Anxiety and eating, how to cope?

Dannadl Posts: 120 Member
How do you cope with anxiety? Yesterday I had a mild-medium intensity anxiety attack from about 9am until about 8pm. My 1st instinct was to go get some ice cream and eat lots of it to stuff the feelings down and calm myself. I didn't. I didn't because ice cream makes my stomach hurt and gives me gas post RNY. So I fidgeted and paced and felt like a caged animal. I ran 3.5 miles (didn't help), I tried to distract myself reading and wasting time on facebook. I watched a movie. Finally I went to bed. Slept poorly and am having milder anxiety symptoms this morning. I'm headed to the gym to run (I live in Phoenix and at this time of year all my running is indoor on a treadmill due to the heat - our overnight lows are about 90 degrees right now). I really just want to snack all day. I'm not hungry, I'm looking to sooth the anxiety and that was my pre-op method. Though up until recently I really didn't recognize that it was anxiety that was driving the snacking. If possible I'd prefer to find a way to deal with this that doesn't involve medicating.

I have no idea what it triggering the anxiety, though I've been trying to think that through and figure it out so that I can deal with it.

I'm 2 years post op RNY. You'd have thought that I'd have figured this out by now.


  • grace20072010
    It sounds like you did a lot. That's a long time to have a panic attack. I don't really have any good advice - I have had an anxiety disorder for years and do have to take medication for it. If you want non-medicinal treatment, have you tried CBT therapy yet?
  • Dannadl
    Dannadl Posts: 120 Member
    No. I really haven't tried anything yet, except stuffing my feelings with food before RNY and being at a loss for how to deal with it now.
  • kittenincalgary
    kittenincalgary Posts: 91 Member
    Allison here.. So, after I read this thread I went into my hand-outs and notes from the "Emotional Eating" class to see what I could find to share. I don't think there was anything there that you don't already know. I think the fact that you now recognize the behavior is really, really helpful and that was what almost all of the handouts were about - learning to recognize. When I have issues feeling like snacking when I shouldn't, I too float around Facebook playing the silly games mostly. :blushing: One habit I have picked up that seems to work is chewing ice cubes. (Yes, sounds silly I know but its is just water)
    Just my 2 cents. I'm still pre-op VSG, but am finally meeting my surgeon at the end of Aug.
  • asia1967
    asia1967 Posts: 707 Member
    It doesn't matter how far you are out from surgery. You are still human and our emotions is one of the toughest things to deal with. I have not tried this, but I am think of adding it to my arsenal. What about meditating to some slow calm quiet music, maybe it will help bring the anxiety down a few degrees at least. It seems like burning the energy off may just pump you full of adrenaline and add fuel to the fire. Keep us posted if you find something that works. Good luck, hope you get some peace soon.
  • katematt313
    katematt313 Posts: 624 Member
    I have anxiety when I worry about something, be it work, a family member's health, etc. Doing something to address the underlying issue works for me. Better to just face what is bothering you head on, and deal with it. Also, quieting my inner dialogue helps (I talk to myself and that makes it worse).
  • pawoodhull
    pawoodhull Posts: 1,759 Member
    This might seem like a really simplistic answer, but Chamomille tea is a natural sedative. I've used it successfully to help me sleep. A cup may sooth you enough to ease the anxiety. My anxiety attacks always happen when we are traveling and I'm in a stressful situation as in being lost for instance.

    Hope this suggestion helps. Anxiety is horrible!

  • adiggs2777
    adiggs2777 Posts: 111 Member
    Do you have a therapist? Maybe there is one in the Phoenix area that specializes in bariatric patients. As part of my Hospital's program, they have a psychologist (two actually) on staff for all the bariatric patients. They are always more than happy to make an appointment for us if we need to work through any issues. Maybe a session or two would help out?