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Attacking the "why" I eat

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Old 05-05-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default Attacking the "why" I eat

I am so sick of trying to eat less and ultimately giving in. I am not a binge eater but I do overeat, especially at night after work. I know why I eat (anxiety, stress reliever, rewarding myself for surviving the day with 20 7 year olds), so now I've decided to tackle the source before I let it take over me. I need to learn how to de-stress.

I am reading more and more in the news how experts are now getting it that a lot of people may be overweight/obese due to stress eating and trying to eat to cope. A lot of us are using food as a drug and find it hard, if not impossible, to stop overeating. This is not just a simple "eat less, move more" solution that fits everybody and if we just had the will power we could lose the weight. So not true! I am so glad I am now seeing studies that support why I know I have trouble losing weight so maybe one day I, and countless others like me, can get the true help we need, instead of being bullied into thinking we just don't try hard enough.

So lately I've been trying to find ways to get the stress out without having to eat. I had a breakthrough, I hope. Yesterday I had a huge headache (horrible field trip experience). I went to take a shower last night and just sat in there, breathing deeply and trying not to think too much. (most of my stress is due to over thinking and worrying about everything!) My headache went away! And I stopped wanting to eat! I went in thinking about food, and came out not! So I think what I'll try is coming home, feeding the kids, eating something small since I am hungry, and going to take a shower. Of course, this won't be the days I have to go anywhere that night, so I can put on my pajamas and maybe read a book, lay in bed, and basically relax! I'm hitting the source of why I eat instead of fighting the urge TO eat. How does this sound?

I hope this works because I am sooooo tired of dieting and failing, again and again. Cross your fingers and toes for me!

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Old 05-05-2007, 01:48 PM   #2
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Hey Heidi,

I think anything you can do to lower your stress (except taking up drugs and drinking ) can only help! There are many ways to reduce stress, including your lovely shower where you just let yourself be for awhile. That sounds so good!

For some people, regular physical activity is a great stress reducer. I feel much less stressed since I started getting some regular exercise.

Yoga is of course good for reducing stress and increasing flexibility and well being. And some people find meditation useful for learning how not to let the mind sweep them away.

I have fingers and toes crossed for you!

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Old 05-05-2007, 02:19 PM   #3
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I do walk and that helps relieve stress, but afterwards I feel hungry!

For the yoga, I'm not at all flexable (I can't touch my toes. I'm told I have tight hamstrings? Whatever that is!) so it's hard for me to do positions.

I wish there was a forum here for people like me, with anxiety. The closest forum for me is Chicks in Control, but I don't binge, so I don't feel like I fit in there too. I will try the shower and de-stressing thing, and try to come up with more. Thanks for the quick reply!

Heidi
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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I have this problem too, and it's the bane of my eating right. When I'm hungry, I do want meal-type foods, and I don't think I overeat then. I just eat until I'm full without stuffing myself.

So then I'm not hungry, but I still want to eat! Only, now, I want to eat candy or cake or maybe Doritos/sunflower seeds.

How does one overcome this kind of thing?
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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MsPacman- You have to find the real reason you want to eat the junkfood. For me it is a stress releaser. As you can see from my post, I am going to work on the stress first, and hopefully I will naturally eat less. For you, something is causing you to want those foods, so when you grab for them next time, stop and think about the "why". I don't think you can stop the bad eating habits until you figure out what it is that is causing you to eat them in the first place.

Just my 2 cents!
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:41 PM   #6
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Hey, Heidi!
One option you might want to consider is meditation. I find it helpful because I'm prone to worry and dwell on things. Meditation helps you focus on the moment and relieves a lot of anxiety.

Hope it helps,
Kylie
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:45 PM   #7
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Kylie- Where do I find out about meditation? Is this something I can do at home? I'm on a very tight budget. Thanks!

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Old 05-05-2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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Doilook--It's usually because I'm bored and wanting stimulation. I think stress feeds into it too, but in any case, eating something really sweet makes me feel better for just a little while. There may be other things in my subconscious--I'm trying to think of a way to figure that part out. Maybe counseling...does anyone have any tips for seeking out a counselor who can help with emotional eating?
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:03 PM   #9
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MsPac- After years and years of this, it's all starting to click with me. It's not about what you eat. That's where you have to take the focus off of and onto your head. Why did I go into the kitchen? Why am I wanting to eat that even though I am not at all hungry?

I have tried for years to diet, to control what and when I eat, but I always fail. I fail because I always go back to the emotions and my crutch to get through the pain of anxiety.

