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My old habit of Emotional Eating is trying to slip in! HELP!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hi Spark Friends,

Just checking in to say hi to you all and to run something I am experiencing by you. It always helps me when I write about things. Okay so here it is. I am in this new life style eating healthy, exercising, and doing things for me for once, since August of last year. To date I have lost a total of 46 pounds. (Which still feels so odd to say even as I write it here). I am still in shock that I have actually been able to do that for myself for the first time in so many years. I am so happy and so very proud to have accomplished what I have so far. I am determined to reach my goal. I have actually not had to many issues come up so far with my journey until now. Lately, I have found myself "attempting to overeat". By this I mean I want to eat more then I have been thus far. I am almost positive it is emotional eating I am trying to fall back into. I am not hungry but I find myself looking around for something to put in my mouth. I have been under the weather for the last couple of weeks. I spent a couple days in the hospital and am on medications that make me sick to my stomach. I have three more days to go before I am done with them. THANK GOD! I am also struggling very much with the whole hormonal issues. I am going thru the change and don't wish this process on anyone ever! It has been a real hard thing on my body to have all this going on at once. So I decided to go on the hormone replacement therapy to get myself back. I have heard about all the risks of cancer with some of these medications but to tell you the truth if I had 5 years to live on this medication and got relief over 20 years to live with no relief, I will take the five years. I guess some people have a really hard time during this period and others barely notice the changes within. I am clearly a hard time case! Anyway, with all this, I am drifting in and out of my kitchen to look for something to put in my mouth. I guess I am miserable and am starting to get the old feelings of "the comfort food". We all know it isn't really comforting because it isn't good to overeat or eat unhealthy. I know this logically but mentally, I am a mess and am trying to fight this really hard. Fortunately, I have only healthy things in my house, so what I have done so far is to eat popcorn over fruit, or two skinny cows over fruit or something less calories or more nutritional. I have stayed within my calorie range but have not eaten what I know I should be eating but going for instead the popcorn or skinny cow. Today before my doctor said it was okay I went to the gym and did a workout. I thought that would help me because it would release good endorphins that would make me feel better mentally and physically and also keep me out of my kitchen roaming around aimlessly. I was there for just over an hour and had a great workout. However, I am back and still wanting to roam into the kitchen. I am not hungry. I am an emotional mess right now and do NOT want food to be my answer. I cannot allow myself to fall back in to old bad habits. I need support to stay strong during this period of time. I know this will all pass at some point (at least I am counting on it) and I do not want to take any steps backwards when I have come so far. So I am asking you my friends if you have any advice, suggestions, or comments that might help me to stay on the right track. I wanted to talk about this now before I did something stupid like buy some bad food. (Which I have not). You have all been such a wonderful support system for me and so encouraging and so inspirational to me for as long as I have been here. That is why I wanted to share not just my success but my struggles with you in hopes of getting thru this without getting off track. I thank you all so much in advance for any suggestions you can share with me. I do not want to backslide and I need support to keep on track right now.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am so sorry that you have been going through so much!! I have been away sick for the past week or so, I had a day like that yesterday when you don't feel well or when you are just starting to feel better it is hard to stay out of the kitchen and emotionally eat your way through it. It is not nice when emotional eating attacks you when you are weakest. It is hard enough on stong days.
    Stay strong.
    Sparks love
    4352 days ago
    I hadn't realized you had been hospitalized. I'm sorry to hear that and wish I ha had known....

    So, only a few days left on the meds that make you feel yucky and that is good news! A great workout today, also great news! And, you don't have any "bad" foods in the house, also great news! Focus on that list of positives and check your ticker to remind you how far you've come!

    You are doing the right things... You talk to your doctor, you blog instead of running to the kitchen and you ask for help when you need it! You are doing what is right....

    I'm an all the time emotional eater, so I get it. I stock up on the healthier treats so when the emotions come and I can't seem to fight it, I only indulge in the healthier options. I like celery and it satisfies an emotional craving. I think it is the crunch and the energy needed to chew it up.... I usually eat it plain, but will put a little peanut butter on it or fat free ranch dressing and I sit and enjoy the satisfaction of the crunch and the eating...

    As for the menopaussal symptoms, keep tuning in to the Weekly Show Chat Thread on the AMC Fans team. The topic of "the change" comes up quite often with lots of laughs and support to help us all deal!

