Chicks in Control - Emotional Eating




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Wannabeskinny
06-01-2014, 02:18 PM
What are your thought in emotional eating? Do you do it? Is it wrong? Arent diets a form of emotional eating too? This interesting blog posts discusses some of these things - maybe emotional eating is not so bad.
http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/lesson-four-emotional-eating/


Pinkhippie
06-01-2014, 03:46 PM
I really really enjoyed that article. I came across a similar link when I was perusing very old IE threads. It made me think a little differently about it as well. Emotional eating has been vilified quite a bit.

http://www.eatingthemoment.com/mindful-emotional-eating/

I really do think it is so important to remove guilt and shame from the act of eating or what food you choose to eat. Even if you are emotionally eating.

Wannabeskinny
06-01-2014, 06:11 PM
I really do think it is so important to remove guilt and shame from the act of eating or what food you choose to eat. Even if you are emotionally eating.

In order for that to take effect in our lives we have to in turn take away all the self righteousness we feel when we eat "good" foods. It's equally important.


katerina11
06-01-2014, 06:44 PM
I really really enjoyed that article. I came across a similar link when I was perusing very old IE threads. It made me think a little differently about it as well. Emotional eating has been vilified quite a bit.

http://www.eatingthemoment.com/mindful-emotional-eating/

I really do think it is so important to remove guilt and shame from the act of eating or what food you choose to eat. Even if you are emotionally eating.

In order for that to take effect in our lives we have to in turn take away all the self righteousness we feel when we eat "good" foods. It's equally important.

Can I get an Amen?

AMEN!

Mrs Snark
06-02-2014, 06:14 PM
I don't feel "self-righteous" when I feed myself well. The connotations for self-righteous are pretty negative. The very definition is pretty negative.

But I do feel glad and happy and, when it was really difficult to do, proud, when I feed myself well and when I eat reasonably. There is no doubt that it is better for me, overall, to avoid major swings in eating -- to avoid both over-indulging and over-restricting. And I don't see why I shouldn't feel good about making choices that are good for me.

I'm not ashamed when I make choices that are more about taste buds than nutrition (Fritos, I'm looking at you AGAIN). But I'm not going to pretend there aren't serious consequences for making too many less-than-stellar food choices. There are. For me, weight gain means more back pain, less sleep, and more difficulty running.

I don't like any of that.

I'm not trying to earn anybody's love by losing weight, as the article seems to imply.

I like parts of the article, but I also feel like she has a bit of an agenda.

Mrs Snark
06-02-2014, 06:22 PM
Also, I keep meaning to mention this and forgetting because I forget that not everyone has had my experience in going vegan.

Alot people seem to think giving up whole categories of food is a horrific idea, unsustainable, ridiculous and impossible. A recipe for failure.

But I have and I didn't even blink. I gave up all animal products, and I can say honestly that going vegan has been nothing but a source of pleasure for me. I feel so much more in harmony with my feelings about animals and the world living as a vegan. It is so right I always wonder why it took me so long to do it!

So I can't really agree, based on my practical experience of having done it, that giving up broad categories of food is such a terrible, awful, socially isolating thing. Nor is it a self-punishment. :)

mars735
06-03-2014, 01:01 AM
...I gave up all animal products, and I can say honestly that going vegan has been nothing but a source of pleasure for me. I feel so much more in harmony with my feelings about animals and the world living as a vegan. It is so right I always wonder why it took me so long to do it!


"Like"

Wannabeskinny
06-03-2014, 08:28 AM
I don't feel "self-righteous" when I feed myself well.
I'm not ashamed when I make choices that are more about taste buds than nutrition (Fritos, I'm looking at you AGAIN).

Maybe self-righteous is not the right word to use. And it has more to do with how we feel about ourselves than about how we feel in relation to others. For example, for me it's important to maintain neutrality about the food that I eat. This is very easy for some people, like you say, you don't feel ashamed when you make choices for your taste buds. For someone like me, I was living in a world of black and white! I was scrutinizing every mouthful of food. So if I had a spinach salad with steamed fish I would feel like I was being "good." And then when I had a cookie I was being "bad." So when I say self-righteous I mean that every food choice I was making was under scrutiny and I came to realize later than sooner that this was debilitating.

That doesn't take away from feeling good about my eating experiences, but they're not based on what I eat, but how I feel. So everything you say makes sense to me. I like feeling good after I eat, but I don't enjoy feeling morally superior about my choices. Does that make sense?

Every article has an agenda lol. It just so happens that her agenda is my agenda too lol.

