“Stressed is desserts spelled backwards.” FUCK THAT GUY. Yeah, fuck whoever first said that crap. “Pots” is “Stop” spelled backward, welcome to palindrome land! Where there is no hidden meanings, shit just happens to spell things when the letters are read backwards!
Some of you may be saying “Whoa, chill out bro. You mad?” To which I would like to respond, “Yes, good sir or madam. Yes I am.” Get ready for a long post.
The reason I’m mad is because I’ve been stress eating everything in sight. Yesterday I was cleaning up my room (something that deserves a whole post by itself) and I all of a sudden got overwhelmed with how long this is going to take to finish. This feeling was quickly followed by the sudden, dire need to eat cupcakes. FUCK! I wanted cupcakes so bad. I had just had lunch too, but my body doesn’t care, its not here to make sense…its here to make me happy. And you know what makes me the happiest little school girl? CUPCAKES. So then I started having that inner battle, the one where you argue with yourself about how you really, really don’t need cupcakes but you really, really, really need cupcakes. If you have never had this battle before, fuck you. I’m sorry, that was harsh, I’m sure you have some kind of Kryptonite – pizza perhaps? Or are you into those little cake pops? Or full blown ice cream from the container? Do you get what I’m saying here? This is part of our lives folks. Hence why I want to smack whoever said “stressed is desserts backwards” in the face. You trying to be cute? It’s not cute. THIS IS MY LIFE. My life is not a catchphrase! Oh God. This…is my life.
So I broke down and bought cookies. Yes, its one step down from cupcakes, but I’m still not proud of myself. Icing makes me weak willed. Anyway, I started thinking more and more about stress eating, or emotional eating. Emotional eating didn’t pop up out of no where guys, this shit is deep rooted in our psyche. Lifelong behavioral conditioning has taught us that doing something right should be rewarded with a piece of candy. Nailing that report card grade deserves a greasy night out dinning. Making it through your period deserves chocolate. Shit, living with the fact that you have periods means you deserve chocolate. As if that wasn’t enough, your body gets rewarded with food chemicals that give you pleasures. Yes, pleasure.
Ever heard of serotonin or anandamide? Serotonin is a hormone associated with the infatuation you feel related to love. And anandamide is literally known as the “bliss molecule” – its a neurotransmitter that binds to your brain receptors similarly as THC (marijuana) does. Chocolate is full of these two guys. Guess what happens when you eat a piece of chocolate and your body gets flooded full of happy chemicals; your brain sends endorphins back. Yes, endorphins. This is just the chocolate example, but I think you get where I’m going with this.
While no one is going to deny that happy events in any given person’s life probably had some junk food involved (happy birthday cake anyone?), there is a new study saying that this isn’t exactly where emotional or stress eaters get their drive to down those baddie foods in times of need.
According to a small (12 volunteer) recent study, there are hormones in your stomach that are sending signals to your brain that aren’t linked to any specific food at all. The study’s experimental subject group were given saturated fats, while the control subject group was given a saline solution; both to the point of satiation. Tummies full, they were shown images of sad faces and listened to sad music, and guess what – neither group was hungrier after that.
What does this mean? This means that emotional eating is both psychological and biological. Its just that more work has to be done in order to really figure out whats happening biologically. Lukas Van Oudenhove, one of the authors of this study, had this to say:
“Evolution has made every aspect of feeding as rewarding as possible… These days it may not be a good thing anymore. When food is available anywhere, then it may be a bad thing, leading to obesity or eating disorders in some people.”
Susan Albers, Psy.D., a Cleveland Clinic psychologist, added:
“Given the strong soothing effect of food on a biological level, we have to work even harder to find ways to soothe and comfort ourselves without calories… This is important in the long run for managing your weight, improving your self-esteem, and protecting your overall health.”
But while top researchers continue to study these findings and carry out additional studies, I’d like to follow up this post with Stress Eaters – Part 2.