I had the pleasure of interviewing stress management coach, Filomena Iorio-Tasoluk, www.bounce-life.com, on how our emotions lead to overeating and weight gain. If you struggle with stress eating, you won’t want to miss reading this interview!
I needed to change my thoughts, habits and view of life. I was tired of feeling like a victim and the pain of thinking this was my life, my future was my turning point. I had two choices: Continue to live surviving but not thriving or I could take a stand and start to live my life again. So, I came to the decision that if I don’t take care of myself, I’m not going to be useful to anyone. I had to come up with a strategy. I started to journal when, where and why I was eating and what I realized was I was eating a lot more than I realized. The bowl of Doritos I ate while watching TV was more like ½ bag of Doritos! Journaling helped me see a pattern and pinpoint my weakest hours I would stress eat – at night while watching TV.
- I was exercising, burning calories and losing weight
- It was a great way to relieve my stress
- It helped change my habit of eating while watching TV
- Best of all, I started to feel good about myself again
My relationship with food has changed in an amazing way. I LOVE to eat and am proud to call myself an emotional eater. The difference this time is instead of mindlessly eating, I use all my senses to be present and experience and enjoy every bite. Food is fuel but it’s also pleasure and as humans we are built to seek pleasure. So, when I chose to eat something, I eat it because I want to eat it and feel all the wonderful sensations it’s meant to give me. I rarely eat because I’m bored, sad, or a seeking a way to cover up my problems. If I do, I make sure I enjoy the experience so it doesn’t leave me feeling regretful.
What kind of food do you eat now? Give me an example of what you would eat in a day?
Although I do not deprive myself of anything, my tastes and habits have changed so my body usually craves nutrient rich foods. My kitchen is always stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean protein and I cook almost every night during the week.
My breakfast is the same every morning unless I’m traveling, – a fried egg with a slice of American cheese on a small wheat tortilla. I still consider it my favorite meal of the day after 5 years. It’s filling, nutritious and satisfying! If I’m hungry mid-morning, I snack on a piece of fruit with a handful of almonds. Lunch usually consists of a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with a piece of fruit, mid-afternoon snack is usually yogurt w/granola or fruit and nuts. Dinner can vary from lasagna to grilled chicken and mashed potatoes.
Our weekends are packed attending parties and other events and we usually eat out those days. I eat whatever I’m in the mood for whether it’s high in fat or not. The only kind of food I tend to stay away from are fried foods because I have a difficult time digesting it.
How can a stress eater get help?
Everyone experiences the up and downs of life and when life is down, it can become depressing so it is natural to eat to manage our emotions. If you realize you’re eating because of stress it’s important to surround yourself with a strong support network. Whether you talk to a friend, join a meet up group or work with a coach, seeking help from others will give you the strength to look for alternative ways to cope with stress. When we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals, they help us align our values with our purpose in life, therefore, giving us the clarity and confidence to look for alternative solutions to life’s obstacles.
What books do you recommend for people using food to deal with life’s obstacles?
Anything by author and emotional eating expert, Geneen Roth! Geneen’s book, Breaking Free from Emotional Eating, gave me the strength and motivation to make a change in my life. Two more book recommendations are Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy & Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays, MD and 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, PSY.D.
I would love to hear from your readers! Any questions, concerns or inquiries can be emailed to me directly at [email protected].
If you’re interested in attending one of my workshops on Stress/Emotional Eating or Resilience, I’m presenting at Life Coach Radio Networks’ 2014 Weekend Workshop on http://www.
You can also visit my website, www.bounce-life.com or connect with me via the social media links below: