SLENDERELLA61   148,237
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Relief Eating

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I recently wrote on the At Goal and Maintaining Team message board about a real problem for me at this point in my journey:

I frequently have "relief eating!" I get up for those stressful things and handle them well. Then when it is all over, I break down and eat! This is particularly true about big dinners at my house and other eating events. On the positive side, the "breaking down" eating has gotten smaller and smaller as my weight has gotten down, but I still do it. Anyone got a cure (suggestion) for this strange behavior?
I got two helpful and interesting responses:

1. From Redgrama -- Marsha my dear friend I wish I had an answer or "cure"
for relief eating. I would be DRENCHED IN GOLD.
But I can make ALL of us who do partake in RELIEF
eating, feel better, it is quite normal to do so. The best
thing is being AWARE that it does, can, and will happen
to most of us at times. We just have to make sure that
we always have on hand healthy, quick grabs handy.

I have found that VERY SOUR LEMON DROPS makes that
I want to eat something feeling go away & stay away.

2. From Oolala -- The only thing that has helped me is something I have talked about before, the theory that the urge for a binge comes from a chemical stimulus when we feel anxiety. By eating A LOT of the binge food, it reinforces AND STRENGTHENS the sensitivity to the urge feeling so that the urges will usually return even stronger. The best cure is eating NOTHING at that time, and waiting until you are calm and hungry to eat a meal. Later, periodically incorporate small amounts of the binge food into meals and then hang on! The chemicals will tell you to keep eating, but if you don't, it will quell the cylce over a period of experiences.

So all I mean is in this case knowledge of how much damage I was doing finally helped me to stop. I guess it's like learning that open bowls of uncovered mints at restaurants were found to have microscopic contamination by fecal matter from people dipping in after having gone to the bathroom and not washed their hands. I've never chosen to eat them since I learned that, even though they can look very good and innocent when I walk by.

So just knowing that I was chancing having the behavior escalate by participating had me scared enough that I've been keeping to my plan for almost 10 weeks now. I've had plenty of stressful situations, but I haven't even wanted to eat over them since the second week, barring a couple of fleeting moments.

I've also read that the feeling of over-fullness is a trigger for many bulimics. I realized it was for me. That has helped me eat just to comfort in some social situations.

Good luck!

Thanks to both Oolala53 and Redgrama. I thought posting here on my blog might get this good info out to more people than just being on our team message board. And maybe someone else can shed some light on relief eating. Evidently, I am not alone in this counterproductive behavior.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 3/17/2010 4:30PM

    How timely Marsha!

Last night I had the biggest urge to overeat that I have had in ages and I ate more than the 'new normal'. I just about kept in control and am OK now but there was definitely a trigger there somewhere.

As you know I had news that brought me major relief after months of worry.

You must be psychic.


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CLOVERR1 3/17/2010 4:06PM

    Good blog post! Yes, it happens to me too. And THANKS SO MUCH for your comment to my menopause post.

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KALIGIRL 3/17/2010 12:55PM

    Thanks for posting. I've been blessed not to be a 'relief' eater, but I'm sure this will get the word out to those who might partake.

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PERSISTANT123 3/17/2010 12:22PM

    Your blog just reminds me that this is a lifestyle change, and even when I get to goal weight, I will have new challenges to face in order to do the things I want to do.

Thanks for giving me insight into some of the challenges I might meet when I do get to my goal weight. It won't sneak up and surprise me now!

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/17/2010 11:21AM

    I tend to eat more any time there are heightened emotions. At my support group the other night, someone mentioned sensory grounding skills. The main focus is bringing yourself back to THIS moment and staying in it. Google it, some of them are really interesting ideas. They also mentioned putting together a soothing kit. That way, when you feel like relief eating, you just have to find your kit and you'll have all kinds of ways to cope right at your fingertips!


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AQUAGIRL08 3/17/2010 11:14AM

    I do stress/anxiety eating too. I've become aware over the last year that if I would give that type of eating up, I would be much thinner. At least we know that we're doing it. Purposeful eating is what we should strive for. I guess it just boils down to the fact that we're works in progress!

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/17/2010 10:32AM


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More On the Loving Yourself As You Are Challenge

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 15 assignment: "Think about how far you've come in the first two weeks of the Challenge. Blog on your progress during the first two weeks of loving yourself as you are now. Support other team members too! Do your choice of Cardio today."

