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GMALUCKY13 SparkPoints: (13,421)
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8/25/13 8:56 A

Great article!!

LOLAJEAN Posts: 26
8/25/13 6:47 A

I am a big eater and a binge eater. I don't know if I really fit the emotional eater scenario.

My problem is I LOVE food .... I love the smell of burgers on the grill ... the smell homemade bread baking ... I love the cold milk that washes over my tongue while I enjoy a bowl of my favorite cereal ... I love the cold creamy texture of an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate! I get excited when I see a Red Lobster or Outback Steakhouse commercial. I once heard at Weight Watchers that it's only the first couple of bites that are the best ... Ha! not so for me! The last bite only leaves me longing for more! I don't really know where my problem fits in ... other than I just have a food addiction. I tried attending an over-eaters anonymous meeting but it just didn't "click" with me.

I get angry if I know there is something in the frig that I can have when I get home from work but then I discover that someone else beat me to it. Sometimes if I buy myself a yummy "diet" food, I will hide it from my husband who thinks anything I bring into the house is fair game. I buy him his own treats but some are just for me and it irks me when he eats both.

So I am very possessive of my food. I LOVE to eat and I know that carbs are a biggy for me. I don't really know why it is so hard for me to stop eating when I know it's not good for me and I know I am full. These cravings to eat more take a long time to settle down. I generally have a tougher time at night than I do during the day ... but lately it has even been coming on in the mornings.

I make a new resolution almost everyday to change but then by bedtime I have totally blown it AGAIN! This is a daily cycle for me. I hate being so big and I wish I could just cut out food entirely like I did cigarettes but you have to eat and I LOVE to eat!

Does anyone else feel like I do? emoticon

Edited by: LOLAJEAN at: 8/25/2013 (06:56)
FINISHINGRACE Posts: 73
8/24/13 9:37 P

Today I am eating healthier more frequently than I have in years. My history with weight loss is varied: Elaine Powers, Stillman Diet, bulimia, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig. I also met with varied success; the problem was staying successful. I believe, for me, I thought I could diet my way to health. I realize now it's a lifestyle change, and it's not temporary. I wish I had all the money back that I spent trying to find the "magic."

KD

EGRAMMY Posts: 12,931
8/24/13 9:10 P

for some of us, this is the big bad connection

SEXYWANTOBE Posts: 170
8/24/13 11:23 A

I don't think that "normal" weight people see obese people as people. If a black person was treated like an obese person was treated they would sue for discrimination. But the obese person can't do that. We don't get the jobs, we are openly laughed at and no one does anything. Every time I go out of my house I get people pointing at me, and that is a good thing because at least then my kids dont hear them laughing.
I don't want this! Breaking this habit is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I feel like a car stuck in the mud. I'm rocking back and forth to get unstuck. One day I will and everything will click and I will get out of this hole I'm in.
Nobody wants to be fat, just like nobody wants to be addicted to drugs.

ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (1,169)
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8/23/13 6:24 P

I disagree 100% with the implication that "normal" people keep their emotions "comfortable" all the time. Life just doesn't work that way, and the only way to remain emotionally detached from pain and tragedy is to become a sociopath.

I do think that coping with emotional stress in a healthy way, that allows us to both feel our emotions and move through them, is a learned skill. We have to learn that our pain will not destroy us, that we can reach out to others for help, and that there are positive things we can do to make ourselves feel better without inflicting damage.

People who have not learned healthy emotional coping skills in childhood, often wind up with unhealthy coping mechanisms like disordered eating, addictions/compulsions, people-pleasing, fear of being alone, codependency, and many other dysfunctional behaviors. Emotionally-driven or emotionally-complicated obesity is just one of those possible dysfunctions.

But the skills of emotional coping CAN be learned at any age! Support is a great place to start.

