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Emotional over-eating.......

Monday, July 04, 2011


Trust me, this is NOT just about the negativity in life. It's also about celebrating the good things that life throws your way.

Think about this....

How many 'work meetings' have you attended where they did NOT provide food or drink?

How often do you gather with friends or family and your time together is NOT centered around "what shall we eat"?

My negative emotional eating blocked my pain, sadness, abuse, discomfort, boredom, loneliness and insulting comments.

But I also dealt with positive emotions, like: celebrating a raise, getting a promotion, starting a new job, having another birthday, reaching a milestone, the sun shined, the wind blew, I received a compliment....

I think you get the point I'm trying to make ~ I ate and I didn't know how to stop!!

While home-bound this past winter, my best friend was bringing me groceries. He never questioned what was on my list, until that one day when he noticed the bag of cereal I had ordered from the previous week had been consumed.

He commented, "that bag had 15 servings and it's gone?"

I replied, "you've known me for over 30 years and you never knew that I was an emotional over-eater?"

OMG ~ what did I just declare? Not only had I acknowledged my problem, but I said it OUT LOUD???

It truly was a baby step forward onto my healthy journey. I recognized my fault, acknowledged it and then shouted it from the roof-top!!

Let the healing begin....

At that moment I realized I didn't have the temptations involved with grocery shopping ~ you know those little tidbits that always manage to jump into your cart, but are never on your shopping list.

I seized the opportunity and the next list did NOT contain: crackers, pizza, or sugar-coated cereal. Gradually the list grew to include: fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and healthy meat like chicken and fish.

On one delivery he even mentioned "how proud he was of me" and I didn't automatically shove food in my mouth. I just blushed and said, "Thank you!"

FEELING EMOTIONS ~ what a new concept!!!

I have no tricks up my sleeve or any magical tips in over-coming this emotional side of eating. There are many times that I reach for food ~ especially when I experience mindless eating.

A big part of my success ~ I don't set myself up for failure. I don't have the temptations that I know I cannot resist. If I'm going to shove food in, to comfort an emotion, my choices are apples, pears, nectarines, cantaloupe, carrots, green beans, pea pods, fish or chicken.

I still get bored, am lonely, am happy and will always be challenged with mobility issues. But I'm also seeking other ways of dealing with those emotions ~ like volunteering my time.

Genealogy and quilting are a BIG part of my life! Through quilting, I'm providing quilts for children with cancer and newborns in need.

With my genealogy, I've been volunteering my time with Familysearch.org in providing new resources ~ the current project: 1940 Federal Census - will be available in 2012.

I will often help others with their family trees ~ I just LOVE the hunt & search!!

Now I sometimes get so wrapped up in an activity that I forget to eat ~ too bad THAT scenario didn't happen more in my lifetime!! LOL

I'm not certain I will ever be cured from emotional eating.

But each time I can "fill the need" with another activity, the hurdle becomes less challenging and I look forward to the day when it is just a bump in the road...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE2U2 1/17/2012 9:08AM

    Great blog. I am also working on not eating emotionally & also not eating for several hours at night watching tv. They are hard not to do when you have done them all your life. It does help not to have the "junk" foods around to tempt us all the time.

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4DOGNIGHT 7/9/2011 10:07AM

    Very good blog!

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STLOUISWOMAN 7/7/2011 8:04AM

    Annie, sounds like you just took a major step forward. I'm so glad that you have a best friend that cares so much about you. I also want to thank you for making the quilts for the children with cancer & the newborns in need. That's an amazing substitute for 'mindless eating.' I also appreciate your genealogy skills, having been someone who benefited from them.

Thanks for all you do.


