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Emotional Eating.

teadeteade Raw Newbie

So, I’ve had this eating disorder since high school and I’ve just about tried everything (and I’m certain dieting made it worse)
I tend to eat when bored, angry, anxious, happy, and everything else… meaning I eat waaaay too often.
And when I begin, I eat so much, I overeat.
Alot of times I can think about it when I’m doing it and I know I’m not hungry anymore.
I know we should listen to our bodies and all that stuff.
I even leave myself little notes that seem to go unnoticed (kind of like a picture on a wall you see all the time)
even kept a journal.
and nothing is really working.
Just when I stop obsessing over it, I start again.
Any advice, neat working tricks?
I’d appreciate it.


  • SueSue Raw Newbie

    When I was in my teens and early 20’s I did the same thing. I was an emotional eater. I pigged out even when I wasn’t hungry. It’s not an easy habit to break but you can do it. My best advice is to stop “obsessing” about food and focus on anything else but food. Take a walk, run around the block, call someone, paint, write a letter, take a nice warm bath; you get the idea. Anything to break the cycle. Hope that helps.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    YOu know, I have to say this teade; you are very beautiful. I’d hate to see you end up looking like me from an ED. I went from 86 pounds to obesity, and then back and forth again 4 times since junior high. I look like a monster now and I’m ill. You might want to get a therapist to help you through this, also, hun. I know how agonizing and irrational the behavior is. I think you did the right thing about going all-raw vegan. Has it helped the moods any?

  • teadeteade Raw Newbie

    I always like to hear from people who experience this stuff.
    I know its not out of control (yet?) and that I definitely don’t want to be model ‘sickly’ skinny.
    The Raw-vegan thing does help a bit with moods. Trouble is the stuff it can’t help with (money stress and school)
    I know I don’t want to be unhealthy, I guess our minds are just really hard to rewire once everything goes messed up…
    so surrounded by magazines and tv. I hate it.
    Definitely working on it.
    thank you sooo much.
    I have considered a therapist.. haven’t tried one yet.

  • You have to change with your body as you get older. Thus change your diet. Try detoxing then it will be alot easier.

  • I feel for you. I really feel for you. It takes time, patience, and discipline. I used to have the same problem. (I still do!) But I worked hard at it, and now my diet is healthier than its ever been… See, your stomach can be trained. If you eat late at night, chances are, the next night at the same time, you’re going to be hungry again. Hunger dominates. What I’ve done is I’ve created a schedule for myself. I eat 5 meals a day. 3 main meals and 2 snacks. Tea. If I miss a snack or meal, I get very panicky cuz that usually means I’m going to overeat. It took me a long time to even get myself into that groove, a lot of patience, and a lot of discipline. And also, a lot of forgiving. Just because I’m eating so much better now, my battle is still far from done.

    Oh, and I must add, learning about the raw diet helped me so much. And I learned about the diet from this website… What a lifesaver!! <hearts>

  • Wow, Teade, Alix, I’m happy to know that I’m not alone.
    I tend to eat a lot too, especially when I’m anxious, bored or stressed. The ED is still under control but we never know what challenges life has in store for us.
    Nevertheless, I’m currently seeing a psychologist to help me overcome that. Up until now, I only had one meeting and we agreed that food is a way I use to give myself love. So basically, I have to figure out what other ways I can love myself without food.
    Sometimes when the thought of food becomes overwhelming, I stop thinking and focus on breathing. But it is challenging alone and always having to control these thoughts.
    So yeah, try finding some help. It’s good to know you’re not alone. Sometimes school offers free help. That’s what I did.
    Good luck!! :)

  • I do the same thing, although I don’t feel it’s out of control. You might want to check out Angela Stokes http://www.rawreform.com I have a book of hers called “How to Go Raw for Weight Loss” that talks about her experiences with OA. You might be interested in that. She describes some of her techniques, like avoiding her “trigger” foods… those foods that she would overeat. I think writing about it helps, filling up on wholesome, delicious foods helps, having hobbies and other activities to keep your mind busy helps. Best of luck to you!

  • juicyjuicy Raw Newbie

    When I was SAD I overate ALL the time. I would say I overate, to the point of feeling ill, every single day straight for one year. And then I found raw food. The emotions that used to accompany over eating, such as the adrenaline rush when I was eating the food, and then the subsequent guilt have completely vanished. Not saying that at times in the present I don’t overeat- but it is to a much less degree and none of those horrible emotions!
    One thing that always helped me was knowing that it was just a habit I developed, and it takes around 90 days to break a habit. Juice fasting also really helped me with this- knowing that I had the power in me to control what/when I ate was really helpful!
    best of luck and don’t feel alone in this struggle.

  • teadeteade Raw Newbie

    wow, you guys are amazing! Thank you guys soo much.
    I actually had a bad day today and bought this pre-packaged indian food, but opted for some oranges instead, so I’m proud of myself there…
    but I don’t want to replace the food and keep the habit. I want to break the habit.
    But one step at a time.
    You ares are all so helpful and I’ll try alot.
    It strange to think how so many people suffer from this. I’m sure its rooted in our instincts back from when we had to overeat cause food was scarce.
    We really are amazingly complex things.

  • teade- I battled an ED for 10 years, and have recovered for the first time in the past year when I’ve actually felt like I have let go of the obsessive thoughts and overeating. What has helped me the most is focusing on paying attention to my stomach and eating slower to really know when I am full. The more you conciously make a decision to stop when you are full the easier it gets. Planning my meals for the day helps also. I do suggest therapy or even groups like an ED support group. I convinced myself over and over during that 10 years that I didn’t need it b/c I was “better”, when really the frequency of my behaviors was reduced but not really gone. I didn’t really get better and make the efforts I knew I had to make until I got into therapy and had someone to be accountable to. But since going raw I’ve found my cravings reduced and overeating seems so much harder to do. Also- I had to keep my “trigger” foods out of the house.

