I so hunnery all the time
Interesting article, but why is the lead photo of a skinny girl. Hardly appropriate for the subject matter.
Good question. Maybe because whoever's in charge of images and, if an additional consideration, generating enough public interest to justify ads sales evaluates others, much like the rest of the world, based on physical appearance. This woman, young, pretty, slim, is "right," "good," and therefore someone others would want to look at, making the article even more attractive--so whoever chose the image might subconsciously have thought.
You're dead right that given the subject matter and the nature of the site, it's an extremely counter-productive mindset, yet one that demonstrates the kind of pervasive, ubiquitous emotional stresses emotional eaters are chronically, nearly constantly, subject to.
I think it's obvious that you both have strong feelings about size as the photo was supposed to convey the feeling of the issue not represent every person that has it. I am an average size woman about 135lbs and I have struggled with compulsive eating since my teens. I think your own mindset is a little narrow and should consider the fact that the photo could have been of someone of any size, color or gender but whoever did choose it did a good job because it speaks to the guilt and shame and sadness that we all feel. No matter what size we are.
You ask us to open our minds, commenting that our mindsets are "a little narrow." If the photo could have been of someone of "any size, color or gender," as you assert, then it begs the questions why statistically such photos for such articles are of women of the chosen characteristics with a frequency that is far greater than would be expected by chance, assuming any characteristics could have been chosen. That humans of certain shared characteristics are chosen with exceptionally high frequency to represent a problem which in your own words "speaks to the guilt and shame and sadness that we all feel...[no] matter what size we are," suggests an inherent bias among those choosing images to accompany these articles. And the public is right to question such biases, as medical science increasingly uncovers how social biases skew understanding of complex populational phenomena and undermine health outcomes at both the individual health consumer level and the large scale public health level.
I'm not overweight, but I over eat all the time. The image doesn't have to portray an overweight person at all.
Yes, there are overeaters who aren't overweight, but that doesn't obviate the criticism. The frequency of overweight among compulsive eaters is far higher than that in the general population, so it's a valid question why this article's image portrays a minority visual representation for a serious and growing social and medical problem.
Why does it even matter?!
I eat from the time I get up til I go to bed, sneak food into class, never feel satisfied, get feelings of needing to chew in my jaw, hate myself, my body and have had gastric sleeve so never hungry but am putting on weight was better when I smoked as it stopped the urge but got up to 40 a day. It is worse now than ever I really need help and don't know where to turn in the uk. Please will do anything even trials
I'm 51 and have had an addiction to food for as long as I can remember. Apparently I use to hide food behind the curtains when I was about 5, so my mother tells me. It disturbs me sometimes to think why I would do such a thing at such a young age!
I think about food all day, every day, and eat chocolate, sweets and rubbish every single day.
I often feel very sick, very ill, and my heart starts pounding which is probably due to to much sugar! I know that I am killing myself, but I can't seem to stop. I have 2 wonderful son's and 2 lovely grand children, so you would have thought that I would stop for them, but I don't. I wish I could speak to somebody who is going through the same as me.
My family would never know how I am feeling, or what I stuff when I am behind closed doors, because I hide it well.
I eat when I am happy, sad, bored, not bored, just whenever!
I too binge eat all the time and have since I was very young. Maybe we could chat through email or something. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you. Maybe we could help each other.
See my post below, it's Darlene. Maybe we can help each other?
I have recieved several emails, basically we all have great reasons to live but don't stop eating junk constantly and it's slowly killing us. Please email me email@example.com as we are going to try to talk to each other and explore helping each other as we have all been suffering alone for many years. Look forward to talking with you.
Hi there...I too cannot seem to stop eating. I believe it is going to kill me but can't stop. I have beautiful twin daughters, who I want to live for, but still I can't stop. We should all talk together...start an on-line support group? If interested I am at firstname.lastname@example.org
My eating is out of control, I hate myself but don't seem able to stop.
I wake up every morning with the best intentions but I very quickly fail and eat and eat and eat all day, I am NEVER full.
Does anyone live in the UK on this site? if so anyone from the manchester area I'd like to get some sort of support group going.
