Do You Comfort Eat?

by Susan

For the last couple months, I’ve been giving in to the enemy of comfort eating.

It’s not been out of control, but I’ve known I’m eating more than I need… treating myself to unnecessary snacks and taking extra but-it-tastes-good-and-I-deserve-it bites.

Tonight I devoured an indecent amount of Easter chocolate and, hours later, I still haven’t recovered.

fine chocolateI’m notoriously all-or-nothing with chocolate. I can go months without eating any, but let a morsel touch my tongue, and I’m a goner.

I was so proud of myself this past Halloween when I vowed to not eat a single Halloween chocolate and I made it through.

And with Easter coming, I was going to make another no-chocolate-pact with myself again. But unexpectedly, I received a box of especially fine chocolate and I couldn’t refuse.

When I was alone, I made a cup of coffee, turned on the TV and opened the box. I knew I was going to do it. I ate one. It was beyond good. I ate another. And another.

I didn’t want to stop because I wanted to eat so many that I felt sick. So I could get through the next few months hating chocolate… remembering how sick I felt from binging on it.

I ate almost all of it. It’s been 5 hours and I still feel sick. It may seem bizarre that I’m actually pleased I feel sick… but I’ve been giving in to comfort eating for weeks and I’ve gained at least five pounds and am beating myself up with guilt.

I gave myself the excuse that I needed to hit the bottom of my decline and tomorrow I’d put on my walking shoes and start getting back in shape.

You see I love to walk. I love to exercise. I love to feel in shape and good about how I look.

But I’m a busy work-at-home mom, struggling to squeeze enough productive time out of my day. And what always goes first is my exercise time.

Janice wrote a couple weeks ago about how we fight about me taking the time to walk. Well, over the last couple months, I’ve lost that fight and let my exercise-time fall off the bottom of my priority list. And the result has been disastrous.

When I don’t exercise, everything falls apart. I feel sluggish and lack energy. I feel fat and beat myself up and lose my self esteem. And then I eat a little more than I need.

So tomorrow, I will walk. I’ll put on my favorite pair of walking shoes and go for a POWER walk. I WILL get back to exercising. Because I don’t care how much work I have to do, I have to take care of ME. We all have to take serious care of ourselves. We’re mothers and we give of ourselves endlessly. But we must take care.

Please join me and decide to take better care of yourself. Even if that just means going for a walk.

Funny thing is we are actually working with Weight Watchers right now for their Walk It Challenge, but this post isn’t really about that. This post is about me… with a stomachache and a plan to get back on track.

But the timing happens to be perfect. Check out Janice’s post yesterday about the Weight Watchers Walk It Challenge.

Tell me, do you ever comfort eat? Do you give yourself time to exercise?

 

Written by Susan Carraretto, Mom Blogger and 5 Minutes For Mom Co-Founder
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Bottom Photo Credit: Skechers.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Parentwin April 21, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I was just ranting about this the other day. I’d love to share it on my FB fan page if you don’t mind!

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2 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:31 am

Thanks so much for sharing the post! And glad to hear I’m not alone.

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3 Annie April 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

I actually JUST posted about my desire to lose 15 lbs and started a little meme where me and my friends are going to lose 15 lbs by June – or meet whatever goals we have by June 23rd, the fist day of Type A Conference. Your post hit at a good time. I am totally thinking of getting back into shape.

Walking is my thing too. I LOVE getting up early and walking before everyone else wakes up. But I haven’t been doing that cause it’s been too cold and I am a wuss. Your post really motivated me though, cause I relate. When I don’t walk I feel grosser the rest of the day and actually eat more!

We can do this Susan! I am joining you!

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4 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:33 am

It’s such a great idea to get together with friends to motivate each other. And yes, we can do this!!!

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5 Myra April 22, 2011 at 12:02 am

Susan, I totally know what you’re talking about. I’ve been carrying around 40 extra pounds since my lil man was born 2 years ago. SO not cool. I’ve tried eating well and running (i’ve run 2 5ks and have a 10k coming up). The weight still isn’t coming off. Major ugh.

