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Is it ever ok to emotionally eat?

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Old 08-04-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default Is it ever ok to emotionally eat?

Ok so I'm doing calorie counting and it's been a rough day. I'm trying not to eat when I don't feel hungry and trying to eat things that are useful to my body. Is it ever ok to emotionally eat if you watch the calories of what you're eating?

Context:
Right now I'm at 1200 calories and normally I wouldn't eat anymore today because I already sort of had dinner an hour ago (I try to stay between 1200 and 1500 calories per day). I just had a conversation with my mom in which she was kind of depressed and I encouraged her and now I'm depressed and all I want to eat is mashed boiled eggs and cheese because that's my comfort food/happy place. I KNOW I'm not hungry but I just feel I need food comfort.

On the one hand, i know it will only be about 100 calories of consumption and still within my daily limit for myself, on the other hand I feel like i should be trying to wean myself away from using food as a comfort (the biggest reason for my weight issues). What do you think?
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #2
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I would write in my journal for at least 1 page. Then sit and take 10 slow deep breaths. Then lie down and take 10 more breaths. Then if I was still hungry I'd eat.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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Hmm, u have two very valid points. If u are trying to work on the emotional eating I would refrain from it and do something instead to lift your spirits. Watch a silly movie, call a friend or whatever tickles u. U will feel so much better in the end!!!
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:04 PM   #4
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Isn't this more about WHY you are eating rather than WHAT you are eating? I mean, it's a small step from egg and cheese to chips and dip to ice cream and cake when the egg and cheese isn't available.

The thing is -- IMHO if you want to be at a normal weight you have to live like a "normal weight" person...you have to BEHAVE like one and THINK like one, and when you get there, the thought process will BE there...

So ask yourself -- do "normal weight" people turn to food for comfort? None that I know of! So I think that maybe your reason for eating rather than WHAT you are eating might be more important to think about, right now...

Now, I'm NOT saying that one NEVER eats emotionally. I mean, life HAPPENS to all of us. But it sounds like you may want to give yourself PERMISSION to do so, and that's a bit, well, scary to me...

JMHO

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Old 08-04-2009, 09:33 PM   #5
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You're right. It's not really about the food, its about breaking the eating my feelings cycle. I know I shouldn't give myself and excuse to do something that isn't beneficial to me. I need to find new ways to deal.

I just watched an episode of 30 Rock, which made me laugh and thus feel a little better. I'll do a yoga dvd now and then curl up in bed with a suitably trashy romance novel (where everything turns out right in the end) till I fall asleep.

Thanks guys.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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AWESOME!!!

Great choice...and I love 30 Rock too! Especially the episode with Steve Martin, and he begs Liz Lemon to go with him to TORONTO because it is JUST like New York but without all the STUFF!!!



Have a great yoga practice, and tell us tomorrow how you did...



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Old 08-04-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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I'd say no. If hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the answer. Sit with those feelings, allow yourself to feel without numbing yourself. It's tough but it will get easier and easier
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:30 AM   #8
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Great thread to open when I was just doing that internal negotiation on if I should break my daily limit by 120 calories. It would be the result of events of the past 2 days....and I was in the midst of justifying it, but this thread just set me straight!
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:51 AM   #9
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Great question, especially as 1200 is quite low and, health speaking, you'd plenty 'space' left to eat more.

I admire the route you took! Definitely the right answer: I think emotional eating is always to be avoided because it is so much the slippery slope, something healthy today, something less healthy tomorrow, beyond the calorie budget the next day. I know, I've done it so often. You are to be congratulated!
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:42 AM   #10
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well done on not giving into it!!! you have done so well sticking to your daily allowance, and for resisting the temptation. there are other things to make us feel good too, just sometimes we forget what and if we dont stop ourselves we go to the old reliable. but you made a healthy choice!!! well done!!!

kiramira, i love your outlook on it too. it was just the kind of talking too i needed even tho it wasnt directed at me! i need to start thinking like a skinny person! so thanks for that!