"The solution? Find other ways to reward and soothe yourself besides food (and other self-destructive behaviors.) Will these other ways be as effective at soothing you as food? Absolutely not!"
That brief excerpt summarizes the core problem to addiction and the reason so many therapies fail. The author points out that to overcome emotional eating one must practice tolerating difficult feelings. First, I don't know that it's even possible to survive through adulthood without consistently practicing tolerating difficult feelings. I suspect what the author means is one must increase one's tolerance of particularly hurtful/difficult feelings. And therein lies the great challenge. Most people are already at their limit dealing with life stresses and pain, and so are grasping at other coping tools that noticeably (to them, not to outside observers not experiencing the unique life struggles of the particular individuals) diminish their pain so they can get back to the grind of life. If Tai chi, meditation, mindfulness, or taking a walk don't work well enough as distracters/coping mechanisms for people, but food, in the moment, does, it's understandable that some would reach for food. People need a viable, effective alternative or they won't turn to the proposed alternative day in and day out.
Until someone finds a way to deal with chronic, insoluble, difficult feelings, addiction will persist, and to many the so-called solutions will remain ineffective--as evidenced by the prevalence of addictions, and of emotional eating in particular. I'm not trying to be negative, but if the proposed therapeutic interventions were in fact solutions, the problem wouldn't persist, or at the least it would become less and less prevalent.
"People need a viable, effective alternative or they won't turn to the proposed alternative day in and day out." You hit the nail on the head. So often I read that to stop emotional eating, I need to allow myself to feel my feelings. Believe me -- I feel them. For me, the eating is a chance to escape the pain for a short while. And here's the thing -- alternate pleasures exist but aren't easily accessible. I can be at my desk at work and pull out a candy bar and still work. I can't pull out a novel. I can't get a massage (if I can afford it -- another issue) or take a bubble bath. But I can eat chocolate. What I really need is a way to "escape" for a while that is cheap and easy to do almost any time or place. No articles on emotional eating ever seem to recognize that (1) often, people who emotionally eat don't need to learn to tolerate difficult feelings. They are frequently people who are struggling with deeply painful feelings long-term, and like any sane person would do, they are taking steps to feel better -- steps that, for some of us, actually work (briefly). (2) People turn to eating because it is a relatively cheap and easy pleasure. They need help (certainly I do) finding pleasures that can be EASILY substituted in the circumstances where they find themselves emotionally eating.
I feel I am an emotional eater because when my husband yells at me or swears because he can't find something or something goes wrong..then I grab something to eat. I am usually in the kitchen, so its real easy. Its always sugary soft and yummy. Or peanut-ery. Just biting into something relieves me of some of the tension. It brings my emotions and thoughts to a focal point. My center. It helps me to think of something else. A stronger more positive feeling. Yes I am about 30lbs overweight, but mostly due to inactivity.
Realizing this, I can't think of anything that will give me the same feeling and relief. And I cannot talk to him either, so forget that.
I am sure this inability is a result of hearing my dad yell at my brothers when I was younger. He would spank them, and it scared me. Sometimes I can just shake it off, but overall I can't accept my husband getting overly upset about some small things like spilling his coffee or not being able to find something. Thanks for letting me vent. :)
She had me on the first 4 items, but number 5 is way off base. If you honestly listen to people with eating disorders, you'll hear that they never eat because they are hungry! Most don't even know what physical hunger feels like, seriously! I mean that literally. Emotional eaters don't let themselves get too hungry. They have completely disconnected the act of eating from the physiological sensation of hunger. Eating constantly and divorcing food intake from hunger is the beating heart of our national eating disorder. Short term MINDFUL fasts can reaquiant you to what it means to really be hungry rather than just bored, angry, sad, lonely, tense, etc., all the other reasons that have taken over our eating habits.
I am not talking about days and days of water, I am talking about fasts lasting from 16 to 20 hours at a time, broken by a thoughtfully prepared and consciously enjoyed meal.
