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Old 01-31-2013, 01:57 PM   #1
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Default Dieting during adversity

Hello all.

I was wondering if anybody has any tips for dieting during periods of stress and adversity? Part of the reason I ballooned to in excess of 330lbs in my mid-20s was down to comfort eating.

I'm facing a pretty intense period in my life and don't want to revert to bad habits. I'm not going to maintain my strict diet regime during the stressful times because I'll need some flexibility, but equally I need to strike a balance, which is something I've not yet managed to find in non-stressful times. Hence why I'm dieting again!

The background - I'll become a father for the second time on 11 Feb. My little boy will be born with Spina Bifida and will require immediate surgery. He'll likely spend the first 2-3 weeks of his life in hospital, with me dividing my time in the neonatal unit with him during the day, and ensuring I get home to spend time with my elder son back home/with his grandparents. Commuting in and out of London to do this probably won't help much either.

There are obviously bigger priorities than watching what I eat, but where practical I will try to eat healthily. Trouble is a lot of the time will be spent sitting around doing very little while tired and stressed, so turning to life's little comforts may well happen.

Any thoughts on how to retain food control in troubled times?
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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Tough times ahead, but you sound well equiped and courageous. I went through a tough period dealing with my husband's cancer and susequent death.
It is important to remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to be an effective care giver. My advice is to exercises to relieve stress. Also, plan on taking nutrious light and easy to prepare foods with you. You can do this !
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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I always found that I did best when under stress. When you can't control the outcome of a situation, I found it very comforting to be able to control what little I could. For me, that was controlling my diet. I can't control x, y and z, but I can be in charge of what I eat and drink.

Life always happens, although not always as dramatically as your current situation, and you can't stay at a healthy weight without learning to make the best choices in bad situations. To do that, you have to actually do it, you have to practice it.

My very best wishes for the health of your little boy.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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Purchase an insulated lunchbox and take healthy food with you. Even some fruit or veggies can be helpful. Whole wheat pretzels or multi-grain crackers would be good for munching on. Take hot tea or coffee in a mug with you.

If you have access to a microwave, perhaps you could look into some healthier frozen meals such as Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice. Shoot for about 300 calories and watch the sodium.

I wish the best for your son and your family.

Last edited by Psychic : 01-31-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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I'm so sorry that your little baby boy is being born under such challenging circumstances, and he is in my prayers for a successful surgery and quick and complete recovery.

But I think that it's important to remember that eating comfort foods won't do anything to help him at all, and really, they won't truly help you manage the stress. I don't mean to beat yourself up when you are in a situation where you need to eat and have limited choices and make the best choice you can under the circumstances. But I also would not "plan" to partake in unhealthy foods just to pass the time or because of the stress. Try to think about other things you can do during those times - walk up and down hospital corridors, try some sort of hobby like needlework or knitting or some of those magazine puzzle books or Suduko type games to keep both your mind and your hands busy for a while. Or something like a grown up coloring book
http://www.amazon.com/Pinwheel-Desig...d_bxgy_b_img_z

Best of luck to you, and prayers for your little boy.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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I am so sorry you are going through this and will keep you and your family in my prayers.

I have been a stress eater for many many years and always thought I felt better after eating but I never did.

I was recently diagnosed with cancer and my doctors want me to lose weight for obvious reasons. The medicines they give me cause weight gain! So there I leave the oncologist's office with a cancer diagnosis, weight gaining meds, and I am not supposed to eat?? If there ever was a time to eat for stress, it was now!! It seemed like a joke to me. And I was sad. And sadness means food and alcohol.

Long story short, I prayed to God (and I was never really religious before this) and begged him to save my life, help me to be strong and somehow get through this.

I started a medically supervised diet, didn't gain any weight from the meds and am just over a 1/2 pound away from 100lbs lost. I will never know if it was God answering my prayers, if it was my inner strength that somehow roared her womanly powers, or simply a miracle.

I'd be lost without my nutritionist, my oncologist and this 3FC forum (and of course my husband and family). Making a plan to take care of me has freed me of a lot of worry and helped me maintain a positive attitude towards the biggest fight of my life.

I tell you all of that for one reason. You have to take care of you. You are the dad and will have a lot on your plate in the next few months (years even). It's ok for you to get a plan for you, maybe from your doctor or a nutritionist too.

My heart is heavy for you and your upcoming journey. Your baby boy will be beautiful and will change your life forever. God bless him.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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My thoughts and prayers are with your family, especially your newborn baby boy coming! I'm sorry your family has such a struggle and hardship on the horizon.

I second what was posted about bringing an insulated lunchbox with healthy snacks. Drink plenty of water, and walk as much as possible.

Hugs
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin41 View Post
I always found that I did best when under stress. When you can't control the outcome of a situation, I found it very comforting to be able to control what little I could. For me, that was controlling my diet. I can't control x, y and z, but I can be in charge of what I eat and drink.

Life always happens, although not always as dramatically as your current situation, and you can't stay at a healthy weight without learning to make the best choices in bad situations. To do that, you have to actually do it, you have to practice it.

My very best wishes for the health of your little boy.
This was my experience too. When everything in my life was out of control, it helped me so much to have control of my weight.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Hugs to you!
I will keep your family in my thoughts.

I think creating a plan will be helpful for you as a coping mechanism during this stressful time. Maybe not calorie counting per se, but just an overall plan. Eat when you need, as often as you need, but try to make it relatively healthy. Apples instead of candy bars. Pretzels intead of potato chips. Eat the burger without the bun. Good luck with everything!
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the replies. It is going to be a horrible few weeks, but I fully agree with the point about my little boy needing his daddy to be fit and healthy for him, and so I'll be trying my level best to keep things going, even when the going gets tough.

Some great suggestions about packed lunches and when practical to do so I will be doing this. Just need to keep away from the chocolate machines in the hospital - seems like a strange place for them to be!
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