Facing my fears with a 11-day cleanse

One thing you may not know about me is that I am an emotional eater. What does that mean? I turn to food for comfort — consciously or unconsciously — when I’m facing a difficult problem, stress or just looking to keep myself occupied.

This can sabotage my weight-loss efforts. Emotional eating often leads to eating too much, especially too much of high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods. But the good news is that if you’re prone to emotional eating like me, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

The connection between mood, food and weight loss (by MayoClinic)

Emotional eating is eating as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions, such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. Both major life events and the hassles of daily life can trigger negative emotions that lead to emotional eating and disrupt your weight-loss efforts. These triggers may include:

Financial pressure
Health problems
Relationship conflicts
Work stress

Although some people actually eat less in the face of strong emotions, if you’re in emotional distress you may turn to impulsive or binge eating — you may rapidly eat whatever’s convenient, without even enjoying it.

In fact, your emotions may become so tied to your eating habits that you automatically reach for a treat whenever you’re angry or stressed without stopping to think about what you’re doing.

Food also serves as a distraction. If you’re worried about an upcoming event or stewing over a conflict, for instance, you may focus on eating comfort food instead of dealing with the painful situation.

Whatever emotions drive you to overeat, the end result is often the same. The emotions return, and you may also now bear the additional burden of guilt about setting back your weight-loss goal. This can also lead to an unhealthy cycle — your emotions trigger you to overeat, you beat yourself up for getting off your weight-loss track, you feel bad, and you overeat again.

Facing My Fears

Now that you understand this constant battle I live with myself – and that so many people out there go through also! – I want to let you know and participate of my healing. Yes, HEALING! I have a strong belief that a 30-day cleanse will help me heal.

I have done the Master Cleanse for 10 days back in the beginning of January/2013. But, like any other emotional eater out there, sometimes we do things for the wrong reason, out of desperation to lose weight. So yes, I lost some weight during those 10 days and I was very very thrilled! On top of that, a rare stomach problem that I had (SMAs – superior mesenteric aorta syndrome) disappeared after I completed the MC for 10 days. But as someone with body image disorder like me, I cared more about the weight I lost than curing my stomach problem! Twisted, huh? It’s very hard for me to admit all this, but hey, if we don’t admit who we are to ourselves we can never get ahead. And the weight loss didn’t last long because I went straight back to my old emotional eating habits…

In May/2013 I decided to do the MC again, but this time for a different reason. I REALLY felt the need to cleanse. I had been eating too much sugar and wasn’t feeling good. I needed to feel better, I wanted the cells of my body clean, and my mind clear. This time I did it for 15 days. It was much easier than the 1st time – probably because I wasn’t focusing of the foods I wasn’t eating, but on the cleansing process. It felt like I was living in another dimension! I was calmer and in so much peace during the cleanse! It felt so good to live in my skin for those 15 days!

But as soon as those days were over I got caught up again going to parties and “needing” to socialize by eating things that I didn’t even want to (but thought it would be disrespectful not to eat). And one day became two, three… and I lost control of myself again. Control… That’s a big word for emotional eaters…. We never feel in control of ourselves, do we? We are always doing things to please others and never take into consideration our own needs and wants. And when we realize what we’re doing we feel bad, upset… and these feelings “justify” more reasons for us to eat!

Now, since I’ve admitted to myself (and now the world) that I am an emotional eater I have decided to do a cleanse again. Not the master cleanse; similar but not as rigid, with my own variations to make it possible to achieve the 30 day mark.

What I want to get from this cleanse is something that every emotional eater wants… I want to find out the REASONS why I treat myself this way. I know it is bad to do what I do to myself, yet I keep doing it and giving myself reasons – unconsciously and sometimes consciously too. I am tired. I have reached my limit. I need to look at my fears in the eyes and have a serious talk with myself. I deserve to sort things out for my own sake.

By living in that “dimension” I talked about when I did the MC for the second time will help me get there. For 30 days, food won’t be my priority. I will detach myself altogether from foods. I will have to deal with my fears when I’m bored, or stressed, or having a conflict with my family, or feeling lonely, etc, etc, etc, etc…. Just like an alcoholic chooses to drink when he/she is happy, sad, upset, lonely, etc, emotional eaters eat for the same reasons: all the reasons we can find. So I’m basically taking away the chance to even think of foods.

I am not going to lie that I feel very anxious right now. I am afraid of what’s going to pop up during this process that I’ll need to deal with. But I’m happy that I’m finally giving myself a chance to find out more about myself and give myself the respect I so much need from myself. This will be my 31st birthday present to myself. 🙂

Feel free to read my posts and comment as I’m going to try to write on my blog daily until the end of my cleanse.

Thank you for reading and… wish me luck!!

Much S2 and Health to all!

Gabi Brandao.

September 24th, 2013


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