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Why Do I Still Do This?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Last week, my dog of 11 years appeared to be sick. I watched it for a couple of days, then took her to the vet. Our vet sent her home with antibiotics and did some lab work. Thursday I got a call that my dog had a rather aggressive strain of leukemia and was in the later stages. I kept her alive long enough for my daughter to get back from Europe, and then we euthanized her. The next stage would have been internal bleeding. She just had no white blood cells.

So no, my eating was not stellar over the weekend. I pulled it back together on Monday, but I can't say this was a great week. It was a hard week. I think if I wasn't conscious about my food choices, it could have been worse. When I grabbed the ice cream drumstick, I thought to myself, as I pushed back my tears, "this is going to make you feel more depressed, not better". I still ate a little ice cream, but I did not eat two or three. I did not completely eat my feelings.

I wonder where I learned this behavior of shoving food down to dull my feelings or comfort myself. 2017 was a rather hard year for me emotionally, and I gained around 60 pounds last year. I don't think we are biologically wired to think, "I am sad, lets eat". In fact, a lot of my friends lose weight when they are upset. When their stomach is tide into an emotional knot, they don't eat. I eat more. I don't exactly remember any specific time of my mother comforting me with food, but I suspect that I was comforted with food. To be honest, I don't remember being comforted at all. Maybe I've been self soothing myself with food because I wasn't shown an appropriate way to deal with my emotions?

I have a friend who is a recovered meth addict. When he talks about his addiction, I think of my relationship with sugar and food. I always tell him, "fall down seven times, stand up eight". Last time we hung out, we had this interesting conversation about our broken inner child and how at rehab they said when you start using drugs to deal with your emotions, you cease to grow emotionally. We all have this broken child in us that wasn't loved enough or was abandoned or unvalidated or whatever, and it is still a part of us. Often, it's this part of us that perpetuates patterns that we keep repeating. My patterns seem to be comforting myself with food and dating emotionally unavailable men. Oh shoot, I just realized that both things could be from my family not really being available to me as a child. I date people that feel comfortable to me, and I've learned a very maladaptive way to comfort myself. One of my friends wants to go to an over eaters anonymous meeting, maybe that would not be a bad idea. I kept my weight off for about 10 years, but old habits can be hard to break.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You're gaining a lot of insight into your choices and behaviors when you are dealt life's blows. I'm sorry about the loss of your dog. It is so difficult to lose our beloved pets. Take good care of yourself and bravo for your positive changes.
    1128 days ago
    Good for you for trying to reason out why you are "comforting" yourself with food. A lot of times when we figure out the why, we lose weight more easily.

    1142 days ago
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Wise observations and insights about reasons of overeating.
    Congrats to staying conscious of food choices.
    Eating only one ice cream when you were upset and there was more is a great achievement - good you noticed it would have just worsened your mood.
    1143 days ago
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