Sunday, 8 May 2011
Have you ever noticed how all your best intentions can go out of the window when you get a little anxious or stressed? I have had builders in on and off for the last 2 months (one of the reasons why my house is not yet on the market) and this week it was finally over. Living without a proper bathroom for 2 months is stressful enough (a nasty leak meant the floor had to come up and the sink had to come out) but add on top of that complicated insurance claims and builders who never turn up when they say that they will and my stress levels were beginning to boil over. Now, I am the first to admit that I don't handle these things well, I don't like confrontation and I don't like my routines spoilt so when the 4th day of waiting in for non-materialising builders happened I was nearly at screaming pitch. This is when, like I say, my best intentions became a little spoiled. I had to get out of the house and break the builder imposed waiting in game and so found myself in Tesco, a shop that I generally avoid and loathe for its lack of ethics. However, on this occasion I found myself in the easter egg selling off aisle and before I knew it had filled my basket. In for a penny, in for a pound I added some crisps and a cake to the incredibly unhealthy looking basket and found that I had spent rather a lot more than I had any intention doing, especially as every single item there was unnecessary. Of course, when I came back to my home, with its un-lovely, un-finished bathroom I quicky set upon devouring my sinful purchases. Now, I am not in the least overweight, so didn't feel worried about a lapse in my usual healthy diet but it does pose an interesting question: why is it that so many of us head for a junk food aisle when we get upset, or anxious or stressed? Is it simply the comfort of fat and sugar, or a deeper psychological learnt behaviour? What did our grandparents do when they got upset? I am pretty certain that my granny didn't reach for a bag of crisps. Perhaps she baked a couple of apple pies. But more likely, it seems to me, comfort eating was not a part of our grandparents make-up. It is an interesting question to which I have no answer. perhaps there is nothing wrong with occasional comfort eating and now that the work is done and the builders are gone, perhaps I won't feel the need. But what about those times when we are feeling worried or depressed for long periods of time? This is when it must get out of control. It's quite expensive to eat junk making stress an expensive problem!