Weight Loss Support - Emotional eating getting the best of me...long, but I need encouragement.




CherryBlossom
05-02-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi everyone. I haven't been here in a while. A lot's happened.

I dropped out of college last year (completed the year, then dropped out) to take care of my dad. He had cancer and required a lot of help. I thought I'd take a year off while he got better, then go back. But he died suddenly in February. He was sick but far from terminal, and his death was a complete shock.

That was bad enough. But now I have so much more responsibility. I live completely alone now. I have no income, so I got to get a job. Been living off insurance money so far, but that's going to go away soon. I promised my father I would go back to school no matter what, so come fall I'll be a full time college student once more. Hopefully I'll have a job that can pay the utilities, car insurance, all that stuff. I feel 40, not 20.

With all the sadness and anxiety, my eating has been out of control. When my father died, I was around 265lbs. That's my "maintain" weight which I try to stay around when I'm not actively dieting. When I get above that, I start to worry.

This morning I weighed in at 280lbs. That's 15lbs. in less than 5 months. My pants are tight, my face looks so puffy. I have everything in the world to be sad about. It's hard to deal with it all and feel ugly too.

I eat huge amounts of food everyday without thinking. A whole casserole dish of au gratin potatoes, a whole half gallon of ice cream, a whole large pizza, a bag of candy. That's an actual list of what I had last week. I don't even think when I do it...I shove it in until it's uncomfortable. I'm not satisfied with normal portions. Crap, I'm not satisfied with large portions!

My weight has also held me back on getting a job. The only things available where I'm at are things like fast food, and retail stores. I go in these places with the intent of getting an application. Then I'll see these kids my age there, and a lot of the times I hear them make comments about my weight. If not, they just give me dirty looks. When I ask for an application, the manager looks at me like I wouldn't be a good employee. The male employees role their eyes because I wouldn't be a "hot" co-worker. I promise this is not all in my head, it actually happens.

So I guess I have a couple of questions.

How do I get back to normal portions after stretching my stomach so far with what I've been eating the past few months? I don't feel satisfied unless I'm so full I'm almost sick. How do I break that habit?

Also, did anyone else deal with this stuff when looking for a job? It makes me so self-conscious. I have to work, and the sooner the better. But I don't want to be in an environment like the one described.

Thank you guys so much for reading. I'm sorry I wrote so much. :hug:


Mikayla
05-02-2009, 09:02 PM
I'm sorry about your loss Cherry Blossom.

It is possible to feel satisfied without overeating, but it takes some time for you body to get used to the feeling. You just kinda have to do it and commit yourself to NOT eating until your stuffed. Also eating 5-6 smaller meals may help control your hunger. And drink water with every meal LOTS of it.

I've worked in retail nearly all my life and I understand where you are coming from. If you are truly having a hard time with certain stores. I would suggest working at Plus size clothing stores or possibly stores that cater to older women. Many of these stores will actually pay better and they will be less judgmental. If there is a Lane Bryant near you go there first, the discount is GREAT, working there will give you a big confidence boost. And many of the employees, and customers will also be dieting, you may find a good support system.

hotnewspirits
05-02-2009, 09:13 PM
First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how incredibly difficult it must have been to care for a dying parent and you must be very brave and strong. And you should know that. I do hope you realize it. You made a big sacrifice and I can't commend you enough.

Have you logged the food you eat before? It's amazing how much you learn about your eating habits if you write everything you eat down. It might also be helpful to write when you're eating because lots of people have triggers and times of the day when they tend to overindulge.

If you think most of your overeating is coming from a place of stress and sadness then it really has less to do with food and more about needing an outlet for your emotions. When my cousin who I was very close to killed himself a few years ago I was inconsolable and reached my highest weight. It took a long time for me to feel right again and I really couldn't maintain any kind of normalcy in my life, nutritionally or otherwise until I got my emotions in check. Things that helped me were taking up hobbies (I started taking drawing classes and going to free nude model drawing sessions at my school) and learning to let people into my head a little more (I've always been very guarded with my feelings).

It also helped me to realize that the person who is gone will be missed forever and never forgotten but the day is gone when we are expected to live in mourning. He would want you to be happy and healthy and carry on and cherish what you had but learn to make new happy memories with others.


bargoo
05-02-2009, 09:25 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. You truly have been through a lot. I understand about emotional overeating, too. I have to watch for that in my own life,and I understanding eating a whole pie. Just being bored will drive me to the refrigerator and if I had experienced what you have I'd be eating all the time. That habit can be broken. First I would take Mikaylas suggestions about finding employment in a Plus size store. I think she made an excellent point about working there. This will , of course give you income. and give you less time to be sad and will also keep you out of the refrigerator.. This will give you a good start and I believe the emotional eating will slow down and eventually stop. I commend you for planning to go bsck to school. Good luck .

