Depression and Weight Issues - Emotional eating

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10-09-2013, 10:11 AM
I've had a series of events happen in the last few days that have triggered my depression again. Yesterday was especially difficult. I took some meds to quell the anxiety, but for the first time since restarting my weight loss journey, I find myself wanting to comfort myself with food. I'm not hungry, not at all. It's just habit. It's for comfort. I've always turned to food if I am down, upset, or anxious. So far, I haven't given in to the impulse, but it's not easy, so I thought it might be helpful to come on here and write about it. As long as I can continue to reason it out, I have a shot of not resorting to this extremely unhelpful pattern of emotional eating, which I know would just make me feel worse in the long run. Meanwhile, I'm doing my best to hide behind my mask of everything's okay (fake it till you make it, right?) when really inside I hurt. But I know I can do this. And I love coming on 3FC, I get excited by others' successes, and doing so well on my diet is the one thing I've been really proud of myself for recently. Now I just need to win this food battle with my emotions. It'd be helpful if I didn't have tempting foods in the house, but my hubby isn't on a diet and I don't think he should have to be on one just because I am. I just have to find the willpower to overcome this present urge to eat to soothe myself.

10-09-2013, 10:46 AM
Hi @Jacqui_D!

Like you, I too find great comfort in food when I'm stressed, anxious, or down. Judging by your stats you have done a remarkable job so far on your journey and you should feel so proud of yourself. If writing here helps, by all means, write as much as you need.

Hang in there!

10-09-2013, 11:19 AM
I'm a food soother too, so I understand. Sad, anxious, nervous, any negative emotion and I turn straight to food. Instead of trying to find the willpower to stop this, maybe use it as a way to nourish yourself? It's something I have tried and I really like.When I'm feeling down, I remind myself that I have come so far on this journey and I can't turn back. I'm worth it. But if I want to eat because I'm upset, no one has the right to tell me NOT to eat- the only difference is what I eat.

If I need to eat and I want ice cream, I toss a banana in the freezer and make banana ice cream. If I need something salty and sweet, trader joe's has dark chocolate almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar. I don't go overboard (that's where the willpower comes in!) but I have learned to never deprive myself and do what feels *natural*. I think that somehow lessens my depression or anxiety even more. I feel even worse when I remember I shouldn't be emotionally eating.

10-09-2013, 12:57 PM

I eat my feelings too.

Go for a run, a walk, something. Get out of the house, get those endorphines flowing, and you will feel better. That is my advice.

You will get through it, a step at a time :)

10-09-2013, 02:27 PM
Another emotional eater...

I recently rekindled my love of Disney movies and will 'treat' myself to watching one while I cry laugh and sing a long...

I'm trying to train myself to like this better... so I drop everything, dishes in the sink that's okay, trash not put outside yet, after the movie and I just let myself forget about work, housework and anything else....

It's a long road to get over emotional eating, and I think coming here is a great start... :)

I wish you well on your journey

10-10-2013, 07:34 PM
Thank you all so, so much! :grouphug: I have resisted the temptation so far and each day seems to get a little easier.

10-11-2013, 12:52 AM
Hi JacquiD: I really admire your insight and determination.

I also eat for comfort and since I started WW, I haven't been perfect about not using food for comfort, but I am better now than I was before. This is a constant struggle for me.

You are a great inspiration!

What I have started to do is to try to replace something other than food for comfort and what comforts me is to cuddle with one or all of my three cats. It really does help me. I have tried to rely on will power in the past and it never worked.

Thanks so much for sharing. I hope that whatever triggered your depression gets much better soon. :hug:

10-12-2013, 10:13 PM
Thanks DoingMyBest for your kind words! Oh, I'd go stark raving mad without my cats, lol! They are the best therapy of all, so I hear ya! Thanks again. :hug:

10-13-2013, 12:16 PM
I recently went through a similar bout of needing to eat my emotions. My son suffered a grease burn when I turned my back to him to (get this) measure some vegetables for my diet. I was horrified we had to call 911 and he developed blisters, it was a horrible night for him and us. I was terrified I blinded and scarred him for life. I felt like the worst mother ever. Thankfully the grease was in a bowl cooling down when he managed to tip it over so the burns weren't near as bad as they could be, but I still felt he should never have gone through that if I had been more careful. He is okay now only took a week for the burns to heal. He still has pink marks, but his eyes didn't get burned( thank God). Anyway there was a 2 week span there where all I could think about was eating because I couldn't stop crying or beating myself up. My own sister told my mom she should have called CYS on me and proceeded to tell my nephews that I held my son down and did it on purpose. Needless to say the last thing I cared about at the time was my diet. I gained weight, caught myself stopped myself and am now back on track. All I can really say is we all go through tough times, if you feel yourself slipping its Okay, because as long as you care and are willing to fight you can pull through. One bad day, week, year whatever means nothing in the end if you pull through and get back on track. Fight the urge, do your best, but never hate yourself or feel bad. We are human we make mistakes, but what makes us great is we learn from them. I have so much faith that you will pull through because you want to change. Good luck!

10-13-2013, 03:28 PM
Try to list things you can do when you're down to help you unwind that won't involve eating. Literally write them down and make it fancy and reference it for when you feel the cloud. When I feel my depression looming I try to put on some comfortable clothes and go on a walk with my headphones - I enjoy listening to songs and then I feel some accomplishment too when I get home - that always lightens the mood. I like to clean and organize my kitchen or closet or something so I don't feel so overwhelmed. Anything you can do to lighten the load on your shoulders is great.

In all honesty I would much rather eat 12 glazed donuts and a pint of haagen daaz or ben and jerry's but I know I need to learn self control! It's hard to undo a lifetime of emotional eating but it's what has to be done. I am fairly certain the weight is the seed of most of my depression and it only has digged me deeper and deeper over the years. It's a pattern that needs to end and it won't happen instantly.