Is it Food Addiction or Simply a Case of Emotional Eating?

Is it Food Addiction or Simply a Case of Emotional Eating?

“If hunger is not the problem, food is not the answer”

Excerpted from What, Exactly, Is Emotional Eating? | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

This is a real problem to a lot of people and I am not ashamed to say that I am one of them. I am addicted to carbs and it is taking one hell of a lot to get it under control, together with my emotional eating this can become a perfect storm, turning into a  high calorie, high carb, high sugar blow out! So what is happening when I have one of these blow outs, am I suffering from emotional eating or just an addiction to certain food types?

Food can become a way to cope with emotional matters, and the repetition of this coping mechanism can breed an addiction. By using food as a means to deal with anxiety, stress, grief, and the like, the body becomes conditioned to crave that process to feel relief.

People often associate pleasure with foods that contain fat, sugar and salt. As innocent as it may seem, this starts at a young age when candy and soda are given as a “treat” or “reward” for good behavior, grades or a celebration. Research studies have shown the reward centers of the brain to light up and release dopamine when pleasurable foods are consumed. Could this be that we’ve conditioned our bodies to react this way? The following is a great way to explain what is happening to us when we feel compelled to eat when not hungry, its from another blog by Erika, she feels that this is what compels us to believe that emotional eating is the answer.

Once upon a time, in a land not very far from your home… lived mankind. No fast cars, no shiny structures, no skyscrapers, nothing. Just man.. rock… and animals.

See, this worked for man because his only task was to hunt wildlife, and gather his kill for his family. That was his responsibility. His purpose was to bring the salt and fat from the animal to the family. Not work, not bills… just hunt. Because life was much simpler then, this was man’s sole source of stress.

One day, man could not hunt. Every time he threw his spear, he’d miss his prey. He just couldn’t catch SQUAT! His family was to go hungry and he just… he couldn’t take it. The stress started to build up inside of him.

Because stress about the inability to eat is the only source of stress for man, his body became used to the eventual chain of events. His body knows: Lots of stress = lack of food coming in. How did his body react? His body decided to hold on to what it had – by way of diminishing the amount of energy his body could exert all at one time, by way of making sure his body took a very long time to lose weight, by way of making sure it held onto every pound and fat cell it could. This bodily reaction would only further compel man to step up his hunting skills… why? Because he didn’t want to feel that way! He didn’t want his family to feel that way! He had to get his caveman hustle on! When man was finally able to tackle that antelope or whatever-what-have-you, the fats and salts in the meat were sooooo satisfying that they would cure man of the bodily reaction to stress.

Compare this to emotional eating. The body’s reaction doesn’t change no matter what variables you swap out. Regardless if the stress comes from traffic, bad work day, or family problems… the body’s reaction to stress has not evolved as fast as society has. Now, we can get food within ten minutes if we drive or own a microwave. So presuming our body believes that stress is caused by a “famine on the way,” then it’s going to trigger feelings to make you go hunt! Our bodies just don’t know how easy it is to get food just yet. It hasn’t caught up.

Excerpted from Telling A Tale of Stress and Emotional Eating | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

Cllick the links below to read more –

 5 Steps to Take Control of Food Addiction | MyFitnessPal

What exactly is emotional eating

My Second Appointment at Jimmys

disappointment-signIt has taken me a couple of days to get over this appointment, as it just did not go as I wanted at all. Firstly, I went on my own, I had lost a lot of my confidence in actually going anywhere without my daughter but she was working, so I had to do it alone. And, I did it very well and enjoyed the day out. I was mostly worried about all the walking that would be involved because the car park is quite a long way from the front door and once inside, there is loads of walking to do. I surprised myself and managed quite well with the walking. It was about 400+ metres from the car park to the x ray department and I stopped a number of times but absolutely loved the fresh air it was quite windy and the blow did me the world of good.  Negotiating the centre of Leeds was also worrying me, I hate driving in Leeds its so busy and I was travelling at rush hour. I managed to p*** off a few drivers and got honked at a few times but overall did quite well.