XFLIPS2013 Posts: 236
8/23/13 6:14 P

I think assuming that overweight/obese people just "give up" or "don't believe" they can, or have "out of control emotions" (or are neurotic) is like spitting in the wind. There is no easy or simple or single answer for any group? And generalizing doesn't help whether it is talking about mentally ill, drug addicted, alcoholics (with problems), or people of other faiths or cultures or lifestyles (who are different than us).

Whatever led to the obesity would need to be identified and then changed, and we are all supposed to do that by believing and keeping our emotions in a temperature range? I wish! It reminds me of the doctors who told me my whole life, just watch what you eat, write it down and get some exercise and you will be fine. Again, I wish! I wish any of these ideas worked just that easy for everyone, I'd bottle it and be rich!

Edited by: XFLIPS2013 at: 8/23/2013 (18:43)
FINISHINGRACE Posts: 73
8/23/13 12:00 P

Kirsten, I think you hit a big nail on the head. Believing you can do it is a major part of weight loss. Self-doubt can be a crippler...and so it's important here to give (and receive) support and encouragement from those who are on the journey and for those who have achieved their goals and have stuck around to show us it is possible! I'm really grateful to those who achieve their goals and are still here for the rest of us.

KD

SILVER_WOLF1221 Posts: 1,293
8/23/13 10:55 A

Emotions and obesity at times can go hand in hand. Those who are emotional eaters, this is the way they try to find comfort in a stressful life that never seems to want to give. Even if you're not an emotional eater, per say, people eat when they are stressed because they feel hungry.

I don't think a "healthy" person has their emotions in check ALL the time. It's just not possible. There is always going to be something that's going to make someone tail-spin out of control, whether it's school, family, friends, work or any combination of those things. We live in a society where everyone is always running around and always in a hurry. When do we ever seem to have time to unwind? People who bottle their emotions up (like myself) are likely to be a ticking time bomb. We all look calm cool and collected but all it will take it one more thing to push us over that boundary. I wouldn't think someone is healthy if nothing ever phases them to the point of getting very upset, depressed, or angry. However, how you deal with it is always important. Will you turn to food? Will you just give up due to frustration? It's always easier to give up rather than keep going because that goal seems so far away. It's easy to get caught up in everything else going on that you forget about yourself and you keep slipping.

I think there is a link between emotions and obesity but I don't think that it should be a deal breaker for anyone to give up on themselves. People need support, even if it's from complete strangers, that's why they are in the message boards. It makes them feel good about their selves and that no one is judging them for every screw up they have. They may not be getting it at home. Just a thought.

SUPPORT2010 Posts: 9
8/23/13 9:33 A

Well said.

KIRSTENCO SparkPoints: (11,539)
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8/23/13 6:08 A

I find it really sad when people give up... There is always something you can do - small changes make a big difference in the end... I wish everyone could believe its possible!!!

TOMKATKAHSEY SparkPoints: (4,792)
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8/23/13 2:58 A

We don't live on a perfect earth, and we sure don't have perfect lives. Letting your emotions out is a good way to relieve stress, and and make some of the things we face in life, a little less heavy to carry around with us.
No two people are exactly the same. Everyone has different problems or worries in their life.
Everyone has different coping mechanisms. What works for one person can be totally wrong for another person. We all just have to do the best we can. emoticon Kathy

MCASKEY6 SparkPoints: (12,011)
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8/22/13 12:41 P

If there were one easy answer we wouldn't have an obesity problem. That is also why many people fail to lose weight or keep it off; they only confront one or two problems when there is more then likely more issues to deal with.

Economic (Healthy food and gyms are expensive);
Emotional (Stress eating, impulse eating, low self worth, depression, etc.)
Education-( People don't know what nutrients they really need, how many calories they need, what exercises are best, how to perform certain workouts, etc.)
The Media- (Full of false images, promises, and ideas. Fad diets and bizarre workout DVDs)
Addiction- (It's like being an alcoholic who has to drink to live.)
Hormones and Meds- (Hormone imbalance and certain meds will actually fight your weight loss efforts.)
Distortions- (what are portion sizes, what is a normal/healthy weight, etc)

The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, even the professionals choose to focus only on one problem, because trying to figure them all out would take years. But I think if we want lasting results we do have to dig in and confront each one, even if it does take years.

