Tag Archives: overeating

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?


Eating for Power

As a stay-at-home mom I don’t always feel like I have power outside my household. Frankly, I don’t even feel like I have power to take a shower when I want or sit down and relax. The problem is sometimes I don’t like feeling powerless, even when the lack of power is my doing–me saying I want to put my kids first–and I turn to food.

I am powerless, half of the time, to culinary temptation.

I can’t always DO what I want or get my family to behave accordingly to plan so I eat. At least I can choose what food goes in my mouth.

Of course, this power is the kind that ultimately makes me feel like a failure. I look at myself and feel like a sub-par wife/mom/friend/daughter because I’m overweight so when I go out in the world I feel even more powerless.

But I am not a victim: I’m guilty too.

Guilty of not treating my kids and husband with the respect they deserve all the time. I feel powerless so I make them feel powerless too by not listening fully. Certainly, not doing justice to the ideals of attachment parenting. Sometimes I feel like I’m 85% great at fully supporting my children’s needs but that other 15% potential gets wasted. I’m too in my head and not present enough to always parent fully.

Do other moms feel this way too? Because for me the problem isn’t just about eating too much food–that’s more of a symptom–and if I can somehow work out this issue with my weight I truly think I’ll improve as a mom.

Power, it’s what we have as consumers of food and also what we have as parents. I love the idea of attachment parenting because it has to do with not making kids feel powerless. I don’t want my daughters to feel any more powerless then the world already does. As a person so entirely grateful for the gift that is my children not making them feel powerless seems like the least I should do.