Emotional Eating / How to manage

I have been having an eating problem all my life. When I was a little girl, I was over weight. As a Japanese girl in 80s, it wasn’t normal. Everyone was thin back then. I grew up feeling ashamed with my body. Now come to think of it, I don’t know why my mom let that happen to me. She was thin and cared about her appearance all the time. She would wear nice clothes, perfume and jewelries. I am guessing that she liked me being ugly so she didn’t have to compete.

Until 20s, all I was thinking was my weight. I would loose and gain back and forth all the time. During the teen years, I lost too much weight so my period stopped for some time. I was bone thin once but I thought I was still fat. It didn’t last though. My weight bounced back and I gained even more than before within a year. Over all, I was known as a chubby girl.

In my 20s, I was still self conscious about my body but somewhat, I had thought I would not be able to change how I looked. I was not on a diet much any more.I kept around the same number more or less, but of course, I was on a chubby side. I was not careful what I ate at all.

In my late 20s, I had started to go to the gym. That helped to burn off my stress and calories.I did only cardio,no lifting weights. I would treat myself with sweet or my favorite food. I didn’t try to eat healthy or anything. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted to, but I didn’t gain weight.

In my early 30s, I became more serious about exercise. At that time,I was living in America.I had an access to the gym and classes easily. I could get latest information about diet and workout there. I didn’t try to lose weight but it naturally started to drop.

The past few years, I have been suffering from emotional roller coaster . When I was depressed, I would binge on food. I had started to gain weight even though I was exercising pretty hard. I had started to be obsessed with my looks and food again. The more I tried to lose, the lesser I succeed. I was at a loss. I thought I did everything I did. I was eating healthy food most of the time and worked out regularly.

About 3 months ago, I saw a mental specialist and got diagnosed with bipolar 2. I started to keep records what I ate and my mental conditions. I would overeat once in a while but the other time I ate pretty healthy. I didn’t know why I could not loose any weight.

I started to pay attention the mental stage when I binged on food. I found out that when I overate or ate something unhealthy, I was not feeling well. I was either upset,tired,irritated or depressed. I have tried to catch myself when I felt like scarfing down some bad food. When I noticed I was not feeling well any ways, I tried not to eat anything until I get really hungry. That realization was a wake up call to me.

With the help of my new medication, I feel good most of the time recently. Plus, I am getting better and better to notice my urge.When I feel like eating a lot, I step back and think why I want to eat those bad food and how I am feeling then.

Naturally, I have lost some weight. I don’t weight myself so I am not sure how much but I can tell the way how my clothes fit.

I have not tired reduced any amount of food or count calories at all. I eat until I feel satisfied. I still eat some sweet and junk food from time to time. When I eat those food, I feel fine and enjoy it. There is no guilt towards the food like I used to feel. I eat what I enjoy and the food I naturally crave. One thing I have changed is I rarely eat bread now. I eat rice instead. I definitely eat rice for breakfast. It keeps me fuller.

It seems like my weight has been stable. I guess I am at my best . Now I feel so free. I was so worried about food and I even came to dislike eating before. What I have discovered is not what or how I eat. Taking care of myself mentally has changed the way I see towards food. I eat slower and enjoy each bite now. I know I am on the right track. I hope I can be this way for the rest of my life.

2 thoughts on “Emotional Eating / How to manage”

  1. Oh Nami – I am almost 52 and I share the same struggle. All my life. I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe there isn’t one at all. I’ve been in and out of therapy for a few different issues and I will say that it has helped to a degree. But I still binge eat. I guess I’ve become a little more accepting of it. And I’m more accepting of my body – though not totally accepting. I’m pretty average – but I still have a skewed vision of what I see in the mirror. I try not to weigh myself much. I’ve given that number on the scale way too much power. I start each and everyday with a small prayer of thanks that I am healthy. Peace to you.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I know it is a lifetime battle.. I am just hoping that I will get better and better along the way…

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