I have a cat named Alice that I adopted from a shelter a few years ago. Alice was a stray that had had a large litter of kittens. Her kittens were all adopted and Alice was left in the shelter.
Alice is obsessed with food. Whenever she feels hungry, she absolutely panics, goes tearing around the house and starts fighting with our other cat. I believe that when she was a pregnant stray, she probably didn't have enough to eat and was worried about her survival and the survival of her babies.
I try to reassure her and calm her down. I have done this by giving her extra food and now she is obese.
I have tried to comfort myself in the very same way. I know that I will not starve and I have no fear of not surviving but when I have any major emotions, good or bad, I immediately head for food. I have always equated dieting with deprivation so I too panic that I will never have cookies or ice cream again and I go into a mini binge.
I learned a lot by observing her and how she is with food. I was unable to see myself clearly, but I learned about myself through her. I can see how the brain can trigger overeating without having anything to do with hunger.
Now Alice and I are watching our weight together. I have us both on smaller portions and more activity. I am enjoying WW because the program allows me to have treats. I also found some tasty, low calorie treats for Alice that she enjoys.
I do not want Alice to have health problems because of my own bad habits and I am working hard to keep us both healthy. I just completely understand how she feels. Now for comfort, instead of reaching for food, I spend quality time with Alice, rubbing her belly and telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her.