food poisoning and other reasons why i haven’t been around

February 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I hate when my favorite bloggers disappear and, in the weight loss blogging world, usually it means that they’re “off the wagon.”  It’s been over a week since I last posted and that’s been due to being horribly sick with food poisoning and traveling for my job.  Don’t worry though, I’m back!

If you couldn’t tell by the poison picture above, I wanted to reflect a little on the food poisoning experience itself.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to provide any details on the physiological aspects of it or the resulting ER visit but I did want to talk a little about the emotional side because it really made me to start to think.

I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I’m happy and want to celebrate.  I eat when I’m depressed and need consolation.  I won’t eat when I’m feeling overwhelmed and need control.  When I look back over the last 7 years of yo-yoing, each peak and valley corresponds directly with an event in my life.  My only successful efforts at weight loss are right at the cusp of a major change in my life, usually graduations or moving.  My large gains are following a depression or dissatisfaction with something in my life, such as a break-up or job/school problems.  Last Saturday, my boyfriend and I got into a huge fight.  After HOURS of fighting, we made up and decided to get something to eat.  He let me pick.  I picked a restaurant known for its desserts.  (I will not name them here because they have been more than wonderful in my “case”.  FYI — The hospital reports any restaurant related cases of food poisoning  to the health department.)  I was feeling exhausted.  I wanted something that would make me happy and I turned to food.

But this time, the food betrayed me!  Instead of making me happy, it made me violently ill.  In those wee hours of the morning on my bathroom floor, I honestly felt betrayed.  Then I just felt silly – it’s food!  It shouldn’t be providing me with anything other than nourishment and energy!  Not only did I have a dysfunctional relationship with my boyfriend but now I also have one with food!  In the days that followed, I didn’t even want to eat.  Because I was treated at the ER, the queasy stomach feeling went away within a day or so but I still just felt like a scorned lover.  How could I learn to trust food again?

I’ve thought and thought and thought on this and I don’t think I have a good answer.  Obviously, I need to find things that make me happy.  I need to find hobbies, experiences, stress relievers, etc. so that I stop turning to food.  In a dietician’s office last year, she made me list things that I could do instead of eat.  I remember thinking that this easy exercise shouldn’t be so hard.  How do I not know what makes me happy?  But I don’t.  For me to tackle this problem with food, I’m really going to work to reframe food in my life.  Food needs to provide me with energy and nourishment, not happiness.  Now that I have READERS, I’d love to hear any other suggestions?

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3 Comments »

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  1. Thank you for your nice comment, I’m glad you liked my post 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry that happened to you! I hope you’re feeling closer to normal now?

    After your comment on my blog, I popped over here to see that we’re sooo alike. The lists in your first two posts are SPOT. ON. I’ve always tried to figure out what I can do instead of turning to food, because food is so rarely a hunger thing for me – it’s always a craving or a psychological thing. I find when I’m really engaged in some cleaning/organizing/crafting project, I tend to “forget” to eat or ignore my growling stomach. Now, if I could only harness that and use it when I’m craving something less than healthy instead of eating it all (like muffins or cookies or something else I’d keep in the house), I’d be set. Also, the thing I’m realizing I’m struggling with lately is that I could have all the tools in the world – easy-to-access healthy snacks, a list of activities to do when I’m “hungry-bored,” etc., but the thing that matters most is being able to stop yourself in that moment and actually USE those tools.

    Some people swear by a visual reminder – I’m planning on getting myself one this week – like a piece of jewelry. Something you can actually SEE and focus on in the moment and that will somehow provide a cue to action. Some of the things I find myself getting caught up in are researching random stuff on the internet like party-planning (I love it and wish I could do more of it), or “window-shopping” for clothes and house stuff online, or organizing computer files (wow, I sound so nerdy), or doing crafts like making jewelry. I get caught up in doing these things, and lots of time passes before I realize I haven’t eaten.

    Blah, sorry for the novel of a comment – hopefully it helps?

  3. I am so glad to see you’ll be attending FitBloggin! Yay!!

    I really hope you feel better, I have had slight hints of food poisoning and it is just about the worst thing ever!!


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