Archive for September, 2011

How to Stop Emotional Eating

Emotional eating is something that we can all get hit by and is something that we need to understand the triggers of and how to deal with. I tend to be a pretty emotional guy but I never seem to fall into the trap of emotional eating which can involve people eating large amounts of food to comfort themselves and get rid of the bad or tough feelings and situations that we can run into in everyday life.

The trouble is that often emotional eating can be caused by bad feelings about our weight and self image and we sabotage ourselves using food as a short term fix.

How Does Emotional Eating Start?

There are really five kinds of situations where we can get triggered emotionally and that may lead to emotional eating. (Thanks to medicinenet for these). Knowing the causes can really help us learn how to stop emotional eating.

Social – Eating when around other people. For example, excessive eating can result from being encouraged by others to eat; eating to fit in; arguing; or feelings of inadequacy around other people.

Emotional – Eating in response to boredom, stress, fatigue, tension, depression, anger, anxiety or loneliness as a way to “fill the void.”

Situational – Eating because the opportunity is there. For example, at a restaurant, seeing an advertisement for a particular food, passing by a bakery. Eating may also be associated with certain activities such as watching TV, going to the movies or a sporting event, etc.

Thoughts – Eating as a result of negative self-worth or making excuses for eating. For example, scolding oneself for looks or a lack of will power.

Physiological – Eating in response to physical cues. For example, increased hunger due to skipping meals or eating to cure headaches or other pain.

And what do many people do? Grab a tub of ice cream or cookies or other comfort food to try to make feeling bad feel better. If you are not in the situation this can seem crazy but in the situation and doing this emotional eating will feel really natural. Trying to fill a void with the great feelings of yummy food.

Trouble is yummy food can not fix a problem.

How to Stop Emotional Eating

How to Stop Emotional Eating

How to stop emotional eating

OK, now that we know the why it is much easier to figure out the how to stop emotional eating. So the best and really only thing that you can do is to distract yourself. I have found myself that there is no talking yourself or reasoning yourself out of an emotional problem or issue so a good distraction until your emotions go away and you can reason things is much better. Here are a few things you can do:

Watch some light TV – Get yourself out of the thought pattern that is causing your emotional distress

Talk to a friend about their problems – problem solving not your stuff but someone elses will get your mind fixing something else

Go and exercise – This can be a crutch in itself but really if you can concentrate on the issue of the exercise hopefully it switches the emotion to another issue

You can see from above that these are just a few things that you can do, there are a multitude more but the real idea is to get away from what is causing you pain right now. and then a few minutes or hours later you can revisit the problem in a detached way and find real solutions to your problems.

We all get too close to our own issues emotionally and blow them up so that they are insurmountable. By breaking away from our emotional explosions we can get some distance and avoid the emotional eating that can be so dangerous to our psyche and our eating goals.

How to stop emotional eating all comes down not to controlling your emotions but getting a distance from them until you can deal with the underlying problem.

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Waiting For Hunger: W1D4: Ideal Day

Yesterday and the rest of this week will involve a lot of juggling. Nothing unmanageable, but my comment participation will be slow until Monday. Either way, your comments are brilliant and thoughtful. I’m still trying to answer yesterday’s question for myself.

Today though, is another question. I’m in a new Intention Circle with a lot of my creative lady friends and the question we’re trying to answer is “what does your ideal day look like?” This is more like a dream day, a fantasy. A life without barriers.

I realized in the past week as I try to answer this question: I am living my ideal life. That is not intended to be smug, but I’m realizing that the reason why this answer is so difficult is because my ideal life, IS my life. Sure, my dream day starts in Tuscany and ends at a dance party in NYC, but that’s just one day. I don’t want to live in Tuscany or NYC. I love where I live, because it was my design. Living in rural Virginia was a choice, a strange one to many, but a choice that excites me.

The thing is, the day I stepped foot in Brooklyn (or perhaps the day I left college) was the day that I understood that I am the captain of this ship. My life is not perfect, I want to be in a healthier body, I’d love to have a magazine-organized house, I’d love to travel more. But, oh my goodness. My life is a good life. I wake up and I have work to do, work that I love. Work that people pay me to do. In my pajamas most days. And others, if I want, I can get dressed to the nines.

