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Healthy Weight Challenge

Saturday, October 05, 2013

I am rapidly approaching a danger zone: Emotional Eating.

I am feeling pretty stressed today and am very aware of my own, long-standing tendency to overeat mindlessly during difficult times. While I'm still on track, I know it wouldn't take much to push me over the "Give me that hot fudge sundae right now and nobody will get hurt" edge.

According to what I've read, it's important to identify what triggers emotional eating. Since this is an issue I've faced pretty much all my life and have confronted in the past, I'm pretty familiar with what my triggers are:

1. Issues/conflicts relative to my son's care;
2. Anytime I have to have a medical procedure that involves blood work or injections;
3. Waiting -- for anything -- will drive me RIGHT to the kitchen. (I must cultivate patience, but that is a subject for another blog.);
4. My husband's age/health and financial concerns relative to retirement (Financially, we're comfortable, but that could change at the drop of a hat);
5. Any insurance issues;
6. Relationship conflicts, of which, I seem to have many (at least, that's how it seems to me these days)
7. My son having behavioral challenges related to his disability.

So, triggers identified, my next task is to identify strategies I can use in the future to avoid self-medication with food. So far, this is what I've come up with:

1. Meditate
2. Do yoga
3. Read a good book
4. Write a blog about what I'm feeling
5. If I'm not sure whether or not I'm really hungry or just craving, give it time to pass.
6. Drink a glass of water
7. Take a walk
8. Watch tv or a movie
9. Train the dogs
10. Listen to music
11. Dance
12. Go over my choral music
13. DO NOT banish "comfort" foods from my menu plan lest I should crave them more
14. Keep healthy snacks readily available
15. Do some form of housework to distract myself and burn off emotionally charged energy
16. Focus on the positive changes I'm making and give myself credit when and where it is due
17. Take a bath in my whirlpool tub
18. Go out to a movie
19. Spark
20. Play a computer game
21. Take a nap (especially since I don't get enough sleep as it is)
22. Drink a cup of herbal tea
23. Facebook
24. Go to library to check out new music for my IPod
25. Color
26. List 10 things for which I'm thankful
27. Watch a funny show and laugh out loud
28. Write down all the reasons I want to reach my healthy weight.
29. Make a list of all the things I want to do as I get closer to and reach my healthy weight.
30. Review and revise the lists I made for numbers 28 & 29.
31. Go to Grounds for Sculpture
32. Investigate new community groups and activities that might help me expand my social network
33. Have a "Photography Day".
34. Go to the gym
35. Fill a bag to go to Goodwill

I think that's a good start.

Oh, and one last thing . . . just keep putting one foot in front of the other, with faith that I will come out all right in the end.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon emoticon
    2199 days ago
    I would say my emotional eating strategy is comprised of 3 things:

    The right food plan: For me this means a plant based diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I had always tried low carb in the past and couldn't stick with it beyond a short period of time. I recently came across the term "slow oxidizer" characterizing emotional eating, tolerance for skipping breakfast, failure to recognize satiety signals, and intolerance of cold. I don't know if I am or ain't, but I seem to be happy this way.

    A routine snack mid afternoon (more of a mini meal, 20% of my daily calories) gives me a time and a place to take a little foodie break. If I'm going to eat something a little naughty, I try and do it during this meal, so it has a time, a place, and an ending point.

    Emotional regulation and stress management! I could go on and on about this.

    And let me just say it is wonderful to see you back!
    2199 days ago
  • POPSY190
    It's a very difficult habit to break but you are certainly thinking of how to go about it.
    2202 days ago
  • 1EMMA2011
    You are doing great!! Thinking of you!! emoticon
    2202 days ago
    Great plan!! You can do this! emoticon emoticon
    2202 days ago
    Awesome!! You need to have this list on your fridge and/or pantry!! Terrific!!
    2202 days ago
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