SHARA53   3,371
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Emotional Eating

Saturday, November 03, 2012

If you read my blog, you know I had a rough week. I had a heavyweight title bout with candy, and candy won. For four consecutive days I was having these mini chocolate binges. I've been fine about my eating otherwise, not feeling at all deprived. I've never even considered myself much of a chocoholic: I'm usually the person who'll want the fruity, cinnamon type treats. My biggest downfalls have always been of the pie and ice cream variety. So what gives?

I've been trying, apparently not hard enough, to eat mindfully. I even meditate most days and always try to remember that I'm more than my thoughts, lest they lead me astray in one way or another. So I should be understanding this out of nowhere craving to do exactly what I at least think I don't want to do: eat a bunch of useless calories whose pleasure is pretty ephemeral.

I could not put my finger on what would make me do this. And then last night my sweetheart and I were watching the hastily put-together telethon for Hurricane Sandy relief and I started really crying. And that was my answer. Sometimes it's as plain as the nose on your face.

I'm from New Jersey. I grew up there. Many of my best memories involve the Jersey Shore. My first trip after I got my driver's license was to "the shore." I went there on prom night, I worked "down the shore" as a waitress one wonderful teen-aged summer. I'm a huge Springsteen and Billy Joel fan because their music sounds like home to me. And the shore town I always went to, even took my kids to when they were little, was Seaside,

If you are from that area or have been watching the news about the storm on television, you know that Seaside is in ruins. The photograph of the roller coaster sitting, wrecked, in the Atlantic? Seaside. I've been on that roller coaster on dates and with my best girlfriends back in the day.

So yes, this is what my emotional eating was about, I'm sure of it. Yet at the time I was gobbling down those Hershey bars and Snickers, the tragedy was the furthest thing from my mind. And that, I believe, is at the heart of emotional eating for me: an unconscious attempt to soothe my grief at having watched all these beloved places destroyed.

I'm not trying to compare what I was feeling to people who lost tangible things in the storm. I'm just trying to understand my motives. If I know that what I did had an emotional basis, maybe next time I'll think twice before I give in to my emotions in a self-destructive way.

The next time I'm moved by what appears to be an out-of-nowhere craving, I'm going to ask myself what is really wrong, drink some water and find another way to soothe myself. This journey I'm on is all about changing habits and I have to remember that usually our most ingrained habits are not even conscious. But that doesn't mean they have to be automatic.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIPPER15 11/4/2012 7:22PM

    Chocolate is my go to for emotional eating. If I don't have any chocolate, it is then on to the carbs of any source. I also understand not knowing what is the spur that starts these emotional binges. Sometimes I can not figure them out at all. emoticon emoticon Hope that your friends and family in New Jersey are all safe and well.

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JUMPINJULIE 11/4/2012 5:06PM

    You are absoutly right they don't have to be automatic habits. I'm glad you did realize why you were sad instead of never knowing. emoticon

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LJOYCE55 11/3/2012 3:24PM

  It must be very hard to learn that part of your childhood memories cannot be revisited - at least not in the very near future. Working through that loss may take longer than you would like, but facing it takes intelligance and courage. Congratulations on using both and good luck on your path forward.

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FITANDFIFTY2 11/3/2012 1:55PM

    I understand too! I lost 157 pounds over 8 years ago and to this day, have to deal with emotional eating. I have to stop, and think or I head straight to the cupboard. You are ahead of the game just realizing why you are wanting to eat, that is 90% right there. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Spark Friend! Hugs, Kathy

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BRENDA_G50 11/3/2012 1:54PM

    I've been watching all the destruction by Hurricane Sandy on the news. My heart goes out to all the people that were effected. emoticon

I know about emotional eating and tears for unknown reasons....before my dad passed away, we were taking shifts staying with him in the hospital. One of my step-brother had relieved me and I had gone home for the night. I woke up abruptly, sat up in bed and was crying. I didn't know WHY until my brother called me to let me know dad had passed away. I asked him "what time?" and when he told me, THEN I realized, that was the EXACT TIME I had woken up crying.

For you, it was chocolate. For me, it was food and I went back to smoking after not smoking for 3 1/2 years.

So I understand how you must have felt when you watched the "telethon for Hurricane Sandy relief" with all your memories of the past flooding over you. It was as if an important part of your life had ended.

Hang in there, I'll be praying for you. emoticon

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Tricky Treats

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Today the goblins and ghoulies were not knocking on my door, but my inner goblin took over for a while. I had a, shall we say, candy malfunction?

And it wasn't even just today. I've had two sorta awful days, foodwise. Yesterday I bought one small bag of fun-size Snickers. We only have a few little ones on our street and we rarely get more than a kid or two on Halloween, so I figured that would work well.