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_KATHY 7/5/2011 12:18PM

    Great job getting to know yourself Annie. I'm finding all those things to be true for myself as well. Feeling your feelings has got to be a major reason for not having to eat over those feelings. What is the worse that can happen if we just allow ourselves to "feel". We won't break. So, instead of piling that particular feeling on top of other unfelt feelings, we just feel it and let it go. Then we go back and take a stored feeling and deal with it and let that go. The mountain of feelings (for which we overeat) diminish one by one. Well, that's how I look at it anyway :) Actually, that's a Genene Roth teaching.

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SRHALLIN 7/5/2011 11:51AM

    Ah, yes. The bane of many a day. Emotional eating/over-eating is a frequent cause of obesity. But, there are alternatives; and I think you're onto them with the quilting.

I took up sketching, inking, painting, photography, dance, stand-up comedy - anything and everything that I could think of to turn the urge to eat into something creative and beautiful to share with others.

And, you've chosen such wonderful beneficiaries of your loving labors. You have much to be proud of, and I know that you will find new and ever-more inventive and appreciable ways to redirect the urge to eat.

Pain, joy, boredom - these can all be transferred into a creative and kind outlet to make ourselves and the lives of those around us better. So, please, continue to choose healthy alternatives when the urge is too great - and to pursue quilting and any other artisitic endeavor that will help you to turn those feelings inside of you into a source of joy and happiness for you and for others.

well done. And, of course, best wishes.

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COLEENCOLE 7/4/2011 11:43AM

    Great blog. Awesome insight. I am also an emotional eater. I am slowly becoming a former emotional eater.

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DIFROMWYOMING 7/4/2011 11:20AM

    I know my own struggle with emotional eating is that when certain things happen that really leave me unhappy or distressed I still choose food because I can't seem to find anything else that works yet...I love your idea to allow those times to be what they are, but to choose healthier choices instead of the usual bad ones. Thanks, Annie!

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EACHDAYAGIFT 7/4/2011 9:37AM

    My take away from this blog is the "fill the need with another ACTIVITY". I've been thinking that I shouldn't need to divert myself from my emotions and telling myself I need to stop. Well, I am 56 and have been doing this all my life. Maybe instead of telling myself I need to stop, it will be more productive and fruitful for me to acknowledge that this is my knee jerk response, that I personally need a little help to calm myself when things get intense, for good or bad. And then focus on the activities I enjoy and substitute one for frantic eating. Get moving, get busy, get immersed in something that feels "safe". Food for thought...oh, it always comes back to food for me, LOL!

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    Great blog! I'm so happy for you. The more you do it, the better you will get at it, the more automatic it will become. Keeping temptation away is key for me. I get angry at my roommate when she puts sugary cereal in the cabinet. I tell her to keep it in her room. lol. I can really empathize with you on feeling your emotions. It is usually painful for me, even good emotions.

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JLEE123 7/4/2011 5:19AM

    Like how you are using grocery lists to control your environment. Can't eat what ya don't have? Got the waist on your trousers tightened or buying new? J

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MYCUTEGIZMO 7/4/2011 12:28AM

  I am too..so controlling my emotions is the key to controlling my eating..

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SAMI199 7/4/2011 12:19AM

    You are taking all the right steps & not one of them is easy!!
I share your struggle & I know that this is something we have to do every single day-it is a battle-no doubt about it-BUT it is worth the fight! We can do this!!!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The Woman Within Me...

Saturday, July 02, 2011

There is a secret buried deep within the crevices of my being. Many years ago, I built a sheltering wall around me. Food was my "tool of comfort" and any time I experienced negativity, frustration, rejection, abuse or sadness ~ I slipped deeper and further beneath another layer.

Years passed by and those "walls of protection" were also keeping me from the things I desired the most.

The year that my best girl-friend and grandmother died, was when I slipped into deep depression. I didn't really care if I lived or died...life moved on around me at lightening speed and I stood still and motionless.

My doctor enrolled me into group therapy and for 10 months I hid in the shadows, not really contributing to the group. Then one night, a young man shared how he had just lost his best friend. With tears streaming down my face, I stood up, crossed the room and put my arms around him ~ hugging him as he wept on my shoulder.

