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24.4.15

Five Things | 'Comfort Eating'

I have a love/hate relationship with food, and do regularly have a problem when it comes to comfort eating. It is something I had to discuss with my doctor anytime I had an appointment about my anxiety and was also a factor when he was deciding which tablets to put me on. I was already quite strict with wanting control over what I was taking, and my only condition was that the side effects can't be 'weight gain'.

I remember going to him thinking I had water retention in my legs and feet. He checked and confirmed that in fact, it was weight gain and not water retention. I was horrified and it was part of that wake up call that gave me the push to sort my life out.

My comfort eating is considered a little different to the 'grab-a-tub-of-ice-cream-and-all-the-chocolate-girly-heartbreak' because it is classed as a form of self-harm. This is due to the reasons why I do it, and what I want to achieve from it.

Anyway, part of my "fight" and whatever against what I am going through is to not give in to the comfort eating temptation. I fall off the wagon, mostly when pizza, pasta, or nachos are concerned...or bread....oh why did I start listing the foods I love?!
When we went to Somerset I was caught in this comfort eating mode and really struggled to get out of it. Although I was able to resist Cheese and Marmite tear and share bread, despite the fact I totally regret not getting any.

Wow, that was a longer intro than I planned! So...here are five reasons why I hate 'Comfort Eating'.
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1. It craves specific foods

Probably one of the most annoying things about comfort eating is that it craves specific foods. Ever been really angry, hurt or frustrated and wanted to just stuff your face and thought "oh yes! I am hardcore. I am going to eat a peach. That will make me feel better and cure this emotional eating pang". Doesn't quite work does it?
Emotional hunger needs an instant hit, which is going to be delivered better by fatty foods like a burger, pizza, or something sweet like the biggest piece of chocolate cake you can get your hands on.
Physical hunger is satisfied with healthy foods, fruit and vegetables...as well as fatty foods too.

2. Bad Skin

Fatty and greasy foods can lead to bad skin. I know that when I'm stressed anyway my skin can react, and this is especially so when combined with a rubbish diet. For me it takes a while and a lot of hard work to get my skin back to normal. In a good way though this does remind me to take care of my skin more, whether or not I am eating horribly or eating well, and to adopt a better routine. However, this then takes getting used to and makes the comfort eating so not worth it.

3. Weight Gain

Stating the obvious, and this is one of the worst things I think about comfort eating. The weight gain. And is the exact reason why it sucks that specific foods are craved instead of salad and fruit. 
I have now found an almost reasonable way around this by tracking when I have bad days, or when I'm out of the emotional fog I am really strict with what I eat and I make sure I exercise as much as possible. It doesn't combat the weight gain but at least helps me have some kind of control.

4. Short-term but with long-term effects

As above really, short-term comfort eating has so many negative effect such as the ones I mentioned. Half an hour or less, or more, of filling your face with horrid food which at the time makes you feel better, will create issues that can then take days, weeks or months to fix.

5. It doesn't fix the original issue

Although whilst eating you may feel some form of relief or comfort, once that is over the initial problem, stress, tiredness, anxiety, or whatever it was that caused you to need to take that form of action, will still remain.
It's so easy to say "Just don't do it" or "Do something else" but when you are in that frame of mind you can't be rational and you don't have time to stop and do something else.