I Had a Bad Day

One day recently I was overwhelmingly stressed about a whole lot of very insignificant crap.  It was just one of those days.  The proverbial glass was not only half empty, but I literally spilled what was left all across my desk before I even had breakfast!  And it was all downhill from there.  But in the midst of everything whirling through my frazzled brain, I had a thought – a thought about some of the amazing bloggers I follow who have real stressors in their lives.  Big things, like surgeries and job changes and health concerns and relationship problems.  Yet through it all they are remaining positive and cheerful and moving forward with a glass half-full or even over-brimming.  And staring back at me from the front page of the newspaper was a women who had lost all four limbs to sepsis and yet she was choosing to have a positive outlook on her life even as she struggled with the most basic of tasks.  And in my mind I saw me raising my open palm and slapping it against my forehead, saying, “Duh Karen.”  Life is good.  I need to remember that the current crap really is all small stuff, and not to sweat it.

And instead of working out my frustration by gnashing my teeth over and over again on shredded wheat cereal, I need to find another way of handling the stress.  Like sitting here and writing.  Because as I wrote these words I imagined chocolate.  And how much I wanted it in the moment.  Like a salve.  And I’d like to say that after drafting this post I made it through the rest of my very rotten day without any emotional eating.  I can’t because I didn’t.  I had a little victory over chocolate:)  But later I succumbed to something else instead.  Can’t remember what even.  But it doesn’t matter anymore.  Much as all the crap that happened that day doesn’t matter anymore either.  Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I put it in perspective.  Life goes on.  Life is good.

Happy Monday.  Have a great day!



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51 responses to “I Had a Bad Day

  1. I don’t think those of us with stress are in la-la happy land, we just don’t add to our stress by over eating, and use exercise to help us through the struggle.

  2. That’s great you were able to do that! I’m working on going for running, instead of the emotional eating. It’s a work in process, and I’m getting better at changing my mind frame. 🙂

  3. Karen, I think this is one of the things people struggle with… how to handle stress without food cause many of us used food for stress & anything else.

    I have learned not to turn to food under stress but it took time to work it out for me & all is good most of the time. I found what works for me…

    As for others & their stress. YUP! I met with a long lost high school friend this past week who is a thyroid cancer survivor… I am lucky I did not go thru what she did!

    • Karen

      I think for me it is very tied in to how I am doing overall with my eating at the time of the stress. When I am on a nice run of healthy eating, in control, I don’t turn to food or even crave it when I am stressed in the way I do when I am not eating well. Funny how that works:)

  4. Yep that is all part of this journey..its not just weight management it is stress management, time management and just plain ol life management, isn’t it?

  5. It’s like we share a brain! I have lost two friends within 4 days of each other. The other crap in my life = nothing

  6. Timely post. As I was pouring my first coffee this AM, I felt so peaceful and fortunate. I had been reading lots of posts from people who were unhappy about serious problems in their lives, and I thought, “I am so lucky, so fortunate…right now. I need to stop whining about little setbacks or being stuck and just appreciate the good life I have.”

    Thanks as usual Karen….I’m heading to the treadmill.

  7. Hi Karen – I can relate. I’m going to post today about feeling very much in a funk because all I want to do is eat. No idea why, other than I have an eating disorder I guess. But perspective is everything…I’m alive and healthy, so are hubby and kids, so what is it that I’m so funked over? I also lost a friend last week suddenly from a brain tumor. Within a week of its discovery, she was gone. That makes wanting to eat seem like nothing at all, which it really is.

    • Karen

      Yep – I could very much relate to your post today:) I was such an emotional mess on Friday that I had to keep warning my husband and I broke down in front of my poor teen for no good reason and I had to tell my visiting brother-in-law that I just could not take his teasing that day. I was so out of control. It took me a while to get on an even keel and to put everything in perspective.

  8. You are so right Karen! Sometimes a ton of small things causes me more stress than one big thing. With the big things I feel like I can rise to the challenge and come out on top. But sometimes with the little things I let myself wallow in a pity party and try to eat my way out of them!!!

  9. Ewa

    You are right, it is all about perspective.
    I wanted to say something more. Some of us, when we go through difficult times, may look in our blogs as we are so strong and so positive. For some of us writing positive posts glowing with hope and wise perspective is almost like conditioning our brains to get out of the dark corners and see the light. I used to beat myself up for not being strong enough until I understood that getting over dark moments takes time and is not always pretty.

