Anyone Else Stress-Eating for Election Day?

By Debbie Koenig

I cannot wait for this to be over. I don’t want to know who’s getting your vote — I just want to know if you’re fighting the urge to eat everything in sight, too. Why does Election Day have to come on the heels of Halloween? I still encounter candy everywhere, taunting me, telling me that if I just eat one more fun-size nugget I’ll feel calm again. HA.

Stress-eating has always been my thing. If I feel any uncomfortable emotion at all, I reach for food. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what I’m grabbing. And when it reaches a fever pitch, like it has in the last week, even my most tried-and-true techniques to avoid overeating can fail me.

So here’s what I’ve done in recent days to stem the flow of calories down my gullet. It doesn’t all work every time, but having an arsenal of options increases my odds for success.

I bought a 3-pound bag of clementines. And a few days later, another one. Also, organic raspberries were on sale and my whole family loves them, so I think I brought home a dozen half-pint containers in two days.

Did I mention the two pounds of green beans I picked up at the farmers’ market? Raw and crunchy, they take a while to eat.
Kiddo’s Halloween candy is out of the house, thank goodness. I used as much of it as possible to liven up brownies for his school’s bake sale this weekend. Then I cut them up and delivered the whole thing to school immediately.

I start each day with homemade oatmeal topped with diced apple and cinnamon. It fills me up and as long as I can avoid reading any headlines, it tamps down the eating impulse.

When nightmarish thoughts of “What if the other candidate wins?” threaten to send me face-first into a bowl of ice cream, I pick up the phone and make some get-out-the-vote calls for my candidate. It definitely helps to feel like I’m doing something to prevent the apocalypse.
I’m designating a certain number of social-media-free hours each day. The less time I spend reading about the latest polls, the less panicky I feel.

At this point, though, mostly I’m just waiting for November 9.

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