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overeating / emotional eating

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  • overeating / emotional eating

    Hello, I'm new here and I just wanted to share this with you ladies and see what kind of feedback I can get, since I don't have many women in my life, and I don't like to talk about it with the guys in my life.

    I'm 5 foot 6, and about 5 years ago, just after I turned 20, I moved back into my family's home and gained about 30 pounds (from 140 to 170) in a few months, since living at home again meant easy access to all kinds of junk food I never bought when living on my own. I realized my clothes weren't fitting anymore, so I cut out the excessive junk food, ate healthy. and started working out. Within 5 months I had lost 40 pounds, bringing myself down to an awesome 130 pounds. I felt great and loved working out, eating healthier than ever. I had so much will power!

    Once I was back on my feet and living on my own again, I continued to succeed in maintaining that weight, but after a year and a half I started to feel like where I was wasn't good enough. Looking back at pictures of me then, I definitely had a distorted self image because I still felt chubby, but I looked great. I started exercising more than ever, but instead of eating balanced healthy meals, I was not eating. I am a musician, and days before a gig I would eat nothing, only drink cup after cup of green tea until I would feel sick and throw up. I started throwing up food purposely as well. I lost another 10 pounds but still felt unhappy, I was very depressed in that period of time. I knew it was unhealthy, and I never thought I would ever be doing that myself.

    A little while after, I discovered that I had some neck troubles, including degenerating cervical discs. The importance of a HEALTHY diet once again took over my thoughts. I began to eat healthy and normally again and began a greater interest in strength training to build bone density. My weight went back up to 135, and that was within my comfort zone.

    But now, the past year and a half or so, when it comes to eating I feel out of control. I no longer have the will power that I had to eat small portions and say no to junk. I'm a bottomless pit and will often eat more in one sitting than my overweight male friends. I feel it is emotional eating - but it doesn't matter what emotion it is - If I'm sad, I NEED to eat. If I'm happy, I DESERVE to eat. Eating is just such a pleasure for me I feel like an addict. I still love being active and working out, but the amount of food I eat has made me gain some weight back, and even though it's not a lot, I still can't get back down to being 135 pounds again. I beat myself up about it a lot. Why do I no longer possess the willpower to stick to a reasonable weight goal? Why am I now suddenly overeating?

    Sorry for such a long post, but it's nice to just be able to get that out there.
    Last edited by canuckgirl; 05-26-2011, 02:11 AM.

  • Hey honey it's called comfort food, something that makes you feel good about yourself.

    Is this a gene running in your family? Given you went back home and ate all junk food, that needs more mental work, but you know what, you can be addicted to one thing and change that addiction for something better for you...

    What has changed? You moved out is it the financial stress?

    Look at your current life, relationships, hobbies, studies, work, if it's too much for you, you need to find a way to lesson it all. And focus again..



    • I agree with CW but would add that emotional eating isn't just about stresses in our daily life but how we feel about ourselves too. Do you like yourself? Have you a healthy positive self esteem? When this is low or negative eating becomes a way of cheering ourselves up. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol others food. Try working on feeling better about yourself (you may need help doing this) as well as considering the stressors in your life. And good luck.


      • Thank you both for the feedback!

        The funny thing is, since I've started on this period of out of control eating for the past year and a half, my life has been going pretty well. Last year I moved back out to the west coast, where I love to be, I am in a great long term relationship, I am excited to return to school this fall, and I am getting recognition for my musical talents. I am definitely no longer stuck in the depressive rut I was a few years ago. I thought having more good things going on in my life would keep me busy and keep my mind off food, but I think about it constantly! Eating is what I look forward to the most every day. When I am finished eating I feel upset because the experience is over... I wish I could eat for hours on end!

        I do suffer from anxiety, which could be a big contributing factor to the overeating. Even though things ARE going good, I still tend to worry a lot over trivial things, probably even more so nowadays. I have thought about talking to a doctor about my anxiety issues, but I don't know what could be done other than having me take some sort of pharmaceutical drug, and I'm not too into that idea. Perhaps counseling?


        • Does any of this relate?

          Taken from Wikipedia - compulsive over-eaters.

          Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry. Their obsession is demonstrated in that they spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone. Compulsive overeating usually leads to weight gain and obesity, but not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater. While compulsive overeaters tend to be overweight or obese, persons of normal or average weight can also be affected.

          In addition to binge eating, compulsive overeaters can also engage in grazing behavior, during which they return to pick at food throughout the day. These things result in a large overall number of calories consumed even if the quantities eaten at any one time may be small.


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