What the scale says...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eating your feelings away...


Many of you already know that I am a big fan of katie jay's articles...this one especially !! Like many of you reading this post I struggled and still am struggling with understanding how to feel my feelings and how to deal with them instead of eating through them !!! This article is great in putting these issues into perspective. It helped me and I hope it helps you as well !!

later chicas !
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Would You Rather Eat than Feel?
How to Make Friends with Your Feelings

By Katie Jay, MSW
Director, National Association for WLS
www.nawls.com

One of the common phrases we hear when it comes to
weight-loss-surgery stumbling blocks is "Emotional
Eating."

Emotional eating involves using food to manage your
mood. Many of us have been known to eat to calm down,
diminish anxiety, soothe ourselves, and to relieve
many other non-hunger-related feelings.

Sometimes people can be very hard on themselves
about emotional eating. They use it as another bit
of evidence they are doomed to fail at weight loss.

When you don't allow yourself to feel uncomfortable
feelings, you can derail your pursuit to better
health. But remember that choosing not to feel your
feelings is a choice, not a handicap. You do not
have to be a victim of emotional eating.

Your emotions, and your desire to avoid them, do
not have to run your life. You can run your life.

In fact, you are the captain in charge of the ship
known as your life.

As the captain of your ship, you can choose to
learn how to identify uncomfortable feelings, how
to sit with them, how to analyze them, and how to
use the information you glean to get you where you
want to go in life.

One of the best tools you can use to achieve your
goals and dreams in life is to embrace your feelings
-- to allow yourself to *feel* them, study them, and
learn from them.

Sounds simple enough -- but a lot of us hate feeling
our feelings. Even the feelings that are positive
may scare us.

Some people use food to stay in a low-grade stupor,
safe from emotions on either extreme, and detached
from the world just a little bit.

It's safer that way, but I found my world of gray
to be a little depressing, do you?

I love this quote by John A. Shedd (Salt from My
Attic, 1928):

A ship in harbor is safe -- but that is not what
ships are built for.

When I am living in the gray area, numb, I am not
living the life I was designed to live.

Human beings have this amazing capacity for emotion,
it's truly a gift. But emotions are more than a gift,
they also are clues to our deepest needs -- clues we
are not always taught to examine and use to help us
better understand ourselves and our world.

We also have the gift of choice. As captain, we can
choose how we approach our emotional lives.

So how does one take command of her relationship
with her feelings?

Here are some things you can do to get started:

1. Line up a safe person you can talk to as you
begin to allow yourself to feel things. You may
need to vent or get reassurance. You may need help
identifying your feelings. You may be afraid of what
will come up. The process of learning to feel your
feelings can be easier if you know you have someone
safe to turn to when you need to talk. And if they
agree ahead of time to support you, you will not
feel so reluctant to call on them.

2. Build tolerance over time. You don't have to
suddenly force yourself to feel all of your feelings
right away. You can build up a tolerance by allowing
yourself short periods of time when you are consciously
tuning into your feelings and working on identifying
them and understanding what they are telling you.
Over time, it will get easier.

3. Be gentle with yourself. You may get frustrated
as you realize you will not be able to pinpoint
what each feeling is. Even though we understand
what feelings are, most of us haven't had a lot
of practice identifying which specific ones we're
feeling. Find a list of feelings online, print it
out, and use it to help you sort out what you are
feeling.

4. Get curious. Once you are identifying your
feelings, you can look at them as clues to your
inner desires and needs. Every emotion you experience
is a clue you can follow. You can ask yourself, for
example, what is my anger telling me? Some people
like to write out their questions and answers in a
journal, so they can refer back to old entries and
make connections.

5. Stick with it. The decision to take charge of
how you respond to your feelings is a big one. The
task can feel daunting, but stick with it. While it's
a challenging journey, you will travel to amazing
places you never could have imagined.

6 comments:

Kristin said...

This is AWESOME. I am struggling so much with this, it's a really big problem for me. Thanks for posting this, it's giving me some things to think about. xoxo

Gen said...

Thanks, this is such a big deal for so many of us. I really struggled with emotional eating during Bandster Hell (and before that, well, my entire life!) But I honestly find it easier to deal with now that I have the band. These are all great suggestions. Thanks Jacquie!

DawnB said...

Great article. It makes sense - thanks for sharing.

Band-Babe said...

Mindful Meditation. I'm learning to do it. It's all about sticking with your thoughts and feelings without judgement. There's no good, no bad, everything just is. There's way more to it, but it helps with everything emotional- including emotional eating.

THE DASH! said...

Emotional eating is a big one and gets most of us in the end. I like her line of thinking. Thanks for posting this :)

Girl Bandit said...

Thanks so much for this...I know that I have trouble identifying my feelings I can usually only describe love and anger. there were some great points to work through here

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