Tag Archives: mental-health

Eating the Emotions

It is not a secret, dear reader, that I go to Weight Watchers.  I do not hide that and have talked about it frequently in my blog.  I have not had the most successful year with this whole grand endeavor but, with surgeries and other glorious set backs, I have not gained everything back yet.  I consider that to be a success!

As I work through Weight Watchers and re-learning my relationship with food, I have had to do a lot of thinking and reflecting.  A great deal of that reflection always brings me back to the “why” of my eating.  The reasons that bring me my weekly Thursday night always come back to the fact that I am an emotional eater.

Makes sense to me...

Makes sense to me…

It really doesn’t matter what emotion it is that overwhelms me, I turn to comfort food.  My definition of comfort food would be ice cream, cookies, chocolate, cakes…anything filled with carbohydrates and sugary sweetness.  It’s not something I’m proud of but, it is something that I deal with on a daily basis.  I have to constantly remind myself that it’s ok to feel my emotions, not feed them.  I am not always successful.

Many people do this.  Most people though know when to stop and don’t feed every single emotion they feel.  Sadly, I am not most people.  It’s a tough habit to break and at the same time can be terrifying because I have to face the emotions that I sometimes don’t want to face.  I guess that’s part of being a grown up though.  Facing those feelings and knowing how to handle them is just one thing that needs a little extra work.

This post is part of the May NaBloPoMo.  This month’s theme is Comfort, though today’s post was a little uncomfortable, but that’s ok.  I did not reach for cookies to write this…  Today’s prompt was “What makes you reach for a comfort food?”

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Filed under My Relationship with Food, NaBloPoMo, Weight Loss

Three Words

There are three words that are not said enough.  Even if you say them regularly, it’s not enough.

As I work on getting back on track with myself and my weight loss journey, I realize that there are so many other motivations here than just me feeling pretty for once in my life.  Being overweight has so many bad side effects.  Aside from the aesthetics and questionable styled clothing for us fat women, there are increased risks on almost every medical front.

overweight_problems

High Blood Pressure. Arthritis.  Gall Bladder Disease.  Cancer.  Heart Disease. Stroke. Type 2 Diabetes.  Sleep Apnea.

All of those things linger in the wings, waiting.  Some have already happened to me and now is the time to make sure none of the more serious ones happen.

There was a point where I would sometimes wonder about the next morning.  I’m too young to wonder those kinds of things but that’s how badly I felt I neglected myself.  Would the people I love know I felt that way if that next morning didn’t come?  Would they have heard me say it enough?

Right after my Nana and then my Aunt passed away, I kept thinking about how I didn’t say those words to them enough.  They just weren’t the type to say it that much.  You knew they loved you but it wasn’t something that was just openly said on a regular basis.  I couldn’t help but feel guilty, especially after my aunt died, that I didn’t tell them enough that I loved them.  I felt guilty that I didn’t call her more often to just catch up.

say i love you

With the Daughter, I tell her all the time.  I mean all the time. When she wakes up, when she gets her breakfast, when I drop her off at school, when I get home from work, all the time.  The husband ends every form of communication with those three words.  I tell my Mom.  I even say it to my brothers sometimes, but I think they think it’s a little weird.

The point is this.  Say those three words and mean them.  We never know when our time is up.  We never know when we’ll get another chance to say them so say them whenever you can.  Mean every one of those three words.  Feel the words.  Know their truth and make sure that those who love you know it too.

When was the last time you said those three words?

This post is part of the February 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme for February is “Love and Sex.”  Today’s prompt was “When was the last time you said, ‘I love you.’?”  Just remember they are powerful words so do not use them lightly.

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Filed under Emotional Health, Family, NaBloPoMo

Do you Laugh or Do you Cry?

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

I never knew exhaustion until I had a child.  I know that’s pretty common for parents to say, but it really is true.  I mean, yes, I had pulled all-nighters studying for exams or writing papers.  I had pulled overnight shifts.  I had driven 24 hours straight from Massachusetts to Florida.  I had partied all night and gone to work the next day.  I had done many things to cause self-inflicted exhaustion but it wasn’t anything close to those first few weeks of having a newborn.

I will spare you all the stories of how life-changing it is, because I do appreciate that tales of parenthood are not for everyone.  However, I have to say, I thought I knew exhaustion.  How wrong I was.

