I suffer from a long history of depression, anxiety, and disordered eating. However, I had it mostly under control for years. Then my mom died, and suddenly I'm dealing with copious amounts of "normal" grief.
Because of my aformentioned history of mental illness, I struggle with trying to figure out what is normal grief, and what is extreme of me. I've come to the conclusion that everything I'm going through is normal grief.
My depression and anxiety issues have reappeared, but I think that most "normal" people have issues with these when a loved one dies. It may be more extreme for those of us who already struggle with these, but I doubt it. Anyway, I digress.
The third issue... disordered eating? That has never gone completely away for me, but I had it shoved under the rug for a bit, disguised as a "healthy" preoccupation with Weight Watchers and other various diet plans from late 2009 to early 2012.
My WLJ in a nutshell: I lost a lot of weight with WW and other diet programs in 2010 and early 2011 (from 220+ to 144), then slowly gained back about 20 pounds by 2012, but felt pretty comfortable around 165... Then shit hit the fan in May and I got back up to 209 within just a few weeks. Since then, I've been trying really hard to at least NOT GAIN ANYMORE. I lost a few pounds, gained a few back, etc. I'm around 197 now, after six months of this...
A lot of this crazy imbalance has to do with COMFORT EATING.
This is not a normal thing to do, I realize. Eating my feelings away, eating to numb myself, eating to supress, eating to distract, eating to remember, eating to forget, eating to ease lonliness, eating to procrastinate, eating because I feel guilt about the procrastination... etc.
But it is actually normal for grief to affect one's appetite and to change one's eating habits. Some go to this extreme, of emotional overeating, but others go to the opposite extreme and have to have folks remind them to eat. (Is it wrong that I'm jealous of those people? YES, probably.)
But here's the thing: I'm comfort eating wrong. If the goal of my comfort eating is to improve my mood, to help make life a little bit happier, or at least a little bit easier, then I'm eating the WRONG things.
According to my extensive internet research, these are foods that will actually help improve mood:
- whole grains
- FRUITS, especially bananas
- dark chocolate
- salmon and halibut
- potato chips (dip optional)
- corn chips
- snack cakes
- toaster pastries
- french fries
- macaroni and cheese
I probably will not hop off of the vegetarian train to try the fish, but who knows, I may some day. Not at first though, and I will let you guys know WAY beforehand if I decide to do that.
At this point, I'm thinking that I'm planning to stay vegetarian for now, and may even go back to vegan eating soon, or at least have several vegan days per week.
Also, another good thing for mood improvement: MOVEMENT!!!
Which is another thing that I've let slip lately.
It's crazy that to improve one's mood one must eat healthy foods and exercise, and yet whenever I'm in a bad mood I want to do the opposite.
It's time to do it right.
Are there any foods that you eat that you do so for comfort reasons?
Any healthy foods that you find actually DO improve your mood?