Dear Annie: I have struggled with weight my entire life. I have been on every diet imaginable. I finally had bariatric surgery in 2014. I had complications and was very sick. Once I was better, the weight came off, and I kept it off for 3 1/2 years. I retired, and we sold our house and relocated from Ohio to Florida. Ever since, I have been eating sweets and snacks, and I've gained back 50 pounds of the 200 I lost. It seems my eating is based on my emotions. I eat for comfort when I'm sad. I eat when I'm happy. And I eat when I have any other emotion. Could it be that I am addicted to food? I really need your advice. I don't want to gain my weight back after all I went through to lose it. — Emotional Eater
Dear Emotional Eater: Food addiction is real, and it very much could be what you're experiencing. The upheaval of the move may have caused some anxiety, prompting you to return to eating as a source of comfort. Enlist the help of a therapist, and consider joining a support network such as Food Addicts Anonymous (https://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org) or Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (https://www.foodaddicts.org). Meetings are offered in person, online and via telephone.
Dear Annie: I am a Vietnam vet. I am not going to tell you all the horrendous details about my time in the service, but I have a bad back from falling out of a chopper while being rescued. My buddy went up, and I was not in all the way. But my life and others' were saved.
I was married before I went into the service. She was a beautiful girl and said she would be there for me. But when I got back, I could tell it was over. I never asked her why she stopped loving me, but I have loved her all this time. We went out and found her an apartment, and I painted it for her and fixed a stove for her. I divorced her several years later. Don't know why. Since then, I have not married. She has.
I live a very lonely life. I meet women from time to time, but it just never works out. It's me; I know. Now I stay away from them. It will never work out. There was one true love in my life, and she is still there.
I don't know what I can do now. I'm in my 70s and in good health. I do keep in touch with my Army buddies, and some are as bad as I am. Others have had loving relationships. The war and the wife have destroyed me. I am now alone. I will not call for help with anybody. — Should I Give Up?
Dear Should I Give Up?: I am so sorry for what you were put through in the war, and I'm sorry for the pain you're still living with. Though I don't know you, I care about you, and so do many others. You say you won't call anyone for help, but you already have by reaching out with your letter. That's a first step. Take the next step and try connecting with someone in your community. The Wounded Warrior Project organizes peer support groups for veterans; you can find out more information by calling 888-997-2586 or emailing [email protected] Please do not give up.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]