Friday, February 22, 2013

"Emotional Eating" - I'm done with it.

It feels amazing to say the following words:

I'm done with
emotional eating.

Seriously, I am done with it.

I finally got sick and tired of tying food with my emotions.

So I quit cold turkey.

Actually, it wasn't as easy to quit as I'm probably making it sound.

It took YEARS.  Almost decades, really...about 18 years.  That right, a child has been born, grown up, and can now vote and get charged as an adult for crimes in the time that it took me to overcome this issue. I have been eating for emotional reasons since puberty. 

So believe me, this is no small feat.

How did I get over it?

Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure.  That's why I hesitated to blog about it, because I know that many are looking for a cure to this problem, and I don't think that I can provide that for you.  :-(

The only tip that I can muster is to "act as if".  By that, I mean to act as if you no longer eat for emotional reasons, even if you do...  Like, when you realize that you are eating for emotional reasons, say OUT LOUD "Nope.  I don't do this shit anymore" (or something nicer, whatever works for you, but I think that cursing emotional eating is A-Okay).

I don't think that I can adequately explain to you how awesome it feels to say goodbye to something that has controlled way too big a piece of my life.

It's amazing.

I'm not eating perfectly or anything (far from it right now) but I know for a fact that none of the foods that I have consumed the last couple of weeks have been because of emotions.

That being said, I do still have some issues with overeating.

But because I no longer emotionally eat, that has gotten so much better too. 

I did really think that if I stopped my emotional eating that I could stop my overeating, too.  I hate that that hasn't happened yet.  But I'm getting closer.

The differences between emotional overeating and regular overeating?

Once I realize that I'm not hungry anymore,  I have no problem stopping.  There is no more "woe is me, I ate half the bag of chips, I'm pathetic, life sucks, may as well eat the other half plus a hole pizza and some cake" self-talk.  I simply recognize that I overate, and am able to put the fork (or whatever) down immediately. 

The only reasons that I'm still overeating sometimes is when either I waited too long to eat and am therefore extremely hungry, or something tastes REALLY good and I don't want eat slowly enough to be able to listen to my hunger signals, or when I eat while distracted. 

Again though, once I realize that I'm overeating, I can easily stop.  That is a HUGE improvement for me.

I think that one of the reasons that I'm overeating is that in my quest to stop obsessing about food, calories, and exercise, I have developed a pretty substantial junk food habit.

On one hand, I'm thrilled that I am eating my favorite snack foods almost daily, and am doing so in a non-emotional, non-ED, non-judgey, non-bingey way.  On the other hand, I know that my favorite junky snack foods are not healthy and/or filling options.  It's very easy to overeat on chips or oreos, even if I'm not eating them for emotional reasons.

Instead of focusing on removing those foods out of my diet (NOT gonna happen right now, I've worked way too hard to be able to enjoy these in a non-ED way to start making rules about what I can or cannot eat), I think that I am going to focus on ADDING healthy foods to each meal and snack.

And continue my quest towards listening to my hunger signals.

But for now, I am rejoicing in the fact that my emotions no longer control my eating.  One less thing to worry about.  :-)

I honestly think that Mom has helped with this from the Afterlife, looking down on me and giving me that extra boost to get rid of this problem after all of these years.  Thanks, Mom, for helping me out.

P.S.  Sorry for the long, picture-less post.  Posting from work!  Will add photos later.


MW said...

I can completely relate!! Last week, for some strange reason, I ate a brownie but didn't finish it. Later in the day I grabbed an apple in stead. Congrats on your revelation!

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