Thursday, September 22, 2011

Caregivers Gaining Weight

I was at a meeting for caregivers the other day and several of the women there mentioned that they were upset at themselves for the extra 15 pounds they are carrying.

We are all caring for ailing parents which is a challenge and is emotionally taxing.

Of course it is important that we take care of ourselves and our own health--for us, our families and the loved ones we are caring for. It won't help any of us if we, the caregiver, end up sick and needing to receive care!

Naturally then it is important that we have healthy habits if we want to have a healthy life. What is not important is how many pounds we weigh or what size we are.

I found that many of us are carrying excessive weight because of emotional eating--using food for reasons other than the fuel we need. Certainly food can (and arguably should) play a roll in our celebrations and social events, but we need to learn to feel our feelings and express them rather than stuffing them down with a side of extra large fries or a pint of ice cream (my personal favorite.)

This is especially true when we are in stressful, emotionally charged situations. We don't want to gain additional weight...and if we have put on some extra padding we want to halt that trend.

Becoming aware of what we are doing and beginning to eat consciously is a start.

By recognizing that we are reaching for food instead of allowing the tears to flow we give ourselves the opportunity to choose. And we must make that choice daily, in fact, we must make that choice multiple times each and every day.

This is a time for us to be gentle on ourselves. We are human and if we are emotional eaters, by golly we are probably going to overeat at times like these. But we deserve to recognize what is going on and stop beating ourselves up over it!

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