Eating for Stress Cues

The other day I told my husband I believe I eat too much food out of stress and his response was, “I didn’t know you’re unhappy.” I’m not unhappy–ever since we had our second child in February, I’ve been at my happiest. But I think it’s a common misconception, stay-at-home moms aren’t supposed to experience stress, right? We are with the people we love more than the world 24/7 so how do we know anxiety. Our Western culture is also so enamored with money that the non-money producing spouse is often seen as having the easier, cushier job because we have no economic power. Yet, to care and love for a child means HAVING AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT a.k.a. giving a shit about our kids’ well being and that’s where stress sometimes enters the picture for me.

So, I’m trying to breakdown when I get stressed out so I can become more aware of my emotional eating triggers. Basically, I’ve noticed three situations so far where I want to down all the chocolate hidden in our kitchen pantry:

1) We are running late for an appointment in the outside world and my oldest daughter is not cooperating or the baby needs a diaper change, feeding, etc.

2) One of my kids is hurt, emotionally or physically.

3) I cannot get two minutes to myself as in I haven’t been able to keep the door closed when I go to the bathroom because somebody is asking for something from me.

According to a book review I read in the Wall Street Journal here, cortisol (stress hormone levels) rise in men and women when they feel anxious or under pressure and that causes a propensity to eat junk food. Totally been there.

So the next time I’m late for my daughter’s doctor’s appointment I’m gonna keep a closer eye on my trigger hand and make sure it doesn’t find its way to the pumpkin seeds. Or, try my hardest in the moment because most of the snacks I down I’m not even really tasting.

What about you? Do you know your emotional eating cues?

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5 responses to “Eating for Stress Cues

  1. Oh, how I totally relate to everything you just wrote. Stress and unhappiness are two different things. Being stressed doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy – it means I have a lot of stuff to deal with and I CARE about doing my best as a SAHM. It is not a cushy job! My joke is “I’m gonna go back to work just so I can get a break!” It’s true. You don’t get much time to yourself. Bathroom breaks are stressful, as I’m worrying what my youngest daughter is getting ready to destroy, or the baby starts crying at that very moment.

    The other thing is the exhaustion munchies. I tend to eat when I’m tired. After dinner, when I’m wiped out, I want sweets and coffee – anything to perk me up, to give me enough energy to make sure everybody gets their bath and in the bed. I’m not unhappy – I’m tired and stressed out! Awesome post.

  2. I think there are a lot of reasons for stay-at-home mom’s to have stress. It’s not an easy job, and since we’re so emotionally involved, the stress can be high.

  3. PushDumpFatButton

    Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

  4. Encourage eating to be a “set aside” time. A time for just for eating and conversation and relaxation. The health benefits (emotional stress reducer) are tremendous.

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