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The Comfort of Food

The Comfort of Food

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. kalin

    Lisa, I’m sorry you had such an emotional day-2 funerals is a lot to take.

    I’m the opposite of a stress eater (stress anorexic?) If I am stressed I don’t eat at all. Like, it’ll be 4 pm and I’ll realize I have had coffee and seltzer water and nothing else all day. I had a crazy work week a few weeks ago and literally didn’t eat anything until I got home at 5 every day. The good thing is that when I’m stressed it all manifests itself in not wanting to eat (and a desire to puke, fun!) and I don’t realize I’m stressed until it’s happened for a few days.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you Kalin.

      Yes, I can relate to that. I don’t eat sometimes if upset. Yesterday I ate breakfast and then basically didn’t eat much of anything until dinner.

  2. Rachel

    I can’t even imagine the emotional day you had, reading those post brought me to tears and I didn’t know these women. I am so sorry you had to go through that. One funeral is bad enough. Two, and I’d probably just shut down, and yes, turn to food. I don’t do it as much anymore as I used to… I would eat an entire pan of brownies by myself in a day if I was going through rough times. But I still use food as a reward and a comfort, but I do it in a balance. WW has the bonus points, and I use them all on one day, and I behave and adjust my points throughout the week depending on what I’m craving. Good for you for just grabbing the ice cream 🙂

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you Rachel. It was a sad day but I’m glad I went to both. In the past I’ve always turned to food. Your comment about the brownies sounds very familiar to me. I’ve been there many times.

  3. Lori

    {{hugs}} to you Lisa.

    You know, I think it is okay to turn to food sometimes, as long as you turn away again. I know that goes against what a lot of people say, but it can be comforting.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      You know, that ice cream did make me feel better last night. Even if just for a short time.

  4. Lynne

    Wow, what a tough day for you. 🙁

    One of my co-workers passed away this week after a long battle with cancer. She was young-44-and had 2 little kids (5 & 8). As someone who lost my mother at a young age, I just can’t get those little kids off my mind. Like you, I was a chubby kid, but not “fat”. It wasn’t until after my mom died when I was in high school that I really began putting on weight. I was worried that I too would turn to food this week-luckily I didn’t, and didn’t really have any urge. I credit my now healthy lifestyle to that!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m sorry, Lynne. It’s so heartbreaking when someone with kids dies. I always think about the kids so much! 🙁

  5. jane Cartelli

    Oh wow, I never knew Flo but I feel like I do know her a little bit after reading your blog. I am sorry for your loss. The death of the 12 year old girl is beyond my ability to comment. My prayers for her family and friends. I am also praying that those who are friends and co-workers for the family will find healthy ways to support the family going forward.

    When my father died in 2005 I remember turning to food. It is what we always did as a family. Food made things bearable, or so we thought. Eventually I had to learn to feel the loss without the crutch of food. Since then, I have been shown how to engage in healthier outlets when faced with a loss. I can only hope I will turn in that direction when life hits below the belt.

    Exercise is great loss/stress release. I am glad you have physical activity so strong in your recovery.


    1. Lisa Eirene

      I like the phrase “Eventually I had to learn to feel the loss without the crutch of food.” That really spoke to me. It’s so true. You can use it for a little while for some short term comfort but in the end we have to deal with the feelings or they will eat us alive…

  6. Mayumi

    I am very sorry that you had such an emotional day.

    I have to go with Lori. I think it is quite okay to turn to food sometimes, as long as you keep it in moderation and turn away again. You know how to listen to your mind and body. When your mind screams for something once in a while, I think you can listen and follow.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yes, sometimes food does help. Even if just for a little bit. In the past I would have used food for comfort and I wouldn’t have stopped. This time I didn’t go down that road.

  7. Jill

    I am so sorry for the emotional day you had today. So hard. 1 funeral is hard enough- but 2? And for a young child… I just can’t imagine.
    You have reminded me about how people as a society use food to make themselves or the people around them feel better. I remember going to the doctor and needing to get shots and my mom would always try and calm me down by reminding me about the milkshake we were going to get at McDonalds after the shots. Or the times a boyfriend broke up with me and a friend would take me out for ice cream while we talked about it. I think from children we are taught that food makes hurts feel better. Our parents had only good intentions. They did not like to see their children afraid or hurting and wanted to use the “art of distraction” to make us feel better. I think that is why I have it stuck in my brain that ice cream can make anything better! How do we break this cycle? I have tied really hard with my daughter not to fall into this “trap”?

    1. Lisa Eirene

      You are so right–I had the same experiences growing up. I’d get a milkshake from McDonald’s after the dentist. When I got my braces tightened as a teen I’d get ice cream and pudding. Food was always the “reward” or the “answer.”

  8. Eleah

    That sounds like an extremely rough day. I agree with you that letting go with exercising is not the same as doing it with food! Exercising actually makes you feel something.. where as food usually just makes you feel worse. (in the end.)

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I really like that– “exercise makes you feel something” — so true! I feel every emotion when I run or workout really hard and then I feel better once I’m done.

  9. Jennifer

    What a rough day! Seems like you handled it well, though. When I found out our family dog had to be put to sleep, I immediately ordered a pizza and followed that up (not the whole thing! But a few slices.) with ice cream. Whenever I’m worried or stressed, I still turn to food. I try to exercise or talk to people, but sometimes it just doesn’t help. I hope it’s something I can work on.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I can relate to your pizza and ice cream story, Jennifer. That was how I used to make myself feel better too. I’d order a pizza from Pizza Hut, eat most of it, then eat ice cream!

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