As I sat around thinking about blogging topics this week, I realized it has been a while since I have checked in with my mental health. Some weeks, moments of anxiety and/or stress force me to consider my emotions, but the last few weeks have been pleasantly anxiety free. In fact, it's been two months since I wrote this post after finding myself in a not so great mood one morning. So what's the difference between then and now? Did my negative emotions simply disappear?
Back in October I wrote about my thoughts on sugar. I outlined a complex and often hypocritical view point, which I still believe, but have been thinking about a lot today. Let me back up a bit. I've struggled for years with emotional eating and binging (read about my journey here). Once I finally excepted this reality I began working toward a more balanced life, so that most days I now feel "recovered". However, I still have moments where I abruptly swerve off the road. Today was one of those days. For any number of reasons which I have yet to unpack, I dove head first into chocolate chip cookies and ice cream this afternoon. I felt out of control and unable to connect my brain to my body.
I recognize progress because my brain reconnected much earlier than in years past; I am ending the day feeling only a little yucky, but the guilt and feelings of failure remain. On my way home my thoughts turned back to sugar in an attempt to explain what happened. In a world constantly bombarding us with "eat this, not that" messaging, how do we escape the guilt? Is it really so bad to eat an ice cream sundae on a Tuesday afternoon? I still don't have the answers, but I'm hoping my original thoughts guide me to a peaceful night's sleep.
Some people love winter, and I understand why. Fresh falling snow creates picturesque moments, and curling up on the couch with a good book or a nap sounds perfect, but I am just not a winter loving person. Don't get me wrong, I love experiencing all four seasons. I may have my moments in winter, but I also don't have a desire to live in summer year-round. However, the fact still remains that winter brings along its own set of challenges which play directly into my existing anxieties.
Last week I asked you to think about leaving your New Year's resolutions behind for the sake of sanity, and self love. This week, I am trying to take my own advice. I sailed into New Year's Eve weekend feeling strong, and confident in my ability to fight the cultural pull of eating better, or exercising more in 2017, but then reality set in.
I started this blog as a personal project; an outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and anxieties on my continuing journey toward finding sanity in today's crazy, body image obsessed world. I feel my own experiences, plus my professional background, allow me a voice in the larger discussion. I sometimes forget, however, that Finding Normal didn't completely solve my struggles; that in fact, bad food anxiety days still occur, and some days the body I see in the mirror appears in contrast to reality.
Food brain: noun, state of being
1. A condition in which the mind hyper-focuses on nutrition, or feels guilty about recent eating choices
Today I am experiencing food brain.
2. Where my mind floats to during moments of pause and/or silence
3. The opposite of being kind to myself
Synonyms: anxiety, fear, depression
Guilt is my least favorite emotion. It hangs around for hours, potentially days, reminding me I fell short of my own expectations. I know the expectations I put on myself when it comes to being healthy (whatever that means) are often unrealistic and unreasonable.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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