What is it about holidays that makes us eat?!

My current situation: 8:25 pm on Sunday night of Mother’s Day. I’m on the couch, I changed into sweats, took off my bra and I’m demolishing a bag of  Brookside Dark Chocolate Blueberries, from Costco. I’ve already exceeded the serving size and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Why am I still eating? Because it’s a holiday, and I eat on holidays. Eating is the way many of us spend holidays. From Breakfast until bedtime, each minute is filled with food. It’s easy to blame overindulging on the holidays and all the gatherings filled with food.  But why do we eat so much on special occasions? Is it really because we are celebrating? Or is there another reason we wake up the morning after and feel like we gained ten pounds? Have you ever thought of the gamut of emotions that arrive alongside every card and gift?  Many of us stuff ourselves silly on these iconic days, not for lack of self control, but due to the surge of emotions that come with each holiday. Holidays have a way of stirring up the emotions we have shoved down into every crevice of our bodies. The holidays are one of the biggest triggers for emotional eating. We feel everything from happiness, to anxiety, to stress, to jealousy, to bitterness, to sadness on a holiday.  Where does the food come in? When we feel intense emotions, we eat to numb the pain.  When we feel empty, we eat to fill that void. Mother’s Day, for many, is one of those holidays. Through happiness and hugs, many are holding back tears. The same thing happens on Christmas, on New Years,  on Valentine’s Day… maybe even Flag Day for you. Everyone is different. People on social media are at their finest and their worst every holiday.  Social media is home to so much joy because we get to celebrate with all our friends, no matter where they are.  A “like” today is like sending an instant salutation. It’s an instant phone call to a friend.  The Instagram feed invites you into the homes of everyone close to you. As we refresh our feed to connect with our loved ones, these photos and words also have a way of making us feel empty.  It leaves us reaching for what we don’t have in our lives. What we can’t have. What we long to have. Maybe it’s a relationship, maybe it’s a baby, maybe it’s a lost loved one. My mother-in-law and I started off this Mother’s Day with a good cry. Just the two of us on the bed in my husband’s childhood bedroom, crying. My husband walked into the room and we all laughed through the tears together. Then we went on to have a beautiful day filled with love and laughter. It’s ok to cry. It’s a relief to cry. It’s good to cry. Family and friends are precious. You love them dearly, but they may stir up emotions inside of you and it’s ok to feel them. Let yourself feel them. Don’t numb them with food. Let yourself cry, let yourself mourn, let yourself be angry, let yourself feel. I have learned that a good cry is life’s biggest appetite suppressant.

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