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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Emotional Eating

Presented by Dr. Monica Ganz

Normal eating consists of eating when you’re hungry, eating until you’re satisfied, eating a wide variety of foods, not avoiding foods out of fear and being flexible and varied.

Emotional eating consists of eating in response to feelings instead of hunger, such as:

Rewarding yourself
Other ways to deal with emotions and food cravings:
Take a walk
Listen to music
Take a bath
Call a friend
Drink water (dehydration causes hunger rather than thirst)

Avoid high-sugar, high-carb foods
Keep a journal of what you eat and when so you can figure out your triggers. This helps you to break the cycle of unconscious eating. Making a decision to eat also ensures you don’t feel guilty about what you eat.

Change is difficult, but it’s the only thing in life that is consistent. Adapting to change is necessary for success. Before surgery, we were eating ourselves into our graves. We have to change our behavior if we want to be successful. Monica says she still wants to eat everything in front of, but she chooses not to eat it. Surgery is a tool that enables her to stick with that commitment.

A lot of post-ops who don’t learn to cope with their emotions will turn to alcohol, sex or other destructive behaviors to replace their food addiction.

Emotional eating issues from attendees:
“Last Supper Syndrome”: Gorging as a pre-op in preparation for surgery. -This is common among pre-ops who fear they are never going to be able to eat their favorite foods again. The important thing is to recognize that it’s normal and just try to make the healthiest choices possible.

Fast food is taboo-Stay away from fast food. That’s a behavior that got us to a point that we’re morbidly obese. Surgery requires an entire lifestyle change, and part of that change requires staying away from the triggers from our pre-op life.

Anger associated with food intolerance-“Nobody warned me that I couldn’t have pasta or tolerate meat.”-“Nobody told me I’d have to eat tofu, but it’s all I can tolerate.”-It’ll take a period of mourning, but eventually you will accept your limitations

Interest from the opposite sex
“I’m the same person I was before but now that I’ve lost weight, everyone has a brother for me to meet. I’d rather just not date.”-You’ll start meeting people who didn’t know you when you were obese, and you’ll start off on different footing with them. Monica said she also doesn’t waste any time with people who didn’t have time for her when she was overweight.-Everyone has emotional baggage, but it’s up to us as individuals to decide whether we hang onto it.

Desire for food hasn’t gone away“I just wish I didn’t still want the food.”-Surgery is a tool that helps us walk away from the table without overeating.

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