Category Archives: Overeating

Emotional Eating vs Emotional Feeling

Over the course of the week, I felt myself getting agitated and when I checked my calendar, I realized, it was a week before BFF.  I knew it was coming and had taken time to think through ahead in order to manage my eating.  It came on sudden though, and my responses seemed reactionary. My attitude was not good. I was short with my family and had an overall state of negativity.  I tried talking myself out of it because I knew it was happening (total revelation), I was watching it, watching my thoughts.

I’m not sure if you read or believe in the concepts from the book, “The Power of Now” but I’ve read it multiple times and listen to it often.  I do believe in the ego self (the bible calls the flesh) and the pain-body.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp in the beginning but after listening to Eckhart multiple times, I started to understand what he was referring to and how as a female, the pain-body is strong during TOM.

When I was noticing my reactions, I was getting upset because I was acting like a child.  I finally decided to change my state by drinking coffee. Believe it or not, it worked. I immediately felt better.  Not ideal in the long term, but it helped shift my focus.  The pattern lasted about 3 days.  On the third day, my son actually pointed it out to me and I heard myself responding with an excuse, “It’s hormones.” That may be true, but it cannot become a separate identity I use to explain my behavior.  Instead, I know I can control it during those times, monitor what’s happening and feel the emotions.

On Tuesday, I had a situation occur where I felt like another person trying to take advantage of us.  Of course it hurt, but also sparked anger.  I’ve had some negative interactions with this person a few weeks prior where his lack of integrity shined through.  My immediate response was, “I’m going to show him how I know he’s trying to ‘pass one over one us’.”  Now this was crazy talk and I knew it yet the emotions which followed were intense. But this time, because I was aware of it, I made a point to talk myself through it, to feel the emotions coming up as a result of this situation.  It wasn’t easy because I was so used to eating to deal with them.

This time, I was in the car, there wasn’t any food around and frankly, I was stern with myself by saying I needed to start feeling these emotions.  I wasn’t sure what I was doing or if I was feeling correctly but I did it.  While I was driving, I let the emotions come like waves in the ocean and it felt strange, but while deep breathing, I could literally feel the emotions passing through and out. It felt therapeutic.

When things seemed to pass, I shifted my focus and started listening to a book which made me happy.  In the back of my mind, I knew I had to respond to this person eventually, but by feeling the emotions and not reacting immediately, it helped for when I did respond. What I said later came from a logical place rather than an emotional one. It helped significantly.

It seems minor but I can say this one small change rippled into all areas of my life.  I didn’t binge on food. Instead, I felt more in control for the rest of the day. I did what made me happy and I was in a better mood for it.  Interacting with others felt better, I was more productive because I wasn’t constantly distracted by the emotions of what happened that morning.  Ruminating thoughts were non-existent. I went on with my routine and felt good.

Feeling emotions are not inherent to me. I’ve struggled with identifying when they come and ultimately how to manage them.  In the past, I’ve most often turned to food for immediate comfort.  However, my health suffered and I know in order for me to be a better person, to give back to others in the world, I will need to manage emotions a lot better (This is Dan Goldman’s entire premise in his book, “Emotional Intelligence”).

I’m grateful for where I am today because I know it’s the path to eternal peace and joy.  I am excited about helping women find this peace and freedom.  Imagine how much healthier our world will be…

Self-love Comes Over Time

One night this week, I woke up around 2:30 AM after a bad dream. In the dream, I was watching my life fade away. I had this overwhelming feeling that the helpless attitude I was carrying around for so long was causing so much loss in my life. It was an awful feeling.  When I woke up, I said to myself, enough is enough. I’m not breathing well at night and it’s waking me up. I have to change something today. I decided to stop eating at 6 PM.  It’s not a major thing, but something I know will help.  I noticed immediately my  sleep was much better. I didn’t wake up multiple times throughout the night and I felt more energetic in the morning. The best part, I lost weight!

