Tag Archives: head hunger

Am I an emotional eater?

28 Sep

I saw a great post on emotional eating today shared by a twitter friend and really felt like I identified with it, but then I started thinking about it.  I clearly have a problem with food, but I was not able to identify any emotions that I felt like I was stuffing.  Is that denial?  I mainly use food as an anecdote to boredom, as entertainment and as a reward.  I know these are bad things indeed, but  its not like I can dig to identify a stressor and see that I ate in response to that stressor.  I am having difficulty trying to sort out if any feelings beyond boredom and entertainment are involved.  I break my behaviors around eating into habits/rituals and boredom relief.

A request of my my non morbidly obese friends who may read this, please don’t hate me. I put all of this out there with great trepidation.

First -habits.

For a long long time, I had a terrible ingrained habit of stopping through the McDonalds drive through every morning for a sausage mcgriddle or egg mcmuffin and hash browns and a large diet coke.  since I’ve changed where I work, the mcdonalds is no longer on my way, and because I’m ultimately a huge lazy ass, my morning visits have been minimal.  While my kids were out of school for the summer, we did go into mcds on days I worked from home, but now that they are back in school, my visits to McD’s this month might have been 1-2, when up through May, I typically ate breakfast and lunch at McDs (I know, horrible…).  In summer, I went twice a week, sometimes still breakfast and lunch, but still dramatically less.  I think it was toward the end of the summer when the cashier innocently mentioned about me being one of her “regulars.”  She of course meant that in a nice way, but it hit me in the stomach.  Yuck, I don’t want to be known as a regular at McDonalds.   Now in the last month, only 1-2 times total.  I have a cafeteria where I work now, so its a lot easier for me to either get two hardboiled eggs and maybe some ham or bacon and be good.

2nd habit — Dinner out.  I get done with work, and have run out of steam.  Dinner out is a soothing ritual where I get to sit down and have someone else take care of me and wait on me.  That is a huge part of the appeal.  I don’t have to clean up, I don’t have to come up with ideas for what to eat.  This is still an active habit.  In the last month, I’ve changed where and what I am eating, but I am still eating out.  I have had a couple of really shitty eating out experiences since I’ve changed what I’m trying to eat.  I’ve learned that at some places, it is incredibly difficult to find low carb choices.  I also have found out that some of the places I considered my nemesis (buffets) are actually easier for me right now when doing low carb.  They offer a wide variety of choices, still a lot of shit, but at one local place, I can get a steak made to order, have roasted chicken, have fish, have seafood with no sauce.  A huge salad bar.  As long as I can keep myself from eating the bad shit, I walk away a lot happier.   Places that SUCK to me are breakfast restaurants, particularly when everyone else in your family is enjoying a nice stack o’ flapjacks. 

Bedtime binges

I would say that at bedtime is the time I am most susceptible to a binge. The kids are all in bed, honey and I have some alone time….and you think this is going to get dirty?  Not the way you think.   I don’t binge like I used to when younger, but this bedtime dangerous hour is when I do if I am going to do it.  Pre all this, it would not be unusual for me or hubby to go out and get an assortment of snacks, fun size candy bars, pringles, nuts, chips, etc.  We ‘d stack them between us and graze on this stuff while watching tv, downing a couple of diet cokes with it.  DH is of normal size and quite active, and he really would eat less than I do during those sessions. In the lats month, those sessions have dwindled, and if there is one, they are comprised of different things — turkey jerky and almonds have been popular, or a couple of nights ago I made kind of an trailer trash antipasti plate with salami, cheese, pickles and pepperoncinis.  Portions are a lot more limited.

2nd category — rewards and boredom

One example of reward eating I can think of, i guess maybe does relate to stress. maybe, but I still link it more to boredom.  When I am travelling, which is a lot more frequently now, on the plane or at the layover airport, it has been a common practice for me to eat my way through the flight to keep myself entertained.  I buy the snack box on the plane, (the cheese/fruit/cracker plate being my favorite)  Then at the airport, I find the food court and get a meal to help pass the time. 

Another example might be the afternoon vending machine run.  This often would result in a candy bar purchase (or sometimes even two).  Lately, I’ve cut down my runs to 1-2 a week, and when I go, I will get jerky or nuts. 

So is eating for boredom, entertainment/relief of duty, and reward emotional eating?

I will report for the last month, I have generally stayed within my weight watchers points, so things are doing a lot better.


QOTW=Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Weight Issues; Study on Sleeve shows it comparable to RNY

26 Sep

Well, first off, my research and topic exploration of the week for me is the use and role of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist in changing behavior around eating and exercise to help in achieving a normal weight.  I’m very familiar with the concepts of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, due to some of my past projects at a past employer.  I have the intellectual concepts down pretty cold.  However, I have a hard time putting it into practice.  I’ll be looking at this week how therapists might be working with wls patients using cognitive behavioral therapy to learn new ways to respond to the typical negative tapes and stressors that come up in our lives, and seeing if there are any cool tools for CBT for weight loss out there.  To the crickets out there reading this, if you have great suggestions for resources, I’m all ears and will include your suggestions in my summary post at the end of the week.

For now, if you want to play along at home….*

Think of a typical situation that might make you feel bad about your weight loss efforts.  Take a moment to write out that situation right now. What happened to make you feel badly? What was your reaction?  What did you do?  How did it affect your weight loss progress?

Now, ask yourself whether your thoughts about the situation were completely true and accurate.  how else might you think about/frame what happened?

Finally, rescript the situation.  What could you have told yourself that would have been more supportive and accurate, when the bad situation occurred?  Try it now, how does this new response make you feel about your weight loss progress?

Ok, now a quick poll regarding head hunger and how you approach it.

Okay, topic #2.  I am very interested in this study that WLSHelp has on their site about a 3 year study comparing vertical sleeve gastrectomy with roux-n-y bypass.  I have been flopping back and forth on which procedure to choose, and have been lacking the evidence-based data my mind desires to spell out some of the outcomes.  What is still missing is long term outcomes.  As in, does something creepy happen 10 years out to sleeve patients that no one expected? How long have sleeves been done in other countries, and what are the outcomes there?  This is the knowledge my brain seeks.  Ultimately, I think I would like the sleeve first, in the hopes that I can reprogram myself in portion size and feelings about eating effectively, but still occasionally be able to have a tiny portion of something without worrying about dumping.  I know many feel dumping is overrated, but I think about the little things, being able to have a little tiny piece of cake at a birthday party.  I know its a slippery slope though, so that is where I wrestle.  Do i need the RNY to keep me honest?  Surgeon said I could always revise to RNY later, but I’d just as soon only have to do this once.  And I would like my life after the initial weight loss to have the opportunity to be normal relative to other normal people.  I also think the appeal of losing all the grehlin production is awesome to me. if it would long term eliminate hunger signals, how awesome is that?

* I am not a doctor nor do I play one on twitter.  Check with your therapist for the best interpretation of CBT.

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