Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emotional Eater

I see this term tossed around quite a bit on blogs that people are "emotional eaters". This is a silly statement to me... of course we are emotional eaters! We are taught to celebrate with food. It's just something in our society! You're having a baby/graduated school/retiring/switching careers/watching the Superbowl? Here have this cake/cookies/chips and dip.

Uhm that's just our society. We eat when we are happy. We eat when we are bored. We eat all the time.


That's not my problem with food. Being an emotional eater did not make me gain 60 lbs in a year.

I still eat the same shit I have always ate. I was really thin growing up. I was thin until about my senior year of high school when I got up to 195. I lost 20 lbs going to college living at home. When I moved in with my boyfriend... I forgot what a portion size was. We were eating out all the time. Moving to the city meant there were more restaurants in far easier reach than my little town. Being around men who easily ate three to four times what I normally would eat led to skewed portions.

But the biggest problem I have? I love food too much. You know how they say that if you eat the cheeseburger and it's really good, and you want another the second one will not be as good? The third even worse? Well for me that doesn't happen. I don't get to the point where food does not taste good. I get to the point where my body cannot physically hold any more food.

I'm sort of missing that mechanism.

I'm fat because I eat like a man.

I'm fat because I do not do any physical activity anymore. I don't even walk the dog.

I'm probably somewhere between "skewed portions" and "binge eating." I don't go on benders but I don't exactly deny myself anything I am craving.

I eat the same stuff I ate growing up, but I eat more of it.

There was a blogger who I followed for a while, but I can't follow her anymore. She talked about the trouble she had with binge eating in the past. She described the foods too realistically; the taste, the texture, the sensation. And whatever she wrote about struggling with.... I craved.

It wasn't conducive to weight loss. It still isn't something I can deal with.

I decided that while I am not really trying to be the perfect picture of health I can at least re-learn my portion sizes.

Another reason I know that I am not an emotional eater is today... was another day where I was inexplicably sad/depressed. I spent a while writing out my feelings and then I started crying. And I couldn't stop for over an hour. Never once did I think "I really want some _____ food right now". I wanted to be hugged and told everything was okay. But Brian was at work so all I got was a dog nosing my face until my shuddering sobs turned into hysterical laughter. And then I felt better.

I didn't go to the fridge and look for something to shove down my gullet. I looked for water, because I was surprised at the amount of fluid I lost through tears/snot.

I feel great now. My episode of insane behavior passed. I wrote down everything that was bothering me and a few things I had never even thought of, or would have never thought of if I wasn't being all emo, and will not think of again since it's passed... It contained all of my fears, my worries, my selfish thoughts, my anger... then it was put through the paper shredder.

Brian joked that he was going to go through the shreddings to piece it all together. I gave him that "don't you f&*king dare" look

I put it in to two categories. Things I can control, and things I can't. (Thanks, safire!) and it helped me prioritize. I found out a lot of it was things I couldn't control but some of it was. And some of the things I could control started with small things. Like I feel like I'm a horrible housewife (I am. I don't do dishes/laundry/cleaning) so I can start by doing a load of laundry. Or cleaning the counter. Or picking up as I go. Rinsing out my glass when I change beverages instead of getting a new glass.

Then I felt better. I told myself that I would be FINE ("everything's FINE!") and then suddenly.. it was.

So there.

I didn't eat anything that whole time.
I felt my feelings like I usually do
I felt like an ass
I was an ass
But at least, I wasn't a fat ass. God I want a shake. :)


  1. Huh. For me, it's emotional eating partially. BUT, I also just LOVE food. Like when I meet people who aren't crazy about food, it's so shocking to me! This is why I use to take my bigger sister's food as a toodle--she was such an annoyingly picky eater! If something is delicious, I want a few servings. (DUH)

  2. I definitely just love food too, but I do think I eat my emotions sometimes

  3. I struggle with being a good housewife as well. Because I work at home, I feel like I "should" be doing a LOT of other things (dusting, vaccuming, etc) that I just can't get to in the time I have before My Sailor comes home. I agree that we are ALL emotional eaters - and portion size can change things! When My Sailor moved out here, I gained 8lbs thanks to eating out (and have I mentioned the Microbrewery's out here are DELICIOUS?!). But I have had to reign it in. Now, when we go out, I follow the 3 S's (Soup, Salad, or Split) and I remind myself that I live here now and can come back anytime I want to try something new. If I order something outside of the S's, I take 1/2 of it home.

    One thing that helped me out was Thinnerware. (Google it - it's pricey, but freakin' awesome). It helps me keep portion size in mind when I'm cooking.

    I also do my best to base my meals around healthy stuff. For example, breakfast is usually 2 eggs, a piece of double fiber toast (sometimes w/ local honey), and a piece of fruit. Dinners revolved around the same concept (Protein, Fiber, and a starch) only I aim for greens instead of fruit. (I know you're not a big greens fan - so that might be tricky, but you could maybe steam some frozen veggies in the micro and add some seasonings?)

    Just some "food" for thought!

    (PS don't feel bad - I've had to unsubscribe from some weight loss blogs due to some issues I've had with the authors.)

  4. I'm glad you were able to work things out so that you felt better. Making things I can control/things I can't control lists sounds very helpful. I'm definitely in there with Alexia - while emotional eating is obviously a huge part of my problem, I will eat excessive amounts of something just because it's delicious. Case in point: last night I ate about 10 cookies I had made because they were SO tasty I just couldn't stop. Oops.

  5. I hear you Christi about the "emotional eating" thang... It's true--our society celebrates every occasion with food. Some find it easier to navigate than others. I too love food. I just ate a bed of spinach, feta and veggie burger topped with corn salsa. I love that just as much as I love the fried egg I ate last night...

    I think we use our emotions as permission to eat something we normally deprive ourselfs. Maybe it's a cop out... But it's a real element at least for me. I've actually a reader send me an email telling me they had to stop reading my blog for the reason you describe.

    My apologies for hijacking your post... I'm so glad you're working it out for you.

  6. I eat when im bored or anxious. another thing that did help me was moving in with my boyfriend a five yrs ago + a stressful job in the fashion industry in NYC. Not to mention I had my first baby 18months ago.

    I love your blog and will revisit from time to time.
    I just started a weight loss journey which is shared in my blog www.slendersplendor.com

    Please check it out. I would love the advice and tips , most importantly SUPPORT.


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