March 6th, 2010 | Ann

I’m not as far in my weight-loss journey as I had hoped. Something happened lastnight, and I am embarrassed, mortified, overall humiliated about it. But, it’s part of my weight-loss journey and it’s important to talk about my struggles, as well as my successes. If you’re here to pass judgement or make fun, go ahead and leave. At this point, I just need support and understanding. Here’s what happened….

As ya’ll know, I made a huge life change this week. Probably one of the biggest, aside from moving cross the country. I changed jobs, and I never stopped “moving”. I packed up the boxes with all my equipment, and afterwards, went to Fed-Ex, then T.E.A.M. Weight Loss (TWL). The next day – work, and then TWL; Yesterday, it was work, then yoga. I haven’t let myself stop and process what was happening. Even lastnight, I wanted to clean the house, do the laundry, do the dishes, and keep myself “distracted”.

Lastnight, I went out to buy some Strongbow (do you know what that is? It’s an alcoholic-cider drink, like beer but better!) and I was thinking about how cashews would go well with the sweet drink. Then I wanted cookies. Lots of big soft-baked cookies. Before I knew it, I was in Walgreens, buying Diet Coke (which is a huge trigger for me, and I’ve given it up and only had maybe 1/week since November), a big tub of Cashews and a bag of Soft-Baked Cookies. I drove around, eating. I don’t even know what’s wrong with me – it’s like I was in a TRANCE, and I couldn’t control my actions. All that mattered was getting that food in my body! It was a totally scary thing. The worst part, is that I had gone to Yoga a few hours ago. I had “let go” of my stress and thought I was relaxed and “at peace”.

I didn’t eat all the food, and I drove myself home. Jay was doing the dishes, and I came, and just cried. I sat on the couch and cried and cried… and cried some more. Bless his heart for listening to me and being supportive. I guess I just had to “cry” it out. Because for my entire life, I’ve been eating (using) food to deal with emotions. I don’t want to feel sad about leaving my old job, I don’t want to feel upset about saying good-bye to my best friends and my family. I LOVE those people!! They know me more than anybody (aside from Jay and my family), they have seen me through all the highs and all the lows of the last 3 years. And it breaks my heart to say “goodbye” to my co-workers/friends.

A lot of people don’t know this, but I had a boyfriend who died. It was back during sophomore year of college, and he was in the Marines, he died in Iraq. I cried for DAYS, WEEKS, even. I failed Accounting. And I ate tub, after tub of ice cream. Not Benn & Jerry’s small tub – I mean BIG tub. And that’s where the “eating to not feel feelings” developed into a coping-mechanism. When I’m feeling ANYTHING, and I eat, and the feelings fade away. The texture of the food in my mouth distracts me; the feeling of “full” in my tummy reminds me of happy times (birthdays, holidays, celebrations), and the spike in my blood-sugar gives me instant “satisfied”, “happy”, and “calm” feelings. I can’t even describe how “using” food helps eliminate any feelings I have and helps take me to a place of contentment and peace.

To recap, I took a big step in understanding my emotional eating, and what it’ll take for me to LET myself feel the feelings, naturally, instead of turning to food to “dull” the emotions. My calorie set-back was only about 600 calories. And I slept for 11 hours lastnight. I’m still not “okay” this morning, but I’m better. I’m scared to move forward and face my emotions. I’m worried about being a big cry-baby. But if I don’t re-train myself how to face my emotions instead of using food to numb them, I’m going to end up 500 pounds and unable to live my life.

7 Responses to “”

  1. nic says:

    Honestly, we all do that. Many of us who "are further along" in our weight loss journey still struggle with that. I know I do.

    The key is picking yourself back up immediately. Your next meal is planned, healthy and you move forward from there.

    It takes a VERY long time to move away from these habits.

  2. Ali @ Fat to Fit says:

    It's so huge that you felt that way and recognized it! One foot in front of the other some days is all you can do :)

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I've added you to my google reader, I look forward to following your progress, Ann!

  3. Dani says:

    I have been using food to "not feel feelings" pretty much all my life. I hope one day I can be free of it…but honestly? I don't think I will EVER be 100% free from it. Because like you, I don't even realize what I'm doing sometimes because I'm in such a "trance" and I just need my "fix." By then it's too late.

    Sorry no advice, but you're not alone in trying to fight this!

  4. andreaberg says:

    Ann – we all do that. I think what was so great is that you were able to to not let it become a bigger slide than just an evening with bad snacks. Know that those kinds of things happen and it is what we do after it. Don't give up – you aren't alone!

  5. B says:

    No matter how far I get in my WLJ, I still fall back to food for comfort occasionally. I usually get half way through a bag of chips and think, wait – what am I DOING?

    The first step to dealing with it is to see it for what it is. You've done that. Then, you have to learn to accept that it WILL happen – and it will continue to happen. Once you get through accepting, you can learn to get through it. You can learn to minimize how far you slide in to the downward spiral that is The Binge.

    I used to have a bad day on a Monday or a Tuesday and convince myself that I'd ruined my whole week and that I would "start back up on Monday". Now, I realize that I can start over with the next time I eat. I don't have to wait. It really takes the pressure off of the emotional eating.

    Anybody who has had a weight issue and said that they haven't struggled with this at some point over the course of their life is probably not being entirely truthful. You are not alone. You are doing great. You just need to recognize that you're going through a hard time right now and not be hard on yourself. Maybe try spoiling yourself some other way to help take the edge off of all the changes – a pedicure or a massage, some new comfy pajamas, and a girlie movie to help you get some emotions out in a more constructive way.


  6. Missy says:

    Acknowledging this is a HUGE step to working through it. Realizing that food has this effect on you will help you over come it.

    One night of binging won't set you back either. You're right back on track today – you can do this. You can overcome the hold food has on your life.

    Good luck girly.

  7. Sarah Howard says:

    You're a brave person to admit this. I can say I've definitely had moments like this even when I have absolutely nothing to be sad or upset about. Sometimes it's almost like a hurricane hits and you just need something, anything, to eat! I've been maintaining my weight loss for about 6 months and I still get into moments when I just think "Screw this, I'm going to eat." And it does happen. But recognizing that you did it and—more importantly—that you can move on from it is a huuuuge step.