Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Emotional Eating

If there is one thing I need to learn from all this, it’s how to stop emotional eating. Last week was a rough week in that regard.
As some of you who follow me know, I was laid off in March due to a company closure. Now, I really hated my job (I had been in the industry way too long and I was burnt out) so the first two weeks of my lay off were nice. I got stuff done AND I finally started my weight loss journey.  I joined a gym and started this blog.  It’s almost 6 months into this layoff now and I’m starting to get really bored and a bit frustrated. To make matters worse I took this opportunity to try and make a career change, so the job hunting has been rough.
The week before last I had a job interview that if I landed it, would have allowed me to move back home to RI (to be with family) and start a great job in the industry I wanted. I was really looking forward to getting that job so my hopes were a bit too high. Last Tuesday I got the call and I didn’t get picked for the job. They decided to give it to someone who had been previously laid off from the position; I guess I can’t blame them for going with that option.  I know I could get a job back in the industry I was in before, but I was extremely unhappy and grumpy most of time. Do I really want to go back to that?
That day started the plunge. I was 1.2 pounds away from hitting my first goal of being less than 300lbs, and that phone call shot it all to hell. Well…to be honest, I shot it all to hell. I went on a huge emotional eating binge. Not as big as it could have been but a binge none the less. I stopped counting calories, I only went to the gym twice (once being the day before I got the bad news), I didn’t blog and I started eating at night again.  All because I was frustrated and just stopped caring. I tried stopping myself a few times, saying to myself come on make better choices, but in the end I just didn’t care. I was mad, depressed and overwhelmed. By the end of the week I was feeling better but I also gained 3 pounds. Last week I should have hit my goal of 299lbs, but instead I was staring at 304 again.

This week I am back on track. Eating better, hitting the gym hard and overall feeling better. That does not however make up for the fact that I let a depressing situation get to me like that. There are going to be many more times in my life where I will be upset, not feeling up to par, or where something doesn’t go my way. So how do I train myself to not overeat emotionally?
Food plays a major part in your life especially when you are overweight. We use food as a reward, we use it as comfort, we use it to entice. We pretty much use food as way to express or suppress all of our emotions. So how do we stop?
What are some ways that you have coped with emotional eating?
By the end of this week I hope to hit my goal. Then after that I can lay off the scale again for a while until I feel I am close to my next goal of 270lbs. I know the weight will come off slower due to weight training but I shouldn't be putting the pounds on anymore.


  1. Awwwww Vinny I wish I was standing next to you so I could wrap my arms around you and tell you how awesome you are. I'd say things like don't beat yourself up over last week but we both know that its hard not too. You put it out to the universe and that's the first step. You could have not said anything and just let it go to the way side but you let your guard down and told us something really personal and extremely hard to share.

    Your figuring out the key to this journey: some days are great. Some days suck ass. But in the end you will succeed!

    If I can give you any advice with the whole food issue its this: try to change your paradigm about what food is for us. It is only fuel. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  2. Emotional eating is a rough one. We know being healthy is all mental. But when our emotions are a surge with heavy frustrations, anger, etc. it is hard to control them. The only trick I know is to remove the temptation as best I can. To me that means get out of the house, away from the refirgerator and get with others engaged in something. Anything, hang out with a friend; talk to a neighbor until you can tell they just want to go; lock your keys in your house and spend the next 5 hours breaking in without having someone call the police.

    Use them and that activity as a shield from yourself against choosing the refirgerator, the drive thru or both.

  3. Not that I've conquered it by any means, but when emotional eating rears its ugly head at me, I try to remember that food will not make me feel better, and that it will actually make me feel worse, physically and emotionally. Food does not have the power to improve the situation or my mood. It's not magic, and it's can't change anything--it's just food.

    Is that cheeseburger (or whatever) actually going to make you feel better? If yes, then I say go for it, and don't feel guilty about it. More than likely, it's going to make you feel guilty and depressed emotionally, plus sluggish and under-nourished physically.

    Not always easy to remember, but sometimes it helps you ask yourself if it's really going to help.

  4. Vinny these are all great tips. What I have learned is that when I eat something out of emotions I am only hurting myself. Enough people do that so why am I? I try to look at it logically, then I do what Patrick says and get out and do something, even if it's the library (we have a great one in St. Charles City, read a magazine or book have a coffee). Can you call someone and talk/text about your emotions? Like a fat buddy? The emotions need to get out some how I believe, try to make it in a positive way.

    Pick youself up, dust yourself off and start all over again!!!

  5. Vinny, food is the thing that gets me in trouble. I too eat emotionally. That is the one thing I need to keep working hard on. Sometime we get off track. It sucks, but we cant keep dwelling on it. You just gotta keep working hard. It may take a while, but eventually you'll get there.

  6. When I took a big step back, I realized that most of the reasons I was eating... stress, boredom, entertainment... had precious little to do with actual, honest-to-God hunger. Slowing things down and really paying attention to what I was consuming took a long time (and I still can't say I've completely mastered it) but it's a necessary step in getting where you want to go.

    Best of luck on the job search. I don't know what your current situation is, but I'd encourage you to pursue your interests. You've seen how unhappy a job that doesn't suit you can be. I can tell you from personal experience that a job you enjoy makes going to work an entirely different experience.

  7. These are all great responses. I love my blog readers :).

    @jack - Thanks for the luck on the job search. I am trying real hard to get into something I will enjoy. I'm not sure I know what it feels like to enjoy work anymore....unfortunately. I would like to feel that again.

  8. Vinny,

    I hope you are doing well!!

    I would like to present you with an award for your blog. "The Cherry on Top Award" it is for beautiful blogs with that little bit extra.

    Take a trip to my blog to check it out, It is in my Day #111 post.

    Talk to you soon!

    - The Heavy Man

  9. Just discovered your blog and I like it a lot. best wishes on your journey.