Snack Girl Recharges Her Batteries

June 4, 2010   14 Comments

Everyone who commented last week made a big impact on my mood. I read and reread your comments - see here: Snack Girl Challenges Emotional Eating and Loses when I was feeling down.

Challenge: Week 4

All of the comments were incredibly supportive. I found Louise's comment to be so powerful -read here:

Your posting was very helpful to me, although I'm sorry it was the result of your difficult family circumstances. When it popped up, I had just finished a difficult email exchange with my ex and had crammed a piece of chocolate in my mouth.

As soon as I saw the headline, I realized I was eating because I was upset, not because I was hungry. I spit it out. (sorry if that's gross) and thought, once again, about the emotional component of overeating and eating the wrong things and how women, in particular, "stuff down" their feelings rather than daring to express their anger and frustration.

It is SO easy to eat when tired and stressed because it makes you feel good, right? There is a chemical basis for this reflex. Chocolate in the bloodstream triggers a release of "feel good" hormones to the brain.

So, not only are you fighting a "bad" habit but you are fighting a PHYSICAL response to the stress. You crave the food that dissolves the stress.

Last week at the hospital, I didn't want to look at a salad. (Why doesn't salad trigger "feel good" hormones?) I wanted donuts, pizza, ice cream, chocolate, etc.

This week, I was SO tired. But, I didn't want any more junk food. I got back on track and while I wasn't entirely back to my pre-family emergency challenge days, I ate a lot of healthy food.

My suggestion to add emotions to your food journal - and I am going to do this myself. I read about this idea in the "Clean Food Cookbook" by Terry Walters which I discuss in this post: Olive Tapenade.

Terry suggests that you write down the time that you eat and how you are feeling when you eat your snack or meal. After doing this for a week, you should be able to denote patterns of energy and emotion. Hopefully, like Louise, you can "spit the chocolate out" when you realize you are eating it for the wrong reason.

Just think of all the calories you can avoid by becoming aware of your emotional eating pattern! Hey, it's worth a try.

How did I do?

Four Weeks

177 pounds - (0 pound)
39 inch waist - (- 3 inches)

So, I didn't lose any weight (duh) - and I gained an inch. I feel pretty good about these results considering all the crap that happened.

My Goals for Week 5:

  1. Keep Food Journal with Emotions
  2. No Beer Except Friday and Saturday
  3. Exercise 3 times a week (one hour walk, one exercise class, one Jillian Micheals Shred Workout).
  4. Sitting down when I eat

How are my challengees doing? Is emotional eating a problem for you?
Share in the comments below

Want to read about snacks?
What The World Eats (Cheap and Healthy)
What TO Have for Breakfast
Is a GoGurt a Healthy Go or a Junk Food No?
A Little Ranch Dressing Isn't Gonna Kill Ya

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I'm still down two - I stalled last week since I was on vacation but managed to not gain which is good. I'm back to running (too hot out!) and shredding this week. It's always nice to get back into a routine.

Hope your aunt is doing ok and you are having a better week.

I think I need to come back and read more comments as they come in for strength. I'm not anywhere closer to my goal, weight-wise, than I was when we started. I have started to implement some additional healthy habits, but I'm too falling victim to that emotional eating thing. I've curbed it a great deal, so I'm not gaining (the emotional eating has got me to where I am right now, so I suppose not gaining is good!), but I've been dealing with health issues, and the frustration that no matter what I eat doesn't make me feel well, (so the logic in my head is to go ahead and eat crap because it makes me feel better??!?!? Makes no sense!) so while I'm eating nourishing foods all day, I tend to gravitate towards sweets at night. I need to remove the sweet stuff from the house entirely - and remove the ingredients with which to bake sweets - because I will even go so far as to bake up muffins or something and eat too many of those! Anyway, enough ranting. Here IS what I'm doing well, and plan to do more of:

- eating more raw foods and fermented foods in every meal

- strength training - I've been doing this half-heartedly, and this week I bought some adjustable weight dumbbells and started using those.

