One Month

I’ve been trying to write this post for hours, but putting up pictures of breakfast and lunch just wasn’t what my heart was telling me to write.

One month ago today, my sister went into early labor and delivered my two nephews, Tristan and Harper, at just 23 weeks.

One month ago today, I had two teeny nephews, and today I only have one.

Two years ago if something even remotely close to this had happened, I would have buried my sorrows deep in food and would have eaten everything I could until I was so physically full that it was all I could think about. The food would numb me momentarily, and then, I would slowly come out of the food coma and realize that all my problems were still there and the binge had solved nothing.

It’s kind of ironic in a way because what I am dealing with now is by far the most serious and real life nightmareish thing I could ever even fathom experiencing. The things that would drive me to binge into oblivion in my former life didn’t even come close to the emotional roller coaster I am on now. Many of the reasons behind the binges had nothing to do with tragic events – I would eat myself numb if I was happy, sad, lazy, nervous, scared, or just bored.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t struggled at all with eating over the last month, but it has been a completely different world because I think I’ve made drastic improvements in my relationship with food over the last few years and have learned that it is not the be-all end-all. While healthy living has definitely taken a little bit of a back burner in light of my recent life events, I have come to realize a few things that are helping keep me on track.

  1. It is normal to feel sad and helpless.
  2. Not working out and eating junk all the time is not going to change the situation at hand, even if it distracts me temporarily.
  3. Exercising helps me release anxiety and makes me better able to be the support to my sister that I need to be right now.
  4. Some things are out of our control, like life events.
  5. Some things we have complete control over, like treating yourself well.

A lot of times over the last month when I’ve found myself standing in front of my open pantry figuring out what I should eat to help ease the pain, I’ve thought hard about these things. Most of the times, I’ve been realizing that nothing is going to ease the pain and I have just walked away and cried or gone out for a bike ride or run or called a friend to talk. Some of the times, the food has won and I’ve given in and eaten the food that was calling my name and focused just on food for once for a few minutes and what to eat next. But I’ve forgiven myself.

I’ve had such a rocky relationship with food for such a large part of my life, that the last 1.5 – 2 years that I’ve really taken the reigns are really nothing compared to the first 24+ years of life where food was what I turned to for everything. I’m getting better, but I’m obviously not there yet.

How is your relationship with food? Do you find yourself giving into bad habits in the face of stress? How do you overcome it?

0 comment on One Month

  1. Katie Photiadis
    October 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth, I struggle with similar issues. I use food to numb myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t want to think about the issue at hand. But after the binge, I ALWAYS feel worse than I did before it.

    I appreciate the courage it takest to openly discuss this issue. I think you’ve taken great strides by mostly resisting the urge to binge during this incredibly challenging time. You’re doing great!!

    • maida
      October 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm (10 years ago)

      Hello all,

      I am so happy to see these blogs! You are all younger than I am, but I have struggled all my life with these issues. I am almost 50 and have a goal of making peace with food, not self medicating with a slice of birthday cake that I can buy in a store near where I work after a brutal day. And, at 170 pounds, my goal at this point is to weigh 150 by the time I trun 50 in February….now it is about the heat health more than the jeans! Thanks so much…..can’t wait to read more!

  2. Becky
    October 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm (10 years ago)

    I can’t even imagine what you are going through, but I am so amazed at your ability to stand strong during times of trial.

    I tend to be an emotional eater. I try to eat stress, sadness, and all negative feelings. It is something I’ve been really working hard to remedy lately. The only way I’ve been able to overcome it is to realize that overeating only makes me MORE stressed and sad and that there is no logic in trying to solve a problem by eating it. It’s hard to remember that while in the moment, but it does help sometimes.

    I am so sorry for your family. I hope it gets less painful soon.

  3. Sara
    October 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth my heart goes out to you! I read your blog everyday and today I just wanted to point out that even though you might feel like you aren’t doing your best or feel helpless you are doing a great job. You recognize you aren’t perfect but that you do what you can. You have changed and aren’t completely binging. You are acknowledging your feelings and coping with them. You are strong! You are healthy! And I know you will get through this. You are in my thoughts.


  4. shiningeyes
    October 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm (10 years ago)

    Honestly, I have a pretty unhealthy dependency on food to get me through hard times too. It’s hard. I lost about 90 lbs to get to my ideal weight, looked & felt great. But then I moved to a new city earlier this year… had new struggles and no support, and fell back into my old ways and gained back 40 lbs. I guess we just look for something to distract us from the pain even if only temporarily. It’s something I have to work out and work through… I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life.

