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Emotional eating and weight loss

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
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Default Emotional eating and weight loss

I have seen more than one of the newer members here say that they are emotional eaters and have done what probably all of us have done, lost a good amount of weight to only put it back on. I have been thinking about this since I have read this so I am putting some of my thoughts in writing.

I am not an emotional eater. I eat when I am bored and think that I am hungry and just matter of factly, I like to eat. I have a fierce sweet tooth and I am a carb junkie. About 8 years ago, I lost 90 lbs., kept it off for 2 years and then over the next 4 years, fell back into my old habits and put all but 20 lbs. of it back on. It was nobody's fault but my own. I have been doing LAWL for 2 years now, this last year I've done pretty good at maintaining my loss, now it's time to get serious again and get to my goal this year.

So many of us have become "career dieters" looking for that quick fix to become "skinny". One major thing I have learned is that weight loss is 90% mental and 10% everything else. There is no magic pill, and no magic fix, it's just dedication and lots of hard work. There have been several times that I have wanted to say screw it, it's not worth it, I will never lose it all, so why even try. But you know what, I am worth it and with hard work and dedication, I can do it. I deserve it and my loved ones deserve it and that is a good enough reason for me. That should be a good enough reason for each and every one of us.

You cannot start a "diet" thinking that it going to be your saving grace and all of your problems are going to be solved. You need to figure out the root of your problem before weight loss can be the solution. If you are an emotional eater, then you have to have a plan of attack to divert your attention away from the kitchen and pantry when something happens to bring out that emotional eater. Work on a hobby, take a walk, exercise, call a friend and discuss the problem. Don't let that emotional eater control your life.

Sorry, but WW, LAWL or any other "diet" is not going to work if you don't address this issue. You also cannot think of these plans as a quick fix to the weight problem. You must adapt to the lifestyle change and maintain it for the rest of your life. If you lose the weight and then go back to your old eating habits, I guarantee that you will gain all the weight back and probably more.

Dan has said this more than once in the last few days and it is so true. You must commit to this new lifestyle 100%. If you cannot, then you are not mentally ready to lose the weight. Don't try to figure out how you can have those greasy french fries or that fattening piece of cake, instead figure out how you can take that craving and make it healthier, make sweet potato baked fries or make a low-fat version of that cake. You can gradually work regular food back into your new lifestyle after you have gotten to your goal, but in moderation. If you have to have a cheat day, fo say, a wedding or party, then plan in advance for it how you are going to handle it, then the very next day, get right back on plan.

Wise words to remember - Eat to live, don't live to eat. We should consume the food, the food should not consume our lives.

C'mon guys, we are all worth it and we all deserve to have the best lives we can possible have. We can work together and do this!!
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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Well said Deb. I am definitely in that boat. This month, with quitting my job and tying up the loose ends over there, is proving to be much harder on me than I first thought it would be. In fact, I am seriously considering letting Friday be my last day, rather than the 30th. It is so hard to be there. I am wreck as far as eating habits are concerned. I can see a light at the end the tunnel, and I know that I once I am back home full time I will be able to get back into the old swing of things. Until then, I am doing the best I can, and taking this time to get organized.
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #3
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Great post Deb. I couldn't say it better.. In fact, for once, I'll just not say anything at all besides "you rock!"...
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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Very well said
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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Thank you for you great insight. I am trying to remind myself that I need to change my relationship with food altogether. Just because I reach my goal weight does not allow me to reach for the spoon and start filling up.
I am retraining my body to know just how much food it needs to live and not how much it wants to have.
Thanks again for your thoughts, tues
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Last day my COD was opened, someone mentioned this site. I'm really learning a lot from all of you and really needed to "hear" your message. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:14 PM   #7
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Thanks Deb! I still haven't gotten to the bottom of why I "abuse" food, like a drug. I'm working on it and I am committed. I think the holidays got us all out of our zone, and we needed to hear this to remind us that LAWL is not a diet, but a new life that we have to live everyday for the rest of our lives. There are no weeks off, no starting monday, not halfway on plan. It just doesn't work that way!

I think we all needed to hear this. Thank you!
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:31 AM   #8
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Well put Amy..

I'm no different.. Liz and I haven't done a good job bouncing back but now that the holidays are completely over and the Christmas decorations are put away, we can get back to focusing on eating the right things...
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:37 AM   #9
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Here is an article I found that I hope will help especially when we are talking about Emotional Eating.

How to Stay Positive About Weight Loss
What do your thoughts have to do with weight loss? Plenty. We talk to ourselves all the time. We call this silent conversation that we have with ourselves "self-talk." And what we say influences what we do...including whether or not we lose weight.

Self-talk is very powerful. By repeating the same thoughts over and over, the mind actually comes to believe they're true. We tend to act in ways consistent with our deepest internal beliefs. So, frequently, the statements become self-fulfilling. For example, if you tell yourself every day that losing weight is hopeless, eventually you will feel powerless to make changes. Simply put, you can talk yourself into doing something -- such as losing weight -- or talk yourself out of it.