    Hang in there! You are doing great!
    4356 days ago
    Girl, it really has to be mind of matter at this point. It seems that the meds are making you think something you wouldn't normally think or feel. So you really have to be WATCHFUL. You're doing so well in the fact that you NOTICE this. So you're going to have to really purpose in your heart to be MORE WATCHFUL and remind yourself "I'm not HUNGRY and therefore i will not eat." it's going to be mechanical initially but then it will be the norm until your off the meds. I eat for one reason and one reason only... I'm HUNGRY! Since being on the fruit fast that I'm on, I'm so NOT hungry... I just eat for calories sake! That's one good thing being on this fruit fast!
    4357 days ago
    KEEP STRONG!!! You have come such a long way, you do not want to go back!
    When emotions kick and try to drag you down to your old destructive habits... shout a big *NO* and head outside, even just for a few minutes. Try to clear your mind, look at the trees surrounding you, listen to the birds or other noises and... BREATH slowly and deeply. Then drink 2 16 oz of water; sometimes thirst is tricky and makes you think that you want to eat... Hope this works for you too! Hang in there, you are not alone! emoticon
    4357 days ago
    Wow, you are having a time of it. I, too, am an emotional eater and I knew that this was going to be one of, if not the, biggest challenge I face. I had to make some very clear and hard choices to be successful - one of them was to quit bringing in books to my house - which is another form of emotional eating I guess. When I read, I eat so I have put that on the back burner. I have however pulled out my crosstiching and scrap booking stuff that has been sitting in the closets and baskets and am working on those compulsively so that I can stay busy. I also have had to... readjust(?) how I handle stressors - it used to be eating - I hurt I would eat (and I hurt a lot), I get angry I would eat...you see how it is?? So I have added processing through that instead of ignoring it. It's not been easy but it does make me feel better when I defeat that emotional monster. I hope that things get better and easier for you. Another thing to do is journaling. It can help.

    4357 days ago
  • FROGGI828
    Emotional and bored eating is what got me to 275 pounds so I can definitely relate. It sounds like you need to do something to distract yourself from the kitchen. Whenever I aimlessly head to the kitchen and open the cupboard door, I make myself drink a glass of water. My giving my mouth something to "do" I feel a bit better and can then go find something else to do. I've had a LOT of idle time lately because I've been staying at home with my son during the week now and when he's sleeping, instead of eating, I go exercise until he wakes up. Anything that keeps you out of the kitchen will help you! Good luck, I know how hard it is!
    4357 days ago
    I'm sorry you're having to go through this, but hang in there.

    It sounds like the "searching the kitchen" may be the old emotional (comfort) eating...but it may be boredom, too. It also sounds like you are controlling it more. Yes, you had things that you hadn't planned on...but they weren't *major* slips. Even if they were, remember, each moment we're given is another moment to start fresh.

    4357 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2402339
    It's good that you are aware of what you're doing which helps you to make the necessary changes and know when to look for help. I've been toying with this idea for a while so I'll leave it for you to try out if you want.

    Sit down and type up a list of pro and cons for over eating. These can include how you feel emotionally and physically after you've had too much to eat, the impact it has on your pocket book when you have to buy more food that you would otherwise have had longer if you weren't overeating, how much you would have to exercise to burn off the extra calories, etc. Put this list on the fridge or cupboard door or anywhere that you might be tempted to eat and make yourself read it before you reach for that food. Not only will you be distracting yourself from thoughts of eating, but you'll remind yourself about why you want to treat yourself well. Hopefully these two things will move you away from the fridge.

    You've done this. You've done so much already and you can keep doing it. You are strong.
    4357 days ago
    We are here for you, It breaks my heart that you are going thru all of this right now, I just want to give you a hug!

    Please though try to do the best you can, You have had health issues, and we want you in good health, as far as the change, I have been there and done that, it will pass eventually.

