ARE YOU AN EMOTIONAL EATER?

 

Are you an emotional eater?

Are you an emotional eater?

 

“Are you an emotional eater?” No, I said, in a 21-year old, annoyed, eager to leave, definitely not opening up to a stranger sort of way. I couldn’t explain the twenty pound weight gain my senior year of college, and my doctor suggested a visit with a specialist for further analysis. In this case, my second opinion was requested from a Nutritionist. Up to now, I’d never seen a Nutritionist, since I got more than enough diet suggestions, advice, and tips from People and Cosmopolitan Magazines, 90210, my circle of girlfriends, and my boyfriend. The weight gain didn’t make sense because I was eating the way I always did, maintained a moderate jogging schedule. I even became recently interested in Yoga, although I wasn’t very patient with my practice. Still, my clothes kept getting tighter, and I constantly felt sluggish, both of which made me moodier than usual.

Do you eat mindlessly?

Do you eat mindlessly?

In traditional form, the Nutritionist asked that I write down everything I ate for a week. Despite the lack of amusement on my part, I was committed to getting better and agreed to carrying a journal around everywhere I went. I was honest and thorough with listing out my foods, and I’m still amused at one day’s list: coffee with cream… bagel with cream cheese and a banana… two egg and potato tacos… chips and salsa… a bag of Chex Mix… Twizzlers… two beers… chips and salsa… two more beers… a chicken sandwich and one tater tot… another beer… and a half of a hamburger. I’m certain this was a day where I went from my internship (producing the morning show at the CBS affiliate in my college town), to class, and out with friends—obviously to a patio for live music. The hamburger was surely one I split with someone in the car on the way home from where ever we went out that night. Ah college life!

As the Nutritionist and I reviewed my week’s-worth of nourishment, I tried to explain the decisions I made, feeling justified with each one. She listened but never looked up from my list and her note-taking. After all, this is how I ate for years and managed to maintain my figure and weight up until now. I’m sure she internally scoffed at the alcoholic drinks, but I drank light beer, and I drank less than most people I knew. I was convinced I was eating fine and that food wasn’t the culprit to my health woes. After all, it’s just food. It goes in our bodies, leaves our bodies, and life goes on. I. Was. Wrong.

Poor_Eating_Habits

The years of food and drink decisions I’d made up into that day had finally caught up with me. The damaging effects of processed carbohydrates, chemical-laden foods, natural resources altered with poisonous preservatives had finally clogged me up and created a backwash of toxicity and lifelessness. “How depressing! At 21, my equipment is broken?” As I sat in the Nutritionist’s office, mentally ordering a wheelchair for myself, she pulled me out of my slump and said it’s all reversible, fixable, and preventable. We went to work, and I found my new relationship with nourishment and hydration. Food and drink were no longer good and/or bad; I had control over what I put into my body; I still had fun. After detoxing via juicing, a gentle herbal cleanse (from Advocare), and journaling, I felt my body return to its flourishing, youthful, healthy state. I also witnessed my return into my favorite jeans! Would you believe that the journaling was my favorite part of the journey? It turns out, I did mistaken emotion and stress for hunger and thirst. After I started listening to my body to identify true feelings of hunger and true emotions that life brings, I felt more in control at meal times. Once I started seeing food as fuel and not entertainment, comfort, or companionship, I found wellness. Most importantly, I haven’t felt deprived, sluggish, or moody with my new fit and fun lifestyle.

Change your outlook on life and you change your relationship with food!

Change your outlook on life and you change your relationship with food!

Maybe you’re aware of some of these eye-opening statistics, but just in case:

9 out of 10 women are unhappy with their weight, shape, or looks
8 out of 10 women are on a diet
40% of 9 year-old females have been on a diet
Over 98% of people who lose weight by dieting gain it back within a year
Over 65% of people complain of digestive issues
Over 50% of people complain of constant fatigue

Why do we keep struggling like this? Because I was an uneducated, deceived, irritated 21-year old once, I can answer my rhetorical question: because the truth is not perceived as fun or easy. As a Healthy Housewife, I’d like to challenge this worldwide, long-standing opinion that fitness and health is dull, lifeless, and difficult and shout from the rooftops that it is simple and fun to live a lifestyle of health and wellness. Let’s join hands with the other sassy, fun, and flourishing women in our lives and start using food as your medicine, fuel, and greatest health resource!

***Special thanks to The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and to The Institute of Integrative Nutrition for being resources in my life and leading me into my current holistic perspective of nourishment. Also, thank you to Advocare for providing me products that supplement my life and passion!

Thank you for reading my blog!

Lacey Pruett

www.LaceyPruett.com

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