Thursday, April 06, 2006

Coping without comfort eating...

I realised the other day that I've been having to learn how to cope with stress without my usual coping mechanism, and while I haven't thought about it, I can see I've struggled with it to varying degrees over the past few months...

Usually when I'm stressed out I turn to food to numb my feelings of stress. I've always been one to reward myself with food whenever I've had a tough day. Always, the argument has been that after such a trying day I REALLY deserve this family sized block of chocolate and this 200gram bag of potato chips, and this litre of Coke... I eat these things and I feel comforted for the stress I've been through...

I still do this to some extent, but these days the chocolate and chips have been replaced with Light'n'tasy cereal and D'lite yogurt...

But, yeah, these days I'm not able to numb my feelings of pain readily through the day the way I used to... In light of that, I think I've done well to cope they way I have these past few months.

Another thing that occurred to me was, I heard a while back that when you put on weight, along with the fat you store, you also store the hormones pumping through your body at the time of the weight gain. Now, most people gain weight when they're stressed and/or depressed. Certainly, I do...

Anyway, so THEN when you lose weight, those hormones are released as the fat is burnt off your body. This means that when we start to lose weight, we often incur this stressed/depressed hormonal dump! The faster you lose weight, the more hormones get dumped in a shorter period of time. So, then, if like me, you're used to coping with stress by numbing it with food, and you suddenly *can't* do that anymore, you really start to suffer, don't you!

I think THIS is why so many people crash and yo-yo diet. Dieting is physically and emotionally soooo painful to the person, they'd rather just do it really quickly and get it over with.

Losing weight more slowly and allowing yourself a small amount of comfort food is then going to be the least painful way to lose weight for most people, but also it's so important to recognise and deal with stressors even before engaging in a weightloss program...

Of course, I've been losing weight for three months now, without ever reflecting on this stuff before this week, so it can be done without dealing with the stressors, but wow, what a hard way to go about it, basically it's pretty sadistic, the way we torture ourselves...

3 comments:

Juniper said...

Gosh Sif, I can *totally* relate to what you are saying. I always reward myself with food. Used to do it with cigarettes and alcohol, nowdays it seems to be food. None of that is good :(

What is the answer, that is what I want to know LOL? I find I even reward myself with food for losing weight! That is how I gained my weight back, by thinking "i have done so well, and feel so slim, I deserve cheesecake" LOL!

Great post Sif, made me really think!

Nic and Beren said...

I too can really relate to Comfort Eating. I hope I can snap out of that cycle too. I reward myself after a hard day, reward myself after a good day......LOL I have put on the most weight in the last year, coping with Beren being in plaster made me turn to all the naughty things and then I just got into a habit.

anastasia_wolf said...

Oh geez me too me too. I'm usually really good about it but things have been so hard recently that I feel I just deserve that chocolate, or that soft drink... even though I know how bad it is for me. I just don't care. And even though I know all this, I still probably will do it while nightweaning continues coz I do need *something* LOL.

Teenagers and the failing parent...