Emotional Eating

This week has been a doozy.  I mean totally off the charts for feeling like an emotional mess.  The last time I felt like this was during and after my divorce.  It was a few years after my divorce that I realized that I had been out of control in the food department, and the reason for it was because I was using food to calm myself when I was anxious or upset, to feel better when I was sad, and to occupy myself when I was lonely or bored.  I weighed over 50 pounds more than my current weight and I was miserable.  I didn’t feel good to begin with and I felt even worse when I looked in the mirror.  I knew I had to take control over this aspect of my life.  It probably was the only thing that I could take control of!

I began by increasing my activity, keeping track of the food I ate with the Weight Watchers plan, and taking a weight loss supplement to jump-start my progress.  It did not take long to lose the first 25 pounds.  Believe it or not, it was fairly easy!  The best part was that as I was losing more and more weight, I was increasing my physical activity to the point where I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer.  Without realizing it, I had replaced the food I was consuming to combat my emotions with exercise. I started feeling really good about myself, and I am sure the workouts released all those good endorphins!

The thing is emotional eating can really be a problem.  Most everyone knows what they could and should do to lose weight, but to actually be able to do it is another thing, and I think a lot of that can be blamed on our emotions.  Once we tackle that, we can be successful at making a change in our lifestyle to become a healthier and more physically fit person.

So, how do you  know if emotional eating is something that you struggle with?  Well, some of the clues are:
1.  The feeling that you need to eat comes on very suddenly….you have to have those cookies, chips, ice cream (insert any fatty, salty, or sweet food).

2. You continue to eat even after you feel full to the point where you are uncomfortable.

3. Eating is helping you to keep your mind off whatever it is that you are feeling such as anxiety, boredom, sadness, etc.

4. You are eating to reward yourself.

If you see yourself as being an emotional eater there are some things that you can do.  First, take a pause.  When you feel that craving come on, take a moment and think about why you are wanting whatever it is.  Think about how you feel and identify what emotion you are feeling and whether you are really hungry.  If not, try to wait 5 or 10 minutes before you will allow yourself whatever it is you are wanting.  By waiting, you may be able to combat the craving, or at least get it under control.  Once you have identified a pattern of what feelings trigger your emotional eating you will be more able to fight it.

Find an alternative activity rather than eating to help you feel better.  Like I said, I had replaced eating with going to the gym and doing a step aerobics class or doing some weight training. I felt so good about myself for the progress I had made, not just with my weight, but with my level of fitness, that I did not want to eat a bunch of junk food.  I do feel it is a scary thing for an inactive person to think about completing a vigorous workout.  You have to start small.  Take a walk, and add time each week to your walk until you ready to take the next step.  Maybe a few increments of jogging, or a workout DVD, or maybe even joining a gym.   Being physically active will most definitely help you manage emotional eating.

If you are wanting to eat because you are bored, try reading a book, calling a friend, and if you are spiritual… spend some time in prayer, or find some other activity to occupy your mind.  A busy mind and body does not eat just to eat.

Finally, remember that your body is your temple.  You want to take care of it so it will last you and you can do all the things that you might enjoy with nothing holding you back.  There is nothing worse that feeling like you cannot do something.  Do not let fear….fear of anything including failure, hold you back!  As always, start small.  Every new tool you add to your new healthy living lifestyle will get you one step closer to where you want to be.  Remember, you may not be where you want to be but at least you are not where you were!!!  That is always my mantra and I keep trying and pushing myself to new limits.

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Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs.  Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals.  For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com

The beginning…

Like many of you, I have always struggled with my weight. All my life I wanted to be like the thin girls, and it has taken me a long time to realize that I will never be. I am curvy. That’s it. I said it. I still don’t like it, but I feel better than ever. It is the way I was made, so I have decided that I need to do the best with what I have.

I was not very heavy when I was married, but after the wedding I started to gain weight. We were always eating out, and my husband was able to eat all day and not gain any weight. Before I knew it, I was a big girl. Probably weighing in at about 180 lbs. I knew that I did not feel good, so I took action and joined Weight Watchers. I lost most of the weight I had gained and was working out quite a lot when I became pregnant with my first child. At the time she was born, I weighed a whopping 224 lbs! I stayed heavy for quite a while after she was born until I decided once again, to go back to Weight Watchers and get back to feeling good. I lost a good portion of the weight, and was feeling pretty good weighing in at about 160 lbs when I decided it was time to have our second child. I did not gain nearly as much weight with this go around, and I lost it again fairly quickly afterwards. Towards the last few years of my 15 year marriage; however, the weight started creeping back on. I did not feel good about myself. I was divorced and felt very unattractive. It took me a couple of years to get on my feet again and feel in control enough to get back to a healthy weight, and this time I did more than go to Weight Watchers. I joined the gym. It has made a huge difference in my life! For the first time ever, I felt healthy and fit even if I did not look much different from when I had lost weight before.

So, I decided to write about my experiences…past, present, and future…in the hopes that my struggles, accomplishments and motivations will help someone else who is feeling bad about the way they look to feel better. You see, it is really not how you look on the outside, but what is going on inside that makes you feel good about yourself. Once you start being active and getting physical you will start feeling good on the inside and looking great on the outside. As I am writing this today, my weight is still not where I would like it to be. I will share with you what motivates me, healthy eating tips, recipes or articles, fitness tips and info, and also information on healthy supplements that I recommend. I hope you will keep reading and together we can feel great and BE SLIM!

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Becky Pandolfo is a working Mom who has a wealth of experience with many diet and fitness programs.  Her insight and information has helped countless individuals attain their weight loss and fitness goals.  For more information on her and the products she recommends visit: http://www.GoSlimFL.com