. Take those props away and it takes time to learn to deal with stressful feelings without them. It does, as others have said, become easier as it becomes a habit and the healthier we eat, the easier it becomes to deal with these feelings.

Now on top of all that, you also have practical difficulties in packing 3 meals a day. I really admire you for doing this, for taking control of your health under these circumstances. You must be an awesome planner to have got this far and that too will get easier. Be kind and gentle with yourself and all the every best in your continuing journey. You can do this because you're worth it.

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About the packing for 3 meals a day, some advice...

Buy yourself a nice sized cooler! and some user friendly containers. I have had to learn how to pack up for 2 days of eating at a time (I work out of town on the weekends as a ski instructor and the food at the lodge is below subpar) And have to do this while toting two children and their food/snacks as a single parent. It's manageable!

I also cook up a lot of food at once and pack it up in my user friendly containers after i have cooked it so my "left overs" are already arranged for subsequent days. There are some great food ideas out on the forum, I just cook 4x the amount making my regular work week easier to prepare as well.

You can do it!

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Thanks so much everyone! Your words and support really helped. Kirsteen, you really struck a cord with the addiction reference. It's so true! And kind of scary! The day I wanted to give up became the day I realized just how much I need to do this. Pretty powerful stuff.

I pulled my boss aside today, we talked through the stressful situation, and I came out relieved. The result of confronting my feelings head on was better than a pint of Ben and Jerry's :)

Oh and by the way I'm about to finish day 13 and wouldn't you know, the last two daily Whole30 emails have been about stress! Apparently I'm not the only one going though this, which makes me feel a little better. Thank you all again!

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I definitely had some emotional moments last w30! My husband and I went through a really rough patch together. I had moments where I thought I would freak out if I couldn't emotionally eat sugar, etc. I didn't though and stuck with my W30 and have come out the other end SO much better mentally with food than I ever thought I could be. I am four days into my second W30 with the goal of conquering even more food demons.

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So glad to read these posts today. I'm going skiing next weekend I had already started getting a bit worked up over what I would eat. I'll be just starting the reintro process.

I'm going to borrow a small cooler from friends and bring lots of pre-cut foods to put into salads, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, etc.

We can do it!

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