Archive for the ‘Emotional Eating’ Category

It’s Not in There

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

it’s not in thereDo you open your fridge every time you pass it?

Do you ever wonder what you’re looking for?

Are you looking for happiness?

For relief?

For a nap?

It’s not in there.

Are you looking for love?

For a friend?

For comfort?

It’s not there.

Are you looking for a better job?

Smaller bills?

A bigger paycheck?

It’s not there.

Are you looking for grateful kids?

For a more attentive husband?

For the answer to what you want to do with your life?

It’s not in there.

Nope.

Nothin’ in there but food.

Only good for hunger.

And some pleasure.

That’s it.

Are You Greedy For More?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Greedy womanSometimes, when I’m eating something really delicious, I have a hard time stopping. I was hungry when I started, and I thoroughly enjoyed what I ate, and now, well, I want to keep going.

Has this ever happened to you?

Sometimes, stopping brings up our issues.

Do we feel like we never have enough?

Enough love, money, food, connections?

Do we want to keep eating to avoid thinking about something?

Or feeling something?

Or doing something?

I’m sure you’ve been there.

But how about when you want to keep eating because it tastes so absolutely yummy?

I’ve been noticing myself doing that lately.

The one piece of chocolate becomes two or three.

The two little gummy bears are so good. I have to go back for more.

Well, here’s the deal.

Sometimes there isn’t necessarily an issue.

Sometimes we are just greedy for more of something good.

Often, we’re so stingy with ourselves, that we rarely give ourselves a treat.

Especially if we’re trying to lose weight.

And when we finally give ourselves a taste of something purely for pleasure, it’s tough to stop. We may feel overwhelmed by the pleasure of it.

So maybe sometimes, when we can’t stop, we’re just being greedy.

I don’t mean that you should use this thought to beat yourself up with. Or to use as evidence that there’s something wrong with you.

There isn’t.

But, even though something is delicious, doesn’t mean we should just roll over and keep eating it.

After all, we’re in charge of ourselves.

And while once in a while going overboard feels great, if we do it regularly, it won’t feel good.

Nor will it give us the results we’re looking for.

So if you’ve been feeling a little greedy lately, and there isn’t a life theme or big emotional issue driving you, here’s what you can do:

Take yourself by the hand, and lead yourself away from the gummies. Do what’s in your best interest. Resist being greedy just to be greedy.

When something tastes fabulous, watch your next thought.

The fact that it tastes great isn’t a command.

It’s just an observation.

This tastes unbelievable! I love it! It’s great!

Period.

The next thought does not have to be: ‘And I must have more’.

Just consider that even after observing how delicious something is, your next thought can be, ‘so what!’

Don’t create a command for yourself.

Enjoy, and step back.

There’s always next time.

You Are Not Deprived

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

deprivedSo many of us fear deprivation.

And one of the areas that we fear this most in is eating.

Although we all want to live in fit and healthy bodies, as soon as we begin to create our new reality, feelings of deprivation creep in.

Uh oh.

I can’t do whatever I want.

This isn’t fair!

I can’t eat whatever I want.

I can’t live like this!

I’m so deprived!

Guess what?

You are not deprived.

When you decide that you want something and go after it, usually it means that you’ll be taking some actions that are different than what you are currently doing.

So, if your goal is a slim, fit body and lifestyle, chances are you’ll be eating and moving differently than you are right now.

But, when you make a decision to do anything…

You are the boss.

You are the creator.

You are choosing what you do, for you, and for the goals you want most.

Deprivation comes when you can’t do or have something you really want.

So, you can do whatever you want.

You can eat whatever you want.

You are in charge.

Always.

When you choose to make changes, you are never deprived.

You are choosing a different reality.

A reality more aligned with what you really want.

So stop telling yourself you’re deprived.

It’s a lie that keeps you stuck where you are.

You are making a choice to take care of yourself in a different way.

Different.

Not deprived.

Why Overeating Leads to More Overeating

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Overeating and OverwhelmedWhat triggers you to eat more than your body wants?

