MEME, I fully understand the feelings you get when the left side of your brain starts screaming for something you can gobble up. This happens to me on a regular basis, and I hope that I can help you a bit through those evil craving times.
First, there is nothing wrong with feeling the emotions, but there is everything wrong with succumbing to the desire to deal with these emotions by eating, and then feeling guilty.
Second, the only way I have found to help me through the misery (and it truly is miserable) is to deal with the two things that are most important: the reason for the emotion and the stuff that I cram into my mouth.
Third, although I doubt that it will go away entirely, the maniacal emotional craving for food is best handled when it is out of my mind. This means I have to find something that I can do to cause me to forget about the cravings. This is the most difficult part, which probably means that it is the most beneficial technique for fighting the emotional eating. That's how things usually seem to go: the harder it is to do, the better it is for you.
* The easiest way to begin the good battle is to keep things on hand that you can eat or chew which will not add any significant amount of calories to your daily intake. I like baby carrots, apples, and chewing gum because they taste good. Not only am I an emotional eater, but I also have a sweet tooth. It's the combination from hell. If only, I always wish, there was a way to make a cake or brownie with no calories, I would live carefree...
Well, just like There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL), there ain't no such thing as a calorie-free cake. Instead of chowing down on dessert, you can always crunch away on fruits and vegetables. I save the chewing gum for extreme emergencies, and also when I find myself in a craving fit in the car.
* Dealing with the reasons for the emotion is something that you must combat in your own way. No one can give you the correct advice on how to approach this. The one very important thing I can tell you is that you should learn to listen to yourself. Your body and your mind are always communicating, but we tend to fail to listen. Raging emotions are like loud voices: they want to be heard and they are usually trying to drown out the things that they don't want you to hear.
I tried meditation, yoga, hypnosis, drugs, tai chi, and even pain (self-inflicted...yikes!); and they all both worked and failed. They worked because they required discipline, and they failed because I never committed myself to the honest discipline that we need to succeed.
Two things eventually emerged that worked for me: playing guitar and writing. Both of those require a significant amount of concentration, which eventually leads to a sort of bliss -- especially when I slip out of the emotional binds that push me to eating uncontrollably. These techniques were not discovered overnight, and they certainly aren't perfect, but they are the best I have right now.
* You should also find the reason to believe in yourself. This is really the same thing as loving yourself, and it is NOT selfishness.
MEME, you are unique, and you are beautiful. You have a mind that is full of ideas and joys which no one else has. We should all count ourselves blessed, having known you -- even if it is just via blogs on the net.
| current weight: 182.0