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Old 04-21-2009, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on alternatives to emotional eating

Hello everyone. My weight loss routine was moving along swimmingly and I was down 35lbs. My husband then got laid off at work. He was with the company for nine years and having been laid off before I know the depression it causes. You keep wondering "why me." In his case I know it is because they made the cuts based not on seniority, but on pay rate. Since he had so much seniority he was one of the highest paid employees.

He is now depressed and looking everywhere for work. He is worried that his age is working against him. He is 42, so he is comfort eating. I work from home and make enough to pay about 2/3 of our monthly bills, but we do need him to find something fast. He has applied in other states even within his field as well as at local stores and restaurants. Any job, he does not care and no one has called back for an interview. He fills out about 20 to 30 applications a week and gets a thank you we will put your app on file.

The situation has us both reaching for our comfort foods. Mine big time is pizza and a good old fashioned burger. His is anything sweet. I have gained back ten lbs that I lost before Christmas and am disgusted with myself.

I want to be a supportive wife and I am, but I can't keep up this emotional eating or all my hard work will be gone.

I am using exercise for some stress relief and picked up extra work at my place of employment, but seeing me hard at work in the home office depresses him even though he knows I have to work.

He is doing my 30 Day Shred with me and taking walks with me that are anywhere from 3-5 miles, but does anyone else have any other idea of something that they do when stressed to get their minds occupied on something else and away from their problems. I need an alternative to grabbing food that is bad for me.

We do not have any extra cash right now at all. I have enough saved for May's bills, but after that I don't know what we will do if he is still unemployed.

His main guilt is May 10th is my 40th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary and he cannot afford a gift. Money was tight at Christmas and he was only able to get me two small gifts, which I love! A fairy coffee mug and some perfume. I told him I did not care about a present I just want to spend a nice day with him and the girls, but he is really feeling guilty right now.

He has done nothing wrong except working in the banking industry and I hate to see him ruin his health over this. I would greatly appreciate any free or inexpensive activities that will help both of us not reach for food.

Sorry if this post is rambling, but I want to help him feel better so badly and nothing I do helps. He is the kind of man who puts family first and this is hitting him hard because the girls are only 2 and 4 and he wants to make sure they are safe, warm and fed. They just think it is great that daddy is home and can play with them more and he is spending time making robots, flying kites and even having tea parties with the girls, but that just allows him to add cookies and donuts to his diet.

Thank you for listening.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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Default Hang in there

I know that men tend to have as much of a need to take care of their families, as women do. I have lived through the 'no money right now' times too.

As far as doing something for your birthday or anniversary, here is what we did for my 30th nine years ago, when we had no money, we did a scavenger hunt of 30 things, just silly things my husband and son had hidden around. It was stuff we already owned, but he made little notes and stories to find it all. It made a fun day, we ended up having a picnic in the house, since my birthday is in December. That was also a tight Christmas as well.

It was just a lot of thinking out of the box that made it more fun and memorable to me. It was not the classic, take mom to dinner and open a gift, it was imaginative and that is what stands out to me.

There are so many free ways to celebrate, and you are lucky your stuff falls in May, there might be some stuff you guys could do, like if there are free botanical gardens you could visit, pack a lunch for afterwards.

One thing, we still do, to mix it up, is go to the deli of our grocery and just buy small portions of stuff we really want to try, that is healthy, and do a 'tasting' it isn't expensive and it does turn out to be fun. I think just challenging your senses to something new makes you feel like you have done something extraordinary.

I am a stress eater too and battling that every day. I have been trying to be more in the moment. I now have Chinese medicine doctor. We had this discussion on Saturday when I was in there. She told me that if I can tell her i am an emotional eater, than I am aware of it, that means I should be able to address it and try to find a solution.

Of course, she told me to eat produce when I was stressing, easier said than done. But what I have been doing is instead of instant gratification, I go to a cookbook and flip through thinking I will make something great. By the time I flip through I am generally done with the need to eat and if I am looking at only healthy cookbooks, that inspires me. I have been taking something crunchy, like celery or carrots with me, while I look for a recipe.

I am on a strict detox with her, which really just means, no food with chemicals, it is working great. It has cured me of two things that bothered me for a long time health wise, so I am happy about that.. However, I am the Queen of turn something good for you into a calorie nightmare.

I ate a whole can of black olives the night before my math quiz, I suck at math, plus, I didn't just eat them, I had to dip them in homemade weight watchers ranch.

I was aware of that situation and now, I try to 'walk it off' by pacing the kitchen and then out of the kitchen. LOL

good luck with the whole thing. I hope your husband finds work, I know it is hard on men as well as women when you want to give them everything. I probably wasn't much help with the stress eating thing, because I think the fact you are going out and walking is great and probably the best solution for stress.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thank you. The scavenger hunt sounds fun. We can probably find some cool old pictures of us when we were dating as well.

I did go for a walk after dinner for an hour with my i-pod tonight while the girls had a treat. That kept me from eating any dessert.

I know what you mean about "knowing" I am doing it, but the urge is there anyway. I sometimes take a piece of sugar free gum out and chew on that just to feel like I am eating something if I am too stressed out.

I did just get two new cookbooks today. I think it might be fun to go through and add post it notes on how to cook the food in a more healthy way.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:28 PM   #4
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I am so sorry that you are going through this. A few years ago my husband was laid off from a job that he had 22 years so I understand what you are going through. One thing that helped him was becoming our penny pincher. He was able to find ways to cut our expenses that was very helpful. He cut coupons and kept up with the sales. It saved us money and kept him busy and feeling useful.

A friend of mine earned some money while unemployed by going to garage sales and thrift shops and then turning around and selling the items at the local flea market. Just a thought......

The very best birthday present he ever gave me did not cost a penny. He gave me a day off for myself. He took care of the kids and did a bunch of housework, and cooked supper. I requested a repeat of that present but he said it was too much work!

I hope everything works out for you!

Persistence is more important than Perfection

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. - Winston Churchill
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