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Overwhelmed and Overeating?

One of my triggers for emotional eating is feeling overwhelmed.  It goes way back as to why it was a trigger and why it still is today.  When I feel overwhelmed, I feel as though there isn’t anything that I can do about a situation.  I feel hopeless and helpless, in other words – a victim.  I don’t do victim well.  Thank goodness because I don’t want to feel like a victim to anything or anyone.  In the past, if I’m hopeless and helpless, let’s eat!  Very unhealthy thinking but that is what  I feel.  I become overwhelmed when something seems too big.  In fact, so big that I feel like a victim to it.  Yucky feelings and thinking for sure!

What I have learned to do for myself and with my coaching clients is how to handle overwhelm.  I’ve felt inadequate for various reasons going way back in my life.  Overwhelm brings all sorts of triggers up and puts them in my face.

Overwhelm relates to weight loss surgery:

So how does this pertain to success from weight loss surgery?  Good question.  It does.  Let’s take the example of getting back on track.  In my case when I regained some weight a few years ago, it seemed huge.  Just thinking about that 30 pounds that I needed to lose seemed insurmountable.  If I go further back, losing 147 pounds seemed insurmountable yet I did it.  I had the same feeling yet again by regaining weight.

As I faced this 30 pounds, I knew it was a huge obstacle that I needed to overcome.  Being so far out after my surgery, I didn’t have the benefit of being newly post-op where my malabsorption was at its highest when I would lose it easily and quickly.  I had two issues in front of me – (1) Lose the 30 pounds, and most importantly, (2) Figure out why I returned to my unhealthy habits that caused me to regain weight.

It was obvious I’d returned to my unhealthy habits.  Why did I return to grazing, emotional eating over trigger emotions and situations?  It wasn’t because I was hungry!  Even as I write this, it brings back how overwhelmed I was at all of this.  The “happily ever after” to this is that I did figure it out.  I broke down those overwhelming issues so I did learn why I returned to my unhealthy habits.  The best part of all, is that I developed strategies to not only lose the 30 pounds but also to incorporate in my everyday life how I could avoid indulging in those unhealthy habits.

Now, from what I’ve learned, I can apply that same practice to other problems that come up.  I still become overwhelmed but it isn’t of the same magnitude.  I know that I am capable and strong, and can break whatever is overwhelming into smaller pieces.  Think of yourself walking along a path and you come up on the huge, ginormous boulder.  You can’t see over it or around it but you have to move it somehow.  You either climb that boulder or chisel away parts of it until you have broken it down to a manageable size that it isn’t in your way and you’ve handled it.  Every problem has many parts to it.  Break it down into parts that you can manage.  There isn’t anything that is bigger, stronger and can overpower you.  All you have to do is know and believe that.

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as necessary to resolve it.” – Rene Descartes




  1. 50+ Motivational Weight Loss Coaches Who Blog - [...] of encouraging words and inspiration for those on the journey to weight loss. Recommended posts: Overwhelmed? and 50 Tips…

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