Sunday, February 25, 2007

Comfort Food?

I had some sad news during the week that a very close friend's father had passed away from cancer. He was only 56 and it was a short illness. I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off work and travelled the 4 and a half hours to his home town to be with him and his family.

During the last week when it became apparent that the situation had escalated I was feeling quite anxious, depressed and incredibly sad. Amazingly the last thing I wanted to do was eat. I have had no appetite all week and have barely eaten anything. I find this strange because I thought I was a 'comfort eater', but when a situation arises where I really needed comfort, I realised food was no comfort at all.

When I think back at the triggers I use to eat, genuine times of sorrow, anxiety or stress do not lead me to the fridge. Yet when I am stressed about more superficial things, such as work or homework, what to wear or troubles with guys, I use that as an excuse to eat.

An example of this was when a few months ago I was walking home after work on a Friday with a colleague and I was already mentally preparing myself to try and avoid my usual Friday night take-away food binge. We were stopped at a stoplight waiting to cross the road when a car load of guys drove past and yelled out the window "whale" at me. It was an embarrassing situation that was made mortifying by the presence of my work colleague. She was gracious enough to ignore the comment and pretend it didn't happen, but nonetheless I was humiliated. The first thing I thought of was:
"screw this, I am going to go home and gorge myself on pizza and chocolate!"

And I did.

Deep down I think I was grateful that the excuse to binge had been handed to me on a platter.

So through this incredibly difficult time I have learnt something about myself. I do not need to use food to comfort myself. I need to stop trying to find excuses to overeat.


  1. It's so hard, isn't? I ate for the same reasons. I grew up with a lot of namecalling, not the fat kind. I am half asian and I lived in a small town. So, I had to deal with all of the "chink" jokes and slanty-eye jokes. It was tough, but I am living through it.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's dad, I hope she's doing alright. I think anyone (myself included) who has been one any sort of major weight loss journey will have had situations likethe one you described, I think the important thing is that you recognised it for what it was and not to beat yourself up too much.

  3. Definately, years ago when my mom passed away I actually lost weight at first. True depression saps my appetite. True heart break does too. But the little things make me eat and eat and eat...

    I am sorry to hear about your friends dad its a tough situation to be in my best friend just lost her mother i live far too far to visit (no passport and they are in another country :( ) I can feel the pain though.

    I hope you have some better days to come, I now how much comments like that can hurt.

  4. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend's father. And it's so true, real stress doesn't trigger. It's the "oh my god I have a report due in two hours" that generally sets me off. Good luck on continuing towards your goals.

  5. Sorry to hear about you loss! ((hugs)) The death of a loved one is such a painful experience. When my brother was killed, I drank lots ..(I was only 19) then I ate .. lots!! Then before I knew it I was 122 kilos!! Talk about comfort eater!! (lol)
    I hope your friend is ok!


  6. I'm sorry to hear about your friend's father - my condolences to you and your friend. I hope that he was at peace and found some comfort in his final days.

    I'm horrified at the way those guys spoke to you! I'm surprised that you didn't throw something at them, they certainly would've deserved a shoe in the face!

    I hope that you're doing okay, take care of yourself, all right? *HUGZ*


Awww thanks so much for the comment!