For you it's more of a habit. A quick fix to boredom. My advice is to change one bad eating habit for 29 days so it isn't a habit anymore. I don't know what that can be for you because everyone is different. For me I have to stop eating after I eat dinner. I need to stop when I know I don't need more! (only want more! Bad habit!)

To give you an idea of how powerful habits are, try just showering and washing your hair differently. Watch, you'll see it's hard! Our bodies are programmed for habit. Ever get somewhere in the car and realize you don't remember how you got there? Once, a few weeks after I had moved to a new house, I was driving home after going shopping and I drove to my old house! We are SO creatures of habit! My feelings is your eating habits are the same way. You have to try and break it, but little bits at a time. Take is slow so you don't revert to old habits out of sure frustration. You have time. Choose something easy, like more water, or not eating one bad thing you are use to eating.

Hope this helps!
Heidi
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:06 PM   #10
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Hey Chicks,

DoILook--the idea with yoga is that you try to do the positions without straining, and over time, you will become more flexible. Otherwise, no one would do it unless they were already flexible! Maybe you could find a beginner's yoga class nearby. Some yoga classes are even geared for overweight folks or those who are older.

This is a good place to post about anxiety--and also you could start a thread in the Dieting with Obstacles area.

Meditation is indeed something you can learn about fairly easily from a book or a CD. It is just really a way by which you sit still and allow yourself to just be, letting any disturbing thoughts go if they come up. Check your local library--they probably have some books.

MsPacman--you're using carbs and sugar like a drug--the old "sugar high." It's not a good thing, even though you feel relief for a short time. There are better ways to relieve boredom and anxiety.

If you have severe problems with anxiety, you should seek the advice of a doctor or mental health practitioner. For finding a counselor, perhaps some other posters will have some ideas--but you could always try the Yellow Pages in your area, or ask your doctor for a referral to someone who specializes in weight loss issues.

I'm afraid the way one overcomes nervous eating is pretty much not to give in to it-- and at least, one can get the high-calorie foods out of the house and substitute better snacks. I always mention baby-cut carrots as a snack because they are sweet but not high in calories and they provide fiber and vitamin A. And there are many others!

Good luck! I hope some other members will post ideas...

Jay
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Old 05-05-2007, 05:53 PM   #11
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What I'm doing to de-stress, or when I feel like eating for any emotion (angry, depressed, lonely, bored), is I get out my ipod and take a walk until those feelings are gone. It may be 5 minutes or 40, but I always feel better after I walk. It's just getting out there that's hard.

But I avoided a lot of emotional eating with that. And then when you're done with your walk, it's easier to control how much you eat, too. AND it's good because after exercise is the best time to eat (your metab is boosted).

But the shower thing is a good thing to cool down, too. I just know no better feeling than walking during the evening, feeling rejuvenated, and then taking a nice shower or bath.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doIlookfat? View Post
I am so sick of trying to eat less and ultimately giving in. I am not a binge eater but I do overeat, especially at night after work. I know why I eat (anxiety, stress reliever, rewarding myself for surviving the day with 20 7 year olds), so now I've decided to tackle the source before I let it take over me. I need to learn how to de-stress.

I think your strategy sounds great. I have gone on field trips with elementary school students and I am always exhausted...even after just a half day. One field trip put me into labor....so I feel for you! I understand about the urge to destress. I often binge after a long sleep-deprived day or night on call. I'm going to try the long shower this week when I feel that urge.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:12 PM   #13
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Midwife- I don't do field trips much anymore because they are so exhausting! I've taught first grade now 12 years and my body is not taking it as well as it did when I was in my 20's! I'm finding it harder and harder to just get through the day, and then on to my own 2 kids. My own 7 year old son is now in baseball, and my daughter wants to do soccer! It's so hard to be the perfect mom and teacher! De-stressing is going to be my new hobby, something just for me! LOL!

Heidi
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:12 PM   #14
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Kylie- Where do I find out about meditation? Is this something I can do at home? I'm on a very tight budget. Thanks!

Heidi

The author I particularly like that discusses meditation is an American Buddhist nun by the name of Pema Chodron, but you can find books on meditation from the library. The reason I like meditation is that it doesn't cost anything, all you need is a space where you can sit quietly. Typically, you start pretty basic, just 5 to 10 minutes. The key is to do it regularly.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
Hey Chicks,

DoILook--the idea with yoga is that you try to do the positions without straining, and over time, you will become more flexible. Otherwise, no one would do it unless they were already flexible! Maybe you could find a beginner's yoga class nearby. Some yoga classes are even geared for overweight folks or those who are older.
Heh. I actually have a "Yoga for Dummies" DVD... which is a beginner's workout. Maybe she could check that out?
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