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Do You Ever Use Food To Cope?


pensiveone

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Like some of you I use sugar (chocolate) to help calm myself and cheer me up. I also use food as a bit of a weapon against myself. I often don't have lunch until 3 or 4pm, even though I'm hungry before that. Partly I feel not good enough to complete work on time, but also I'm punishing myself (not sure what for). I do then eat lunch, and later another meal, so probably get the right amount of food, but unevenly spread. One of the supervisors at the place I volunteer does remind me to eat, otherwise I can have a gap between 8.15 - 4.30 without food.

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I've wanted to post, but my mom is visiting me, so I have been busy keeping her entertained. Well, my brother, sister-in-law and 2 of their 3 children came yesterday for a visit and left today; luckily, they stayed in a hotel, but mom is staying with me (I'm ****** exhausted!).

At any rate, I really appreciate everyone's posts. It is validating and helps me beat myself up less. And, yes, Everlong, I'm soooo sick of people saying "eat right and exercise." If it were that *@&$! easy, then everyone would do it.

I'm completely overstimulated right now and I'm trying to calm down so I can go to sleep. Since mid-May, I've been used to spending almost all of my time alone with the exception of my cat, Bug.

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One thing I've learned recently is that there is a high chance that "eating right and exercising" would NOT help you lose weight. However, it would still make you feel better physically and emotionally.

That being said, "eating right" is different for every person. In my case, while restricting sweets might be beneficial for me in general, but in that particular instance it messed me up emotionally in a way I still cannot recover from. Oh, and I did not have any cravings for food or binging before. I have it now. If mental health counts, then was this even "healthy'? I seriously doubt that.

So, anyway, only you can decide what is "good for you".

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One thing I've learned recently is that there is a high chance that "eating right and exercising" would NOT help you lose weight. However, it would still make you feel better physically and emotionally.

I'd be interested to know more about this. I know I should try to focus on being healthy rather than losing weight, but losing weight is a preoccupation of mine.

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Hi Pensiveone et al. I've been to this site many times, but it was this thread that got me to finally join. So this is my first post. I totally empathize with you. Like many many people, I have long used food to cope. Of course, as we all know, that behavior only exacerbates our mood disorders. I have been depressed as long as I can remember (going back into my early childhood), and have likewise had a propensity to abuse food. I have been thin and felt somewhat in "control" of what/how much goes into my mouth, at various times in my life. But more often than not, I feel like it is the food that is in control of me. Recently my depression got so bad (suicide was sounding more and more comforting to me), that I finally broke down and sought medical help. I have been on Wellbutrin for almost a month now and though I've had a couple of hopeful days when I thought I was getting better, I'm essentially back to where I was before I started. And unlike many others who take this same drug, I have not experienced a decrease in appetite. The funny thing is that I rarely binge on junk food. I only have healthy food in my house--absolutely nothing processed, no sugar, no chips, etc. But I will gorge on fruit, peanut butter, and yogurt until I'm bursting at the seams. And like Peony, I'm poor. Being poor is such a downer--we can't afford to go out to a movie, out to a restaurant, or buy a small gift for a friend whose birthday it is. This really erodes at your ability to feel happiness, or a sense of community with friends and family who are better off than you. It's exclusive. Eating becomes a rare pleasure in a world of "no's" and "can'ts".

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Bluestate, Welcome! I've only been on this site a short while and I have gotten a lot of support. Like you and Peony, I don't have a lot of money. I went back to school in hopes of getting another degree, but it has just put me more in debt. Money issues aside, there is nothing that makes me feel better the way food can. Even though I have lost much of the pleasure I get from eating junk/overeating, I still feel better once I've had a lot to eat.

I'm struggling right now because I got a job working online. I just wasted 3 hours trying to finish the training and I literally can't figure it out. I feel so ******* stupid. I sent an email to my trainer for help, but I'm worried they'll give up on me if I can't even manage to do the training. My mom is visiting, too, so I'm stressed. She kept sitting by me and I finally had to ask her to move.

Sorry for that tangent. I'm feeling really stressed right now.

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I've been struggling with depression all of my adult life and it seems to have gotten progressively worse. I've always been a bit overweight, but now I feel incapable of controlling myself around food. I crave sugar all the time. I use food to make myself feel better and I eat out a lot (partially to get myself out of my house and partially because I don't cook). I tell myself I should learn to cook, but attempts in the past have been complete failures.

I'm really frustrated, because I try to live "in the moment," but, unfortunately, it also means I'm often thinking about food.