Of course, my focus has been internal growth.  I’ve been reciting affirmations religiously, creating space for internal change and practicing consciousness which has been evolving dramatically. I’m excited to continue learning and growing in this area.  A piece of it is loving myself and my body.  This hasn’t been the case (obviously) for most of my life.  I wouldn’t’ say to myself outright, “I hate myself and my body.” Instead, it was more about telling myself over and over what I should be doing, or what I needed to do to get a better life.  All of which was inherently pointing to the fact that at the moment, I’m not good enough, that something was always missing. It’s like running a race but the finish line keeps changing to the point you never cross it because there’s always more distance between you and the line. Talk about frustrating.

That’s how the lack of self-love manifested in my life for so many years.  If someone had asked if I liked myself, I would say yes of course.  Rationalizing by saying I like myself enough to constantly try to improve. This is delusional.  It may seem that way, but the fact is, it’s a lie.

When you love yourself, you are kind, compassionate and forgiving.  If you make a mistake, you are not berating yourself constantly of what you ‘should have done differently’.  I’m not sure where I equated self-love to berating myself, but it’s been a lie I was sold and believed for most of my life. How tragic! The good news, now I know the truth and as they say in the bible, the truth sets you free.

Affirmations help with this.  At first it seems silly saying these things, in fact I get teased for it. However, over time, it starts to come out during challenging times.  Because my default responses have been negative, it’s taken time to swing the pendulum.  Not an easy feat, but certainly well worth it.  I feel so much more at peace with myself. I can truly say, the road to self-love seems attainable now.  What comes with that self-love?  Taking care of my body because I want to take care of it.  That is why I said, I’m not eating past 6 PM.  I don’t need to and honestly, it’s going to help with taking care of myself.  Just like flossing my teeth, taking vitamins etc.  We do these things because we want to take care of ourselves.  It feels so much better and I’m a happier person for it.

Self-love is critical and attainable for becoming healthy.  If I don’t love myself, why would I take care of my body?

Reconnecting with our bodies is key

I understand how thoughts create our lives. I get the concept of making sure we choose happiness and when things don’t go our way, to quickly shift our thoughts.  I also understand what we resist persists. If we focus on what we don’t want, it continues to stay in our lives.

So how has my previous thought processes and choices contributed to where I am today?  I realized that since I was a teenager, I did focus on what I didn’t want in my life.  Things I would say to myself consisted of, not having a belly (which I have now), being overweight (which I am now), obsessed about food (which I have been) and those are just related to my health.

The good news is that I know it’s about focusing on what I do want ALL the time.  When I catch my thoughts going in the wrong direction, it’s about quickly turning them around.  I was writing in my journal what I do want.  Living a healthy life, a life of moderation, activity, happiness and being at a healthy weight.  I continuously recite words of affirmation daily to ensure it gets deep into my subconscious because turning around 30 years of negative programming takes a while.  Even if I don’t believe it right away, it will take hold. I have already noticed changes. Changes in my behavior towards those I love and even just one off situations where I notice positive affirmations overtaking the old negative thoughts. It’s awesome and I feel great about it. My life is so much more peaceful.

But I can’t help thinking when it will start to change how I treat my body, how I eat and how I listen to my body. Today, I know when I’m hungry but I’m still not good at shutting down when I’m full or I don’t listen and keep eating.  When I fully respect, love and am connected to my body, I will automatically do what’s right for my body.  It’s one area I’m looking to receive change.  I’m ready to let go and relearn to trust myself, trust my body to inherently show me what I need to do to take care of it.  I was reading a book on body signals and it was talking about how human beings have gotten so far removed from body connection.  If we stopped thinking so much and listened more to our bodies, we wouldn’t need diets.  Diets actually cause distrust in our ability to physically tell us what it needs all the time.  When I read this, I thought, wow, that is so true!

I’m on a journey to reconnect with my body and trust again.  When this happens, a new world will be born.  What a wonderful thought!

Next Trick: Hormone Balancing

I’ve been reading this book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body” by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. It’s very interesting.  Depending on your history, if you experienced an injury or something happened to you growing up, you may have impacted your brain function and overall health.   He goes through the various conditions like ‘impulsive eaters and compulsive eaters’ and how certain areas of the brain (i.e. prefontal cortex) may not be function to capacity (i.e. providing enough dopamine which leads to boredom, distraction and impulsive eating).  He outlines helpful information for supplementing your diet to assist with providing your brain the necessary elements to improve these conditions. There is a test you can take online to see if this is something you should look into.  [amenclinics.com]

I particularly liked the section on hormones and the story he describes about his wife who was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I know a lot of friends who gained weight growing up and witnessed changes to their bodies including increase in their BFF (beautiful female flow) and levels of hair growth.  Although I don’t think all conditions are related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, a lot of women do and it can negatively impact weight and hormones.

