Emotional Eating: The Truth About Why I Eat

Emotional Eating

The Truth About Emotional Eating

If anybody has been reading this blog as late then you know that I’ve been struggling in the weight category. You know that the extremely high-stress situation I find myself in has had me turning to food – mainly sugar- for support. The thing is though that most of the eating has to do with boredom. Currently I’m caregiver to my mother, occasionally my two young sisters and of course, my 4-year-old daughter. No one else. Just me. Day and day out.

Without going into too much detail my mother is a difficult woman, one who I have been trying to please all of my life to no avail. If I was to be completely honest I am incredibly resentful of the current situation because I wasn’t supposed to be back in my hometown. Some promises were made that didn’t pan out and at the last minute I ended up living with my mother instead of having my own house. Now I realize, regardless of what I was doing or where I would have been living, all roads led home because of my mom’s heart surgery.

Compulsive Eating

Now I find myself stuck in the house, with no outlet, responsible for a house full of people and a rather large house without a whole lot of help as far as taking care of my mom goes. Each day I wake up and there is nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to. Each day I just pray for the day to end, in hopes that each day I wake up and go to bed brings me closer to the day I can have my life back. I’m bored. I’m defeated and I feel like at 29 my life as I know it is over.

Now there’s a lot I”m not saying, a lot of history and a lot of anger…but the 20lbs I’ve put on in the last couple of months is because food is the only thing interesting in my life right now. It’s the only thing I have some control over. I don’t go out. I don’t do anything, but take care of a house full of people and work…when I can. It’s frustrating and there’s no sign that it is coming to an end anytime soon. I’m holding on by a thread.

There’s no joy in this house. So I use Oreos to find some peace that I’m not getting anywhere else. And part of me doesn’t care, because what does it matter? No one is going to see me anyway. I don’t leave the house except to go to the grocery store or take my daughter to the park. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so defeated in my life and the only bit of joy I have is in the food I eat.

I recognize that this has to give at some point. 170lbs is horrible. I can’t imagine 200lbs. But right now it is what it is. But that’s why eat. There just ain’t shit else to do.

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Brown Sugar

Lives in music, sits down to read like she’s at the Feast of Heaven, enters every room like a queen or a spy, reads faces the way a gypsy reads palms, knows sex the way a nomad knows the desert’s shifting sands, needs laughter to breathe, eats in celebration of taste, works joyously, loves uproariously, smiles insightfully, dreams delightfully.

14 thoughts on “Emotional Eating: The Truth About Why I Eat”

  1. Tamika:

    Please know that you’re not alone. One of your friends and guest bloggers, Tracy, asked me to stop by. Please know that you’re not alone in your experience. Many of us have dealt with being left “holding the bag” caring for gravely ill and/or difficult (a nice way of saying belligerent) relatives. I had a similar experience when my aunt was dying of cancer. Please know that there IS more for you in life than what you’ve described. But you’ll have to MAKE a space for it. Where there is life, there is still time to hope and plan for better days. Where there is health, there is a less-obstructed path to working to make better days. I wouldn’t presume to try to give you advice. You know your own circumstances better than anybody else. I’ll just describe what helped me during the situation with my aunt. I found that if I did at least one thing (even if it was something small) that was just for MYSELF each day, I felt a smidgen less stressed at least for that moment. Please know that you are in my prayers.

  2. Hello Tamika,

    Someone posted about you on another blog and I decided to stop by.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with all of this. In some ways I can relate my situation is similar yet different. I want to encourage you to not give up. You have accomplished a lot with yout weight loss goals. You sound like you may depressed and that is understandable with the burden that you are carrying.

    I am also sorry about the things that didn’t pan out. I know that life throws us curve balls, but I know that you can overcome this and get things back on track. It may not seem like it or you may not feel like it, but you can.

    One thing on the practical side that I think would be helpful would be, if you haven’t done so already, is to contact an ombudsman. I don’t know how old your mom is or what her insurance is like, but sometimes insurance will cover home health aides and if you are a certain age – you may qualify for certain public programs. An ombudsman can assist you with discovering the best programs or sources for this. They can arrange for a nurse to come out and help with bathing, feeding, dressing, or they can send out a sitter so that you can take a break and get out of the house. This is something we did for my grandma when she had alzheimers and something I asked the doctors to do for my mother after her heart attack.

    You also stated that you had two younger sisters. Again I don’t know their ages, but perhaps there are things that they can do to be more self sufficient? Perhaps they can do more chores?

    Does your mom or you have any siblings that can watch her to give you a day off? It is reasonable to understand that you have personal business to take care of.

    You also sound like you really need some connections with other adults. Are you able to connect with someone – even if it is on the phone? Maybe you could have someone visit you? Maybe you could join a playdate group so that when you go to the park you can interact with other mothers so that you don’t feel so alone.

    I want to leave you with a cyberhug. I know its not a real one, but I am a real person and the sentiments are the same. I know that you can find workable solutions to get you some breathing room and then to transition you back into the life you want.

    I want to remind you that you do have options.

    Thinking of you and sending you lots of healing thoughts.

  3. Hi,

    You really have a great friend. She is the reason I was brought to your site.

    Unfortunately, I also suffer with emotional eating. Right now I am on my fourth day of fasting (abstaining from all foods and juices) drinking only distilled water. In many ways, I am hoping that this fast (along with the others I plan on doing in the future) combined with the many other things I have begun recently, will help me maintain the joy that I now have in my life. I’m also using this moment of repose to really look at my relationship with foods….all of them.

