Prego and the Loon

Can You Eat Your Way To Happiness?

In Life on November 18, 2012 at 8:13 am


The fast food drive thru (especially my yummy shake) saved me from myself, and my screaming child who was driving me nuts today. Food is currently my treasured lover, and shopping my new best friend. Alone at night I find that I stuff my face to comfort myself, and I shop to feel beautiful. Lately my self esteem is so low, and my single mommy frustration is sky rocketing. Sporadic uncontrollable tears are dropping like loose time bombs. My heart is like a sinking ship at the thought of happily married couples, beautiful pregnancies, and cheery baby showers. Each is a painful reminder of the past, and the fantasy I envisioned yet never had. It is also a dreadful reminder of an unforeseen future. I don’t see a role model husband (or any for that matter), a father figure for my child, or the family I created in my reality. I feel like I’m stuck in a catch 22… I want to get out and meet some new people, but a babysitter is expensive and I’m broke. In addition to my financial standing I have a difficult time trusting others with my child due to circumstances regarding the abusive Ex. The few times I have escaped for a mommy night out I often end up feeling lost and out of place. I don’t feel like this everyday, but these thoughts constantly run the treadmill through my head. Any thoughts or suggestions on how I can break free from this cycle of emotional eating and shopping?

  1. This is not a tip for the emotional cycle you are in, but some break time might make a huge difference.

    Do you have friends with kids? If so, perhaps you can suggest a babysitting swap. One day, you watch their child for an agreed amount of time. The next time, they watch yours for the about the same amount of time. You take turns, so it’s fair square, but no money is exchanged. I know that means your friend won’t be free, but you can have some quality alone time to go to the movies or do something else you find relaxing. I do a babysitting swap with some women from my mom’s group, and it works out great.

  2. Ahyup…get a baby sitter for walking. Walk away everything including eating too much. Then walk right into whatever you feel is clearing your mind and enjoy the little things !! Perhaps it is not meant to be, at this time, to be out at a night on the town. Get some walking in girl !!

  3. Eating for comfort is not always a bad thing! Don’t be too hard on yourself πŸ™‚

    Exercise always helps me when I feel like I’m eating myself into oblivion. It’s always hard to push myself to get my trainers on, but the after effects make me feel better. Hope it works for you too.

  4. I know this takes money, but if you could find some way to pay for a membership to a local YMCA that provides free childcare while you workout and other activities you and your child could even do together — great socialization for your child in supervised setting where you can check in periodically, and very importantly a healthy outlet for you, with potential to meet others and stay active (keeping you away from the unhealthy eating/shopping cycle that could be traded out to help pay your YMCA/fitness club fees). But, don’t beat yourself up over that occasional indulgence — food can be a positive comfort as well as great centerpiece for friendship, conversation, etc as well! ~ Kat

  5. When I feel at the bottom, I like to surround myself with positive people. Be on the look out for happy people and make some new friends. πŸ™‚ I also find that is I give myself something to do, I have less time to think about all the things that bring me down. There is a lot of therapy in DIY.

  6. I don’t have any advice, but my best wishes are with you!

  7. I feel like having a hard time trusting people with your child is normal for everyone abusive ex or not. I don’t have kids, but I have been a nanny and a preschool teacher and interviews for both were extensive. I think what you are feeling is normal, but talk to people with children. Maybe they have suggestions or can recommend a babysitter. Also, have you ever heard of Maybe there is a group of single moms or moms or families in your area. There are meetup groups for everything – movie goers, hiking, walking, art, book clubs. Explore the social options you can do on your own or with your child. The hardest part is leaving the house.

    Yes, you are a single mother, but the two of you are still a family πŸ™‚ Those you surround yourself with are family too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

  8. I don’t have any advice, but I can relate. Food and escapism (usually into a book or a daydream) have always been my go-tos, and in the past few years, I’ve discovered that I have some issues with shopping as well.

    Know that you’re not alone.

  9. Ice cream, books, all those I know too well. I think that each of us finds our own way, walking, journaling, blogging, finding a friend for support – all of these can help but it’s the first step that’s the hardest. I hope it begins to clear for you . Your child will learn strength and perseverance from you.

  10. Sweet Girl, I have not been down your road, but my own as been disorienting and tragic and painful. For about two years I lived with a fist in my chest instead of a heart and I every day felt like I was trudging up a hill. Every. Single. Day. My desperate brain searched for relief. I considered running away (shopping is running). I considered drugs (food is a drug). And after I considered each possibility I considered the consequences. They were not acceptable to me. And I finally realized all I had was God. I’m not an especially religious person, but that’s what I had. It’s what you have.

    I’m sorry to say that you’re just going to have to keep on trudging up that hill. Every. Single. Day. But I’m THRILLED to say, you’ll get to the top. And the view is spectacular. And at the top of that hill is joy, and relationships and happiness. All of which you deserve. All of which is on its way to you. God speed, Sweet Girl. God speed.

  11. Hi. All I can offer you is a hug and a prayer. NO matter how lost or alone you are and whether you believe in God or not, talk to Him like He is your bestfriend.

    If only you live near me, I can offer you a playdate and a cup of coffee. Take care and hold on.

    God Bless you. x

  12. I understand you – well not your particular reason for the over eating though the emotional comfort that comes from it. I binge on food almost nightly, it is the only time I feel complete comfort and peace from my struggles.

    Afterwards it can feel so lonely..

    I hope you manage to resolve this and when you do.. please put some helpful information on how to do so up.. xx

  13. I think everyone has pretty much covered it, but I’ll put my two cents in anyway. Everything you are suffering emotionally is real and painful. The thing to note is that you can actually heal your own heart and mind by changing what you say to yourself in your head. It’s hard, it takes a long time, but it can be done.

    I had something horrible happen in my ‘happy’ marriage 7 years ago and I thought I was going to die. I also had a baby right in the middle of it all. I told myself I would allow myself two years to work on healing. That’s about the human standard (according to research) amount of time it takes to really ‘get over’ something traumatic if you work positively on healing.

    I am not religious and so I didn’t need to turn to any deity in order to get my support, but hey, do whatever works for you. I simply used counselling (which you should be able to get either free or cheap? Not sure what country you live in…). There are a lot of networks online that you can tap into while your little one sleeps.

    Working on healing involves changing the voice in your head to slowly stop pointing out what you are missing out on since that is something you have built up in your head. You need to view your life right now, as it is, and find things to be grateful and positive about within your life.

    Like I said, it’s hard. You sound strong though, and I’m sure you can do it. I came through the other side a much happier person than when I began and in some ways I think the universe sent us that challenge to test us and make us strong for what was to come with my son’s issues and so on. It worked. We are stronger for it. We are wiser, and we are infinitely more equipped to help our son through.

    Hang in there. You’ll get through it. Eat what you want, but then get the pram out and walk, walk, walk πŸ™‚

  14. Dear Preggo and the Loon, Thanks for the Like in my post over at Savvy Single Suppers. I understand “the balm of food for what ails ya”. In my own experience, learning to cook nourishing, healthy and delicious food for yourself was a great leap towards self-love and more energy. Taking the time to plan a great line-up of menus for the week has reduced my own stress-eating, heightened my anticipation about the days ahead, fed my creative urges and given me a sense of control over at least one small aspect of my life. Perhaps if you follow along with me over here, your search for food happiness will lead to lightness instead of darkeness!? And then you’ll be inviting folks over for supper . . . and you’ll have some people to lighten your load and maybe even trust enough to baby-sit for you? God speed.

  15. Hi! thanks for stopping by my blog. I have only one comment to this. Check out If you are going to eat ice cream (for whatever reason), eat the good stuff. Hugs!

  16. if there is one in your area – look into Parents Without Partners. Check out Christian singles is you are Christian. My dad met some very nice people at both of these organizations. You have to interact with a human to socialize and that will get you away from your cycle. Remember all men are not bad just as all women are not bad. There are many people in same boat. Divorce is at over 50%. Two cents from a dead poet. Good luck!

  17. Maybe you can start by meeting fellow moms in a daycare and then you can go on dates with your kids in tow in a coffee shop that tends to kids while you talk away and enjoy coffee.

  18. You are a sweet soul…to let us have this intimate look inside says much of your strength and good character. Remember that compliment…I don’t give them out easily! πŸ˜‰

    Look into the organization called, “MOPS”, or “Mothers of Pre-Schoolers”. I found my, once a week, gathering to be of great benefit for myself and my daughter at the time.

  19. I got an idea, why don’t you enroll in a MMA, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jujitsu gym, along with your kid? I assume your kid is not a baby anymore. Kids in Thailand train in martial arts before they are 6 years old. Its a good way for both you and you kid to get in shape and gain focus. Eating too much sweets and junk food is bad for your health.

  20. I find when I’m feeling overwhelmed and under-resourced that it helps to break things into more manageable chunks. Sometimes I forget but every day I try to think of one thing that I truly like about myself/my life and just spend a few minutes basking in that, for lack of a better word, goodness and appreciate it. I also like to give myself little goals, some easy and immediate and others more abstract and future-based to retain some perspective and a sense of movement/accomplishment. Finally, it helps to have sympathetic ears, some that can offer advice and others that simply are “there.” I hope the light at the end of the tunnel starts looking brighter. My heart is with you πŸ™‚

  21. I’ve been there, eating to fill the void in me, to repair my broken heart and gained more than 30 pounds. This is a vicious cycle. We eat not feel lonely or feel better. but what happened to me was a slow weight gain at first. I was not happy with how I looked and felt more depressed, this lead to more eating and I fell into this abyss. I knew eating was not a remedy for my depression, but knowing is not enough. One should be ready to break this cycle. Well, my solution was loving myself truly and being mindful of what I feed myself with, not only edible food but thoughts, TV, etc. I distanced myself from negative people, closed my receptors to negative stuff to keep my sanity and broke the cycle. I lost 35 pounds at the age of 52 with no workout which is really a miracle for a postmenopausal woman. When you are alone with a cup of ice-cream or a bar of chocolate, just think: ”Will this solve my problem? Will this eliminate my depression or loneliness?” The taste and pleasure from one bite is the same as that you get from a whole cup or bar if you are mindful of that bite πŸ™‚ Drugs, alcohol, gambling, one-night stands, overeating are a few things we become addicted to fill the void in our soul. We all have that void, even the happiest appearing people. Just try to fill it with something else, simple pleasures of life. This blog is an extremely useful tool where you find support and also provide support to others who have been, and still are, abused. And you have your son πŸ™‚

    A practical thing: Delete the ritual that leads to excessive eating. If it’s ice-cream at nights, don’t buy them, don’t do the stuff you usually do before that eating process. Being mindful is the key.

    You survived a disaster, witnessed the shattering of your dreams in the worst way. You survived the worst. You can do this πŸ™‚

  22. Advice on changing the food-eating habit? Sigh…you saw my blog. I try my best, but one way to feel good and actually make a change in your outlook is spending time in nature. This does not mean hitting the road and driving for hours, especially if that’s what you envision. It just means getting out. If you’ve got a park close by, then go there. Take your little bundle of joy, or find a babysitter. Anyway, the science is out there as far as the wonders of nature are concerned. Here’s one website of hundreds that explains why it’s so good for you…

    As for feeling out of sorts…ha, yep been there. After divorcing my ex when my kids were 14, 12 and 6 years of age, it took me a while to feel like I fit in anywhere. I found a group of people who all enjoyed riding motorcycles, of course this was my time away from my kids. When it came time to spending quality time with my new group of friends outside of riding…well, I was a fish out of water, because more of them were single and did not have kids.

    I was alone for 6 years before meeting my second husband. It wasn’t bright and cheery all the time, and yes, I cried for a good solid year immediately after my divorce. But I did find a way to adjust and make due with what I had, even if was just driving for 20 minutes into the mountains with my kids to have a picnic.

    Hmmm…long story short…time is what it takes. And so during that time, find small things aside from food and shopping to make you smile and then count those smiles and remember what it is that you are doing so that you can come back to it when you need to smile again.

  23. We dont know why things happen the way they do. I’m just glad that in the end of the messes, the crying, the shame and testing, my character builds, I am stronger and I have a God that I can rest on. Thank you for sharing, speaking to others is the best way to get out of a good funk sometimes πŸ™‚

  24. I am in a healthy marriage with a 2 year old… and I still feel many of the things you described. Motherhood can be very isolating. I have been listening to guided meditation from Meditation Oasis (; they’re only 15-25 minutes long and they are a nice little break full of relaxation and positivity. I also try to do 15 minutes of yoga (3 x per week) and have recently joined a parenting support group. I’m sure there’s one in your area and they often have free child-minding. It’s always good to talk to people who are in the same situation as you. Good luck! Don’t forget that this is a phase and good times are ahead!

  25. Everything costs money– even deciding to grow your own veggies. πŸ™‚ Instead of being glued to the TV or online, now I have a nice size garden plot, and I spend hours out there. That has been a life savior for me. Depending on the season where you are, bicycle riding always did wonders for me, but not since I’ve retired to the Philippines. Of course, bicycles cost money too, unless you find someone who is not using theirs or has more than one. Thanks for the open sharing I am sure many will benefit from all that you share.

    Thanks for the follow and comments– otherwise I would have missed an opportunity to say– openess is the best even if rain comes through the broken window.

  26. Your authenticity is so inspiring to me, and I really love your style of writing. Sometimes I hold back on my writing because I am afraid to let people to see everything. I admire your bravery. Lately, like you write about above, I’ve been struggling with my own thoughts. It’s like your treadmill, and I can’t get off of it. It’s all related to starting my blog. I pour my heart out and I don’t know if people read it or if it helps anyone. If you have any suggestions for me, for my blog, my writing, to find support from other bloggers, I would appreciate it more than you know. Keep it up!

  27. Thank you for stopping by…you have a very thoughtful blog, I know I can learn from you and grow in my own spiritual walk. Blessings! Patty

  28. I am so sorry to read of your troubles, Prego. You are a strong and courageous woman who has turned her life around before and you can do it again. Sometimes as mothers, we get so caught up doing things for our kids that we forget about ourselves. All of the advice above is fantastic, positive and real. Get out of the house as much as you can, join a single mum’s group and enjoy the company of other mums. Many of them will be feeling just as alone and troubled as you are. Sending you beautiful, positive energy. Stay strong.

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