I had my x ray first and then walked back to the Thoracic Surgery Department to see my consultant. By the time I had sat down in the waiting room, it was not long before I was called to see him and I must admit after all that walking I felt so much better, I almost ran in.  However, I didn’t run out, after talking to him for about 10 minutes (a very short time really), I became under the impression that he really was not comfortable about doing endobronchial valves, he didn’t seem to have a lot of success with them. He made up loads of excuses, the first one was my heart.

I have got a stupid arrhythmia the cardiologist said it is not dangerous and shouldRoyalty-free clipart picture of a right itself as it usually does. I have had it for years (palpitations); ever since my son had an accident and fell 25 foot through a roof and was in ICU in Leeds. It normally puts itself back to normal but the last time I had to go into hospital for 4 days so they could get it under control. Now, I am on tablets for a short while and have to have a cardiogram next week just to check everything is fine, so I am crossing my fingers that it is. So, obviously the first thing the consultant talked about was this heart thing and said it needed to be sorted before he could consider the valves. I told him that I had mentioned it to my cardiologist and he had declared me good to go for an operation. Anyway, he wasn’t having any of that at all and moved on to his next objection which was the fact that I wasn’t on oxygen so was not an urgent case. Actually, I found his bedside manner terrible, I was beginning to wonder if his wife had given him a poor breakfast or had a row or something before he came to work. The next objection to the 12301208_878550378906854_74531362_nvalves was the fact that they don’t work for everyone and he didn’t have very much success with them, he also stated that they only lasted for 3 years anyway! He said you will get worse anyway I can’t make you better! Oh blooming heck,  I knew this already did he think I was stupid or something. I just want a little bit of lung function back, I was hoping the operation might turn back time a bit for me; and enable me to do lots of exercise and allow me to go on an upward spiral instead of the downward spiral that I am in at the moment. I must admit I started to cry with frustration because, I know that they last longer than 3 years in the US they stated 10 years but even if you half that for optimism that is 5 years. I just felt that he did not want to do it! He said I needed to do another Pulmonary Rehab Course, I told him that I did a lot of exercise at home anyway and was active. But he said I needed to do a full course which I am happy to do anyway and he also said I had to do a 6 minute walk test. When I asked him what he would learn from that test he didn’t give me a real answer. Just mumbled something I couldn’t I hate this about some doctors they just don’t explain themselves; but I can remember being guilty of this when I first started teaching. People, need very simple explanations in order to follow unfamiliar subjects. Drawings and diagrams are preferable!

And this is what I like to hear from Doctors someone being positive –

Anyway, the interview ended with me walking out of the room very disappointed and bemused and wondering exactly what had taken place. He definitely was not working on the same page as me. Since I have had time to think about his response, I feel that I need to search for a consultant who has moredownload (2) experience and success with fitting these valves like the guy in the video. That is something I had not thought of before. Its the same as anything, if you were going to have a new conservatory built you would ask about and choose the best builder; but we regularly hand our health over to Drs, Consultants, Specialists who we have no knowledge of at all. We trust that they are the fountain of knowledge and fantastic at their job. Well, I think I will have to think seriously who I trust with what’s left of my lungs, I can’t afford to waste any more. And this experience has in no way deterred me in my mission to find ways to improve my life, I just need to look elsewhere! The fight is not over!!!  Look out for next episode.

Exercising and COPD – Come on lets do it together?


As lots of posts that I have written explains, exercise is vital for COPD. It’s so hard to understand why you have to do something that gets you even more out of breath in order to improve your life. It took me a while to get my head around this, especially when I love being on the computer and reading books. I knew that I was not getting anywhere near the amount of exercise that I should be getting, so needed to step up. Dawn Fielding also states the importance of this in her book the COPD Solution see Step Five of my review on her book. She explains the technical reasons why it’s more important for people with COPD to exercise and maintaining an ideal weight.

