4 Steps to help overcome Emotional Overeating

Has this pandemic become the battle of the bulge? Do you have love / hate relationship with the scale? Are you gaining weight that seems to stay around forever? The cause might be emotional overeating.

I am guilty of this, now matter what the emotion stress, depressed, anger and even when happy food is my comfort. When happy it’s disguised as a celebration, I’ve earned the right to eat whatever I want. However, I have noticed that different emotions have me seeking out different comfort foods. When I am stressed or angry, I tend to want sweet comforts. When I am sad its junk food like chips or take out. When happy its all the above.

What is emotional overeating?

Emotional overeating is a complex topic, but to simplify you are eating your feelings!

As defined by the Mayo Clinic Emotional Eating is eating to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Major life events or, more commonly, the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts.

Food is a source of comfort for us emotional eaters. Sadly, the comfort doesn’t last it’s a temporary rush of feel good emotions then the guilt of overeating kicks in and then you are berating yourself for sabotaging your diet and weight-loss goals.

Try these easy steps to help with your emotional overeating.

  1. Know your triggers. When you feel the need to eat your feelings it is usually triggered by an event, thought, or feeling.

If you are not yet mindful of your triggers start a journal. Start by writing out your feelings. Are you stressed, bored, sad or is this real hunger that you are feeling?

If you can figure out your triggers, then it will be easier to take control of them.

My trigger is work stress and now due to ‘The Vid’ and being in lockdown I am seeking comfort in food much more then normal. Your triggers may be the same or it could be family and relationship issues.

2. Eat when you’re hungry. Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to real hunger pangs. Make sure to also keep hydrated so an you don’t confuse being thirsty with being hungry.

3. Make alternative plans. For example, if you know that you are going to have a stressful day at work, and this causes you to stress eat then plan and try to prevent it. Try substituting a more positive action that also brings you comfort or reduces your stress like looking at dog videos on Instagram. Nothing better than watching a cubby French bulldog getting stuck in a box. Maybe dog videos aren’t your thing, but you get the idea.

– Take a long walk or workout after work to get rid of stress.
– Instead of running to grab that bags chips after an argument, watch your favourite sitcom to get you in a happier mood. Or get out of your comfort zone and call a friend instead of texting.

The plan is to find other ways to deal with your stress and negative emotions.

4) Find your tribe.  Surround yourself with people that your are comfortable with, that support and lift up. Create a support group to help each other with your fitness and health goals.

Your are not alone, many of us eat our feelings and most of the time without realizing it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and we can change. Take small steps to create your new habits and reach out when you need help.

What you need to know about stress and your skin

Stress what is it good for?…. absolutely nothing

Have you ever had a pimple or a cold sore show up right before a job interview or a big date?  Or maybe “The Vid” has you breaking out in hives. As you may have already guessed stress can affect your skin, confidence and love life. The signs of stress can be physical as well as mental, and they can appear anywhere on your body.

Anywhere!

Most skin conditions are the result of chemical and hormonal changes caused by stress. These conditions include rashes, hives, styes (I’ve had two since last March), pimples and maskne. Stress causes your body to produce more cortisol, and that makes your skin oilier and prone to acne. Fun!

Normally we’d be dealing with work, home and relationship stress but now on top of our regular every day stressors we have to deal with a pandemic. Here are some tips to help reduce the impact it has on your comfort and appearance.

Try these tips for treating and preventing stress-related skin issues:

  1. Understand the interactions. Stress can be the direct cause of what’s going on with your skin. It can also slow down healing regardless of what caused your symptoms. Plus, skin troubles can cause more stress, creating an unfortunate cycle.

  2. Cleanse carefully. If dealing with stress induced acne scrubbing too hard can do more damage to your skin. Wash your face gently and be sure to products suitable for your skin type.

  3. Relieve itching. If stress has you braking out in hives or a rash make sure to resist the urge to scratch. Keeping your hands off your skin helps to prevent scarring and reduces the risk of spreading any infection. You really don’t want to be labelled a Super Spreader regardless of what you are spreading

  4. Talk with your doctor. If you are experiencing any of these things in the past year, chances are very good it’s your body’s stress response. However, if it persists for two long you may want to check with your doctor to rule out any potentially serious causes like allergies or bacterial infections.