Edited by: MCASKEY6 at: 8/22/2013 (12:43)
SERENITEE29 SparkPoints: (33,574)
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8/22/13 11:56 A

WWrefugee.. I disagree. And I don't care for the implication that I am not a normal healthy person because I can't keep my emotions in check, or that I am "neurotic". Those are very unkind words about a subject of which you clearly are not well informed. Removing stressful situations such as mean people and difficult jobs is only part of a solution, not "the" solution.

My hope is that these message boards are supportive.

XCLOSED Posts: 671
8/22/13 11:18 A

Obesity is an incredibly complex progressive problem for any individual, unique to the individual, and reversing it means figuring out how to fix the underlying factors that led to the obesity, losing the weight and then keeping it off... even the experts are still arguing about whether this is physical or mental, and to suggest that obese people are simply slobs with emotional problems makes me irate.... at the sheer lack of compassion, understanding or recognition that what obese people are dealing with. Especially on a diet website.... Society needs to quit bashing & judging obese people, and that happens when people say Stop.... enough already...

WWREFUGEE1942 SparkPoints: (23,260)
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8/22/13 9:19 A

A normal, healthy person is able to keep their emotions comfortable, like keeping the body temperature normal. A healthy person is able to accommodate for a stressful situation with a positive thought or by resting for a moment. It is only when the individual is no longer able to keep their emotional pulse calm that they succumb to an addiction like food, drugs or alcohol. Once that happens, and the person becomes a "neurotic", there is usually no cure. All your life you have to make a conscious effort to manage your emotional temperature. One thing we can do is remove stressful situations like mean people and difficult jobs. We are not programmed to defend ourselves against stress so we must learn how to do it without eating.

FINISHINGRACE Posts: 73
8/22/13 8:00 A

One of the biggest challenges with food is learning to say "no" at functions. I was afraid I was hurting someone's feelings by not eating. What I finally realized is that they really didn't care if I ate or not, yet some really pushed the food. I reached a place where I'd take a plate, put food on it, and ditch it somewhere. If asked, I'd point to the food-laden plate and tell them I'm "in the process."

KD

TOMKATKAHSEY SparkPoints: (4,792)
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8/21/13 9:15 P

I usually don't eat at all when I'm emotional. I usually feel nauseous. As usual, when upset, I head to bed, to sleep it all off. Usually I'm in a better frame of mind when I wake up, and will usually eat something small-like tea and toast.

JANTHEBLONDE Posts: 5,872
8/21/13 3:04 P

emoticon

ELSELTZ SparkPoints: (1,169)
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8/21/13 2:51 P

I tend to "eat" my emotions. When I am gaining weight or overweight, I appear very placid and even-tempered on the outside because the food is my mood-enhancing drug. When I am losing weight or at a healthy weight, I am more mercurial and express a much wider range of emotions, including *gasp* "negative" emotions.

I know it is physically and emotionally healthier to stay in touch with my feelings and express them, but sometimes (like with a loved one in Hospice) it is too overwhelming. I hope next time a major life event comes up I will have better tools to cope and stay in touch with my feelings.

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
8/21/13 2:19 P

when i get upset - the last thing i want is food - i can go for days on water, tea and coffee. everyone is very different -
at holiday time i also am so turned off by all the baked goodies cause i do so much - i get tired of seeing it and am very happy to give it away.
no one has spoken about genetics either - and i have heard so many doc's say this is a small percentage of why people are ow or obese - yes i know that when the mom and dad don't eat right the kids will be fat too - but i have also seen first hand so many family members battling their weight all their lives - brothers/sisters - some have lost - but they regain it.
as i wrote below - here are several hundred reasons for all that has happened in our health lately.
i don't believe it is as simple as calories in and calories out - and push yourself away from the table -

CHARLOTTE1947 SparkPoints: (40,192)
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8/21/13 1:38 P

Many, many years ago, when I was a child, no one in the U.S. was obese. A heavy person was unusual, a side show, like the fat lady at the circus. I'm sure there were emotional problems out there. What wasn't there was a plethora of cheap, fast, fattening food. My mother walked to and from the grocery store daily and cooked at home. Everyone did that, and we were all fit and in a normal weight range.

