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Food My Anchor....

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Old 09-15-2014, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Food My Anchor....

When it rains it pours, so they tell me. I'm struggling with depression. I don't even want to get out of bed most days. I have stopped working out and have gained a lot of weight back. I feel like I ruin or mess up everything I lay my hands on..... except food. Food is my anchor. When my whole day is going south, at least I KNOW I can have that burrito bowl with everything on top. I can't afford therapy or medication. Anyone else struggle with this issue with food? Any helpful hints or tips? I feel so fat and have zero self esteem.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:34 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear you are struggling. I have found Mindfulness practice to be helpful. There is an audio recording I like a lot by Jon Kabat Zinn called Wherever You Go There You Are. Also Thich Nhat Hanh's recording and/or books. They may be at the library.

If you can pick one or two small, achievable goals, it can help with mood & elf esteem. Like taking a short walk every day or doing some stretches in the am, or drinking adequate water, etc. I don't mean pushing or nagging yourself, just gently inviting yourself to do something nice for you.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:00 AM   #3
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There is nothing wrong with using food as an anchor. I enjoy eating too and it helps me relieve stress. The key is what food you use as an anchor. There is a world of different between a burrito bowl versus a salad or a banana or stuff that is just simply healthier for you and less likely to promote weight gain. Some foods (e.g. fish) have even been shown to boost your mood and I can attest that that has worked for me.

Exercise is a fantastic anchor too. It blows the blues away.

I made food the enemy on my diet once but now it has become my friend and my medicine. I just don't eat cr@p any more.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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I've been struggling with post-college-grad depression for over a year now. I think I'm finally, slowly starting to improve in the past couple of months.
Here's my tips:
Be around other people as much as possible. BUT only for non-eating activities. Don't be around people who are eating. That's a temptation of agony.
Keeping yourself extremely busy will lift your depression and keep your mind off food and your sadness.
I've had days where I simply forgot to eat a meal because I stayed so busy.

I have to get out of bed every morning to feed my dog and let her out to pee. So if you live alone, maybe getting a pet could motivate you. Else, find someone else who depends on you and gives you a sense of responsibility. Then even on those days you don't want to get up, you know you have to because the dog or person needs you.

I also agree you should find healthier food to eat. Make sure not to eat out of boredom. If you're bored, distract yourself with ANY activity other than eating. When you do truly feel hungry, eat healthy food. If you are truly hungry, even healthy food will be enjoyed.

It's ok to enjoy eating, but you have to disconnect happiness from food. There are other ways to achieve happiness.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:30 AM   #5
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Oh yes I can really relate right now.
I have been doing some mindfulness meditation/acceptance of feelings/emotions meditations. I can't focus on it 100% but it does help a bit when I wake up in the mornings. But i felt I needed something more so I am going to try getting into swimming again. Haven't been swimming in years but I am hoping it will be a great meditative exercise that can help improve my mood...I have been hesitating on going though so hopefully I do work up the courage soon...Maybe there is some physical activity t you enjoy doing that doesn't feel like exercise & you can turn into a hobby? or looking for another hobby in general that interests you.
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Originally Posted by mars735 View Post
Sorry to hear you are struggling. I have found Mindfulness practice to be helpful. There is an audio recording I like a lot by Jon Kabat Zinn called Wherever You Go There You Are. Also Thich Nhat Hanh's recording and/or books. They may be at the library.
Thanks for that recording link, I have been looking into mindfulness lately. Do you have any particular audio or meditations from thich Nhat hanh you find helpful?
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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Hi Davina,
I loved Thich Nhat Hanh's audio called The Art of Mindful Living. He has a gentle, down-to-earth speaking quality that really helped me take in what he had to say. Most of the things I've read and heard by him are similar, but I like to play this a lot. It was at the public library, possibly on itunes.

On Kindle, I haven't read but did buy 2 books by him & Lilian Cheung: Savor:Mindful Eating Mindful Life and Mindful Eating, a Harper One Select. I don't like reading non fiction on Kindle so never got around to it, but maybe it's time. Thanks for reminding me.

Mindfulness has helped me a lot. I forget to do it but always find that when I come back to it, I start to feel calm and peaceful. Winter with more darkness can be a challenge to mood. That darkness provides an opportunity to try out meditation, though meditation doesn't require darkness. Mostly I work on staying mindful throughout the day; especially when I wake and before going to sleep. With eating, I can't say it has cured me my food addictive behaviors.

Lately, it's beginning to penetrate that if I can hold off before giving in to an urge, even briefly, I can learn more about what's going on in my head that produced the urge. There is a universe of experience, and I mean INNER experience, that's pretty interesting. But I guess it's also uncomfortable, at least initially, and so I tend to respond to my initial impulse to anesthetize myself with food Maybe experimenting with simply delaying the binge while using that delay as a chance to get curious would be worthwhile.
It's hard to remember to do this when those urges hit.

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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I have the same issue...I love food, and sometimes feel that food never lets me down or disappoints me the way people can. I HAVE changed to much healthier eating and getting all the nutrients from fruits and veggies has improved my mood greatly, but I still eat too much. I will strongly agree with Ian when he said that exercise is great for lifting your mood. You feel terrible and just don't want to exercise, but once you get started and the endorphines kick in you start to feel so much better, in a way that food can never make you feel.

I also agree with those who recommend getting involved in activities not food related. It gets you out of the house away from food and gets your mind on something else.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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I'm bipolar, so depression used to hit me hard. The one thing I've changed is I look at the reason I'm depressed... I had a fight with my husband, my boss got mad at me, I screwed something up... etc. And I think, would they want me to eat because of that? Would it make them happy to see me eat this entire cake because they're mad at me? Nope. It won't change a thing, it won't help or improve anything. So I don't do it (most of the time... everyone is human).

It's just a thought... I find a lot of things change when you change the way you look at them. Chin up.
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