msmarymac

Emotional Eating struggles

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Hello friends,

I had to say goodbye to my 13 year old yellow lab Saturday; a gut-wrenching decision made after months of treating her Congestive Heart Failure and watching her worsening struggle to breathe.  I am absolutely stunned at the level of grief that I am experiencing...it is almost as intense as when my husband died.  OK, probably not that bad, but it's bad.  Maybe because she was a gift from him as a puppy, maybe because she was my best friend during those long nights I couldn't quit crying after he passed away.  She literally would jump up in my lap and lick my tears, couldn't stand it when I was sad.  She and I navigated the path that followed his death and because of her companionship I never felt alone or lonely even after my kids grew up.  When I met my current husband years later, she quickly stole his heart as well.

So, now I can't stop eating.  In addition to being sad I also want to eat all the sweets all the time.  I "borrowed" my son's dog yesterday for a long walk and some slobbery kisses which was a good distraction for awhile.  But I am really struggling.  My husband works out of state and is gone Sunday-Thursday eve so I feel her absence profoundly.  Any suggestions for getting through this rough period?

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@msmarymac

Oh so very sorry for you. Only can suggest bringing in friends, walk your son's dog, do all those things. Sorrow has to work its way through you, there is no escaping it, at least in my experience, and to try to deny it leads to yet more sorrow later on. I've had this happen too. <<< Empathy >>>. 

If you eat 600 extra calories a day for a week extra you will be up one pound. This will not derail your long-term super weight loss. Suggest, with all modesty, that you find the least destructive gorge food, allow that and no others. Broccoli with Parmesan cheese all over it? pounds of it? Popcorn? and if that is too savory =

For the sweets craving - made lemon curd recently, using erythriol instead of sugar, with egg yolks and lemon zest and juice. I was blown away with how good it was. Delicious, sweet, filling... and very low in carbs. Perhaps the action of making the curd, then throwing some berries on top, will assuage your need for sugar and the sorrow. 

 

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My heart goes out to you Mary - I lost my beloved Meg on Sunday 17th March - a day after my birthday.

It wasn't unexpected - she was diagnosed with a tumor  in her heart and then developed a hernia shortly afterwards.  The vet said that he didn't expect her to reach her next birthday but that was 3 years ago this past January so she showed him!.

One thought - is fostering a furbaby an option?

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@msmarymac

Yikes. I am so very sorry for what you are going through.

High calorie foods truly are a “toxic friend” in that they seem to provide comfort only to give discomfort in the form of unwanted weight gain. 

We are here to support you. 

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i think that most times it is worse to lose a pet than someone.

when you lose a pet, most times you are on your own.

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I wish I had some words of wisdom on the emotional eating front, unfortunately I don’t. But I do want to send my sympathy, a big warm hug, a pair of dry shoulders and lots of love to you as you grieve. Losing my dog was one of the hardest things ever, and I know I would have been in trouble with emotional eating as well if I had been post op. I love @cinwa‘s suggestion of fostering a fur baby when you’re ready. I think that would help your emotions, and knowing you are giving a loving temporary home to a pet in need can be extremely therapeutic. BB’s suggestions of bringing in friends and continuing to walk your son’s dog are also very good outlets for your grief that don’t include food. I’m sending lots of prayers your way, @msmarymac. I’m truly sorry for your loss :unsure:

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15 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

For the sweets craving - made lemon curd recently, using erythriol instead of sugar, with egg yolks and lemon zest and juice. I was blown away with how good it was. Delicious, sweet, filling... and very low in carbs. Perhaps the action of making the curd, then throwing some berries on top, will assuage your need for sugar and the sorrow. 

I will try that, definitely sounds like something I would love, plus the making of it takes up some time which is not my friend right now.  Thanks for the suggestion (and the empathy).

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15 hours ago, cinwa said:

My heart goes out to you Mary - I lost my beloved Meg on Sunday 17th March - a day after my birthday.

It wasn't unexpected - she was diagnosed with a tumor  in her heart and then developed a hernia shortly afterwards.  The vet said that he didn't expect her to reach her next birthday but that was 3 years ago this past January so she showed him!.

One thought - is fostering a furbaby an option?

I'm so sorry, they do become such a part of our hearts! 

I did consider fostering as an alternative to getting another dog.  During football season we are gone a lot of weekends so I didn't think it was fair to take on another animal knowing that.  My son would take care of Penny while we were gone so it was a bonus for her to get to see her boy, but he has kind of a rowdy dog and I'm not sure a foster would work under those circumstances.  I also have an elderly cat (19 years old) so I am cautious about disrupting his world too much right now.  He is not much company unfortunately.  Love him but he is quite the grumpy old man lol.   I may volunteer as a dog walker at the local shelter though, if I can get the hours coordinated.

