I never considered myself a stress eater.
When we would have the talk about emotional eating in my WW meetings I knew I could check off the box for boredom eating. I didn’t really think I struggled with stress eating or anxiety eating. Changing jobs in the middle of last year really tested my stress level and was the start of eating (and drinking) when I would feel stressed. It wasn’t as if eating made me feel relief from the stress, instead I would develop a “fuck it” attitude and just want to eat (or drink) in response to what I was feeling.
I know this is an issue because it happened again on Friday. I am working a mid-shift that overlapped the day shift and the swing shift by one hour Friday and Saturdays. Because of this I work until 5pm instead of 4pm. Fridays are also our Double Team days where there is twice the amount of patrol officers working. There should be twice the amount of dispatchers working but often during the hours of 4pm and 8pm there is just minimal staff scheduled and not any extra.
On Friday we were really shorted staffed. There was a communication issue between the supervisors and instead of five people scheduled at 4pm we only had four people. That meant that the side Lindsay was working on had to take on additional officers. While there wasn’t a huge amount of troopers working in each area separately but between the two there was 17 officers and one dispatcher…me.
After an hour of working by myself and fearful I’d have to stay late despite having plans right after work, I was able to go home on time. I was still really upset and pissed off and the first thing I thought was “I want Mexican food.” We had plans to meet my parents for dinner at SouperSalad but eating chips and salsa sounded so good. At dinner I ate two breadsticks and had some pound cake with strawberries and whip cream. That wasn’t in the plan before I left work upset.
I know that stress drives my eating choices and it is a new development that I need to zone in on more and work harder to overcome. Being mindful of the behavior and recognizing that stress may cause me to stray from my plan is a very important first step.