Thursday, December 31, 2009

Why Am I An Overeater?

This is the question I have asked myself since I was 30 something. and... Why do I find so much comfort in eating. Those times when I keep eating and eating and it seems like I never get full. It's like a constant grazing even though my mind tells me it's not good, I rationalize my way to the refrigerator. When I see a bag of Hershey Kisses and I can't stop eating them until the bag is gone. When I sit down for family pizza net I scarf down 4 slices of pizza and two beers... that's 1/2 of a large pie!

Why do I do this? It started when I was a kid. Most of my family lived to eat. We had everything in the pantry and we ate it all in abundance. My family would eat an entire loaf of bread during dinner. I was over weight as a adolescent but not obese. I slimmed down in high school to play sports but used that as an excuse to eat more. When I played sports in high school I would eat entire crumb cakes at one sitting, gorge on cold cuts, cereals and breads while drinking quarts of orange juice and milk. When I stopped playing sports I didn't stop eating... That's a problem.

My family's best stories are all about food. The one about my who aunt made this italian dish or my uncle who baked this special bread and how we all enjoyed eating these things. Like the one where my cousin is rumored to have eaten 3 pizzas in one sitting. Now, I've never verified this story by actually asking cousin if it was true. Maybe because I not only love to eat but I also love to hear stories about eating?

This obsession with food is at the heart of my problem...

When I'm happy I eat. I remember once I was driving home and received word that I closed a big deal. I immediately stopped at a fast food place to "celebrate" in my own way with a greasy burger meal. Then came home and ate dinner.

When I'm stressed I eat. Eating comfort food is like taking a mini-vacation from reality which gives my mind time to rest and recover. If I have a tough day at work an Snickers bar or Doritos will do the trick.

I guess I am an over eater because I am an emotional eater. Pacifying my emotions with a cupcake or bag of chips. Soothing my nerves with some beef jerky or a vanilla milk shake.

So one of the important changes I have to make is to figure out a non-caloric way to cater to my emotions. I have a feeling that this will be the toughest change for me.


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