It all starts with a thought.

That thought leads us to a feeling, good or bad, it doesn’t matter.

And that feeling leads us to take action.

When we take action, we get a result.

Overeat often, and the result you’ll get is extra weight.

This is basic Cognitive Behavioral Psychology.

Now picture this scenario: you have eaten past hunger, past comfort.

Physically you feel overstuffed and uncomfortable.

Your emotional feeling might be something like shame, regret, depression, anger, or hopelessness.

All of those feelings come from your thoughts.

So after you overeat, as soon as you start to feel these negative emotions, you feel uneasy.

As these bad feelings begin to arise, resistance also arises. You don’t want to feel shame or depression or hopelessness.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Eat more.

Overeating begets more overeating because of what we say to ourselves.

When we start beating ourselves, our survival instinct kicks in and we want relief.

We want it now.

We want to feel better.

How can we do this?

The easiest way to drown out a bad feeling if overeating is your modus operandi, is to overeat some more. (If you overspend, or overdrink, or over-anything, your M.O. will be to do more of the same.)

And this cycle can go on and on until you are really physically ill.

After we overeat, we commonly think, “Oh well, I blew it, I may as well keep going and enjoy this food and start again tomorrow.”

I think there’s more to “I blew it” than meets the eye.

After you ‘blew it’, do you really enjoy what you are continuing to eat?

Really?

“I blew it” implies you goofed, and now you may as well give up.

I say “I blew it” is a cover for “I can’t stand this discomfort one moment longer. I need food.”

So you eat.

And now you can focus your thoughts and your energy on what you just ate, how you blew your program again, and what’s wrong with you. Mostly what’s wrong with you.

It’s a never ending cycle.

Sounds crappy.

Feels crappy.

Imagine this: next time you overeat, and you’ve completed the first round of food, just sit. Get away from the food, and set a timer for 15 minutes. See what you feel. Notice what you’re thinking. (Here’s a worksheet to help you do this… click here to open.)

But here’s the deal: don’t go to your usual feeling-squasher. Sit with it. Let it pass though you. Here’s where you have the power to stop. To turn things around.

You don’t have to complete this overeating episode in the way you always do. You can break the chains that bind you any time.

What if you completely changed your perspective?

Instead of thinking that you boarding a fast-moving train and can’t get off, think of this:

You overate.

But it’s what you do after that will pack on the pounds of shame. Dr. Stephen Gullo, a diet guru to New York City high society, calls it the ‘slip to sleep syndrome’.

After your first slip, your first bite of something you didn’t have hunger for, your first phase of overeating, if you stop, you can minimize the damage to your psyche. Not to mention your body.

But what most of us do is continue the damage until we go to bed that night, bloated and wounded, adding insult to self-injury.

You’ve never blown it.

What does ‘blown it’ mean, anyway?

Nutrition Matters Podcast with Paige Smathers

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

nutrition mattersPlease join me! I was recently interviewed by Paige Smathers, on her podcast Nutrition Matters.

Cookie and Paige Discuss Nutrition Matters, Emotional Eating, and Binge Eating

Paige Smathers is a registered dietitian who is all for sustainable healthy eating, and not a big believer in diets. I think you’ll enjoy our conversation. Join us when we discuss how nutrition matters.

Click here to listen in.

Why I Feel Sorry For Rob Kardashian

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Rob Kardashian diabetesIn my inbox today was a link to an article from the New York Post entitled: Why Rob Kardashian is a health warning to his generation.

It seems that Rob, at age 28, with about 100 extra pounds on his body, has now been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

And the media is buzzing with the news, blaming his medical condition on his weight.

We aren’t privy to the details of Rob’s health, and although extra weight is known to be a risk factor for diabetes, we don’t know for sure that there’s a connection.

But that’s not what bothers me and creates the sympathy I have for Rob Kardashian.

When we aren’t great managers of our minds, we tend to react to thoughts that flow through us. Some thoughts we just ignore or don’t even notice, and some thoughts we latch onto and blow up.

