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emotional eating - a victory!

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Old 01-26-2008, 01:41 PM   #1
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Smile emotional eating - a victory!

This is a big one for me.

Yesterday, I was reading a story that reminded me of a very dear friend who died three years ago. Between the story and the music I was listening to, I ended up sobbing. When I was done, the first thing I thought was, "I need chocolate." I headed into the kitchen, and halfway to the fridge I stopped and thought, "I'm not even hungry," and then a moment later, "I don't care. I'm going to have it anyway."

And then I said, "No, I'm not." And I left - not just the kitchen, but the house. Because in that moment, I realized that the temptation wouldn't go away if it was right in front of me. I decided that if I still wanted chocolate later, I would have it. But I would have it for pleasure, not because I felt lousy and wanted it for comfort.

I didn't actually end up eating it. It was all I could think of for a little while, that there was chocolate waiting for me, but then I got so busy that I forgot.

Thinking back to yesterday, I know that if I had eaten the chocolate in that moment of sorrow, I would not have been satisfied with one serving. Because as much as I enjoy it, it cannot comfort me or make the bad feelings go away. But I would have tried, by eating more. And then I would have felt unsatisfied and guilty and still sorrowful.

This is not the first time that I have managed to turn away from food during emotional stress. This was different, though, because I was consciously aware, in that moment, that what I was about to do was comfort eating. It made the decision not to do it both harder and easier. Harder, because a part of me was saying, "Eat the chocolate. It will help. It always does." Easier, because the other part of me was saying, "It doesn't really, you know."

It seems funny that this should be a revelation: The only problem food can solve is hunger. Even after years of reading Geneen Roth and trying to change my habits and thoughts, it's still a revelation. Maybe I already intellectually knew, but I wasn't ready to know, to believe it as truth. I think maybe I can, now.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:43 PM   #2
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That's awesome!!!
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:45 PM   #3
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good for you! must be an amazing feeling
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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I need to dig my Geneen Roth bookout for a refresher. Thanks!!
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
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Lightbulb You said it very well

One thing that happened during our weight gain journey is that we made food our friends, comforter, de-stressor and every thing else. We didn't turn to friends or even to our Higher Power. We didn't allow ourselves to really "feel the feelings".

I had a therapist in the mid 90s whom I was working with on my emotional eating tell me it was as simple (and hard) to just "feel the feelings". I have found out that I am a person who has very deep passionate feelings about a lot in life. I am fiercely loyal. I am doggedly determined. At first, I was afraid of how strongly I can express my feelings compared to my DH, who is much more quiet about his frustrations and anxieties. I wish I were different. I get embarassed at how intense my feelings can be at times. I would love it if I could be blase about so much in life but I'm not.

One thing that I have found out that my feelings erupt almost instanteously and then once I have expressed them I am fine. Maybe not that next minute but the next day.

My guess, is that you just have some unfinished grieving left over losing your friend. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, you connected eating as a drug to relieve the pain. We have all been using food, pick your favorite, like it was aspirin, Tylenol or Aleve, name your choice.

Take this revelation and work from there. Maybe, you need to set aside some time and reconnect with what that friend meant to you.

One thing that I have discovered is that now when I react to something is something that is happening to me now. I am not dragging around all of this unfinished stuff from the past. I think once you start to work on finishing up some of that unfinished emotional work in your life you will have less and less reason to turn to food. When that happens, you will feel free indeed.

Thanks for sharing
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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on your victory! I have a hard time with emotional eating as well, but one of the things I do is what you did. Sometimes you need to walk away and get yourself busy with something else. Way to go!
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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That was a big deal. I am an occasional binge eater and seem to do it on autopilot with no thought before hand. I found The Beck Solution Diet group today so I can learn how to be mindful about all of my eating.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:43 PM   #8
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Victorious you are! Nice job!
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:31 PM   #9
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Congratulations! That is a great realization.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:29 AM   #10
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Congratulations! IMO, emotional eating is the hardest challenge I face every day. Thanks for showing us that you can overcome.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:12 PM   #11
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I have a lot of emotions too, but I don't know if I am a huge emotional eater, though it could be that I just don't realize it when I'm doing it. I eat when I'm bored, so if I'm busy, then food is the last thing on my mind until my stomach starts rumbling... which is why it's important to have healthy snacks or easy meals to make because I completely forget about food until I'm ready to EAT RIGHT NOW or I'll get pissy. lol.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #12
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Awesome! A book I'm reading says that every time you resist a food like that you weaken your "giving in muscle" and strengthen your "resisting muscle" with the result that the temptations will be less intense over time.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:32 PM   #13
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Good for you! That is a huge victory and you should be very proud of yourself!
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