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How do I stop emotional eating?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

"The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment when the miracle happens"

I read this today in a spark blog and it made me think. Do I consider weight loss a miracle?

Responsibility and consistency you would think would make weight loss a given. It works for lots of people. I sometimes think I am just not one of those people. Weight loss is not the obvious result for me from exercising and eating fewer calories. Yes.... I am also an emotional eater. The past couple of days being a very good example of that. My DD's birthday and she did not want cake so I went to bulk barn and bought various candies to put on ice cream sundays with cupcakes (that never got made) and somehow we just sat at the table enjoying sweet treats after the birthday meal. It was nice... but there were leftovers and for the past few days as I went past the platter I'd grab a few M&M's or gummy bears or a spoon of broken crispy crunch bits. I had decided I would minimize my wheat but I had no resolve against the candy. No... because another DD is getting ready to go to University, there was a flood in the basement, the garden had gotten out of control while I was away and I'm trying to set up a budget, and there are dear friends/family members who have terminal illnesses..... so back to the theme of me eating emotionally.... I do eat foods that I should not. (Note that I don't usually consider any foods off limits when I'm not emotional, but eating sugar DOES trigger cravings for sugar for me regardless of emotions ... and that goes for foods like pizza too which I can easily eat 3 slices of) The rest of my choices have been pretty good. I meant to make soup for dinner last night but instead we had pizza and icecream when invited over for a board game afternoon that continued late. That also added to my stress not getting much done yesterday.

So is my miracle losing weight? I remember when I came to spark people I had given up on diets and instead just focused on healthy habits exercising and eating healthy foods. I lost weight and that was a miracle for me. Today I am actively trying to lose weight again and it is not happening. I really need to move my ticker up to 205 again BTW. Onederland has moved a little further once again. Which makes today's thought even more appropriate. The miracle... would be freedom from emotional eating. Forget the weight.

Yesterday's blog I spoke of mindfulness which involved being aware, adjusting and adapting. How can I be mindful of my emotions? What habits do I need to cultivate to keep my mind at peace? I can tell myself that things are going to change over the next few weeks and months but I know that there are difficult emotional times ahead. I know that an attitude of gratitude has been key to keeping my views of myself positive. The thing is, even happy emotions can trigger reaching for food, as can too little sleep. I think I need help with this. A plan. Maybe a team? Are there good emotional eating teams on spark people? My DD who has Asperger's says "why would I want to spend time with people who have poor social skills if I am trying to develop better social skills?" and I get that. I KNOW that if I am around grateful, positive people it helps me much more that being around people who .... oh... hmmm...

Did I mention that I was once in a 12 step program? Overeater's Anonymous. How did I forget that? Yes, I was with other people like me who were lost... but there were peers who were succeeding in the steps and who had stopped binging and purging... which I was able to do with their help. I had a sponsor and I read and I changed. It was the extremes I was trying to stop which I did. I guess this emotional eating is still part of that. I guess I do know the answers....

1. Don't bring foods into the house that you don't want to eat.
2. Plan your meals and eat them at regular times.
3. Have someone to phone or contact when you do want to eat off plan.
4. Read inspiring stories and go to meetings.
5. Work the steps. I am powerless over food. I trust that there is a Higher Power that can and will relieve me of my food problems. I give myself and my food over to my Higher Power. I list my faults/difficulties/mistakes. I give them over to my Higher Power and to someone I trust. I become willing to change and ask forgiveness. I make steps towards change and forgiveness. I regularly review where I'm at and immediately go through the steps of awareness of a fault/difficulty/mistake, confession and a willingness to change that, and changing or asking forgiveness. I help others.

Hmmm. I was kind of hoping for a short cut, hahahaha. It has been a while since I followed a 12 step program. Maybe I really do need a group to support me with this if I truly want to change.

Add to those steps what I have learned since being on spark people:

6. Get regular sleep
7. Get regular exercise
8. Be outside to walk or garden.... it grounds you and helps calm the anxieties.
9. Have an attitude of gratitude.
10. Spend time with people you love and admire.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so sorry to hear about your struggle with emotional eating. I can relate - 100%! But I have something that might help and I'd like to share if you don't mind. Several years ago, I saw a very wise therapist who explained something to me that I had never known before. And that was this: "Thoughts become feelings become actions". Change the thinking - and everything else follows suit. Ever heard the term "stinking thinking"? That applies here. Your feelings (emotions) are happening because of your thoughts. And once those emotions are triggered - you find yourself eating the wrong foods or overeating (which is the action). So. . . if you will stop the thought - the one or ones that lead to the emotional upset, the action (over eating) will not happen. Try it out. It works. It really does! I wish you the very best!!! emoticon
    1657 days ago
    Keep following your plan. Baby steps.
    1659 days ago
    very honest & very true
    1659 days ago
    This is a very honest blog for sure! I wish there was a quick fix too. But unfortunately, as you (and all of us know!) it isn't so.

    You have your plan and you definitely know what to do. We're here for you . . . always.

    1659 days ago
    Thank you for sharing! I, too, used to be in OA. It does help with emotional eating IMHO. The program works but the people can be distracting sometimes, if their intentions are not good IMHO. The serenity prayer is priceless, though. Thanks for all the good reminders! emoticon emoticon
    1659 days ago
  • POPSY190
    You have described my experience exactly! When I'm in "eating mode" nothing seems to stop me. Mindful eating doesn't work at these times and I still haven't found the "miracle" solution!
    1659 days ago
    HUGS and I understand.. Forgive all your yesterdays .. they are gone.. BREATHE and Make the best choices you can today.. ONE AT S TIME.. Focus on Today .. This moment .. then the next..

    Stay PRESENT and make the choice in front of you .. all the rest will be made when they have to be made...

    1659 days ago
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