Wannabeskinny
06-03-2014, 08:35 AM
Alot people seem to think giving up whole categories of food is a horrific idea, unsustainable, ridiculous and impossible. A recipe for failure.

But I have and I didn't even blink. I gave up all animal products, and I can say honestly that going vegan has been nothing but a source of pleasure for me. I feel so much more in harmony with my feelings about animals and the world living as a vegan. It is so right I always wonder why it took me so long to do it!

So I can't really agree, based on my practical experience of having done it, that giving up broad categories of food is such a terrible, awful, socially isolating thing. Nor is it a self-punishment. :)

There are many categories of food I don't eat. Offal - there are many dietary reasons why I don't touch the stuff, as well as the ick factor. Certain foods with artificial colors (like jello and kool aid) is VERY unappetizing to me and therefor off limits. I don't eat venison and certain poultry. There are fruits that I cannot eat for many reasons. I'm really happy with these choices, they bring me no hardship.

Making a decision to go vegan has brought you pleasure. From what you wrote it seems like you don't like meat or miss meat, I'm just assuming but I could be wrong. Whatever the reason, it sounds like you don't feel deprived of anything. Sometimes people are urged to give up food groups that they don't want to give up. This can be very guilt-inducing and if a person decides to do it that CAN be very isolating and uncomfortable most notably in social situations. If your favorite food in the world is a hamburger and you've decided to go vegan, I can imagine that it would feel rotten to go out to a restaurant with friends who are all ordering hamburgers and one might try their best to avoid that scenario. I know I would feel that way.

People who are happy with what they eat are happy eaters under all circumstances. There is a big difference between giving something up happily, and giving something up begrudgingly.

Pinkhippie
06-03-2014, 01:05 PM
People who are happy with what they eat are happy eaters under all circumstances. There is a big difference between giving something up happily, and giving something up begrudgingly.

I definitely agree with this. I was a vegetarian for almost half my life and I didn't feel like I was giving anything up. It was my choice and I didn't look longingly at meat. I also gave up refined sugar of all kinds for about 7 years. I did it to support my hypoglycemic now ex husband and also because I recognized that I was becoming addicted to sugar. I started noticing sugar made me feel bad so I stopped eating it. It wasn't hard at all, I didn't long for cupcakes, donuts didn't tempt me, nothing did. HOwever years later I have tried to "give up" sugar for weight reasons and I cannot /do not really want to do it. I do feel deprived and I want the cupcakes.

Also, yes I think its equally important not to idolize food as it is to villify food. :)

atmos
06-03-2014, 01:25 PM
This is an interesting perspective on the definition of the term "emotional eating".

As there are both positive and negative emotions, so too are there positive and negative emotional eating behaviors.

Going out and enjoying a sampler tray of delicious microbrewed beers that I have never sampled before is a positive emotional experience, to me. Feeling proud that I fought off my binge eating urges and cooked myself a "proper" dinner (as opposed to stuffing myself with a bag of potato chips, followed by a bunch of ice cream) is a positive emotion, for me. Savoring a coffee drink and a decadent chocolate dessert is, again, a positive emotion for me. But I don't do these things to fill any sort of emotional "hole". I do them because I enjoy them. Just as I go hiking because I enjoy it, or crochet because I enjoy it.

But I also have some very negative emotions associated with eating. I whip up bowl after bowl of comforting convenience foods (typically potato chips of varying kinds, crackers, cheese, ice cream, chocolates, granola bars) or order a large sized pizza for myself. I take it into my bedroom and close the door. I spend the entire evening eating and watching episodes of old TV shows. This is my way of ignoring whatever sad feelings I have, any dissatisfaction with my life, or anger with my work, and also how I avoid doing things (exercising, cleaning, taking a proactive step to counter my loneliness). And independent of any physical effects on my health, it is very, very bad for my mental well-being. This behavior would be just as negative to my emotional well-being as if I tried to fill this need with rigidly controlling my diet and exercising constantly.

So, for me, emotional eating is my second example, and it's very bad. Enjoying life is the first example. I would never have thought to use the term "emotional eating" to describe the first example, because I don't feel the strong emotions that I feel with the second example. Perhaps I do not use "emotional" to describe happiness or contentment, which of course are emotions themselves.