Every winter for the past four years I have had a few flare ups and as a result the amount of stuff that I am doing is getting less and less. For example, I don’t go to our local store anymore because I can’t walk around now without a trolley. Also, I don’t get petrol fromrunning-omg our local garage, they were used to seeing me every other day because the walk from the pump to the counter gets me out of breath I have stopped using that particular garage. I don’t think it is because I am getting any worse with my lungs, because my FV1 is better than 4 years ago, but I think I am getting more and more out of condition and I have gained more and more weight. It is my own fault for self adjusting in the downward spiral in response to a flare up. So lets remedy this! I must do exercise AND diet. So my first milestone will be going to the garage and been able to walk in and still talk when I get to the counter! What’s going to be yours?


In the past I have been on plenty of different diets, well most women have I am sure of that. And I had a great success with them too until I got COPD. However, I only started the exercise once I had fallen below 12 stone. After I had my children, I used to balloon up to 13Fitbit-Alta-inline-1024x768 stone each time and once I had got the first stone off I would go to the gym or do Rosemary Conley in my front room lol. This was because I found exercising too difficult at first, I was too breathless and that was before I had COPD! So I need to remember that because I have to lose more than 2 stone before I can get down to that now. My Doctor advised me to get an activity band and I have spent hours reviewing the best one, I must admit I quite like one of the most popular ones which is the FitBit, (see FitBit Alta to the right). I feel that an activity tracker will motivate me so I am definitely going to buy one, it’s just which one?


proactive 7

There is a site I found on Twitter called PN Medical and it has a series of videos on it going into exercise and COPD, all you need to do is register and it costs nothing and YES its from the good old USA . Most good resources I have found about COPD up to present has come from the USA except for the British Lung Foundation we definitely need more in Great Britain! Link  For More On The Exercise Series 

Below is an excerpt from another COPD blogger who has experienced this brick wall after winter infections and I think his is a very good approach. I am definitely going to try it, well I already have a bit but I will keep posting on this page my progress.

Regardless of how gentle or serious your COPD is, activity is still a conceivable possibility. You’ll be shocked how much a couple of snippets of activity a day can help.

I’ve learned to ‘warm up’ my lungs before beginning any exercise activity. ForPOWERbreathe-ClassicMediumResistance-1 example, I use a respiratory trainer to warm up and this enhances my lung capacity before I begin working out. It just takes ten minutes—and you’ll probably see that it makes a difference. (To the left is my respiratory trainer, it is called a power breath and you can obtain it on prescription from your doctor. You can also purchase them for around £28 in Argos)

In addition, walking is the another best practice for individuals with COPD. Consistent walking builds up the lungs and enhances relaxing. You ought to attempt to walk day by day for 5 to 15 minutes on end, contingent upon your capacity.

There are a couple of other approaches to get moving when you have COPD. Here are some imperative tips to remember.

  • Move gradually. Frequently, individuals with extreme COPD hustle just a bit while in transit to the washroom or kitchen so their breath won’t run out. Attempt and take it gradually.
  • Add to your activity routine when you feel more grounded. After you sense that you’re ready to move around for over 1 minute on end, attempt 2 minutes. Congrats! You’ve quite recently multiplied your activity schedule!

You’ll be pleased with yourself for trying to move around. The best part about activity of any sort is that it makes you feel great—in both body and brain.

My efforts to pres or you may say at the moment have been walking more! I have done the 6 min walk test but only managed to walk about 500 yards (if that) in 6 mins which is appalling. I have upped my housework and have been doing more for myself. This weekend I am going to walk to my daughters house (not far only about 7 houses down the road but they have big gardens so its quite a way. I will start to record my progress soon on this page.

MY DIET NIGHTMARE – But I’m doing it, well sort of!!

This ties in with Step 5, 6, 8 of the COPD Solution post


Well started my diet on the 15th March and have lost 10lb up to now. Can’t believe that I have managed to stick through this. Since I stopped smoking 4 years ago I have been totally addicted to food and any attempt to diet was scuppered by myself and my need for sweet and fatty food. But no more, I have been enjoying eating healthily now and also find that I enjoy my meals better because I am not eating anything that I am not supposed to eat. However, I have decided to do a more calorie controlled diet this time so that if there is anything that I really fancy one day I can immediately count for it. Also I am going to try fasting for one day a week and try all sorts of different dieting tricks to keep me interested. I will post them on this post and this will be an evolving post so please keep coming back because it will be updated regularly.

