Fighting the Freshman Fifteen - A College Woman's guide to Getting Real About Food and Keeping the Pounds Off


Excerpt from Chapter 9: Guys and Other Saboteurs

Feeding Your Emotions

If you are in the habit of reaching for something to eat every time you feel anything—happy, sad, excited, angry, lonely-it's time to change your mental health plan. You can't afford to spend the rest of the semester or the rest of your life medicating your feelings with food. There are way too many things over which you have no control and far too many feelings that can sneak up on you when you least expect them, to let this problem go untreated.

The treatment is to block your taste buds while you expand your mind. Refuse to eat for at least an hour after the emotional urge to eat hits you, and instead explore and unleash all those feelings. You can satisfy your emotional appetite by meditating or writing in a journal or talking to a friend or screaming in the shower. The goal here is to deal with the feelings and get comfortable with the way they come into and go out of your life. Eating to heighten or numb them can only lead to added pounds. Then you have to deal with that pain, too, which will be by the only way you know how—namely, eating even more food. Get the picture?

Or if your emotions are starving for attention and the only remedy you can come up with is a pound of chocolate-covered pretzels, you need to institute the buddy system. Just as you were taught to never swim alone, you should also never ride an emotional roller coaster alone. Find a buddy whom you can trust, then empower her to accompany you on the rough rides and hold on tight. Tell her what you are feeling and what you are thinking of eating to deal with those feelings. Then let her help steer you back to safety.

Another convenient way to vent your emotions if your buddy isn't around is in a dieters' chat room. Keep the E-mail addresses in your Favorites file and go to it whenever grades, guys, or girlfriends screw up your day. The anonymous sup- port and sisterhood in these on-line chats may be all that you need to curb your emotional eating and thwart the next mouthful leading to the freshman fifteen

Quick-fix feel-good strategies to Combat Sabotage

Rather than eat or drink to improve your spirits, spend a few bucks to pamper yourself. Whether flush with funds or down to your last few Abe Lincolns, there is something below to help make your day without overextending your caloric account.

Big Bucks Baby Bucks
Spa treatment
Concert ticket
Cashmere sweater
Leather boots
Good jewelry
Bed comforter
Nail polish
Hair clip
Eyebrow waxing
Yoga class
Bubble bath
Movie ticket
Gap T-shirt
Funky sandals
Faux jewelry

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