I have no doubt that people become obese or alcoholic or drug dependent due to emotions. They need help beyond a calorie counter and an exercise regimen. But most of us are overweight due to the cheap, fast foods and drinks, and an ever increasing use of the SUV for our every move. In our neighborhood, as close as the schools are, few children walk there - they are dropped off at the front doors by their chauffeuring parents.

Once we become overweight, the emotions, guilt and shame, kick in. Those emotions are more likely the result than the cause of our problems. IMHO.

SHERYLDS Posts: 12,053
8/21/13 12:39 P

I'm totally convinced that a healthy diet and purposely trying to take care of oneself creates a feeling of empowerment...and gives a person more control over their emotions.

JWASHINGT1 SparkPoints: (9,130)
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8/21/13 12:27 P

When it comes to food emotions will do you in. It took me awhile to realize that whenever I got upset the first thing I did was reach for my comfort foods.You tend to fool yourself into thinking that you aren't really doing any damage. I finally did a reality check when I found out that I am diabetic.I still struggle but determination,support,prayer and being truly stubborn works for me.
You are right, don't worry some much about the numbers. What you see and feel is more important,at least I think so. Stay strong and be blessed. emoticon

DOODOOHEAD SparkPoints: (12,545)
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8/21/13 12:06 P

Serenity, I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how hard that would be to endure. I'm so glad you are doing better and getting healthy again. It'll be good for your soul too.

Edited by: DOODOOHEAD at: 8/21/2013 (12:45)
SERENITEE29 SparkPoints: (33,574)
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8/21/13 11:10 A

I am an emotional eater. I've struggled with my weight all of my life. At age 50, I decided I needed to get my act together. I worked hard, lost 30 pounds, with 5 left to go. Then my husband and I were both diagnosed with cancer, within less than 4 weeks of each other. I have now been cancer free, 6 years. My husband lost his battle 4 years ago.

After he died, I fell apart. The pressures from work, serious mental health issues with one of my adult children, and trying to cope with my husband's death were more than I could deal with. I ate those 30 pounds back on within the first year of his death. Then, just for good measure, I ate another 15 on... count in the 5 more I had to lose in the first place and I'm now looking at a 50 pound loss ahead of me.

I took a wonderful 2 week trip to Italy with a very good friend and just got home a week ago. She also struggles with her weight. We both decided (without telling each other!) that when we returned, we were going to do something about it. Just before I left, I booked an appt (and paid for it) for an assessment with a personal trainer. I had my assessment last Friday - and I asked her to NOT tell me measurements, fat % or anything. We've agreed that she will tell me the amount of the losses, not anything else until I am ready for it. Numbers, no matter how hard I work at this, are my mortal enemy - they do me in.

So, after two workouts, and the third scheduled for later today, I'm excited. Yesterday, I went out and bought the healthiest cart of groceries I've bought in ... well, I guess it's been 4 years! I'm sore, but it's a good sore.

I just want to feel better... emotionally and physically. Last dr visit, I was told my blood pressure is up, my cholesterol is now in the high range, and I needed to get them both down and lose at least 10% of my body weight.... and then come back. I haven't done that, even though it's been a year. I come from a line of short round Swedes with a history of arthritis, high blood pressure and stroke. I'm so not going down THAT road.

Emotions? They still plague me and I still have very bad spells related to my husband's death. We'd been together since age 18, and married 7 weeks shy of our 30th anniversary. I'm sure I will have more.

Bottom line? When I'm exercising and eating well, my emotions are much more stable. It's been very hard getting back to this, but last night I slept through the entire night. First time in several years. I'm looking forward to more of those!

