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Eat your feelings or Comfort Eating

I have a simple relationship with food on the surface, I eat almost anything and I will try almost anything; raw fish and blue cheeses are my only no, no foods.  If you scratch the surface though, my relationship is much more complex.  I comfort eat, and I over eat.  It doesn’t matter how much food is put in front of me I am compelled to eat it.

Comfort eating.

When I am worried, upset, anxious, sad or bored I eat.  I take negative feelings and I shove food on them.  As a child I had to eat everything that was put in front of me and even now I find it difficult to leave food on my plate, but I try very hard to.  Just to try and retrain my mind.  But this is more than that, when I don’t want to feel something I eat or if I don’t know how to deal with something I eat.  Cake, deserts, crisps, biscuits.  I have no preferred numbing food, I just eat anything I can to stop me from feeling bad.

Weight

This negative behaviour has created other problems, it simply isn’t possible to consume this amount of food and not gain weight.  Having never made myself vomit or used laxatives because I can’t stand being sick, or the effects of a laxative either, I gained weight.  It didn’t help that I had a breakdown and well I shoved food on that one.  Then my back pain started, and between the pain medication and reduced mobility I put on even more.  My body rebelled further and my periods became, not irregular, no that would have been one thing, I bled constantly.  Finally having had a hysterectomy I began to lose weight.   I even started to exercise.  And, just when you think all is going well.  I had my first episode of Cauda Equina Syndrome.

Even fighting this and the increased pain, I continued to lose weight.  I settled with a 5 stone loss and said I was done.  I felt great about myself.

Diet & Work.

For the first time I was eating a healthy balanced diet and with my mood controlled and my pain manageable I wasn’t not comfort eating either.  Then I went back to work full time and my struggle to maintain my weight loss began.  I struggle to eat regularly at work, either working through lunch or not taking something prepared and having to purchase a sandwich.  Once I have eaten off plan during the day, I will continue to make poor choices, and slowly the weight crept back on.

After 12 months I had put a stone back on.  A change in jobs to a more stressful one, meant my diet choices got worse.  A sandwich van came twice a day and it was convenient to grab a sausage roll or a sandwich.  Something I could eat as I worked.  As my pain worsened and the stress of the job increased so did my poor choices and at the point where I left that job I had put another one and a half stone back on.  This has crept up further with the present levels of pain, and while it goes up and down I am extremely conscious that I am not helping myself at all.

Cake is not the answer.

Well not all the time.  I know I need to stop using food as if it was a comfort blanket, but right now, I don’t have it in me.  I can only fight so many battles at once and the shear effort it takes me to get out of bed, to not give in and spend all day crying, is all the fight I can handle.  And so, right now if I can do something that means I can ignore the despair I am feeling, even if it is just for a little bit, I’m gonna eat the cake, or crips, or biscuits, or whatever.

Sweetgirl x

Sweet Autumn Rose  

 

This post is linked to the Life Matters topic ‘Food Matters’. To read more posts inspired by the topic click HERE.

7 thoughts on “Eat your feelings or Comfort Eating”

  1. Sweet, could your pain issues be related to your weight—even in a small way? Might I suggest you try to cut out most grains? Or at least limit them? (Breads, pastries, cakes, rice). This should help you lose that stone all over again.

    1. Its unlikely as I had lost the weight when this all started. Being overweight won’t have helped it but when I was overweight I wasn’t in as much and I was after, and the nerve compression symptoms only began after Iost weight. After the hysterectomy I was off all pain killers. I started to lose weight and this started. It’s never improved even with having lost the 5 stone….

      So being overweight may have damaged my spine but my weight now makes no difference….

      And until I can get rid of the pain I’m going to be battling the depression.. it is a vicious circle.

  2. I can understand. When my pain spikes, I want snacky foods that give me a serotonin boost, even if I feel guilty later (and usually end up packing on weight too). Mine tend to be Asian takeout (steamed dumplings and beef with broccoli in particular) and popcorn.
    *hugs* Since weight isn’t a contributing factor in the pain, I feel it would be reasonable to allow yourself the use of food to cope. You can’t take the medication you need per doctor’s orders, and if eating comfort foods helps you get through it, that’s what you need to do (in my opinion). I really hope they get on the ball and get you the surgery soon.

  3. ” As a child I had to eat everything that was put in front of me and even now I find it difficult to leave food on my plate, ”

    I have heard this alot. Often parents think it is a positive thing to make the child clear their plate but it can have a knock on effect into the future. And it can not be easy to turn away cakes and sweets when you are in pain – u must feel as if u deserve treats etc.
    Thanks so much for writing this for #FoodMatters Sweet x
    May More recently posted…Food Matters ~ Problems with FoodMy Profile

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