Emotional Eating Rollercoaster (Oct. 24, 2008)

Ahhhh! It has been a crazy week. My twins are sick. My Luba figured out how to escape from her crib and my Hillary has been crying for what feels like 3 days.

I’m emotional because I just can’t seem to calm and console my little sickies. I’m stressed because I’m not prepared to move the girls out of their cribs yet, and I worry they’ll launch themselves overboard and get hurt. I’m also sad -my babies aren’t really babies anymore – they’re moving to their “big girl” beds!

We’ve all had these moments of overwhelming emotion and stress. In my case, out comes the chocolate and cookies and salty snacks and just about anything I can stuff down my mouth. I find it’s a real challenge to stop and assess my hunger level when I’m on an emotional eating rampage.

I’ve been an emotional eater for as long as I can remember. I eat when I’m sad and when I’m happy. I eat when I’m depressed and when I’m feeling joyful. Food soothes me when I’m down and I tend to celebrate happiness and fun with food and drink.

I know my emotional eating and lack of control is what keeps me from losing those last 10 pounds, no matter how much I work out.

But now that I have 2 little girls, I KNOW I need and want to adjust my behaviour FOR GOOD. What kind of role model can I be if I keep this up? To meet my goals to improve my own confidence and to show my girls healthy behaviour and positive body image, I need to recognize the triggers that cause me to overeat.

My sister put it in perspective for me yesterday when she called at my lowest point in the day. I had eaten pizza and chocolate and cookies and was feeling terrible about it…

She told me that behavioural change is extremely difficult. That I should cut myself some slack. As long as I recognize what causes me to overeat and that it is really hard to stop myself when I’m under stress, I will slowly be able to exchange the unhealthy behaviour for a more healthy approach.

It is about awareness. It is about forgiveness. Because no one can eat perfectly all the time – and it is healthy to enjoy treats in moderation.

So instead of bingeing on pizza and chocolate AND cookies when I’m stressed and overwhelmed this wekk – I’ll give myself permission to eat pizza and chocolate, but skip the cookies. And to tell myself that it is tiny baby steps until I can really change this life-long issue of mine. It won’t happen overnight, but every positive change I make, no matter how small, will contribute to living my healthy and happy life. And to being the mum I want to be for my daughters.

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