Soothin' the Beast Within
The other day at my Weight Watcher meeting something Sadie Dupris says catches my attention. Sadie’s town librarian here in Mahoosuc Mills, but mostly they keep her on ‘cause she’s a ringer for the town bowling team. Thanks to Sadie’s prowess, we’ve had one of the top three teams in the Franklin County Employees Bowling League for a couple of decades now. (Poor gal doesn’t know her Dewey from her decimal, but darn, she’s one heck of a bowler!)
So at the WW meeting, Sadie shares that because she had to have an emergency root canal, she’s had a tough week on “the Program.” “Everything they say about root canals is true,” she says. “Since I felt like I was dying, I ate like I was dying.”
Now as an emotional eater myself, I totally get that. Being hungry has so little to do with whether I want to eat something or not, or if I want to keep eating once I start. It don’t matter if I’m already full or satisfied. No, in fact it’s hard for me to even figure those things out for myself. (That’s why I like havin’ the WW’s guidelines. They keep me in line.)
See, food is something I’ve traditionally use to sooth the beast within. If I’m sad or mad or anxious, food, especially sweets, make me feel better. I don’t know why. We ate alot of sweets growing up, so maybe it reminds me of bein’ a kid again, safe with no worries.
In terms of emotional eating, one of my biggest triggers is being tired. Personally, I like getting eight hours of sleep a night. Seven’s okay, but anything less than that, and I’m cranky as all get out, slogging around in a fog. The whole day just feels kind of off kilter.
From what I gather, this whole Country’s not getting enough sleep. Frankly, that makes me nervous. I don’t care who you are, the President, doctors, truck drivers, bankers, a mom in her mini-van. How the heck can you do your best if you’re pooped?
In fact, we’re so out of whack in the sleep department people actually brag about it. Like it’s a good thing. “I need six hours of sleep a night, tops.” Or, “Only got four-and-a-half hours of sleep last night, worked all day, and I did a pretty good job.” You better hope the person saying that isn’t the dentist doing your root canal, right?
Now, I’m a pretty social person, but the other thing that’s dangerous for me, is not havin’ enough alone time. You know, just being quiet, chillin’ out. My friend Celeste calls it, “pulling in the dock.” Hey, I love being out in the world, talking up a storm as I’m cashiering down to the A&P or hanging with the gals. But that has to be balanced out with down time, or you know what happens. I get burned out, and the next thing I know, I start piggin’ out.
Been thinking alot about this lately now that I’m on “maintenance” with the ol’ WW. And I realize that when I’m mad, sad, anxious, tired or burned out, I feel kind of disconnected from myself. You know, my best self. And somehow in my twisted mind, I think some salty, buttery popcorn with a Ben & Jerry’s chaser is gonna make it all better. Fat chance.
So maybe, in a way, I am hungry. Hungry for some kind of connection to myself.
Wow! All that philosophizin’s made me work up an appetite! Time for my 3 point snack. Let’s see, strawberry cheese cake yogurt or a Weight Watcher’s Oh, So Nuts! snack bar?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!