Overcoming Emotional Eating
Earlier this week one of my Facebook and blogging friend Rebecca with her blog Orthodox Sunflower touched me with her honest update on her long fight to regain a normal weight. “All” the diets have been tried and only leaving the disappointing result of soon gaining it all back again. Rebecca knows that it has to do with emotional issues and at the start of her update she recalls following from her childhood:
Growing up, I was actually thin. No problem whatsoever with my weight. At age 16 I went to study in the UK for 2 years. That’s when the weight slowly started to creep up on me. I wasn’t fat but I was chubby (size 42). I don’t know why but my mother kept on criticizing me for my weight. Even before that, I remember my father jokingly calling me the garbage can of the family as I always used to finish everyone’s leftovers.
On top of that two different hormonal diseases and a loss of a newborn are also hindering the result. Hypothyroidism and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.)
Trying to help others can be a very sensitive thing to do, but I assure you that my motives are only good. I had severe eating disorders from my teenage years and ten years on due to low self-esteem and insecurity in my identity and understanding of integrity.
My attempt to guide in this:
I would like to back up on getting help on the emotional issues as how we regard ourselves determines how we treat ourselves. As a Christian believer, I believe that we are wonderfully made as is explained in the old Psalm 139:15 from The Old Testament
My frame was not hidden from you when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors in the depths of the earth
The words in the bible are a great help to learn to love yourself and a pattern to go for. Write them down and surround yourself with them and speak them aloud to yourself. One day the truths will out speak the thoughtless words from parents and others as described above. I believe that believing the hurting words makes you treat yourself badly or even sometimes self-destructive.
I think it’s true that diets don’t help in the long run, but I find it important to choose certain elements that you would like to carry out in your lifestyle. Then it’s your choice and not just something from a magazine or a book.
What I find is precious is to regard food as something good and healthy. Real food, not industrialized food or fast food. Your body needs the real stuff like fruit, berries, vegetables, nuts, meat, fish and eggs, dried beans, lentils and a variety of whole grains. I also prefer non-homogenized milk products just to keep it as natural as possible. I believe many diseases come from malnutrition. Not lack of food but too much of the wrong kind. My blogging friend “Thejuicenut” with her blog pearsnotparsnipsdotcom has many inspiring ideas for healthy homemade juices for different purposes.
Pictures from Pixabay public domain
To help to keep on track I believe that planning the meals and shopping is important. Find a time once or twice a week to plan the meals and write down the needed ingredients. If you wait until you are hungry to get the things wrong choices easily come along.
To create new habits is difficult only in the beginning, much of how we eat is based on habit and if you realize that you hurt yourself eating industrialized products I think it becomes easier to let it go. Why treat yourself so badly? Our choices have a great influence on our children. They will want what we have and they regard it as normal when they see us eat something on a daily basis.
I have not experienced that exercise makes you thin even after attending many classes and running regularly. But regular exercise makes me feel and look more fit and happy. It lifts away depressive thoughts and helps me to have a more natural appetite. I feel the difference between hungry and not hungry better and helps me to get inspiration for writing and other tasks to be done.
A list to help clear the clouded horizon
- How do I regard myself?
- What could be done to improve my self-image?
- Identify the “Self-Sabotaging” thoughts
- Is this product doing any good for my health?
- How do I want to influence my children?
- Do I need to take an extra portion or an extra piece of bread?
- What kind of exercise do I like manage to do regularly?
- Are there some bad habits at work that keep holding me down, like afternoon cake or bread in the mornings with the coffee breaks?
- Could I sacrifice some bad habits like drinking sweet drinks or alcohol?
When I try to change habits I write down the tasks on a big piece of paper on a visible place. One day they will be implemented in the daily routines.
I hope that Rebecca and others will find some help in what I have put together here. I just want to tell you that you are precious and need to be treated well too.
You readers are very welcome to bring your thoughts in the comments beneath this post or write another post on this theme and Pingback to me.
As many other people I too like cakes and desserts. I allow myself to get some of this on the weekends. I use good ingredients in homemade treats using fruit, dried or fresh and whipped cream or homemade custard only using good quality raw products.
Regarding alcohol – I decided many years ago never to touch alcohol.