Gluttony for the Downtrodden

The second reason my diet’s not working: The whole world is a hot mess.

It’s not just MY troubles that worry me, it’s everyone else’s. And the world is full of troubles. I worry about my children, my family, and my friends. I know people dealing with severely injured children, financial problems so severe the future looks bleak, illness that saps the colors out of life. I know caregivers caring for terminally ill loved ones, whose days are filled with adult diapers and repeating the same explanations over and over. And over.

I have friends with marital problems so severe they don’t know if they can stay married and sane at the same time. I have friends dealing with old age, watching their formerly strong selves bend and weaken, their bones crumble, eyesight fade and their minds slip.

And I feel the pain of every last one of them, because I don’t know how to look at pain and not feel it too.

And it’s enough to drive me to…well, cookies, apparently. The maple cream-filled kind. And chocolate lava cake. And peanut butter cups…let’s not forget those.

Ah yes. Gluttony. It’s going to do wonders to help my sick friends, the exhausted caregivers, the poor and desperate, the elderly and fragile.

What makes me think indulgence will be the antidote to misery? No, really…I can laugh at myself for being a moron or I can think about what it is I really feel when I choose to eat something phenomenally bad for me.

I think it goes something like this: Woe. Despair. Awfulness.

“Ahhhhh!!!!” (That’s very high-pitched, by the way…angels singing here.)

“Ray of sunshine! Oh joy! Delight will be minnnnne!!!”

Chomp. Chomp. chompchompchompchomp.

Here’s the deal: Bliss is mine for about…10 seconds. That first bite is wonderful, the following bites…not so much. And about 15 minutes later…

Oh agony. Oh my tummy. Why did I do that?

Hm. That was helpful.

A quick googling of depression & overeating shows that overeating has a drug-like effect. We actually do get a little “high” from snarfing down heavy foods…but then the let-down afterward (like a blood sugar drop!) can lead to further depression. (And further overeating.)

Okay, so I need to change. I’ve got to find fun (inexpensive!) things to do other than eat when I need a pick-me-up.

Here’s my ideas: have a hot cup of unsweetened tea, read a book, take a walk, give myself a library break, ten minutes of exercise, give myself the awesome pleasure of finally cleaning out that downstairs closet, ummmm….

Anyone have suggestions? What do you do when you’re trying not to stress-eat?