Pam – Sweets were My Weakness and Emotional Crutch

Sugar as Emotional Crutch

Hi,

I wanted to write in (and it seems like I’m the first!) after seeing that you had a page letting readers know that they could share their experiences and tips on their own story regarding emotional eating. Well, I wanted to do just that since I am so grateful for the site, and particularly the guide which I read for the first time last year.

To be honest I didn’t even know I was an emotional eater; I didn’t even know what that was. I was just googling terms related to my eating and my mood and somehow followed a link and came upon this site. I started reading and didn’t stop until I read every bit of info there was. It described me perfectly and I realized I had a problem, but now had not only a name for it, but some solutions as well. I also had a very deep understanding of it.

The next day I read it again and did the same the day after that. I wanted to absorb it all. Well, I guess I should start with a bit about myself and my eating and what I experienced and what I find is most helpful.

CHILDHOOD

Well I initially thought I had a pretty “normal” childhood I guess but looking back on it, I was left alone much of the time as my parents worked a lot and when they did have time for us kids they seemed to be self absorbed and irritated whenever we/I wanted attention. I learned pretty quickly to go to the fridge, which was always full and get whatever good feelings I could from there, although I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing at the time.

I was lucky to have played lots outside with friends and was always active that way so I think that’s the reason I never gained much weight.

TEEN YEARS

Not much changed here really. I still continued to feel lonely at home and so spent as much time as I could with friends, even eating at their houses which thankfully their parents were okay with, even pleased about which was another comfort that helped. The parents would laugh though and ask me how I could eat so much and I didn’t really register what they were saying and just smiled and asked for seconds (and thirds).

My friends seemed to always remark on how I always had something in my mouth, a candy bar, lollipop or lifesavers etc. I never thought much about it really. Again during these years I didn’t gain much weight and I think it was due to being active. I joined every club and sport I could to be around other people and also walked everywhere and walked often. Again, it wasn’t something I thought about much. Looking back though, there was a deep feeling of loneliness that I was trying not to feel which affected almost everything I did.

ADULT SELF

Well, I’m now 32 years old and have 1 child and the feeling that something was “wrong” in my life started to become and more and more a part of my daily moments and I tried to eat even more food as a natural way of dealing with it, even though I wasn’t all that aware that that response was something I had done all my life.

One day though I was watching a kids program with my daughter and they talked about healthy eating and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I thought about my diet and eating for the next few weeks and then started Googling stuff related to that like I said before, and happened on this site.

I’m glad I did but also am sad as I am now starting to feel what I didn’t feel in the past. I’m also putting together all the links between how I ate and did other things too, that were ways of not dealing with what I couldn’t take back then as a child.

INSIGHTS

So in terms of what I learned, well a ton after reading this but about myself, it is more like I was more aware instead of getting new information, which I suppose is another way of getting new information LOL.

I find that sugary foods are my weakness and that I like candy that I can suck on for long periods like lollipos and candy canes and all that and I think it’s because they last longer. So I have more flavor over a longer period of time and then I can pop in one after the other. Not good for me I know but it’s what I have done for so long it seems like second nature.

You know what else is funny? If anyone asked me if my diet is healthy I would have thought I ate normally! I even blocked that realization from myself but again without really knowing I did. I wonder what else I’ve been hiding from myself all these years.

TIPS/PROGRESS

Well, it’s huge progress for me to have learned this much and again I am so thankful for the site and for all the information here. I think that I have a better idea of what’s going on in my life and that I can start to take back some control by working on this more and more.

What I can brag about is that I’ve cut my candy down to about half of what I used to have (on most days) just by being more in tune with this.

My best tip is an idea I got from the guide, but it’s that I replaced all my candy with identical candy that is sugar free and sweetened with sweetener! So, I’m still eating a lot but at least I am taking better care of my health and limiting any potential weight gain. BTW, I did gain a few pounds over the last year which doesn’t seem like a lot to some perhaps but is a lot for me. So I’m excited about that sugar-free tip and recommend it highly.

I’m also going to see a therapist soon and just having that, makes me feel a little bit better already. I plan on reading the recommended books soon and can’t wait to start.

I hope this helps others to know they aren’t alone and to share their story too. I’d love to hear it.

Thanks

Pam

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