Grief and comfort eating

So most of you know my Mum died in April and this week my ill Nan died.

I feel like I've been carrying around this burden for months and I'm have a lump in my throat where I just need to cry or do something, just to get it out.

Today has been particularly bad, I feel like I just tried to carry on and be "normal" for the sake of the kids.

I seek comfort in sugar - biscuits, chocolate or cake. I don't eat tons, but enough to tip the balance. I made a pledge not to eat this stuff, but it's really hard.

Anyway have any of you been grieving whilst trying to lose weight and how did things work out for you?




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19 Replies

  • It is so difficult not to comfort yourself with food. I do feel for you and understand what you are going through; tough times at the moment. Do your best to talk to friends, family if they want to talk, or even the dog if you have one! Write your feelings down - you can burn them later but get it out if you can. Walk in the fresh air - climb a hill - it helps to put things in a better perspective somehow. Let yourself imagine your Mum and Nan watching you, and being proud of you and your efforts to make the best of yourself. Take Care...

  • Thank Your Dartmoor Dumpling - talking to us like that will help many in similar circumstances.

  • Isou7000 I am so sorry for your losses, grief can make it so difficult to concentrate on your diet and for many it makes them turn to food for comfort. However, it rarely offers the comfort you are seeking, in fact it adds to the burden as you end up beating yourself up about eating badly

    I wish I had an easy answer for you but everyone grieves differently and everyone copes differently all I can say is that when you feel ready you will be able to take control of your diet and when that time comes I am sure you will find this site a great inspiration and encouragement

    All best wishes

  • I’m deeply sorry to learn of your loss, isou7000.

    As such, it’s certainly not difficult to appreciate your current feeling, particularly since grief is something that must run its course. The fact you’ve been dealt a double dose in recent months simply compounds the difficulty in coming to terms with events.

    Currently, seeking occasional comfort in biscuits, chocolate and cake is no doubt the least of your worries, so don’t feel guilty about reaching for them. Moreover, their calorie content can be used in the future, to provide energy, once you feel ready to begin introducing a calorie deficit again.

    Besides, there are far worse methods in which to seek comfort from grief.

    Equally, if you feel the need to display emotion (tears) over your loss, then go ahead, since it’ll hopefully provide a sense of release. Even if your release does occur in the company of friends or family, nobody is going to criticise you.

    As for weight loss, whether it’s three, six or twelve months down the line, it’s always something that you can return to, having taken the time to grieve, reflect and re-evaluate.

    Your mum and nan would no doubt despair at the thought of you over-burdening yourself at the moment, so take time and re-apply yourself as and when you feel ready.

  • It's very sad when someone we love dies, and as annde says we all grieve differently. Personally I try to keep my mind busy, puzzles, jigsaws, researching family history, a good tv programme - anything that stops me thinking too much.

    I can only suggest you try to find what helps you to cope and don't worry overmuch about your 'diet'. Are your children young? If so maybe wait until the kids are in bed, then have a good cry, if you don't want them to see. If they are older, they will understand your sadness and perhaps need to show their sadness too.

    Sending (((((hugs)))))

    Mouse 🐭

  • Im sorry for your loss. Personally i think youve got enough to deal with atm and maybe dont pressure yourself over weightloss for a bit. I know its hard though to put to oneside. Atleast dont beat yourself up if you use food for comfort at the moment, you wont always feel like this.

    Wishing you better days soon.


  • Thank you everyone for your kind replies and taking the time to answer me.

    Yes I have 4 kids under 6. I think part of the problem is I was estranged from my mother and when she died I found out about her death 6 weeks later from a family member when her funeral was posted online. I never got the chance to say goodbye or try and patch things up, despite trying many times while she was alive. My father, brother, sister and maternal grandmother all ostracised me too and my paternal grandmother (the one that just died) was the only one who kept contact. I told my dad I still love him and want him to have a relationship with me and the kids, but he just made digs about how wonderful my siblings are the last time I spoke to him. It hurts so much.

    I've spoken to my husband about it, but to be honest after 12 years, he's tired of listening to my family problems. He has always supported me, but I feel like whatever I say to him is nothing new 😢 They treated him dreadfully so it's no wonder.

    Anyway I have to try and get a grip and stop snacking. You're all right, it is only a temporary fulfilment, then you feel disgusted afterwards.

    Have a lovely Sunday everyone 😘

  • Hello isou700. I am so sorry for your loss, first your Mum and then your dear Nan.

    Reading your post I can see you have a lot of things to work through here, not just the grief as most of us know it. With four very young children, Im guessing you're quite a young woman yourself. I lost my mum nearly fifty years ago when I was a stroppy teenager , and to this day I would give anything to go back and make some amends ....

    Please dont think you have to just "get on with it" by yourself. If you havent already thought of having some professional support I'd really recommend you consider it . Ask your GP Practice what is available thru them. Or look at the website '' ( I've used them both as a client and as an employee), Relate deals with all manner of whole family situations including loss, death or estrangement. Also try 'Cruse' which specifically covers bereavement.

    As others have said, be kind to yourself about the diet for now but do try to get enough healthy food as well to keep your strength up for your little ones. 😊

  • I am so sorry for your losses and can only say as others have said do whatever you have to in order to get through this time.

    I lost my sister 4 years ago and she was 6 years younger than me, other family issues also added pressure so depression followed and weight gain ballooned. My problem was I would try to talk to family members but they didn't want to know, if you have a member of your family who you know you can let your heart out to speak to them, spend a little time talking with them, maybe arrange a time where you will speak to each other weekly etc.

