Zoebird, I used to be a major emotional eater, and also have a distant history of bulimia as a teen. I was very much convinced it's solely a psych problem until I had weightloss surgery (sleeve gastrectomy) and the urge to eat to comfort myself subsided to an extent where I actually feel like I can honestly say I'm not an emotional eater anymore. I still enjoy food, and as such, occasionally eat more than I should and often plan my meals painstakingly to make sure they are as delicious as possible even if it means much more time spent cooking; but I'm not eating to soothe my nerves anymore. My cravings also decreased significantly - this was pre-primal, so it wasn't a function of a change in diet beyond just quantities of what I ate. I did a bit of research and realized that ghrelin and serotonin in the GI system are probably the likely culprits behind my "emotional eating," and once the surgery changed the hormone balance in my gut, it became obvious that very little of my eating habits had to do with my mental state and thinking patterns.
There are certainly a lot of gut-connections with the brain in a lot of ways. reading GAPS was really eye-opening for me as well. And going through GAPS with DH, the change in him emotionally has also been surprising. It isn't all "in his head."
For me, though, I can only speak from my own experience. When I went vegan, I was able to get myself off of a lot of chemicals in processed foods. That made a huge difference. It was like going through withdrawal.
Changing to primal didn't do much, but changing to this IF protocol has changed a lot of things too -- such that I'm way more sensitive to "off diet" things (immediate reactions in the body).
But, this is still my primary process, and until I was willing to be really direct with myself as an emotional eater in this way (not that other ways aren't also helpful, but simply "it's ok, move on" certainly isn't helpful for me because it's a good place to "hide"), I wasn't able to really know that I had power over it.
It isn't just your gut making you do it, though I grant, that it might not just be your mind that gets you through/out of it.
I don't think you can expect to never fall off the wagon. Oh boy, did I fall off the wagon this weekend. :) Thursday was almond cake, friday was a lot of booze, ice cream, bread.... and saturday was a fried corn biscuit with brisket. It was all awesome in celebration of my birthday and nothing I regret. Back on the wagon today, may take a few days to get straight.
You just have to get back on the wagon, get rolling again, know these things come up. I don't feel guilty. It was all delicious, not stuff I should eat every day.... and the fact that I seldom eat that stuff made it that much tastier.
I think when you eat something off the plan, think about what you were doing BEFORE turning primal. I can't be too mad at myself for eating chocolate cake and ice cream once in two months when it used to be an almost daily occurance to eat crap. I know there are people that never indulge- good for them. But you need to find the moderation that works for you.
Dug this thread up because I'm so far off the wagon. It's upsetting because I kept saying "oh it's just for a day" then "oh it's just a few days" then "oh <fill in the blank> event is coming" and now I'm nearly three full months off the wagon and up almost 20 lbs. It only just hit me the extent of the fail when my clothes stopped fitting :( I really appreciated reading zoebird's comments regarding emotional eating. I'm pretty sure that's a huge part of it for me. I know that's weird for a guy to admit to be I know that's it because when I was on the wagon well, I never even had the cravings, and felt great emotionally. Now I'm all down in the dumps and eating horrible. It's a vicious cycle and difficult to come out of. But I fully agree that getting the emotions in check is what will make all the difference, otherwise you just fall right back off the wagon.
Hey! I think I am an "un-diagnosed" emotional eater/drinker and it was a couple of things said in this thread that made me think about it. I too have "fallen" of the wagon - more likely jumped to be honest....... and after I finally got DH on board with primal..... and the disappointment in myself is driving even more of this behaviour.....
I wake up every morning telling myself that I will do better today and there will be something that "stops" me i.e that I allow to divert me. I have the willpower of an ant really BUT am now thinking that I just need to not be too hard on myself and applaud the primal meals and work to change the ones that aren't.
Felt like crap last night after eating bread for the first time in 8 weeks yesterday......... gonna go for a loooong walk today so I have something to cheer about.
I feel for other people who have this relationship with food (and much worse) - it cannot be an easy thing to live with.
Good luck everyone :)
Being aware of your triggers and behaviour is half the battle. Confronting them and dealing with them, is the next step in the process of change. Inquiring minds are curious as to why you had ice cream so accessible, anyway?