Saturday, June 16, 2012

Emotional Eater? I am, too.

Tell me if this sounds like you.

Your kids refuse to listen to you all morning and you wind up frustrated and run down .. So you down a bowl of ice cream while they nap.

Your boss rides you all day to meet a deadline on time and you feel super stressed and anxious ... So you open a large bag of potato chips and before you know it, the bag is empty.

Your friends forget to invite you to a big barbecue on the weekend and you feel left out and broken hearted ... So you get a supersized take-out meal and eat every last scrap.

I could definitely say that I identify with all of those scenarios. Food is a huge comfort for me. It helps to distract me from my feelings and makes me feel better.

BUT .. When that food has been eaten ... What's left?! Guilt. And oh, hey, look at that! A couple of extra pounds. And that stress from work is back.

I'm feeling a lot worse now.

Was that Big Mac worth it?

The answer to that varies per individual. Some people are able to shrug it off, others feel guilty, some (like me!) would actually get depressed about it and end up binging again.

I'm so proud to say that for the first time in my life, I've got control over my emotional eating. I've learned my lesson (over and over again!!) about my emotional eating cycle. I feel bad, so I eat .. Then I feel bad for eating, and wind up eating more .. The next day I'm plagued with guilt and anger over those extra pounds and so I feel bad and eat again .. What a destructive cycle.

It's like Fat Bastard says in the Austin Powers movie, "I eat because I feel bad, and I feel bad because I eat."

I've learned that food isn't the answer. Not only does it not fix my problems, it just makes me feel worse.

Here are some tips that I use to keep myself in check during tough times:

1. I remind myself that I don't want to screw up the success I have had so far with my weight loss.

2. I keep myself distracted. When I'm busy doing something, I'm taking my mind off my problem and far away from that little inner voice that is trying to convince me to lose myself in some ice cream.

3. Find another way to deal with the problem. Talk it out with the person who upset me. Go for a nice walk with some music I love. Take a hot bath. Do something that makes me feel good!

4. I don't keep those tempting foods in the house! 

I'm writing this blog while feeling blue myself .. So I'm going to go out for a walk to cheer myself up .. Far, far away from the fridge!

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