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My mind is a whirlwind

What the title says, basically.

I am upset this morning, for no good reason. I accept that. I know it is ok that I am upset and I’m trying to let myself just feel it and be ok with it.

I’ve noticed that I want to emotionally eat again. I was definitely an emotional eater in my teen years and it led me to being obese and I hated how I looked. I fixed my diet, I forced myself to stop emotionally eating, I exercised and I got my weight under control.

I’ve always had a shaky relationship with food. Either I ate too much or I ate too little. I was overweight or too thin. I am a person of extremes, I always have been and probably always will be.

It doesn’t matter what I’m upset about because, to be honest, I don’t think its that big of a deal rationally, but I’m also walking this line where I feel this way rationally while also allowing myself to feel upset anyway and also now wrestle with these feelings of emotional eating again. It bothers me because I am a little overweight again after Covid shut down all the gyms and I went from an active job to a desk job.

I feel like I’m rambling now.

I guess I’m just hoping to see some encouragement to keep me from giving in to the emotional eating. I know others here have a complicated relationship with food also, so I figured I would reach out… and also wanted to get my conflicting feelings out about being upset but paradoxically not thinking that its that big of a deal, rationally.

Thanks for reading.

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Hemlo!

It sounds like while you’re in a ‘ok’ with being upset, the fact that you’re upset has got you thinking about some other things which are causing you to be stressed, and this has got you into the vicious ‘what if’ circle.

I remember having some years in my life where I ate compulsively, since it somehow kept me distracted from everything that was going on, while at the same time I got to enjoy its taste. Have you tried getting distracted with something else to get out of that endless thoughts loop? In my case going out for a walk or talking out loud to myself (yes, I’m serious) tends to help.

You’ve managed to control it before; there’s no doubt that you can handle this situation!

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Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I definitely think too much, thats for sure. I am trying to distract myself but I don’t think I’m doing a very good job.

To tell you the truth, I think I have to agree with Perry on this one, I think trying to distract yourself is a good way to make yourself distracted from emotional eating, but also I have another idea, which is try to have a diet that can simply allows you to eat a lot without gaining weight, i.e a diet that allows you to be full, thus making you not want to eat, and you can achieve that via having a diet that focuses on eating calorie dense foods, food that can fill you up, yet has way fewer calories, for example, take ice cream for example, there are is conventional ice cream, the type filled to the brim with sugar, but there is also protein ice cream, which has way fewer calories and is more filling, there is a lot of recipes and food that is like that, I am not a doctor nor nutritionist, but I believe this will help you via controlling your habit and controlling the damages to the point that the habit itself might die out.

Another way I think you can address this, is to look what is causing you to emotionally eat, how can you lessen it? How can you solve it?, and I know it will be difficult, and I honestly don’t know the things that are causing you to emotionally eat, so please forgive me if I seem that I think that you can simply get rid of your pains and struggles, but even if you lessen the issues that are causing you to eat it’s a win, even if it’s a microscopic difference it’s a win.

Another thing that I think might help you, is mindset, now you might ask what do I mean by this context? I mean that you can use these troubles to motivate yourself to achieve your goals and or do other things which you enjoy and are passionate about, instead of emotionally eating, I know it is not easy at all and I don’t your struggles, but you know what,fuck it, you can achieve and will achieve happiness in life, you don’t need to be confined by a chained fence telling you to eat just because you’re sad, don’t give up man, because the reward that will be awaiting you at the end of the road, will be so worth it.

Thank you for reading my response, and sorry if I may seem misunderstanding of your situation, again, I am not a doctor nor therapist nor nutritionist, I am just some idiot exploring the Internet, but still, I hope this post helped.

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I appreciate your feedback.

As for eating a diet that keeps me full to keep from emotional eating - the reason the wouldn’t exactly be a solution is that with me, wanting to emotionally eat has nothing to do with whether or not I am hungry. Right now I am eating pretty healthy, I have a lot of fruit to snack on, its just that when I get upset I just want to open all the cabinets and eat. Which is especially dangerous for me since I have severe stomach ulcers.

Today was the first time in a long time that I thought for sure I would give into it. Most times I can talk myself out of it and move on but today has been hard.

You are right about channeling that emotion, it is good advice. Im not not feeling so motivated today.

I know. We are all just people on the internet. Thats ok. I think maybe I just needed people to talk this out with.

even if you are full?

Hey @Sapphire,

I’m sorry you’ve been struggling with emotional eating. I’ve never had a stable relationship with food either and had my share of pretty dark years with binge eating, bulimia and anorexia as a young adult. That just plenty sucks. But you’re approaching this in a very thoughtful way, just for allowing yourself to feel what you feel right now and for having such a thoughtful awareness of what’s going on. Judgment and guilt are a fuel for the urge to binge, but you already know that too well.

