Food matters

I’m increasingly aware how important food is to my state of mind. I’ve had a few very low moments over the last few weeks, but all of them have been solved, completely and rapidly, by eating something.

I’ve only picked up on this recently. I went out for dinner with a colleague, and they remarked how much more animated I am after eating. This was a new thing, and set me off watching how much of a difference food makes to the way I behave.

This week made things particularly clear. I left the office at half 7ish for most of it, and realised I was walking out the door feeling inexplicably sad and lonely. At first I put this down to flat-sitting on my own – after a few months of sharing, I’m back to being alone in the evenings. But on Tuesday the lack-of-food hypothesis finally surfaced in my conscious brain. This, frankly, seemed pretty unlikely, and I forgot about it again. But after some food at ‘home’ I forgot I’d felt that way at all. Pretty much the same thing happened on Wednesday, so on Thursday I told myself while walking home that this wasn’t real, and I’d feel better soon. But 5mins later I was back in the same thought spirals. So on Friday I made a real effort to keep myself in check, and was only half successful. Even knowing what’s going on, it’s really surprisingly difficult to keep myself in check!

Thankfully, there’s an easy and obvious solution here. But I’m intrigued as to whether this is a problem getting worse, or something I’m just more aware of. I remember from years ago, when these moods were much more of an issue, that they’d self-reinforce – the more I felt bad, the more it increased. But how much of that was caused by not eating properly?

To be fair, it’s not like people had never told me to eat properly. Or, indeed, that I wasn’t eating properly. I’m avoiding the temptation to rewrite the history of my lower period in light of a seemingly simple explanation. I actually suspect it’s getting worse, or I’m sure I’d have noticed it. But it’s been a shock realising quite how low I can sink, and have it fixed in 10mins.

Anyway, from now on: if I’m going to work late, snacks in the late afternoon.