Today is the last day of this column on Beliefnet.com. After over 12 years of daily writings on Beliefnet, I’m moving on. I thank God for this wonderful experience. As far as I’ve been told, I’m the last original Beliefnet contributing editor and writer; everyone else is new. Now, however, I need to make some […]
An “overeater” posted a comment the other day with a question on depression and excess weight that I think a lot of us may relate to.
They wrote: “How do people go about focusing on getting unwanted pounds off when they are depressed about having those unwanted pounds to begin with and they turn to excess food for comfort? How does one get out of this cycle? I seriously need to drop 50-60 pounds for health reasons but I am depressed and overwhelmed by the whole idea and I have been for a looooonnnnnnnngggggg time and the days and weeks and months are ticking away…”
My thoughts: First, don’t give up. There is hope. Here are some ideas to try:
- Ask God for help. Always put your unmanageable problems into the care of God, or your Higher Power (as in OA, which you mentioned you’ve attended). Believe that God is helping you, because He is.
- Go see you doctor and have a thorough physical. Make sure you don’t have an underlying medical problem.
- Like in 12 Step programs, “cork the bottle.” Immediately stop eating things that are self destructive, and eat lots of vegetables and some fruit, a little protein, and eat less or eliminate desserts, candy, “snack” foods – things you know give you comfort, but keep you fat. Eat far fewer carbohydrates. Yes, I know this is difficult, but you have the strength of Almighty God with you. (I’m not kidding).
- Develop ways to comfort yourself, and pleasure yourself that don’t have negative side-effects. For example: walk, stretch, dance, make love, breathe, do yoga, drink more water, volunteer, help others, make time for family and friends.
- Keep going to OA or 12-Step meetings and talk about your problems. Get them off your chest.
- Know that you are making a spiritual bridge between your need for comfort and the temporary and immediate “fix” of food – and instead making a CONSCIOUS, deeply loving link to health and self-care by not hurting yourself any further and taking positive action.
Yes, this is difficult. Life can be difficult. Yes, I know you don’t have any will-power. That’s OK. We understand. None of us have any will-power.
Now – post a comment and admit what is bothering you deep down, that you need to overeat to feel better about. Post anonymously.
Post a commitment to try a new approach now, and put your problems TOTALLY into God (or your Higher Power’s) care.