Support Groups - Comfort Eating

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03-04-2012, 11:19 AM

I've recently been having a lot of trouble. The last few weeks I have just been eating and eating. I eat when I'm bored, depressed, anxious, anything. I'm pretty sure I've already gained back all the weight I lost initially.

In some ways I'm doing it because I feel like I don't deserve to be happy and I'll hate myself even more if I'm fat (sounds so stupid). All I think about is food and what I can and can't eat and what I should and shouldn't eat. I have spend so much money on food, and I really can't afford it. In the last two days I have spent about 30 on food which is a whole weeks worth of grocery shopping.

It's a big distraction for me and I feel so helpless when I'm not stuffing myself silly, it's like a comfort blanket - if I'm eating then I don't have to think about all my problems. It's like I go on autopilot and all I have to think about is where the next bite of food is going to come from.

I really miss the control I used to have over food - it made me happy when I didn't eat. Now I just can't stop and it feels like food is controlling me. It's all I want, and my life (university work) is suffering because all I want to do is eat. I've been so depressed the last few weeks and food has made it slightly more bearable.

My jeans are already too tight again and I feel like such a failure but at the same time I want to just carry on eating and eating because it's the only thing that makes me not think about how unhappy I am. :(

Any advice would really be appreciated...

03-05-2012, 03:30 PM
Before you start cutting back on all the extra food, why don't you start adding in some (or more) exercise into your routine? The exercise can even out what dieting cannot. It can "balance" the hormones that are out of whack, and maybe make it easier to start cutting back on the food. At first you feel like you're starving, so the key is to cut back SLOWLY so you don't fold and binge. I've been doing this since December and it's slowly but surely starting to show.

03-05-2012, 03:57 PM
Ok. Now what are you doing to address your mental health? With the anxiety, depression, etc?

Because solving the emotional eating thing is only dealing in one symptom. It's not taking care of the root problem.

You basically eat around it so you don't have to deal in the problems. What ARE the problems? Aside from the anxiety and depression? Can you list it? Maybe some of it we can help you knock off and then your burden is lighter?


03-07-2012, 08:48 AM
I'm a terrible comfort eater - and feel really out of control about it. What's helped me in recently and in the past is:

1. keep busy...and away from food... something repetitive and soothing...walking, needlepoint, painting. Something you can't 'do and also eat'
2. the Paul McKenna thing has really helped me with this.
3. Exercise lifts my mood and somehow reduces my desire to comfort eat
4. Every time you go to get something to eat, first drink some water - see if that satiates your desire and it will give you time to think (I haven't been so good at this one)

But this is a recurrent problem for me.

03-07-2012, 10:28 AM
Ask yourself right before you put the food in your mouth, "why am I eating this?" If your answer is anything but "I'm hungry" then don't eat it. There has to be an underlying reason to stuff yourself silly. I know, I used to do it too. Be honest with yourself and find the reason why.

It reminds me of an Austin Powers movie... "I can't stop eating. I eat because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I eat. It's a vicious cycle."

03-16-2012, 09:06 PM
i have seasonal affective depression and in addition to that i comfort/emotional eat on a fairly regular basis throughout the year (my partner and i both do it). I ordered a bunch of books to try and help work through my issues and right now i am finding a great help in one called The Rules of "Normal" Eating. It's a small book but it's not a quick read, and there are a few mental/emotional exercises to work on but i don't think it's hokey at all.

03-19-2012, 12:06 AM
Face you problems.. Focus on dealing with them... You will feel good about yourself for that.. Hang in there - it will get better..

03-22-2012, 09:32 PM
Almostme - Jjust curious what is the Paul McKenna thing?

03-23-2012, 12:36 AM
Just remember that eating is not going to solve your problems, only make them worse in the long run (lost money, self esteem, etc). You might also want to check out Overeaters Anonymous. They are a great support group for people who eat to quash their feelings.

03-26-2012, 11:31 AM
Overeating is not the essential problem here, although it would be preferable that you have a healthy diet. There are other issues you need to take care of. Has anything triggered this need to constantly eat? Why do you feel depressed and have anxiety? Wouldn't it be better to find some other coping mechanisms? Perhaps putting on some relaxing music, calling a friend, or even going out for a walk by yourself to clear your thoughts.

Before solving this eating problem you need to take care of your mental state. Everyone goes through tough times, it's important to deal with it in a proper way. Lack of control is only an illusion, you're the only one who can stop this.

Good luck!

05-13-2012, 04:46 PM
lucydear- I only recently discovered Paul McKenna. He's a "self-help guru"/hypnotist. He's written several books that help people with different problems such as being overweight, unable to sleep etc. His method is quite different and takes a bit of getting used to. Some people call it common sense, and it is. It's just common sense that most overweight people (myself included) don't have! He works around 4 golden rules:

1. Eat when you are hungry (but not bored, emotional etc)
2. Eat what you want, not what you think you should (no diets here, you can eat all your favourite foods but...)
3. Eat CONSCIOUSLY (you have to slow down and properly EXPERIENCE your food, taste it, savour it and truly appreciate it. no eating in front of the tv, computer, book etc)
4. Stop eating when you are SATISFIED (not full or bloated but satisfied. you have to pay attention to the muscle just aove your solar plexus that lets you know when you have had enough. its strange how actually you reach that point a lot faster than you think once you listen to what your body's telling you!)

Like I said, basic common sense. His "special something" is the hypnotherapy. You can buy his book and CD from pretty much any online/book shop and its about 25 minutes long. I listen to it right before I go to bed and I wish I could tell you what it says but actually the relaxation techniques at the beginning proper knock me out so I have yet to hear it fully! On his website he says this is normal though and that the message still works its' way into my subconscious. He basically "reprogrammes" your brain to help you put his 4 golden rules into practise. I think it must be true because without even thinking about it I'm eating a lot slower and am a lot more in tune with the signals my body sends me. I now know EXACTLY when I've had enough and when I'm eating for reasons beyond true hunger. The hard work for me is to actually follow through with those messages and stop eating! But I'm working on that and definitely eating less than I was :) no WI for 2 weeks as per his instructions but I'm feeling good so I think it must be working!

His book has several chapters on emotional eating and cravings, and he explains a lot of techniques and visualisations that can help with those. I've used the craving-buster a few times and its worked. I'm slowly working my way through the emotional eating thing which is more complicated (as it is for anyone I imagine!)

05-13-2012, 05:20 PM
I think we have all or most of us have gone through this before. We lack the confidence and belief in ourselves and when we're down we look for food as comfort. After a while of pigging out and realising it's not doing any good we re-asses where we are in our lives and then work out steps to get back on track.

I think you need work out what you want for you and then look at what path you take and how you can get started. Small steps are the way to get started, focus on the small steps and before you know it you will have travelled a long way. I'm sure there are lots of people here willing to encourage you along the way.

05-14-2012, 09:15 PM
:hug: Well, the truth is that "Food will not solve your problems", and you are going to have to face them eventually. They won't go away by themselves, and they won't magically disappear. So, you have some work to do ...

You stated that you are unhappy, and have lots of troubles. Your troubles are making you unhappy, so how about working on them one at a time? Make a list of your problems; then write a list of appropriate solutions. Put the list in order of possibility and timing. Work on the first one until it is solved, and then move on to the next one until they are all dealt with.

Often putting things off is what causes depression & anxiety. Once you have dealt with your problems, you will feel less stressed; and the compulsion to eat will lessen. Food isn't controlling you; it doesn't really have that much power unless you give it power. Take back your power and life by working on your issues. Start right away, OK ... :hug: