Monday, May 23, 2011

Emotional Eating and Letting Go

I didn't get up to 300+ by eating dinner at places like Burger King and McDonald's every night... although that, no doubtedly, had a lot to do with it. But there was this other problem I had that packed on more pounds than anything else.

Emotional Eating. Oh yea. Big on the EE. If there were something to celebrate, it required ice cream sundaes. If something bad happened, probably an entire tube of cookie-dough. Depressed? Chocolate, and lots of it. If I were bored, it's got to be something crunchy... salty too. Any emotion that felt too big for me to handle required being weighted down with food until I could take it apart bit by bit.

There was a time when every single night, my husband would go out after our son was in bed to get me ice cream. Or cake. Or cookies. Nearly every night for months this would go on. I would eat because I was bored. Or scared. Or lonely.

Somewhere in the past 6 months this changed. I'm not sure when, or even how, but it did. I find that when I am feeling something that is too intense, or too painful, I feel this pull to move. Having an argument with a friend or loved one? Time to go for a run. Feeling lonely? Hit the gym. Stressed or need some sort of focus? Lift weights. 

Yesterday was a rough day, emotionally. Sundays usually are. But instead of digging into what is left of our son's Easter candy, I got up, got my workout gear on, and walked up to the gym. I pushed it for 35 minutes until I was drenched in sweat, and the world seemed a lot less difficult to face. 

My entire relationship with food has shifted. Instead of something to turn to for comfort, it has become what it should be, a source of fuel for my body. If it tastes good as well, then that's just a bonus!



    I read this recently, and this post of yours made me think of it. Between it and your post, I'm thinking about this a lot.

  2. I think that emotional eating and eating to excess need to be separated. I eat certain foods because they remind me of my grandmother, or my childhood. That would be classified as "emotional eating" as well. But turning to food as the only solace is where I got into trouble.

    That article has some good points. Being "mindful" when eating is always a good idea. Whether it's emotional or for nutrition only. I don't agree with turning to it to cope, but that's because it wouldn't work for me. However, I'm sure it could work for some.