- continue my cardio - soccer 2X a week, running 2X a week, stationary bike 1X a week

- incorporating healthy fats in my diet. The calories from those fats are worth the benefits (must keep this in mind!) - healthy fats keep my mood up and help keep me from craving sweets and snacks.

Keep up the good work, Lisa, and everyone!

I have a weird one for you: I eat under physical stress, like around my period. I know this can't be healthy either but chocolate actually makes it feel better. It's like choosing between the excess calories and sugar or dealing with the pain. Any suggestions to help me beat this one?

I really like what you're doing here, Snack Girl. The Journal (now with emotions!) is a terrific tool. I started one last week after reading a few of your articles.

Thank you.

I am down 4lbs this week.

Very happy with myself since I have had a bad last couple of weeks and thought "Why bother?" yet again!

I'm so sorry you're going through these stressors, but it seems like they're not "all for naught." Not easy, but not completely without you taking away stuff for growth, too.

I've been working a lot with my therapist on the WHYs of my eating habits. There's hoarding patterns, mainly. Lots of family baggage and ways that I grew up that shape the "hoarder" in me. These past two years I've experienced enormous loss (and regain) in life (not including my weight) and I'm learning to slow down, love what is, and dialogue with the scared little girl in me who's afraid that she's not going to be able to eat again. Coming to terms with being an adult and knowing that I do have the means to eat well... that's hard work. Let alone making healthy choices.

Two steps forward, 1.5 steps back...

My thoughts and support are with you!

Hey Snack Girl, I'm so sorry about your difficult time with your aunt recently. But yay you for maintaining your exercise program! I think being able to admit we've fallen off the low cal, healthy food wagon and moving on is really critical. It is so hard to do, but you seem to be doing an excellent job.

I've been doing pretty well with my diet, with the occasional "Why did I just eat THAT?" I am down about 5 lbs as of this morning's weigh in. I haven't been checking measurements, and I don't expect a lot of muscle weight gain since I have been exercising regularly for a while now. So all I hope to see is the extra padding going away. I'm not sure I can see much of a difference, but my pants might be a bit looser and the scale is telling me I'm losing, so I won't argue!

Hang in there!



What you're experiencing is actually very normal and all females go through it. Your body is craving the chemical found in chocolate to balance out the hormones that are spiked during that time. Personally, I know that I crave chocolate during and about a week before, I need lots of salt. The week after, iron-rich foods in the form of a steak. Instead of denying yourself, allow yourself to indulge a little bit but do some yoga or go walking as well (which also help with cramps.) Hope this helps!

Your posts are inspiring. I haven't jumped on the scale yet, but mom says I look like I've lost five pounds since our family holiday. I am tracking (mostly) my food in Weight Watchers online. The big extra step is lots of cycling, which feels great, makes me in a better mood. Keep it up!

I am the poster child for emotional eating. I let myself eat whatever I want during my period, I just am super healthy the other 3 weeks. I also add more exercise to counterract it. I have lost 9.5 pounds so far and am cutting out soda, candy,and full fat foods. Seems to be helping. Hang in there guys, we can DO THIS!!

Everyone eats based on emotions (ah, comfort foods)...just pick the right foods to eat. Snack Girl aka Lias has introduced me to some great ones - - that have become regulars in my repertoire.

You really don't have to eat junk when "overeating". I eat more now than I ever have and I lost 30 pounds...and have maintained that weight-loss.

Ken Leebow

You can do it.. Keep it up!!

It takes time... n time flies! =)

Weight-wise I've already met my goal for the challenge but my real challenge is always to get up off my butt and *do* something. So, i've got to keep working on that one.

Here's the "skinny"... I am down only one pound. In fact, in the last 3 months I have lost only 4 pounds but - get this - I've lost lots of inches. Six, count them, 1,2,3,4,5,6 inches in my waist alone! I exercise 6 days a week, twice a week with a trainer and 3 times in a water aerobics class. Exercise works, people. And the scale doesn't give you an accurate picture. So if your scale is stuck, don't beat yourself up - take your measurements!

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