Weight Loss Support - Trying to lose after death of a loved one

02-07-2006, 09:08 AM
Hi there. I'm Linda, age 50. :( In the last four months I have seen my father die of bone cancer and it was heart-wrenching, and then 2 1/2 weeks ago, I lost my mom unexpectedly. Before my dad's cancer diagnosis, I was doing well on my weight loss journey, I really was. I'd gone from 166 - 147 and I was proud. Then, he got really sick and I started comforting myself with food. I'm not proud of that, but it was my way of dealing. He died Sept. 15th. I was back to 169 in November... now I am at 166 after having gone down to 163 about a month ago.
I was getting back on track. I rejoined weight watchers in November and had started making some progress again and my mom literally dropped dead on Jan. 21st. I'm a mess.
What occured to me is that there just has to be others like me out there. Have you suffered a loss of a loved one? Have you suddenly found yourself with a spouse divorcing you when you thought all was wonderful? Has the rug been ripped out from under you in some way that has made you turn to food as your friend and comforter?
Has all this totally thrown off your efforts to lose weight and be healthy, and even destroyed your exercise routine?
Let's talk. Let's find a way back to the land of the living and provide support and comfort. I sure need to hear from you if something devastating has happened in your life. Perhaps sharing it and making new friends is what I need most?
I lost my mom and dad, my two "best friends". I just feel so alone. When I feel this way, I hit the kitchen and chocolate becomes my new best friend.
Thoughts? Recommendations?
Linda in New Hampshire, trying to climb out of a hole

02-07-2006, 09:21 AM
Yes, been through something similar (lost my grandma to a very fast-moving lung cancer -- she was diagnosed and died within two months) then my mom two months later unexpectedly. This was a year ago. I know how devastating it can feel, and sympathize with your losses.

Please be gentle with yourself. Grief is a strange thing -- sometimes it's easier to find something wrong and pick at it and let your anger out in destructive ways (and anger is a part of the grief cycle). Don't take your grief/anger out on yourself for not being perfect with your weight loss during this time. I know that some people may not agree with me here, but I would say it's okay to deal with your grief first and then when you can, to deal with the food issues. Exercise -- well, walking is a good thing, and if you're someplace where you can get out and just move around, it could help with both the exercise and the emotions.

Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy stuff, find the support you need during this time, let yourself cry and let those emotions out when you need to instead of stuffing them, and you'll get through this.


02-07-2006, 09:41 AM
Yes I have experienced this. My dad died of prostate cancer and it took over two years. It was a horrible time. I ate what I wanted and told myself I'd deal with it later. A year after he died I got on the scales and I'd put on 50 pounds (in three years!)! I'm now on a very long diet!

Its a really awful time and food does help in the short term to get you through. We wouldn't do it otherwise would we? My advice would be to try to find other healthier ways to help you through this awful time but dont be angry with yourself if you dont always manage it. You have enough to be dealing with at the moment. I'd aim to maintain at best not lose until you are ready to focus on that. That's just my opinion though.

One thing I did was go for grief counselling. I only had one session as I just really wanted someone to offload to. Once I had, I felt a lot better. It might be worth a try if you think it'd help you. Otherwise I'd identify who you have around you who will listen. Sometimes when you in an intense period of mourning its handy to have a few people to talk to so you dont overwhelm just one. Really though I found most people really wanted to be there for me even though it was hard for me to reach out.

The only other thing I wanted to say was that it does get better. People kept saying this to me and I couldn't see how or why knowing this would help but maybe if I'd thought of that as I was reaching for the massive bar of chocolate I'd have thought ahead. Putting on loads of weight just extends the time you have to fight through crap and the more you can shorten it the better.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me and to ignore anything that isn't useful.

02-07-2006, 11:46 PM
Linda, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of both of your parents :hug: I was searching through the forums for something and came across your name and thought that I would look you up. What shocking news!

