Beware - an update and vent

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by SearchingForRainbows, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    It's been awhile since I've been able to post because of internet problems. However, I could have posted yesterday but didn't because I know that once I post this, I'm going to have to try harder to get back on track.

    I'm still not able to exercise as much as I want to because I still have Archilles Tendonitis. Since it was first diagnosed in March, I've been getting more and more frustrated. I've tried so many other ways to relieve stress, but, for me, nothing works the way lots of aerobic exercise does. And for me, nothing works the way a nice long run does. I know I'm crazy but I actually enjoy running!!!

    I've been told by my doctor that I can increase my aerobic activity as long as I'm careful and pay attention to the signals my body is giving me. The truth is that if I jog at a slow pace one day, the next day I can't. And, I still can't jog on any sort of incline.

    Meanwhile, I've been under lots of stress. As some of you know who have been following my posts, I'm currently preparing to go to hearing to get an appropriate school placement for difficult child 2. I'm spending lots of energy and time preparing for this. Even though I have help from friends, advocates and an attorney, it is still one of the most stressful events I've experienced in the last few years.

    difficult child 1 will be 18 in six months. Unfortunately, difficult child 1 has his head in the clouds. While he claims to want to be out on his own, all of his actions point towards total dependence on us. I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. One way or another, difficult child 1 WILL move out of my house!!!

    easy child is going through her own issues. Even though she is still a easy child, she is a "typical teen." She has morphed into a person I hardly recognize most of the time... At least this will pass, BUT not soon enough for me.

    Financially, husband and I are struggling as so many others are. This just adds to all of the above stress.

    And, I've gained four pounds!!! To my credit, I still eat healthy. I make sure I eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink lots of water, etc... The problem is that no matter what I learn or know intellectually, I'm still an emotional eater. I don't know if I feel any better or not, but at least I've confessed. I AM AN EMOTIONAL EATER!!! I NEED TO STOP!!!

    I'm hoping that by finally having the courage to post this morning, I'll get back on track. I know I can't hide behind the excuse that I can't run, but honestly, it is extremely difficult for me to change the one coping mechanism that always kept me on track.

    So, for me, it is just the same old pattern rearing it's ugly head again. I'm not sure what is going to take for me to change it. I just know that I need to get a handle on this emotional eating thing before I outgrow my clothes.

    I honestly don't know why I'm unable to change this pattern. WFEN
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}} WFEN.

    I'm sorry that you're having to deal with such a great boatload of stress, AND that your main source of stress relieve continues to be unavailable to you.

    You're not crazy to love running. I love it too, whether on the treadmill or out in the park. have to be really careful with tendonitis. If you re-injure yourself you might make it worse or have an even longer layoff while you heal.

    Have you been able to find any alternative exercises that work for you? Swimming, elliptical, power walking? Something that will let you move and get your heart pumping, without putting so much stress on your ankle?

    Please be gentle with yourself. It's completely understandable that you're eating emotionally right have so much going on with your difficult children and your easy child. Don't beat yourself up. We're here for you.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Please be gentle with yourself. Emotional eating is hard and it seems to me just when we think we have it under control it tricks us and there it is again. Being under a lot of stress and not being able to relieve it in your usual way (running) has to be hard as well.

    Trinity had some good ideas as alternatives, are any of those options? Sometimes I can even work up a sweat playing the Wii, definitely not as good as running but it helps some.

    Just to let you know I can totally relate to a easy child teenager being someone you don't hardly recognize most days.

    Fwiw-I read this earlier tonight and was debating about whether or not to go to the health club with this cold and all the stress from the kids, job, etc... I was ready to curl up and hit the pillow for the night but ended up deciding to go to the club instead after reading this. You really inspired me to go because I've been struggling with the emotional eating as well and not getting to the club as much (still going but down about a day a week). So thanks and I hope you are able to get back on track...As Trinity said, we are here for you. Hugs!
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Trinity and Sharon (WO),

    Sorry it has taken me so long to get back here - I've read and reread what you've said. I think both of you are right - I've always been very hard on myself, much harder on myself than I am on others. I somehow need to learn to be more gentle with myself. This is going to be a challenge but I'm going to work on it.

    Sharon, it made me feel better to know that my post got you to the club!!!
    I know that when I have a cold, even though it's the last thing I want to do, exercise does make me feel a bit better.

