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I Can’t Stop Eating In The Middle Of The Night

When stress and hunger collide

When I’m not being visited by creepy shadow men, chances are I’m up, wondering what’s in the fridge.

Extracting myself from the embrace of my partner as stealthily as I can, I slip out the bedroom door and slide it shut behind me, hoping to mitigate any noise I might make. I don’t need to feel my way through the darkness, my goal is clear. I make for the fridge like a food-seeking missile.

And then there is light.

Salt is what I seek. My boyfriend buys salami regularly. He will usually have a few slices and then leave it in the fridge, the fool. I eat the rest of the package, even though I intended to only consume a few pieces. Still it might not be enough.

At this point I will see a box of pasta, or some instant ramen. Before I know it, the pans are taken out and I’m listening to a podcast as I wait for the water to boil for my 3am meal.

Once, because I am a monster, I made 4 small skirt steaks in the wee hours. I went to bed smelling of smoke, meat, and lack of control. When by boyfriend kissed me goodbye the next morning he picked a piece of grated pepper off my cheek that I’d neglected to wash away.

It wasn’t as if he’d pulled another man’s hair off the sheets, confirming his suspicions that I was having an affair. Still, it was a little embarrassing.

I know why I eat. Stress. When I can’t sleep it’s usually due to the nagging worries in my head that make it impossible to keep my eyes shut.

What if I don’t find a job? Oh look, chips! NOM! NOM! NOM!

How will I pay rent in California? Is that a packet of hot dogs? MUNCH! MUNCH! MUNCH!

Can my relationship survive? Wow, we have chocolate ice cream! SLURRRRP!

The best way I have found to combat this midnight eating is to NOT have any food in the house, except fruits and vegetables. At least I’m getting some vitamins and minerals if I give in.

For now I am caught in the loop of dieting during the day to make up for my nightly transgressions. The best thing I can do is look after my mental health and deal with the stressors that are keeping me up, which in turn makes me hungry.

Or I can padlock the fridge.