VickieLou
05-02-2009, 09:39 PM
Hi Cherry Blossom:hug:

I'm so sorry to hear about your Father. He would be Happy to hear you are going back to school.

I'm sorry those people were not nice when you go job hunting. Do you have any temporary agencies near you? Maybe, you could work for them until you find a permanet job. Or maybe some times you can find a summer job and then find something else in the Fall. Maybe, check with the library or city hall. Good Luck on your job hunting!

Walking is a good stress reliever. Maybe, you could slowlly start a walking program. I read you can even break your walk down. For example: Take 2 ten minute walks a day to get in 20 minute total. Or maybe less if you haven't been working out. Then in the Fall when you get to campus can take longer walks.

Maybe slower adding more fiber to your diet. That would make you feel more full.

Don't let others get you to discouraged. Visit us on the website and we will help encourage you.

Take Care!

GradPhase
05-02-2009, 09:40 PM
I'm really, really sorry for your loss, and I can relate to having to feel 40 at 20... I don't have any information on comfort eating to offer you.. but..

Do you qualify for financial aid? You can take out full-time loans, pay off your classes and use the rest as a cushion for your bills to make things a little easier for you in the mean time?

I also recommend, when you do get back in to school, that you join study groups for your classes if you have the time. Not only will it help make the course load easier and keep you on track with school when everything else feels like it's falling apart, but it's helps you connect with others on campus, and it's a good safe-guard to make you accountable for getting out of the house, and getting some fresh air for a few minutes..

mamaspank
05-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Cherry Blossom,
I am so sorry for your loss. My father had throat cancer and my mother took care of him. My father also seemed to getting better until one day and then they performed an operation on my and he bled to death on the operating table, alone. I know the emotional strain that goes along with that and the guilt.

I hope I am not overstepping my bounds, but this is important. Your father would want you to start taking care of yourself first and foremost. What you have been through, and at your age, are not common. You are stronger than most your age, and I am sorry you were robbed of him so young.

After my father died, I kept on drinking and partying like nothing had happened. That is until I got knocked up. Thank God for my son, because it helped me slowly begin turning around my life. I gained quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy, 50 pounds.

After my son was born, I nursed and never felt I should start dieting until I gave up nursing. I decided to start my journey when I had lost about 15 of the pounds I had gained from my pregnancy. I had lost that 15 in the first three weeks of my having had him though and stayed at 185 for about 11 months. I started WW at home April 7, 2008. Today I am 132, and feel great.

My point is that now is the time to take care of yourself. Some might disagree, but I think trying to make improvements on the outside or just working towards a goal dutifully will help with the healing process with your father and also aid you in landing a job.

I think you should pick a plan that sounds reasonable enough to fit into your lifestyle so it doesn't set you up to fail from the get go. I did WW at home, and honestly I have never been in better shape. The first week was so hard, getting used to eating less, food journaling, counting points, exercising when I felt so sluggish. This process hopefully will do for you what it has done for me. I have better self esteem, am physically strong, and after losing my father, know what is important in life. Family, health, and feeling good about yourself.

The second part of your question, I am lucky and my baby's father supports us so that I don't have to work. When my father died, we sold our dairy, and were each bought a house outright. So I am very fortunate. I know though that if I did return to my old career, court reporting, I would be welcomed with arms. The positive changes I have made on the outside are completely outweighed by the way I feel inside and hopefully that is what I exude, a much happier, stronger person.

You can do this. Just take a step back and regain control of your life.

