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Monday, September 13, 2010

Me and my weight: Emotional eating.

I have never had a healthy relationship with food or exercise; I was overweight as a kid and starved myself thin as an early teen. Late teens/early adulthood was ok but that was probably because I was a poor uni student and had no money to buy food anyway!! :-) I was always coming up with reasons why I couldn't do PE at school and at home on a really hot day when the family was in the pool I was in my room reading!!

My weight became a real problem when I was pregnant with my 2nd boy. I had about 4 years where there was family crises after family crises and I developed the bad habit of emotional eating. I had 2 kids 10 months apart, (one who we found out later he has autism, the other had to go on prescription formula because he was allergic to everything), my parents got divorced, my brother had 2 serious road accidents in 2 years (the first he was in rehab for 3 months, the second for 13months - he is now in a wheelchair with an ABI), my mum had a few mental health issues and half a dozen kids at my work passed away within a 6 month period (kids with disabilities). Needless to say, I ended up with my own mental health issues and ended up quite depressed myself!! I put on between 35- 40kg over those 4 years through lack of exercise and emotional eating!! My friends were great though, they would tell me "Who needs "Home and Away" when I can call you.." !!

These were a couple of the photo's which really hit me in the face. I was gigantic!! I had tried to lose weight a few times over the 4 years but every time I would start doing something about it - something else would go wrong!! I was almost afraid to start doing something about it again this year in case I set something off and it caused another drama.. :-) (Which I KNOW is stupid!!)

Anyhow, I am still working on the emotional eating side of things BUT I have learnt the power of EXERCISE as a mood improver / stress relief and it really does work!! Just need to figure out what I can do when exercise is not an option right there and then!!

A few helpful resources: (which I hope to keep updating as I find them - feel free to leave your own as comments or email me with them).

Whether foods are truly addictive or not, there is no denying that food can affect the way we feel.

Stress is one of the most common reasons that women in particular overeat. Stress is alleviated by eating certain foods and many women get in the habit of reducing tension by enjoying these foods rather than dealing with the source of their tension.

The worst part about emotional eating is it actually causes your problems to multiply. Eventually, instead of avoiding the issues you're stuffing down with food, you've created another one altogether -- weight gain, guilt about eating, worsening health ... and then it starts all over again.

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