These thoughts, if painful to us, cause some of us to escape them. And we may escape them in different ways. It might be with food, known as emotional eating. It might be with overspending. Or gambling. Or drugs or alcohol.

Growing up we aren’t taught to manage our minds, and most of you may never have even heard the term. But if we don’t manage our minds, and food is our ‘feel better quick’ drug of choice, we will go to food when we’re upset, or stressed, or even happy. And the result is extra weight.

I’m guessing that with a family as in the spotlight as Rob’s family, there must be a certain amount of pressure to fit the mold of the beautiful, wealthy and famous Kardashians. And if Rob had difficulty fitting this popular cultural mold, I can imagine that food may have become his feel-better drug of choice.

I’m guessing.

And if this is true, then not only has Rob had to deal with the Kardashian effect of living his life in the public eye, but as his weight grew, he also was living his struggle in the public eye.

When you’re a smoker, or a shopper, or a sex addict, in a sense, your struggle is somewhat private. The world can look at you and not know what’s going on inside.

But when you use food to numb out your feelings, and the result is extra weight, the whole world knows. And your struggle becomes part of the public domain.

If you’ve ever struggled with emotional eating or habitual overeating, chances are you are wearing the results of your coping mechanism on your body.

But it’s really a private matter.

You are dealing with it, or not, in your own way. You don’t have to discuss it, refute it, or comment on it. Except maybe to your mother on Thanksgiving.

And that’s how it should be. It’s a private struggle, and if and when you decide to deal with it, that is your choice. But in the meantime, the world shouldn’t be voting and weighing in and discussing your issues in the newspaper and on social media.

So let’s give Rob Kardashian a break. Let’s leave him to deal with his struggle in peace.

And of course, give that same gift to yourself. The world doesn’t get an opinion on your weight.

Binge Eating, Emotional Eating and Compulsive Overeating: What’s the Difference?

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

fridge and eatingMost of my private clients come to me with many complaints about how they’re eating. They assume they are all binge eating, even though most of them aren’t.

Since they all want to learn to lose extra weight and eat like a naturally thin person, what’s the big deal about figuring out what kind of problem they have?

Why can’t they just try to eat less?

Figuring out and really defining your eating problem is the first step to learning to eat naturally and shedding your extra weight.

But, as a subject, it’s a little bit boring. It’s not a fast, sexy subject. I get it.

If you don’t pause and figure out what you’re doing and WHY you’re doing it, then choosing a solution is like buying a lottery ticket.

There’s a small shot it may work, but then again, there’s a really good shot that it may not.

If you eat to avoid an emotion, or eat in response to an emotion, you’re probably an emotional eater. And your solution will be all about learning to manage those emotions.  Like a pro.

If you have recurrent urges to eat large quantities of food, pretty often, regardless of what triggers those urges, chances are you’re a binge eater. Those urges come from your lower brain, just like the survival instinct. Your brain thinks you need to binge in order to survive. Your solution will be all about recognizing that urge for what it is, and deciding rationally not to obey it. You need to learn a little bit about how your brain works, and you’ll be able to master this.

And if you’re on the ‘see food’ diet… bear with me here… if you see food and then eat it, you’ve just conditioned yourself to have some really unhelpful habits with food that you can replace.

All these different eating issues, once they’ve been defined, all respond to changes in the way you think. And thinking about these issues unemotionally is your key to success.

Changing how you eat will change your body. Changing how you eat has to come from changing how you think. And changing how you think comes from correctly identifying and defining your problem. Let’s start there! Do the work!

The 4 Worst Words You Can Say When You’ve Had An Eating Slip

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

 

eating slipWe’ve all been there. We make a commitment. We plan what we’ll do, how we’ll eat, and even exactly what we’ll eat. And then, we slip.

Oh well, it’s not such a big deal, right? We’ve slipped before, in fact, we’ve all had an eating slip before.

But it’s what we do AFTER the slip that has the most impact on our results.

Do we lose weight? Do we gain weight? Or do we beat ourselves up and keep starting over again?

