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Rough Night


This week has been rough.  Some great things happened like girls night out with Sarah and selling out my teenage Auntie Anne’s secrets to my Women’s Ministries with Cinnamon Sugar pretzel highs and all.  But there were some real lows.  Nothing I’m going to get into on the blog and I hope you respect that.  But the reason I’m telling you is because when I have trials in life I throw up my hands and say screw it.  I stop exercising and eat like crap.  But this week I was pushing through those tendencies and got in some great workouts.  I’m doing well with the Wii Active, got in some great lifting and have completed my 3 runs for my 10K training plus some cross training.  Take that!

Last night was the worst of it though.  Thursdays are hell days where I don’t stop working until about 9PM.  And it was hell with just more than my schedule.  I just couldn’t get in my scheduled workouts.  And all I wanted was to devour the Girl Scout Cookies that I bought for Hunni and I to share.  I had a mishap with some early this week that I stopped myself by hiding them behind Hunni’s desk but last night I didn’t care.  Sugar would soothe my soul.

Then I got a Gchat message from Mish.  I have no idea how to use that thing since I’m still new to the wonderful world of Google.  I have no idea what this chrome thing is people keep talking about or if I should want an invite.  But Kath turned me on to all things Google through her NerdKERF tutorials and I’m still learning.  Anyway when I was about to go grab the cookies and eat them in bed, crumbs be damned, Mish sent me a message and asked how I was.  I thought about lying to go indulge and then realized that would serve no purpose so she and I chatted.  She reminded me that the cookies wouldn’t soothe the problems and helped me through a great low.  Thanks again Mish.  And the cookies remain in the cabinet for Hunni and I to enjoy together at a later date.

So I thought in the interest of helping others who deal with emotional eating I’d post some ideas on how to avoid it.  Whether you eat because you are sad, bored, angry, upset or just exceedingly happy here are some tips to help you not feed those emotions with food.

  • Exercise.  Sure this isn’t always easy but the rush of endorphins you get from eating you can also get running it out on the treadmill or going for a long bike ride.  Even busting out the DVD’s and sweating the emotions out on you living room carpet can help you deal with those emotions.  I know for me I’m not as likely to binge on food after working out.  No need to screw up the good work you just did with your body.

  • Clean.  Okay maybe this is just me.  But doing something vigorous with my hands like scrubbing the floor or organizing the pantry or disinfecting my bathroom takes my mind off the emotions that make me want to eat.  Besides I get a clean house out of the deal so this one really works for me.

  • Take a bath.  The warm water with lots of bubbles or some great epsom salts relaxes the body.  All the stress in my neck and shoulder relaxes away while I just soak and listen to the music on my iPod.  I stay until I get nice and prune-y which usually leads to the bedroom for an early bedtime and not to the kitchen to emotionally eat.

  • Read a bookGetting lost in a storyline that is not my own often helps me to get over the need to feed the emotions with food.  Sometimes I’m just looking for escape and a great read provides that.  Heck you can even combine the bath and the book and just relax.

  • Get out of the house.  Fact:  Your kitchen is in your house.  Fact: If you leave your house you don’t have quick access to food.  Having to buy food sometimes discourages me from emotionally eating.  Walking around Target is extremely therapeutic.  I just have to leave the debit cards at home so I don’t emotionally shop instead.

  • Sleep.  Okay so this may just be avoiding the emotions by sleeping but sometimes it is the only way I can avoid going to the kitchen.  And usually I wake up in the morning with a calmer, cooler head.  And with the exception of the cookies I almost took to bed last night I don’t eat in bed so if I go to bed I won’t eat.

  • Drink tea.  Feeding my need for sweet with tea and a little agave sometimes feeds the sugar monster that comes when I’m upset.  I’ve sucked down entire pots of tea while avoiding eating.  I tend to float my way to the bathroom after that but I’m full and can’t bear to eat even if I’m still upset.

  • Journal.  Writing down what is bothering me is a great release.  Especially when I don’t want to hurt someone by sharing my feelings with them.  Its kind of like puking on paper.  And it can be extremely cathartic to write all that is bothering you and then have a mini bonfire.  Think burning letters from exboyfriends kind of release when you get it all out and then let go of it.

  • Talk it out.  Like I did with Mish talking to someone about how you are feeling instead of hiding with the food can help you move past them.  Just knowing someone is listening even if they don’t completely understand can help you feel understood instead of alone.

  • Feel the emotions.  Eating just replaces the emotions you are trying not to feel.  By eating you are masking the emotions…trying to hide them so you don’t have to feel bad.  But instead of eating if you actually feel the emotions it’s going to suck but you can get past it.  If you continue to hide the emotions by eating them they just come back.  Sure this is different with happy emotions that you can find other ways to celebrate like going to the movies or going dancing.  But when they are painful emotions I’m a big fan of better life through therapy.  I think everyone can benefit from therapy at some point in their life.  But even if you can’t afford it make a regular habit of talking with someone you can trust about your emotions.  And actually feel them.  Don’t hide them just because they are painful.  The longer you hide them the more painful they will be to unearth.


Okay so this was a kind of heavy post.  But for me it was huge to get past yesterday and thought I should share.

And for some fun here is what I ate for my Breakfast Challenge.

I was starving I almost at the bowl.

Sorry for the recycled photo I was hangry.  I made my microwave apple crisp for breakfast since I slept until 11 today after my rough night.  It was divine and kept me full until dinner.  I never thought to eat my snack for breakfast but it felt decadent for breakfast.  I might have to invest in an orchard if I’m going to be eating this many apples.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/02/2010 5:34 AM


  2. Mom permalink
    06/02/2010 11:50 AM

    Try bake sweet potatoe with spices and a little butter

  3. 06/02/2010 1:29 PM

    (((Cyn))) I hope you have a better day today and a relaxing weekend!

    Getting out of the house is my best solution to emotional eating. I know feeling the emotions is really the best way to move forward, but it is also the hardest! 🙂

    • 06/02/2010 2:44 PM

      Thanks Kara! I’m planning on more time getting out of the house to help me with the emotions I’m struggling with now. I need more interaction with the public that isn’t for work.

  4. 06/02/2010 6:25 PM

    (((hugs))) to you hun! I’m sorry you had a rough day, but I’m glad Mish was there to gchat when you needed someone.

    Cleaning is one of my fallbacks for emotional eating, too.

  5. 07/02/2010 1:56 AM

    I hope you don’t mind me stopping by to comment. I just wanted to say that emotional eating has always been a huge issue with me. I stumbled across a great book titled, “Obesity Free Forever: Losing Weight from the Inside Out” by Georgene Collins, which introduced me to the concept of keeping a weight loss journal, which you also listed. It is amazing how helpful writing down thoughts, feelings, food/water consumed and daily activity really helps. It has been the key to my weight loss goal- thus far.

  6. 08/02/2010 12:23 AM

    Hope you feel better Cynthia. Always remember that, indeed, there are other things that can help you cope with the negative stuff in your life. Friends, endorphin-producing activities, and a hot cup of tea. At least those work for me. Take care!

  7. trumanmeg permalink
    08/02/2010 11:04 AM

    Sorry to hear that things were a bit cruddy for you Cynthia. I’m hoping things are better now.

    Thank you for writing this post. I’m not a huge emotional eater but it is good to have some suggestions on what to do instead when I am faced with it.

    • 08/02/2010 12:00 PM

      Thanks Meg…I find that having alternatives has really curbed my emotional eating. Although I still do it sometimes I don’t do it as often or to as big a degree.

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