    I know it’s not a consolation, but you have a lot of people that are thinking of you and your family and that are pulling for you all. My heart goes out to you.

  5. Katie
    October 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm (10 years ago)

    My current daily stressors pale in comparison to your family’s grief right now but I still can put myself in your shoes when it comes to coping with stress and using food as comfort. It is during these moments that I sometimes break away from those around me and enjoy a few mindless moments to myself. Whether that be getting a pedicure, going for a walk, going to the mall and just window shopping (or even buying something just because!), those self-reflection moments that take you away from the thought of food or the ability to choose food really help me to regroup and refocus on life.

  6. Gwen
    October 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm (10 years ago)

    Thinking of you Beth. Stay strong for yourself and your family. BIG Hugs.

  7. Lauren
    October 14, 2010 at 4:53 pm (10 years ago)

    Hi Beth. I’m new to your blog! I urge you to go out and buy the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. NOW. It is life changing!! Don’t know what your religious beliefs are, but the title shouldn’t say ‘God’ at all- should say spirit/spirituality. It’s about how our relationship with food represents how we view everything in our life- how we think about ourselves, the world, what others think of us, what someone said to you 10 years ago that still rings in your ears etc… Her message is simple- I want to feel good all the time. I want to nourish by body with what it is asking for. I want to nuture myself- not torture myself. I seriously cannot do this book justice- you just have to read it! Trust me! 🙂

    • Beth
      October 15, 2010 at 11:40 am (10 years ago)

      Thanks for the recommendation! I’m not sure of my religious beliefs at this point either – – I just started going back to church a few weeks ago and it feels right. 🙂

    • maida
      October 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm (10 years ago)

      This is a wonderful book…and there are rules to live by, which I will someday actually live by too!


  8. littleacceb
    October 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Good for you acknowledging that you need to continue to take care of yourself during this time.


  9. Lisa
    October 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve been going through some stuff this last month too. In no way do my petty issues compare to what you and are your family is going through and that puts things in perspective for sure.

    I used to be the same way. Mad? Eat. Sad? Eat. Depressed? Eat A LOT. Those old habits poke up in my life every once in awhile but they are few and far between (luckily).

    I hope you are doing okay.

  10. missmarymc
    October 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    When my father got sick with brain cancer, I was the best WWer ever and lost weight faster than I ever had.

    Because of what you said for #4 and #5. It’s so easy to let things control us instead of controlling the few things we can for ourselves.


  11. Sarah Deman
    October 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth, I admire your way to make this horrible situation a learning experience, and an opportunity to learn more about yourself. I think many of us comfort ourselves with food. For me, I know its always about the instant gratification – Im addicted to the 5 minute high I get from stuffing my face. I admire you for being able to overcome that. Id be elbows deep in a cake if I were in your shoes. I cant wait to have the self control that you do. You are in my thoughts, and thanks for sharing this with us. 🙂

  12. Ashleigh
    October 14, 2010 at 9:59 pm (10 years ago)

    Great post Beth. Look at how far you’ve come! A true inspiration to everyone!

  13. Sue
    October 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm (10 years ago)


    Wishing you, your family condolences… Thank you for sharing your journey. And although no food could take that pain away, I admire you for not numbing out on autopilot.

    You are all in my prayers.

  14. Caitlin
    October 15, 2010 at 12:22 am (10 years ago)

    Thinking of you and your family every day. You are an inspiration and so honest and that’s why I read your blog every day. Thanks for always being so open. Things will definitely get easier.

  15. Karen
    October 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm (10 years ago)

    I came across your blog and appreciate your quick and simple approach to cooking and using whole foods– I get great ideas from it! Coincidentally, I went to high school with your oldest sister.

    I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. My husband and I lost our first son; he was stillborn at 23 weeks gestation in January 2009. So I really feel for you and I wish peace for you and your family. I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Congratulations on your constructive approach to managing your pain in this very difficult time. My thoughts continue to be with you and your family.

  16. sarahsscrumptioussamplings
    October 15, 2010 at 9:49 pm (10 years ago)

    Beth, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing this insight into your struggles and your personal triumphs in battling your emotional dependency on food. #5 is such a remarkable statement. Treating yourself with dignity and respect and love will only help you regardless of the situation. Mucho hugs!!

  17. The Picture in My Head
    October 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm (10 years ago)

    So sorry for your families loss. My daughter (now 5) was born at 24 weeks. My prayers for your grief and your sisters grief over the loss of one little angel, and many blessings for the little one still fighting.

    Congrats on not falling victim to the refrigerator!


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