Salbjorg Rita Jonsdottir, Dalla, 2007

There was one night in particular that I remember.  The Daughter just wouldn’t go back to sleep after a middle of the night feeding.  It had been the third night of little to no sleep.  My husband had gone back to work which meant he did need his sleep so he could make the 4 am commute to Boston so I was taking nights and when he came home at 2, I was getting some rest then.  It didn’t seem to be enough though because this particular night, I was in rough shape.

The lack of sleep, the nerves of having this new life to care for, the thoughts of whether or not I was doing it right, on top of my aunt’s cancer battle and me trying to not get my head in a negative space on any front, was wearing on me.  I was exhausted.  It was true exhaustion.  I couldn’t think straight.  I couldn’t make sense of anything.  I cried.  I just cried while I held the Daughter.  I didn’t know what else to do.  It was a release.  Each tear, helped me get one step closer to the other side of that mountain.

After the Daughter went to sleep, I put her down and went to sleep myself.  The next morning, I promptly put out a request for some babysitting, either from the Husband or my Mom.  I recognized the slippery slope of exhaustion and knew that I was going to burn out if I didn’t take care of it soon.

Luckily, I had a great support system. They didn’t even need to ask.  In fact, they all said they were waiting for me to hit the wall and were there to help me.  I was lucky.  If I hadn’t been able to have that support, I’m not sure how it would have turned out.  The exhaustion would have probably kept piling on top of itself and a disaster would have occurred, no doubt.

Do you remember when you felt true exhaustion?  How did you cope with it?

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Filed under Family, NaBloPoMo

Letting Go of Control

Even though the weight didn’t go on overnight, it sure feels like it sometimes.  The emotions got to me this past two weeks.  I have been stressing over things that are completely out of my control.  I like control.  It’s unnerving to me to be out of control.  I think that a lot of people have trouble not being in control but the difference is how we all deal with it.  Because I tend to internalize a lot, this often results in me being a not so pleasant person to be around when I’m stressed.  I eat which makes me upset with myself and adds to that sense of spinning out of control.

Now you may be asking yourself, kind reader, if I can recognize this behavior, why not simply change it?  Good question.  A lot has to do with the fact that I learned to be an emotional eater at a very early age.  It was the only thing I could control – what I put in my mouth.  And since emotions were not something we were encouraged to talk about (I should note that it was only by one of my parents who unfortunately had too big of an impact on all of our lives), I learned to control my emotions by feeding them.  It took me years to realize this and accept it.  But if I have accepted it and recognize it, why do I fall back into that pattern so easily?

Because I am human and prone to mistakes.

That’s the only answer I can come up with.  I get scared and even if I have been doing well, that fear is almost paralyzing so I go back to old habits.

Today is weigh in.  Last week was a terrible gain.  Today is most likely going to be another gain.   I am bracing for it.  It’s a mental blow every week there is a gain.  I know I deserve it but it still just hits that spot in my heart where I have let myself down.  The fact that I’m even going to go to weigh in tonight is a victory.  In the past, I would have blown it off and just written it off as a bad week.  I can’t afford to do that any more.  It’s part of breaking the habits.  It’s part of changing life.  It’s part of being in control of the right things.  Gaining control of the things I can control.

There is a saying in many of the 12-step programs:

Let Go and Let God

For years, I heard this saying from people and kind of just would shake my head in a “yeah, yeah, sure” kind of attitude.  This past year, however, I have really come to a full understanding of this.  There are things that are completely out of our control.  There are things that we cannot change simply because they are things we cannot change.  But, there are some things that we can change.  There are some things that we can improve on.  All the rest, we have to let it go.  We have to have the courage to say that it is not something we can control.  It is not something that we have the power to change.

All the fears, the doubts, the worries…they are not something you can control.  All you can do is trust in whatever you believe in and know that “it will all be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.”

Call it a realization of Faith.  Call it common sense.  Call it an awakening.  Call it whatever you are comfortable with.  When you get there though, to that point in life where you fully and truly embrace this thought, you will feel a sense of peace that is so precious it will be your beacon  for those days when you need to hit that mental reset button.  I know that the struggles have been partially built up by my own mind but it’s my own mind that I need to quiet.  By letting it all go and realizing that the fears are not in my power to control but what I put into my mouth is; what I do for exercise is; how I treat others is all within my control, I can be a little less upset with myself and this gain and move forward.

 

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Filed under Emotional Health, Exercise, Food, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Weight Loss