I don't agree that emotional eaters never get hungry (post dated 25th April 2014). Some emotional eaters do indeed get hungry. I can go all day without eating and frequently don't eat from when I go to bed to lunchtime the next day - which is quite a lengthy fast. However, this means my blood sugar drops, I get so hungry I will eat anything and it means I can't cope when I feel like crap. It means that if something upsets me, then I'm heading to KFC, rather than going for a chicken salad. It means that I reward myself with food at the end of the day, rather than having eaten balanced meals so that I'm not starving and can even begin to focus myself on anything else to manage those feelings other than eating.
There is nothing in the UK that doesn't costs thousands - I would attend therapy if I could. I've asked at my doctor and they just looked at me like I was a fat waste of space.
Hi, I understand what you're saying. I've been there - something upsets you or you're really stressed and you want to eat . But I'm wondering, if it's ok to ask, if you know these triggers happen, why don't you eat something earlier to stop your blood sugar from dropping? I've been battling this for nearly 60 years (I'm 63 and used to crave sugar when I was very young)but seem to have found an answer - see my post below but basically it's eating whole food and no junk/processed food, sugar, stimulants etc because it's the roller coaster ride of blood sugar highs and lows which drive the craving and binging. This regime does work and it is hard to switch over at first - but I find that a routine helps. I'm not hungry when I first get up as I've had a big bowl of porridge for supper so I have a big piece of watermelon first thing and that keeps me satisfied (it's more psychological than hunger). Then I'll have my 'breakfast' about 11 or 12 and that does satisfy me until dinner at 6. I think what you said about reward is important. I am vegan and so obviously don't eat meat, fish or dairy. You might say yuk, that sounds horrible - but, eg, I make tasty stirfrys with pepper,courgette, mushrooms etc and red kidney beans and brown rice which I flavour with fresh ginger and chilli. Or I make a super salad and flavour it with avocado, spring onions and beetroot or red lentil curry on a bed of veg. I really do enjoy my food. My daughter eats meat eg free-range chicken and she has the stirfrys etc but just adds her meat. She also makes a homemade tomato sauce to go with pasta etc. She can't go without 'desert' so makes delicious sugar free cakes, biscuits and flapjacks which she sweetens with banana and grated apple or dried fruit (love cranberries!)and coconut. These 'rewards' are delicious and filling because they contain a lot of fibre. After a good filling meal(loads of veg fills me up), if I want something sweet I will have a couple of flapjacks and they also fill you up - and this from someone who could eat packets and packets of biscuits in one sitting! Generally, though, I've got out of the habit of having desert - and the notion of habit is part of the problem, I think.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that food can still be tasty and enjoyable and be seen as something to look forward to.
I do find a routine of meals helps and I guess you have to find what works best for you. I can't do 'little and often' as that makes me want to eat all the time but my routine of fruit, 'breakfast', dinner and supper works for me. I realise that if you work (I'm retired now), it means more work with preparation/cooking/shopping etc but the meals I make take between 20 and 40 minutes tops, and if you know you're gong to be late, you could prep enough veg for 2 meals the day before. Anyway, I do hope that this helps. It might not be the answer for you but might give you a few ideas. Best of luck. Jackie
After about 60 years of food obsession, overeating, yo-yo dieting and deep unhappiness, I have at last discovered the secret. It's hard to achieve but if you can do it, it does work.
The answer is to eat pure, whole foods and no junk food, no processed food, no sugar and absolutely no stimulants (tea, coffee, cola, chocolate etc) and no alcohol. Sugar and caffeine etc play havoc with the blood sugar and so you get the cravings and can't stop yourself from binging.
Exercise if you can, get out in the fresh air and eat GOOD FOOD. Don't diet but get used to the new way of eating. If you can do it, you WILL feel better. It's hard at first but gets easier and you start to actually enjoy your food again. Your appetite will naturally adjust but this does take time. Good luck!
When it comes to emotional eating I knew I needed help. I tried dieting on my own, gyms, but none of that got to the root problem. My emotions ran my stomach and once I recognized that this was my problem I got help. I urge anyone struggling with any type of eating disorder to check out Dr. Julie's practice. http://thehealthyweighout.com
Jennifer Kromberg, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in California.