Chocolate Escape

No stress, no work, no chores, no errands.  It's just me, the chocolate, and Bachelor Pad.  I sat in front of my TV Tuesday afternoon popping a dozen peanut butter-chocolate snacks my husband had made.  One after the other I devoured them.  When I started asking myself "Why am I doing this?"  I couldn't come up with an answer - so I continued the binge.

When I was done my stomach hurt, but still no answer.  About 30 minutes later, my chocolate coma ended...  I couldn't breathe.  I was having an anxiety attack.  My heart was beating out of my chest, I had to lean up against the wall and slide to the floor where I sat taking deep breaths.

My chocolate stupor was over, my 'high' had faded - and now only the truth was left - my anxiety.  This all has to do with work.  I've been feeling stressed because I literally have two hours of free time a day - and only a small portion of that is time I can spend with my husband.

When I was high/drunk/strung out on chocolate - whatever you want to call it - I didn't have to worry about those things.  I used chocolate as a drug on Tuesday, the same way my husband used his Lortabs.  After he went into rehab for his addiction, he confessed to me that his addiction all started with anixety.  He said the pills gave him confidence to sell cars.  He was able to go out on a limb, be in front of people, and forget the uneasiness he had felt before the pills.

I'm upset I let this happen to myself.  I'm upset my binge-free days are back down to zero.  At this point all I can do is learn from the experience.  I need to deal with anxiety in a more constructive way.  Before I stuffed my face with chocolate I didn't even realize I was anxious.  That's why I need to come up with a way to combat my work-related anxiety before it comes up again.  I need to make time for myself, time for me to at least think I'm spending my life doing more than just sleeping and working.

Any suggestions?  Is there something I can do that's just for me - something to keep me from chasing my chocolate high?
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9 comments:

Anna

Today is a brand new day with no mistakes in it. :)

I deal with major anxiety and I can understand using behaviors to avoid or relieve the anxious feelings. Have you considered cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with anxiety? I am particularly a big fan of Claire Weekes' approach - she wrote a fantastic book called Hope and Help for Your Nerves.

Dr. J

Why is your husband not helping you?? If you were trying to get off heroin, would he just leave some on the counter for you? I doubt it. Explain to him that you need his help. Do not have trigger foods in the house, period. That's my suggestion. I hope it's helpful.

Karen

I think the hard part is that you didn't realize the anxiety was the cause until you had already reached for the chocolate. I have a few suggestions. Next time you want chocolate, come here first and write a blog post. You don't have to publish it, but use words and maybe the anxiety will flow out or you will get distracted or think of us and get over the chocolate. Or, exercise. Even if it is just a 10 minute walk. Or try a bath. (I don't like them but many find them calming.) Or, go for the apple! I am still thinking about that post of yours. I also agree about keeping the stuff out of the house. I know that frustrates my husband; he just told me that again today.

thejourneytofit

Agreed with the above posts.
Talk to your hubby about what's going on and how some foods are triggers. He should understand and support you by keeping those things hidden or out of the house completely. Remove the temptation!

And acknowledging the fact it's anxiety causing the binges is a huge step! If you only have about 2 hours a day, make the most of them. Exercise is a great mood booster and stress buster - even if it's just a long walk. Or dancing around your place with music blasting. Get moving! Chances are, you won't want to eat anything super sugary after you've just worked up a sweat.

Jenn Barley | The KickStart Coach

I love that you open the post with No Stress. And then later on talk about the stress of only have two free hours a day :)

How much do you think the anxiety attack was from the binge or the stressors that caused the binge?

And in what ways, do you think any of the binge relates to the fact you were at your lowest weight the post before?

You are supported! And I love how real you are!!!!

beerab

If there is any way to NOT have this stuff in the house that's your best bet IMO. For me if it's not around I can't have it.

Also if you have free time maybe take up a hobby that relaxes you? So when you think you are starting to feel anxious you can do something to calm you? I know for me, crochet totally calms me down cuz all I have to think about are counting stitches, it's great :)

Tami

I have been there and done just that. I just posted about this today.

Sometimes we give into immediate gratification and we don't stop to ask ourselves how this fits in with our goals for being healthy.

I made a list of non food related pleasures to choose from when I feel the need to soothe myself. It works for me.

Food Addict

This is one of those times I wish I was on wordpress so I could reply to each of your comments. Thank you to everyone... and your sweet thought out comments.

Anna - didn't you tell me you were diagnosed OCD? I think that may play into the anxiety. I will definitely get my hands on that book. I obviously need some constructive tips to combat my anxiety.

Dr. J - I actually had no idea these candies were going to be such a huge trigger for me! There are foods my husband doesn't mind banning from the kitchen - I just had no idea these candies were going to take over everything.

Karen - thank you for all of your ideas. I am actually going to turn it into a little art project ... I'm making a little paper with a list of things to do when I'm feeling like binging. That way, next time... I'll be able to figure out that I'm anxious while doing something constructive exercise/taking a bath/etc.

Danielle - you are so right about not wanting to eat sugary foods after exercising. I need to just make exercise a priority... and all my other healthy habits will follow!

Jenn - I love that you're totally calling me out! After writing my post I actually thought - wait, did I binge because I was anxious or because I'm afraid of losing weight. Honestly, I don't think I know the answer. I think it could be a combo actually. If it is that I'm afraid of losing weight - I'm going to have a harder time moving forward. Still trying to figure out if I should stop weighing myself.

Bee - Thanks for your advice. I am always moving, moving and sometimes I forget to just take some time to breathe and just enjoy the calm.

Tami - I will have to check out your post. I am going to make a list too. I can take a look at it everytime I'm feeling tempted to binge!

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