Monday, January 26, 2009

Reflections on Emotional Eating

Well here is my mug all Munga'ed up - thanks to Miss Katie for such a brilliant idea ...and the boobs are real..woo hoo!!! Did I ever mention how much I like my additions!

Anyway some thoughts on emotional eating today. I have been working through an amazing book by Roger Gould that Katie mentioned on her blog (ordered from Amazon) which deals with emotional eating.

I believe that most people who have issues with weight or eating also have issues with emotional eating. Although physical illness did play a small role in my weight gain post Miss G, there were more emotional factors in there that really amped up my weight gain and turned it into both a physical and psychological problem. Roger Gould concludes that emotional eating is driven by a sense of powerlessness in the individual - ie the individual harbours a belief that they are powerless to control what, when and how they eat and that the sense of powerlessness over food is really a cover up for a deeper experience of powerlessness, for example - dealing with self doubt, gaining real satisfaction in life, feeling powerless to fill yourself up when you're feeling empty inside..etc etc.

It is in dealing with the deeper issues such as satisfaction in life etc where healing begins. In my own case, I continue to be a work in progress and look at my eating slip ups in a continuum of from when I was when I was at rock bottom and physically overweight through to the experience of being a competitor, then a coach and now juggling full time work with family etc etc. There have been periods of quiet where emotional eating has not been an issue for several months, then all of a sudden a stressor will pop up and I will sometimes find myself eating for the reasons of powerlessness above, rather than confronting what is really going on and dealing with it.

Which is what happened this weekend - instead of acknowledging how tired and exhausted I am from trying to juggle all of my PT clients in the Junior Care times, entertaining two small kids during holidays on a tight budget, working on my RPM, learning Bodystep choreo as I don't teach often enough to retain it, worrying about DH's job, worrying about which way to jump with a Real Estate decision, ensuring there is a meal on the table every night... rather than face up to feeling overwhelmed and dealing it with it in a methodical way, I thought it better to eat 5 homemade muesli bars and have Indian takeaway for dinner as the salad I had purchased to go with our chicken breasts was decidedly "off". On reflection I have been feeling powerless over my own situation..and it triggered off the emotional eating groove.

I got my wakeup call this morning after a mix up about the classes on Saturday when the receptionist didn't open up the gym in time. My class was 45 minutes late, and rather than filling in the time and tacking onto the next class which would have been the better option , I just gritted my teeth and taught the whole thing which apparently was not the thing to do - again another knee jerk reaction rather than thinking things through... so I went into the Steam Room and let the tears fall for a good half hour and worked out what was going on and sorted a rough plan to address the issues and felt better. The worst part was leaving the gym a little red face only to have a George Castanza look alike chat me up - I was trying to look in the other direction whilst this guy was telling me that "he'd seen me in RPM this morning.. that RPM was his warm up because he pushed big weights in the gym and did I do a lot of "toning work". I was desperately trying to get away from this guy and I managed to spit out "our Olympic Coach doesn't allow us to tone" (yes, he was speechless after that and I had a quiet chuckle to myself despite my teariness).

So lesson learned today was that sometimes it's just best to let the emotion out, whether it's hokey or not, rather than stuff it down with food. I'm a real sucker for toughing things out and I need to take my big girl panties off more often and howl at the moon.


katiep said...

sending love your way ♥

LizN said...

Thank you gorgeous, I'm feeling much better now xox

Mandy said...

Oh my lovely ... you taught a fantastic class as always under really stressful circumstances ... but I know for certain you earned another fan on Saturday ... you did great honey!!!


PS. Have to confess I had a little chuckle at your "George" moment ... you are too funny!!!

Kristy said...

Hi Liz

I was just wondering what the name of the book is you were referring to about emotional eating? I am always keen to find out more about why I eat emotionally. I am doing it less and less. Do you think this book would be helpful for me?

I know I do the same thing and bundle it all up and eventually it all comes out....

I hope you are feeling much better

Michelle said...

Sending you loads of hugs!

PMSL at being chatted up by 'George' - lucky you :o)

BTW I love you Munga - I only dream that I could fill out a shirt like that LOL!

Tiarna said...

Liz this was a great post, everything you said sounds like the words that should come out of my mouth too.

I hope youre feeling much better today.

Your'e an Insperation to everyone who reads your posts.


Sam D-M said...

Hi Liz, it was very interesting reading about emotional eating. Thanks for shedding some light on the issue. I am sure there was no harm done by the Curry and I do hope you enjoyed it :)

Funny George story, cracked me up!