Emotional eating, Part 3

Now getting back to my current issue…

I am currently bouncing between 152 and 157 these days — a range I’m not particularly satisfied with. While my long-shot goal is 130-140 lbs, my current (and realistic) goal is 140-145 lbs. All I need is to fit in my pants. I don’t have money to buy new ones and the current ones I have in rotation are either uncomfortable or too dressy (read: formerly a corporate America drone).

Why am I having such a hard time? Well, other than the fact that I don’t get much cardio in, I’m also terrible about controlling my diet. (I’ve been playing the Wii religiously for about 30-60+ mins each day but it doesn’t seem to be doing much for the scale.)

dessertI indulge myself in anything I want: cupcakes; cake batter ice cream; pound cake topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries laden in syrup, drizzled with caramel and decorated with whipped cream on the sides. I’m trying to teach myself discipline, but an undisciplined person trying to teach herself discipline is a recipe for failure.

But I’m trying.

I’ve been successful at times. For a while I was addicted to cinnamon buns sold at UPenn bookstore’s cafe. They were (and probably still are) absolutely delicious. Somehow — and I don’t know how I talked myself into this — I looked at them one day and said, “You know, those are disgusting. They’re topped with all that icing. That huge bun underneath the icing is nothing but carbs and does you no good. You don’t like it anymore. Don’t eat it.”

I haven’t touched a cinnamon bun since.

It’s strange how I’ve been able to use that psychology on some food items but not on others. Let me tell you, how I’d love to give up my addiction to cakes and cupcakes. I can’t eat chocolate but I find  plenty of other things to take its place: strawberry shortcakes, strawberry sundaes, the Strawberry-Banana Rendezvous with cake batter ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, carrot cakes, and Krispy Kreme donuts drenched in its original glaze icing. You can probably tell now why I can’t seem to dip below 150 lbs.

I want to stop. But each night, the ice cream place down the street beckons my name. Every morning, the bakery’s aroma wafts across the street and into the windows of my apartment, taunting me to defy the scale one more time for a temporary delight. There’s a diner that has dessert that is so good, I need to avoid eating there or else it becomes a requirement to indulge in after my entreé.

I’ve tried eating strawberries and grapes — natural sweets that should satisfy my sweet tooth. Grapes seem to make me hungrier and strawberries alone just don’t seem to cut it. I have tiny dessert cups used for individual shortcake servings but I’ve decided recently to cut them out to save calories.

I guess that it doesn’t help that I’m addicted to calorie-counting.

Goya riceI’m also trying to rid myself of my carb addiction. People from the Caribbean are notorious for their staples of rice and beans. As a product of Caribbean parents, I simply cannot live without rice. I can easily forgo meat if I can get my hands on some good rice and beans.

I don’t mind most veggies but trying to incorporate them into every single meal is incredibly difficult for me. And a house salad for lunch satisfies my hunger like a sip of water… that is to say, not at all.

So I’m currently faced with a dilemma. I need to stop eating so much and eat the right kind of food so I can lose weight. Because I lack discipline and feel hopeless and discouraged, I continue to overeat (American portions are larger than necessary) and indulge in dessert each night, continuing my slow trend toward weight gain.

My mental health suffered much less when I was 140 lbs. I looked good and felt good. There’s something to the saying that the physical contributes to the spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. Mind, body, and soul — they truly are all connected.

11 Comments

  1. aurora said,

    September 8, 2008 at 8:43 am

    I recognise so much of myself in what you write and it is so embarassing to see it in print! I am out of control when it comes to food, and definitely know it is emotional eating, I mean the minute I get stressed I think of sweet foods to cheer me up lol
    But then being fat, well not technically fat, but fatter than I was, and fat in a society where I don’t fit into size 0 or 2 or 4 skinny leg jeans, is one of the things that makes me feel utterly depressed, ugly and worthless as a person.

