It’s officially 32 days until my qualifying exam, and this has been a week of completely eating my feelings. It’s not that I’m feeling particularly sweet, rather salty. The fact is that when I’m stressed, I crave carbs and especially sugary baked goods. I wouldn’t call myself an emotional eater, but I don’t believe in denying myself. If anything, my craving for sugar was confirmation of what I knew to be true about how I’ve been feeling internally. Studying is lonely, stressful, boring at times and somehow sugary food is like a companion. I can usually get by with Ghirardelli’s salted chocolate, but this week, that just wouldn’t do.
My week of sweets After church, I decided to go to the library and stayed for about four hours. In order to make this work session somewhat bearable, I went to a bakeshop near my house that I’d never been to. They don’t post the prices, so that should have given me pause, but it didn’t. I was pretty determined to get whatever I wanted so that included: a lemon square, eggnog cheesecake and a salted chocolate cookie. Luckily it was under $10, so I didn’t have to feel like I unintentionally balled out of control just to satiate a craving. I didn’t finish eating all of them while I was adding the finishing touches to my topic bibliography, but it was nice to have company while contemplating the previous shortcomings and the future of ethnography in the Caribbean. The nice thing about Sunday evenings at school is that the library is deserted so I felt slightly less guilty about how loud I was when I was opening the packing on all the food I’d brought. In the past I’ve been known to bring whole bats of veggie straws to the library so I didn’t’ feel to bad.
On Wednesday, I had a routine cleaning with my dentist and the prognostic could have been better. I dedicated myself to keeping up an already pretty tight oral hygiene regimen but there were still empanadas to be eaten so…..
Later in the week, I essentially turned my kitchen into a mini-empanada factory. My roommate also has an air fryer, and something inspired me to try my hand at making guava and cheese empanadas. The pastry dough comes ten rounds in a pack, so I had enough time for trial and error (read: procrastination from reading about social reproduction—Bowles and Gintis aren’t going anywhere). I had two empanada sessions on two different days. I finally figured out what I was doing on the sixth one and burned the last two, but I naturally ate every last one of them.
A week later, I can say that I’m finally over the sugar rush although there’s still some left over guava paste that I don’t want to see go to waste. I’m actually going to try my hand at a modified version of carb cycling. I’m cutting out carbs for breakfast, eggs and sautéed spinach instead of my usual oatmeal; maybe I’ll be able to do a full day without carbs, but that’s for another time.
The moral of the story is that sometimes, I feel like eating sugar and sometimes I want spinach. I’m okay with that. Onwards and upwards.
Any one else out there stress eating? How do you cope? Do you give in or do you have more discipline than me?