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Resisting Temptation for an Emotional Eater

Thursday, May 09, 2013

I'm a little stressed out right now. Well, technically, I vacillate from "OMG, I am MOVING!! YIPPEEEE!!" and "OMG, I am moving!! There is too much to do!!" When I am excited about my move, I am fine. But when I am nervous and agitated, I find myself craving carbs.

I am an Emotional Eater and a carb/sugar addict. When I am sad, I go to Dairy Queen to get an Oreo Cookie Blizzard. When I am lonely, I swing by Mrs. Fields for cookies. When I am tired, I go to Papa Murphy's and pick up a pizza.

I don't know when or why I started to be this way. Was it the way I was raised? The "have ice cream" to make a child feel better? Was it partly my temperament - some people choose outlets like running or boxing and others choose food? I'm not entirely sure.

The fact is, I realize my weakness now. I realize that I have this temptation, this inclination to head straight to the nearest carbs to "feed my pain". But what I have now that I didn't have before is the best thing to combat this temptation: Knowledge.

I know that my "hunger pangs" aren't really about hunger - they are about my emotional state. I know that my cravings aren't just my body needed more of X nutrients - they are about how sad I am.

The knowledge of what is causing this leads to the next important thing I have to combat my Emotional Eating: Power. I have the power to avoid these foods. I have the power to say "no". I have the power to resist my inner urges. I have the power to find a new outlet.

I can't say I've decidedly settled on another outlet for my Emotional Eating. There is this blog, which has been very uplifting to maintain. I enjoy writing about my feelings (though it is scary to "put myself out there" for all to read!) and sharing my ups and downs. I enjoy coming up with words and statements that convey the thoughts that bounce around in my head.

Mostly, I think, I just acknowledge the feelings, instead of focusing on the eating. Instead of letting Emotional Eating taking the realms, I go, "I know you're lonely, Carolyn. It's ok." Instead of binging on ice cream, I go, "I know you're upset about X, Carolyn. It'll be ok."

Allowing myself to FEEL emotions instead of EAT emotions helps - for now. Maybe I'll find that I need a new hobby - maybe watching a movie, reading a book, walking, going to the fitness center. If I find that's what my body needs, then that is great. But the fact is, I'm not going to bury my emotions with food anymore. I'm not going to let cheese, crackers, cookies, and cakes cover the fact that I am sad or lonely or tired or sick or anything else I might be feeling. I am going to give myself permission to FEEL and face that feeling without food.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Another good blog Carolyn!

    As a fellow emotional eater/carb addict I appreciate reading your blogs--I identify with so much that you write. Thanks for being brave enough and strong enough to share your journey through your blogs.

    1719 days ago
    emoticon Thank you so much for sharing this! You are doing great.
    1719 days ago
    Very inspiring. Identifying the feeling instead of automatically reaching for the coping strategy (food) is the hardest, but most important thing we can do. And THEN, we still have to avoid (food) to deal with the problem constructively. Looks like you're becoming a master! emoticon
    1720 days ago
    emoticon Your doing a great job! emoticon emoticon You are a very strong person (I hope that I haven't been a stress on you) And you have worked so hard your my inspiration. Stay strong, we are here for you!
    1720 days ago
    Wow you have come a long way. I understand why I eat but most of the time I can't stop it.
    1720 days ago
    I think tackling the emotions head on is key to not eating them. Tired? Did you get enough sleep? Can you take a nap or do something restful? Angry? Can you tell the person or change the situation causing the anger? When we tackle our emotions head on, we're not hiding or stuffing them down with food.
    1720 days ago
    Yay! Hooray for you! This is why most people are overweight, I think. We stuff ourselves with food when we're not physically hungry but we're emotionally hungry - we're sad or tired or lonely and we're afraid of acknowledging those feelings. It's been so liberating so be on this journey away from emotional eating. I don't always succeed, but I succeed more often than I fail, and I am on the right path. You are too, if this blog is any indication. It's scary to feel things sometimes, but they are OUR feelings and we have a RIGHT to feel them and live our lives. Then we can CHANGE things we don't like - if we have the courage to do so. It's not easy! But it's worth it!
    1720 days ago
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