Desiderata
06-03-2014, 03:10 PM
I find your thought interesting that you need to banish feeling virtuous about your food choices, Wannabe. Would you expand more on why this is a priority for you? I can kind of imagine out how it would be related to removing the emotional charge from eating and other IE tenets, but it's so diametrically opposite of my general approach that I'm intrigued - I'm just struggling to wrap my mind around it. Is it something that's important to do while re-learning a different relationship with food, or more of a long-term mindset? I wholeheartedly agree about taking shame out of the equation, but I'm confused why it's problematic to feel good about choices (maybe I've just misunderstood).

I love occasionally reading up on why different veggies and things are so good for you. I've talked many times about my life for whfoods.com - a nonprofit foundation that does a great job of collecting and summarizing current nutritional research on whole foods. I just get so psyched up and motivated to eat great foods - and I swear that I take more care and interest in preparing some amazing meals this way. I feel like I only get positive results from it. And edit - just to be clear, feeling virtuous (or self-righteous :)) about these food choices is a big part of the satisfaction, too. It's both a physical and mental satisfaction. I know we're all different and the standard YMMV caveats, of course - I'm just so curious to understand why this might be construed or seen negatively or as emotional eating.

Wannabeskinny
06-03-2014, 04:32 PM
I find your thought interesting that you need to banish feeling virtuous about your food choices, Wannabe. Would you expand more on why this is a priority for you? I can kind of imagine out how it would be related to removing the emotional charge from eating and other IE tenets, but it's so diametrically opposite of my general approach that I'm intrigued - I'm just struggling to wrap my mind around it. Is it something that's important to do while re-learning a different relationship with food, or more of a long-term mindset? I wholeheartedly agree about taking shame out of the equation, but I'm confused why it's problematic to feel good about choices (maybe I've just misunderstood).

I love occasionally reading up on why different veggies and things are so good for you. I've talked many times about my life for whfoods.com - a nonprofit foundation that does a great job of collecting and summarizing current nutritional research on whole foods. I just get so psyched up and motivated to eat great foods - and I swear that I take more care and interest in preparing some amazing meals this way. I feel like I only get positive results from it. And edit - just to be clear, feeling virtuous (or self-righteous :)) about these food choices is a big part of the satisfaction, too. It's both a physical and mental satisfaction. I know we're all different and the standard YMMV caveats, of course - I'm just so curious to understand why this might be construed or seen negatively or as emotional eating.

That's a great question and it has a great answer, if only I can do it justice and express it accurately :dizzy: Firstly, there's no question that foods have differing nutritional values. Broccoli is fantastic, right? Kale, it's packed with nutrients and fiber. We all know the benefits of having nutritious food in our diet, we can all agree on that. Secondly, foods affect how are bodies feel. Eating protein nurtures our muscles, carbohydrates feed our brains, water hydrates us, fruit makes us feel fresh and energetic and so forth. There's other kinds of foods too, cake and ice cream, french fries and carbonara. They too have a nutritional value but it's much less and some people tend to make these foods into villains.

Some people (me me me!), connect these choices with how we see ourselves.

I ate a salad + salad is a "good" food = I am a good person

I ate a cookie + cookie is a "bad" food = I am a weak bad person

I ate hummus + hummus is healthy = I am healthy

I ate bread + grains are out of sync with the diet world now = I am no good at losing weight

Anyway, I don't know if that makes any sense to you but more or less I don't want to judge myself over every little bite of food that I eat. It's fine to feel good about the food that you're eating but good food vs. bad food tends to make me feel schizo all the time. I'm a good person no matter what I eat. I found it very effective not to pat myself on the back everytime I eat a virtuous food because by the same token it makes me susceptible to judging my not-so-good choices very harshly... which leads to guilt.... which is no fun.

I prefer to feel great about all the food I eat now. I make my assessments based on other criteria instead, like making sure all my meals are enjoyable, eating moderately, making sure I'm honoring my hunger and satiety signals, and addressing my emotional needs elsewhere. Today I sat and played tea party with my son = that makes me a good person. Today I ate a salad. That filled me up, it has no effect on whether I am good or bad today. So in answer to your question, yes I am trying to build a different relationship with food. A more neutral relationship that does not denote my value and strength of character.

Desiderata
06-03-2014, 05:21 PM
Thank you, that's a great explanation. It was hard for me to totally connect the dots, because for me, feeling great about a healthy food choices doesn't have a bearing on how I see myself. Neither does a 'bad' food choice -- I might eat something and later regret it (didn't fit with my calorie goals, didn't make me feel good, etc), but I never equate a food choice - good or bad - with my sense of self. Well, maybe just a little bit of "I ate healthy, so I am healthy!" but only in a fleeting, positive way. :)

Thanks for explaining your perspective so well. I hope this approach helps you.

