I don’t know about you, but some days I just feel cruddy. And what do I do when I feel cruddy? I eat cruddy.
It is easy to underestimate the power of how our body and surroundings make us feel. For example, some days I start my day by wearing workout gear and sneakers. The body is always firmer after a long night of rest and a new pair of clothes feels refreshing. Life is good, right?
After a morning of dropping kids off at school, then hurrying home to frantically do housework, make phone calls, fill orders, and tend to my toddler, I am back in town to pick up my son. After lunch, reading time, and tucking the kids in bed, it’s 1:00. As I debate how to spend the kids’ nap time, I walk in circles through the house realizing I am accompanied with a film of greasiness on my face. The house is warmer now since the sun is in full swing, and because I forgot to turn on the fans and adjust the temperature, there is no air movement in the room. The stillness gives me hot flashes which only contribute to making me feel “off”. Once I realize I’m feeling sluggish, I notice the workout clothes, which once jumpstarted my day, suddenly serve a different purpose: great stretchy clothes to encourage gorging on food followed by an afternoon nap in bed.
How I spent the rest of these cruddy days is so vivid in my mind because that was my life when I became a stay-at-home mom over 7 years ago. I would wake up from that nap, feeling even worse because I wasted my kid-free time by eating and sleeping. I would feel lethargic from then on, resulting in a throw-in-the-towel mindset by eating poorly and being unproductive and moody until I rolled into bed later that night.
So how did I fix this vicious cycle? These days, I listen to my body and no longer let my surroundings control me. If I can tell I am getting warm or feeling sluggish, I reverse these feelings by taking a 90-second shower. That’s right, I stop what I am doing, jump in the shower to cool off and wash my face (I don’t necessarily wash my hair) and I put on a fresh pair of clothes. Giving my body a quick rinse makes me feel better instantly. I am amazed how much it changes my mindset, productivity, and eating for the rest of the day.
I realize if you are not home during the day, this would be impossible to do. I encourage you to look more closely at your surroundings and see what triggers you to feel cruddy. Maybe you need to light a refreshing candle in the afternoon at work or bring a small fan for your desk if you struggle with the stillness in the air (like I do!). Whatever it is, many times it is an action that only takes a few seconds. I would consider that time well invested if it keeps me feeling better the rest of the day, wouldn’t you?
Part 1: What triggers your cruddy feelings, resulting in cruddy eating? (Does it happen the same time every day? Where are you usually at when it happens? Is it after talking/seeing someone specific? Does it happen after the same activity, such as surfing the Internet or during the kids’ nap time?)
Part 2: After you pinpoint what triggers your cruddy feelings, what is one small step you can make today that would either help avoid or reverse those feelings when they occur next time?