    • Karen

      As you may have guessed, you are one of the bloggers who I thought of when I had my little moment. I find your attitude inspiring. And I get what you are saying about the writing. I had actually started this post with an explanation about how I had started this blog trying to write with optimism, but this got long-winded (as usual) and I decided that I needed a second post to cover that topic.

      • Ewa

        Let me just say I am not proud of my down moments. But I am afraid that if I think of them too much they will become my reality. So I try to ignore them. I don’t know if this is smart or just shows that I am in denial.
        Trust me I often made fridge my friend, I just don’t like to admit it. 🙂

  10. HI Karen,
    Yes, life is good and goes on. Like your turn aroudn post today.

    I am nominating you and your blog for a Blog of Substance award. I know it is a little over the top since you already have received this I am sure. I just could not bear to post a list of Blogs with Substance and not include yours. Accepting this award is voluntary. Read more about this particular award and what I have to say about your blog at:

  11. Self realization is half the battle, or more, my friend. Thanks for helping me in my struggles. You are doing great. You’ll make it over this bump in the road; no doubt about it. 🙂

  12. It’s strange that we can spend so much time and effort battling with the big things, that occasionally the little things totally floor us. But you’re right, it’s all about perspective. Such a shame that it sometimes takes something as drastic as the misfortune of others, to realise that we’re pretty lucky and life isn’t all that bad 🙂

  13. Yep, Yes, Absolutely, You are Correct!
    And Happy Monday right back at you.

  14. Karen, great post with a message we all need to hear. Sounds like you course-corrected yourself and are now back in your most frequent homestead, which is optimism. Sometimes the most minor things torque me out and then reality and the reminder of what severe challenges other face restores my clarity. Congrats on the victory over chocolate, since that was the real symbol of emotional eating. Hope you have a great Monday!

    • Karen

      I had to go to the grocery store that day in preparation for our house guests. I told my husband “I am not going yet because I want a piece of chocolate cake” and I knew if I went to the store feeling like that I would come back with something I should not be eating!

  15. I’m glad you were able to see past the bad day to see that life is good! It is hard for me too–all the little stuff really gets to me and like you, it really helps to think of those that have it worse. It can always be worse! Life is good!

    • Karen

      OMG yes, it could be so much worse in so many ways. And the logical side of me knows that. But for a little while there my life was being ruled by something other than logic:(

  16. Some things are easier said than done. I am not an emotional eater but i am an emotional spender, it feels so good to buy something, i noticed for me it is not a good idea to avoid temptation because in the end i just end up over spending the next chance i get. I envy persons who are able to just redirect their emotions into doing something positive though

  17. sunnydaze

    It sure does help to put things into perspective, doesn’t it? Life is good. 😀

  18. I think putting things into perspective really helps. As upset as I was two weeks ago I realize at least I have a job, at least my husband does also, at least we both are relatively healthy, etc.

    Sometimes we just need a moment to regroup.

  19. Life is good. I am getting to spend time with my father while he visits for a month; time which is even more precious since the death of my mother this summer. Just wish he didn’t like to eat so much…

  20. Don’t look now, but THAT is what intuitive eating is about.

    FEELING the feelings – feeling the frustration and realizing that doing something else with stress (other than eating) helps soothe your ruffles much more than…well…Ruffles.

    Ooh – that’s good. I may have to steal my comment for a blog post. 🙂

    Seriously though, way to go. Way to be in tune with yourself, to process WHY you were frustrated/unhappy/sad/feeling bad, and to soothe yourself in ways that really would make it better.

    You are such a strong lady – I’m so proud to know you! 🙂

  21. I’m sorry you had a bad day Karen! I hope your week goes better! Hang in there! Hugs.

  22. Great attitude Karen! We all have our challenges to deal with and there is always going to be someone who has more to deal with than we do. That does not minimize our own challenges but it does put them into perspective.

    Did you read the book “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff?”

    • Karen

      Yes, my book club did it years ago. I had to laugh because that was when it occurred to me that I so did sweat all the small stuff and was the exact opposite of what the book was suggesting!