    As mums we try to be strong and lock our own feelings away but after my breakdown my kids ( they are grown up) were amazing, listening to me, giving advice, much better than my husband was who doesn't really do emotional problems.

    Believe me kids are very astute so normal doesn't come into it, talk to them too they may have questions to ask or something they would like to do to remember their great nan and grandma like making something for the house/garden etc.

    There isn't a normal when you have lost someone special there is just a liveable time that follows. I still cry after 4 years, suddenly at times and even talk aloud to my own grandparents who I lost many years ago but who I was very close to. Find comfort however you can even if the calories go over a little but above all show your feelings bottling them up doesn't do any good and I should know I would have got A* for that.

    Best wishes don't be hard on yourself and take care. Bev💐💐💐💐💐

  • Hi I have just read your update above after posting my bit to you and can see you have had an awful lot to put up with for many years.

    I wondered if it is worth speaking to your GP as there seems to be a lot that has been going on for years beforehand maybe you are bottling up.

    My friend who lost her mum last year and has fallen out with her only remaining sibling has done this and is seeing a councillor, she says this is helping her understand a lot of her past that was causing her problems.

  • What a horrible time you've had isou7000. It sounds like 2001 for me. I can't say of course what suits you but I can say a few things about my own experience .

    Grief is a clean emotion. So is loss. By that mean They are gone and there is nothing I can do about it. At the back of my mind I knew I would not have wished to prolong my mother's misery further, and her departure released her from a half life.

    Other life stresses, ( family intransigence for want of a better word - I don't want to discuss it here) were harder for me in terms of eating. I overate when things were difficult.

    The difference between experiencing grief and experiencing family stresses was about control . I was taking responsibility for other people's behaviour and feeling wobbly and out of control. That's when my weight ballooned.

    By comparison grief was clean. I had this terrible sense of loss but no division in my mind about how I should behave.

    As you can see this is about me. You may need to be kind to yourself for a while until you have learned to live with the loss. It may not be realistic for you at the moment to expect to continue losing weight, but if you're able to

  • Sorry phone problems. If you're able to maintain that's a huge achievement . If not then be kind to yourself and seek the company of people who support you.

  • Hi Isou7000,

    My sincere condolences on your loss - I know this is an understandably difficult and upsetting time in your life, and your situation is complicated by your family estrangements, and I would say just do what you can, be kind to yourself, and I agree with derrygeel that seeking the company of people who support you is important, at this time. I would like to send you a big hug.

    When things are difficult in my life, I think of the saying 'This too will pass' - and I find that comforting. I don't know if that saying will help you, but I thought I'd mention it, just incase.

    Allow yourself to grieve, it is a natural and normal process, and just do what you need to do - take care.

    Lowcal :-)

  • So sorry to hear of your bereavements and the past history of family relationships.

    It is actually important to take care of yourself so just make sure you are getting enough nutrients to keep you healthy. Having your husband and children to care for will help with this. Don't replenish the supply of biscuits, chocolates etc - or only those that the others like and you don't (then you are less likely to start on them).

    Mourning can affect us in either direction as far as food consumption is concerned.

    We had been married for 42 years when my husband died in August. I have no family (am an only child, parents died in the 1990s, no children of our own, no extended family). My response included cutting my calorie intake to around 1200 during his final month and after his death. I'm now well within the approved BMI range but that brings the regret that I was overweight/obese for so long during our marriage when he would have liked me to have been slimmer.

  • So sorry for your loss, you are understandably emotional at the moment, don't be hard on yourself regarding your diet. Just try and eat as healthily as possible as that will give you strength to get through this very difficult time. Sending hugs x x

  • So sorry to hear what you have been going through, I think when you,ve lost Someone and you haven't spoken in a while it adds extra pressure on you but however when you have young children like you have they will see what your going through and try and help you in their own way take comfort in this, when my husband died suddenly with no warning we were all in shock however my 4year old grandson decided we needed cheering up so he tried to make us laugh and remember the good times, that,s what you need to think of to help get you through this tough time. One other thing we heard of sending balloons to heaven which helped my grandson comes to terms with the loss of his grandad, he still sends balloons up on the anniversary, Christmas and his grandad birthday

  • What a lovely bunch of people you are. Thank you so, so much.

    I'm sorry for the losses that some of you have had to deal / are dealing with at the moment.

    I haven't thought about counselling, but I think it might do me some good to get it out to an impartial ear.

    I think I need some time by myself just to be quiet, but that only happens when I'm in the bathroom 😉

    I used to work full time as a secondary school teacher for seven years before I had the kids. I've gone back part time, have done tutoring from home and marked exam papers, now I feel like I need to go back and do something more substantial after taking a year's maternity, but have lost all my confidence.

    I will try to take it a day at a time, maybe just deal with one hurdle at a time, instead of trying to do too much and this forum gives me so much focus.

    I love coming on this site - reading others' success stories, helping others' through problems, joining in with challenges. It does a great deal of good 😊

    Love you all take care 💜💕

  • The days will slowly get a little easier and as you learn to manage your bereavement ( sorry, 'manage' sounds a bit strong, but I hope you know what I mean) then your level of happiness and self confidence will gradually improve...

    As for your job, I hope you have an understanding Head or Governor with whom you can share some of this , and who will try to accommodate your return gently, not right in at the deep end.

    It occurs to me also that, back in my day at least, LEA's used to offer a staff counselling service, and more recently when I worked at Relate, some local authorities had contracts with us for staff counselling.

    All the best isou7000 x

  • Thank you so much elliebath. I think that's a good idea.

    You're very kind. Have a good day 😘

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