Leeesa
05-02-2009, 10:00 PM
Oh geez, I am so very sorry for your loss, both of your father and how you feel the loss of your youth. These are years you definitely should be enjoying and your dad would probably agree. I know it seems easier to just drown out the world in whichever way you can, but at some point you will need to take charge. I admire your determination to go back to school, you sound like a strong, determined person and this will not get the best of you. Yes you will have to live with grief and that willl probably never totally go away, but that doesn't mean you can't lead a healthy, fufilled life. You can, you are young, seize your youth and make the most of it, you still have so much time and so much life to enjoy. I've always said to myself that I never wanted to look back when I'm 80 or 90 years old (because yes I will live that long) with regrets. My deepest condolences. As my mom always says, "this too shall pass" You will build yourself a bright, happy future, believe it. I do.

kiramira
05-03-2009, 12:42 AM
Hi there...your dad :( college:(
I am so IMPRESSED that you took time to be with your dad. Not all dads have such a great daughter, and he definitely knew this and appreciated you. You are amazing.
:hug::hug::hug:
Find an eating program that works for you. For me, it was Weight Watchers. A guided program that suits your lifestyle will help you really recognize WHAT you are eating and what its IMPACT on you is.
As for stomach stretching -- my WW leader started at 275 lbs. She is now 160 lbs. She describes herself as a "bulk eater" -- she had to eat LOTS of food in order to feel full. She lost the weight by following the program and eating fibrous, non-starchy vegetables IN BULK. She never felt hungry and was able to lose the weight while following the program principles.
Not all is lost! To paraphrase Judge Judy : FAT comes and goes, but STUPID is FOREVER!!! So you CAN fix this and you CAN change. And it everything will work out.
:hug:
Kira

Lori Bell
05-03-2009, 08:32 AM
I've been through a very similar situation, and I know how hard it is. I am very sorry for your loss. I'm glad you are getting back to school, that will be good for you. Hang in there. :hug:


I can't believe people say things about your weight out loud. That is beyond the limit. You must live in one of those "skinny" cities. Even at my largest, I never heard people making fun of me...they probably did, but they weren't' rude about it...I get more grief now that I've lost weight than I ever did before. Though I do live in a fat community. There are overweight people working everywhere I go. Heck, the court house weight average is probably 280. That's a shame the people in your community are so shallow. If you are desperate for work, take what ever is available, you aren't locked into it forever. If people make fun of you, file a grievance and make their lives **** back. Don't take the crap.

As far as your need for massive amounts of food...I also completely understand. I had, and still have to feel "full" at least once a day. I eat more fruit and veggies than the rest of my family combined. As someone said above, more fiber will help tremendously. It is amazing how good a head of cabbage can taste with a little seasonings and creativity. If you are veggie challenged fruit is a good option....AND, you don't have to spend a dime to lose weight. Free, free, FREE! Good luck getting back into a healthy body.

PinkyPie
05-03-2009, 09:11 AM
I just wanted to offer you condolences as well. I am so sorry about your father.

Mamaspank had some great words. All I can say is that when things like this happen we can go two ways - we can carry down a road of self-destruction or we can take control of the wheel of our own life. I am so sure that your dad would want you to start taking that control. Even if you start with little steps, that would make a difference. And I'm from the school of "fake it til you make it" - I also suggest taking whatever job you can in the mean time to get you started and to help build up some confidence.

I was not in the same situation at all as you, but I suffered a type of loss a few years ago when my marriage broke up and I lost my job at the same time. I went down the slippery slope of depression and emotional eating (and drinking and other unmentionables) and with the help of my anti-depression meds I managed to gain all my weight lost back, plus about 10 for good measure. And it took me ages to stop until one day I just took the small step of selling my house... moving away... getting into therapy... stopping drinking (and other unmentionables), getting a job... and, while it's taken me a while to get my weight under control (or a plan under control) I maintained at my high weight instead of further gaining. All of these things help to put one in a better frame of mind to move forward, to feel good about ourselves again, to make goals and achieve them, etc.

And I am a serious bulk eater, but let me tell you something - no one got fat from eating too many vegetables, so if you are worried about what your stomach needs, give it as much bulk as you can with the least calories/ points/ whatever plan you want to follow.

((hugs)) to you!

rockinrobin
05-03-2009, 09:14 AM
Wow. You've been through an awful lot and I am so sorry.

I think you must absolutely ignore all the idiots, and make no doubt - they're idiots, who make comments about your weight. They're morons and you should not be wasting one second of your time thinking about them. I think you've just got to take whatever job you can for right now.

As far as the food. Believe it or not - you CAN get control over this. I know it for sure. You get control - by taking it. By going out and getting it. By SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS.

First off - don't buy the stuff. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. Make it a steadfast, UNBREAKABLE rule. You can't eat it if it's not there. So stop buying that ice cream, pizza and what have you. Make a deal with yourself to only bring healthy foods into the house. Veggies and proteins. Baby carrots, peppers, mushroom, grape tomatoes, zucchini, salad fixings, cauliflower and on and on. Apples, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, blue and strawberries, etc. No fat yogurt. Low fat cottage cheese. Turkey & chicken breast. Soy products - Morning Star Farms is an excellent company. Egg whites. High Fiber Cereal. Skim Milk.

