Emotional eating is a problem so many of us have. We eat when we’re bored, sad, tired, happy, angry, etc… Since bariatric surgery requires us to change so many habits, we need to also change our emotional response to situations. We already enjoy our hobbies, so why not tap into that enjoyment and do them instead of eating? Additionally, if your hobby is physical, like dancing or hiking, the extra physical activity can aid in weight loss. Keeping your hands and mind busy keeps them off food. Embrace hobbies to lose weight. Allow your hobbies to become the emotional crutch that food used to be.
Changing Our Habits
Bariatric surgery requires us to change a lot of habits. We change what we eat, when we eat, how much we exercise and how we deal with our emotions. One of the reasons we emotionally eat is because eating fulfills us and even brings us joy. Hobbies do the same thing. They make us feel good because we enjoy them. So while we’re busy working on our habits, we also need to reach for our knitting needles, colored pencils, puzzles, books or radio the next time we want to eat because we’re sad. We need to embrace hobbies to lose weight
Emotional eating comes on suddenly, where as physical hunger comes on slowly as your body digests food, and it exits your stomach. Know the difference. Drink some water because you might just be thirsty when you feel hungry. After you drink your water, go to one of your hobbies. Do you like to read? Grab your next book and get into it. Do you like to dance? Turn on some music and get moving. Do you like to write? Open up your laptop or pull out your notebook. Where are my crafters? Visit Jennifer Maker for some amazing ideas, then open your craft bin and make something for yourself. The possibilities are endless.
Find joy in your hobbies. How many times do we say we wish we had more time to work on the things we love? Now if your perfect opportunity. Allow your hobbies and the things you enjoy doing replace food when you are tempted to emotionally eat. Embrace hobbies to lose weight.
Finding the Joy
I know you’re thinking that there is no way my puzzle is going to take my mind off food. I know you are worried about all these changes you have to make in your life to be successful with your weight loss surgery. It can be overwhelming to think about taking your vitamins daily, hitting your water and protein goals, timing you’re drinking and eating, weighing your meals, meal prepping, finding time to exercise, etc…
However, let me make one thing clear right now: your tool won’t work if you don’t. I know there are going to be times you’re going to crave that cheeseburger or slice of pizza because you had a bad day at work, your husband is on your nerves and the kids won’t stop fighting. Those times are when you need to find joy in things other than food. Since you already enjoy your hobbies and find joy in them, hone in on that enjoyment.
The enjoyment comes not only in doing your
Emotional Eating is a Thing of the Past
As you progress in your journey to surgery and after surgery, you are going to say goodbye to a lot of things. Let one of those things be emotional eating. But at the same time, you are also going to be embracing a lot of things: more energy, more self-worth, a better body image, smaller clothing, being able to fit on amusement park rides and more time for your hobbies. As you replace your emotional eating episodes with time spent working on your hobbies, you are going to find passion and fulfillment as you’ve never known. Allow emotional eating to become a thing of your past and embrace the time you spend on your hobbies. Embrace hobbies to lose weight. This journey is as much mental as it is physical. Conquering your mental demons is only going to help you in the long run.
Could it really be that simple? Will I really find enjoyment in crocheting a blanket as much as I do digging into a pile of bacon cheese fries? If crocheting is your hobby, then yes. Don’t do something just because you think it will take your mind off food if you don’t like doing it. Otherwise you’re going to intensify whatever feeling you are trying to cover with food, and resort to the food you can’t have anyway.
Take this opportunity to find your passion project. What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning? Is there a business you’ve always wanted to start? (If you need some motivation, check out Ruth Soukup’s Do It Scared Podcast, where she will encourage you and push to go after a life you love.) Don’t you wish you had more time for
Bonus for Physical Hobbies
We all know that adding exercise to our routine is going to help with our weight loss. How great is it that some of your hobbies can actively help you lose weight? Maybe you like hiking, and nothing makes you feel better mentally and physically than getting out into the sunshine and hiking up a challenging mountain. Or if you’re into dancing, rejoice in the way your new body moves and try some new steps that you haven’t tried before. If you like team sports, join a local softball team and hit it out of the park.
Hobbies don’t have to be boring tasks that you sit quietly and do. Get up and make noise and movement with your body. It’s going to thank you in the long run for it! Speaking of running, how about trying to run for a hobby (start with C25k!) or hitting the gym? Try something new and find what works for you.
These types of physical hobbies are only going to benefit you mentally and physically. Not only will you be able to push past your emotional eating by doing something you enjoy and brings you fulfillment, but you are also going to add physical activity to your life. Extra physical activity will boost weight loss. What an amazing two-for-one deal?!
Seriously, I can’t tell you how much exercise has changed my life. It’s become the thing that helps me deal with my emotions and it makes me feel good. I’ve replaced my emotional eating with physical activity, and it has made all the difference. I feel better mentally and physically each day. Give it a try and see how much of a difference it makes in your life.
Keeping Your Mind Off Food
As you work your way up to surgery and start thinking about all the foods you can’t eat after surgery, you might be tempted to do a “Last Supper” with those meals. I admit, I did eat a few things for the last time and said goodbye to them forever. It can be hard to not want those foods, especially before surgery when you’re dealing with a regular-sized stomach and a regular-sized appetite. Focusing on your hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment will help take your mind off food. Since your hands will also be busy with whatever hobby you enjoy, you won’t be able to even eat food. So now your hands can’t touch it, and your mind is concentrating on your hobby. Win-Win!
I know that so much of our lives revolve around food, and there are going to be temptations everywhere you go. Always remember your why, your reason for doing all this crazy work. Focus on the hobbies you love to keep your mind and hands busy. Just staying busy has a profound impact on your weight loss. I know it sounds crazy, but eliminating those 500-600 calorie binges from your emotional eating episodes is going to do so much for your weight loss and how you feel.
Taking Back Control
While emotional eating is partially to blame for our obesity, it no longer has to control us. Since our hobbies already fulfill us and make us happy, similar to food, we should use these hobbies to aid us in our weight loss. Replacing old habits with new healthy ones is vital to our success. Plus, if your hobbies include physical activity, it can actively aid in losing weight. When you keep your hands and mind busy, you won’t be thinking so much of the food you can’t have. Plus our hobbies are fun, so let’s use our surgery as an excuse to participate in our favorite hobby. You’ll never know where it may lead you!
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free weight loss coloring chart, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
By allowing your hobbies, which are tasks you already enjoy, become the emotional crutch food used to be, you are going to lose weight. We enjoy our hobbies and they bring us contentment and fulfillment. By honing in on those positive feelings, you can reduce your stress eating binges that result in hundreds of extra calories in your day.