Monday, January 18, 2010

Do you eat when you're: Sad? Happy? Bored? Stressed?

For me, it's usually all of the above. Last week when I was running around the city with Tiffany, it was pretty easy for me to eat healthfully because I was so busy. However, as the week went on, I started making some classic Ellen eating mistakes. Thursday, I went to Au Bon Pain for lunch. What I was really craving was soup, but since my veggie intake had been nonexistent, I decided it would be best to get a salad. The salad was pretty dull; it consisted of: tiny pieces ham, carrots, cucumbers, corn and apples with a tiny splash of balsamic dressing. As I shoveled the greens into my mouth, I tried to convince myself I was enjoying it, but when Tiffany told me my salad looked sad, I couldn't help but to agree. 

Feeling totally unsatisfied, I got a big chocolate chip cookie at Starbucks. I ate half then and the rest later that night. One cookie (well, a rather large cookie) isn't terrible, but if I had just gotten the soup in the first place, I probably wouldn't have felt the need for anything else. Sometimes it's hard for me to know when to give in to what I'm really craving and when to practice self-restraint. I can't eat everything I want when I want it (now that would not be pretty), but if depriving myself results in eating chocolate chip cookies, then what's a girl to do?

Emotional eating is super dangerous for my diet. I've never stuffed a piece of cake into my mouth like o'girl above, but I've certainly come close. I usually binge on sweets or junk food when I'm down or hungover (let's not even talk about the bag of Sour Patch Kids I ripped into yesterday), but this past Friday, I "treated" myself because I was happy. I had had a long week helping Tiffany with her styling job, and when Friday rolled around, I was feeling so great about having a busy, fun, productive week that I decided I deserved to splurge a little. I was exhausted, so I went to Starbucks for a caffeine boost, and that's when the breakfast sandwiches caught my eye. Nine times out of 10 I would get the oatmeal and feel great about my choice, but for some reason I had it in my mind that I wanted to be bad. I went back and forth about it in my mind: Oatmeal? Breakfast Sandwich? Oatmeal...I got the breakfast sandwich. Breakfast is never a good time to cheat because it sets the wrong tone for the rest of the day. 

I told myself that would be my only indulgence, but that didn't happen. I was madly getting all the clothing returns ready (boy that was a task!), so for lunch I ended up grabbing a bag of Pop Chips and a York peppermint patty. Umm, not the most nutritious lunch in the world, yikes! I was still on a high from my week though, so the guilt didn't settle in until later that night.

I don't want to recount everything I ate this weekend, but I'll just say that it was not good. I'll never become the fit, healthy person I want to be if I don't get my eating in check! It seriously feels like it will never happen. I know I need to re-wire my brain or something, but how the heck do you do that? Maybe I should see a food hypnotist? Repeating "I hate ice cream and pizza" over and over has to do the trick! Kidding. Umm, kinda. 

I'm feeling quite frustrated right now, but today is a new day. I'm heading to the gym now for a much-needed sweat session. Who else is an emotional eater and what emotions usually trigger it?


  1. if it makes you feel any better, i ate like a future contestant on the biggest loser all weekend! i even put foster to shame! a small sample of my super-healthy weekend diet:

    Sunday, January 17
    breakfast: 3 egg+cheese bagel sandwiches (bet your 1 sandwich is looking pretty healthy now...)
    morning snack: a 3lb chocolate chip cookie
    lunch: foster and i shared a an xxl cheese+pineapple pizza. he had 4 pieces. i had 7.
    afternoon snack: 2 more pieces of pizza
    dinner: a grilled turkey sandwich and a piece of cheesecake

    Now do you feel skinny? :)

  2. Wow, Sara, you've got me beat! Was this hangover eating or just MLK weekend celebration eating? Either way, a little (or a lot) of pizza and chocolate never hurt anyone ;)

  3. I seriously wish I could blame my disgusting weekend eating habits on a hangover...

    I choose to believe that guys prefer a girl who knows how to pound unhealthy amounts of junk food to a girl who can't eat a french fry without freaking out (or at least that's what I tell myself after a day like yesterday!)

  4. I tend to eat my feelings often! And i often feel guilty about it and say to myself: "i'll never do that again, come on I can be a strong girl!" But the next day, guess what, i do it again! Most of the time i eat when i'm sad, bored or frustrated. And i don't eat too much when i'm stressed or happy.

    I guess it's a question of balance. When you know you made some bad eating choices, you make some efforts at the gym or for the next meal. Because spending your life feeling guilty about what you eat isn't helping.
    And sometimes a piece of chocolate makes you feel good so it can't be that bad! :D

  5. Mostly just when im bored. But luckily, we never really have much food around our house. So usually just end up opening and closing the fridge and freezer about 10 times in an hour. At that point i become so frustrated i usually just make some rice, and hopefully i have some crackers and hot sauce in the pantry.

  6. Ellen- when ordering a breakfast sandwich opt for one with ham and egg. WAYYY healthier- it gets protein into your system without adding a ton of carbs and calories. A great one to try (if you can find one!I have no idea if they are in NYC) is Panera's power breakfast sandwich. It's one egg with cheddar cheese and ham on two thin slices of multigrain bread. Toasted of course. It comes in at 360 calories with 14g of fat, 36 g of carbs, and 23 g of protein. It's the perfect size so you aren't wanting to explode but it keeps you full til your next meal.

    Anytime I am heading to a restaurant I always double check the menu first and if they have nutrition I check that, too. I think a lot of our decisions at the restaurant are affected by the fact that we are hungry and by what other people order (I always ask everyone around me what they are getting!) By checking the menu prior to getting there, you don't need to be tempted by hunger pangs and you can make a healthy decision. I'm definitely way more overweight than I would prefer but incorporating this habit has helped me drop 4 lbs since the beginning of the year!

    And I used to reward myself with food but now I am promising myself when I hit the 10 lb lost goal, that I will reward myself with clothing. If I'm smart, I'll make it work out clothes!

  7. Whatever it is that girl is eating in the photos looks disgusting.

    I think I will look at that the next time I want to eat just for the sake of eating.


  8. I agree, Sara! Guys what do you think...would you prefer a "normal" girl who chows down on junk from time to time over a girl who freaks out over a french fry?

    And Flip, not having food in the apartment saves me EVERY time. I've stopped keeping snacky foods around so I'm not as tempted, but if I'm REALLY craving something, I'll find a way to get it! Unfortunately...

    Actually LIS, I chose the ham/egg/cheese sandwich for that very reason! It was 370 cals, which isn't SO bad, but usually when I start the day off like that, it just makes me crave other "bad" foods. I don't know why. And I like your idea of rewarding yourself with other thigns other than food. I need to do that...a place in my 'hood does $10 massages for 10 min and they are goood. Hopefully next time I'll save my $$ on the junk and reward myself with something that will make me feel A LOT better!

    Glad I could help, SCS, let me know how that method works! :)