Your mom is the same age as mine but I totally understand your devistation. I can see her aging and I know she won't be around forever and it just tears me up to think that I will lose her some day. My dad passed away in 1991 so it's been a while.

I feel so bad for you - virtual hugs across the miles!

It is easy to take comfort in food and to feel like what the heck, life is short - go through your grieving process, think of your parents often and talk to them in your heart - they will always be with you. And someday you will be together again.

Until then remember those still around who love, need and depend on you. Take care of yourself for their sake.

If you want to talk, please PM me. Be gentle with yourself and keep them in your heart - they would not want you to sit and cry and be sad for them. :hug:

02-08-2006, 06:05 AM
Thank you, Coley, for your kind and sympathetic words. I can totally relate to what you said. Maybe a grief cousellor would be a good thing, or a grief support group. I'm just not functioning awfully well, but it's only been 2 1/2 weeks since mom died. More often than not, I seem to do better during the day and then when I am alone in the privacy of my bedroom when it's time to sleep, I fall appart and finally fall into an exhausted sleep.
Happy, it is so awesome to hear from you after all this time. You have such a great perspective on things. I am comforted.
So, how are YOU doing? Our old thread just feel appert after a long run and people just stopped coming by.
I did get on my treadlmill, at least, yesterday but really didn't do all that well with my eating in the end - but it could have been worse, much worse.
I feel like such a mess and it doesn't help that my husband has to travel each and ever week on business. I'm much better when he is home on weekends, but during the week it's so quiet and lonely. The kids are in school and the silence is almost a deafening roar... hard to imagine that silence can be LOUD, but it is.
I need to get a life, I guess. But, truly, I do have a life and it's a busy one - it's just the loss of both my parents in such a short time makes it seem like I have no life. I just can't let food be a substitute and at least I am becoming aware of what I've been doing.

02-08-2006, 06:09 AM
Oh, pretty weird that I hit the refresh key after my post and then saw FL Chickie's post as well... thanks for your kind words as well. What you have to say makes sense. Sorry about your grandmother and Coley, also sorry about your dad. Cancer is a VERY cruel adversary.
As you said, FL, I will have to work on keeping the kitchen well-stocked with healthy foods and get some exercise. Something we all need to do, of course.

02-08-2006, 07:53 AM

One good way to turn it round is to do it for them, in memory of your loved ones. Why not start a 'couch potato to 5K' programme (you can find them online) - starting off with walking, then adding small intervals of jogging and upping it. It should take only 3 months to get yourself to the point you could run 5K. I've found running very therapeutic and meditative. You can enter local charity races, to raise money for cancer awareness, or a cause that would be dear to your parents' hearts. And you'll be getting fit, and finding a new focus - which is what they'd want for you!

If running doesn't appeal, find something that does. Whatever gets you motivated!

I had a devastating childhood. I lost my only surviving grandparent and then my mum, within 5 months, when I was 10. My father remarried a really unpleasant (we now know she was mentally ill) woman who starved me and neglected me, and made my whole remaining childhood ****.

In adulthood, I was diagnosed with PCOS. I had 3 miscarriages. I left my DH and had a disastrous relationship with a man who turned out to be living a double life - I had 2 kids with him and the first I heard of his criminal activities was the day 2 plain clothes coppers knocked on my door and said he'd been arrested the night before. Although I'd split with him anyway by that point, I'd been trying to keep things amicable so he could have some sort of relationship with our 2 boys.

Meanwhile, I got back together with my husband. He'd never stopped loving me for a second, even when we were apart for several years. We'd stayed close friends and been together every day to make things stable and OK for our 3 boys.

My ex found out I was giving evidence for the police, and harrassed me but when it came to court got off on a legal technicality, which was a trememdous strain and heartwrenching for all involved. That was last May. I weighed nearly 200lb at that point. Rather than go under - and with 2 more law suits where I'd have to be a witness coming up - I thought I was going to turn the negative into a positive. At the point I could have gone under, I got some fight back. I took my diet and exercise in hand.

