Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Do You Comfort Yourself?

Friday I spent visiting my mother.  When I got ready to leave Friday night I realized it wasn't the thing to do so I spent the night.  Good days and bad...and this one wasn't good.  Mother would be the first to agree with me.  Nearly-90 is a struggle for her and every now and then she just gets fed up with it and wants to throw in the towel.  It's just not an easy time.

My strategy has always been to treat mother as I always have...with dignity and as if she were still 65.  We go out to lunch, take a drive, or run a few errands.  I don't think I realized how tired she gets.  I feel like I am doing her a favor to keep our relationship as much like it has always been as possible.  I think it would be doing her a disservice to behave as if she were an invalid.  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe I push too hard.

I left Saturday morning to drive home.  Mother's 'caretaker' and friend was with her so I knew she was in good hands.  My drive is about an hour and 15 minutes.  After about 20 minutes, I told myself I needed a Coke to stay alert and focused.  In the drive-through at MacDonalds I told myself I needed a hamburger too.  It was too early to serve lunch so I settled for an Apple Pie.  I have not eaten an Apple Pie from MacDonalds in years.  I don't eat fast food!!!  But this day, I ate two pies!  I don't know why they put two in the bag but since they did, I just ate them both!

I've started doing this fast food snacking on my weekly trips down and back.  I always have an excuse.  Sometimes I'm sleepy, sometimes bored...or so I tell myself.

What I realized, however, is that this has become a way that I comfort myself.  I was no more hungry when I ate the first apple pie than the man in the moon.  The second one??? Please.  What are you thinking!?!

It's just what people mean by comfort food.  When you feel stressed you probably reach for something.  Do you?  Maybe it's unwanted and unneeded food, like I did.  Maybe you reach for a drink.  Lots of people do.  Some reach for drugs.  Even the most spiritually centered and grounded among us have those moments of looking for self nurture.  I think I realized that more this weekend than I ever have before.

The eating trend of the day only went downhill when I got home!  You wouldn't think it could get any worse but it did.  Today I was better, lunch was a nice healthy home made vegetable soup, green salad and fruit. 

Mother is far too strong, even now, to engage in these behaviors of comforting herself but I wonder if it would help her if she did once in awhile.


  1. An interesting post! I thought you might like to read my posts about comfort food!

  2. Hi, Sandra :)

    Joy has a great site about comfort food ;)

    Well, I use to comfort myself with food, too ... CHOCOLATE ! It's like all my sorrows and pains went away at the first bite... I think it's a natural way we have to comfort ourselves or even recharge us to keep running on our daily battle.

    Have a blessed week :)


  3. Truly food for thought, lately I have been thinking of cutting down on the carbo..

    It seems that the process of eating (not the what I'm eating) is what takes my mind away from troubles & thoughts and keeps them at bay..
    Not good....
    Gotto cut back.


  4. Comfort food, I certainly have my go to's for that - a diet coke and a snickers bar are right at the top. Since I have been working to take all my extra weight off, I can say I have been so much better about not indulging due to emotions or boredome, but certainly not perfect. Now and again I think it is okay, but as a life-long habit on a weekly or even daily basis not so good.

  5. Thanks everyone. I think we're all in there together fighting this one. A little comfort food's gotta go a long way but we want more!!!!!

  6. I know there is comfort food I like but I think under the circumstances you mention I eat more out of boredom than for comfort.

  7. Food in general is a comfort for me!! Especially when I am sad!!

  8. I think for me it was a combinastion of sadness at my mother's feelings plus the boredom of the drive....I think mainl sadness.

  9. Comfort myself? Right now I am munching on a brick of cheddar cheese, "straight, no mixer". Only one little square was my intention, but the comfort was needed...not the food.

    Again, "mea culpa"...



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