So, I decided that things have to change. I started a diet (and I’m so not a diet person) and I’m already seeing results in pounds and in me. I’ve had a huge wakeup call to the amount of healthy food I was eating…and just how MUCH i was snacking. Oh my!

With portion control, a weightloss homeopathic and exercise…the pounds are finally coming off. I’m trying not to get too excited because I have about 30 to go, but it’s so encouraging to see the scale going down.

Wow…that was a long comment. (blush)

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6 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:45 am

Thanks for sharing your experience Myra. Yes, portion control is such a struggle. I’m happy to hear you’re having success.

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7 Alysa (Inspired RD) April 22, 2011 at 12:05 am

You are right. It is so important to take care of YOU! If you don’t, everything else suffers. If I go for an extended period of time without working out, I actually start to have dreams about it. I’ll dream about an amazing run and the endorphins that come with it. When I wake up, I want to exercise! I think it’s my body’s way of keeping me on track :)

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8 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:45 am

Ha ha that is so funny that you’ll actually dream about it. But those endorphins are awesome, aren’t they?

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9 Kasey April 22, 2011 at 12:07 am

I could have wrote this post.

It’s totally me. I comfort eat constantly…especially chocolate. I eat until I feel sick and have heartburn. I haven’t walked at all this week or much last week or really the past year, because I let myself come last. I have too much to do on a daily basis to take care of me. BUT, we all know that we need to take care of ourselves or we’re NOT going to be good moms, wives or even good to our self.

Good luck tomorrow with taking time for yourself – I’m going to be joining you!

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10 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:47 am

Yes, it is the continual struggle of moms, isn’t it? And chocolate is always our biggest temptress. LOL

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11 Kim April 22, 2011 at 12:13 am

Great post! I do take the time to workout and exercise just for me. I use the Fit Yummy Mummy program which is awesome. With consistency in working out and eating “clean” I’ve shed pounds and inches and feel much better overall!

Good luck..

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12 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:48 am

Fabulous! I’ll have to check out that program… thanks!

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13 Michelle W April 22, 2011 at 12:19 am

I feel the same about exercise! I have always had a chocolate addiction, but if I walk, I find it doesn’t make me feel bad.
Lately I have let that important walking time slip away because of time constraints, and weather (it is still kind of chilly here!).
Thanks for posting this…I will walk tomorrow.
Sometimes all we need is a little reminder.
I don’t think I’ll give up the chocolate, though:)

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14 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:50 am

Yes, the weather was an enormous pitfall for me over the winter. I’m so relieved for the coming of Spring.

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15 Sydney April 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

Same here, Susan! I LOVE to exercise, because i just feel fat/lazy if I don’t! I feel so much better when I exercise, and I love to walk! I went with my friends and walked for an hour today. It felt so good! I do the chocolate thing too. I had given it up for Lent, but I gave up on that, and now I’m back to it and dedicated because I discovered it really wasn’t that hard to give up. Good luck!

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16 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

Isn’t it amazing how great a walk can make you feel? Some chocolate isn’t really even that bad… for me it’s just that I go overboard. And aren’t they saying now that dark chocolate has health benefits.

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17 Jodi April 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

Thanks for posting this, because now I know I’m not the only that goes through that EXACT thing! I can so relate to being in the zone, exercising, avoiding the bad stuff – and then somehow getting sucked back into eating just too much, feeling bad…and then doing it more because you feel bad!! Sometimes I regroup by fasting with fresh fruit and veggie juice for days and praying a lot. It helps me focus more on God and steers me away from unhealthy distractions. Tomorrow I’ll walk too!

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18 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:56 am

Doesn’t it help to know that we’re not alone?
Thank you for sharing your story.

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19 Mel April 22, 2011 at 12:39 am

I do comfort eat, and mostly on chocolate. Then I beat myself up too, just as you said. I was walking a couple of miles a day, and I was noticing a huge difference both in my energy levels and how I saw myself; I was losing weight, just a little but enough to make a difference. Then I got discouraged….got busy….and exercise went down the drain. I need to get back out there and just do it. For my sake and for my family’s sake. Thank you for this reminder. Now if it would only stop raining.:)

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20 Susan April 22, 2011 at 2:57 am

Yes the rain really messes with our good intentions, doesn’t it? It rains here so much it’s terrible.

