What the scale says...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Emotional eating...what are you tricks?

Let's face it we all do it...some of us like me, I cushion it with a million excuse and try to rationalize the shit out of it, but it doesnt change the reality that the french fry that I am sticking in my mouth is a result of my emotions and not of a nutrional or wise food choice !! This ofcourse is compacted with the feelings of failure and remorse after 1) running to the bathroom after almost having an incident in the mall food court or 2) realizing that all the progress I made this week with the excerise just went out the window.

But alas there is a differnce this time around !!!!

Last year had I become victim to an episode of emotional eating I would have thrown in the towel and called it quits on another attempt to diet. "after all I minus will have the choclate cheese cake from cheese cake factory if I already ate the plate of fries right ??" But what is different this time around is that I have learned to recognize what you would call isolated incidents, as my bodies "check engine light" Really if I expect to never have a french fry or to never have more than one godiva choclate then I'm really just setting myself up for disaster. So i have chosen to look at these episodes of weak eating caused by my emotions as disaster preventors.... that something is going on and I need to pay more attnetion to me and work it out.

I would love to hear how you guys deal with your emotional eating and what tricks you've found that work for you ?

In the meantime I am posting the latest article from Katie Jay, focusing on just this topic...enjoy !

How to Get Your Brain to Work With You
(Not Against You)
by Katie Jay, MSW, Certified Wellness Coach
Director, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery

(This is the second article in my series on
psychological considerations after WLS)

When my son was four he threw a big tantrum at a
pool party. My husband and I were ready to go home;
our son was not. So he went into a rage. As the 100
or so people at the party stared at us (probably
feeling grateful it wasn't their child screaming)
we attempted to subdue our monster.

It was our own fault. Our son had not eaten
dinner, only junk food. And I realized too late
that his blood sugar was crashing. You see, like
his mother, when he didn't eat on time, and get
enough protein in, he became very agitated.

If we had lined up everyone at the pool, we would
have gotten many different opinions about what
was wrong with my son:

He has overindulgent parents
He's a brat
He doesn't have any manners
He can't control himself
He is tired
He's trying to get attention
He is sick
He is bad

(And we judge ourselves this way, too, when
we feel out of control, etc.!)

Very few people would have guessed low blood
sugar. Very few people would have made the food/mood
connection. The only reason I did was because after
years of depression and a bad temper, I was diagnosed
with type II diabetes. (The doctor didn't make the
food/mood connection, either. My husband was the
first to notice that improvement :o).

When I began to eat protein at regular intervals,
and cut back on sugar and refined carbs, my mood
improved. When we began feeding out son protein
at regular intervals, the tantrums stopped.

After WLS, it is more important than ever for us
to understand and acknowledge the food/mood

We often call it "emotional eating" and tell
ourselves we are weak willed. But it's not that

Kathleen Des Maisons, in her book, "The Sugar
Addict's Total Recovery Program, and Anne
Katherine, in her book, "The Anatomy of a Food
Addiction," both discuss at length what happens
in the brain when we eat certain foods. (And how
eating certain foods can help brain chemistry
that is out of whack.)

Here's one scientific example from Des Maisons:

"Sugar-activated beta-endorphin [a chemical in
the brain that is released when a person eats
sugar or refined carbs] changes emotions as
well as physical feelings. Not only does sugar
reduce physical pain in [a certain type of
mouse]; it also reduces the pain of loss or
social isolation.

"When baby mice are taken from
their mothers, they cry. Scientists measured the
number of times the babies cried in a specified
number of minutes. They gave the babies sugar
water, and, no surprise, they stopped crying.
"The 'isolation distress' was significantly
lessened by sugar. Sugar creates a temporary
flood of beta-endorphins, thus numbing the
emotional pain of separation."

Some people can drastically reduce their low
mood by choosing a more effective food plan
(and regular, moderate exercise helps, too).

While others, will also need medication and/or
therapy (I use both).

Depression and anxiety are common among WLS
patients. So, no matter what the cause of the
mood issue, treating it will help you keep
your weight in check.

Let's face it, when your brain chemistry is
working against you, your WLS journey will be
longer and more challenging, if not impossible.

You can have good intentions, and know what
you're supposed to do, but this knowledge won't
help if you're too depressed to get up in the
morning, or too anxious to move forward.

Sometimes medication and/or therapy are needed
to help you stay focused and to give you the
mental and emotional strength you need to stay
on your path.

My son is 17 now, and we both know that when
we're feeling irritable or irrationally angry,
it's time for a healthy, protein-based snack.

Once we knew what the problem was, we were able
to take steps to solve it.

You have that ability, too.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these
important issues.


Roo said...

Awesome post. We were discussing the emotional eating at our support group meeting the other night. The new therapist basically said I should take a relaxant like valium..."hello, you do not know me and my history, you can't just suggest a pill" and think that is ok....so I don't think I will be going to see him for a session! But this article helps immensely. xx

Nicole said...

I still have problems with sour cream and onion chips..my tricks junk food doesn't enter my home. If It's a chip I will eat it. But of course its the summer and chips are abundant lol But I do like little bits of things in moderation that way I feel like I was able to eat what I wanted and my band stops me from doing damage

Jennifer said...

Wow! This is very helpful information. Thanks for posting it.
I try to keep Babel cheese with me so I can always have a protein snack.
It's very interesting about the depression and anxiety. I'd like to read more about that. I'm normally a very laid back person - but the last few months - I *have* been very anxious and almost angry. No idea why. I'm also at a plateau - Hmmm... I need to get to the bottom of this. Thanks again!

Ashley said...

I don't particularly emotional eat, but I do stress eat. Does that make any sense?

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