My Shopping Basket

1915613_10204315133479086_8499442798078363292_nWell my shopping basket this week was filled with much better healthier stuff and if my son will keep his hands off it, I won’t go hungry. He annoys me because he is underweight but as soon as I start buying in healthy stuff he eats it. The bird’s eye steam fresh veg are really great when you are having a bad day and don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. Last night I had fresh baby carrots, mashed10364063_10204315133199079_617427517448159017_n potato and chicken breast. Will a little oxo gravy, it was delicious and if I had been feeling a bit off it I would have used the microwave veg instead. My favourite frozen selection at the moment in Morrison’s is the Veg cupboards lol. I said to my daughter if you see a rabbit hopping towards you next week that will be me!

I really hope that this effort combined with exercise will help my breathing which is terrible at the moment. Lets see eh?

Exercise Too – You cant get away without this!

Link to Exercise images

Will be incorporating exercise just a little bit, with my diet, it so helps the breathing and I have never really 100% committed myself to this before so its about time. I might throw in some Yoga breathing at some point but  I will record my exercise in the above link, so lets see how we go?

Saturday 26th March – Diet News – Feeling the Benefit!

I discovered Kale! Bought some in Iceland yesterday and googled it to see the best way todownload cook it and found it is a super food, full of nutrients and anti inflammatory properties. So am going to have some every day. Need to steam it or best results, I boiled it yesterday and it was a bit chewy so let you know how I get on cooking it in different ways. Feel better this morning than I have for a long time. Was not out of breath when I came downstairs. Usually I am reaching for the inhaler! When I didn’t do this, I realised that I had managed to have bath without getting out of breath too. Its funny how you only notice the moments you are really out of breath and when something good happens like your breathing improves a little, it doesn’t register straight away. So, now I am wondering if its the weight I have lost that’s improved my breathing or the food I am eating or not eating, if you get the drift. Well whatever it is I am keeping going with this and my respiratory breathing exercises and see how far I go.


images (3)During one of my hospitalisations with my Asthma the news was broken to me that I could have developed COPD (this was confirmed at a much later date), I will NEVER forget the feeling, when they handed me a leaflet on Emphysema and COPD and just left me to deal with the news alone. I spent all night in the bathroom looking out of the window and crying. I just couldn’t handle it at that time. I said ‘will I die from this?’ and the nurse said, ‘we all have to die of something’, that definitely wasn’t what I wanted to hear at that time.

My Grandad had died of emphysema, I hadn’t been very close to him unfortunately so did not know what he went through with it or how he managed it but I knew it was terrible, whatever it was and I was basically frightened of the unknown.
The truth is, how long you live once you have been diagnosed is up to you. Your life and how long you survive once diagnosed is literally in your own hands. How long you survive will depend on your actions because although COPD is progressive that progress, providing you do not smoke, is very slow. 
The following piece has been written by Derek Cummings who has lived with the disease for 28 years and I really wish I could have read this when I was told I MIGHT have it.  The way you react when first told you have this illness needs to be positive, you need to know that you are not going to die and how you can make your life better, also what you can do to improve your life and slow the disease down – I so wish I had known this. I was like many people at first, I just felt that this was it the end of my life, what was the point of doing anything, I was depressed basically and scared! Below is this piece and some links have been kept in for your further reading.

knowledge_is_power_by_haleyspeers-d4nqjj7As someone who has written a journal on my journey with COPD for several years I often receive emails from frightened readers. Or notice a search engine query asking if COPD is a death sentence or how long do I have to live with COPD? “Will I live long enough to see my children grow up? Does this mean I will not see my daughter grow up, get married, start her own family? Or ever know my future grandchildren?” are often the first questions I read in emails I receive.

Many times this is followed by a Google session as the frightened patient types “how long do I have to live with COPD?”. To then receive some good, but sometimes frightening advice. One page I know informs the reader you will live five years at most from diagnosis. How wrong is that? I have suffered COPD for 28 years now. I have friends on my COPD network that have lived with this illness for longer than I. If that advice had been right, I would have been dust by 1992.