JBALDWIN29 SparkPoints: (56,742)
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8/21/13 8:37 A

I am an emotional eater and have very low self esteem so it is very hard for me to lose weight. I am now trying to use exercise instead of food to deal with my emotions.

MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (31,696)
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8/21/13 8:19 A

I do my best to try not to judge others. I have cried about my weight before, but I have never had a great self image regardless of how much I weigh. I have fought this my entire life. I get down on myself if I don't look how I want or the number on the scale doesn't reflect what I want it to. I think everyone is different thus their eating and weight issues are all varied as well.

EMTCHICK109 Posts: 441
8/21/13 7:56 A

I am an emotional eater. I will eat when stress, upset, etc. but I have learned to recognize that I am emotionally eating. I try to go do other things to take my mind of the emotions that are causing me to eat.

I struggle with this but I am learning how to not emotionally eat.



DOODOOHEAD SparkPoints: (12,545)
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8/21/13 12:21 A

I'm not sure I'm even an emotional eater. At least I don't think I am. I just love food. Lol I do wonder why I sometimes want to have night binges, I'm a happy person with just no self control with food.

EARTHFIREFLY SparkPoints: (14,075)
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8/20/13 11:19 P

I am an extremely emotional person, but I'm not sure that's necessarily related to my weight (though I am overweight and have been my whole life); it's more related to my history of depression, body hatred, and feeling uncomfortable with my physical self. My weight loss with SP has been more about getting to know/feel more comfortable in my body vs. attaining a specific weight, though society/BMI tells me I should still lose another 20+ pounds to be "healthy."

I think it's the pressure that gets to me and, I suspect, to a lot of other folks dealing with weight and health issues. If I didn't feel so much like society (commercials, movies, TV, books, etc.) tells me I'm worthless if I'm not a certain size/weight/whatever, I don't know that I would have such issues with my body. Working to create my own headspace with more positive messages has been extremely challenging, but it's definitely something I'm working on.

I want to be healthy, I want to live a long life, and I want to have lots of adventures and do lots of things. My frustration with my slow progress does sometimes upset me or make me feel pretty darn emotional, but I'm in it for the long haul, and I try to make my health goals about ME, not what society says they should be (though of course it's a good idea to keep an eye on trustworthy suggestions and research!).

MAMA_CD Posts: 1,498
8/20/13 6:05 P

I think it's a chicken egg situation. I've definitely struggled with emotional eating, but am learning to recognize it and find healthier coping alternatives that don't lead to more pounds. The more pounds only complicates it. I believe the solution is focusing on something else instead of emotions.

I don't think they're weak but rather unaware that there are options.

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (101,558)
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8/20/13 5:42 P

I eat to survive. I am not one of those people who get excited about food at all but I am capable of reward eating now and then. The old "I deserve this because I did..." yet as I get older, I am proud of the work I have done to change my life. I don't diet at all as that never works. What I do is continue to make my life about choice.....I choose what goes in my mouth, I choose to get up and exercise most days of the week, I choose to continually challenge the belief that at 50 I am heading in to the last 1/3 of my life....cannot believe when someone said that to me.

When I see large people I think how uncomfortable that must be to live that way and what got them there. Now I don't know a lot of bigger people but what I do know is that when I see people working out when I am at the gym, I always make sure to give encouragement to the larger persons who are just starting out.



JUSLANA SparkPoints: (447)
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8/20/13 5:13 P

eating to soothe anxiety, frustration, insecurity feeling powerless is where weight issues stwrtd for me for me. What started as a unconscious response to circumstances, then became a habit that is hard to break. Awareness is first step,now for perseverance to overcome what has become a nagging "need."

TRIATHLETEGIRL SparkPoints: (29,258)
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8/20/13 3:24 P

I think for some people it is related, for others it isn't. I just discovered I am an emotional eater. This knowledge will help me overcome my weight problems. I thought I was hungry and wouldn't feel satisfied until I was stuffed. Now I know those times are driven by emotions. I know something is bothering me, but I can't put my finger on it (yet). As I learn to identify emotional eating vs eating because I need fuel, I will be able to employ other tactics (like going out for a run or bike ride) instead of stuffing my face.

