I have definitely been in a funk over the past several days. Being snowed in and having my routine thrown off certainly hasn’t helped. And to be honest, the cabin fever isn’t what has gotten to me, it’s the overload of social media. Since we lost our second baby less than two months ago, seeing so many pictures of baby announcements, dressed up babies and more have really tugged at my heart. It just exaggerates the pain by reminding me over and over of what I do not have.
I am a mother. I am a mother to two angels in heaven that for some reason were not ever meant to be held in my arms. I have no idea what the reason is and it doesn’t make the pain feel any less strong, but I am hopeful that some day I will know. For the record, I want people to continue celebrating their babies and posting adorable photos–I don’t want anyone to feel they have to tiptoe around me. I just know that an overdose of Facebook is not the greatest thing for me lately.
When we want something so bad and we see everyone else around us getting just the thing we want, we start to feel alone and isolated. We may even begin to feel sorry for ourselves. It’s just like when we are going through a breakup we feel that everyone around us suddenly has a significant other and we are the only ones going through this. Obviously, this is so untrue. There have been millions of breakups in probably just the last few days. We are not as alone as we think, not one bit.
As I have shared many times, I tend to be an emotional eater. When the going gets tough, I turn to food. The comfort I get though only lasts a brief time and then the pain continues and on top of that I add guilt to my plate for using food as a security blanket. This is a cycle that went on for too long in my life and I have worked hard to turn it around. A lot of this has all stemmed from trying to avoid my feelings instead of owning them. I am happy to say that while I have been in quite the slump this weekend, I have not turned to food as my comforter. And that has made quite a difference.
Instead, I have done a few other things that I feel have made a world of a difference.
1. Recently, I noticed that the times I turn to food based on emotions, I end up eating standing at the fridge or by the counter. The past week, I made a new commitment that has been very helpful. I have committed to only eating while sitting down. When I am working on recipes, a spoonful turns into eating half the batch and there has been nothing savored or really enjoyed. So, I have only allowed myself to eat once I am comfortable sitting at the table. I am amazed at the impact it has had. When you are standing at the fridge, you pick with your fingers or a spoon. When you are sitting down, you take the time and savor. You often want to place the food on a plate or present it in some way that is aesthetically pleasing. So if you are an emotional or even just a mindless eater, give this one a try.
2. I have allowed myself the time to feel what I feel. Rather than ignore how I am feeling, I have faced it. I have owned that this is the way I am feeling right now. It stinks, and it doesn’t feel good. I want it to pass but it may take time and I will have to ride it out.
3. I have talked about how I feel. My husband and I have grieved each loss very differently and at different times it has surfaced for each of us. He has come to know that my slumps are different than his and when I let him know I’m not having the greatest day, he reminds me of what I do have and he usually does what he can to cheer me up.
4. I have spent more time doing what I am passionate about. In the kitchen and on the computer are the places you could find me this weekend. I dove more into recipes and writing and the time passes and I go hours without even remembering what I was so down about.
5. I have moved. Today, I looked at the dog and told him I didn’t care what it was like out there, we were getting out. We had to modify our typical time outside but we ventured out and got our blood pumping and got some fresh air. When I am feeling down, the energy to move isn’t quite there, but if I can force myself even to just walk around the block, it makes such a difference.
So after all that, I can definitely say that I am starting to closer to moving over this hump. Sure I could just completely disconnect from facebook and social media altogether, but I wouldn’t be helping myself at all. I can’t just separate myself from life. Tough times are going to happen and they happen to everyone. Remembering that I am not the only one and having the strength to push through the tough times is what I really need. No more avoiding the pain, its time to ride the waves.
As I said, I spent time creating in the kitchen this weekend. I even made myself sit down to taste test these and it made a huge difference. I didn’t eat half the batch that I made because of this. I also was more aware of how often I do go to grab a taste here or there. Mindful eating is what I am going for here!
Were you one of those kids who loved to eat cookie dough, but your mom wouldn’t let you because of the raw egg? I sure was. I definitely snuck a bite or two without her seeing but for the most part she didn’t let us get away with it. I have your answer here! These cookie dough bites don’t contain eggs so you can pop them without the worry! They can be made gluten free as well. No refined sugar in these bites either! I didn’t use any maple syrup in mine but you can add a bit if you want them a bit sweeter. Enjoy!
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Energy Bites
- 1 cup rolled oats regular or gluten free
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 9-10 medjool dates pitted
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 T raisins
- Dash of sea salt
- 2-3 T water
- 1-2 T 100% pure maple syrup optional
- In a food processor, process oats and pecans until fine.
- Add cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and dates (and maple if desired) and process to combine.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process until a dough begins to form.
- Move dough into a mixing bowl and fold in raisin.
- Form dough into bowls and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.