It did not. Between me, my fiance and my son, the bag was gone before Halloween morning. So my fiance went out this morning and came home with three (!) bags of candy. I wouldn't exactly say he's enabling me (I'm the one who ate the stuff; he didn't offer it), but there it was calling to me.

I ate about a third of that first bag of Snickers yesterday and had another two Snickers bars and a bunch of little Hershey bars today before I pulled myself together. It was definitely a mini-binge and had all the signs of one: I was sneaking the candy into my pocket and eating it furtively so no one would see. And I was not liking myself while I was doing it. You know what made me stop? SparkPeople. I came here and started reading threads in the "Panic Button" section on the message boards. And then I exercised and drank a bunch of water, which just turned my bad attitude around.

I'm not writing this to beat myself up, even though I was too ashamed to start a panic thread myself. I just want to understand why I did it. Even as I was eating the candy, I was not really enjoying it. Overall It was sort of an ugly, guilty experience. And I honestly believe that sugar is addictive in forms like candy bars. I've been reading David Kessler's book "The End of Overeating," and he talks at length about the addictive qualities of combinations of sugar, fat and salt.

I need to figure this out and pretty soon because Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. I can't live in a vacuum without candy or ice cream around or any number of foods that I need to mostly avoid.

Maybe it's emotional eating and I need to consider what else was going on with me the past few days. How do you, my Sparked friends, deal with these episodes? I'm just glad this place is here for me because I think without it, I might have eaten way more junk food.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJOYCE55 11/2/2012 2:01PM

  Honestly, I don't really have an answer since the unthinking binge is my biggest obstacle. I have successfully tried the stop-think-stop-drink water-stop-walk away, but sometimes this does not work either. I am hoping this is just a bad habit that I can unlearn over the course of the next year. I wish you luck.

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KIPPER15 11/1/2012 8:45PM

    As a confirmed Chocoholic, I can relate to what you are saying. I have to keep chocolate like the Halloween candy out of site and keep my mind on other things. If I drink more water or some tea I can usually get through. I keep three dark chocolate Lindor truffles in the fridge at all time. Three is 210 calories and usually I can stop at one if they are hard from the cold and melt slowly in my mouth. I have found if I don't allow emoticon myself chocolate it will turn into a binge when I get some.

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SHARA53 11/1/2012 6:23PM

    Thanks Julie. I spent some time today reading about binge eating, and I think I have not been eating enough during the day and it's making me want more at night. Today I made a smoothie with a cup of chocolate coconut milk and some canned pumpkin and spices and it was delicious and a frozen treat, so that was a filling healthy snack. I just have to keep working at it a day at a time!

I'll just emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 11/1/2012 4:04PM

    Well i just try to figure out what a safe limit is but if their is no safe limit then i hate to say this but you might have to lock it up some place where you don't have a key but your finace and child can get to it but you can't. Or you could play a game like i do with ice cream that i really like and tell myself it is ice cream i don't like and that seems to work. I hope this helps.

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Me and My Knee

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Yesterday my knee was hurting big time. I had done some step aerobics on Tuesday and I felt something go wrong while I was doing it. It hurt in the wrong way and I knew bad things were coming. I took some ibuprofen before bed, but when I woke up on Wednesday morning I was in a lot of pain. Way more than the usual aches and pains from my age and morning arthritis, and not even in the knee that usually bothers me, the one I messed up playing field hockey in college!

So I gave myself a day off and I mostly stayed in bed with my leg propped. I didn't want to see the doc and I certainly didn't want to take anything stronger than the ibuprofen if I could avoid it.

I slept a lot off and on, must have needed it as I am not typically a napper. And my sweetheart picked up Mexican food, so I ended up eating two taquitos and some rice and beans, which is more fat than I'd like but the meal included four (!), and I didn't touch the last two. Also I was pretty good with my water and had eaten very little during the day what with all the sleeping.

I did some stretches and gentle exercises that made my knee feel good. I could feel exactly where the injury (maybe a small twist) was located.

Well lo and behold this morning I woke up feeling pretty good. The bad pain is pretty much gone and I can resume my exercising today. I'll probably do the chair cardio and some ab crunches and upper body strength training, let my knee take it easy for another day or so.

It really is ok to take a day off when you need to! In the past I might have used it as an excuse to think "oh my diet failed," and we all know that really means: "I'll eat whatever and as much as I want to shovel into my mouth." But I'm not on a diet and I never will be again. Sometimes I have to say that out loud to myself. I'm not on a diet and I never will be again.