My husband is a huge chunk of my life. Which probably makes some squeamishness and uncomfortable. Others may say, how dare you place so much importance on your husband. But, I do. He was a dream. And goodness, if I had one tidbit of advice, it is: marry a good man. Marry a man who calls you beautiful every day. Challenges you. Sees your potential and supports you. I challenged myself at a young age to marry someone who is present, who cares, who is thoughtful and creative. It helps that he is incredibly good looking. But, I didn’t settle for comfort, or ideals.

I have health insurance.  A goal that was on my new years resolution for three years. I’ve done catering, jewelry, and now clothing design. All because I want to. Not because it’s a task given to me. And sure, some things I realize I’m not suited for, but at least I did it. I have the freedom to try. And fail. And try again.

Everyday I feel at home in our house. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the house I’m supposed to live in at this stage of my life. It’s small and humble. And people tell us “you can’t do that in your house! it’s too small”. Well, I’m sorry, but three bedrooms and two baths is more than enough room for two people, 2 cats and a rabbit. And hell, if we want a baby, we’ll make room. We didn’t over extent ourselves with the best house on the block to be impressive. We don’t have the nicest car, to make us look successful. Those things, while they may fit in a dream day. Are not my ideal.

My ideal day involves, a plush white bed, a morning run, a leisurely day where I cook in the kitchen, and create in my studio. And while I don’t have a plush white bed, I could have it.  TJMaxx is only 25 minutes away. And while I don’t exercise everyday…I could. But, I have a really nice bed. I cook often and I’m creative in my studio because those things make a happy life for me.

And so I asked my husband what his ideal day looks like. And after a few silent minutes. He replied “I’m already living it”. And he is, and I knew that would be his answer. Sure, he doesn’t have the best music studio in the world, or even Floyd for that matter. But he made one happen. And it’s pretty amazing. Six years ago he said “I don’t want an office job” and two months later he never looked back. He made that happen. He reads, and studies and works hard for this life.

And so I’m realizing that the things I want, are not things or perhaps even actions, but thoughts. I want to be nicer to myself. I want to feel my feelings. I want to forgive people a little easier. I want to dance and sing a little more freely. I want to forgive myself for not always doing the right thing. My ideal day is realizing how great I have it and not wasting it on petty thoughts and negativity. My ideal day is an easy smile, a guilt-free slice of chocolate cake, it’s being passionate, seeing things through, and getting a little (or a lot) sweaty.

So I extent this question to you…what does your ideal day look like?

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Starvation, suffering, and sacrifice

I keep watching Biggest Loser and get warped into their way of thinking that change has to happen before your eyes and right away. Fortunately none of us are on a TV show to have to lose it right away or get set home instead.

Two days ago I wrote about what we need to eat, yesterday was what to avoid but really as far as eating goes I would never want to choose to live with eating only fruit and veggies and meat. Really we have to figure out how to eat other stuff but not always and in a metered way. That is why I wanted to talk about sacrifice and suffering. But first lets hit on starvation.

Starvation is Not Dieting

I don’t think that any of us want to starve and if you are eating a few times a day, eating small meals that are full of nutrients then we will not starve. Years ago when I was struggling with money my wife asked me what was the worst thing that I was worried about. I told her it was food. I have a very close relationship with food, probably all of us do and she promised that we would not starve, sacrifice anything but food and shelter and everything will work out.

Anyway we have no reason to starve and that is where the suffering and sacrifice come from. If I tell you that you are not allowed to ever have a chocolate chip cookie ever again then you will think of nothing but chocolate chip cookies. So this is not a this or that or a never eat kind of concept but I really do feel that if you want something, be it a cookie or ice cream then you should be able to have a little bit and not have to live in guilt. But on the other hand, I never see a reason to eat a whole tub of ice cream either, there is just no point in that.

How to Eat, Think  and not Suffer

Starvation, suffering, and sacrifice

Ice cream is not food

What I am really saying that if all our gains or losses are in eating (not true exercise has a lot to do with it as well) then you want to fuel your body with water rich foods. After that make sure that you do that subtle mind change. Food is fuel and candy is just the junk that tastes good. Cheat with just small amounts of food so that you do not crave badly and overdo things. Remember you goal is to eat very healthy and the crappy food you eat, while not good, will not help you in any way.

Tomorrow I want to write more about emotional eating. Even though I touched on emotional eating here there is a lot more to talk about with that.

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