NLMARSHALLJX Posts: 117
8/20/13 1:01 P

Emotions and obesity are so closely related when they should not be. All you have to do is take a look at TV or a movie. When a woman is upset they automatically show her hugging her ice cream and remote control. It shouldn't be this way. I feel it tells us that food is the way to cure a problem when it only causes another one. I used to use food as a filler. When I was upset I would order my favorite chinese food or whatever craving I was having. It felt good for the first few bites but I ended up feeling horrible later. Food wasn't my friend but my enabler. I had to relearn how food could be my friend. How important fresh foods are and not the convenience of canned, processed, or frozen food. It takes more time but my weight loss is a life journey and not a quick fix. All these things I learned slowly. I am still learning everyday. Now when I am upset I go for a run. When I am happy I try out a new workout routine I have been thinking about (woohoo for rock climbing). My point is, I had to change the way I think.

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
8/20/13 12:01 P

i first have to say the deck is stacked against people with overweight problems.
how -?? well years ago you knew when you bought an apple or an orange or a pound of beef - THAT IS WHAT IS WAS. now we have frankenfoods - they are contrived, processed, made up and then all sorts of additives, perservatives, color and enhancements are added to it on top of the fact they are not real food . most fruit is picked months before it should be - then put in a ware house where it is gas ripened for good looks. no nutrition what so ever. so you are eating NOTHING.
yet it has calories -
then WE DO NOT WALK, BIKE OR MOVE in general - our society is now that of driving a car even to pick up mail at the post office - riding lawn mowers, - or we have a lawn company - our entertainment is sitting and playing games or watching a screen.
there is no running around with kids - or taking a walk after dinner -
we are lied to constantly and the rules change every single day. first coffee is bad - then it is good - keeps our brain focused, gives us a morning jolt.
everyone knows white sugar is poison - that it causes cravings, helps disease thrive in the body and keeps us obese - BUT IS IT RESTRICTED - no it is in EVERYTHING even when we do not want it - we get it. ketchup - relish- other inocuous foods we use without knowing it.
dry crackers are loaded with sugars now and no one considers a few crackers with soup to be what it is and how harmful it is if you eat them regularly.
ice cream is a horror . before ice cream was just a few ingredients - now you need a dictionary to decipher everything in it. (GUAR GUM??)
i have been fighting a weight problem my entire life - picking foods that are close to raw -only complex carbs - no processed or white stuff -
the lying continues with products like 'snackwell cookies' and similar unfoods marketed to obese people. babies are fed before birth unknowingly by mom - she thinks she is eating well, but the sweet tooth has already started.
so EMOTIONS - well i am angry - i know i am doing all i can to be a healthier person
OBESITY - i also find they change the numbers and labels which does not help the situation.
if people who are over weight are crying - it depends on their age and what they have been through. young girls i am sure cry everyday cause they will never achieve the air brushed images on every magazine and ad they see.
they play on all our insecurities - that must be ignored cause it is not achievable .
i have a small garden and freeze fresh produce - i do what i can - that is all we can do.


MISSPEACHES3 SparkPoints: (54,887)
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8/20/13 11:07 A

I can only remember having tears in my eyes once about my weight. That was just recently. I had lost 36 pounds. Just week ago I weighed myself and I had gained back 8 of those pounds.

My tears were of disappointment, shock, frustration and disbelief. Then I was more determined to get back on track.

It is so easy to eat and put weight on, but not so easy to get it back off.

Most of my life I have not been heavy. Health problems have helped me put on weight.

I remember years back when I looked at overweight people and thought things like....... Why don't they just lose weight or just not eat all of the bad foods. I know now, that is not the case. I now know why some people are heavier. I have a healthy respect for anyone that has extra weight on them. And I don't care how they are dressed or how they look.