Track your calories. Through the dailyplate.com or Fitday.com or any of the other sites out there. You bite it, your write it. Become accountable.

Plan ahead. Map out what you will eat at least a day or so in advance. Plan it out thoroughly. Meals, and snacks. Eat often. Avoid getting too hungry.
Again, rid your home of the junk, while adding in good foods.

Commit to adding in some exercise. Start off by taking a 15 minute walk every single day. NO MATTER WHAT. Slowly increase it. Challenge yourself. Make a game of it.

DECIDE to lose the weight and commit to do what's necessary to get you there. Get excited. Get really, really excited. Because you CAN make a change and transform your life. You CAN and you SHOULD. You are a young girl with your whole life ahead of you and you deserve to have the very best life possible. :hug:

Come to 3FC for support, advice and encouragement. You've got a whole group of people more then willing to back you up.

losermom
05-03-2009, 09:39 AM
First of all I want to tell you how sorry I am that you have to deal with the loss of your father and all of that crap from others regarding your weight. Your father obviously really cared about your health and happiness because he wanted what is best for you--to continue your education. I'm pretty sure that he wanted you to take the very best care of yourself as well.

Have you logged the food you eat before? It's amazing how much you learn about your eating habits if you write everything you eat down. It might also be helpful to write when you're eating because lots of people have triggers and times of the day when they tend to overindulge.

Not only logging your food, but I would consider logging your feelings before you eat as well. What feelings are you trying to avoid by overeating? Are you trying to reward yourself (my downfall)? Self-medicate? Do you have a support system, meaning friends and other family, around you that you can talk to about your dad's death? Or are you trying to stuff those feelings? You will not be able to move ahead without dealing with this. I too am of the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality, while in public... But I still have to have an outlet for my feelings.

Please take care of yourself. Your dad, and all of us, want the very best for you.

Spazz
05-03-2009, 09:57 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm new to this forum but I know everybody here will be here for you and willing to help during this difficult time.

One thing you may want to look in to is a work study financial aid. My school does it and my friend was working under it. My understanding is that you get a loan as well as a job. They pay you instead of your employer so it's a kind of job security. When the rest of us had hours cut due to budget cuts on campus, Ashley was going strong since they weren't the ones paying her. I could be wrong in how it works, I never flat out asked, but it's worth looking in to. :)

I hope things start to look up for you.

happykristen
05-03-2009, 10:18 AM
I am so sorry for everything you are going through. I hope you have seen all the support you will get on this site, just by reading the responses you have so far. I agree with rockinrobin. Plan your meal, stock healthy foods, and get moving, if only a little bit, every day. I would also recommend finding some counseling, to help you deal with your grief and stress. You will feel better if you have an outlet for those feelings, instead of trying to fix it with food. Check with your college counseling center, a local hospital for a support group, or even your local yellow pages. You may be able to find free or low cost counseling.

Hang in there, and remember you dad would want you to be good to yourself and happy. You can do it, I have faith in you.

Jeannette311
05-03-2009, 11:00 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss. There's some really great advice in here.

I work for a college and I know that we have a career counseling center. They counsel for everything; personal, professional...we even have job placement and work study. With work study you basically work for the school and they pay you. I would look into that.

As for emotional eating...been there, done that...getting better. I've had to learn to distract myself. It's hard, but you can do it. And even if you just walk for 30 minutes a day, you'll feel so much better.

*hugs*

tlp06289
05-03-2009, 09:03 PM
My heart goes out to you and I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My daddy is terminally ill, and only has a few months left, so in a sense, I can relate.

I can also relate on emotional eating, and let me tell you there were times I would eat until I felt beyond nauseous..and I thought that was what "full" meant.
The best way to really get in to normal portions would be to eat less, as awful as it sounds. One thing that helps me is to drink about 2 glasses of water before a meal, and then eat..but your mind and body have to get comfortable with you eating less, so for a while, you might be a little hungry after a meal. Its hard, but definitely doable. One thing I do also is put a tasteless fiber powder ina glass of water before I eat, and it makes my stomach seem more full..

I believe you can fight this battle and come out victorious, and if you ever need anything at all, motivation or a crying outlet, dont hesitate to ask!