Sheetcaking: It's always been a thing, it's now a movement!

SheetcakingFeeling a bit stressed these days? Me too!

Hurricanes, forrest fires, mass shootings, cars and trucks used as weapons, flesh eating bacteria, sudden death of favorite celebrity icons, and then of course certain commentary from certain US and religious leaders, ON TOP OF normal everyday stress-- kinda makes my brain want to explode!

And drives me to eat!

Some might say eating is better than drinking or doing drugs...in some ways that's true. However, when you're using food as a way to numb your feelings, this is a problem (and kind of the same thing!)

Let's face it, the food we go to isn't salad.  It's cake!  Or chips! (depends upon if you're a sweet or savory kinda person) :D  It's typically something that doesn't have high nutritive value.

Tina Fey recently had a brilliant bit on SNL where she coined a new coping mechanism called "Sheetcaking."  It involves stuffing your face with a giant cake while ruminating over all the news of the day.

Now this is something I've done for years! Only I had no name for it. It was just, "Allison ate all the ice cream. Who ate all the cake?  Are we out of M&Ms??" 

Yup. Gulp. Burp.

The problem with stuffing our faces instead of dealing with the disturbing news or conflicted emotions is three-fold:
1. It doesn't solve the actual problem 
2. We overeat, usually something that will cause us to gain weight or perpetuate some other health issue we've been trying to manage 
3. We then feel awful over what we just did, so we rinse and repeat.

Sound familiar?

:(

So what to do instead?  (Read more at the blog)

In a lot of these stressful situations, we're not in control--we're in our own heads. Unless you're a multi-millionaire, you probably don't have the ability to deploy to a disaster zone and right what's wrong. We make our donations, send relief aid, volunteer where and how we can. We also need to center ourselves and know that we're doing the best we can.

You can make a bigger difference by NOT falling apart.  You can make a bigger impact by NOT burying your head in a box of cookies.

In these instances, it's not about sugar addiction (which is a real thing!), but about emotional avoidance.

We can control how we respond to bad news:

1.Keep a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for.  Do this each day.  It magically takes the focus of negative things and reminds us how lucky you really are.

2. Push your shoulders back, stand up or sit up straight and smile as big as you can.  This changes your state immediately.
Take quiet time to reflect or just let mind release everything until it is just sitting there with you- empty of thought. Re-center
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and are positive influences (SHUT OFF THE NEWS! Keep apprised, but you don't need to follow the play by play)

3. Don’t be a victim.  Take responsibility for everything you do.  The bad news isn't forcing you to eat--this is an old patten that needs to be broken! (easier said than done, I know, but see numbers 1-4, it begins the pattern interrupt)


4. Don’t let other peoples bad thoughts seep into your head.  Let them own it, it is not yours.

5. Do something for someone else. Play with your kids or your pets!  That lifts spirits better than anything.

6. Laugh!  Watch a funny movie and laugh until you cry!

7. Turn the music up loud and sing with it…as loud as you can.

When you are in control over your head, and your feelings, you will be able to think more clearly and make better choices. Healthier choices. And have more energy to be a positive influence over those around you (who may be feeling the same way). 

Because I'm "a shoveler" from way back, I've learned to take my stress out on berries (nom, nom, nom).  But sometimes there's homemade (gluten free, dairy free) zucchini bread involved or popcorn (with probiotics and superherbs!). 

My stress eating go-to's have mercifully changed over the years thanks in no small part to all the work I've done around diet and lifestyle modification.  I also funnel that stress into exercise!  Kick-boxing works particularly well, as does running, walking--anything that get you to focus on something new!  It's the same energy, but you're getting it out instead of swallowing it. 

An American Physicist and cardiologist, Paul Dudley White said, "A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world."

With that my friend, put the fork down, stand up, shoulders back, smile and get out there and make the world a better place! 

Oh wait, let's start with you :D

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