Well, the cardio part was good. Natalie and I went to the YMCA. When we first got there we played outside on the playground. Then I took her to the indoor playground and she had fun climbing on this tall net cage enclosure really high. Then she was ready to go play with the other children in this great facility. I went to pilates, weights, and then did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer.

Thinking about this challenge is challenging. The first time I was to take a walk and contemplate my positive qualities, I was in a terrible frame of mind. Had just been through a not so positive conversation and I could not think of anything good about me -- except that I try; I mean well.

I decided that to make myself feel better about me I needed to do a few things and I selected making my bed, doing better at keeping the kitchen clean, and get a new haircut. Well, I got my hair cut, but I don't think I like it. I have done better at cleaning the kitchen. I've made my bed, but not every day. Actually, I'm not sure any of these things are really going to help.

Probably the biggest step forward I have made during this challenge is to realize that this issue is not all about my weight. I think that it would be worth my time to think about how I can improve my relationship with me.

Now I am not saying that getting to goal weight isn't worth it. Far from it. I'm just saying that not every thorny issue magically dissolves just because a person gets to goal weight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 3/16/2010 1:55PM

    As ever, your common sense shines through Marsha and you hold a mirror up to the reality of weight loss in contrast to the rosy, one-dimensional stereotype of slim = perfect.

We all need to work on our relationships with ourselves - and we have help here in doing that.

I hope that your self-assessment takes account of the positive influence that you have on the lives of people that you have never met. I live an ocean away from you but you have helped me more than you will ever know in recent months.

Thank you.

emoticon emoticon

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JOHAL52 3/16/2010 11:25AM

    You are absolutely right about the thorny issues. But at least, once you are at goal weight, one of the thorny issues goes to the background, right?

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AQUAGIRL08 3/16/2010 11:05AM

    I totally agree with you Marsha! The weight can be just a symptom of what is going on inside you. If you feel bad about yourself and are having that inner push pull about your own worth, it's hard to put yourself at the top of the list and so easy to spiral downward. Your inner self is just as important as your outer self. I think if a person has a mind set that they will be happy and well adjusted just because they lose weight, they are setting themselves up for disappointment. Achieving balance between mind, body and spirit is what our journey is supposed to be about. I'm trying to figure out what causes me to do certain things and what can I do about it. Once I understand that, losing weight will become easier and I won't obsess as much about the scale. We're all works in progress. You're doing a great job and you owe yourself a lot of credit for it!

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PERSISTANT123 3/16/2010 9:30AM

    I am just beginning to lose the excess baggage that I have been carrying around all these years. Because of brave souls, like yourself, I see that my excess baggage isn't really the weight I see on the outside, but also the things I have buried deep inside of myself.

I feel blessed to have connected with you. I know that without dealing with the things inside, the outside will never really change in my head.

Thank You! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BAGGYPANTS5 3/16/2010 4:28AM

    Thank you for making me think.

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PO_PAZZA 3/16/2010 12:03AM

    The last paragraph of your blog is a basic truth that isn't discussed enough. I am so glad you wrote it, and I hope we all remember it in difficult times.. So often we get the mindset, "If I just lost weight, life would be perfect." "If I won the lottery, life would be beautiful" and so on and so on.

I think many of is regain weight because losing it didn't solve every little difficulty in life, and we are so disappointed that it didn't we give up and go back to our awful eating habits.

Knowing this, knowing what you declared in the last paragraph gives us power to realize there may be other things to work on in addition to diet, so we don't give up on our new healthy lifestyle in disillusionment.

Thank you for shining a light.


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JHADZHIA 3/15/2010 11:30PM

    It is very important to have a healthy relationship with yourself. The key to success is feeling you CAN do it, not having feelings you are not good enough, etc.
Treat yourself as you would treat your friend. You wouldn't cuss them out for slipping up, and so you shouldn't do it to yourself. This was one of the things I read on Sparks and realized how true it is. We are much too hard on ourselves.
You sound like a great person I would love to meet someday from the contact i have had with you! You make a wonderful team leader! I want you to know you are much appreciated for all the support you have shown!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/15/2010 10:41PM

    Here's to improving your relationship with you!
I hope you know what an inspiration you are for us and you start feeling great about yourself.

