Wednesday, October 29, 2008

#20 - Fighting "Mood Food"

The other day I was driving home from an appointment and along the way I started thinking that I wanted something to eat. Now, you all know me well enough to understand that when I'm driving AND thinking of something to eat, it's usually not because I'm hungry. To be honest, I've been in a little funk lately. This funk usually happens at the change of season and it doesn't matter if its a hot season turning to cold or a cold season turning to hot. Something just happens and for a few days I feel in the doldrums. Thankfully, as quickly as this feeling comes upon me, just as quickly does it leave.

Speeding along the highway, I try to fight the feeling of wanting "mood food". To this end, I turn my thoughts to my woman's group meeting earlier in the week. For this meeting, I had asked a local yoga instructor interested in healthy eating and healthy emotions around food to be our guest speaker.

During our meeting she taught us, among many lessons, how to try to stay with the moment. She told us not to give in right away, to stay with the feeling and to try to figure out what was driving [no pun intended] us to eat. So, being in my seasonal transition funk, I explored those ideas. I asked myself a number of questions like, what was it that I was feeling and was there something I did, or heard, or didn't do nor didn't hear that set me off. I dug deep, but I couldn't put a name to this je ne sais quoi [french: literally meaning ‘I don't know what’, an intangible quality that adds or makes something attractive or alluring].

Meanwhile, off the exit ramp I drive and I start to pass WAWAs, 7-11s, Dunkin Donuts and many other potentially dangerous food establishments. I just can't seem to figure out what it is that I want to eat. All of a sudden I realize that the reason I'm having such a hard time trying to find THE food is that perhaps this feeling is not treatable with this form of medication.

-- I realized that there is no food that is going to cure what ails me. The cure comes from within.
-- I realized that this realization, in itself, was a great feeling
-- I realized that I had finally graduated from emotional eating 101 and could now move onto emotional eating 102.

I realized that what I needed to do was to grasp with my mind that which the soul desires. And that which the soul desires is peace and serenity. The rest of the drive home was just that. No thoughts of food. No desires to fill that "empty space". My soul felt free and light and that lightness filled up my empty space. As I pulled into my driveway, I realized that my seasonal funk may have just had its last day.

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