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Dealing with emotional eating etc.



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Hi,

Im still in the pre-surgery stage currently, and trying to get a better handle on alternatives to turning to food for things like:

-stress eating

-emotional eating

-any other food related eating connected to head hunger rather than “real” hunger

I know that unless i can find ways to come up with healthier coping tools and healthier distraction options when needed; instead of using food as my answer .... i’m going to sabotage my weight loss surgery or have a high risk for developing or increasing other not so healthy or positive coping skills (cross addictions).

the dietician i saw expressed concern about my emotional eating; and my surgeon said that working on the head stuff helps (and i know there’s a good thread on this)

in talking to one psychologist about this his response was that nothing really works the same way as food ... that i can try things like mindfulness, journaling and exercise but it’s unlikely they will really work for me in the same way after using food as an answer for well over 30 years. that was discouraging but he has also seen me try and not succeed with alternatives in the past and was trying to be realistic.

how have others addressed this?

if you are or were an emotional eater what has helped you post surgery to deal with the emotions now? or is it still a struggle ?

thanks

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Hi,
Im still in the pre-surgery stage currently, and trying to get a better handle on alternatives to turning to food for things like:
-stress eating
-emotional eating
-any other food related eating connected to head hunger rather than “real” hunger
I know that unless i can find ways to come up with healthier coping tools and healthier distraction options when needed; instead of using food as my answer .... i’m going to sabotage my weight loss surgery or have a high risk for developing or increasing other not so healthy or positive coping skills (cross addictions).
the dietician i saw expressed concern about my emotional eating; and my surgeon said that working on the head stuff helps (and i know there’s a good thread on this)
in talking to one psychologist about this his response was that nothing really works the same way as food ... that i can try things like mindfulness, journaling and exercise but it’s unlikely they will really work for me in the same way after using food as an answer for well over 30 years. that was discouraging but he has also seen me try and not succeed with alternatives in the past and was trying to be realistic.
how have others addressed this?
if you are or were an emotional eater what has helped you post surgery to deal with the emotions now? or is it still a struggle ?
thanks


Wow sorry to hear your Dr was so discouraging. Maybe you need s different Dr. One that is more supportive. Regarding managing head hunger, unfortunately I don't have any advice because I still struggle with it 10 mos post-sleeve. It's still so very hard. Right now the sleeve is still helping me from overeating but I still don't always make healthy choices. And after this honeymoon period that's certainly going to have a greater negative impact. I'm not giving up though. Best of luck to you.

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Posted (edited)

I am the poster girl for emotional eating or at least I am trying not to be . I have been food addicted since 8 years old, old mindsets are extremely hard to break and may never be broken.. nowadays I concentrate on using food as medicine and I try to get my Protein and Water in and there’s not much room for more . I still think about food more than I should even as I’m inching to goal . I had a therapist who wasn’t a great fit and am on the hunt for a new one.. finding one who has training in food addiction or eating disorders is my goal and no matter my co pay I have to stick with therapy as a major tool to avoid mindless eating . I tried going it alone too long and my journey to not only feel and look better needs to include keeping food in its proper prospective.

Edited by Carrot64

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I have been an emotional eater all of my life . . . until I had the sleeve surgery six months ago. Now I've worked so hard at being mindful about what I'm eating and wanting so hard to lose weight that I catch myself when I have an emotional event in my life and don't give in to the cravings. I know the surgery itself helped with the physical hunger, but the impact of having undergone a major surgery must have also helped with the head hunger because I'm determined not to give in to it.

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Good that you are working on this stuff now! It can only increase the odds of your success post surgery.

I think working with a therapist to develop a set of behaviors that are grounded in CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) could provide great help. Also EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and other programed designed to develop mindfulness and fascilitate behavior modification helps a lot.

Also, getting into an exercise program that is a guided program where you have accountability.

Having a local WLS support group is IMHO imperative.

Having follow-up visits with your RD post surgery for accountability.

Starting your weight loss diet now (your forever healthy diet).

Having a creative hobby/outlet.

Getting your support network aligned.

Breaking up with any known addictions (caffeine, high glycemic carbs, sugar, white things, excessive fruit/fruit juices, sweets, smoking, drugs)

Having a very clear view that you ARE choosing long-term change. There is no going back.

Yoga and Tai Chi.

These are all things that help. Also awareness/education. Learn/read and study your research!

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15 hours ago, Zemi said:

Hi,

Im still in the pre-surgery stage currently, and trying to get a better handle on alternatives to turning to food for things like:

-stress eating

-emotional eating

-any other food related eating connected to head hunger rather than “real” hunger

I know that unless i can find ways to come up with healthier coping tools and healthier distraction options when needed; instead of using food as my answer .... i’m going to sabotage my weight loss surgery or have a high risk for developing or increasing other not so healthy or positive coping skills (cross addictions).

the dietician i saw expressed concern about my emotional eating; and my surgeon said that working on the head stuff helps (and i know there’s a good thread on this)

in talking to one psychologist about this his response was that nothing really works the same way as food ... that i can try things like mindfulness, journaling and exercise but it’s unlikely they will really work for me in the same way after using food as an answer for well over 30 years. that was discouraging but he has also seen me try and not succeed with alternatives in the past and was trying to be realistic.

how have others addressed this?

if you are or were an emotional eater what has helped you post surgery to deal with the emotions now? or is it still a struggle ?

thanks

One of the best gifts out of my surgery was working and overcoming my old behaviors. I traded stress/emotional eating with exercise and did some counseling.

I started with walking. My fitness level was not great. I could walk a half hour and built it to an hour after surgery. My exercise time is “me time” No one gets to interrupt it unless its an emergency. I use that time to process, bariatric issues, life’s stresses and major life events.

I have cried tears on the treadmill. It helped me deal with a death in the family

I have exercised out anger and frustration.

I pedaled a stationary bike and worked on my relationship with food/behavior change.

I wish I can say surgery changes old behaviors 100%. Years out, my stress emotional eating is less. I acknowledge when it slips back in as a coping mechanism. I know I can stop and do something else not food related to cope.

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I’m in the pre-surgery stage too. I’m a binge eater in remission and emotional eater. It’s been several years since I binged. Emotional eating, well, I keep working on it. A book that really helped me with my disordered eating was The Beck Diet Solution By Judith S. Beck. The title is horrible at describing the book. It isn’t a diet. It is a cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt) program to identify why and when you have emotional eating or binge eating and give you tools to change those behaviors.
I wish you the best of luck!

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