Thursday, May 16, 2013

Getting In Touch With My Emotions

Since I've started the journey to become healthy I've really had to confront the emotional side of my eating.  For years, ever since I was young, I've always turned to food to curb my emotional appetite.  I would eat if I became sad, stressed, bummed, happy, bored.  Eating became synonymous with myself.  I would leave the house and the first thing I would do was look for someplace to eat.  But why?  Why did I do these things to myself?  There are all kinds of studies out there that discuss emotional eating and why we continue to do it over and over again.  I think, at least for myself, it goes deeper than that.  I'm still discovering the emotional triggers that make me want to go grab something unhealthy to eat.  Recognizing those triggers and how to deal with them has gone a long way in keeping me from the drive-thru line at Taco Bell.  I have a couple simple steps that I use to myself from the emotional ledge. 

  1.  Have a plan in place.  If you know you are an emotional eater develop a plan to deal with it.  Get a substitute food to eat that you know won't ruin your diet.  For instance, I have Lily's Chocolate Bars to help me with my unhealthy cravings.  They are low in calorie and they have no added sugar but are instead sweetened with all natural Stevia.  They are a great substitute but still keep me on the healthy path.
  2. Get a journal and start journaling.  There are some things that you are not going to want to share with anyone but it's still a healthy and productive way to vent those feelings but keep them private.  I journal all the time about my frustrations, anger, excitement.  Any feeling you have journal about it.  This has been key to recognizing my emotional triggers.
  3. I can't stress enough about having a great support system.  Whether it's family, friends, or a neighbor having someone you can turn to in a weak moment to talk you down off of that ledge is imperative.  Sometimes all you need is someone to tell you no.
  4. Lastly, get a gym membership.  I can't tell you how therapeutic it has been to be able to go to the gym and work out my frustration.  Instead of turning to food to give me that happy boost I work out.  The endorphins I get during a really good workout always put me in a better mood when I leave.
What tools do you use to stop your emotional eating?

4 comments:

  1. It was very difficult for me when I first began dieting. I mostly ate when I was bored or anxious about something. I didn't even realize that until I started dieting! It's amazing how much you learn about yourself on this journey. It was a hard habit to break, but it gets easier with practice.

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    1. You aren't kidding! It's one of the hardest things about reading for me. How did you manage your emotional eating?

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    2. Um, I wish I had a "secret" to tell you...I just stopped. Sheer willpower, I guess. My desire "not to be fat" outweighed my desire to eat mindlessly. Now that I am a reasonable weight, I am struggling again. Since I am not obese anymore it is easier to justify eating too much. Therefore I have gained some weight back (nowhere NEAR the morbidly obese state I was once in, but still)... I have to get back in that mindset.

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    3. I'm still struggling with my emotional eating, in fact I'm going to be blogging about it later today. I wish I had been better but it seems like emotional eating can really suck me in. It's horrible.

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