Meanwhile my litigious ex (he has a form of paranoia which incldues a compulsion to litigate endlessly), still angry I'd *stolen* his kids, started pursuing me through every court in England to try and take the kids off me. I've been unable to return to work as I needed Legal Aid to pay the barristers and solicitors . There's no longer a threat of him taking my kids as I got full custody of them and because of his mental illness, he's been banned from even seeing them. But he's not taken no for an answer and is now trying to drag me through higher courts. It was awful knowing I'd have to give evidence against this nutter, but also at the same time, having him try to snatch my kids from nursery etc etc (he's now banned from the county). On top of it all, my dad (who I love, despite his second marriage), has prostate cancer and now his blood counts are starting to deteriorate.

Just to reassure you love, you can take control of your own destiny and do it for the sake of those loved ones who are gone. I always think of my mum and remember that me getting fit (so I'll be here for my kids still in 20 years) is exactly what she would have wanted.

You will never forget your parents, and it's a cliche but time does heal - enough for us to go on. Take the negatives and turn them into fuel - let what's happened give you strength to really live each second of your own life as if you lived it for them! Have fun, relax and spoil yourself. You're more than worth it! Love every second of this life you have as you now know how precious it is! Just when things get to their worst, that's when you turn the corner - we're strong feisty women! We can do this!

02-08-2006, 04:24 PM
Hello Linda-

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your parents. I'm also here because I gained a large amount of weight after my fiance passed away. It'll be 2 years this Valentine's Day. I've also felt like the rug was ripped out from under my feet.

Well, after gaining the last few pounds, I decided that I can't not change what has happened. I don't have to be happy with it, but it doesn't mean that I have to make myself absolutely miserable either. I turned to eating and put on a ton of weight. Go figure, it didn't bring him back and it didn't make me feel any better.

It'll always hurt, but remember that they want what is best for you. And that is being healthy. The love will never die, but we can't punish ourselves either.

I'm in the same boat, but I think we are on the right track. We've come here to change things and we have the support of all these great women! Good luck and let me know how you are doing or drop me a line if you need to talk. Just remember, Baby steps...we'll get there!

02-08-2006, 05:56 PM
Linda my dear-

Take a moment to just breath.... I, too know how it feels to loose a parent. My Mother left this physical world 4 yrs ago at the end of this month. Your loss is so recent and the wound so fresh there are no words to convey the depth of the sorrow I'm sure you are feeling. I promise you Linda, you will begin to see a little bit of light in that dark tunnel that your heart resides at the moment. Your parents live eternally in your heart, journey back inside to that space within yourself and you will feel their love and presence. You are never alone. XOXOXO to you!

02-08-2006, 06:53 PM
I lost my mother back in Aug 2002 to battling cancer. After 4 months diagnosing her by the time the third month came and it was in the middle of July they said she wasn't going to live. I was devastated, she believes she was going to beat the cancer and it broke my heart. I couldn't stand it to know she was going to be out of my life and there was nothing I could do about it. Well, cancer didn't kill her I guess you could say. She ended up with Ulcer in her intestines and one was as big as a silver dollar she ended up in ICU when they found this out. She bled to death. They would not go inside her to fix it because they told me if they open her up the cancer would spread much faster.

This was her second battle with cancer. She had cancer the first time when I was about 8 and she out beat it for 20 years. This time it had won. It came at a time she had diabetes (not the kind she had to take insulin for) and high blood pressure.

My mother was my best friend and I loved her to death. I taken care of her while she was sick and it was a battle it almost has taken me.
Of course at the time it just could of I mean if you was going to take the most important person away from me, you may as well take me as well.

I was very torn when she died. For four months I didn't feel all there, for 6 weeks after I lost my ability to drive or to function very much, I cried uncontrolablely everyday. I would only talk to people through the computer for a while; I was too choked up to talk to anyone. I had gone to church for a little while seeking godly answers I guess. I felt so lost. Christmas time really hurt. We had always got together and put up lights. Believe it or not I muster up the energy to put the lights up, to myself; I did it for my mother.

