I may have said this before, but I never used to think of myself as an emotional eater. I was wrong, I’m very much an emotional eater.
Oh, I’ve never sat and cried as I ate a bowl of ice cream but when I’m grumpy or not feeling well, I turn to food.
Today I had a headache. You know, one of those vicious ones that progresses from “ooh, that twinge in my head feels like it might become a pain” to “a vice has wrapped itself around my head and is trying to squeeze my eyeballs out of their sockets” in five seconds? Tylenol stopped working for me recently, so I reached for my Motrin and discovered the bottle was empty. Damn coworkers! They know I keep a stocked pharmacy in my desk drawer and they raid it whenever they want! Don’t they know the universal rule that you never take someones last ANYTHING?!
Regardless, I was sitting there with my giant pounding head, foolishly hoping that the Tylenol I begged off of our receptionist would decide to work, and I had a craving. For fast food. I’ve had these cravings before, but they’ve usually occurred while I was watching a McDonald’s commercial and they go away once the stupid food porn has ended. Not this time. It was all I could think about. Specifically, I wanted onion rings and a giant cheeseburger.
The more I tried to talk myself out of it, the more I wanted it. It was like one of those old school cartoons where the angel perches on one shoulder and the devil on the other. I was activly upsetting myself by trying to talk myself out of eating a damn cheeseburger. Then I realized something. I was so sure that eating the burger was going to make me feel better. I was low and hurting, and the food was going to make it better. Was this true? No! But that’s what I felt and I felt it so strongly that I could have cried.
I made a promise to myself that if I still wanted the fast food tomorrow, I could have it for dinner. I could go to Wendy’s and order a chicken sandwich and baked potato with broccoli and cheese (9 points – I looked it up to pacify myself). Giving myself the permission to eat it tomorrow (when I’m feeling better) and only if I still wanted was enough to allow me to drive by the drive-thru window and come home to make a beef stir fry over brown rice – which was delicious and had no emotional strings attached.