Eating as a stress response - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Communitylife

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Eating as a stress response

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009 12:00 am

 There’s a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “Come along inside ... we’ll see if tea and buns makes the world a better place.” Just below that, there’s a magnet presenting the counterargument, “If hunger isn’t the problem, then food isn’t the answer.”

If you haven’t guessed by now that I’m an emotional eater, don’t feel bad. Just have a Pop Tart; it’ll make you feel better. I know, because it always works for me. No matter what the situation, if it’s making me nervous on any level then next thing I know I’m standing in the pantry testing to see if eating a can of beefaroni will balance my checkbook. So far, Chef Boyardee hasn’t risen to the task, but I have high hopes for the Keebler elves and their graham crackers.

Since this behavior has a direct and deleterious effect on my ability to zip up my jeans, I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think that this is why I keep hoping that a pile of wasabi peas holds the answer to life’s mysteries, or at least getting my sons to actually do and turn in their homework:

Back in the day when we were still all evolving cave people, stress came in just a few flavors. The first stress flavor was noticing that there wasn’t a lot of food available to eat. The second flavor was noticing that a wooly mammoth was about to eat you.

In both cases, eating something as a stress response was smart. If your food sources are running out, then it might make sense to load up on as much as you can to build up the size of your rear so you can’t fit into any cute work clothes anymore so you have enough reserves to make it through the next winter. If you’re in a high-traffic area for rabid wooly mammoths, you want to stock up on calories so you have the energy to flee. Screaming is optional.

Happily (or sadly, depending on how you look in your shorts) we are related to the people who did the best job of loading up our rear-ends in the face of danger. And so when danger rears its ugly head, we’re actually hardwired into turning to food for a solution, because stress = wooly mammoth = faceplant into a pizza. It’s a circle of life kind of thing.

Except that today stress almost never comes in the form of a stampeding wooly mammoth. It usually shows up in the guise of imminent layoffs, or an IRS auditor, or the air conditioning making a really expensive-sounding noise that ends in a KERPLUNK on a Saturday night in July. But when the stress stimulus happens, our brains still pop up the magic word “EAT” as if eating plain brownie mix straight out of the box will turn our brother-in-law into an HVAC tech or at least a CPA.

Not that I’ve ever done that. No, I’m far more sophisticated and I know that brownie mix can’t do that kind of magic. But an entire plate of nachos? That can fix my car. And get it detailed, too.

While it makes me roughly the size of a wooly mammoth.

 

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at elizabethann40@hotmail.com. Her column appears monthly.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Federal Judge Orders Release Of Tucson Border Patrol Holding Cell Photos

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 1:22pmUpdated: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 2:54pm A federal judge earlier this week compelled the U.S. Ho…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:57 am @ http://kjzz.org/content/327775/federal-judge-order…

Why Hasn’t Native American Food Caught On as a ‘Hip' Cuisine?

DENVER—In 2010, the restaurateur Matt Chandra told The Atlantic that the Native American restaurant he and business partner Ben Jacobs had jus…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:45 am @ http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/0…

Bill Clinton just made a lot of trouble for Loretta Lynch: Republicans now calling on attorney general to step down after meeting on private jet

Topics: Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton, doj, Election 2016, Elections 2016, email scandal, Hillary Clinton, Video, Video News, E…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:45 am @ http://www.salon.com/2016/06/30/bill_clinton_just_…

A proud soldier as a man, and maybe once again as a woman

When Ellie Lader woke up that Sunday morning, her wife was sitting up in bed looking at her phone. 

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:42 am @ http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-aurora-transge…

Clean Elections initiative calls it quits

A campaign for a proposed citizen initiative that would have dramatically expanded Arizona’s Clean Elections system for publicly funding polit…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 11:14 am @ http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2016/06/29/clean-el…

Growing Greens in the Spare Room as ‘Vertical Farm’ Start-Ups Flourish

They include City-Hydro, a farm built in a spare bedroom on the second floor of Larry and Zhanna Hountz’s three-story rowhouse in Baltimore. M…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:45 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/business/smallbu…

Ahwatukee couple puts the Ahh! in Red, White and Boom…and 86 other area fireworks spectaculars

Like most of us, Ahwatukee residents Kerry and Lori Welty are prepping for the Fourth of July holiday. But unlike the rest of us, their weeken…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:44 am @ http://www.ahwatukee.com/arts_life/article_7a9f97e…

Selling Stem Cells in the USA: Assessing the Direct-to-Consumer Industry: Cell Stem Cell

Businesses marketing putative stem cell interventions have proliferated across the U.S. This commercial activity generates a host of serious e…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:44 am @ http://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-…

One look at the enemy and you’ll get serious about food safety

What could be more frightening than an unseen enemy — one so stealthy and powerful that it can send you to the hospital or even kill you? And …

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:15 am @ http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/one-look-at-…

L.A. woman, teen among slain in Rancho Santa Fe home

Two of three people whose bodies were found this week inside a Rancho Santa Fe home have been identified as the homeowner’s teenage daughter a…

Published: June 30, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jun/…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…