Why do we overeat when we grieve?


I’m going to write a few blogs here that are going to cross over to both of my blogs. Sort of like when the kids from Diff’rent Strokes tv show would show up on the Facts of Life.  (I loved both of those shows, by the way.)Something that I am passionate about is supporting grieving people.  I’m also passionate about overcoming obesity.  And the lack of material out there that talks about the two of them together is pretty much nil.  Surprised? I’m not.  Let me tell you why.

Two very taboo subjects in our culture are grief and weight. It’s only in recent years that people have started focusing on healthy grief after a loss and have realized that they have been going about it the wrong way.  And with obesity, well,  it’s something that no one wants someone to focus on when it is happening to them.   Conversely, no one wants to focus on another person’s obesity either because it is probably going to come off as offensive.

I’m going to write a series of blogs over the next few days and what I want to focus on are four kinds of loss:  loss of a child, loss of a parent, a loss that takes a long time to happen like cancer or Alzheimer’s, and a quick traumatic loss like a suicide or car accident….  or even a public quick (and incredibly traumatic)  loss like 9/11.  I want to focus on why we probably overeat when we are experiencing/have experienced them.  I want to brainstorm ways of PREVENTING that in the future.  So, in bringing it out in the open, I hope to make it less of a taboo subject and get people more proactive in thinking about how they are soothing or comforting their bodies or how they are building up a wall around themselves or how they are thinking that food is the only way to cope, etc.

I’m totally open to any thoughts or ideas about this.  🙂


Diff'rent Strokes

Diff’rent Strokes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)







Will my marriage crumble if I have weight loss surgery?

People ask this question a lot.  I would also get asked this question when I met someone who just lost a child.  “I’ve heard that such big changes can end my marriage! Is that true?”  Well, yes and no. 

Just like having another baby won’t “fix” a failing marriage (we’ve all seen that one, right?) losing a baby or losing 100 lbs does not mean that you will get divorced.  It is tough, true.  BUT, the advice I give people is that if your marriage is bad, it will probably get worse.  If it is good, it will probably stay the same or get better.  I don’t want to simplify it and only you both know if your marriage is “bad” or “good” or if it will be bad or good in hindsight. But, losing a ton of weight or having a ton of grief changes people and for two people to come out unscathed there has to be a lot of respect, trust, understanding, and a good foundation to the marriage.  If that’s not there, well? I mean, WLS or having a new baby or having a baby die never *fixes* a failing marriage.  We can all agree on that, right?

I guess we need to look at the reasons for wanting surgery in the first place.  Is it to make your husband jealous?  Are you not getting enough attention? Or do you want to be happy and healthy?  How do you think that you will react to the new attention you’re getting from people of the gender that you find attractive?  (See that I didn’t assume that you were straight! See what I did there? 🙂  ) These are questions to think about before surgery because if you follow the program you WILL lose weight. You may not get skinny, you may not keep it all off, but your self esteem might change and life could get different.  Your spouse might feel left out.  He/she might feel unattractive now.  Maybe you are talking about food and diet and carbs too much and that is boring to him/her. 

So, it’s a good thing to wonder about but honestly, I cannot tell you for sure.  You’ll have to work at it.  But if you already have good communication skills —  you’re doing great!