SHERYLDS Posts: 12,053
8/20/13 10:34 A

DPOWERS042260 over the years I've experienced the same feelings.
I think it goes back to the 'idea' that some people will treat someone the respect they perceive they pay themselves...and they don't perceive that people who are obese respect themselves.

I think that the whole physical appearance ...along with the lack of style in a lot of Plus size clothing...contributes to a less attractive appearance. I think that's why the more one takes care of themselves..at any size..the more respect others give them.

DPOWERS042260 SparkPoints: (15,436)
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8/20/13 10:02 A

What amazes me (and makes me FURIOUS), is how much better SOME people treat me, now that I have lost 100 pounds. It also hurts me that so many people in our society judge other people by their appearance. I guess, to be honest, I have found I dislike these people very much! I find them to be ugly, which is not the case with someone struggling with their weight!

FINISHINGRACE Posts: 73
8/20/13 6:41 A

Ladycroft7, I agree that generalizing is not the path to take. I did want to comment on your third example though. At 68, I've battled excess weight all my life. The baggy clothes were (believe it or not) an attempt to cover up the weight. I'm not saying it was a successful ploy, but that's where I was coming from and I still get caught up in that thinking. My top weight was 286.5 and even though I'm approaching 200 now, given a choice, I will choose something "free-flowing" to something that "fits." That may be one of the adjustments I have to make as I continue on this journey but, for now, it's where I am. I did get rid of my "big" patterns though and bought a new top that, while not form-fitting, doesn't hang either.

Progress, not perfection!

Kathy

KORT26 SparkPoints: (27,609)
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8/20/13 5:50 A

I'm so disgusted with myself I cant stand it!

CHRISTASP Posts: 1,620
8/20/13 5:32 A

To me 'weak' and 'emotional' are two very different things. A person who can be emotional, consciously feel and allow their emotions, expressing them, in my eyes is a STRONG person.

Emotional eaters as I see it mostly don't do that, they tend to stuff their emotions down (I'm one of them most of the time) with food. Using food to not feel the feelings.

The reason why there's that need to not feel may indeed be because the person went through bad and/or sad experiences, trauma, abuse, and so on which made it hard(er) for them to feel what they feel, or express it.

Then, once eating as a way to numb emotions has become a habit, it is a habit that is hard to get rid of.

I tend to think that to many binge eaters and emotional eaters, it takes more than a 'change in life style' or in diet to succesfully keep weight off. Like therapy and/or forms of self development.

SCHEALTHNUTT SparkPoints: (45,636)
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Posts: 1,855
8/19/13 3:42 P

I really feel that emotions play a huge role in obesity. For my own self, I know that I can go there for comfort. If emotions can be controlled in a healthy outlet,ie exercise, problem solved.. One must always keep an awareness of why we are eating.

MELLIEJ81 SparkPoints: (646)
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Posts: 10
8/19/13 3:36 P

I think like most others that have commented here that it is individual specific. Since a child I have been an emotional eater. I mean I eat for every kind of emotion. To be honest I found myself more aware of what every one else's thought of me were when I was at my thinnest than at my largest. But once again that comes down to a personal choice. It takes a long time to intervene and disassociate the food from the emotions if that is the problem. Some people are happy to be larger and so be it. However for my own health I find that I need to take once again a more pro active approach to a more active and thoughtful lifestyle. Really that's what it comes down to is a lifestyle choice in my opinion. But I guess it is my opinion.

HEIDIJO150 Posts: 92
8/19/13 1:14 P

Personally for me when I've broken down crying about my weight loss journey. It's usually about all the things the weight keeps me from being/doing. It's usually because I can't do something fun I want to do or I don't think I'm good enough for my husband.

