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Old 01-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #1
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Unhappy Stress Eating

I have had a rough year. Both of my grandparents (only ones Iíve known, momís parents died before I was born) died this year. I have also lost 3 other family members and a family friend this year. Then, just when we think all is going to be ok for a while, my mom ends up in the hospital with pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). She almost died. Since then I have been having horrible dreams of her dying. It is very upsetting because I live 2 hours away. I missed my grandmother by 15 minutes, if something happened to my mom and I missed her like that I donít think I could stand it. Other than my husband my mom is my best friend, my emotional rock (and I am also her emotional rock). I think I would just curl up in a ball and die if I lost her. Also, both her and my dad are laid off (mom lost her job bc of being sick) right now. My dad got about $10,000 inheritance from his dad, but once that runs out, if they donít have jobs we may have to support them materially.

So anyway, I did ok emotionally while all of this was happening, but now it has all really hit me. Iíve been exercising, and that does help distract me, but I am exercising as much as I can without hurting myself. So, when I canít exercise and I think about everyone I have lost/almost lost this year I want to eat ďcomfortĒ food, and lots of it. I donít want to cook, I donít want to count calories, I just want to eat yummy food. Fortunately I havenít gained any of the 40 lbs I lost back, but I am stuck at 159. If this keeps going on, I will end up gaining. And after I eat off plan I feel so guilty.

What do you guys do during extremely stressful times to keep yourself from losing all control? How do you stay on track with weight loss when your whole world has pretty much fallen apart? Sometimes I feel like I just donít care about anything but feeling sorry for myself.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
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I exercise. Granted, your stress is waaay bigger than mine, but I think exercise is a great distraction, helps work off some of the nervous energy, helps get your mind off of things, and generates those yummy endorphins. Exercise also increases dopamine receptors in the brain, which means those feel good neurotransmitters have a greater affect on mood. Plus, I find that the overall results of the exercise.... weight loss, better looking body... improves my mood too. I look good, so I feel good.

The other thing I found useful is 5HTP. This is a serotonin precursor. In times of stress or low mood, it's quite useful, and helps keep me focused and happy. I don't take any antidepressants, however, and to the best of my knowledge, this is not a supplement to take for anyone who is already under doctor care for depression and and/or taking medication.

You could probably run to your local health food store and find a lot of good stress reducing supplements.

Meditation is also good.

I'm sorry for you losses! Certainly a year like that is going to take it's toll, so I think first you need to be kind to yourself. Next, is realizing what you are doing, the stress eating (which you have done) and get back on track.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:07 AM   #3
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Exercise and keep reminding yourself that this isn't what your parents want you to feel. Talk to them about it. Make a planned visit and let them know how you feel and get things out in the open. If you've already done that, see a professional who can help you cope with the fear.

Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of it's troubles - it empties today of it's strength. Try not to worry about things that are out of your control.

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I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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twinieten: I already exercise as much as I can without hurting myself, and it does really help. I am also already on 5-htp and I also take a B-complex which helped a lot with my grandparents deaths. You are right, I do need to be kind to myself, I am a perfectionist, so I beat myself up a lot. Thanks for your reply.
linJber: I am afraid to talk to them about it because they are so freaked out about it themselves. My mom's mom died at 55 from lung issues. My mom is 50 and now has dead spots in her lungs and keep getting pneumonia on top of the pulmonary embolism. It's really scaring her, so I really don't want to tell her how much it scares me. You are right about worry, I am the queen of worry, I will try to follow your advice about that. Thanks for your reply.

After I wrote this I started to think, what advice would I give someone else who asked this question. So, I think I just need to tell myself that food will not make anything better, it will just make me feel bad about myself.
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