Emotional Hunger

This is from 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers.  It struck a cord with me because sometimes I have difficulty telling Emotional Hunger from actual hunger, even now, after RNY.

Emotional Hunger is characterized by some or all of the following:

  • Your desire to eat comes on quickly and intensely like an on/off switch.  Your degree of hunger can go from zero to ten in a matter of moments.
  • You are very open to suggestion (for example, a coworker says she’s going out for a donut, and suddenly a donut sounds very good to you)
  • Your hunger increases with certain feelings, particularly stress.
  • You can’t think through your options.  Your feeling of hunger is son intense that you don’t care what your options are – until after you have eaten something.
  • Your hunger is such that it urges you to engage in mindless eatint – that is, not really tasting your food or eating it in an automatic, mechanical way (for example, mindlessly popping a packet of M&M’s into your mouth one by one).
  • You crave a particular kind of food, like chocolate or fast-food; something that would be merely filling just won’t do.
  • A sense of satisfaction is hard to reach, and it seems unrelated to how full or how empty your stomach is.
  • You often have the fleeting thought before you begin eating that you may feel guilty after you’ve eaten.  Also, you often experience guilt after you finish eating.

True physical hunger is realted to blood sugar levels.  Therefore, your physical need for food is based on what and when you ate last.

  • You notice that your need for food grows gradually in accordance with the time and the number of meals you ate.  For example, between breakfast and lunch your hunger increases at a slowly rising rate.
  • You are looking for something filling, and you’re open to many different options to fill that hunger, rather than craving a specific taste.
  • You experience distinct physiological hunger cues, like a rumbling stomach.  In the extreme, you may feel grouchy or even get a headache.
  • You tend to quit eating when you are full.
  • Your awareness of your body’s changing sensations as you move from hunger to satiety while you are eating, creates a sense of satisfaction.
  • You know that feeding your physical hunger is essential as the fuel that nourishes you and keeps you going.
  • Youc an wait a while to eat, instead of need to eat compulsively at the very moment you feel the urge or desire to eat.
  • Your hunger is not in any way associated with guilt.  You know that you need to eat and you feel ok about eating.

Albers, S. (2009).  50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food.  Oakland:  New Harbinger Publications, Inc.


50 Ways to Sooth Yourself Without Food

I have received the book 50 Ways to Sooth Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers and have just begun reading it.  I already see so much of myself in the introduction and 1st chapter.  I think this will be an interesting Thankgsiving read and look forward to posting my review of it.

A Hodgepodge

First, let’s get this out of the way, shall we?

Today’s food:

PreB – chocolate mocha protien shake

B – banana cream pie sf nonfat yogurt, 1/2c oatmeal with dried cranberries, 2 strawberries and a cube of watermelon

L – roast beef, cabbage, and a spoonful of mashed potatos

D – turkey tomato cheesey bake

Exercise:  30 minutes elliptical, 10 minutes hip flexor stretches, 20 minutes lower body training

And now on to the meat of this post…if you have friended me on facebook then you may have seen this link last night:


I’m really amazed at the STUPIDITY of some people – particularly the person who wrote that blog post.  Because obese people don’t have feelings, dontchaknow?

Sigh – Marie Claire will NEVER see any subscription from me.  NEVER.

This response in Bitch is made of win, however.  http://bitchmagazine.org/post/fatphobia-alert-fatties-should-not-be-allowed-to-kiss-apparently

Body Dismorphia

Am I being too hard on myself?  Am I being honest?  Am I just plain wrong?

I still think of myself as the “fat girl.”  Now, wait a minute, and let me explain.  I AM still fat.  I’m still over 195 pounds.  And I’m 5’4″.  By all rights, I’m obese.

Now, I’m not FAT like I was before.  Because Lord Have Mercy, I was unhealthy fat.  Sick Fat.  I was 321 pounds fat.  But I am STILL fat. 

Do I feel better about myself?  Hell yeah.  I’m healthy.  I look good in the right clothing.  I don’t feel as if I have to hide (do you know how hard it is to “hide” when you are 321 pounds?).  I’m thrilled at the fact that I’ve lost a person.  A WHOLE PERSON.  But I’m still FAT.  Ok, maybe not FAT..but at least Fat…or maybe fat.