Desiderata
06-03-2014, 05:50 PM
I wanted to add, I hope none of what I said came off as judgmental or implying that I'm better off than you because this isn't my particular struggle. I was just thinking, it's interesting that this was a curiosity-piquing mental block for me, because I struggle tremendously with linking self-esteem to other traits and falsely equating my worth with things that aren't truly me. Food's just not my particular poison in that arena. But I'm no stranger to the bigger behavioral stuff underlying what you've described.... funny how the same problems can manifest in so many different ways.

Wannabeskinny
06-04-2014, 09:23 AM
No, I don't feel you were being judgmental. It's a conversation, I'm open to other interpretations as long as others know I come from a different place. I still don't think I explained it well enough but I'm glad you get the gist of it and even more glad you could draw a comparison in a more general way to your own life.

It's great to hear that not everyone struggles with feeling guilty about food. I only came to the realization recently of how bad I was about this. I feel great about my food choices now, whatever they might be. This is one of those particular aspects of my eating disorder - relearning that all foods hold nutritional value has been an important step in overcoming my ED.

We're all different. You can't break out of someone else's prison.

moonkissed
06-04-2014, 10:18 AM
I really love that article and I think ideally that would be perfect. But I think that is alot harder to do. I do get pleasure from food in both good and bad ways. I can take a slow dreamy bite of cheesecake, savor every bit. Joke that it is orgasmic lol.

Or for example I am not a great cook but trying! I find something awesome on pinterest attempt to make it and it comes out great & it tastes great. The other day I made chicken kebabs. Which I have never made before, honestly I havent cooked chicken that often in my life even. They were like the best things I have ever made. Every bite was so good, it was healthy, and I was proud of myself. I was eating pure happiness lol

But when I think of emotional eating I think it is usually based on feeding my emotions, not food triggering emotions I guess. I really noticed it the other day when I had a delicious healthy meal made in the fridge waiting for me. It was soo good I had been thinking about it all day. But I had a really bad morning, was crying my eyes out and all I wanted to do was stuff my face with crap. It isn't even quite so much about the food but the feeling of being absolutely stuffed.


That's a great question and it has a great answer, if only I can do it justice and express it accurately :dizzy: Firstly, there's no question that foods have differing nutritional values. Broccoli is fantastic, right? Kale, it's packed with nutrients and fiber. We all know the benefits of having nutritious food in our diet, we can all agree on that. Secondly, foods affect how are bodies feel. Eating protein nurtures our muscles, carbohydrates feed our brains, water hydrates us, fruit makes us feel fresh and energetic and so forth. There's other kinds of foods too, cake and ice cream, french fries and carbonara. They too have a nutritional value but it's much less and some people tend to make these foods into villains.

Some people (me me me!), connect these choices with how we see ourselves.

I ate a salad + salad is a "good" food = I am a good person

I ate a cookie + cookie is a "bad" food = I am a weak bad person

I ate hummus + hummus is healthy = I am healthy

I ate bread + grains are out of sync with the diet world now = I am no good at losing weight

Anyway, I don't know if that makes any sense to you but more or less I don't want to judge myself over every little bite of food that I eat. It's fine to feel good about the food that you're eating but good food vs. bad food tends to make me feel schizo all the time. I'm a good person no matter what I eat. I found it very effective not to pat myself on the back everytime I eat a virtuous food because by the same token it makes me susceptible to judging my not-so-good choices very harshly... which leads to guilt.... which is no fun.

I prefer to feel great about all the food I eat now. I make my assessments based on other criteria instead, like making sure all my meals are enjoyable, eating moderately, making sure I'm honoring my hunger and satiety signals, and addressing my emotional needs elsewhere. Today I sat and played tea party with my son = that makes me a good person. Today I ate a salad. That filled me up, it has no effect on whether I am good or bad today. So in answer to your question, yes I am trying to build a different relationship with food. A more neutral relationship that does not denote my value and strength of character.

I really love what you said here. I have that problem where I do feel good or bad based on what I eat. And it does suck. Before I was losing weight & a huge [art of why I fell off was that I started overthinking about what I ate. I am very active on blogs, on forums all about weightloss and then you get the people doing xyz and wanting to copy them to feel like you are doing it right. Or feeling guilty because you are not following the latest fad. The whole carb thing really hits home for me. I do not wish to give up carbs, yes manage them but not give them up. And so often you get this overwhelming pressure that carbs are evil and it makes me doubt myself. I can be doing everything right and then feel like crap because I am not doing what someone else is? meh

Though I have anxiety disorder and tend to go alittle crazy and over worry myself lol

Wannabeskinny
06-04-2014, 10:45 AM
I really love that article and I think ideally that would be perfect. But I think that is alot harder to do. I do get pleasure from food in both good and bad ways. I can take a slow dreamy bite of cheesecake, savor every bit. Joke that it is orgasmic lol.

