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Emotional Eating

Yesterday, out of the blue, without any foreboding gossip or rumor, the company I work for was taken over by a competitor. All afternoon we sat stunned and unnaturally quiet, trying to absorb what had happened and what it might mean to our future.

Two hours after the announcement of the sale was made, I walked through the office, a large call center divided into several teams that handle certain accounts or patients at different levels of care. Apparently quite independently of each other, each team was trying to handle the tension and the underlying anxiety in their own way.

What did they all choose? You guessed it: FOOD.

We eat when we're happy and celebrating; we eat when we're lonely; we eat when we're bored. And, above all, we eat when we're upset. When our whole world seems to spin out of control, food remains the only object that can seem to keep us anchored and stable. We reach to it for comfort, for re-assurance, for love. And we remain blind to the fact that our affection for it allows it to exert control over us. Over the next few months, as reorganization plans are implemented and the winds of change sweep through the offices of management and the cubicles of worker bees, we will reach out, over and over, for the comfort of eating to steady our stomachs and soothe our nerves.

Corporate downsizing - just another weapon to make us fat!

Does the pressure never stop? Perhaps when we're dead, there is no longer any compulsion to eat - or maybe we are destined to go into our graves as a starving corpse who tries desperately to communicate with the living about the overwhelming urge to eat.

Virginia Bola is a licensed psychologist and an admitted diet fanatic. She specializes in therapeutic reframing and the effects of attitudes and motivation on individual goals. The author of The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a free ezine, The Worker's Edge, she recently published a psychologically-based weight control e-workbook, "Diet with an Attitude" which develops mental skills towards the goal of permanent weight control. She can be reached at She provides support and guidance in use of the workbook through her regular blog,


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