  23. I hope you can put this bad day behind you and move on to a very rewarding week! As far as the emotional eating thing. For me, I tend to want to turn to comfort foods in the fall when the weather has turned a little cool. And then when I can’t cook those things because they are not on my eating plan.It makes me a little sad and resentful of my healthy eating program. But, logically I know overall the most important thing right now is to lose the extra weight. So, I continue on…but still don’t have to like it!

  24. Genie@dietof51

    I’m not proud of my down moments either. While I’m struggling with a job change, I’m lucky to have a job, and the ability to work, etc.

    Saw three emergency cases come into the food pantry on Saturday. That always gives me new (guilty) perspective.

  25. Well,I’m late reading and commenting on this one. But we’re still two peas in a pod. You spilled a glass and I pouted because I didn’t have internet service. Pitiful on both counts. I’m going to have to make a trip to Kansas so we can walk down the yellow brick road and ask the wizard what to do………I’ve got a heart – think I’m gonna have to go with the courage to say no and eat less.

    Yes, my friend, all in all, we’ve got a lot going for us. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate it.

  26. Congratulations on getting past your bad day and moving on to the good days. That’s how you do it. I’m thinking you’re doing well these days. I’m smiling here.

  27. Yes, the news (and reality shows) are great at reminding me of all that I have, and how much worse life could be than just wanting chocolate-which I miss often.

    Don’t sweat the small stuff, or as my mom says, don’t crack your teeth on the pits.

    Polar’s Mom

  28. I have bad days.. at least once a week! And most of the time, they’re for really insignificant reasons, but I take it out on food anyway. I guess the important thing is to get back on the wagon the very next meal and take it from there. If there is one thing I took away from Thin for Life, it’s how to stop bad days from becoming bad weeks, months, etc…

  29. This is a tough one. It is iso easy to go to the self soothing when you are feeling stress (and I don’t know that we need to discount our feelings in relation to what others are going through) we need to find other ways to deal with the feelings, to calm and sooth ourselves. some people can get it from exercise, from talking with a friend or writing it down. I have a friend who shops and returns.

    This is a big one for me – not figuring out what is the big or small stuff – but finding and using the self soothing options beyond food.

  30. Perspective. Soooo essential. One time when I was lacking it, a good friend reminded me that life isn’t so hard when we don’t expect it to be so easy. Never forgot that.

    Why is it so hard to do something nice for ourselves when we are stressed instead of compounding the problem?? I think I need a list of all the ways I can do that at my fingertips for the hard days!

  31. I, too, have to remind myself to put things into perspective. One thing that I have to remember is that though the chocolate tastes good…it only makes me fat AND unhappy later….you know?

  32. Rock on, sista! You are so right. I’m sitting on hold for customer service as I surf the blogosphere. I’d like to cram chocolate down my throat, but, I too, need to remind myself that in the whole scheme of things, this is pretty small potatoes.

  33. I hope that the rest of the week will go better. You have the right attitude towards this whole journey!

  34. Yes, there will always be someone that has it worse than you but that doesn’t make what’s bothering you any less significant.

    I try to look at life as half full and I succeed most of the time but sometimes I give into the bad feelings and move on.

    Things will get better.

  35. Mon

    Hope your bad day has passed Karen. I’m one of those people who use exercise to ‘neutralise’ the sort of emotions you have described and it usually works for me. Other than that – a good massage also helps!!
    Hope all is going better for you now. Oh and I love Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat Books too – he was one very wise man!

    • Karen

      This past year I actually had a little epiphany when I was going through a very stressful time because of a family member’s health crisis. I CRAVED exercise!

  36. Unfortunately we can get more wrapped up in the small stuff than in the big ones.

    Still, non-food stress release is a big help no matter what the source of stress is.

    I think in the body it’s the mental process of stressing out that does you in more than the specific circumstance. I know people with really complicated lives who are calm and zen and handle things really well. I know people with what are objectively simple lives who live in a constant state of drama and anxiety.

    As you know, I’ve been reading a ton about positive psychology over the past few years – and have really started to believe that most of our emotional life is within our sphere of influence (I didn’t say Control…)

    • Karen

      Oh that last paragraph hits me. I remember reading and learning about those spheres years ago at my old job. And at the time it was a great eye opener. I’d forgotten it; thanks for the reminder.

  37. AFG

    Like I always say, it could always be worse. 🙂

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