The Educated and Emotional Weight Gain

This post is a two-parter  – – – Part (2/2): Read part 1 HERE

I’ve picked up the nasty habit of binge eating in the past ~3 years. I am aware of this. I kept it at bay the first two years, the last year (extra stress, less time for gym) fucked me up completely. I cannot get into the mindset of not despising myself – not only for how I look currently, but the fact that I LET myself get to this point, when I’m quite educated in regards to nutrition, fitness, and psychology somewhat too. I just don’t know how to put a stop to the binge eating, the holidays didn’t help, my clothes aren’t fitting and I have zero desire to see people or do things I like. Any insight so very much appreciated, from any angle really. Thank you for taking the time to read this!!! I love reading your blog. Hope you have a wonderful day.

In the last post I made a point about changing your life by changing your lifestyle. One little change at a time creates a new life. The same idea is essential for weight loss, and its why so many people fail at making any improvement. We buy in too easily to fad diets or fad exercises when being fit and healthy requires more than that. All you have to do is:

  1. Eat better
  2. Move more

That’s it. You know that’s it. The problem is that food is emotional and food is social. In your 20s, those two things make it especially difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Food is Emotional

  1. Don’t buy shit food. Period. If it’s not in your house, you can’t binge on it. What are you going to binge on if you buy carrots and raw chicken breasts and brown rice? Nothing that’s going to hurt you too bad. What if you buy Coke and Doritos? You’re probably going to go for the Coke and Doritos. Cause they make you feel good. Unfortunately you’ll feel like shit unless you keep eating them. They only make you feel good in the very moments you are consuming them. Buy healthy food. Buy healthy snacks.
  2. Give yourself what you want and when you want it, within reason. If you want a cookie eat a cookie, but eat one. Use it to end the evening after a healthy dinner. Don’t have one every single night. Follow your cravings. If you want popcorn, eat popcorn, but don’t use five tablespoons of butter on top. Air pop and drizzle butter. Eat a small serving. Giving up all the things you like is going to make you feel even more emotional about food. You’re not going to have one cookie, you’re going to run out to the store and buy the whole box because you hate your life and haven’t had cookies in months.
  3. Focus on the problem itself. Are you unhappy? Are you stressed out? Instead of sitting down and eating it out, do something about it. Write down what is making you stressed out. Make a cup of tea. Solve the problem. Easier said than done, but important. Other forms of stress relief will be useful here. Running, long walks, chat with a friend, read a book, write a story, draw a picture. How can you calm down enough that you don’t need the temporary jolt of food? Is self care an essential part of your day every single day? If not – make it.

Food is Social

  1. I can’t think of the last time I asked someone over just to hang out. Since I graduated High School my social interactions have almost entirely been focused around food or alcohol. “Want to grab happy hour?” “Want to get dinner?” It might feel awkward to tell someone you just want to see them. But try. Find ways you can meet with someone that aren’t centralized around unhealthy habits. A coffee, a tea, a walk around the park, a trip to the swing, a road trip just outside of the city for a hike, a trip to the humane society to look at the pets, a museum! So many options!
  2. Alcohol feeds food and food feeds alcohol. If you’re drinking you’ll snack more, if you’re snacking you’ll drink more. If you are going out try to drink less than you did the last time you went out. Sip your drink and really enjoy the flavors of it. Look at the menu online before you leave your house and choose what you’re going to order before you even get there. You’ll make smarter decisions.
  3. The holidays throw everything out of whack. It seems like we’re eating more food from Halloween until New Years. Then, suddenly, panic! Don’t feel too badly about it. Think of the enjoyment you had during this time. Now it’s time to let the holiday excess go and get back into a routine.

If we feel badly about ourselves and our bodies we may always feel badly about ourselves and our bodies. We must learn to love ourselves and the way we are, even as we seek improvement. I look back at photos of myself from the last ten years. I’ve always thought “I want to look better.” When I look at photos of myself five, ten years ago, I think I must have been crazy. Why do we not have compassion for ourselves except in retrospect? Find ways to love and respect yourself. Making these changes (food! water! exercise!) will help, but a lot of it has to come from your mind. From the acknowledgement that you are beautiful.

I can relate a lot to your post. I gained what I call my “happy weight.” This is the extra weight I gained because I’ve been living a really awesome fucking life. I spend a lot of time with my friends, I spend a lot of time wine tasting, I spend a lot of time going out to nice meals. I am consciously trying to make better choices so I can continue to do these things. That means making these small changes myself. Drinking more water, only eating out when it is essential, preparing healthier meals at home, eating smaller portions, drinking less alcohol (which influences my meal choices, saves money, saves calories, and helps me enjoy my drink more!)

Finally, my last suggestion. Stop trying to wear clothes that don’t fit. Give it a good cry, tuck them away, and buy a pair of jeans that fit. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, you’ll be more comfortable. Have a piece of clothing that makes you feel comfy and sexy at the same time. Wake up in the morning and wash your face and do your hair or whatever it takes to feel put together. Starting the day off like this, comfortable in your own skin, it makes a huge difference in the choices you make the rest of the day.

Sending luck and love!

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