  5. Have patience. Skin conditions often need awhile to heal fully so it is important to be patient and try not to stress. Yes, it’s a double-edged sword.

7 Tips For Preventing Stress-Related Skin Symptoms

  1. Exercise regularly. Movement is the quickest way to alleviate stress. It’s as simple as a brisk walk in the park to help you get your mind off your troubles. Plan workouts you’ll look forward to, like dance classes, running or in my case I like to punch things therefore I do Muay Thai. There are also a ton of online workouts on YouTube for all fitness levels. Try a new one every other day to keep it interesting.

  2. Get Sleep. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Try to keep a    consistent schedule so your body gets into a regular rhythm. If you are having trouble sleeping try a melatonin supplement, meditation, or a guided sleep hypnosis on YouTube. I find Rescue Remedy and a cup of warm water with Natural Calm Magnesium before bed to be a perfect combination.
  • Eat a balanced diet. You are what you eat so if you are eating to much pizza to help you get thought the pandemic your face will look like one.  Your skin needs nourishment just like the rest of your body. Avoid crash diets and too much processed food. Consume at least 7 servings of vegetable and fruits a day, along with adequate protein and healthy fats. Make sure to get your essential fatty acids and take an omega 3 supplement not only is it great for your skin but it also makes your hair Hollywood fabulous.

  • Gab with the girls. It helps to have someone you can confide in. Call a friend or organize a zoom chat with your posse when you need to vent and for support. Consider seeing a therapist, talking to your girls is great but sometimes having an outsider’s perspective helps you see things differently.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. Yes, this is hard! For me it’s caffeine I can drink 4 cups of coffee a day on a bad day because it calms me. Sadly, alcohol and caffeine can also aggravate skin conditions. Drink in moderation or substitute water and herbal teas instead.

  • Practice relaxation techniques. You might want to start a daily meditation practice or take a warm bath when you return home from work.

  • Keep a journal. People under estimate the power of pen and paper. Writing about your feelings helps you release them, by the time you are finished getting it all down on paper you will feel that the weight has lifted.

Remember rough days at the office, pandemic news, winter and bills don’t have to take a toll on your epidermis. Protect your skin with regular maintenance, appropriate medical care, and a healthy dose of stress management.

How do you manage your stress? Please share with us we’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

Got an interview?

It’s been almost two years since I lost my job and the day I lost my job, I immediately went online and started job hunting. The next day I got phone call asking if I could come in for an interview on Friday just two days later. Now keep in mind that I did not sleep the night I got the news, nor did I eat that day or the next. I was just running on coffee and a strong will to keep it together. I was excited to have an interview but no where near being emotionally sound enough to handle it. I was still trying to process it all.

The interview…

Interview day arrives, I’m running on 4 hours sleep and a large black coffee. I get there and the doorbell to the office is not working, I’m panicking because I was 15 minutes early and did not want them to think I was late. I call the woman I am meeting to tell her I was outside, she comes to get me and I realized I could have just knocked it was a glass door and a small office (not proud but I was not fully functioning). My interview is with the HR manager and the finance manager, they were both pleasant and very nice. I was no nervous my hands had a life of their own, it got so bad that I sat on them to stop them from flailing all over the place. I eventually said I’m so sorry I am nervous and I really have no idea why my hands are moving so much. This broke the ice and the HR manager said ‘I know dear, I was going to let you know it’s ok, and word of advice if you go on other interviews just let them know you are nervous’. They had asked me when did I get notice of being laid off, I’m shocked them when I said it was 2 days ago, but this also explained to them why I was so nervous.

I survived the interview, even cracked a joke as I was leaving. I’m not 100% sure how I did it but by the end of that day I got offered the job. When I talked to the HR manager she said she liked me before meeting me. She said I was well spoken and she loved my resume. She also proceeded to tell me that she thinks the company will be very lucky to have me. I almost cried because I’m being appreciated before I even get through the door. It was validation that I am worthy and have value in the work place.

I did take that job but have moved on. It was what I needed to keep my head above water because I would not have survived on EI.

The moral of this story is always be yourself and be honest when you feel you are not representing yourself properly. We may feel like a hot mess but others may not see you that way. Remember we are our worst critics.

Good luck to all those on the job hunt, the universe will provide.

Remember you’re not alone!

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