Or for example I am not a great cook but trying! I find something awesome on pinterest attempt to make it and it comes out great & it tastes great. The other day I made chicken kebabs. Which I have never made before, honestly I havent cooked chicken that often in my life even. They were like the best things I have ever made. Every bite was so good, it was healthy, and I was proud of myself. I was eating pure happiness lol

But when I think of emotional eating I think it is usually based on feeding my emotions, not food triggering emotions I guess. I really noticed it the other day when I had a delicious healthy meal made in the fridge waiting for me. It was soo good I had been thinking about it all day. But I had a really bad morning, was crying my eyes out and all I wanted to do was stuff my face with crap. It isn't even quite so much about the food but the feeling of being absolutely stuffed.




I really love what you said here. I have that problem where I do feel good or bad based on what I eat. And it does suck. Before I was losing weight & a huge [art of why I fell off was that I started overthinking about what I ate. I am very active on blogs, on forums all about weightloss and then you get the people doing xyz and wanting to copy them to feel like you are doing it right. Or feeling guilty because you are not following the latest fad. The whole carb thing really hits home for me. I do not wish to give up carbs, yes manage them but not give them up. And so often you get this overwhelming pressure that carbs are evil and it makes me doubt myself. I can be doing everything right and then feel like crap because I am not doing what someone else is? meh

Though I have anxiety disorder and tend to go alittle crazy and over worry myself lol

Great post, very insightful and self-aware. Regarding emotional eating as you described it: a lot of people, myself included, are aware of their emotional eating habits but don't understand how it works. There is a great chapter in the book Overcoming Overeating that explains the cognitive and behavior process of emotional eating. Once I understood the process I became acutely aware of how to fix it, and I've been working on it successfully ever since. Even the most seasoned dieters fall victim to it continuously, leading to the viscious yoyoing effect.

And boy you are right, humans are social creatures and they follow the pack to whatever outcome. I started to question the pack mentality as I slowly started to realize that seasoned dieters have a lot of knowledge but a bad track record of little success. Look, when a person tells you that low carb works and has multiple losses and gains on the diet I never question their character or their strength as a person. I do however question the benefits of the diet and people take it even more personally than if you question their willpower. It's a bizarre phenomenon to me, that people would defend their diet and blame themselves for failing on it but I do remember feeling the same way for a long time.

It's important not to allow external forces to dictate your progress. Looking inwards, focusing on my satisfying eating experiences and building my self esteem are better uses of my time than trying to argue against a diet mindset.

Gingerjv
06-04-2014, 02:49 PM
I am emotional eater for sure! when it comes to stress, sadness, problems, depression i start to eat! I reward myself with food as if i was a dog((( this is terrible( I am sure you can manage this emotional hunger. But i just do not know how to do it! If to focus your mind on something else you forget about hunger for a while. but only for a while..

freelancemomma
06-04-2014, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the article and believe I'm on the same wavelength as the author. I've never considered myself virtuous for eating healthy foods or derelict for eating unhealthy ones. For me, a life without baguette, Brie and wine picnics, streetside crepes, and all-you-can-eat sushi would lose some of its luster. Not gonna happen.

F.

Wannabeskinny
06-05-2014, 09:28 AM
I am emotional eater for sure! when it comes to stress, sadness, problems, depression i start to eat! I reward myself with food as if i was a dog((( this is terrible( I am sure you can manage this emotional hunger. But i just do not know how to do it! If to focus your mind on something else you forget about hunger for a while. but only for a while..

If I try to focus on something my body will refocus me on a binge lol. I have found that incorporating mindful eating practices has helped me enjoy food more and get less anxious about eating.

Wannabeskinny
06-05-2014, 09:35 AM
Thanks for the link. I really enjoyed the article and believe I'm on the same wavelength as the author. I've never considered myself virtuous for eating healthy foods or derelict for eating unhealthy ones. For me, a life without baguette, Brie and wine picnics, streetside crepes, and all-you-can-eat sushi would lose some of its luster. Not gonna happen.

F.