Being reasonable about food and fitness does not mean being so obsessed that I'll push myself even when my body is telling me this ain't the day for it. And there's nothing to feel guilty about because I made the right decision. Little by little I'm learning. Poco a poco se va lejos!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 10/26/2012 8:59PM

    I'm happy for you that you realized your limations and didn't push your self. As i said it is not a diet it is the plan forever. And sometimes i have to remind myself of that in my head like today when i went to a fast food place and all i get now is a double cheese burger no fries and a small diet. i really wanted fries but i told myself it was not worth it so. Keep going and you will learn little be little. emoticon

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ANGRITTER 10/26/2012 8:01AM

    I had the same problem with my ankle and healing broken leg yesterday from walking on pavement instead of the ground. I needed to take a day off and I did. Then later on I came home and hit the gym rom and did some weight training. Then I did some stability ball work so my feet could take the break they needed. I didn't over do it but my body felt so much better after the stretching and getting my endorphins going!

Keep up the great work and keep listening to your body!

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KIPPER15 10/25/2012 7:55PM

    Que bueno. (i think, it has been many years since high school Spanish class). I have a hip which takes me out off commission at least once a month. Chair work and my weights and resistance band get me through. We learn as we go. emoticon emoticon

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Oh Nuts

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not one of my best days. Woke up achy from the ab crunches yesterday and generally being old. Ate a piece of my pizza for lunch (which was wonderful but I ate two pieces yesterday, so this was not a good choice). And then because I still felt hungry I started grazing on nuts. I know they're good for me. I usually keep raw almonds and walnuts around for oatmeal or salads, you know to use a LITTLE at a time.

And before I knew it I ate a half cup, which sounds tiny. It is tiny, mass-wise, but it is a whopping 667 calories. And a lot of fat, good fat, but still.

Now my dinner is sitting in the fridge cause I'm not hungry enough to eat it yet. My college Spanish teacher taught me a phrase I've always remembered: poco a poco ses va lejos. Little by little we are learning. Sometimes I really feel like the emphasis is on the "little."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIPPER15 10/26/2012 8:52PM

    I love nuts. I keep the little cups they give you for take out salsa or salad dressings and use them to measure and take nuts for snacks at work. emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 10/22/2012 8:44PM

    It will be okay. No worries. emoticon

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LJOYCE55 10/22/2012 8:00PM

  I like the wry way you chide yourself - not beating yourself up but just reminding yourself to do better next time. emoticon

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JESSICA_STULTZ 10/21/2012 11:35PM

    I think it is important that you are AWARE of what you are taking in. It may not do you alot of good today.. but next time it might help you think before you eat that much again. One thing I suggest is measuring out the amount you want to eat and then put the bag up. That way.. in order to have more, you have to do the work to get them back out. Sometimes just the extra hassle isn't work it to me! Just think.. much better for you than that many calories of candy or chips!
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ONEMONSTERSMOM 10/21/2012 9:13PM

    It may be a little at a time, but you are still learning!

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Today I Get It

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I was feeling meh about exercising today, and it's so easy to talk oneself out of moving one's body, isn't i? But I always come to SparkPeople and log on, read the features, cruise a few blogs.

Of course I track daily, and tracking is quite a commitment, we all know, especially when that means you weigh everything you put in your mouth and need to enter recipes from scratch. Plus fitness. Plus goals.

Today as I was sitting and reading lethargically, I saw someone had thanked me, even sent me a goodie because I had said something that helped her on a rough day. That made me smile. It got me up and exercising with more determination. It changed my attitude for the day.

Sometimes, I guess, I'm more motivated by doing something for someone besides me. Maybe it's my maternal instinct as I am used to doing that for my kids all the time. And I'll take my motivation anywhere I can get it, and be thankful for it too.

I might not get it tomorrow or the next day, but I'll still come here and someone like my Sparked buddy today will offer me encouragement. In a world divided by so much (it often seems), that is a beautiful thing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 10/21/2012 7:47PM

    What are friends for but to lift you up. And hopefully you can return the fair. So happy you felt better and got motivated to workout. emoticon

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ANGRITTER 10/21/2012 2:21PM

    What a beautiful thing to share. I think we all struggle but today I saw the most perfect cartoon to describe my days. I stole it from a dear friend's blog and have posted it to my sparkpage photos, and I think you will get it!

Look at this and see if it doesn't match your daily progression as well!

http://www.sparkpeople
.com/mypage_photo_gallery_enlar
ge.asp?id=4447358


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LJOYCE55 10/21/2012 1:12PM

  emoticon

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JESSICA_STULTZ 10/21/2012 1:02AM

    Definitely so easy to talk ourselves out of exercising. There are always a million and one excuses on why we "can't" exercise today. But there are also a million and one reasons why we SHOULD exercise every day. Woo hoo for getting up and doing it!

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KIPPER15 10/20/2012 10:11PM

    That is why we all need and like Spark people. The friends and the help. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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