    4357 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4099606
    What a great blog! Sounds like you're going thru a rough patch, and I know from experience the hormonal changes you are going through. I started with peri-menopause and they tried anti depressants first, then hormones. And that's when I started gaining all the weight. And I shop in the kitchen too. But I figure as long as I'm in the caloric range, and not eating junk, it's not that big of a deal. You're doing the right thing by reaching out, and I agree with another comment that maybe if you find a hobby, be it reading, knitting, whatever, that may take your mind off of food. It may be that since you've been ill, that you're just antsy to return to a normal lifestyle. Good luck and congratulations on your weight loss!
    4357 days ago
    I know what you mean about "shopping" around the kitchen. It may be a combination of both comfort food and possibly boredom. I find that I need something to challenge my mind and body (what's that quote... "idle hands are the devil's workshop"). Sometimes just heading off to complete things on your "honey-do list" will deter you from the fridge. I enjoy gardening, so if I start to feel too "destructive or idle" I head out to clean up the yard, pull weeds, fertilize bulbs, etc. Maybe you want to tackle something new and challenging? Like learning to play guitar, painting, photography, quilting, knitting, home improvements, something inspirational and creative, something that keeps your interest and gives you more to occupy your mind and hands. Set deadlines to complete a project for a friend or family member (quilt, a painting, scrapbook, etc.). Deadlines are great for keeping you busy. It's nice if you can work a physical activity in, maybe learning to bowl, ice skate, or volunteering at the local shelter to walk dogs. I have also found SparkPeople especially helpful at "constructively" filling in what would have been needless snacking time. Stay strong, and keep up the good work -- you are benefiting already from your perseverance.
    4357 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/19/2009 10:23:45 AM
    I know it's hard, but stay focused. Read your own blog entry for some motivation. It helps, believe me.
    4357 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3239596
    Hormones.......they play a key roll in this.........but we can do it....one day at a time.....one day at a time.....together....JO
    4357 days ago
    Congratulations on your weight loss thus far! Perhaps right that number down on a piece of paper and hang it in the cupboards or fridge or wherever it is you venture to find snacks. This may help detour you. Sometimes I also will just out of the blue do like 10 jumping jacks to get my blood flowing and it helps me realize I'm not hungry just bored! Best of luck to you...you CAN get thru this! emoticon
    4357 days ago
  • DIANE003
    I am sorry to hear about your struggles. I am relatively new in my weight loss journey so I am not sure how much input I have. But I do not that writing it down as you did and keeping a journal of before, during and after eating really has helped me. Mostly I wanted to stop by and support you in any way I could. I am on the Ruby team with you and I really enjoy your forum there. I know for me staying involved with SP has helped me out so much. Hang in there we are there for you! This will pass.

    4357 days ago
    It sounds to me like your body is going through some changes, your medication is having an effect, and I'm sure the emotions and stress of it all is contributing!

    Writing is sure to help. Getting in touch with what's really going on is better than shoving things in your mouth any day!!!
    I'm sorry you're having a tough time right now. It sounds like you're dealing with it pretty well, keeping the healthy snacks. If you just want something in your mouth, you may try some hard candies or gum? Celery, Carrots, etc might cure your desire for "Crunch"?

    Good luck.. I'm here if you want to talk.
    4357 days ago
    First of all, emoticon on the 46 lb weight loss!!! THAT'S AWESOME!!! I don't have any words of wisdom for you, as I am struggling with the same situation. I just fall in and out of motivation on a regular basis!!! Right now, I'm having a 'skinny week' - feeling good - but I haven't worked out much! UGH - it's frustrating, but life happens and we can only deal with it one day at a time, one craving at a time. Just keep up the good work and you will get through this - life would be boring without struggles :)

    4357 days ago
    emoticon Sending you some hugs and love!

    I can't imagine how the change can feel but I can relate to emotional eating like you describe.

    I can only say what helps for me. I try to think about what it is I REALLY want when I feel like this. I have a food/ emotion journal and I write it all down EVERY time I have a craving. A lot of the time just writing it out helps. Sometimes I pick up from writing what I really need to give myself and often it is something as simple as a warm bath and a warming meal with an early night with a good book.

    What this is, is TRUE nourishment.

    I am also a firm believer in researching the types of foods to eat in various times. I have a hormone imbalance and I find that eating low GI, high omega 3 oils and key nutrients - in food or supplements helps. As does a low sodium diet. Also consider some form of relaxation/ alternative therapy such as reiki, massage etc. They are hugely beneficial and what they give, aside from relief, is a real sense of care.

    Hope you feel better soon! You have loads of done love and support right here!

    emoticon Hugs Again!
    4357 days ago
    Sorry you are having a rough time. You've got all the support you need from your Done Girls.

    I think sitting down, writing about it and articulating what's going on is the best possible first step to take. So way to go!