    I wish I knew of a way to help all of us who eat emotionally. We are all intelligent women who know better, and yet, we keep doing it. In reality, under the guise of comfort, etc., we are just punishing ourselves when we eat emotionally. Why do we continue to beat ourselves up? It is a vicious cycle and one we need to break, but how???

    Over a week has gone by since I posted this. During this time, I've still been struggling with emotional eating. However, while I haven't stopped, I've been thinking more before grabbing "junk food" and have gone back to eating fruit before "junk." I think I've been eating a bit less "junk."

    Thanks again for the support and advice. I feel better knowing you understand... WFEN
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    WFEN, this is exactly the issue I was dealing with in my last therapist appointment.

    He said that you have to approach it from 2 directions:

    1) Substitution--you have to replace the emotional eating (or in my case emotional starving) with some other behaviour, whether it's meditating, knitting, singing a song...whatever works to stop you from continuing the destructive behaviour

    2) Taking care of you--whatever it is that you're getting out of the emotional eating (emotional starving), you have to find a way to get that from another source. In my case, being totally empty inside and feeling my front touch my back makes me feel safe. I think it's related to trying to make myself invisible during many unpleasant times in childhood. I have found that putting on husband's clothes gives me the same feeling of safety. I suppose because I just disappear in them and get the same feeling of invisibility that starving gives me. So when I'm slipping, I put on his bathrobe, or one of his sweaters. (Sometimes I sleep in his underwear and t-shirts). I know it's a bit strange, but it seems to work...

    Maybe there's a substitute out there for you, that you can use instead of eating.

    Sending big hugs (and one of husband's sweaters),
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Substitution is a really good idea. I use activity. Another trick - I drink at least 500 ml of water before I let myself eat anything. If I can't face plain water, I add something to it (usually instant coffee, a splash of milk, some ice and a couple of artificial sweeteners) as long as what I add doesn't also add calories. Often my mouth is watering at food because I'm more thirsty than hungry. Especially for strawberries!

    Exercise - I began well but had to stop because of what turned out to be a torn muscle. I'm not using the Wii Fit as much as I'd like, but it has helped a lot when I can't do much else. I'm hoping to do more when I have the time. It's the best I can do. I can't even do much upper body stuff because my arms, especially my right arm, are in a lot of pain from something neurological.

    Something that has helped me with food obsessions - I transferred it to gardening, growing my own food (especially herbs). When I can, I harvest herbs and let them air-dry in bunches. When they're dry, I crumble them into a jar. When the jar is full, I use a specially bought cheap coffee grinder to grind the herbs down and then I package them in a jar - they always taste better than anything I could have bought. I make up my own mixed herbs and use them in cooking when it's winter and the garden is not producing.

    Other distractions - knitting, Sudoku, anything crafty.

    I hope your tendonitis clears up for you - it hurts!

  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Thanks so much for sharing the information your therapist gave you. I'm going to give it a try. I'm going to try to substitute brushing and flossing my teeth when I get the urge to eat emotionally during the day. This has worked for me in the past.

    After dinner is the hardest time for me. I'm going to start leaving the kitchen as soon as I've finished cleaning it up. (I was successful doing this in the past). I'm going to brush and comb my "favorite sanity saver" every night. She has really long fur, and being a bit over 80 lbs. now, it takes a while to make her soft and silky. Although she loves the TLC, she really doesn't like getting groomed. Hopefully, by the time I'm done, the urge to eat emotionally will have passed. If not, I'll brush and floss my teeth for the evening.

    I think I eat emotionally because I feel so all alone... easy child (at the moment) and my difficult children are totally self-centered and NEVER stop to think about doing anything at all for me unless I ask. And, even when I ask, it's difficult to get them to follow through without lots of grumbling, etc... husband is too tired and too stressed to care about how I'm feeling - A different thread but one that I really don't want to get into. So, I continue to feel like a worn out, wrung out door mat... Everyone wants me to do things for them all of the time - No one cares about me, my feelings, my needs, etc... I feel like a robot on auto pilot much of the time...


    I like your idea about drinking water or another no or low calorie beverage when I get the urge to emotionally eat. I usually eat a piece of fruit first, but even fruit has calories that can add up.

    I think getting more creative in the kitchen will help me. Although I don't garden much, I find that when I'm busy in the kitchen preparing a new dish, or just being more creative than usual, I eat less. I'm going to get more adventurous with dinners. I think I've gotten into a rut where I prepare the same old meals over and over again. Part of the reason is that my husband and my kids are very picky eaters. Sometimes I prepare two meals - one for them and one for myself. It is time consuming and drives me crazy!!! My family is going to have to learn to be less picky!!!