I think I just need to change up my routines and keep busy while I work through this.  Thank you for your kind words.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your baby took such good care of you in your last time of grief. Dogs are SO good at that. 

My sister lost her two cats last year within 6 weeks of each other. She found a forum for people who were grieving their pet loss, and she said it really helped her through it. It helped her to lean on and to lend sympathy to others in a similar state. 

And/or is there any practical way for you to go on the trip with your husband? Might be a good distraction? 

Don't know if those ideas will help, but I definitely am sending love and hugs. :wub:

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i'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  losing a pet is so painful. borrowing your son's dog could be your best bet for now.  big hugs to you .  

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I’m so sorry.  They truly are a member of the family..  

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6 hours ago, Cindy Lou Who said:

And/or is there any practical way for you to go on the trip with your husband? Might be a good distraction

It would be a good distraction, but he actually works away, and is gone every Sunday-Thursday so I guess my job wouldn't like that so much lol. 

Thank you so much for the kind words.  It sucks but I will work my way through it.

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5 hours ago, bellamoma said:

i'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  losing a pet is so painful. borrowing your son's dog could be your best bet for now.  big hugs to you .  

And probably less creepy than lurking at the dog park, sitting in the parking lot crying as I watch lol. 

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So sorry to hear this, @msmarymac. The unconditional love of a furbaby, combined with all the comfort she provided you over the years, make it so so hard when it's time to say goodbye. You'll get through this, and stuffing your face on reasonably healthy things for a week isn't the end of the world if it helps you cope. You're a WLS superstar, and I have no doubt you will be able to snap your fingers and get back on track soon. In the meantime, borrowing other people's doggies is probably your best bet. Up to and including fostering, as @cinwa mentioned. Having to take care of someone else might help you to feel like you're taking care of yourself :wub::wub::wub:

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omg you poor baby.  i feel that pain.  i always joke that the fastest cure to a broken lost pet heart is to get another, or even two! but i know that is not practical for everyone. having said that, get another! haha. dogs are the best. i'm so sorry you lost your sweet girl.  xo

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12 minutes ago, bellamoma said:

omg you poor baby.  i feel that pain.  i always joke that the fastest cure to a broken lost pet heart is to get another, or even two! but i know that is not practical for everyone. having said that, get another! haha. dogs are the best. i'm so sorry you lost your sweet girl.  xo

I know, I am really thinking I might do that.  My hesitation is that we are gone a lot during football season and with my sweet Penny I could just have my son pop in a few times a day or even stay at the house for the weekend because she was his baby too (gift from their daddy before he died).  I certainly don't have the time and energy for a puppy but have been kind of thinking about an adult dog but can't decide if that would be fair.  So, I did contact the local shelter to inquire about volunteering and/or fostering.  They are only open 11 to 3 so haven't been able to get there in person.  Hopefully they will respond to my email and I can find a way to channel this grief into something positive. 

You're right though, dogs are the best :)

 

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i'd bet that you could find another sweet baby that your son could help care for as well. ;) i know. i'm terrible! i'm projecting- i want a pooch so bad but my husband is absolutely terrified of dogs and is from another country- they don't understand why people have animals in their homes. it's just a culture thing.  so, if nothing else, get one for me! and post LOTs of pics! 

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51 minutes ago, bellamoma said:

i'd bet that you could find another sweet baby that your son could help care for as well. ;) i know. i'm terrible! i'm projecting- i want a pooch so bad but my husband is absolutely terrified of dogs and is from another country- they don't understand why people have animals in their homes. it's just a culture thing.  so, if nothing else, get one for me! and post LOTs of pics! 

Hahaha, see I could guilt him into helping with Penny because she was his doggie too (and he loved her) but I'm not so sure he'd be as accommodating with a new one.  He's early 20's and "so busy" lol.  He doesn't even know busy yet lol. 

I get the cultural difference thing.  I work with International students a lot and many are very curious about the American obsession with our pets.  Some are more open to cats or very small dogs, but most were very skeptical of my big hairy lover.  Especially that she was treated  like family.   Any who met her of course fell in love ;)

If I do get another I will for sure post pics! 

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So sorry Mary.  I had a friend that lost her cat and she was beside herself with grief.  She ended up going to the Drs. and getting on depression meds it was so bad.  The meds helped her and she didn't have to stay on them long.

I am an emotional eater also, so when I get like that I try to do what BB said and chose wisely. 

