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Roger Gould, M.D.  
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Specialties: Mental Health, Wellness, emotional eating

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Feeding Food to the Mind: Stages One and Two

May 26, 2010 - 2 comments
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Feeding Food to the Mind

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Emotional Eating Habit

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overeating

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food addiction



This is the second blog in the series about Feeding Your Mind with Food. I intended to write a different story today but the responses to the last blog were so informative that I thought it would be more enlightening to tell the story through those thirteen comments. This new story is about the stages one has to go through to break the emotional eating habit.

The very first comment surprised me. She thought what I said was quite harsh, like a parent scolding her in some way. She said “it reminds me of my parents telling me off for overeating when I was little.” That was not my intention but I understand why she said that after reading the other comments and reflecting on what she said when she identified herself as someone just starting to deal with the emotional eating issue. It was too harsh for her at that early stage.

At the beginning stage, when there is just enough awareness to recognize there must be an emotional component to your weight problem, anything you learn that makes you think about it more deeply and personally, seems like an assault upon you. It feels like just one more person lecturing you, trying to talk you out of your eating habits by shame or logic or some other shenanigans. Someone who talks straight to you is just another insensitive and over controlling parent who doesn’t really care about you. This is especially true if the weight problem started early in life and was entangled in the family dynamics of that period. The sensitivity to what others say about your eating habits is at it’s highest.

Read more about this blog at www.shrinkyourself.com/blog_item.asp?i=-148

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by Jaquta, May 27, 2010
I found this article very informative (and hurtful).

My initial reaction was one of rejection.  This blog was also posted at MedHelp and those members responses were not acknowledged.  (My response was not acknowledged.)  I am grateful it is re-posted at this site though.
While I had been trying to identify emotions prior to binge eating, rejection rarely, if ever, came up.  I can appreciate now that the blanket emotions that I thought were triggers were only superficial emotions.

My doctor and therapist went through a fair number of tissues too.

Inadequacy is another emotion that has come up.  And questions.  What is the difference between the bloggers on the different sites?  What do I lack that they have?  What makes them OK and me not?  Why am I so unacceptable?  So invisible?  What is it about ME that causes others to reject ME and turn away from ME?  Why am I so selfish that I even FEEL it is about me?

I also felt hurt (?attacked, threatened, afraid) by the comment about making decisions and taking responsibility.  It is too soon for me to understand why though and I need time to process this.

I have had more luck with my diet the past few days.  I can see that that has been because I have made a decision regarding a relationship.

Thank you for re-posting this article here.  I have learned more about myself and my internal world.

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by supermum_ms, May 27, 2010
Thank you for your article, though i dont necessarily agree with you, i respect your perspective. I strongly believe that in todays world, it is too simple an explanation There are far too many peices to this puzzle, emotional eating is just one of the posibilities but not necessarily the only reason. I find this explanation a convenient truth, when there could be physiological components that are not being investigated.

How is overeating being determined, is it volume of food consumed, weight gain, etc, just how is it determined in the first place? I sometimes think the obvious is to easily over looked, just what are we eating? And if you are being medicated for anxiety or depression, are the drugs your taking creating a problem, you wouldn't necessarily have. Do you have a medical condition that could be contributing to the problem. Is this a chicken or the egg senario?

The point i'm trying to make may make more sense if i tell a story, My son was dx GAD, medicated for 8 years, he was under weight, and height but healthy overall. His size has been a concern but i am a small woman both in weight and height so because of that it was put down to genetics. He came off the medication and in 6 weeks gained 8 kilo's and out grew all his clothes, he's even starting to gain height, notible due to him being the same weight and height for over 3 years. The medication contributed, by being an appetite and growth suppressor, an uncommon but known adverse affect, which in all of those 8 year has not once been mentioned or investigated. Medications are commonly connected to weight gain, not emotional over eating but from the medication directly affecting their brain, creating an increased appitite, and its to easily over looked.

The catch 22, yes the individual does have anxiety and or a depressive mental health issue, and the easiest premis when weight is also an issue, is that it's due to their emotional health, when it could be the result of the medication they take. I'm not saying that emotional eating doesnt exist, not at all, what i'm saying is that it is too easily pressumed and there can be alternative explanations that has nothing to do with emotion.

Cheers........JJ



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