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Guest Post--Emotional Eating

Please enjoy this guest post from Al of I think a lot of us can relate.

Looking in the Mirror

So there I was last night sitting on the couch watching biggest loser. On this weeks episode the final four contestants were returning from a 30 day home visit.  They showed footage of how each of the contestants handled being at home but one story hit home with me. Daris from Oklahoma was struggling with finding ways to deal with his stress. He found himself raiding the kitchen in the middle of the night eating away his emotions. Watching that I instantly felt like I was looking in a mirror.  I have spent many nights wandering through the kitchen and digging through the pantry in search of food to ease my emotions. It’s something that I deal with everyday, and yes most days I am in control but every now and then it will get the best of me. I haven’t always been in control of it though, it took me eating my way into a 480 lb body for me to realize it was time to take control of my life and health and redesign my lifestyle.

I really want people to know that emotional eating is REAL. I know it’s hard to understand unless you have been through it, but it does exist. I have a very supportive family, but they haven’t always been like that. A lot of my family members would shun the idea that the reason I was overweight was because I ate my emotions. They just figured I was lazy and didn’t know when to stop. It was really frustrating at times when I would try to justify why I ate, just that phrase “justify why I ate” really bothers me.  I finally stopped justifying and started modifying my habits.

So I have made great progress, I have lost almost 80lbs since September 2009. I still have a lot of weight to lose but I am up for the challenge. But with this small victory sometimes my family forgets that I still battle with my urges to eat every day, they seem to think that since I lost some weight that the urges magically disappeared. About a month ago I had a serious conversation with my mother. More than anyone I wanted her to understand what goes on in my head. So we sat down and she asked me what’s going on? I told her I wanted to talk to her about my emotional eating and before the words even left my tongue tears were streaming down my face. I mean that’s how painful and sensitive this subject is for me. I asked her to not speak and just listen to me until I was done.
I told her,
  “I want you to understand that my emotional eating is an extremely serious problem. I know that I have lost some weight but the urges are still there. This is a problem I will deal with for the rest of my life, I am not going to lose 250 pounds and magically have my urges just disappear. It’s something I will have to control for the rest of my life and I have accepted that, and sometimes I don’t feel like you guys take it seriously. I sometimes feel like you guys think I am selfish. If I don’t put myself first who will? Nobody will.  When I decline offers to eat out with the family or skip family time to hit the gym for a workout you guys sometimes give me a hard time about it. I have to be somewhat selfish in this battle; nobody is going to do the work except for me. I want you to know that I can win this fight but I will not let anyone or anything get in my way and I don’t want anyone to take it personally.”

My mother completely agreed with me, and I want everyone to know that my mother is my biggest supporter. The things I said weren’t necessarily directed at her, I just wanted to make sure she knew how I felt and what was going on in my head. My mother did ask me one question, “if you knew why you were eating then why did it take you so long to take control of it?”  I told her it’s one of the easiest things in this world to be honest with someone else, but it’s one of the hardest things in this world to be honest with yourself, and it took me a very long time to realize that. I sincerely believe that the first step of taking control of this problem is being honest with yourself. You are going to have good and bad days, but the most important thing is not letting a bad day turn into a bad week, month, or years. I often say, “failure is not the act of giving up, it the act of not bouncing back”. 

My heart goes out to anybody who is dealing with this problem. If you need someone to talk to, need advice, or even have questions, please feel free to contact me. I also invite you all to check out my blog and follow me on twitter.
Twitter: sweating_it_off