I have about 20 pounds to go to get to my surgeon’s goal weight.  I have never in my entire life said that I have 20 pounds to go to get to my goal weight.  That’s amazing to me.  My surgeon wants me around 175 pounds.  In order to qualify for plastics, I have to hit 175 and stay there for at least 18 months.

175 pounds is still obese for my height – obese boarding on overweight.  But, the surgeon’s team also feels as if I’m carrying approximately 20 to 25 pounds of extra skin – on my stomach, arms, thighs and butt.  Oh, and under my chin.  Hello turkey neck.

Here’s my deal though – when I refer to myself as fat, my friends get mad at me.  Seriously…mad at me.   My friends scold me…they say, “You aren’t the fat girl anymore.”  Well, no, I’m not the same fat girl, but I am still fat.  And let me put some context around it.  I never put myself down if I refer to myself as “fat.”  It’s usually in the context of, “Gee, I still think like the fat girl.”  Which is true…when I see a piece of cake, I still get all starry eyed and dreamy…as if George Clooney were standing in front of me in a pair of boxer briefs…..mmm…George Clooney….wait, what?

So, now I’m trying to figure out if I’m suffering body dismorphia on top of everything else.  You see, my brain really does still think like a fat girl.  Given the choice between chocolate cake (hello George Clooney) and a stalk of celery (hello Steve Buscemi) I’m gonna take the chocolate…or at least WANT to take the chocolate.

So, you tell me, when does the fat girl ever go away?

Another Wow Moment

Seven years ago I was sitting in a hospital ICU recovering from a heart attack.  At the time, I weighed roughly 250 pounds – about 250 more than I weigh now.  My blood sugars were well into the 300s.  I had high cholesterol.  I had high blood pressure.  I had one artery that was 100% blocked (Hell-o stent) and one that was 50% blocked.  I was 30.  It didn’t help that at the time of my heart attack, I had been on Phen-fen, was smoking and taking the pill at the same time.

The cardiologist who treated me when I first went into the ER was Dr. Barry Wohl.  He was an angel of God as far as I was concerned, and I’ve seen him as my cardiologist ever since.

On Monday, I saw him for my normal six month cardiac check.  In his opinion, not ONLY have I erradicated my high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, BUT he feels that my Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is in REGRESSION.  YEP – RE-GRES-SION.  Going Away.  He feels that more than likely, the blockages in my arteries are actually reducing themselves.

When I had surgery 8 months ago, I was on high blood pressure medication, two cholesterol meds, a beta blocker, plavix, and a host of diabetic meds.  Today – nothing.  All I take is Protonix (and that is for acid reduction due to the surgery).

I am healthier at 37 than I was at 30.

I’ve truly gotten my life back, and it is amazing.

Thank you Dr. Wohl for saving my life then.  Thank you Dr. McKenna for saving my life and saving me from myself.

It’s Like Being 13 Again

Some time ago, my mother gave me the book the pediatrician used to keep on me from birth up to age 14. I think she gave it to me for my vaccination records, or you know, to see when I started eating solids…whatever.

So, last night, out of curiosity, I pulled it out to see when exactly the morbid obesity struck.  2nd Grade.  8 years old.  I was already over 100 pounds.

By 1986, I was 228 pounds.  The date was Jan. of 1986.  I was 13 years old.  And I weighed 228 pounds.  I was 5’3″. 

Bob asked me to go back through those records and see when I weighed 150 pounds.  Yeah – I went from 142 at age 12 to 228 at age 13.  So it had to be between 12 and 13.  By the way, 142 pounds when you are 12 years old and barely 5 feet tall is totally unacceptable.

So now, at nearly 38 years old, I weigh the absolutely least I’ve ever weighed in my adult life.  I weigh less than I did as a teen.  I weigh less than I did probably between 12 and 13 years old.

I’m finally getting my life back.

A Significant Day

So, the stall broke this morning, and I officially weighed in at 232 pounds.

232 is a significant number for me.  Eight years ago, when I was on phentermene, I got down to 233 pounds.  My lowest weight ever as an adult.  And today, I broke that.  232.

232 is also significant because it means I am now merely obese, and no longer morbidly obese.  My BMI is under 40 for the first time that I can EVER remember.  I have a long way to go before I break out of the obese category, but as of today, according to my surgeon’s guidelines, I would not qualify for weight loss surgery.

My RNY has literally given me my life back.

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