  • I really agree with you Rawrach about listening to our stomach when we are hungry. Come to think of it, I haven’t felt hunger for quite a while. Constantly feeding myself made me forget what hunger is about. I read that fasting can unbalance our hunger/satiety response.
    We live in a society with a weird relationship with food. Having to eat at a specific and limited time, food constantly available and so many rituals and gatherings around food… no wonder we get so obsessed with it.
    I’m currently trying to eat with NO distractions (no reading, internet, radio, tv) and focusing on my stomach when it sends me the signal that it had enough. This is not really easy but it gives back the food and our bodies the respect they deserve.
    Rawrach, if it’s not to personal, what did you learn that helped you during therapy to overcome ED?

  • It’s no problem Nezumi- I think what helped me the most was the accountability to someone. I knew I would be wasting my time and money if I was dishonest, and my ED was so secretive and shameful to me that the pressure of having to tell someone everytime I continued my eating behaviors really helped me to try to control myself better. She also helped me reframe the way I talk to myself ie: saying “My weight is…” vs “I weigh..” to break some of my self-defeating thoughts. And aside from the eating disorder stuff, inevitably things come out that are at the root of the problem and I really felt that just the act of saying things out loud and acknowledging their power over me helped me to let go of it a bit. It really started with simple steps such as saying that I had to plan my meals and snacks for the day and at work I had to eat everything I packed for myself before I could give in to all the sweets and junk food laying around my workplace (i work with a bunch of women so there’s always goodies around), then addressing how I ate at home by planning my workouts during my trigger time (right when I get home) and having a cutoff time around 6 after which I stopped eating, then after I had my behaviors under control better we addressed more of the emotional issues behind it with self esteem and such. Hope that helps! It is SOOOOO worth it to really tackle and work on getting past an eating disorder. I feel so much more in control of my body and life now, and once you begin to decrease the behaviors the cravings and urges really do begin to disappear.

  • hey guys!
    im so glad you started this thread teade… your first post sounded like it could have been written by me. this post is short and sweet as i gotta fly…
    but i just wanted to pop in and say, im here for support as well, you guys are all awesome and the advice is awesome…
    thanks! and ill be back when i have some free time to share my story some more…


  • I’m glad this topic has been started.

    I struggle with Night Eating Syndrome (NES). I’ve had this problem for at least 3 years. It started during a rough time in my life, and even though things are a little better, I’m still doing it. There is not a night that goes by that I’m not up at least 2 times during the night eating. And, before someone says “eat more during the day,” I eat quite a bit during the day, and when I get up during the night, I’m not hungry. It’s almost like a habit. I’m aware of what I’m doing, but I can’t stop. The only way would be to throw all food out, then what would I eat for dinner? The things I eat during the night are not necessarily bad…. I think I’m addicted to carbs. I’m not 100 raw, so I do still have oatmeal, steel cut oats, quinoa, millet, and such in the house, and yogurt, peanut butter, almond butter (I’m just not ready to take that final leap to 100 raw). I’m not totally eating bad stuff, but this is driving me crazy!

    I go to sleep at 9:00 p.m., and I’m up usually at 10:30 p.m.the first time, and around 12:00 a.m. the second time. Also, I get up to go to the gym at 2:15 a.m. I know this is not the norm, but it’s the only time I can go. So, I’m already not getting very much sleep.

    I’ve gone through a sleep study, and they found I had sleep disturbances 23 times the first hour. It’s not sleep apnea, but they wanted me to wear a CPAC (not the most comfortable device!). Or, take medication. I refuse! I’ve tried melatonin, magnesiusm, D.

    Anybody else suffer with this problem, or know someone that does?

    Please help! I’m desparate!

  • teadeteade Raw Newbie

    Wow exfedster, that is amazing. Its so odd to me how we can form these habits and how hard it actually is to break them. I really don’t know what you can do to stop.. I’d like to believe that eating good and gradually eating more raw with help with the sleep issues..
    maybe one day you can stay in bed when you wake up?.. force yourself to, even if it makes you stay up? .. or try to find something else to do, maybe write something or clean the house.. drink water or tea instead of eating to keep your mouth busy.
    I’m sure you’ve probably tried all of that though. lol.

    And I would agree with rawrach, I’ve had other habits subside and the cravings are gone (or decreased) so I know that these ones would too.. its just that everytime they start to fade, they start up again. Almost like I’m scared to let this habit just fade away.

    Artistruth, definitely share your story when you get time!!

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    That’s hard, exfedster. I feel for you. Listen, I think you said it best yourself, though. You have a house with carbs that aren’t great for you. Get rid of them and replace them with raw fruits and vegetables. Most especially dump the oatmeal, steel cut oats and peanut butter. None of that stuff is beneficial to you in any way.

    When you get this under control, you can maybe(maybe) introduce them back into your eating routine. But if you have a carb addiction, then take it from me, you are going to have to go cold turky. It does take a while, so be patient with yourself.

  • chilovechilove Raw Newbie

    Meditation and exercise really help people deal with emotional eating. They both help us manage stress and activate feel good centers in our brains. Avoiding stress is very important.

    Best of luck to you!



  • Alix1964~

    I know you are right about getting rid of the carbs in my house. It’s so hard to take that step. I think about it when I’m away from home. I wish I could call someone at my home to just dump it. Then, I wouldn’t be faced with it when I came home.

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