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21 Jeannette April 22, 2011 at 3:25 am

Yes I do! I’ve been reading Made to Crave and it’s helping so much. I stop and think about the reason I’m eating now and my emotional and bored eating has dropped significantly. Now I just need to add exercise. We keep meaning to go walking but it’s either too cold out still (about 20* here) or it’s been a long day and we’re too tired to go walking. I wish it would hurry up and be spring here in Alaska so I can stop with the excuses… but 20* is a bit cold for our son to be out in.

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22 Amy Robbins-Wilson April 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

Oh Susan! I am sooo with you! I could have written this post! I have been working with intuitive eating coach Jane Bernard and she is just wonderful. I am getting better but it is amazing how I put my body last on the list. I am changing that!

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23 beenomom April 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

I just rejoined Weight Watchers last week. I went years ago when my youngest was only 2 and lost 47 pounds and was in 10 piunds of goal. Then my life changed dramatically and all was lost. 5 years later I’m starting again! I love their walk it challenge too! I also am a comfort food eater. I eat when I need to relax and unwind, which is often, and not a good combo!

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24 Rachel April 22, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’m a horrible comfort eater and, like you, chocolate always does me in. I’ve had some heart problems over the last few years and haven’t been able to do any heavy exercise so the combination of the two hasn’t been good to me. I really need to start walking again because it’s low impact enough that I can do it without feeling horrible and I used to love using my walking time as a chance to slow down and take a minute to breath during the crazy day.

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25 Sara April 22, 2011 at 11:20 am

I think you speak for all of us on the comfort eats! I too have been giving in to temptation saying the exact things, “you’ve done so well!” Look at you still fitting into single diget jeans lol but after the sickness wears off and they chocolates are gone, the guilt sets in and buttons snap on the pants! I can go months without giving in but as soon as I do, I’m a goner :( ……..

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26 Amber Strocel April 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I have NO power to resist chocolate. Like, none. I’m like you in that once I start eating it, I have a really hard time stopping. I can make myself really sick. It’s getting kind of old, honestly.

I love the idea of doing more walking. I walk my daughter to kindergarten and back, but it’s not exactly relaxing, especially with my 2-year-old for company. Maybe I need to get out there and walk by myself. I already have a weekly yoga class, and it’s saving my sanity. But who couldn’t use a little more quiet?

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27 Brenda Rupp April 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one that is a comfort eater. My neck is broken from a car accident and my hubby is out of work. Yes I’m eating for comfort. Things are not so bad though I have my friends, and my husband Tom and I have saved for rainy days.

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28 Tarasview April 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I’m a total comfort/stress eater… the more stressed I am the more I eat. Not good.

Good for you for walking again!!

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29 hippie4ever April 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Chocolate is my downfall, I comfort myself with the fact that it is DARK so less sugar, so better for me …right? And the state we are living in now has ~ 6months of winter!!!! I ate so many carbs this winter I till feel starchy.

And exercise? When my toddler sees my husband exercise, he’ s all excited and joins in. When I do, he says “No Mommy” and get in my way!? So I TRY to find time when he’s asleep or otherwise occupied.

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30 The Redhead Riter April 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I haven’t ever found comfort in food when I’m down, however, I love food and worship chocolate! The beautiful pic of the chocolates is what drew me in to read this post. The smell, feel and taste of chocolate just makes me feel better.

I know I need to exercise, but that really is my downfall. I hate exercising…lots. I do take much better care of myself because unfortunately, I’m not getting any younger! UGH!

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31 Jenn April 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

Oh yes I’m a comfort eater and while I adore good chocolate I’m more likely to be drawn to mashed potatoes, bread and butter, pasta with cheesy sauce and other high-carb things like that, certainly not good for maintaining a healthy weight! I definitely need to loose some weight so I’ve been working on making diet changes. I know that exercise is also important, but exercising makes me ravenous – so I figured I should decrease my calorie intake before I started exercising too much! That and I need to either get a double stroller or figure out an indoor exercise that’s effective for me. Thanks for sharing your struggle too.

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