It was a turning point, I slowly began to break down that sturdy fort I had built around me. In talking about my past, I was slowly starting to find that woman buried deep within.

Thirty years have passed by and that woman hasn't fully emerged to the surface. But I'm gradually starting to see the light of day break through the crevices of my armor.

Many months have gone by since joining Spark People. But one of the biggest accomplishments I've made on this journey was admitting that I am an emotional over-eater!

It's another baby step forward, towards my healing process as I have started to FEEL my emotions, instead of eating through them.

While challenging myself to improve my life, I'm learning to appreciate, trust and use my intuition. I am heading down the path of my healthy journey ~ one hurdle at a time.

"And out of the gentle wrapping of that which lived within the cocoon, came the very magnificence of the butterfly. The transformation was slow, sometimes filled with painstaking moments. But the growth, the beauty and the glory of the shedding of that which bound her tight was worth the one moment...when she burst forth into the world." ~Cougar Wisdom

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 7/4/2011 12:14AM

    I have tears in my eyes-I am so happy that you have found the "Woman Within"-she deserves to be free!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SRHALLIN 7/3/2011 5:00PM

    I can only imagine the courage that writing such a candid and open blog must have taken.

You've taken some of the most difficult steps in becoming a healthier person. This is one of those things where healing from the inside out makes an enormous and dynamic difference in one's life.

Be very proud of yourself for the progress that you have made, and please know that there is light at the end of the tunnel you are walking along; and of course, that you are never alone on that journey.

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DIFROMWYOMING 7/3/2011 10:07AM

    Oh Annie my friend this is a wonderful blog and a testament to your determination and inner strength. I have already seen so many changes since I met you here, your colors bursting forth in little ways. I think if you went back two or three years here (how long have we been here? lol) and looked at older blogs you would also be amazed and happy about the progress! You amaze me all the time! emoticon

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PLSMOM 7/2/2011 4:28PM

    I love this blog. You are an amazing woman...don't ever doubt that. I never really thought of it that way before...about there being another woman inside wanting to get out and live the life I've deprived her of for so many years. Thank you for making me think about that.



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EACHDAYAGIFT 7/2/2011 3:14PM

    What a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably with us. I have been an emotional eater since childhood, and I find that I will react that way to positive as well as negative feelings. Anything that feels strong, i have an impulse to quickly numb before I have the chance to really experience more than the first hint. How do you just sit with emotion without trying to escape? Do you have any things that have helped you learn to do that? I would appreciate any advice you could give. Keep up the brave journey.

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_KATHY 7/2/2011 1:24PM

    Very touching blog Annie. We do make our own prisons when we choose to remove ourselves from the life that hurts. Then, with much hard work, as we learn to live in the hurt and understand it, the prison walls come down. We begin to have day passes :). then more and more, we live in that world. Enjoying that world and dealing with the crap that may have once caused us to retreat. I'm still working on day passes myself. But I like what I see outside those walls and I want more. I know you do as well. This is just my silly thought process of the moment LOL But the bottom line, I think, is to be good to ourselves and live our lives in the most positive way we can, each and every day.

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GCHUNG 7/2/2011 5:25AM

    Annie - congratulations on another step forward. I hope you continue to retain the fortitude of taking those steps even when some of them are difficult because it gets you ultimately to your end goal.

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    I am so happy for you that you are discovering the woman within. I can't wait to get to know her. emoticon

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FUTUREHOPE49 7/2/2011 4:26AM

    What a wonderful story you have to tell! Thank you for sharing! You have come a long way! Keep up the good work! I love you bears on your background. They are beautiful!
Hugs Ellen

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I can see....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tuesday afternoon, when the anticipation of pre-surgery jitters hit....I called a couple friends. I actually FELT my emtions. This was a HUGE step for me....instead of comforthing myself with food, I reached out and talked about my feelings. I kept busy, trying to keep my day as normal as possible.