  2. aurora said,

    September 8, 2008 at 8:45 am

    that cheesecake picture is actually making me really hungry for cheesecake!! aagh

  3. September 8, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Yes, mind, body, and soul are all interconnected. I saw that very clearly when I was at the hospital.
    (((Hugs))) for you. I hope you’re having a great day today.

  4. Lelah said,

    September 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    I am going through that now, and am about the same weight as you now, with the same goals as you. I’m either over-stressed or super bored, and my sweet tooth is INSANE! Today I tried increasing the time between each meal/snack, but still managed to eat 5 popsicles tonight (sugar-free, though!). I hate that to lose weight, I have to OBSESS over it, and I hate how I am when I am obsessive- it makes me depressed. Bleh.

  5. K said,

    September 10, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Well I’m not winning my battle with weight yet, but I am going in the right direction. I get more upset about not having any dessert than how big it is – so if I serve myself literally a half cup of ice cream (by eating it from a SMALL teacup), I find it is enough most nights. We go through tubs of ice cream so slowly I get bored with the flavors. On the other hand, if I walk to the local ice cream place, I’ll absent mindedly eat the whole dish.

  6. Valerie said,

    September 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks for your comments on my page. I totally understand you about not being able to give up dire prois kole (spelled?). A meal is not a meal without my rice and beans. But, I did give it up for two weeks. It was hard, but worth it cuz I lost 10 lbs. I’m telling you….try the South Beach diet! It works!

  7. September 12, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I’m going to have withdrawal!

  8. ItsTheWooo said,

    September 17, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    It sounds like you have an addiction to sugar going by what you are eating. Have you considered trying to do a lower carbohydrate diet? Sugar addiction is very common in depressives.
    I used to weigh 280 lbs at 5’5, today I weigh 120lbs… because I adopt a low carb diet, it is the only way I can feel normal emotionally or physically.
    I never had an addiction to sugar but I definitely had a metabolic problem where I can’t metabolize carb correctly. Within days of stopping carb, my depression got about 100% better. Getting off the carbs will increase dopamine and norepinephrine; deficiencies of which can cause sugar craving. The minute a person rips into sugar, dopamine and endorphine start surging. However, after awhile, excess of serotonin and blood sugar leave a person feeling chaotic, scattered, lethargic, and sedated – depressed. The cycle begins again.
    The only way to stop it, is to get off the sugar, cut the carbs, eat more protein and fat.
    I shudder to think of how miserable I would be if I didn’t find low carb. I would feel completely chaotic and depressed and I would be so much less healthy.
    It takes a long time to get adapted to the diet, I admit, it is very hard for the first few months or even years… but I’ve been doing it over 5 years now and I can honestly tell you I don’t miss regular eating at all. Pasta is bland, starch is flavorless, sugar is pointless when there is splenda…give me real food any day.

  9. ItsTheWooo said,

    September 17, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    BTW there are all kinds of treats we can eat if low carbing… sugar free cheesecake is perfectly fine, 70% dark chocolate too… I make cookies and brownies so good people can’t tell they’re sugar free and starch free.
    For lunch I had lots of peanut butter on a slice of light bread, sugar free jam, and hood’s low carb chocolate milk, a piece of chocolate… I mean, I can eat stuff like this and totally stay thin! I feel full and satisfied and very good after eating it because the carbs are low. It’s just the carbs that make us fat.

  10. September 18, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Hmm. I toy with low-carb but carbs make me feel fuller when protein and veggies alone don’t cut it.

  11. Barbara said,

    February 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Keep in mind that all that sugar may cause mental health problems. It depletes the body of B vitamins, it may cause sleep issues, and it actually creates depression. When i was a teenager, I got into sugar bingeing in a big way. I would eat a quart of ice cream for breakfast, a box of graham crackers for lunch, five or six candy bars a day, soda all day long, and sugar doughnuts for snacks. it took about three months to become more depressed and psychotic. My father was an alcoholic and my response to his dysfunction was to create my own dysfunction. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late to coreect the problems it created, or so I thought. Now with the help of vitamin therapy and counseling, I am now well and free of the sugar addiction.
    Author Barbara Altman


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