    If you don't keep a "before-during-after journal" about your food, maybe consider starting that. It can help you think about why you are eating, how it made you feel while you were doing it and then what the real results are. (There's an SP article about it somewhere in my favourites if you want to check it out).

    Just keep writing. Keep being in touch with yourself. You've got lots of difficult things going on. The most important thing you can do for you is to be honest with yourself about your feelings, get them out and be in touch with them.

    Hang in there. emoticon
    4357 days ago
    You are so strong and you WILL make it through. It sounds to me like you are very aware of what's going on... what you're doing, and you're trying to counteract it best you can. And you've done a great thing by blogging and reaching out. Are you giving up? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Just know that we're all here for you, and hang through till the hormone replacement comes through.

    Maybe get yourself a new exercise DVD or try a new class at the gym and focus your energy on putting time and learning something new in that way?

    You can do this emoticon

    4357 days ago
  • TOWANDA132
    Sounds like you've already gotten lots of great support but yes, keep it up and have faith in yourself. You are doing great and try some hot tea or water whenever you go into the kitchen. It often helps distract me from the munchies. You have worked so hard, keep it up.
    4357 days ago
    Your problem seems like a hormonal one to me. You know when you get the 'munchies' once a month. Maybe taking hormone replacement meds will help. Hang in there this will pass in time.
    4357 days ago
  • BETRME100
    Your blog is very timely...I've been sick for the past week and find myself reaching for the less healthy foods as well...like you, popcorn instead of fruit...Last night I decided to journal about what was going on. My answer was that I've been trying to take care of myself by resorting to what had always been a comfort to me in the past...food. Isn't it amazing how we can do so well and then fall back into the old behaviors when faced with a trigger situation? My answer for myself...get back to planning everything I'm going to eat (I do so well with this when I'm working, not so much when I'm staying home) and enter it in my nutrition tracker ahead of time, get to the grocery store and stock up on all my healthy foods (I haven't been grocery shopping in about 2 weeks) using a list I've already written, get some soup going in my crockpot so I have some comfort food ready to heat up and eat. And I'll definitely keep journaling about this...there's a lesson in all of this and I'm determined to learn it without gaining weight!!

    We can do this!!

    4357 days ago
  • no profile photo CHANGE4FREEDOM
    Wow! It sounds like you are going through so much right now. I wonder if the medication you are on, coupled with the wonderful hormonal roller coaster ride of perimenopause/menopause (believe me I know EXACTLY what you are talking about there) are causing you to want to comfort eat like you say. If you can just hang in there until you are off your medication and feeling better I bet the need to eat for comfort goes away. I guess I am not far enough down the road of weight loss yet to speak from experience but it seems like this is all a process and our old habits will rear their ugly heads from time to time. You will continue to be successful and soon enough this will be something in your past! Hang in there!


    4357 days ago
    It'll pass, hang in there! I make needless trips to the kitchen and the "snack center" at work (which is on the other side of my desk.. I can practically smell the candy bars from where I sit all night).. so I have a 20 minute rule. Every time I go in the kitchen (except for a planned meal) I set the timer on the microwave for 20 minutes, and I must wait that long to eat whatever goodie I've found. Usually, by the time the timer goes off, I've forgotten what the heck it's going off for, and have more willpower to fight the munching. Also, I have a cheat night once every two weeks. Every other Thursday at work we order junk.. like greasy pizza or something I wouldn't normally have. I enjoy it without guilt because I waited (lol, and plotted) to have it, and because I plan for it I don't go absurdly out of my calorie range to "cheat".
    I hope it gets easier for you soon and you're back to feeling on track.
    emoticon emoticon
    4357 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/19/2009 12:17:32 AM
  • DEBANNE1124
    Find something else that brings great pleasure to you besides eating. A nice hobby or take a walk if you can.

    How are you feeling these days? I'm hoping much better.
    4357 days ago
    Sorry to hear about the hard time you're having. I'm not sure how much support I can be in a case like this. I haven't gone through the change yet, and I hope I'm years away from it, but I am 42 so maybe not. Who knows for sure. I also have never done much emotional eating... when I'm upset it's the opposite... I stop eating. I've gone as much as 2 days with no food, which I know is just as bad. You've done such a good job so far with the weight you've lost. That's a big amount 46 lbs. My best advice is don't let go of your goal. Keep that vision in mind and don't let go.

    4357 days ago
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