Obesity: Mental, Physical or Both?

This is a quick one, but I had to share my experience over the last couple days.

I’ve realized that I’ve developed an aversion to junk food. I don’t know when or how this happened. All I know is it happened. Today, I was feeling ‘peckish’ and went hunting in the pantry for something good. Of course, I went straight to the Halloween candy stash (yes, we still have Halloween candy) and got two mini Almond Joy bars. Now, let me tell you, Almond Joy is my absolute favorite chocolate bar. The combination of chocolate, gooey coconut and almonds is just awesome and it’s one of the few chocolates that doesn’t give me migraines. Usually, two mini bars would be perfect to take care of that itch but tonight, it just seemed to be too much. I could barely manage one and resisted the urge to spit it out and promptly put the second bar back into the bowl. Now that I think of it, maybe I should have spit it out.

Then a couple days earlier, again that feeling for sweets came upon me and I grabbed a couple vanilla cookies with a glass of milk. After about a minute or so, I turned around and put the cookies right back into the packaging and sat on the couch with my cup of milk. Strangely enough, the thought of eating the cookies made me ill.

So, I brought this up to my husband and he suggested that it was all in the mind. But I’m wondering whether it truly is mental. Maybe it’s actually physical, considering how much I’ve changed my diet over the last two months. Or, perhaps it’s a combination of both. I’ve committed to making all these changes this year and reaching my goals (finally) so maybe my mind is working with me rather than against me. There have been times when I’ve felt like my mind is also working against me, though.

On New Year’s Eve, I had Chinese take out for dinner and I just wanted to keep going and going and going. Even though I was full and I felt somewhat sick to the stomach, I just wanted to continue eating. This is somewhat reminiscent of my food past which resulted in my being at the weight I am now. Now, I won’t say that I have a food addiction, but I definitely have a food problem, emotional eating being just part of it. That, I know, if mental.

Anyway, where I’m going with this is that weight loss and gain are both mental and physical. You can take care of the physical but if you don’t also take care of the mental, then you inevitably may end up back at square one. It takes just as much work to take care of the mental as it does the physical, but it’s worth it.


Emotional Eating Is A Thing

I’ve been a Weight Watcher. And for the time I was on the plan, until when they changed the points system, I loved it. When the points system was changed, my weight loss stalled for months and at that point, Weight Watchers was a waste of my money. So, I quit.

And after seeing the holiday commercial, I’ll never go back.

If you’ve not seen it, check it out.

As someone who suffers from emotional eating, I’m not a fan of this commercial. Regardless of what some people think, emotional eating is a thing. It’s a disorder. For me, I had a trigger – my dad’s death. And I’ve never really been the same. After he passed, any time something bad/sad/upsetting happened, I turned to food for comfort. Sometimes, I’d turn to food to celebrate happy times too. But it was mostly during the down times. I would eat any and everything (but my food of choice was junk food) and I’d eat until I was sick…and keep going. Of course, my weight ballooned but that didn’t stop me.


Eventually though, something hit me and I had a realization: I was feeding my emotions and the emotional eating never TRULY made me feel better. So, I made a strong effort to defeat it. I’ve done a pretty good job there but sometimes, if things get especially stressful, I fall back to food.

So, here’s my beef with the Weight Watchers commercial. I feel like it basically says “Emotional eating is ok. Go ahead and eat your feelings! Pay us money and after the holidays, we’ll help you lose the weight.”


But anyone who has struggled with their weight knows that it’s Not. That. Easy. Especially if you suffer from an eating disorder. You’ve got to deal with triggers, society, temptation, emotions, etc.. And it can take months or years to finally lose that weight. And during that time, we’re pumping money into Weight Watchers’ pockets. What’s going to happen when some poor soul hears that commercial, thinks it’s ok to give emotions food and then feels the subsequent failure when they can’t lose the weight despite joining a program and counting points?

Now, I’ve read comments on this video on YouTube. Some people say that people are taking it too literally, that it’s meant to be funny or irony or whatever. I don’t see it that way. I hear someone telling me to eat as much ice cream and chocolate as I want when I’m dealing with emotional pressure and then Weight Watchers will help me with the hard part. What do they consider to be the “hard part”? The emotional eating or the weight loss? Honestly, they’re both pretty damn difficult.

Emotional eating is when a person uses food as an attempt to control, monitor, and cope with negative feelings or thoughts. Because emotional eating typically results in overeating, it can often lead to poor self-esteem, unwanted weight gain, and obesity. If you recognize emotional eating patterns in yourself, treatment can help you overcome it. The best approach to stop emotional eating will include treatment for the underlying emotional causes and factors related to emotional eating patterns as well as treatment for behavioral issues.

Source: https://www.mccallumplace.com/emotional-eating.html

Can Weight Watcher’s help me with the “underlying emotional causes and factors related to emotional eating patterns”? Oh, no? Didn’t think so.

So, Weight Watchers Marketing team? You may want to think about the way you market your product because emotional eating is a lot bigger than you think.