My momís last words to me were "I love you with all my heart" I had those words put on her head stone with two hearts. It has been 3 1/2 years. It took me 2 years to wholly heal, 3 year Iím kind of numb about it but it will be 4 years pretty soon.

I ate out of control when mom was sick. I did a lot of research on her sickness on the Internet, lost site with my diet, and ate junk. I hardly slept while taking care of her but I don't regret one moment the time I had with her.

I know she is in a better place and one of these days when I am done with my journey here. I will see her again.

I do look over pictures time to time. I am thinking about getting her picture engraved into a heart and wear it on a necklace.

Considering that there is a family history of diabetes, high blood presure, cancer, I wasn't to happy with my weight and I knew I couldn't be all that healthy having this much weight on me, and I would like to look better, and beable once again do the things I like to do like roller blading a whole park with out feeling like I get to tired, ride a biycicle with out looking like I got flat tires, I needed to change. I was angry at the disease that took my moms life and in 2003 I had decided to watch what I eat and exercise. I was able to keep this up for two years and I goofed back in Oct 2005, but I am back on track with my mothers blessing, she is always with me even though she physically isn't.

02-08-2006, 09:28 PM
Wow. You guys have said some amazing things. This is great as I know I am not alone. I know many of you, especially you Feisty, have hurt as bad as I am hurting. I totally lost control of my eating after dad was diagnosed with bone cancer last April. Five months from when we got this diagnosis he was dead. It was a nightmare, I went to the drive through and got doughnuts (two at a time) on my way to see him. I soothed my soul at night with ice cream and wine. I stayed by his side with my mom and when he died, I promised my dad I would take care of mom and I did.
Then, all of a sudden, four months and six days apart, she died too. It was sudden and like I had been hit by a truck. I had actually returned to weight watchers and was taking responsibility for my eating when she died. I know I have to take care of myself, I don't want to get sick with any of the diseases that are associated with being overweight. I have enough risk factors as it is without adding that.
My parents were really my best friends, I have my husband and my two children and they all completed a happy circle in my life and I was complete. Now there is an empty hole and I just can't help myself when I am trying to fill that hole with food. Yet, I still feel empty.
I am so glad I started this thread as I realize that I am not crazy and that eating my way through this misery is probably pretty "normal" - whatever that is!
I am proud to say that it's been only two weeks and 4 days since mom died and I have gotten on my treadmill two days in a row. I spent two months wallowing in misery after dad died. Not having to take care of mom any longer, at least, (which entailed going out to lunch with her once a week) is not eating into my exercise time at least.
Keep your thoughts coming, they are truly helping.
I need to hear all of this and recognize that this is not only something happening to me....
Love and hugs to all,

02-09-2006, 01:18 PM
:hug: Dear Linda,

I'm so sorry to hear of your losses and pain. I too have felt the pain of losing my parents suddenly. I adored my Father and my Mother was my best friend.

It has now been almost 5 years. Please know that the pain and grief you feel will ease with time.

I too filled the painful holes in my heart with food. To be honest, I didn't even think about it at the time. I just mindlessly ate.

You are a strong and smart person to even be aware of your eating at a time like this. Awareness is sooooo important.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

02-09-2006, 07:19 PM
Thanks, Elizabeth, I guess I'm a step ahead of the game by realizing that I've been out of control with emotional eating, but I still can't stop myself. I guess I've been on a weight loss plan (Weight Watchers in my case) for long enough to recognize the signs.
I so very much want to be in a more comfortable weight, but if I can just maintain, even, over the next couple of months I would be happy with that as I know this time period is not one to go on a drastic diet. There are far too many other things to worry about.
I miss my mom and dad so much. I still shake my head and can't believe they are gone.
Sorry so many of you have lost loved ones, it is so very hard to deal with.