What brought this all on is this Ask Aunty Fatty post. A woman writes in to ask how she can stop grief eating, Aunty Fatty points out that if she does have a binge eating problem she can deal with it later, right now she shouldn’t feel too guilty because she is going through some seriously crap stuff. So comfort eating. I’m not talking about people who have eating disorders here, I’m talking about something all of us do. I’m talking about having a chocolate bar when you are feeling down, eating mac and cheese when you are feeling homesick, saying it’s because I’m PMSing or a thousand other things.
Comfort eating isn’t a problem for me. Oh I do it, I do it bloody often, but it isn’t a problem and I don’t view it as a problem because sometimes I need a little bit of comfort. Most of the time my diet is reasonable well balanced and I exercise often, even if it isn’t in a gym. I’m kind of healthy. I’m not supper healthy but I’m not ill, injured and I get my vitamins. But sometimes the balance gets upset for one reason and another.
I’m constantly upsetting my balance. Probably has something to do with the depression. While suffering from that depression and juggling with my dosage I was walking around Huddersfield on my way home from, of all things, receiving my certificate that said I was now a qualified Girl Guide Guider. I was happy, a little lonely after the long bus journey. Then some very drunk girl called me a ginger bitch.
Then I went home, cried about it, and was miserably unhappy. I was having thoughts about not ever getting out of bed again and death and all sorts of unhappy shit. When the sane half of my brain finally managed to talk me round I got up and did three things guaranteed to make me a little cheerful. First I sent an email to Stephen (in our pre-boyfriend-girlfriend days) then I decided which disk of the Jeeves and Wooster box set would be most likely to cheer me up then I went out and bought junk food.
It would be more effective to work on my self esteem, figure out my medication, or at least dye my hair a nondescript colour but I needed a quick fix, I wanted a pizza and I like my hair. The balance can be sorted out when I don’t need to buy myself 3 hours of unhealthy Jeeves and Wooster filled happiness.
Have you ever walked a tightrope? I haven’t. I’ve done it on the Wii though, your weight slips to one side and the little guy on the screen starts panicking. What you then have to do is acknowledge that and, as soon as you can, try and get your balance to the middle again. What you can’t do is dwell on the fact that you are off balance, otherwise the little guy falls.
What I mean by that extended metaphor is to say yes, acknowledge that you are eating too much pizza but don’t dwell on that. Sometimes you need too much pizza. You can go back to pizza in moderation later, when you aren’t so sad or angry or just in need of a treat.
Or in the words of Aunty Fatty:
“And if it turns out that this doesn’t help, and you really do just need to eat nachos and ice cream for a few months, while you get through what is probably the most difficult time in your life? Then by god, you eat nachos and ice cream for a couple of months”