None of us will beat the reaper. We are all sadly going to die at some time in the future. But more than likely with COPD and not because of it, despite COPD being one of the major causes of death in both the USA and UK. I am not going to lie, COPD will finish some of us. But most will have managed their condition for very many years, with lots of fun-packed times put in before the inevitable happens.

The truth is how long you live once you have been diagnosed is up to you. Your life and how long you survive once diagnosed is literally in your own hands. How long you survive will depend on your actions because although COPD is progressive that progress, providing you do not smoke, is very slow. Just simple lifestyle changes can and will add years to your life. As your illness progresses through the stages there is no denying there will be many challenges, and if you reach stage 4, there might come a time when you need to use oxygen therapy. But the truth is you are much more likely to die of something other than COPD.

Terminal to me is having cancer and being told you have weeks or months to live. That is the time to do all the things you have been scared to do. A parachute or bungee jump for instance. Can you imagine me jumping out a plane with an 8 pounds oxygen cylinder on my back? I guess my jump will speed up a bit but have to admit to laughing when I think about it. Our job with COPD is to make sure the reaper waits as long as possible. To do that, all you need to do is manage your condition. Take your medications when you need them. Oxygen if prescribed. Do not smoke. Else you might not last five years. Quitting smoking slows the pace of COPD dramatically. Exercise as much as you are able. This will exercise the lungs and help to keep muscles toned. Muscle uses least oxygen. Try not to get stressed as stress causes lots of breathing problems. Try to stay positive and to keep positive people around you. Have ‘It’s good to laugh’, as your motto and laugh often. Ask your consultant for a COPD management plan and stick to it. Make sure you get a flu shot each year and pneumonia shot. If you become unusually breathless seek medical attention as soon as you can. If you do that, like me, you can live for very many years. In two years I have an anniversary. It will then be 30 years I will have lived with COPD – yet despite stage four I am still enjoying life.

Two years ago I learned of the death of a 66-year-old man from COPD. It was with sadness I read the reason. Despite having been prescribed oxygen, a false pride meant he would not use it. To him it was seen as a weakness to be seen using oxygen. Sadly his heart gave out under the strain of trying to give his body theoxygen he needed, and he died.

If you are prescribed oxygen it is to protect your vital organs including your heart. Oxygen when needed helps us to feel well and to breathe easier. I use oxygen for mobility and have no such false pride. Sometimes people look but everyone is polite and helpful. During the three years I have used oxygen not one has been rude. It is equally sad that many that do have mobile oxygen do not venture out their homes, in fear of what others might say. My thoughts have always been if someone has a problem with my cannula that is their problem. Not mine.

I hope this short piece has helped allay some of your fears of COPD, leaving you more able to start to feel less stressed and more able to move forward. Till I write again, keep that smile. But most of all, Breathe Easy.

I was diagnosed with mild COPD in 1987 when 39 years of age. Now at the very severe stage, I use oxygen for mobility and am disabled by my illness. Despite this I still have an extremely active life, and after more than 27 years of living with bad lungs, am living proof that we with COPD can enjoy a long life. I am often seen at events, meetings, restaurants, and publicity events though I wear a ‘nose hose’ for oxygen when mobile and a mobility scooter to get around.

See Also  How long will I live Another Wonderful Piece

Thought I had a Heart of Gold? – Another stay in HRI


Just when I thought I had a heart of gold, well I like to think I have, it decided to act more like a jumping jack or a runaway train, it was going at 160 beats per minute. I was so used to this happening in the past and had never complained to my doctor about it as normally it put itself right in a few hours but this time it kept going at speed for 3 days. So I thought a call to the doctor would be a good idea! I was right and I had to go straight to the surgery for an ECG. I think my Doctor was shocked, I dont think she expected it to be so high and was so surprised that I had left it for 3 days. She said it was called ‘supraventricular tachycardia’ an irregular heartbeat in layman’s terms.

