Have you heard of depression eating? Depression can change your eating habits in one of two ways.
Either you will eat your feelings to a point where you simply can’t stop, or two, you will eat nothing at all because you’ve completely lost your appetite.
Oddly enough, with all of my struggles with being overweight, I actually fall into the second category.
Since going on a diet, and well, making a ‘lifestyle change’ in an experiment to discover whether physical health truly does effect your mental health, I can genuinely say, the following doesn’t apply to me anymore.
*Pats self on back.*
However, in the past, I was the person who ate when bored, who ate when anxious, who ate for the sake of eating, who ate because she liked really unhealthy foods.
But I never ate when I was depressed.
When I was depressed, I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I completely lost my appetite. For me, this was similar to dealing with a broken heart.
Broken Heart or Depression?
Remember back in high school when you got dumped for that girl who was totally into your boyfriend, and even after warning said boyfriend about the flirty girl who wasn’t just ‘being nice’ but actually working towards ulterior motives, it still happened because ‘we have so much more in common and have known each other since we were kids’?
No? Did that only happen to me? Well, I’m sure you get the gist.
Heartbreak happens to us all, and most often we turn to food for comfort, or away from food altogether.
At that time, I was told that the best way to heal a broken heart is by eating a pint of ice cream. My best friend, bless her heart, truly meant this.
Because at the end you’ll probably have brain freeze and your heart won’t hurt, or you’ll be out of ice cream and feel like that’s a bigger loss than whatever idiot guy just seemingly ruined your life.
Well, it was a great plan. Except I’m lactose-intolerant. And that was probably the first time I dealt with depression by not eating anything at all.
Because I did take a first bite of ice cream, and then another, and by the third bite, my stomach hurt.
Then, I associated depression with stomach pain.
Now it’s a more immediate response. If I’m suffering a down day, if I’m feeling completely at a loss, if I’m feeling any sort of heartbreak or heartache, I lose my appetite.
I’m not hungry. I won’t eat.
Worse yet, even if I tell myself that I have to eat, I can try, but it makes me sick.
No matter how delicious it is, it will taste like dirt to me. I will gag when I try to swallow, and then within a few minutes, it comes right back up.
How’s that for too much information?
The Food Trap of Depression Eating
This is a depression eating food trap. I eat too little, if anything at all, when I am depressed.
But the opposite is true for some as well. Another food trap. Depression can cause us to eat too much.
Either way you look at it, depression can cause a huge shift in our physical health. It messes with our regular schedule.
It doesn’t matter if we’re eating too much or too little, it is not good for our health.
For me, the person who doesn’t eat enough when depressed, I focus on what I can stomach, no matter how small.
I make sure to eat small (abnormally small) portions of healthy food, every couple of hours.
I’ll repeat that. I force myself to eat. I don’t want to. I don’t like to. I do it anyway.
For others, the people who eat too much when depressed, you have to force yourself not to eat.
You have to write down everything you eat and at what time, and ask yourself honestly if you’re hungry, if you should eat, etc.
Drink more water. This applies to both sets of people.
Get more sleep. Even if you’re sleeping more than usual, your body needs it. If you’re able, get more rest.
I have more tips and suggestions on how to fix your eating habits during down days, but this will come in future blog posts.
The other thing I plan to talk lots about going forward is how to fix it so that we have less down days. Because this is super important.
If we can reduce the number of our depression days, we can reduce the number of ways to fix our eating habits during those days.
So let’s make that our future goal: to reduce our down days.
Step number one: eliminate any
teenage boy person from your life who makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
I’m here to tell you that you are.
You are good enough. You are better than good.
You deserve the best. Don’t settle for less.