Fasting – Lack of Distraction

I think I used food a lot for distraction. Distraction from stress, boredom, unhappiness, fear, anxiety, etc. For my young life, I ate pretty much what I wanted. I was never fat, but also never thin. Now, I’d love to be that size. Isn’t that the way? The first time I gained weight was in a bout of post-breakup depression. I remember using food as a distraction from the sadness. I’d go to lunch with my sisters or friends, and be distracted from the loneliness. I’d go to dinner with friends to have other connections, and something to do. I remember a feeling of comfort washing over me as someone would ask if I wanted to get dinner. I’d even sit at a restaurant in the afternoons studying, and I’d eat food to distract myself from studying!

Now, I’m not saying I’d be a healthy weight if I’d never suffered through that breakup. We weren’t right for each other. But I’d never suffered the loss and embarrassment associated with a breakup before. I think if this relationship had ended in high school, I would have handled it better. In college, most of my friends were away at school or worked during the day. And I was only in class when I was in class. And I had a ton of free time. It left me little connection time with anyone, after a lifetime of constant connections, and gave me a ton more freedom to eat what I wanted when I wanted. And sugary alcoholic drinks only doubled my bet.

But here I am, and now I think I’m addicted to using food to distract me. Now there’s less loneliness. Less general sadness, although I think everyone has sadness in their lives, maybe fairly regularly. But more stress, more anxiety, more of a “am I wasting my life” feeling you don’t have in your 20s. But also, so much more boredom, especially at work. I’m busy, but, honestly, the work week is too long. I have a thought-heavy job, that requires focus on detail, persuading others, talking out complex scenarios, etc. After about 6 hours, I’m spent. If I don’t have some menial work to fill those last few hours of a workday, it’s PAINFUL to try to stay motivated. I look for a distraction, and point of procrastination. And I think fasting is going to allow me to find other ways to fill that time. Maybe I’ll do better keeping a comprehensive list of tasks and projects. Maybe my desk will be cleaned more often. Maybe I’ll spend my time journaling through a problem – writing has always been a good avenue to discover solutions. But if I’m fasting, I don’t eat. So that distraction method is now gone. How do I learn to deal with it will likely shape my future success with eating.

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