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identifying today's emotional eating urge

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I've moved onto Part 2 of "Shrink Yourself", i.e. the section of the book containing exercises to help readers stop the cycle of emotional eating. Aside from identifying the habits of healthy eating I don't adhere to - which I was pretty aware of to being with - the first exercise is in identifying the emotions you notice precipitating the urge to emotional eat. I'm rather impatient, because I'd like to move beyond identification to the knowledge of what to do with these feelings! However, I'm going to try to take it slow and remember that this is a process. So here goes.

I just finished drinking tea because I'm very stressed out and want to stuff my face.

A certain family member tends to hold in feelings for awhile before going absolutely bonkers: stomping, slamming doors, screaming, yelling, cursing, threatening. Last night was the initial explosion, followed today by "I can't take anymore and I'm getting on a bus and taking off." In a rare display of painstaking self-control, I've kept my temper and have been working very hard not to absorb her feelings and problems as my own; it's difficult beyond words, though, having spent a lifetime caught in this cycle. Despite my efforts, I've felt drained, on-edge, withdrawn, and generally upset all day. Healthy, well-adjusted communication is simply not an option. The current incident serves to highlight the perception that healthy, well-adjusted communication is rarely an option, because it's usually met with enraged defensiveness, accented by mud-slinging denigrations and haloed by a cloak of self-righteous, woebegone persecution.

On top of the family drama, I received an email reply from an alumnus of my college that I'd reached out to for career information. Her advice hit a ton of sore spots, sore spots which lead me to emotional eat, time and time again, because my apparent loss of how to resolve the issues causes me to feel trapped and extremely powerless. For the past few weeks, I've been trying to remind myself that I'm not as utterly powerless to change my situation as it feels like I am and to pull myself out of a victim mentality; but having the alumnus's advice spread out bare in the half dozen or so ways that habitually appear to me to be insurmountable roadblocks is really sucking me into a powerless mindset again and triggering the urge to eat.

Great. I've identified the specific situations and the specific emotions causing my urge to emotional eat. Now what? I want to know how the author purports I 'reclaim my power.'
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISS-OVEREATER 6/30/2012 7:29PM

    It's a test, or more practice to overcome the emotional eating? But the venting feels good doesn't it? :-)

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KANOE10 2/29/2012 6:50AM

    I am sorry you are having such a difficult time..Good for you really struggling to identify what is stressing you and trying not to be a victim. The now what to do, is to find a small step so you feel in control. If it means trying to keep away from your family member while they are out of control..
I hear you on the stress of career information..This job market is nuts..especially in the academic world.
Hang in there. You are trying so hard to handle your emotions..you can do it..You lost 100 pounds and you have the strength to find your way out of these stressful life problems. Is there a friend or family member who could help?
emoticon

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MISJOSIE 2/24/2012 10:22AM

    There is a well known Zen story about a master who pours a cup of tea until it overflows, causing his student to shout for him to stop. It is only when we empty ourselves of what we already have that we can begin to fill ourselves with new knowledge.

Be proud of your journey, and the good it brings, one small piece at a time--you are amazing!

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JAMIEHORN20 2/23/2012 7:47PM

    Okay, Miss Impatient :)

I'm glad you're taking this as a process. Even reading about the "insurmountable roadblocks" made me think that if you can set small goals that will end up meeting a larger goal, you'll get there. It won't be overnight, but you'll be heading in the right direction instead of feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

So while you're figuring out what's triggering your emotional eating and waiting for the next step, can you also set some small, achievable life goals?

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