Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

There was a recent internet article on strategies for curbing emotional spending. Did anyone see it? Just substitute a few words here and there, and let’s look at what we have!

The reasons for emotional spending:
 Cope with stress.
 Cure the blues.
 Diffuse feelings of anger or frustration.
 Ease boredom.
 Feel special.
 Soothe ourselves after a bad day

Some of us surely see ourselves in these lists! We often DO use food as rewards, to soothe our raw feelings, and the ever-popular stress eating. And as we often discuss, we have to figure out how to deal with these issues. According to people who deal with emotional spending, the coping strategies are the same:

 Notice the feelings.
 Sort out the fantasies.
 Beware of small purchases.
 Treat yourself.
 Avoid retail situations.
 Create unique solutions.
 Let your priorities be your guide.

We have to acknowledge what we’re feeling, to name these feelings and decide what to do. We have to sort out the fantasies in the sense that we have to realize that no matter what we eat, it won’t solve the problem. Small amounts of food add up quickly, as we all know, yet giving ourselves a small treat can be helpful. Avoiding food situations? Of course. Just look over some of the posts and responses right here at SDP!

And we’re always discussing creative solutions to the emotional eating and other hurdles we have to deal with. Keeping our priorities in mind helps focus us on what we need to do. Whether it’s being able to play with the children, travel, or simply walk to the corner and back, we are in this for the long haul!

So bottom line, compulsive behavior is compulsive behavior. While we sometimes might think that we’re the only people in the world who deal with this, looking around at other people might show us a different reality. And maybe – just maybe – some of the answers we need are in a different box. Some rummaging might turn up just the right strategy or bit of wisdom for our journey.

8 thoughts on “Emotional eating, emotional spending – it’s all the same!

  1. stretchy says:

    “Happiness is the accumulation of good.” –Buddha

    Jane,
    Your post made me think….. Back when I was in mid weight loss I had to attend a wedding & was trapped in a far away state with obese relatives with houses STUFFED with PURCHASES. Growing collections of fairies, gnomes, teddy bears, etc…
    I came home and cleaned house. I filled box after box with STUFF I thought I LOVED…to donate & give as gifts.

    As the weight came off my body, my house got cleaner and brighter.I saved a lot of cash by not shopping. When I reached my desired blue jean size I could afford to buy a lot of nice pairs of jeans.
    Whenever I feel I’m gaining weight, I deep clean the house, and all I do at the mall is walk.

    I never saw this connection at all until you posted. !!!

    Our actions are so powerful. How we live on the outside has something to do with our insides! My house is a calmer, sunnier place!

  2. Jonathan says:

    I’ve never been a compulsive shopper, but as a (formerly?) compulsive eater I know that I have another useful strategy. Its to ask yourself “Would I do this behavior if my two best friends were standing here with me?” It doesn’t always work, but it does help me with the awareness.

  3. Jane says:

    I confess that I felt very shaky and scared yesterday (I live in London and had my day severely disrupted by the terrorist incidents but luckily at second hand only) and bought chocolate and candy to make it better- but this time knowing that that was why I was doing it and knowing that it wouldn’t help. My awareness at least of my behaviours is improving and I can sometimes stop myself. Yesterday I did manage not to buy cigarettes, which I also “wanted”- a small victory perhaps but a real one!

  4. jonquil says:

    Indeed. Happiness is not about stuffing– house, body, mind, or heart.

  5. muse says:

    Very well said, thank you. I am both a compulsive eater and shopper. Very dangerous.

  6. Amy says:

    What a great post. I copied it into the strategies section of my food journal. It was very timely for me, since I am undergoing some stress this week and my healthy habits have been suffering as a result.

  7. Janie says:

    Good post Jane. I was thinking about my sister who has collected over 300 dolls from the 1930’s and 40’s. She paid $2,000 for the most recent purchase. I feel like it is some kind of sickness. She had other collections in the past that she ended up giving away. She lost 2 husbands and I think her collections are a way of dealing with stress. I personally feel more in control when I de-clutter my home.

  8. Jessica says:

    Very observant and interesting. I’ve struggled with both weight and credit card debt for years now, and there is a definite connection between the two. As my weight has decreased, so has my debt (and my use of the credit cards).

    I also quit smoking and pretty much quit drinking when I started WW.

    I guess it was all the same for me: smoking, drinking, spending, shopping, eating… they were all the same compulsive actions. Once I quit doing one, the others fell away…

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