Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Emotional Eating

I don't think of my self as touchy feely, but I do want to stop and talk about how our emotions play into our diets and weight loss. For some of you this will not apply. Whoever you are, I'm really jealous so I wouldn't come within arms length of me and acknowledge that emotional eating isn't a problem for you. :D

If you follow me on Twitter, read my blog, or happen to know me personally then you know that 2010 has been a pretty stressful year. I have dealt with personal tragedy, financial challenges, and extra work stress all while trying to kick start this writing "hobby" of mine. Heh. The point of that list is that it has added a big huge steaming pile of stress to my life. I mean to the point that four months ago or so I was seeing a physical therapist for a knot in my back so bad I couldn't sleep and couldn't work. I was a train wreck, physically.

This is never good because these kinds of things always lead to me making bad eating choices. I love food. Food does not judge me. It does not criticize me. I am always enough for food. I am smart enough, pretty enough, and I am great company for food...even when I am not. Food makes no demands on me. It's just there. For a few moments while I am eating it I feel good....euphoric even. It's like a drug, and like that the high always ends. Leaving behind the same emotional wreckage that was there to begin with plus the new pile of guilt on top for having eaten the the two cupcakes or the bag of chips or whatever it was.

Let me tell you breaking up is hard to do.

I never understood girls who repeatedly went back to guys who just weren't good for them in some way. But I am starting to have an appreciation for being drawn to a behavior that isn't healthy even when you know it isn't. Breaking up with food is hard, mostly because as one person (and I can't remember for the life of me where I read it!) we don't get to make a clean break. We still have to have a relationship with food...just different. Come on, we've all tried the let's just be friends line, haven't we?

So, here I am grappling with the emotions connected to eating. I get stressed out and I want to eat. I get upset and I want to eat. It makes me feel good...if only for that moment. Until I don't. And then the cycle starts again and holy shit I weight in at 200 pounds.

It is a frustrating cycle to be caught in, especially when you know intellectually what the healthy choices are; but in the end the emotional eating seems to overrule your intelligent brain. Your hand reaches out and comes back clutching that item that you know you are going to regret later.

How do you break the cycle? I suppose if I had a really good answer for that I would be losing weight. I try to keep healthier options around me so that when the urge to eat strikes I am at least grabbing healthy food instead of junk food. I am trying to exercise more consistently and for longer. I did Billy Blanks for 43 minutes Tuesday morning and Monday was 23 minutes. Tomorrow is another 43 minute workout. I plan on integrating a Saturday workout into my weekend schedule since I tend to lax off, and I am putting down the beer. I mean it this time. I slipped and let beer back in the picture somewhere, and it just is no good for me.

So those are my small tweaks I am implementing for now to jump start things again, because honestly, I am not happy. I don't want to be this size anymore. The question is, will I actually do anything about it?


Trish on November 4, 2010 at 5:15 AM said...

I believe in you! Believe in yourself! I am an emotional eater as well and it is so hard to stop the cycle. But it can be done. I have given in to the emotional eating train several times on my journey but I don't let it stop me. You can do anything you put your mind to!

When I started this, I looked up how to stop emotional eating and you have some great ideas, here are the ones that I have been I working on (for a long time)

*Identify your Triggers
*Recognize hunger signals
*Limit Trigger foods, just don't stock you fridge or cabinets with the foods you would binge on
*Do not skip meals, if you skip meals it almost always leads to over eating
*Alternatives to eating, like a bubble bath, a good book, a walk anything that will help you relax.

Just don't give up when you mess up, forgive yourself and start again the next day. Focus on the positive! =)

Dara Young on November 4, 2010 at 11:07 AM said...

Thanks Trish. I know it can be done. I am constantly working on it...I suppose I always will be at some level. And congrats to you for doing so well too! I know ho hard it is. :D


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