It sounds to me that a good way to navigate this feeling of being upset would be to write down or even share the reason behind. Just because there’s this inner division between what you feel and what you know rationally. Sometimes we can feel emotions we didn’t expect and being in full control would be an illusion. Though you can totally slow down a little and observe those emotions/thoughts as they are, whether it’s with us or by yourself. In any case, I’m willing to listen.

Regarding emotional eating, have you ever heard about mindful eating? It’s not for everyone or in any circumstance, but it’s an interesting approach, especially for us who struggle with emotional eating. Though it’s quite different from being in control, and more a perspective focused on releasing the controlling behaviors and learning to trust ourselves/our body a little more. But it can be scary and quite foggy to navigate this by ourselves. Support is needed, no matter what.

You’ve posted a little bit earlier and I hope you’re feeling a little better already. In any case, we’re in this with you. :hrtlegolove:

@Xavier

but also I have another idea, which is try to have a diet that can simply allows you to eat a lot without gaining weight, i.e a diet that allows you to be full, thus making you not want to eat, and you can achieve that via having a diet that focuses on eating calorie dense foods, food that can fill you up, yet has way fewer calories

Just my two cents about this: any type of diet can be triggering for people who are already in a spiral of emotional eating -> trying to regain some control. There’s a vicious cycle and, unfortunately, having a diet approach often intensifies this cycle and reinforces the need for controlling behaviors… which in return trgger emotional eating. It’s called cognitive restraint. In the past, when I tried to break down this cycle, bingeing on healthier food was indeed like a crutch when I was at my lowest, but in the long run it’s not a viable solution, because the reasoning behind is still the same (I’m not okay -> I need to feel full). Just my own understanding/experiences though - not pretending to hold an absolute truth.

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Yea. Because its not about being full, its about feeling better, like any other kind of self harm.

ah okay then,it makes more sense

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Thanks, Micro.

I’ve actually never heard of this. Can you elaborate?

And without going into too much detail, I was really excited about going out and doing something later and then something happened and totally threw a wrench in my plans and now I just feel really deflated if that makes sense.

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Hi Sapphire,
For me it’s about being able to identify my emotions. I used food to evade emotions, getting full, so I could feel that, instead of other emotions. Acknowledgement of what’s going on with you, not in harsh terms, but … in a non judgemental way might be an idea. Perhaps a little reflection can bring out what’s going on inside.
Think about the moment you’re in, and stay in this place. Make this moment as good as you can, make healthy choices right now, and let the rest go. Peace

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Thank you for this. I feel like maybe a little reflection is in order and looking for a distraction may have been the wrong way to approach this situation.

I just took some time to write out my feelings. I feel like I came to the conclusion what is really bothering me. Because I put so much effort into tonight and now its not happening and I feel like I did all that for nothing.

But I guess there is always tomorrow. Even though I hate that saying, but whatever.

Thank you for responding. :hrtlegolove:

And without going into too much detail, I was really excited about going out and doing something later and then something happened and totally threw a wrench in my plans and now I just feel really deflated if that makes sense.

Oh right. That makes sense, indeed. Knowing that your plans had to change unexpectedly while you were looking forward to doing something you wanted… Sounds like you have some very valid reasons to feel how you feel. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time and you’ll be finally able to do what you want, even if not today (?).

I’ve actually never heard of this. Can you elaborate?

It’s basically the principles of mindfulness applied to eating. The main idea is to learn to listen to our body again, also to be more focused on our physical senses when it comes to eating. Oftentimes with eating disorders, and diets more generally, we lose sight of our body signals (hunger - satiety). We eat mostly because of our emotions or our mind (X meals a day at which hour, labelling food at good/bad, etc.). Those are inevitable though, and fundamentally there’s nothing wrong with emotional eating or rational eating, but as for everything it’s a matter of balance. I’ve personally found a real crutch with mindful eating because the focus is on reconnecting to your body and with food in a non-stressful way, because ultimately it’s not really about food. But I’m aware that this might not be for everyone, as we’re just all different.

There’s a lot of aspects to it and I won’t develop all of them in details (or you’ll end with a super long to read :hrtjakelul:), but if that sounds interesting to you, I’d recommend to have a look at this Headspace folder with simple daily tips - quite summarized, but it gives the main spirit of it: https://downloads.ctfassets.net/v3n26e09qg2r/15aZOa4sMmawGIyEIsEu8U/f9b98576c164b780a72900df1d7838ea/Headspace_guide_to_mindful_eating__1_.pdf

For a deeper look into it, I highly recommend the following app and course:

https://www.headspace.com/mindfulness/mindful-eating
It’s possible to have access to it for free during 30-days, which is enough to get the basics in my humble opinion.

Finally, the following blog personally helped me a lot when I was at my lowest. It felt good to read about someone being radically honest about binge eating and how they approached recovery in a way that reversed their vision of food and eating in general: https://brainoverbinge.com/blog/

Just some suggestions and a bunch of stuff to read. No obligation though - just sharing those. Don’t want you to feel overwhelmed in any way, especially now. :hrtlegolove:

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