How's your self-talk? Listen to that voice in the back of your head. Is it positive and moving you toward your goals? Or is it destructive and undermining your weight-control efforts? Remember, even negative self-talk can be changed by positive thinking.

Here are a few examples of how you can change your self-talk so that it works for, not against, your weight-control efforts.

Some examples of Negative Self-Talk
I'm a hopeless failure. It's been over a week, and I haven't lost a pound.
My mother and father are both overweight. I guess I'll always be fat because it's in my genes.
It's not fair that I have to eat diet food when everyone else can eat what they want.
It's time for my daily punishment for being fat. I have to go to the gym.
I have no willpower.
Life is no fun when I'm on a diet.


Now turn it around - Positive Self-Talk
I may not have lost weight, but I did exercise and plan my meals. If I keep making these small changes, I'll read my goals.
My genes aren't my destiny. I know I can lose weight with healthier habits.
Lots of people are watching what they eat. I'm not alone in choosing healthful, nutritious foods that my body deserves.
Once I finish exercising, I always feel re-energized and in control.
Weight loss takes skillpower, not willpower. By identifying my habits, planning ahead, and thinking positively, I can tackle my weight problem.
I make my own fun through friends and activities. Food is only fuel for my body.

As you can see, positive self-talk is a valuable skill that will enhance your self-image and lower the barriers between you and your goals. While you're learning this skill, write down your self-talk. It will help you to think more objectively about yourself and your weight-loss efforts.

You can also use a diary to record a mental inventory of your successes at the end of each day. What did you do well? Focus on the positive ("I went for a walk three times this week and felt great!"), not on the negative ("I missed walking one day.") And think about how you can make tomorrow better. Be sure to praise yourself for every one of your successes, even if it seems small.

Remember, weight control is much easier if you believe you can do it. Many of us have some doubts about reaching our goals, and this is natural. But by replacing our doubts with positive thoughts, we build belief in ourselves. And that belief can help us achieve our goals.


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Old 01-07-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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Wow.. great article Lynn.. And very true in my case..

A couple of years ago, I was very down on myself.. I looked like crap and felt like crap.. But I didn't see a way out of it.. I was afraid to take "the big step" toward getting healthy..

But then something snapped.. Well, it was the scale at the doctor's office that snapped acutally.. .. Once I saw that big 300, I freaked.. After that, nothing was going to stop me... Before that, I didn't believe I had it in me to succeed, but as that first 20 lbs. came off so quickly, I realized that I COULD DO IT!!

Thanks!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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SKILLPOWER, not willpower - this is what I need to remember!

I started catching myself analyzing what's on my plate: protein (and then I think about why my body needs it), veggies (what do those help my body with), starch (why this amount and how will my body use it), etc. Same with snacks (dairy, what is it good for) and fruit (how will my body feel after having it). And I have to say - I started eating slower, which I know is a good thing! Brain registering fullness, you know.....
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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Thanks Deb & Lynn! Deb, like you, I eat when I'm bored. I think another thing that women tend to have a problem with is getting comfortable with what they've done so far. I've gone from an 18 to a 10 so of course I'm comfortable with how I look, not thinking about the next 10 pounds that I want to lose. So I think, well this won't hurt just this once, but it becomes a habit again, then you're back where you started. Well not this time!! You just constantly have to think about what you're trying to accomplish.

Good luck! We can all do this!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:27 PM   #13
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I love this thread so I wanted to bump it back up. I'm finding that I'm one of those people who haven't really "fully" committed to this diet I need this kind of reinforcement.

After having been 3 days POP I see how easy it really is and it makes me wonder why I hit a certain spot and either get discouraged or decide that I've lost so much that the hamburger, french fries, fried chicken, nachos and chinese food won't hurt. Today I don't even want any of those things. Maybe I just overdosed on them over the holidays, not sure. I need to figure out what my problem is. I seem to set up my own roadblocks. I need to get around that.

Please keep these kinds of words coming. They really are thought provoking and insightful.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
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s' up, Shannon Good to see you!!!

Great thread guys It reminds me of how I had to re-think smoking. My MD told me that the only way to stay off of cigarettes was to figure out exactly why I was hurting my body in that way. No different than being overweight. We have to find a way to care enough about ourselves to be healthy
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Old 01-09-2008, 02:02 PM   #15
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This is such an inspirational thread. Thanks for bumping it up, as I had not read it!

I do think that emotional eaters are the ones who have a hard time with weight loss surgery, since they haven't really dealt with the real problem.
For me emotional eating seems to come into play when I get sick. I have a delusional belief that ice cream has curative powers.

I think my biggest challenge is really social eating. Vacations and holidays where there are more than one day in a row or several parties or dinners that seem kind of special very close together, well that is a prescription for weight gain. My discipline often times falls apart when all around me are eating poorly too. That is definitely more psychological than anything.
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Last edited by BarbaraB : 01-09-2008 at 02:03 PM.
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