Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chewing gum . . . to avoid emotional eating

O.K.  I'm thinking that anything I might have to add to this blog will not be of much benefit to any of you ladies who are SOOOOOOOOO much farther along than me on both fitness AND nutrition. 

There is a blog I like to check sometimes called 320 Sycamore, and she is participating in a New Year, New You challenge, and blogging about it.  She talked about being an emotional eater (which I TOTALLY am).  She posted this the other day . . . I felt like I was looking in the mirror!! (It's SOOOOO me right now!)  Here is her post:

I. eat. a lot.
Without even realizing it. This has been such an eye opener for me. I was thinking to myself in December when I agreed to do the New Year, New Year thing: I don’t eat that much! I don’t know why I’m gaining weight. I need to exercise more. But it all adds up and as my body gets older, it’s not going to be forgiving about it as it has been. I eat as I’m making the kids’ lunches in the morning. I eat when I’m cleaning up breakfast.  When I’m making/cleaning up lunch. Same with dinner. I got embarrassed at how many things I would have to write down if I hadn’t caught myself because of this little goal.
Awareness is going to be a huge step for me.
And do you want to talk about emotional eating? Oh, wow.
It was Wednesday night, the laundry was piled up by the kitchen table ready to be folded, I was helping my daughter on her project, prodding my boys’ to clean up their room before they went out to play, my husband called and reminded me of something we had later on that night, which meant dinner had to be in half an hour. BLAST. What are we even having for dinner?? I headed right for the pantry~not to start dinner, but to soothe myself with food. I stopped myself (because of this goal) and foraged through my purse for an old, crumb filled piece of sweet mint gum. I feel a bit like a druggie.
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It happened lots: a text with some sad, sad news about a dear friend. I headed for the pantry as I thought about the text.
I got an awesome email with some good news from a fellow blogger. To the pantry!
 I forgot to write in my son’s journal for school and as he got ready I was thinking of something clever to write. I went to the pantry..I guess food helps my creativity??
I remember watching an Oprah where they were talking about emotional eating and someone in the audience asked: why can’t it just be about the food? What if I just love food and that’s why I’m fat? And the expert lady answered, “it’s never about the food. Otherwise, you would be at your ideal weight, because you would only eat when you were hungry.” Probably not the exact words, but you get the idea. And I thought, “what a bunch of crock. I’m not an emotional eater, and I’m overweight.”
Really, Melissa?
So, thanks to my younger sister, I’ve invested in some of the Extra dessert gum to tide me over when I head to deal with things with food. I’ve gone through 3 packs this week. I would love to get to a point where I don’t need anything in my mouth, but for now it’s a good alternative.
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So that’s where I’m at right now~a little disgusted with myself, but kind of relieved that this may be a big part of the puzzle. We’ll see. I’m tracking my food online at because I don’t have a smart phone, but I know there is lots of cool apps out there to just track what you’re eating. There are lots of things I simply didn’t want to eat because I didn’t want to write it down. It’s a HUGE first step for me.

I think I'm gonna go out and get some of that gum!!  Why do I think I need to always have something in my mouth?  I guess I'm starting to understand my thumb-sucking and paci loving kids . . . maybe they're just taking after their good ol' mom!

This is kind of what you were saying about recording what we eat Sar.  One of these days I'm gonna have to check out your calorie counter site . . . but I'm a little afraid do it it right now . . . it won't be pretty!!!!


  1. Great post!! I put sugar free gum in the cupboard next to my pantry and I chew it any time I know I'm not really hungry, but WANT something to eat or chew on and it does the trick every time. that and a huge glass of water...I love me some sugar free spearmint gum!

  2. that's funny. just today, i was at the store and something put me in a bad mood (long story, i won't go into what happened). as i was walking through the store, thinking how annoyed i was, i saw the oreos and, for a split second, i told myself that i needed to buy those and everything would be better. then i snapped out of it and told myself not to let things that are out of my hands ruin all my efforts. AND that this is the perfect blog post. you beat me to it. and i, like caroline, use the water trick. that usually helps me. but, like this girl said, awareness is key. if you don't realize it's happening, you can't fix the problem.