Oh, yes... The nice thing about hair is that it grows back...

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Challenge: Write a Blog About Your Good Points

Sunday, March 14, 2010

For the Polk County SparkTeam's "Love Yourself as you are Now Challenge" I'm to write a blog about my good points. Well, that's going to be very difficult. I'm just so tired. I spent all day getting ready -- cooking and cleaning -- and then put on a birthday dinner for my 24 year old neice. Her boyfriend came, her brother, my daughter, son in law, and granddaughter. We all had fun!! I just got the kitchen cleaned up and now it is bed time.

I guess that kind of summarizes my good points: I'll do what needs to be done, I'll do things to celebrate other people, and I'll even have fun doing it. Good night, SparkFriends. Wish we could all get together for a big -- but very healthy -- dinner! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBRANCH2 3/15/2010 7:06PM

    How in the world do you have time for pilates, aerobics, bike riding and all of the other stuff that you do when you are forever putting others before yourself??? Not to mentiont watching the granddaughter...I know from experience that, that is a very taxing and demanding job!!! You have forgot to mention that you have endurance, ambition, reliability, and determination as qualities also!!! No wonder you have already met your goal weight!!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/15/2010 1:31PM

    I'd say those are GREAT points - how often we do what must be done and don't enjoy it (making others miserable in the process...)

Here's to your great points! emoticon

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/15/2010 10:12AM

    emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 3/15/2010 10:09AM

    Marsha you have so many good points! You are friendly, intelligent, dependable, a wonderful grandmother, a caring friend and have a very big heart. You juggle many projects and manage to get them all done so you've got to be organized too. Don't forget in all the hustle and bustle to take time for yourself. It sounds like you need a good night's sleep. You are far too important to the team to let yourself get run down. Please take care of you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOHAL52 3/15/2010 12:00AM

    You certainly have loads of good points re your family. And you are also a beautiful woman, I can tell from your photo. And you are a wonderful, supportive cyber friend.


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MONTY68 3/14/2010 11:42PM

It sounds like a wonderful day that you provided for all that were there.
As far as your good points . Every blog that you write is full of them. When I first read what they were asking for it made me think that they are looking for what is written to show each of you how many quality things you have accomplished,You, I believe would need to write a book with all that you have done.
You are indeed a very amazing lady.

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PERSISTANT123 3/14/2010 11:24PM

    You are so tired that you must have missed that you have the gift of hospitality! It sounds like your family gathers at your house because it is such a welcoming place.

Put your feet up and enjoy your evening!

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Check Out the Trivia Leaderboard!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

No modesty here. I'm up there in the top ten. There it is: OldMom3 at 93% for this month!! Because of SparkPeople, I'm getting more knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise everyday. Isn't that something??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOHAL52 3/15/2010 12:00AM

    Wow, in the top 10!! That is terrific!

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KALIGIRL 3/13/2010 4:44PM

    Too Cool!
(I always knew you KNEW your stuff!) emoticon
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/13/2010 4:44:58 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 3/13/2010 1:09PM

    In the top 10 on the world's foremost healthy living website surely?!

You are truly wonderful as well as wise!


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AQUAGIRL08 3/13/2010 11:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASOPA21 3/13/2010 10:09AM


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ASOPA21 3/13/2010 10:09AM


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MONTY68 3/13/2010 10:00AM

That is fantastic 93% . I struggle to stay in the 70's but I am learning a lot that I didn't know.
You are still # 1

Monty emoticon

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    WooHoo!! Awesome!!

I think I am in the bottom 10%
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAJCD 3/13/2010 8:22AM

    Oh congrats -- that's wonderful!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/13/2010 7:52AM

    That rates a emoticon and an emoticon!

Comment edited on: 3/13/2010 7:53:02 AM

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PERSISTANT123 3/13/2010 7:35AM

    With age comes wisdom (we hope).

Can you hear the applause from my house?

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JHADZHIA 3/13/2010 7:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Keep up the good work!

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PSUEFL 3/13/2010 7:12AM

  emoticonCONGRATS! emoticon

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MONGO2TEN 3/13/2010 5:48AM

    Great job! I'm working on getting there, but it probably won't happen this month. I do well at first, then miss some.


