Saturday, May 7, 2011

Emotional Eating Bell Curve

My roommate and her boyfriend just broke up. She's understandably unhappy about this. This is a relationship she really saw lasting and the break up came as a shock. We've been spending a lot of time together, mostly after work, mostly getting dinner. She's been ordering sumptuous, rich, or fried food. She's eats maybe ... 5 bites? And proclaims that she's full. I don't know how many hardly eaten orders of macaroni and cheese are sitting in our fridge right now. But a lot.

This is something I relate to, as well. People have all sorts of different was of dealing with extreme depression/sadness. Mine, surprisingly, is also to not eat. When a relative dies, when I go through a breakup, when I'm feeling despondent, I drop weight. Also, when I'm overjoyed, I don't eat. I just have other things occupying my life/energy for me to focus on food.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Hmm... Anna... we are reading your WEIGHT LOSS blog. If you don't emotional eat but rather, emotional STARVE, then where is your problem!?" Hold your horses! I never said I don't emotionally eat. I don't eat at the most extreme forms of emotions. However, the minor emotions, everyday stress, everyday celebrations, everyday anxiety, everyday rewards, I want to eat.

In September, I started a new job. There is a reason this weight loss journey for me didn't begin until November. I don't want to blame my old job because everything I eat/do is in my control. However, I was miserable and stressed out all the time. My nights were consumed with anxiety dreams. In a little under a year and a half I gained 15lbs bringing me to the heaviest weight I've ever been and probably the unhappiest I've been since middle school. When I finally left that job, I my regular stasis returned to a neutral place (as opposed to a stressed unhappy place), and finally I could focus more on myself and what I needed to do to make myself a healthier, happier person.

And so, with my many months of statistics I've endured, I propose to you, dear readers, the emotional eating bell curve. The middle represents where (most of us) spend most of our emotional states. Neutral. Content. All that. As you go out two standard deviations, you get into either that stressed or celebratory state. And as you go one more standard deviation out you're in the despair or exuberant. If I had any skills in graph making or computers I'd draw it out for you real pretty. But for now, Google images will have to represent (the little ticks on the side represent the standard deviations away from the mean):

Sorry if this is convoluted stats babble. But does this make sense? Do you guys find your eating/not eating/over eating follow a pattern like this? Is it different?

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