Today, I ran the handy dandy SparkDiet Profile Test (because I love taking tests like this!). I tried to be as honest as I could and rely more on how I was than how I am right now (especially since right now I am on a restrictive diet). I wasn't really surprised when my Personality came up with this:
"The Emotional Eater Personality
The main problem you face is eating when you're not hungry or eating to satisfy something other than hunger. "Food for your mood" can cause your diet to vary a great deal. Too much of your eating is driven by boredom, stress, or dejection - you might even find yourself in the kitchen, open cookie bag in hand, and not know why. Mindless and emotional eating for you can be caused by any number of reasons. It is likely you have more weight to lose than most or have grappled with weight most of your life.
A tendency for this personality type is to yo-yo on dieting and swing through "all-or-nothing" extremes (e.g., I've blown it already this meal so why not have dessert?) A few spoonfuls turn into a snack turns into a binge…especially around the high stress holidays."
Wow, that sounds EXACTLY like me! I eat when I'm happy, sad, bored, depressed, angry, or anything in-between. I have yo-yo dieted (though three times I don't think is too awful bad), and I DEFINITELY do the "all or nothing" thing.
Knowing I'm an Emotional Eater is one thing; now I have to learn how to combat this. Fortunately, the handy dandy profile had answers:
"What Can You Do?
A diet alone is not the best option for the Emotional Eater. Emotional Eaters can become fixated on what's good and what's bad and grow obsessed about eating. The emotional eater needs to become more conscious of when and what they eat and surround themselves with the support they need to change. You will need to develop new skills for dealing with boredom, stress and/or sadness. You need a conscious connection to your hunger.
Confidence can be the missing ingredient and starting small is key. Consider starting a streak for a predetermined period (say two weeks) and focus on regularly reaching just one goal for that period. An example would be to drink 8 cups of water each day. This success will give you the new habits and confidence to try another goal. Emotional eaters do well with friends by their sides to help coach and maintain a degree of accountability."
There are aspects of this that have DEFINITELY helped me. I realize that I need to analyze WHY I am eating and find other ways to deal with my emotions. I also definitely agree that confidence is a major issue for me.
The part I somewhat disagree on is the "starting small" and adding habits slowly. The reason I disagree is that, in the past, I would try to drink my 8 glasses of water or walk at lunch or eat healthier foods, but usually I would get tired or lose track and just stop all together. Maybe this was because I wasn't making my goals small and manageable enough, but I do know I never succeeded at it and often gave up before I even tried.
That said, accountability is GREAT. Knowing there is someone checking in and rooting for me really kicks my rear in gear and keeps me on the straight and narrow.
And I have plenty of things that I need to work on. Confidence building, keeping a record of my food and more importantly WHY I am eating, checking in with others to make sure I am sticking to plan - all of these are areas I can continue to build on and improve.
This little Dieting Personality Profile was really great, and I definitely recommend you check it out and see what your personality is! Feel free to put your results in the comments - I'd love to see what your type is!