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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 3/13/2010 2:34AM

    emoticon Great job!

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DALEJR_FAN_TINA 3/13/2010 2:21AM


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Recounting My Weight Loss Journey

Friday, March 12, 2010

I weighed in at Weight Watchers weekly, and my weight went up and down, up and down and down, and up and down and down and down. I didn't always feel successful. When I look at the lowest weight of each month rather than the weekly weight, I got a much clearer picture of a very successful weight loss journey:

(In 1998-99 I lost from 212 to 152. In December 2008 I started again at 177. )

December 2008 = 171.8
January 2009 = 167.2
February 2009 =161.2
March 2009 =156.2 (I became free lifetime @ WW; within 2 lbs of goal wt of 155)
April 2009 = 154.6 (I added 4 points about 280 calories daily for maintenance)
May 2009 = 150.6
June 2009 = 148.6 (added 2 points)
July 2009 =146.2 (added 2 points)
August 2009 = 143.6 (added 2 points)
September 2009 = 142.0 (I signed up for SparkPeople & started tracking)
October 2009 =137.2
November 2009 =134.4
December 2009 =132.0
January 2010 = 129.6
February 2010 =131.8
March 2010 =131.2

I'm usually 1-3 pounds lower at home, naked. My lowest here has been 127.4. This morning I was 129.4; yesterday 128.0. I'm still getting used to the fluctuations, but I think that looking at a monthly weight probably gives more useful information. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 3/13/2010 7:28AM

    You have done very well Marsha! Weight Watchers is a great program!
I was using my monthly weigh in and measurement at Curves for my guideline since they have one of those Dr. office type scales, I figured it would be more dependable then my own. I am very much missing my weigh and measures at Curves. I am okay with weighing once a month, though I do a weekly check on my own scale just to monitor how things are going.
Have you been told by a physician what your ideal weight range should be for your height and bone structure? I can't wait to see my family Dr. She has seen me since I was 16 and would be able to tell me better than anyone else what I should be weighing. I have not seen her since my weight loss as she is very busy and always booked up and they gave me appointments with her substitute Dr.
Keep up the great work!

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SWEATONCEADAY 3/13/2010 1:24AM

    congras on your weight loss. also wanted to thank you for all your support and comments on my blogs. they are much appreciated.

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PERSISTANT123 3/12/2010 10:00PM

    Way to go. You show me that this can be done if I just stick to it!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/12/2010 6:21PM

    Way to go, Marsha! You've got a great record there to look at in restrospect and see how far you've come!


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    I think so too Marsha!

I weigh daily because I need to. But I don't obsess about the numbers. Knowing up and down keeps me on track.

You have had a most remarkable journey my sparkling friend!!

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WALKINGANNIE 3/12/2010 1:06PM

    This is such wise advice - and it's a great reminder of all that you have achieved to see the numbers in sequence in your blog. You have come such a long way.

You talk such sensible talk because you've walked every step of the walk - when you haven't been cycling, boot camping and being a general human dynamo.

Thanks for being there for us as well as doing it for yourself.


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KALIGIRL 3/12/2010 1:05PM

    What a great history of your SUCCESS!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You'll need to let us know how and when you stop 'weighing in' and reach a comfort level in maintaining. It will serve as a milepost for all of us.


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MONTY68 3/12/2010 11:44AM

May I congratulate you on a fantastic job you have done over the last several years. Look at you, It should be an inspiration for all that it can be done. As far as now and maintenance, I guess the body does fluctuate and your idea is excellent in using the monthly results. Nothing better then seeing it on paper. Just keep writing your wonderful blogs to motivate the rest of Sparkers.

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/12/2010 11:40AM

    You've done an AMAZING job!! The scale and gravity are too good of friends sometimes. It really is about keeping big picture perspective, isn't it?? A lesson I learn over and over again...


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AMANDAJCD 3/12/2010 11:23AM

    Good point, Marsha. It reminds me of something I read when I was reading the Hacker's Diet (google "Hacker's Diet" -- it's a free PDF on the web, written by the guy who developed AutoDesk). The author's big point with that diet was the trend line to one's weight loss. Some days or weeks will be up, some will be down, but as long as it's all down over the course of time, you're headed in the right direction :)

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