The Evolving Homemaker

One improbable housewife's odyssey into the realm of mothering, cooking, crafting, gardening, and more…


Emotional Eating

Yesterday I attempted to begin a cleanse.  Yet again.  The first time I ever tried the Crazy, Sexy, Diet 21 day adventure cleanse I lasted one, count em’, one day.  The next time?  Two days.  In December, SEVEN days.


I had coffee at 5:30 PM.

Here is the thing, and for once I could really feel it yesterday, I am an emotional eater.  I know we have talked about this before, but it bears repeating because it is something I deal with on a daily basis.  It is like an alcoholic who can no longer be around booze, unfortunately we have to eat to survive.  Food will always be there, always around, always the temptress dressed in sugar.

And trying to cleanse while also feeding small children who don’t have to cleanse their grilled cheese sandwiches is a disaster. You are constantly making two meals, for every meal, everyday.  And I wondered why I was still working on school with the kids at 5 PM last night.

The kicker is when things start to get hard emotionally.  As soon as I begin to get frustrated with my kids, excessive whining yesterday morning, and interrupting when I was on the phone with my Mommy, and crying, and not paying attention during school, and dilly dallying, and frustration over the state of the house…I want to grab a cookie. Go get a coffee.  Have chocolate.  Eat some crunchy chips.

Anything to mask the feeling that I am really having.

By 5 PM yesterday I was c.RAZY and as I headed to the grocery store I realized, that there is some serious work that needs to be done dealing with those feelings probably before I go crazy and drop all of my vices at once.  The reality is I don’t drink, I don’t smoke…anything, I don’t eat meat, I eat mostly organic food, I don’t drink soda ever, I love my juicer, so I am seemingly basically pretty healthy.

I just eat sugar…when I am sad, frustrated, tired, lonely, happy, overwhelmed, anxious, excited, or celebrating.  Which really, one or more of these emotions come

What is a girl to do?I made a list.  I am a list-er.  I like me a list.  It helps clarify what needs to be done, where I want to be going, what I need to do to get there.  For my journey to overall wellness, my list looks like this:

  1. daily meditation
  2. vitamins everyday
  3. exercise 6x week (Sunday’s off)
  4. juice daily
  5. brush 2x floss 1x daily (Some days I get to dinner and wonder if I even brushed)
  6. wash face in evening, sunscreen lotion in AM
  7. neti pot daily (yes, it feels weird)
  8. eat mostly vegan
  9. lose the white sugar
  10. increase flexibility
  11. yoga
  12. body work (massage, reiki, etc.)
  13. daily spiritual reading
  14. 70 oz. of water/day
  15. mindful eating (tasting the food as you eat)
  16. dropping acid inducing coffee (for the thousandth time or keep it and do everything else well)
  17. add daily gratitude
  18. live whimsy
  19. time in nature as often as possible
  20. weights
  21. add prayer
  22. walk dogs WAY more often
  23. random acts of kindness
  24. dress to feel good
  25. read 1 of the 5 Mindfulness Trainings in the morning
  26. more sex (I am not an addict, we’re just busy)
  27. dry brush before showering
  28. off my anxiety medication

To get to number 28 I need to incorporate most of the others.  Some things like random acts of kindness don’t seem like they help with wellness off the bat, but I think spreading joy to others makes us more joyful.

To get started I am going to type these up on a Word file and use it as a checklist at the end of everyday.  That way instead of doing everything at once, I can pick some today and slowly add the others.  By looking at the list every night, it will remind me of what I am trying to change, and allow me to be cognizant of where I still need to work on things. I wrote it in my journal, but everyone knows how once that page is turned it is all but forgotten.

Yup, I will be busy, and I will keep you updated.  But a well Mommy makes for a well family.  It is true.  You are what you eat, sleep, read, think about, and spread.  And those around you are too, because they are in your space.  For better or for worse.


8 Responses to “Emotional Eating”

  1. simplychele Says:

    I love your list; very encouraging! As a fellow emotional eater I completely sympathize. Daily exercise, overall good habits, my weakness is sugar as well..and when I am frazzled..sugar it is.
    Thank you for openly sharing your is an encouragement to me.

  2. Elaine Says:

    Wait, dropping acid is one of your wellness changes… Oh wait, I get it now.

    I am an emotional eater too, and since the boys need to gain weight we have a large stockpile of chips, which I diminish daily. I am totally printing off your list since there are lots of things on it that I am trying to do as well!

    Keep us updated on how your journey goes!


  3. Evi Says:

    Ha ha Jen, I could not even do 5 things from your list on a single day with a baby and a toddler driving me insane!
    But I do try a lot on the food aspect; I’m on GAPS diet at the moment to detoxify and heal my digestive system and this means no grains, sugar and potatoes.
    Some raw honey is allowed as well as dried fruit so I make healthier versions of sweets to make the transition easier.
    Try this raw “brownie” for example and you’d be in heaven without too much guilt! 😛
    I do not add the cocoa nibs, I shape them into balls and cover them in dessicated coconut.

    I try a lot on mindful eating as well but I wonder how could one manage this with active kids around?

  4. Mama Wolf (WeyMama) Says:

    Hi…I’m a Mama, and I’m an emotional eater, too. :/ It’s so hard, I completely hear you. Starches are my downfall. When I was a kid, right across the street from my pediatrician’s office, there was a walk-in quick-service restaurant (not quite fast food at that time). After particularly harrowing visits, like vaccines, my mom would get us french fries. …Now, 25+ years later, I want to hit up Wendy’s when I come out of the doctor, whether it was a reassuring visit and I’m just in a good mood, or (like this week) I am freaked out of my mind and just want to wallow in Frosty-dipped fries.

    Kudos to you, my dear…that is a very full list of life-changing choices. :)

  5. amy Says:

    Wow, we have almost the same list! Yours is more thorough, I’m going to copy and paste it into my own word file, print it, and put it on the fridge! Thanks for sharing, and good luck working with yourself. Remember, there is no such thing as perfection, Jen, and you are doing a really good job. You juggle a lot, there might just not be time in your life, right now, while your kids are young (and homeschooled, by you!) to take your vitamins and drink 70 oz. of water and meditate and exercise and walk the poor neglected dogs and, and… you know? So, I am adding to your list, #29. Cut myself some slack. On YOUR fridge, you should post that saying “I do enough, I have enough, I AM ENOUGH.” xo

  6. jen Says:

    thank you. all of you. for sharing. thanks amy. i will post that to my fridge too. i printed out the list in excel and didn’t change it to landscape…lol…so it is all messed up. that is a lesson in itself i think. you gals made my day a little brighter this morning, i appreciate you.


  7. jenparsons Says:

    lol. you girls crack me up. and that is make me laugh, not ‘give me crack’. too funny E. and Evi, there is only a few that are there for everyday. i can’t get a massage everyday, although if i was oprah, i would certainly schedule it in! 😉


  8. Mindful About Random Acts of Kindess | The Evolving Homemaker Says:

    […] you remember last week and my massive list of steps to wellness, you can read it here if you don’t, I feel I need to clear up a few things.  First, the list is not a goal for […]

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