When I walked into the hospital Wednesday ~ I had a good nights rest and felt confident it would be a "good day". Another big first....my anxiety was at it's lowest.

From the time they rolled me into the operating room ~ till I was returned to my room, less than 30 minutes had passed. It was by far one of the easiest surgery I have ever experienced.

I was given a small dose of Valium to "take the edge" off, yet I was awake through the whole procedure. My doctor was by my side talking to me and telling me the whole procedure, as she was preforming it. Her voice was very soothing and quite comforting.

This morning, I headed into the doctor's office to have the pressures in my eyes checked. The technician also checked my vision. That old fuzzy 'big E' of yesterday, is now very sharp and clear. After only 20 hours of surgery, my vision is 20/25 and should continue to improve (as my eye is still dialated).

I always thought my left eye saw fairly well, until I woke this morning and was sitting at the kitchen table. I have bird feeders just outside my window, last week my birds were just flashes of brilliant colors and today I can describe them in detail.

I was anxious to talk to my doctor. I told her what an awsome job she has! Not only does she have the knowledge of being a doctor, she also possesses the ability as a surgeon to restore someone's eyesight. What a thrill that must be when you have results, as positive as my own!!

This was truly another positive step forward in life's journey.....

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone...
I can see all obstacles in my way.....
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind...
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun shiney day!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 5/22/2011 11:12AM

    I am so glad it all went well for you! I applaud your attitude to the op! Well done! It's so wonderful that you can now see the birds in all their glorious colours. Your quilts will look psychedelic now! It will be much easier to do them. Perhaps you could try something else! You will soon be out in the sunshine and rarin' to go!

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SAMI199 5/17/2011 6:48PM

    I am so happy for you!


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EACHDAYAGIFT 5/12/2011 11:35PM

    Woo Hoo!!!! Awesome that you are already seeing so well. To manage it without using food is truly praiseworthy...I wish I could say I was there now but I am not. Enjoy your bright, sunshiney views and keep us posted!

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GEORGIA_KAY 5/12/2011 8:13PM

    Oh Annie honey, how very very very happy I am for you!!!

God really is so good to us!


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ELSEEBEE 5/12/2011 6:56PM

    Isn't it amazing what doctors can do for us? When my mom brought my dad home from having his first cataract surgery he got all excited because there was a tree growing the yard across the street! Mom had to laugh and tell him it had always been there!

Your attitude is an absolute inspiration to all of us! You are an amazing lady!
emoticon on turning to friends instead of food when you were nervous!

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PATTYCAKE17 5/12/2011 6:09PM

    Keep singing that happy tune! You're quite a trouper. I'm so grateful for your wonderful blessing.
Seeing the birds at play is such fun, isn't it; a special reward. I have a large shrub outside my window with a nest in it and those little birds keep me company on their flights in and out of the nest, and dive bombing my window!LOL
All the best to you; God bless. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KJWILSON211 5/12/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TOWHEE 5/12/2011 5:05PM

    Thank you for your blog. It helps to put MY mind at ease.

I'm so very happy for you. Since I am going through the same thing I certainly understand how excited you are to see clearly.

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GCHUNG 5/12/2011 4:42PM

    So this should influence your quilting too!! I can't wait to see what new prizes you'll create.

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ELLEN0407 5/12/2011 4:39PM

  you had an amazing week. congrats on all you have

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No......I'm not learning a new dance step.....well, not yet....

I have a case of the jitters ~ the kind that comes before heading in for surgery. The little worries that clog the mind and creates restless sleep.

I've been at this point many times in my life and as I rattled off my different surgeries to the hospital nurse, I realized that last century's surgeries happened almost every 10 years apart: 1964 tonsillectomy, 1972 breast biopsy, 1982 ortho knee, and 1996 shoulder impingement.