I believe my hormones have been seriously altered.  Obviously the number one reason is the unhealthy choices I made unconsciously for the most part, in my 20’s.  Introducing alcohol and mass amounts of processed foods definitely impacted my hormone balance thus creating a serious challenge.  Add the yo-yo dieting on top of it, and now it’s easy to see why I’ve landed here today.

I take full responsibility for this fact and am on the road to healing now.  The core however, is my beliefs, thoughts and resulting emotions.  I know this is the key to healing and where it all starts.  However, it’s helpful to know as much as possible about female hormones and how, when out of balance, they can impact health. It’s difficult to pinpoint what specifically caused the imbalance.  Was it genetic, from foods, alcohol, prescribed medication, lifestyle?  I think it’s probably a combination of all.

I’ve always believed if you want to have optimal health, learning what optimal health looks like is the first step. How should hormones work in a healthy female?  What should we be eating to assist the body with ensuring we receive the right nutrients to balance our hormones?  These are all questions I intend to answer and ultimately practice.  I do know (like I’m sure everyone else who’s ever wanted to work on improving their health knows) eating loads of veggies (especially alkaline green leafy veggies) is one of those things we should all be doing, but I also believe doing things we enjoy, eliminating stress (which is just us ruminating on the past or future) and getting the garbage out of our thoughts will go a long way.

When I think about how much healing has to happen (which is causing stress because I’m thinking about the future), I feel overwhelmed.  I decided, to just take it day by day.  What can I do today to improve my health? What healthy choices can I made today to assist with balancing hormones?  It’s going to be like this for a while.  Yes, there are times (like last night) where I said to myself, I’ve been doing a lot of work, when will it pay off? I had to quickly banish those thoughts!

The good news is, I’m not giving up, ever. I’ve decided, what I’m doing today is improving my mood and my relationships. I feel happier and stronger mentally. It feels good to slowly remove negative thinking which can cripple our efforts.  It’s slow, but it’s happening and that’s all that matters.  If I can also work in tandem on improving brain functioning, performing exercises I enjoy, and taking overall care of myself, it’s an added bonus!

Is it Groundhog Day?

I feel like I’m in that movie, Groundhog Day!  It seems everyday when I wake up, I have all the right intentions of working out, eating well and making healthy choices. For the most part, I do well until about 2 PM.  From there, it’s another story. I don’t make such good choices in the afternoon and evening. It’s the most frustrating thing and I feel at times like my life is a broken record. When people ask me how I’m doing with my weight loss efforts, my response is the same. Talk about discouraging.

What is it with these static patterns?  I’m not one to enjoy sameness, in fact, I’ve been known to do things in my life to ‘shake things up’,  In this area of life, I’ve done crazy diets, lost tons of weight but then I’ve gone back to the comfortable patterns again and again.  If I want to be a healthy role model for myself and family members, how the heck can I do that if I’m constantly going back and forth with the same patterns of behavior?

TOM was here again and I went right back into the ‘I can eat whatever I want because I’m not feeling good’ pattern and it latest several days.   Basically giving myself permission to eat what I want and how much I want because that’s how I take care of myself during TOM.  Seriously? How logical is this?  I’ve written about this topic in a previous post and it’s now coming up again this month.  It seems I didn’t carry over what I learned from last month.  I marked dates on my calendar, how come I didn’t take the time to prepare mentally to do something different this time? Self-sabotage? Maybe.

This next month, I am going to spend the necessary time to talk through some planning and preparation to make sure I don’t fall back into this pattern again.  Pausing and planning goes a long way. I’ve experienced different outcomes as a result of doing just these two activities.  The important piece which may be missing  is follow through and consistency.  I start off well, and then maybe after a few weeks or months, something happens and I resort back to the comfortable unhealthy patterns.

