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Stress and Emotional Eating

Posted Sep 12 2008 8:58am 2 Comments

It seems like the last couple of days I've been bombarded with stress. And wow is this a bad time for me to try and deal with it. I'm already an emotional wreck due to TOM. I was talking with my husband last night and just broke down crying. We were discussing the source of our recent stress and I just couldn't hold it in.

Now I know a good cry is beneficial now and then, so that doesn't bother me. What does concern me is my seemingly built-in need to eat when I feel this way. Emotional eating will be something I battle the rest of my life. Despite the things I've read, the advice I've been given, and the techniques I've tried, it's still an issue. Of course there are always those who have no clue what you are talking about, and love to hand out advice about it as if they were the expert on such matters. Don't you just love it when someone says "Well just don't eat!"? Well now, why didn't I think of that? Surely it's as simple as you make it sound. (insert sarcastic eye roll here)

I've found the only thing that will get me though times like these are what I call distraction tactics. I have to get my mind off of food and my emotions. If I can focus on other things and stay busy until the craving passes, I can keep myself afloat. If I don't find a successful distraction - I sink right to the bottom.. and usually that bottom is a McDonald's french fry sack. Several minutes later I wake up from a carb-induced trance, berating myself for what I've just done. Then the emotions get stirred and it starts all over again.

It's taking me some time to learn my triggers, and the methods of distraction that work for me, but I'm getting there. Last night I wanted to eat, even though I knew I wasn't hungry. Instead I picked up a book I've been reading and became engrossed in the written page. It wasn't long until I'd forgotten about eating. For a short while I wasn't a mother who's struggling to guide her children, a wife who is trying to encourage her husband and help make major life decisions. For those few chapters I was able to look through the eyes of the author and see issues far worse than my own. And while I'm not the type of person that takes pleasure in seeing others who are less fortunate (it breaks my heart!), I certainly put my book down realizing my problems weren't so big after all.

Were my issues and emotions still there after I put down the book? Yep. But by then the urge to eat had subsided and I could think clearly. I knew that if I would have given in to emotional eating, I would have started a cycle that's tough to break.

While I may not have won the war, last night I won a battle. And I intend to beat this thing in that very way - one battle at time.

Comments (2)
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Great advice, I am working on this myself as I am an emotional eater, when I get the urge to eat I try to distract myself by going out for a walk and then i say if I am still hungry then I will eat it. but usually that does the trick. But your totally right you just have to take it one battle at a time.

Emotional eating is such a hard battle since our emotions are always coming and going. I have had to find help to win this war. Currently I am trying a online program through  http://www.totellwellness.com to help me stop the compulsive eating and binging so far I am liking it and it has open my eyes to how I eat foods and checking my emotional state.

I really enjoy their online videos which go through the exercise programs, it feels as though you have a coach working with you the entire time.

Thanks for the link and info prettychicka! I'm sure it's helping many!
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