Advice-Emotional-Eating

Ask Dr. J. Archives

Dear Dr. J

I know everybody says that fat people are just lazy and don’t care about themselves, but I’m fat and I don’t want to be and I’m not lazy. After my second child was born, I just haven’t been able to lose weight. I try different diets, but I don’t seem to be able to stick with it, or I don’t lose and I get discouraged and wonder why try?

My husband is starting to make snide comments about my weight. The heavier I get, the more he works out at the gym. It seems like he’s just disgusted with me. I don’t feel at all desirable and feel like a big blob and don’t want him to see me naked. I make excuses when it’s time to go to bed because I don’t feel like making love.

Sometimes I get so down on myself I feel like giving up completely. I’m ashamed to go out and see friends so I’m becoming like a hermit. All I have is my kids and I’m afraid I’m going to make them fat too. Help!

Ginny


Dear Ginny

You need to get some help right away. And I guess asking for advice is your first step toward better health! You are depressed and sometimes have suicidal thoughts over your weight. Unfortunately, your marriage and family are not helping the situation. And you’ve cut yourself off from friends (and probably other potential sources of support).

Feeling overwhelmed and powerless is something that won’t go away until you start to take some steps toward getting out of this cycle you’re in. It’s a self-fulfilling vicious cycle. You feel shame because you’re overweight, and my guess is that you eat out of feeling shame. This reinforces that you can’t do anything about it and you’re a failure, and then you feel shame….and so it goes.

Something practical you can do to break this cycle is to get a notebook and write down everything you eat for a week, when you eat, and under what circumstances. This will give you some information about what purpose eating serves. If you eat to comfort yourself, try to substitute a good book, a hot bath, something to pamper yourself. You may also eat to stuff your feelings. I’m sure you are angry with your husband for his hurtful comments. Instead of keeping your feelings in, let him know how his comments hurt you. Ask him not to make any comments on your weight, your eating, exercising and food. If possible, see a therapist to explore some of the feelings you may be repressing. It may be time for you to make some changes in order to have a happier life.

In the meantime, just start doing it! There are so many eating programs and dieting tips and information about weight loss, just pick a program and start! Watch your portion control and try to eat in a more healthy way. If you don’t feel you can go out to a gym, start walking or do some type of exercise in your home. Write down your successes in your notebook. Just take one day at a time and try to be successful for that one day. There are also eating groups like Overeaters Anonymous that would be helpful. Remember, everybody there is in the same boat and you will get support and understanding.

Being overweight is nothing to be ashamed of, but it is contributing to (or is a symptom of) a bigger problem. You are probably clinically depressed and, if you can’t get to a psychologist, at least tell your doctor and follow his or her medical advice.

Dr. J


Advice-Emotional-Eating: See also Eating Disorders
See also Advice-Eating Disorders

See also Eating Disorders in Children