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Grief & Weight Gain

Recently, I learned that a fellow high school student, and his wife, succumbed to the collapse of the Surfside Condo.  Although I wasn’t close to him, one of our RAMmers was very close.  Another RAMmer lost her long-time pet and I haven’t heard from her since.  Unexpected job loss … a partner break-up … the list goes on.  But does grief = weight gain? 

Grief, often-times, comes when you least expect it … and it hits you hard.  It is often said that it isn’t about the hits we take, but how we react and work through things.  What’s that song?  I get knocked down, but I get up again, cause you’re never going to keep me down. 

For many, we have a tendency to eat more (comfort eating) when we are unhappy in life.  When we experience a grief-like situation, it creates a challenging situation that will make you want to eat.  Heck, when someone dies there is always food involved at the funeral-related services. 

According to Foodism, “Loss can make us feel a compulsion to eat or to eat excessively, known as hyperphagia,” Cawley says.  “This is because we deal, distort, and substitute our drives at an unconscious level, so in excessive eating we are trying to substitute gratification in food for other needs that we have lost such as love and attachment.” 

So, what do we do to combat this comfort eating?  Research shows some key steps to take:

  1. Breathe to lower stress levels
  2. Stock up on healthy meals and snacks – do it early.
  3. Do some gentle exercise (like going to the grocery store to buy health meals and snacks).
  4. Allow yourself to grieve … don’t be hard on yourself and don’t be afraid, when ready, to talk with someone. 

If you, or someone you know, is grieving, go for a gentle walk, pick up some healthy snacks, inhale/exhale slowly, and talk about things … nothing here could hurt and you just might thwart the weight gain in front of you. 

Wikipedia definition of Grief: Grief is the response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or some living thing that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, grief also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, while grief is the reaction to that loss.

RIP Ricky …


  • Alfie Perez says:

    Great post Kurt! As you know I lost my good friend and classmate Ricky Rovirosa .
    While I did feel down for several days , I chose to focus on the great times shared . Scrapped up old and recent photos of time spent with Ricky and gave thanks to God for allowing me to share these great times with him
    This tragedy has sparked a change in me … let’s try to live life to it’s fullest , forget the negative and get rid of the baggage . Focus on living you life and enjoying family and friends !!
    Keep up the good work on your diet !!

  • coach says:

    Nice Comment and things to think about … living life with responsible passion. I was thinking of you and hope you are recovering well from your personal loss. Thank you for your inputs …