Then this century hit and things have sped up a bit with: 2008 ERCP & gall bladder, 2010 Hysteroscopy D&C and now....(drum roll) Cataract surgery - May 11th and June 8th.

Food used to be my "comfort zone" that soothed my worries....but I'm learning to channel those thoughts into other directions. I continued on with this day, much like all my other days....

You see, my day is not complete until ~ needle, thread and fabric meet! Starting out my day sitting at my sewing machine always brings a smile to my face! It's my Art of choice and fabric is my medium...

Then I had some genealogy questions to answer, census records to look up, additions to enter into my growing family tree.....things to occupy my mind, as tomorrow will come soon enough.

My thoughts were lost in yesterday and the lives that came before me....then the phone rang and I was brought back to reality.

After the third call, I hung up the phone and this song popped into my head....an old Johnny Nash song. It just seems so fitting for tomorrows surgery....


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 5/12/2011 2:48PM

    Got behind on my emails again, so by now your surgery should be behind you and recovery in process. Hope all went well and that you aren't in any pain. Loved the Johnny Nash song. When I was 17, my Mom's funeral was on a gloomy November Day, but afterwards, as we were driving, the sun came through the clouds just as this song came on the radio. I feel that sense of hope again each time I hear it.

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GCHUNG 5/12/2011 8:24AM

    Can definitely relate - I also have the jitters and my surgery - my first ever - is in September. I am trying to do PRE-REHAB to make sure I'm in as best condition as I possibly can for this event. Needless to say the butterflies are flying.

Hope all goes well.

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TOWHEE 5/11/2011 10:20PM

    Best wishes on a successful outcome.

My cataract surgeries are scheduled for June 7 and June 28. I'm looking forward to being able to sew again and read again.

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GEORGIA_KAY 5/11/2011 4:21PM

    Love you Annie! Will be thinking and praying for you today!

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SAMI199 5/11/2011 8:08AM

    I will be thinking of you!


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DIFROMWYOMING 5/10/2011 11:48PM

    Will be thinking of you Annie!

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KJWILSON211 5/10/2011 11:35PM

    Annie, Good Luck tomorrow I hope the surgery goes great so you can see clearly and keep doing the things you love. emoticon

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Untie the knots......

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Knots Prayer

Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the Ďam notsí
that I have allowed to hold me back,
Especially the thought
that I am not good enough.


Author Known to God

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 4/9/2011 11:39PM

    That was great! Got to print this one! And post it all around the house!
Thanks for the blog support....I had a good week and am planning for next week to be even better! Hope you are well!

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2MUCHRUTHIE 3/30/2011 1:02AM

    Annie--thanks for this poem. Are you still lonely and sad and in pain. I was once depressed, sad, mad and in pain. So I saw a psychologist, took meds for it, and my doctor put me on Vicodin so i could have a life. Then he sent me to a lymphedema therapist. I wear support hose now and they really do help. I hope you can get some relief soon. Just remember you are so worth it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENIFIREHARP 3/22/2011 10:05PM


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DIFROMWYOMING 3/21/2011 9:38PM

    thanks, Annie. emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 3/20/2011 12:51PM

    Makes me think of an old, traditional hymn, "Be Thou My Vision" . If we could see with God's eyes and think his thoughts, we'd get a truer picture of ourselves, priorities, and everything and everyone else. We tend to get things twisted and confused in our humanity!

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GCHUNG 3/20/2011 10:36AM

    Positive thinking!

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GEORGIA_KAY 3/20/2011 10:28AM

    I love that! Thanks for sharing it, Annie :)

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2BMYOWN 3/20/2011 1:01AM

    Awesome, Annie, it's a great thing to take to heart. You are ALWAYS worth it, and don't ever forget that. Thanx for posting this! And I LOVE the flowers on your sparky page!!

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MARLINDA5 3/20/2011 12:36AM

    Thank you emoticon

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THEFIRSTDAY 3/20/2011 12:23AM

    Very nicely said.


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