Journey #190 – Emotional Eating

Day 7

Every day, there is some new challenge… some knew struggle in my brain between the self-destructive thought processes that have been a part of me for so long and the new, “this is who I am supposed to be” thoughts that I am trying to nurture and grow.

No wonder so many people struggle with weight loss. This daily battle in my brain is exhausting. One minute, I think I have the upper hand and am making all the right decisions. The next minute, I have shoved 3 (not 1, but 3) tasty treats in my mouth and felt like crap afterwards.

Want to know why I did it? I had been food prepping for the week (my first time… the smells in the kitchen were fantastic, but I had plenty of self control and did not snack during the process). My daughter decided she would make some sausage balls – a recipe passed down from my mom. I have been eating them my entire life. I watched her make them with a little pride that the tradition of making them continues in the next generation, the oven smelled so wonderful as they baked, blah, blah, blah. I ate them for the EMOTIONAL attachment I have for this food – all the wonderful memories associated with it. Honestly, they weren’t even that tasty. But, I still ate 3 (at least I didn’t eat 30 – small win).

But, tomorrow is a new day. I will try again… and keep trying until I have figured out all of my triggers and deal with them.

3 positive things about today:

I attempted food prep.

I enjoyed sharing the kitchen with my daughter.

I learned what my trigger was this time and can avoid such a mental trap in the future.

In Polite Company, We Don’t Talk About It

 

In polite company, we don’t talk about politics or religion… or about nutrition.  images-6Let’s face it.  1 in 3 of us are having to deal with being overweight – and so are many of our kids.  You can find expert advice on how to lose that weight on every street corner – a dime a dozen.  But, what no one talks about is the emotional addiction to that food.  We use food in our culture to celebrate.  We reward our children with treats.  When most of us think about food, it makes us happy.

I recently watched a video of Dr. David Kessler explaining the science behind this emotional attachment to food  in “The End of Overeating” (the video is below).  Basically, sugar, fat, and salt in combinations trigger the pleasure center in our brain.  Americans’ diet over the last four decades has increased tremendously in those three ingredients with the processing of our foods. Those foods, in turn, act like a drug – stimulating our brain.

The power of the food addiction (I know, no one likes the word “addiction”, but there it is) doesn’t necessarily come from the food itself.  We are driven (much like Pavlov’s dog) by stimuli all around us.  Anticipation is powerful.  imgres-4It is the smell of the pizza when I walk into Costco that gets me in trouble – long before I actually see or taste said pizza.  As a matter of fact, the very thought of going to Costco makes my taste buds start watering.

So, really, those of us that are wanting to lose weight need to deal with the emotions of eating first.  (I don’t pretend to be an expert, but replacing a behavior with a new behavior is working for me. Also, avoiding situations that will get me into trouble is very helpful when I’m hungry.) images-7Changing how we think about food – and feel about food – is a necessity if we want to lose the weight and actually keep it off this time.

As a society, Dr. Kessler recommended adding boundaries back into how we view food.  Over my lifetime, smoking has made the transformation from being acceptable to not.  Food can’t be demonized the way smoking has been done, because we all need food. But, going back to it being three meals a day (instead of grazing all day) will be a step in the right direction.  imgres-5

As for me, I have to be the change I want to see in the world first.  I’ve got to lose the weight and the emotional baggage it represents for good.