The other extreme—having too much to do—also inspires bouts of emotional eating. On particularly stressful days at work, Ericka Guthrie Dorsey copes by indulging in elaborate meals of potato chips and candy (she keeps a stash in her desk drawer along with a jar of goodies on her desk).

"I know it's not great for my health, but on those days when work gets really frantic, I opt for junk food (like the candy or chips and salsa I keep in my desk) instead of eating a proper meal." —Ericka Guthrie Dorsey

Joy Y. Baltimore was working full-time during the day while studying at night to become a chiropractor. She says that during the school year she would come home, sit down in front of the computer and eat a half gallon of ice cream without even realizing it.

"When I was in night school studying to be a chiropractor and working full-time during the day, I would come home and eat a half gallon of ice cream without even realizing it. I've been on a weight- loss program and I'm trying to make healthier choices, but it's hard." —Joy Y. Baltimore

These women are all making the same mistake—it's one of the most common I see: They've put one aspect of their lives ahead of every other. They've convinced themselves that in order to be successful at that one thing, another aspect of their lives—such as their health—might have to suffer. In the cases of Dorsey and Baltimore, it's their careers; for other women, it may be their husbands' needs that take precedence. Oprah found herself in a similar situation: Not until she put her talk show in second place for a while was she able to gain a measure of control over her emotional eating.

Next: Other ways emotions can influence eating


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