If my goal is wake up to a new day and not relive the old patterns from the previous day, following through and remaining consistent is going to be key.  I was saying the other day to the weight loss support group members how I’ve been consistent with planning and preparing for other things, it might be time to set up automatic alerts to remind me to focus on the follow through and consistency of healthy behaviors in the afternoons and evenings.

Let’s see how it goes this next week.

Small choices add up!

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that’s going on with my personal life and work and it seemed as though the new daily routines and habits took a back burner. Right now, addressing my weight and health has to be a full time job. I cannot let distractions or changes in my schedule impact what I’m doing dramatically.  The goal is to get back on those healthy habits immediately.  Small choices add up

I started tracking my food again this week and I decided to kick up my workouts. I was thinking about working towards a 5k again.  I’ve done many 5k’s, 10k’s and even a half marathon so I know I can do it, but for some reason, back in 2011 after I had meniscus surgery, I stopped all running. I know it has been the fear of doing further damage to my knee. I’ve injured it so many times before, but running is the only exercise I truly enjoy and ‘feel’ like I’ve done something. I use the stair-master and cross trainer in the gym and they are awesome as an alternative because I don’t run daily and don’t recommend it. I just feel if I have something to work towards, it would increase my motivation to keep moving in the right direction.

I prepared a bunch of food last Sunday and it worked out very well for breakfasts and lunches. I will continue because from my past experiences, it’s what made all the difference. Over the last few years, I’ve talked myself out of doing those things which support my efforts to living a healthy life. It sounds crazy, why would I do that if my ultimate goal is to live healthy?  I believe it goes back to the self-sabotage and fear of failure.  “Why bother if I’m going to gain it all back.”  This question has lingered and I’ve had to knock down the associated thoughts and emotions to keep myself moving in the right direction. The emotions pop up more frequently when I’m tired which is typically early evenings.  Anticipating this internal dialogue has been helpful although I haven’t been 100%.  But that’s not the goal right? I cannot be 100% however, if I am 75%-80%, to me that’s success.

Last night, I ate a lot more than I should have and I know it was due to feeling a loss of control (hence feeling overwhelmed). When I went to log in my food intake this morning, I realized, I didn’t really eat that much and the scale reflected it, I was ecstatic. I had a good workout yesterday which probably counteracted the overeating in the evening.

This morning I was craving cereal so I mindlessly poured it into the bowl and before I poured the milk, I started logging it into My Fitness Pal and realized the calories. I immediately said, “I don’t want to eat that much but I would like cereal, I haven’t had it in so long”.  Then the question came up, “If I don’t eat it now, will I binge on it later?”. Good question since I’ve operated here before.  Instead, I took out a smaller bowl, took out the measuring cups and measured a true portion of cereal, 3/4 cup (when I measured the original portion I poured, it added up to 2 cups!!).  I measured 1 cup of FF milk to add and sat down at the table, logged in the portions and enjoyed eating the cereal. It was awesome, I didn’t feel deprived and it seemed like a lot of cereal in the smaller bowl.  When I finished with the cereal, there was milk left over, I went over and poured it back into the measuring cup and saw I had only consumed 1/4 cup with the cereal. So I poured the rest down the drain.  What a difference!!! I know it seems like a small thing, but it really empowered me to say, I can eat things I enjoy using the correct portion sizes, sitting down and eating without distractions. 

If this happened later today, I don’t think I would’ve taken the same steps so I’m grateful I was able to ‘pause & plan’ and make the right decision.  I typically have operated on auto-pilot on such small choices, but I realized, if I take that extra time, I’m putting myself in a position of power. I’m also building self-efficacy which last year was at an all time low.

I’m honoring the small choices today and you should too! It’s the small choices that get us to our big goals!! Small choices add up Small choices add up Small choices add up

 

 

Managing Emotional Eating – Easier Said Then Practiced

This week was just ‘okay’.   I wasn’t as diligent about tracking my food intake. In fact, I noticed myself ‘not caring’ when I got home and reaching for the carbs again.  I ate much more then I intended.  I often find myself ‘ignoring’ or going into denial about my weight as to give myself permission to overeat. It’s cowardly and not truly who I am, but yet at the same time, I find myself using this logic more often then not. I’m not sure why, maybe out of habit?

