We all enjoyed the memes about overeating and weight that circulated regularly throughout the quarantine season. It’s not surprising that many of us surrendered to the draw of food when we were forced to sit at home day after day. After all, we’re often most tempted by food when we’re at home.
The fridge beckoned us with the promise of diversion and entertainment. Who couldn’t use a little diversion when the days and weeks seemed to slip unnoticed, one into another?
But now, the strictest quarantines have lifted for most, yet many of us still find ourselves looking to food more than we did back in March.
What’s going on? Could it be that we are turning to food to mourn a stolen summer? I think a lot of us are looking to food for comfort. We are mourning what the pandemic has taken away.
2020 doesn’t look right…it just doesn’t feel right.
Typically, we look forward to summers filled with vacations, weddings, reunions, and backyard BBQs. Even the summer sun hates to say goodbye; instead choosing to hang around longer in the sky as kids play with neighbors late into the night. But this year, most of those anticipated events have been canceled.
A few days ago, I went on a yearly shopping trip. I always look forward to holiday weekends when I am in the US because that’s when my favorite outlet drastically slashes its prices. But, it just wasn’t as fun as usual. Why buy nice, new outfits? I have no events to attend. My calendar is blank and “canceled” has become the theme word of the season.
Everyday life just seems a little harder right now. It’s not surprising that we turn to food for comfort when everything else has been taken away. After all, food still tastes the same and it provides entertainment…at least momentarily.
What To Do If You’re Turning To Food To Mourn A Stolen Summer?
- Recognize you are experiencing sustained levels of stress
- Many of us turn to food when we’re stressed. However, the pandemic presents certain challenges that few of us are prepared to handle. In fact, we are wading through uncharted waters of disappointment and uncertainty day-after-day. Take a look at my post on “I Overeat Because I’m Stressed” for some further ideas for dealing with stress eating.
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Take a moment to assess your thoughts and emotions. We often turn to food to make us feel better and it does provide a momentary high. But, we are still left with feelings of sadness and confusion long after the “sugar high” has subsided. Be realistic…what do you expect the food to do for you?
- Talk It Through and Get Some Accountability
- This pandemic offers a unique shared experience. You are not alone. Everyone you know is walking through the same uncharted waters. So, why not reach out to a friend? Let her know how you’re feeling…I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if she shares many of your current struggles.
Remember, food is a common scapegoat, but an awful counselor.
Last, but definitely not least, I encourage you to take your struggles to God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 28-30
God wants to carry your burdens; all of them…even if you’re burdened with an inability to resist food. He places no qualifications on his love and concern for you.
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