LADYCROFT7 SparkPoints: (14,781)
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8/19/13 12:49 P

I try not to generalize because I know several people who struggle with their weight and there situations are all different.
1 person I know has been on weight positive medications for most of her adult life. She has always been a stress eater but has gotten better about that and she watches what she eats, eating 90% healthy food. The medications that she has to be on for several different and chronic conditions simply make it quite hard for her to lose weight and very easy to put it on.
Another person I know was a dancer throughout high school and into to college but she did get used to eating lots of junk in college...and then she got pregnant. She put on about 50 lbs of pregnancy weight and while she has been working to get rid of it and back to her pre baby body, her food choices are not always the best they could be. But she's working on it.
A third person I know eats what ever she wants (ice cream sandwhichs and herseys were not uncommon lunches) however much she wants and tips the scales at over 225 (she's 5'4")with no signs of slowing down. She doesn't seem to care and dresses in baggy clothes most of the time to disguise her condition. She exercises sporadically but not really enough to make any impact.
Yet another person I know says that she is trying to lose weight but doesn't eat anything other than junk food and doesn't exercise at all. She does not dress in a way flattering her shape or size and blames her size on everyone else around her.
Because of having these people in my life I have a good handle on the fact that not all situations are the same and being obese does not make you weak. For myself I try not to have an opinion until I know a little more about the person, just like I would do when interacting with someone who is not obese. I agree that societal pressures and the culture around us have a great deal to do with the "obesity epidemic" but I think also think that there is more to it that just that. Foods that we as Americans tend to put on the "hazards list" are eaten and enjoyed all the time by their originating cultures and they do not have nearly the weight problems that we do. I think if we could see a return to cooking meals at home, families sitting around the table eating together, a return to a more family oriented culture than that will affect the nations waistlines as much as any government initatives that have been started in response to this "epedemic"

RHYMESWITHBABY SparkPoints: (41,262)
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8/19/13 12:03 P

This is just my honest answer to the question based on the person that I am. (People are different and there is no "right answer".)

What is my opinion?

I don't really have an opinion on this, because I don't look at an obese person and form an opinion about how or why they are the way they are. That's not to say an obese person is invisible to me. If a person appears sloppy, I usually think things like, "Oh, it must be hard to find clothes to fit." If a person appears well-dressed, I think, "Wow, look at that pulled-together look." If a person appears tired, or walks badly, I think about how much better they would feel if they lost weight.

However, once when I read a book about a family who went on The Biggest Loser (I don't watch the show, just read the book) it amazed me some of the things that were revealed to me about their individual emotional lives: stuffing their feelings with food (LOTS of food), not being able to get in the car without heading to a drive-thru, preferring to eat in the car because they were alone and hidden from other people's stares. That was just a whole new world to me. How difficult a life that must be, and how hard to break away from with the way our (North American) society is structured.

I do believe that society, rather than individual weakness, is responsible for a lot of the so-called obesity epidemic. Okay, so I guess I have an opinion after all.

EMPRESSAMQ Posts: 5,077
8/19/13 10:26 A

For me, the obese do not appear weak or emotional at all.

I think everyone has emotional problems and that it has little to do with body size, although definitely I am an emotional eater.

I'm okay with that lol. I think that also this is not agreed upon often by others who have had a weight loss/maintenance journey, part of the role assigned by nature to food is to have a place in our emotional and spiritual (as in symbolism, events, celebrations, etc.) life.

Re the specifics of the question, I honestly have never cried about my weight during the whole two decades of my major weight loss. It is all just math to me and having fun with motivating myself. I always knew I would be successful.

So I do think that when people are emotionally upset and it is ostensibly about weight, it probably is about other things, with the obesity being just a side effect.



SHERYLDS Posts: 12,053
8/19/13 9:44 A

So many times I've seen people talking about their struggles with obesity and
the agony of what they go thru.
For many people their past led them there and the memories keep them trapped.
For some food provides a temporary drug from facing the stressors of the present.
For some old bad habits are hard to let go of.
For most...feeling out of control and feeling helpless in facing one's obstacles is painful.

To many who don't face weight problems...the obese appear weak and emotional.
Whenever I see a person emotionally breakdown and cry about their situation
I wonder...are they crying about their weight or the things that keep them obese.

WHAT'S YOUR OPINION emoticon

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