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My heart breaks for you and your loss. I agree with others that sometimes the loss of that furbaby can almost be worse than losing a human love. They loved you unconditionally and especially since they were there for you through the loss of your husband. I tend to bake or cook large amounts of food and give it away when I want to emotionally eat. I bring it all into work or put it in baggies for homeless that I see on my way into work. I don't know how long that would last for you though since it would quickly get expensive if you were doing it daily. It's a nice temporary distraction.  Everyone on here has some wonderful ideas though.

One suggestion I did not see on here yet is maybe volunteering at a shelter.  They always need people to come in and help clean, feed, bathe, and play with animals of all kinds at most shelters. Donate old blankets, old large clothing, towels, and various other items to them also if you can. It will help you heal and help those babies feel love while they are there in the shelter. 

Know that you are not alone. Continue to reach out to us, to others, to friends, and family. Pick up a good book. Write a book. Write in a journal. Work for Rover.com and walk other neighborhood pets or offer to pet sit for others and make some money while you're at it.  

Those precious babies will live forever in our hearts and we'll never forget them. :wub:

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1 hour ago, Brattykid said:

My heart breaks for you and your loss. I agree with others that sometimes the loss of that furbaby can almost be worse than losing a human love. They loved you unconditionally and especially since they were there for you through the loss of your husband. I tend to bake or cook large amounts of food and give it away when I want to emotionally eat. I bring it all into work or put it in baggies for homeless that I see on my way into work. I don't know how long that would last for you though since it would quickly get expensive if you were doing it daily. It's a nice temporary distraction.  Everyone on here has some wonderful ideas though.

One suggestion I did not see on here yet is maybe volunteering at a shelter.  They always need people to come in and help clean, feed, bathe, and play with animals of all kinds at most shelters. Donate old blankets, old large clothing, towels, and various other items to them also if you can. It will help you heal and help those babies feel love while they are there in the shelter. 

Know that you are not alone. Continue to reach out to us, to others, to friends, and family. Pick up a good book. Write a book. Write in a journal. Work for Rover.com and walk other neighborhood pets or offer to pet sit for others and make some money while you're at it.  

Those precious babies will live forever in our hearts and we'll never forget them. :wub:

Thank you for your kind words.  I did message our local shelter today to look into volunteer work or perhaps fostering.  I am in a small town, and our shelter is only open 11 to 3 so I'm not sure how that works for after hours volunteering but I hope to hear from them soon.  I am putting together a donation for them as well; Penny was born on Easter 13 years ago, so the kids and I are donating to the shelter in honor of her birthday. 

I probably will end up getting another dog this summer, but I have a rotator cuff repair surgery coming up the end of April and need to get through that rehab first.  Then, we'll see :)

 

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On 4/2/2019 at 10:48 AM, msmarymac said:

I will try that, definitely sounds like something I would love, plus the making of it takes up some time which is not my friend right now.  Thanks for the suggestion (and the empathy).

I'll look up the recipe - really simple to make and delicious - equal amounts lemon juice and sugar substitute, egg yolks and zest from the lemons... 

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On 4/2/2019 at 12:13 AM, msmarymac said:

Any suggestions for getting through this rough period?

It's not really a suggestion. More like saying that I can understand all too well.

Unfortunately this is something every dog owner has to go through. Our Goldie has cancer on his nose that affects the breathing as well, chemo therapy is not really helping that much and there will only be a few weeks left. He's 12.5 years old and we shared our life with him since he was 16 weeks old or so. 

The grief will be intense, I fear even more so than when the doggy we had before him died at the age of 10.

My husband said that he wants a dog again. He grew up with a dog and he can't imagine being without one. In the end it will be his decision because he will be the primary caretaker again.

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Mary, I haven’t suffered a loss like yours, so i have no advice, but {{{HUGS}}}

so sorry for your loss!  Hope time helps soothe your soul but I know nothing can replace her!

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8 hours ago, summerset said:

It's not really a suggestion. More like saying that I can understand all too well.

Unfortunately this is something every dog owner has to go through. Our Goldie has cancer on his nose that affects the breathing as well, chemo therapy is not really helping that much and there will only be a few weeks left. He's 12.5 years old and we shared our life with him since he was 16 weeks old or so. 

The grief will be intense, I fear even more so than when the doggy we had before him died at the age of 10.

My husband said that he wants a dog again. He grew up with a dog and he can't imagine being without one. In the end it will be his decision because he will be the primary caretaker again.

I'm sorry for what you're going through and the sorrow that is to come.  It is so hard to see them suffer and harder yet to let them go :(

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