It's great that you feel this way, I'm finally getting to the point where I've forgiven myself for enjoying food. It is totally possible to enjoy eating and letting go of guilt has completely enriched my life. Think about all the work, culture, and tradition that goes into baking a baguette, into developing the cheese, into growing the greats for wine, the skill that goes into making sushi. Food connects us to people, experiences, and joy.

Mindful eating practices have solved my portion control. Because I eat so slowly and with such focus on enjoying my food I have come to eat less and less and less. One cookie can offer so much pleasure if I take the time to enjoy it, it is a fulfilling experience all on its own. Compare that now to my binging days when a box of cookies was scarfed down in secret as quickly as possible. It was a painful experience, not at all enjoyable.

The time I spent hidden away gorging on huge amounts of foods is gone. Sitting at a picnic enjoying bread and cheese, being outside, it offers such a rewarding experience with food, an emotional experience.

Sakai
06-07-2014, 01:41 AM
I'm an emotional eater, I'm pretty sure.
It's my main problem. I eat perfectly all work week. Healthy food/healthy portion sizes. And if I have a cookie/candy or anything "off limits" I'm okay with it because I controlled it.
However...on the weekends I lose all my control and the very moment I get bored, i eat. I won't even be hungry, but if I'm not actively engaged in something i will be eating. Watching tv...reading...surfing the net...I will be eating something. I don't know why it is. It's very hard for me to control.

I also have moments where I had a horrible day at work. Not just a "oh, i worked so hard today, it was horrible." More like a "I worked so hard today and my boss did nothing but yell at us because he's having a bad day so all of us have to have a bad day and why am i even working in this job, ect..." and after a day like that all i want to do is go home, slam back a few hard drinks, eat a box of kraft mac n' cheese and not care at all that I'm over calories.
I need to learn to self soothe without food.

Wannabeskinny
06-07-2014, 09:52 AM
I'm not eating for emotional reasons any more. I"m making myself not do it but i am sleeping more instead to deal with it. I've been sleeping a lot in the last few days. I like sleeping too.

Sleep is actually a very good thing. For those of us who are classic emotional eaters, we want to address all our bodies' needs with food. We interpret all our senses as hunger. When we get tired at the end of the day we often reach for a snack - meanwhile our body is telling us "if you don't give me the sleep I need then you'll have to give me the energy to stay awake." Other times we need rest, sleep, relaxation, physical activity, these are all bodily needs.

Lecomtes
06-07-2014, 12:53 PM
Some people (me me me!), connect these choices with how we see ourselves.

I ate a salad + salad is a "good" food = I am a good person

I ate a cookie + cookie is a "bad" food = I am a weak bad person

I ate hummus + hummus is healthy = I am healthy

I ate bread + grains are out of sync with the diet world now = I am no good at losing weight



This has been, and continues to be at times, me 100%. Really enjoyed this article and perusing the blog. It is very interesting to me to hear that some of you do NOT feel this way, I think that is wonderful, and I envy those feelings of neutrality. I am so curious, what is the difference? What makes people like wanna, and myself, equate certain foods choices with our morality/character, and not others? Any theories? Because if I can help my children never develop this way of thinking about food I would consider that a major parenting win.

Wannabeskinny
06-07-2014, 01:19 PM
This has been, and continues to be at times, me 100%. Really enjoyed this article and perusing the blog. It is very interesting to me to hear that some of you do NOT feel this way, I think that is wonderful, and I envy those feelings of neutrality. I am so curious, what is the difference? What makes people like wanna, and myself, equate certain foods choices with our morality/character, and not others? Any theories? Because if I can help my children never develop this way of thinking about food I would consider that a major parenting win.

That's a good question and just like you, I want to avoid passing on unnecessary food issues to my son. I don't have a scientific answer for you but my guess is that the emphasis placed on willpower got to me. If you think about it all the advice to "eat this, not that" doled out in diet programs, magazines and forums make it sound as if it is a matter of choice. When you hear a celebrity comment on their weight loss and say "I substituted carrots and hummus for cheeseburgers" it makes you say wow they have strength. Not to mention the positive reinforcement if dieting. Ever been out to lunch and order a burger and your friend orders a salad? Dot you say or think "oh gosh you're so good". It's cool to diet, it's cool to be sporty, it's cool to be restricting yourself, people get immense satisfaction from accomplishing to abstain from foods.

Some I us internalize that dichotomy very deeply. It's an ongoing struggle to be good.