    You will be in my thoughts tonight,


    PS. I’m sorry I couldn’t say more.

  4. Hey Chick!!
    Mama Tracy is giving you a big hyg right now, and I want you to know that this will pass!! From one free spirit to another, I know how it feels when you feel “caged”. And I commend you for being so real with it!! This is all part of it, dealing with the good and not so good!! Please don’t let this situation defeat you. There is light at the end, just stay as focused as you can, and know that there are folks out here that love you and are behind you 100 percent! And btw, at 170, you are still fierce!!

    Peace to you sweetie, You can do it!!

  5. First, I’ll say thanks to everyone for commenting and your words of encouragement and to Tracy for rounding up the troops…lol.

    To fill in some holes my mother isn’t old…she’s 48. My sisters are 7 and 8 and my daughter is 4.

    My mom has to have a second open heart surgery. Right now she is home between surgeries. And yes she has home health aides, they are here during the day..right now not they aren’t here so much b/c she’s just home between surgeries.

    But the home health aides don’t mean anything. My mother creates enough work for an army of people. The issues with me and her exist even if she wasn’t sick. The sickness just makes me home bound and under her constant control which is ultimately her goal.

    Yes she has siblings and friends and other relatives and she’s managed to isolate all of them through the course of this sickness and most of them have obligations that don’t allow them to sit with her for any length of time, though they will drive me around to complete errands and my godmother watches my siblings during the week.

    Right now I’m just trying to figure out how do I get through all of this again. The last 6 weeks has been grueling to say the least. The two weeks before the surgery I was hiding in my room because she was on the warpath and now I have to start all over from 0.

    So whatever light is at the end of the tunnel is way far off and I’m one meltdown away from packing my bags, grabbing my kid and leaving. So things are a tad stressful right now to say the least.

  6. I just wanted to stop by and tell you that everything is going to be alright and that I wish you the best during this time of agrdship. Are there any other relative that can help take care of your mother and the kids, maybe once a week, so you can have a break? Just a suggestion. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Oh wow dear,

    Your mom is very young and so are your sisters. I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much alone. I really hate that your mother’s behavior has alienated so many people and that she is being so cruel when you are the only one helping her.

    I do think that it would be wise to contact someone, maybe an ombudsman still, because this is too much for one person to handle alone even if your mom was the sweetest person in the world. Maybe there is something out there for your mom despite her age. perhaps there are some resources for her particular illnesses.

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with so much. My concern is that you may get depressed, if you are not there already, and that is another problem that you do not need to deal with. I agree with the others in that you need some space – something of your own no matter how small.

    I am getting a picture of what your mother may be like and one thing I can say is – you can’t let her win. It sounds like you are amazingly overwhelmed and rightfully so.

    You always have some power and choices even if that means leaving as you stated.

    Thinking of you…

  8. Hang in there Tamika..no situation lasts forever..so just give it a little bit of time…and be sure to take care of YOU. Take a yoga class, get OUT of the house with your daughter, see a movie. When you feel like eating that pie, put a mask on your face instead, read a book…have a cup of hot tea with milk and honey…ask yourself how you will REALLY feel after you eat something knowing that you are eating for comfort…IOW STOP and think..take the time to love yourself..and talk to your Mother…but be gentle..very gentle. Gather other relatives, share the burden…you don’t have to take all of this on yourself. Even speak to a Pastor at a local church. Sometimes when we reach out for help, we get more than we ever asked for. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do things alone. I wish you well. You have a wonderful life NOW, and ahead of you. Don’t lose sight of that!!!

  9. Tamika, YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN, so don’t try to be it. Too many BW take the world on their SMALL SHOULDERS and they shouldn’t. You don’t have to be the STRONG BLACK WOMAN. The STRONG BW LABEL wears old. If you feel you need to JET, then JET. Do what you have to do for YOU, which will also be for YOUR Daughter. Let your mother fend for herself. As for your sisters, I would hope the rest of your family or the father would pitch in. Maybe even take on the respondibility of caring for them. All IN ALL, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

  10. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. I know a little bit of the stress you feel and feeling helpless in the face of a long drawn out ordeal until you can get your life back. For myself, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot wait for circumstances to make my life better, to feel happier, or to get control of my life back. Very few things ever turn out the way I hope and expect, and even when they do, it wasn’t all I thought it would be. I discovered that I have to learn to be happy and content no matter the circumstances I face. I am still working on it. It has not been an over night change. What I do is try to account for all the good things I have in my life. I have to remind myself to be thankful for what I have rather than be resentful for what I don’t have. I have to remind myself that how I respond to my circumstances is the model my children are learning for them to deal with their own problems. Sometimes, I just have to try to act the way I want to feel which is really hard to do. I have learned that I cannot be isolated. As much as I have felt depressed and wanted to be alone, being around others forces me out of the “poor me” self-destructive thinking. Anyhow, that is how I have faced my own issues. Finally, exercise helps me to think through issues including my own eating habits (I have a sweet tooth, but I find that the pleasure it gives doesn’t outweigh the depressant affects of too much sugar). Anyhow, that’s how I have been dealing with my own issues. Am I happy all the time? No. Am bursting with positive energy? No. But I no longer dread the days. I no longer think, “I can’t wait until when…” My days are full of things to do that I am thankful that God has given me ability to do.

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