Summer has arrived and so has the heat.  We don’t have AC so you can just imagine how 3 o’clock in the afternoon feels inside the house – about 85 degrees actually.

Therefore, I spent the past two days sticky and sweaty, which caused a serious case of laziness and boredom and all I wanted to help “fix” the day was cookies.  In my mind, there was an obvious connection that made a treat a sensible solution.  But, what was it exactly?

I was uncomfortable, which led to feeling cranky.  I was annoyed by the heat and more importantly, that I couldn’t escape it.  Then I started getting frustrated that we hadn’t finished cleaning and repainting the basement so I could at least hide down there.

I was clearly dealing with a ton of emotions.  Negative emotions that drove me to crave a sugary fix.

Once my son woke up from his nap (drenched in sweat), we left the house to run a few errands.  While driving, with the AC on full blast freezing my brain, I was scheming on how to get cookies without having to drag my two little ones in and out of the car.  Especially since I didn’t want my oldest to see them and start begging for one.  Even while plotting out my purchase, I was becoming more annoyed by all it’s potential failures.

More negative emotions that were leading me down the cookie road.

Well don’t fret, this story ends happily, in a way.  Once my children had gone to bed, I was sitting on the couch holding a package of cookies and dipping them into milk as quickly as possible.  Bliss.  It was about half way through my last cookie when I realized, I’m such an emotional eater!

All day long, I was trying to find comfort inside these delicious chocolate chip cookies.  But where was it?  Cause I couldn’t find it.  They must have left it out during the manufacturing process so I’d like my money back please.

I’ve recognized this pattern in the past.  Either I’m tired or having an off day, and I turn to cookies like they have some magical powers to make everything ALL BETTER.  And they don’t and it is always a let down.

So, I did some research and there are some helpful steps to avoid emotional eating.  There are tons of triggers, not just feeling down in the dumps, so step number one says to identify your trigger.  Mine is usually the overall not feeling my perky, chipper self.

Second, find alternative ways to “feed” your feelings.  How about read a book?  Or take some deep breathes?  Or lock yourself in a closet until your children stop yelling?  Whatever works.

Next, take a five minute break when a craving hits.  Typically cravings will pass within that time.  Or if you’re like me, they will haunt you for the rest of the day.  But I will try my hardest next time to forget about the cookies.

Lastly, support yourself with healthy habits to help promote an overall healthier lifestyle.  For example, work out, maintain healthy relationships, sleep and relax.  Mmmm, ok.  I work out five times a week for almost two hours a day.  I think I have great relationships with the people in my life.  Sleep, did I mention I have two children?  And relax, did I still not mention I have two children?  Because I have two children.

Well, now we all know the steps to help stop us from reaching for the chips or ice cream or cookies when we’re tired, upset, bored, stressed, anxious or even happy and excited.

Good luck the next time these feelings start creeping up and hopefully those few deep breathes or a quick read will help you pass up on those tempting treats.