8514563790_348d8d832f_oThe problem is with a chronic illness like COPD  all you do is concentrate on breathing, it becomes the most important thing in your life and a little thing like a high pulse rate doesn’t get much attention. However, it could have been quite dangerous and it also contributes to your breathlessness, something I had never thought of. Now, I realised its importance especially when my Doctor said, “I’m just going to get the defibrillator, but dont panic its just incase” and I was sent straight to Huddersfield Royal AGAIN! The ambulance took me with lights and sirens blaring and after this experience if my heartbeat wasn’t going ten to the dozen anyway it was now. Even more alarmingly I was taken straight into resus and had more pads stuck to my chest and readings taken. I was asked to do various things such as pinch my nose and blow hard called the ‘valsalva maneuver’, bear down like you need the toilet and blow into various things very hard.  They also tried the carotid maneuver, the carotid artery runs down your throat next to the vagal nerve. The Doctor gave the artery a gentle massage with his fingertips to help stimulate the neighboring nerve into slowing my heart rate down. All these procedures were done in an effort to get my pulse to jump start itself again! I can’t really remember much, I was in shock, after all, I had just had a routine visit to my doctors and now I was here! Life can be so unpredictable.

I spent four days in hospital and found out that I was in no danger, although they kept me strapped to a monitor for three days. Two days were over the weekend, so I had to wait for the consultant to come in on Monday before I found out what was really  going on. I was sooo tired too and slept a lot. No wonder I had been doing a marathon for three days! The consultant was brilliant and explained everything very easily, he put me on three different types of tablets one was a blood thinner and two different types of tablet to keep my heart rate down. He said that he hopes my heart rate will go back to normal eventually as it has done in the past and said that I will have had it for years and not known about it. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t go back into a normal rhythm itself the next lot of treatment will involve a small operation where they will shock my heart back into rhythm, OUCH!! Until my follow up appointment in outpatients, I have to take these tablets and have a angiogram in 6 weeks.

I am now wondering how much this has contributed to putting me over the edge when I have had previous flare ups, ending in a hospital admission! My breathing is improving noticeably. It wasn’t too great this morning and I took my pulse and it was high again! The consultant told me that this condition is common in people with lung problems and asthma sufferers. That it wasn’t dangerous or life threatening; (could he tell my doctor that I wonder?). So of course as soon as I was well enough I decided to do some digging to find out exactly what caused this. I found this on NHS Choices site and it explains it quite well –

Heartbeats are normally initiated by a small group of cells at the top of the heart called the sinoatrial node, which acts as the heart’s natural pacemaker. Episodes of SVT occur when a problem develops in this system. This causes faster signals to be sent around the heart, increasing the speed at which the heart beats. In most cases, the problem is temporary and lasts for a few seconds, minutes, or in some cases hours. (Unfortunately mine got stuck for days this time)

SVT is usually triggered by extra heartbeats (ectopic beats), which everyone has. It may also be triggered by:

  • some medications, including asthma medications, herbal supplements and cold remedies
  • drinking large amounts of caffeine or alcohol – (I dont drink tea or coffee or drink alcohol much)
  • tiredness, stress or emotional upset
  • smoking lots of cigarettes – (that’s not me I dont smoke)

However, in the majority of cases, there’s no identifiable trigger for SVT.

After reading this I realised that it could be tiredness, stress or emotional upset or asthma medications that have been the rout of the problem.

I found a lot of information and I have included the links below but there is mountains of stuff out there about Heart Arrhythmias and these are just a couple –

Supraventricular Tachycardia

This piece is very good, it does focus more on young people but also goes on to say that adults also with COPD can also be effected. The medication they are talking about IACs is typically SPIRIVA type meds.

Asthma Meds Linked to Heart Arrhythmias – IACs

They halt airflow obstruction by relaxing airway muscles during asthma attacks — thereby allowing the person with asthma to breath easier — but inhaled anticholinergics (IACs) may have a heart rhythm–related downside. 

But that’s not the only anticholinergic-related research out there. Some raise concern about IACs and heart risk in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).