When I think back to the times where I lost 60+lbs in the past, I try to remember how I was feeling and what I was telling myself. I had a specific goal and I didn’t let anything stop me to reach that goal. It’s as if I was a different person. I long to have that person back and I am frantically searching for her again. Where did she go? How far away is she?  It bothers me to think I got away from who I want to be for so long.

Today, I think about all the things going on in my life and feel overwhelmed. The major move we had back in August really took a toll out of all us and it seems as though things are still so unsettled. Feeling unsettled is haunting me and I believe keeping me from ‘acting’ or making a decision. Here’s the thing, I haven’t been able to get clarity on what to do next in my life.  Yes, I know where I want to be in 5 years, but I’m not clear on the decisions I need to make to get there now.  Some of the decisions are major life-changing large financial decisions.

Some of this is contributing to feelings of ‘lack of control’ of different areas of my life. I haven’t been able to focus on one thing because I’m constantly thinking about ‘What should we do?” and it’s driving me to eat.  How do others manage? How are other women successful at navigating during tough times without leaning on food to ‘get them through’? I pray and meditate daily, but don’t feel it’s ever enough. If I had the time, I would pray 2 hours each morning, it really gets me into the right frame of mind and end up better days for me.

When I think of time passing by and missed opportunities, it adds the feeling of ‘helplessness’ that I’ve been working so hard to eliminate. Logically I know I am in full control of my life, by my thoughts and behaviors, but when my emotions take over, it’s like I’m a different person.  I started reading Dan Goldman’s “Emotional Intelligence” book and he cites a ton of studies in this area. As I’m reading through, I find myself saying, “Oh, I can see that in myself.” frequently.  Mastering this area of emotions is critical, I see that now.  But for some reason, I’m struggling with how to get from point A to point B.  In other words, how do I go from where I am today, to mastering my emotions so I can start achieving goals and living a life where I control my future?

I’m still working on this emotional mastery.  Learning to control my body, what I’m focusing on and what I’m saying to myself is so important and what I’ve learned from attending Tony Robbin’s events. What’s missing is remembering or getting into the habit of practicing these key elements. I typically get caught up in the social hypnosis of day to day activities and forget to think about what I’m thinking about and before I know it, I’m eating an unplanned bowl of cereal without even realizing it.

I have some ideas on how to continue to learn to practice emotional mastery and will need to really focus on changing my state immediately and not get into that ‘anxious thinking’ state but instead think about what I can control. This week is about noticing and pausing to think about how I can change my thinking.  Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional Eating Emotional

 

Negative Thoughts Lead to Overeating

I struggled a bit these last couple of weeks with my thoughts and emotions. Some of it I believe is from PMS, but this past week, I still felt myself in a funk and was struggling to stay positive.

Yesterday, I became upset because when I was with a female colleague, who happens to be thin, I noticed she was receiving more eye contact from peers.  Normally it’s not a big deal, but for some reason it bothered me and I immediately attributed it to her being thin. I then began the familiar self-rant of why I should be thin and healthy followed by critical self talk.  No wonder why I wasn’t in a good mood when I left work.  It started a spiral which led to multiple bowls of cinnamon toast crunch cereal when I got home, a perfect example of how emotions lead to overeating.  Later, I had to forgive myself for my weak moment.

Thankfully I was able to reign it in and dig deeper into what was happening. I realized because of self-pity, I found myself doing a very modified version of the healthy habits I established like prayer, meditation in the mornings, positive affirmations and positive self-talk. But It wasn’t enough and left me vulnerable for internal negative attacks that went unnoticed. It started very subtle and then escalated to the point where I finally heard my thoughts and couldn’t believe what I was saying to myself. It took me over a week to catch on.

This is why I believe prayer and meditation are so important.  Because our world is filled with so much distraction, time alone to calm my mind and listen for the Holy Spirit is critical (for others its intuition, the universe, etc.)   If I don’t take that dedicated quiet time to settle down, my mind goes on auto-pilot with the same 60k thoughts I had yesterday and my progress becomes limited.

How are we to begin living a healthy life if we are not aware of our thoughts and how they are impacting our behavior, in this case overeating?  These last couple of weeks have really shown me the value of those healthy habits and why no matter what’s going on, I have to perform them thoroughly 80% of the time to make progress.

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