I have a seriously hard time with food, mostly because it is often the only thing that makes me feel better. Cooking might help! I can't cook either but my wife learned and started with learning how to bake chicken breasts and steam veggies. I included a link below that's the sort of thing she used to start learning. Maybe that might help? :\

http://www.wikihow.com/Bake-Boneless-Skinless-Chicken

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Don't beat yourself up, Bluestate. I overate last night, too, I ate a piece of pie even when I wasn't hungry--I was actually quite full from dinner. My mom is visiting me and she follows me everywhere I go. I love her a ton, but, after a week, I'm really missing being alone.

Well, at least your dessert had fruit in it. :-)

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Thanks Pensiveone. I think I was hoping for/expecting the Wellbutrin to solve my compulsive/binge eating problem and somehow the disappointment is making me want to eat even more. I've had essentially 3 breakfasts this morning. Maybe I shouldn't get up so early, but my husband has to get up to go to work and I like to have a cup of coffee with him before he leaves. Then I'm up and awake. I have a meal, and then a couple of hours later I want a snack. And then when he comes home from work on the weekends, only a few hours later, (because he works half shifts on Sat and Sundays), I find myself unable to resist having yet another meal when he's eating. He always has a big 2nd breakfast when he gets home because he's been working hard and has burned the calories. Me, I've usually just been sitting on the internet dwelling on my problems and hoping to find answers. lol. I have had "will-power" in the past, but I can't find it anymore. I don't want to be the person who complains but never changes.

And now I feel bad because you started this thread to discuss your own similar problem and I'm making this about me. I'm sorry. I really wish I could solve this for both of us.

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Oh, your post resonates with me, because I always feel like the whiner who never changes. And, feel free to make this about you. I started this thread hoping to hear from others with similar experiences.

I'm typing on my phone, so I apologize for not writing more. I'm visiting my mom and she does not have an Internet connection.

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Thanks for the link, BlackPony. I'll check this out.

tomatoarelegumes, I'm finally understanding what an important role sleep plays. I always thought of my sleep problems as a separate problem ...well, more related to anxiety.

I was hoping to be eating less since it's summer and so warm out, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

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I eat emotionally from stress and depression.

In law school my best friend and I were a lot alike except that his reaction to the stresses of school was to eat less while mine was to eat more and more unhealthy.

Whenever I see a dr. or therapist they always ask if I've had changes in appetiate and I always laconically say, 'unfortunately not'.

In fact, in recent years, I have developed a much deeper appreciation for good food and fine dining (to my bank account's chagrin).

If you think about food, it is the only experience I can think of in all of life that simultaneously impacts all of ours senses: taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight, and it also combines social stimulation since eating is probably the most common thing we combine when socializing with other people. I think it does consistently give most of us that immediate feel good sensation like few other things.

Having said all that, I would much like to moderate my own eating.

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Gandofication--I like your insight regarding the pan-sensuality of food. I think the only thing more appealing is a good massage--even though it only excites one sense. If I could substitute a massage for every time I wanted to compulsively eat, I'd be a much thinner and way more relaxed woman.

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Bluestate, Can I just say "Ditto?" I treat myself to a massage about every 3 weeks. I don't know how I'd live without it.

So, as I've posted elsewhere . . . I'm back in my hometown. It's incredibly difficult, because one of the only things to do here is eat. I once read that this city has more restaurants per capita than any other city.

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I do, definitely! It used to be pretty bad when I was more depressed. Now that I'm feeling a lot better, I find that I don't crave food or use it for comfort so much. Occasionally on very trying days, I still slip up though. I totally agree with gandolfication's analysis-- I know intellectually that there are plenty of things I can do to make myself feel better but eating just seems so much more immediate. Anyway, you've not alone, pensiveone.

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I have the diet of a 5-year-old. Whenever I feel a bit tired or rundown I go straight for the soft drinks and sweets. It's just a quick and easy way to feel good for a few minutes with no effort. Given that I have a huge fear of the dentist, I really should pack it in :D

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I always use food to cope. Because I get lazy and procrastinate, there is sometimes no food in the house ready to be eaten. Since I live with my parents, usually Mom has food ready when she's home. But when she's not, I take the easy and relatively cheap way out and eat fast food. Of course it's only cheap if I buy from the value menu and not very often, but that's not how it goes down. i find myself adding more and more to each order, and almost every day sometimes. Since I usually don't have cash available, I end up using credit and making the very reasons for my depression even worse. I don't really know why I do that. You'd think it would be easy to cut myself off from the one thing that is making things worse for me, but it isn't. There is even a running joke in the family now that all the employees of nearby fast food places should give me discounts because of how much business I provide for them. It bothers me that they joke about me like that, but it happens to have a grain of truth.

At home sometimes I find myself checking the fridge every 20 minutes or so, even when I know there's nothing in there and hasn't been all day. Even when I'm not hungry I check. I wish I could just stop eating sometimes.Then I tell myself I'll definitely start eating healthy. Then I buy more junk 'food.' :verysad3:

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