As for my 3 yrs old, I don't reward him when he eats healthy food. He likes peas. Awesome. Eating should never be congratulated IMO. I never make him finish everything on his plate. I never say "one more bite". I don't keep a lot of sweets in the house but he does have some occassionally. He's allowed to eat whenever he wants, usually I compromise with him. If he asks for cookies I might say " do you want a banana or a cereal bar?" He chooses. If I don't have cookies he deals with it. If he's not hungry during meal time that's fine too. I just want him to feel comfortable expressing his hunger and not feeling obligated to eat if es not hungry.

Wannabeskinny
06-09-2014, 10:06 AM
I really really enjoyed that article. I came across a similar link when I was perusing very old IE threads. It made me think a little differently about it as well. Emotional eating has been vilified quite a bit.

http://www.eatingthemoment.com/mindful-emotional-eating/

I really do think it is so important to remove guilt and shame from the act of eating or what food you choose to eat. Even if you are emotionally eating.

I love this article. I have come to accept that emotional eating is not a bad thing. Everyone does it, even normal eaters do it occasionally. As long as I am aware of what I'm doing I have no ill feelings about it. I have a number of coping techniques that I use to deal with my emotions but sometimes, only food will do and that's ok! Since my hunger/satiety signals have become very strong it has become nearly impossible to overeat, so even my emotional eating moments are very small calorie wise.

Pinkhippie
06-09-2014, 11:48 AM
I love this article. I have come to accept that emotional eating is not a bad thing. Everyone does it, even normal eaters do it occasionally. As long as I am aware of what I'm doing I have no ill feelings about it. I have a number of coping techniques that I use to deal with my emotions but sometimes, only food will do and that's ok! Since my hunger/satiety signals have become very strong it has become nearly impossible to overeat, so even my emotional eating moments are very small calorie wise.

Im glad you liked it. :) It definitely helped me see emotional eating in a whole new light. I have felt the same way lately with the hunger and satiety signals. I COULD eat to soothe myself but honestly, when Im not really hungry the food just doesn't taste as good and it doesn't make me feel as good as it used to. I am usually better off if I do something else to cope with my emotions. but, having the freedom and the non guilty choice to choose to take care of my emotions with food, has really made all the difference for me. And like you said, if I do choose to cope with food, it is way less food and it doesn't' turn into a guilty binge.

Wannabeskinny
06-09-2014, 12:22 PM
Im glad you liked it. :) It definitely helped me see emotional eating in a whole new light. I have felt the same way lately with the hunger and satiety signals. I COULD eat to soothe myself but honestly, when Im not really hungry the food just doesn't taste as good and it doesn't make me feel as good as it used to. I am usually better off if I do something else to cope with my emotions. but, having the freedom and the non guilty choice to choose to take care of my emotions with food, has really made all the difference for me. And like you said, if I do choose to cope with food, it is way less food and it doesn't' turn into a guilty binge.

It's hard to believe that I have not binged in a few months. If you had asked me just a few months ago if I thought I could ever go without binging I would have said something like... NO. I believed that I would always and forever be a binger and the extent of my success would be to manage my eating disorder by forcing a healthy diet when I was in a lucid state, but the reward of binging was too great to get rid of, I was completely dependent on it. Without ever intending to or thinking it possible or even trying to I think that this is an actual cure for my eating disorder I think I'm binge-free. A very unexpected surprise. While I am still capable of emotional eating I no longer zone out or feel the need to. And believe me, I've tried! I've tested myself, I've gone through the motions of trying to go through a binge. And I can't follow through with it no matter how much I try. Every time I eat past fullness I feel miserably ill. I will drive myself to a drive thru and then drive right past it. I'll plan to take myself out for a full on steak dinner and get side tracked by the delicious sounding salad, wasn't in the mood for steak after all.

It all started because I was curious about hunger. Everyone was so afraid of hunger, afraid of awakening their hunger, offsetting their hunger with healthy snacks, just a general fear of being hungry. I knew I was eating all the time but I didn't know what hunger was. So I set out to feel my physical hunger and from that I was able to separate all my emotions from hunger. I put a little trust in my body to know what it needed and it has rewarded me with so much more than I've given it. It's only been 4 months of IE but I think I can go as far as to say that IE is curing my ED and pulling me out of a very long depression for which I've been advised to take medication several times in the past (never did though).

Nanu
06-09-2014, 12:46 PM
Congratulations Wannabe :) It's great to see your progress. Thank you for sharing your insight and experiences.