For many of us, it’s choice number three. We slip, and then we say, Oh well! I’ve already blown it. I may as well keep going.

And so we eat ourselves into a fast ride down a slippery slope.

In doing this, we quickly undo any progress we may have made, and send ourselves into the detention hall of dieting, where we sit and contemplate what a failure we are.

And how we’ll never get this right.

So, next time you have an eating slip, and trust me, you will definitely have a slip, here are some other words you might try on for size:

  • Oh well, I wonder why I ate that?
  • Hmmm, what’s going on for me?
  • Interesting! Let me think about how I’d do that next time.

Get it? Thinking any one of these things instead of ‘I’ve already blown it’ can take you down a much better path. A path where you have a good shot at making progress on the way to your goal.

Try one of them and see if you get a much softer feeling.

And that softer feeling, my friend, will let you absorb your slip and keep moving. And that is truly your goal.

Do You Hold It Together All Day, Only To Lose Control At Night?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

nightA good number of my clients are working women. Some have businesses. Some have careers. And some have families.

But all of us have one big thing in common.

We all have a very full plate.

The funny thing is that if you sneaked a peak at most of these women during the day, during their time to be responsible to the people in their universe, you’d see some pretty sharp management skills.

Deadlines get met.

Obligations get fulfilled.

Priorities set.

And goals reached.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is you.

The problem is when everything around you is taken care of, but you are last on your list.

This is the norm for so many of us.

We don’t think we have the right to even think about ourselves until everyone and everything is taken care of.

So, the day goes on.

You work your butt off.

And there’s money on the fact that you may not necessarily get what you need.

So what, you ask.

What’s the big deal?

I’m a responsible adult.

I have duties.

I need to fulfill my promises.

All well and good.

Until the evening.

If you get home at night after a day of being everything to everyone around you, then I’m guessing there’s not that much left for you.

And the quickest way to satisfy a hungry heart is to eat.

Well… actually it isn’t.

But eating is fast, it’s available and it’s what most of us have learned to use to patch up the worn spots of the day.

So if you hold it together all day, and explode with emotional eating at night, there’s a reason for that.

And I’m asking you to gently take a look at it.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s all about figuring out how to get your needs met during the day.

Even with your full plate.

Because if you don’t, there will always be payback time.

At night.

And it’s a hard habit to get out of.

The first step is to see what’s happening.

It’s surely not that you’re not smart enough.

It’s just that you’re caught in a spin cycle.

And you need to stop.

Pause.

Find a way to make your needs move up to the top of the list.

During the day.

And you’ll begin to see that loss of control in the evening just fade away.

I Was A Little Depressed – Why That’s Good!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

depressedIf you follow my blog or newsletter you’ve probably read about my little accident a while ago.

I had slipped on the ice, broke my ankle and had surgery.

I was mostly immobile for 5 weeks, plus another 4 – 6 weeks in a walking cast.

Three months of being in a cast.

At first I felt pretty neutral.

I worked on figuring out the logistics of my situation:

  • Getting food.
  • Finding someone to walk my dog.
  • And learning how to be as independent as possible.

When that had been taken care of, I found myself a little depressed.

The reality of lying around for 3 months was getting to me.

Exercise was a big mood-booster, and for a while, it was mostly off limits.

So, why did I consider my mild depression a good thing?

Because I wasn’t eating my way out of it.

I didn’t escaping into chocolate, potato chips or ice cream.

I actually allowed myself to feel a little sad, and it was okay.

I noticed how I felt, and I just sat with it.

I wasn’t fighting it.

I knew it would pass, and even in the midst of it, when I was engrossed in something, it faded away… and then periodically would come back.

But even though it seemed to be hanging around a bit, I made a decision.

I could do sad.

I could allow it.

I could think about being depressed in a different way: how much worse things could be, how lucky I was to have people around me, and how great that the feeling wasn’t permanent.

But in the meantime, I experienced ‘sad’ and truly saw that I didn’t need to eat to make it go away.

Are you up to the challenge of sitting with your uncomfortable feelings without escaping into food?