Monday, June 10, 2013

A diet journey- emotional eating

During this diet I learned a few new things. 
Hopefully they will stick with me when I go back to real life. 
One of them is a lesson in emotional eating. 
"Emotional Eating." This was a term I had heard a million times. 
In Cosmo, on Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and the like.
 I knew what it meant.
People eat when they are happy, they eat when they are sad. 
Their emotions run the gravy train to their heart and there is nothing they can do about it. 
I never thought I fell into this category. 
Yeah, I have treated myself to sweets or dinner when I was happy or celebrating but I was never really one to reach  for the tub of ice cream after a break up and stuff my face. 
I ended up having a real struggle with emotional eating throughout this diet though and surprised myself.

In the last few weeks my Nona's health has taken a turn for the worse. 
This last year has been hard for her and her body was slowly weakening.
 In the recent weeks though, she made a decision on her own that she no longer wanted to continue taking her medicines and basically was ready to go.
She talked about seeing Grandpa again ( who has been gone for 10 years now) and was just done living this life of hers.
 She absolutely didn't want to leave her house though, so the family has taken on the role of keeping her as comfortable as possible along with a hospice nurse while Nona's body slowly shuts down. 

It has been many days of standing by and feeling sad and every time I got that upset feeling I thought about food. 
Maybe it is something I have always done but never paid attention to because I wasn't on a strict diet so it wasn't as obvious to me.
 I wouldn't have noticed the craving or made the connection in feeling upset and wanting to self medicate with some pizza.

Either way, it has forced me to make a very conscious decision on a daily basis to stick the diet out. I considered throwing in the towel twice during all this because I thought I couldn't handle it and I just wanted to give in and eat to make myself feel better.  

But we all know that would have only been a temporary fix that would result in me also hating myself. 
 I had to keep reminding myself that the food I was dreaming about wouldn't fix anything.
 It wouldn't make Nona better, it wouldn't make me any less sad.
 It wouldn't take away the pain, it would satisfy me for the 10 mins I was eating.... that's it. 
I was in the midst of one of these self conflicts when I realized, " This is emotional eating" 
The diet allowed me to see it first hand even though I wasn't giving into it.

I am glad I experienced this trait because I think I actually AM an emotional eater and just didn't realize it. 
I almost always give into my cravings when I am upset. 
I justify them in my head and say " Your day was so crappy", or " I can't believe that happened, who cares if you want to eat the whole box of mac and cheese, you deserve it"
 and then I wouldn't think twice as i went back for thirds.

I can finally recognize that I was basically enabling myself and guess what? 
I got fat.
Let this be a lesson.

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