Seana
06-23-2014, 12:48 AM
It all started because I was curious about hunger. Everyone was so afraid of hunger, afraid of awakening their hunger, offsetting their hunger with healthy snacks, just a general fear of being hungry. I knew I was eating all the time but I didn't know what hunger was. So I set out to feel my physical hunger and from that I was able to separate all my emotions from hunger. I put a little trust in my body to know what it needed and it has rewarded me with so much more than I've given it. It's only been 4 months of IE but I think I can go as far as to say that IE is curing my ED and pulling me out of a very long depression for which I've been advised to take medication several times in the past (never did though).

This is so interesting to me, because I am afraid of hunger. If I get hungry I almost always over eat. I eat fatty foods and calorie laden foods, and I eat a lot of it.

Also that whole thing about ordering a large pizza and then eating all while watching tv. I have done that. I have looked forward to doing that. Why would that even be an option to me...and yet, I can say I have made plans to zone out with excitement.

Wannabeskinny
06-23-2014, 08:26 AM
This is so interesting to me, because I am afraid of hunger. If I get hungry I almost always over eat. I eat fatty foods and calorie laden foods, and I eat a lot of it.

Also that whole thing about ordering a large pizza and then eating all while watching tv. I have done that. I have looked forward to doing that. Why would that even be an option to me...and yet, I can say I have made plans to zone out with excitement.

Zoning out with food can be pleasurable. It can also take out mind off what's really bothering us. It's even ok to do this on occasion. But for some of us this is a daily habit. That means eating alone and distracted has become anyway to cope with our anxieties and that's a pretty crappy way to live IMO. Ivendone the same thing - ordered the big pizza and the wings, are them in a stupor and then threw out the evidence in the neighbor's trash so OH wouldn't know.

2salads
06-28-2014, 10:39 PM
Is boredom a form of emotional eating? I get so bored with doing the same menial, never ending chores and tasks...the next thing I know I'm taking a swig of juice, or stealing small pieces of cheese..and not even counting them toward my food intake....

Wannabeskinny
06-29-2014, 12:28 AM
Is boredom a form of emotional eating? I get so bored with doing the same menial, never ending chores and tasks...the next thing I know I'm taking a swig of juice, or stealing small pieces of cheese..and not even counting them toward my food intake....

Boredom is an emotion, so yes I classify it as emotional eating. Furthermore, any eating that is done in the absence of real hunger is over eating. If you're really hungry and you specifically want carrot cake then you're entitled to eat it. But if you're not hungry and you eat a carrot stick just because you're bored or it's "snack time" then you are overeating.

Mazzy
07-24-2014, 01:15 PM
Sooo....reading all of this, I wonder if the terminology is all wrong. Rather than calling compulsive overeating "emotional eating," we really should be calling it "unemotional eating."

It is, after all, a way to deny your present experience. It's a way to tune out. That's antithetical to emotion! So, not only do you tune out the experience of emotions such as anger, stress, boredom, fear - but you also tune out all other experience. When you drop out, you also drop out of social interaction, pleasant sensations (i.e., tasting your food, enjoying the textures, etc), and even excited feelings (which I have found in my life to be overwhelming because for some reason joy is often disallowed).

When I eat to distract myself - I'm dropping out of reality and entering a "NO" zone...a place of non-existence. Of non-emotion. Of non-feeling. But, you can't not feel just one faction of your experience. When you want to eliminate one faction, you basically eliminate all, even the "positives."

So I wonder if the antidote, to put it more clearly - is to "engage" as much as possible. Engagement may just wake up that part of the brain that is otherwise looking for it in the form of a "fix".

Wannabeskinny
07-25-2014, 08:22 AM
Mazzy you are so right. It is unemotional. I also think that emotional eating or unemotional eating (however you eat to think of it) gets a bum wrap. It can be a distraction and often that can be exactly what's necessary. The problem arises hen the ONLY coping mechanism we have is to eat and eat and eat.

muguet
07-29-2014, 12:42 PM
What an interesting article! I have to agree with her with the whole forbidden fruit thing. I try to see emotional eating as just generally being out of balance.
Just recently, I cut out refined sugar entirely out of my diet which worked well for about two months. Then one day I ate two kit kats and felt so satisfied. Part of me was mad and ashamed but I have to admit that the pleasure and satisfaction won me over.
I'm realising slowly that I just have to find balance. It's a hard thing to do because I still want to restrict certain foods that just don't do anything for me (kit kats, I'm looking at you). However, I don't think I'll turn down a nice crème brûlée anymore just because I don't feel it's healthy to keep food I take pleasure in eating away from me.

Oh and I think she has a point with healthy eating as being a form of emotional eating. The reward after a clean day is amazing. But sometimes it just doesn't beat a kit kat. :p