I’ve talked a lot about how exercise, nutrition etc has had such a positive influence on my life and for the most part it has been a (surprisingly) easy transition. Certainly easier than I thought it would be. But this week has been hard personally for me, for a million and one reasons that I won’t go in to here and the nutrition has been hard really hard, I mean REALLY hard.
The exercise is never hard. I’m always happy to go and work out at the gym, maybe because it takes my mind off everything. But food I have a real issue with when I am struggling with other areas of my life. A little bit of the old me creeps back in, she still lurks beneath the surface and for the most part I can keep her under wraps. But every now and again she escapes. All I want to do is take comfort in food. Eat all the things that I know will give me a short term spike of happiness. Cakes, chocolate, crisps, bread, potatoes, pasta.
I know that eating sugary foods stimulate the release of dopamine, which essentially (and I’m no scientist here!) tells your brain to “feel good”. It basically causes a high, and that is the rush you feel when you eat sugary foods which you don’t get so much from eating other foods e.g. protein.
If you eat healthy foods, you still get a dopamine spike but if you continue to eat the same healthy food over a period of time eventually your body gets used to it and you don’t get the same rush. Unlike sugar, where you repeatedly get a rush, the spike of dopamine doesn’t level off, hence you always get that “feel good” feeling from eating chocolate and other sugary comfort foods.
I also know that this is a short term fix, and then when you withdraw from sugar, you then start to feel anxiety. Anxiety is not an emotion I really need to feel right now.
I need to get a grip of my nutrition this week, before I totally spiral out of control. I’ve got enough going on in my life without wrecking that too!