Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Do You Spell Relief? C-A-K-E

Birthday cupcakes- dancing shoes
Yep, that's right. I'm stressed and I tried to find relief through cake this week.

Granted, it was my birthday weekend so the cake was mostly birthday cake leftovers.

But yesterday at work (the school) there was a trip to the donut shop with my students and leftover graduation party cake. It wasn't even special cake; just a plain white cake with white frosting from some grocery store, or maybe even a big box store. Despite the fact that I've learned over the last four years that food won't bring me comfort. Despite the fact that I've learned to listen to my body and that sugar makes my body hurt. Despite the fact that I had told myself I would be fine without a donut and that I had a little bag full of all sorts of yummy food that I really wanted to eat. Despite all that I ate two pieces of cake and a salted caramel old fashioned donut.

And what did I get? A sugar headache, feeling of sluggishness and tiredness, moodiness, and an upset stomach. Oh, and no desire to do my usual walk and workout. Ugh! Why do I do this to myself?

Let's not go down that road too far. I'm not going to beat myself up. But here's a little bit of the story behind WHY I ate that way. (I find it helps me prevent it in the future and rewire my brain if I think about WHY I did what I did, but to not dwell on it and beat myself up.)

1. I was coming down off of the high of my birthday weekend. I had cake and strawberry shortcake over the weekend so sugar was in my system. It's hard to get away from my sugar craving once my body has gotten a little taste. And, I turned 35; that's a significant milestone. Another multiple of five.
As I was coming down off the high of the birthday weekend I realized that some big (hard, sad, stressful, etc.) changes are now a lot closer than before.
2. My boyfriend leaves for the Navy next week. I was there with him when he applied months ago. It seemed like we had a long time. Now the day is almost here and it's hard to face that he will soon be gone. I'm trying to process my feelings about it. I may have been too needy, too clingy this week. He's trying to process all his feelings, too. We're having a hard time communicating about this, so what do I do? I eat. And then I feel worse because now my body hurts and I'm still stressed and it hasn't done anything to help the communication.
3. The school year is ending and I'm leaving a job of four years. It's been a roller-coaster ride. I'm glad to be moving on to my next school (very excited to be teaching full-time, in first grade, again), but still, change is hard.
4. I'm moving. If you've ever moved, whether across the street, across town, or across the country you know that moving is hard and creates a lot of stress. Where will I live? How will I afford it? How will I get there? When will I get there? I have the added stress of needing to buy a car when I get there. I've mostly been relying on public transportation the last four years. Now I have to be (get to be) a car owner again- and everything that goes with it. Oh man.

Are you getting the picture that there's a lot going on in my life? Can you see how that would all be stressful?

In the midst of this I realize that I have not turned to God as much as I  need to, so today as I sat down to write an email of venting to myself (like a journal, but via email so it never goes anywhere but to me), I realized a few things. The biggest one is that I need to cling to God and not food or people. And as that thought processed in my mind I was reminded of a song that I had clung to a few months ago during another stressful time. I would play it over and over again and let it be my cry, my prayer to God. Starting today, this morning already, I'm going to be playing this song a lot as my reminder to cling to God during these stressful events. May it bless you as it has blessed me.

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