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:50 AM   #11
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Well done for not giving in! making the decision to start eating to soothe you does not end well (in my experience) . . . particularly if its ever been a problem in the past. Very hard to put the breaks on once you head in that direction. I think its very different as Kira said if it kinda just happens (ie. through lack of planning etc) . . . there seems to be less negative energy associated with it than if you do it for the reasons and the manner outlined above.

Such a great move that you worked through it!!! You are awesome.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiramira View Post

The thing is -- IMHO if you want to be at a normal weight you have to live like a "normal weight" person...you have to BEHAVE like one and THINK like one, and when you get there, the thought process will BE there...

So ask yourself -- do "normal weight" people turn to food for comfort? None that I know of!
Well here's one normal weight person who does eat emotionally, and DOES turn to food for comfort every now and then. And I'm not the only one that I know that does this. A GREAT many of my "always been slim friends" do this as well. It is one of the most difficult things to conquer. Not sure why food IS such a comfort to us, seeing that in the end it causes more problems then it solves....

After losing all the pounds that I have, there are still times (no where close to how it used to be) where I turn to food, sadly. Sometimes I just need/want to chew. If that is the case, it can really be anything - a few string beans, a few stalks of celery. I know 1000% this is something that STILL needs to be worked on - I am a work in progress.

I think the fact that you paused and came here to "talk" about it prior to doing it is fantastic. And then how you wound up handling it in the end - BRILLIANT and COMMENDABLE and without a doubt the "right" thing to do. You should be amazingly proud of yourself. You are firmly on your way down the right path. And the best thing about it - remember this. Remember how you got through just this one time - and now you KNOW that you CAN get through - and then if need be (& we know there will be a need be), you can repeat the process. Because you've proved to yourself that you can do it. You have just begun forming new and healthy habits. And before you know it, these will become your "normal". Yup, you are definitely on the right path.

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Old 08-05-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
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Like most of the people here said, you have to deal with those feelings. It's a good thing that you came here and then watched a really funny show to help get past wanting to eat. There are going to be times when things get to be tough and you want to eat, but having another outlet aside from that is great. I had to learn this lesson recently. I won't go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that it was traumatic and I wanted to eat a gallon of ice cream. But the more I thought about what happened, the angrier I got, the more stress I felt, I hit the gym, HARD! Food is no longer my outlet, exercise is and that is something I'm proud of and you should be too for what you used as a substitute for you emotion.

One last thing, about those calories. I eat around 1500-1700 and I just lost 6lbs this week, you think that may be too low for you?
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:16 AM   #14
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I totally have a quandary with this too. I agree in theory that it's best to try to break the cycle and think as a "skinny mini." However, I have also found that sometimes when I don't comfort eat in controlled healthy way, I end up binging later So right now I am allowing myself to comfort eat in a limited healthy way (e.g. some nuts instead of potato chips, or watermelon instead of chocolate). Of course, these are still empty calories for me, since I wasn't really eating for hunger in the first place ##sigh## Has anyone ever been able to break this habit altogether?
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasmin View Post
Of course, these are still empty calories for me, since I wasn't really eating for hunger in the first place ##sigh## Has anyone ever been able to break this habit altogether?
I can only speak for myself.

Like I said earlier, I have not completely broken this habit. But it's no where even close to how it used to be in the past. There ARE times when I will give in and grab something - but it doesn't necessarily break my calorie budget. I'm good just munching on some veggies.

I HAVE found other things to ease stress. And wouldn't you know it, now one of the things that keeps me sane during times of stress is STAYING on plan. When everything is all out of sorts, having control over SOMETHING is a huge comfort to me. That this is the case still boggles my mind. There are many things we can't control, but our food intake IS one of them. Nothing pleases me more (& yes comforts me) then staying on plan.

When ever I get the urge to eat over stress, or even just "to eat" and I find something else to do instead, I have never, not one time regretted NOT eating. Never.

Bad habits ARE hard to break. But once good habits have been established - they're hard to break too!

Develop some strategies for yourself to cope with the inevitable times of stress. Know them in advance and fall back on them when need be. Before you know it, this is what you'll be turning to instead of food........ usually that is.
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