    I'm sorry that your torn muscle isn't healed yet. I know this happened to you quite awhile ago. I hope your doctors can help you with the neurological problems that are causing pain in your arms. I think it is so difficult when mentally we want to exercise but physically we can't...

    Trinity and Marg, Thanks again for the support and advice!!! WFEN
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Just a thought, if you want. I offered on another thread, to share my bearnaise sauce recipe. Once it's made you can keep it in the fridge for ages. It sets solid almost like butter, so I roll it into a log about finger thick, then wrap it in cling wrap and keep it in the freezer. Then when you want to have a steak or something, you cut off a cm or so and let the heat of your steak melt it back into a sauce.

    Nothing bottled or factory-made can taste this good. And the thing is, although a good diet should have you avoiding sugar and fat, a small amount as in a sauce (if you really only use a small amount!) IS permissible in most diets. Learning to value good flavour also keeps you from over-using manufactured (and less tasty) sauces. You end up with the healthier options as well.

    This is easy, I cook it in the microwave. The main problem (from the point of view of my kids) is that it makes the kitchen smell of tarragon vinegar for days!

    I have to make about 2 Litres of it for difficult child 1's wedding. I'm starting tomorrow.

    First step, if you can, is to make tarragon vinegar. I use a cider vinegar from the store as a base but you could also use a white wine vinegar. Right now in the US is a bad time to make this unless you still have the last stems of a tarragon harvest not yet gone to seed. Unlikely. by the way, if you WeRE growing tarragon, DO NT assume it is an annual. Yes, it dies back after flowering until all you have is dead sticks. But don't dig it up - next spring it probably will all grow back. The stuff is amazing.
    To make tarragon vinegar - just put some tarragon into the vinegar, in a jar, and leave it for a month or more. It's great splashed onto salads, too.

    Bearnaise sauce - get a one cup glass jug and put in it 120 ml tarragon vinegar, one chopped shallot (or two slices of white onion, chopped finely) and 3 chopped tarragon sprigs. Boil in the microwave oven until the volume is reduced to 60 ml. Drain, strain, and allow it to cool.
    Meanwhile in the same jug - melt 225 g (8 oz) butter.
    While the butter is melting, use a 1 L jug to blend 3 egg yolks and the now-cooled reduced vinegar. I use a stick blender for this.
    When the butter is melted and HOT, pour it straight into the egg yolk mixture while blending. This should at least partly cook the egg and it should begin to thicken.

    Final step - set up a water bath in the microwave oven. A large plastic container that can take the 1 litre jug is what you need. Be careful to not let any water get into the sauce. I put hot water outside the jug in the plastic container, then put the whole thing in the microwave oven, microwave it on medium for about 10 minutes, stopping it every 2 minutes to stir it and check it for thickness. If it over-cooks and looks curdled on the edges, blend it again with the wand or whisk. Scrape it away from the sides (where it cooks/thickens fastest) and then whisk. It is amazing - you can get it smooth again if you're quick. I sometimes set up the whole water-bath assembly on a strong plastic tray (microwave-safe) so it's easy to lift it out without risking scalding myself or spilling anything.

    And when it's done - serve it warm. Serve it on steak, on asparagus, on a baked potato - but go easy on a diet, it does have a lot of butter. When using it, treat it as butter or oil in your considerations of quantities.. The flavour is strong so you will get the same sense of luxury from less amount than if you just used plain butter.

    Just think - I have to make 8 batches!

    Anyway, have fun with it. If you haven't got any tarragon vinegar to begin with but you CAN get a bunch of tarragon, just use a lot more of it chopped into the vinegar and let it steep as you simmer it a bit longer. The aim is to extract as much tarragon flavour as you can. The more flavour you van extract, the less sauce you need to use - healthier.

  9. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Thanks - It sounds delicious!!! I'll print this recipe too. husband loves bearnaise sauce. I wish I could get my husband and kids to eat asparagus - I love them!!!

    I'll be thinking of you today as you begin making all that sauce... WFEN
  10. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    WFEN, know that you are in my thoughts.

    You can do this.

  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Thank you for the support. I'm definitely struggling right now but I'm going to do this!!! WFEN