I first realized I had a problem with food at about the age of eleven. My parents divorced when I was three. The yo yoing between families put me under a tremendous amount of stress. I found myself eating more when I would go to my dad’s house. The environment there was unwelcoming to say the least. I would hide food, sneak food and overeat when I was there. I found that when I came home to my mom’s house my problem would continue. I taught myself to self-love with the food. It was my entertainment, my friend and my parent. As an adolescent I struggled with my weight. I was about ten to twenty pounds more than my friends. Those extra pounds made me want to diet. My mom was a self-confessed calorie counter and helped me to do the math on all my food. I worked out and counted calories. I would lose some weight, but of course I would gain it back. I tried the cabbage soup diet (yuck). The hotdog and grapefruit diet, lean cuisine, slim fast, etc. All those worked short term with a result of a few extra pounds on top of the original weight I wanted to lose.
Emotional Overeating: My Road to Weight Loss Sanity
Finally I felt it was time for some professional help. I tried Jenny Craig and I lost twenty pounds. The minute I went off the terrible frozen food, I gained the weight back. Then I tried Weight Watchers (it had worked for my friends), same end result. I felt like a complete failure. In turn my eating became more out of control. I decided I wanted to get off this roller-coaster of self-destruction. One day I was reading Orange Coast Magazine and saw an ad for feeding the Hungry Heart. I thought what the heck. I’ll give it a shot. I have to say I was skeptical even though my mother had hypnotized me for a sleeping problem as a child. It sounded scary to have someone I didn’t know or trust yet do it. When I finished the first session, I felt energized and hopeful that I could overcome my fears of trying another way of dealing with my problems. After a few sessions I became aware of how and when I eat. I started asking myself “are you really hungry?” or “are you upset, frustrated or sad?’ This was huge for me! I knew I ate for those reasons but I chose to ignore it. I chose to ignore my own feelings like I didn’t have time for them. My sessions with Lauren were very emotional. I wasn’t use to talking about my fear of losing weight. Through time, I realized that by confronting my fears, taking time to understand and feel my feelings I can make a lifelong change in the way I approach food. I’m not at my idea body weight yet, but I feel my mind is healthier than ever. Lauren taught me to make healthy food choices and freed me from the destructive cycle of binge eating. She taught me to have confidence in myself no matter what the scale says. The weight loss was just an extra perk, gaining my sanity was the real gift.