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Isn't losing a lot of weight kinda like having an eating disorder...

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Old 01-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Isn't losing a lot of weight kinda like having an eating disorder...

Of course, I am NOT taking ED's lightly and I am not in any way saying they ARE the same (I have an MA in psychology for heaven's sake!)

But I know alot about eating disorders... and for those of us who are desperately trying to lose the weight, we certainly share a LOT of the obsessive behaviors that are frequently found in your classic ED cases.

Intake watching, intensely focused calorie counting, documentation of everything that goes in our mouths, exercising to make up for when we aren't behaving perfectly, talking ALL the time about our weight and what we're doing, thinking all the time about our next meal, what we're going to eat, what we want to eat, what we can't eat...

Weighing ourselves obsessivly, checking our appearance constantly, double, triple checking EVERYTHING in our lives...

It certainly is kinda "disordered" thinking, don't you think.

Yes yes--- those with ED's have distorted thought patterns and self-images--- we think we're fat b/c we ARE fat, unlike others. YEs, there are many clinical differences. But I'm just talking about a lot of the physical manifestations.

Just an interesting thought to ponder, ladies....
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:43 PM   #2
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I prefer all the calorie counting, obsesive weighing.documenting, etc..........to 206 pounds on my 5'2" frame.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
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I don't do any of the things you've mentioned and I've lost 70 pounds and kept it off for several years. I suggest investigating "mindful eating." I'm also a huge fan of Geneen Roth's books.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:53 PM   #4
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Do tell, BreakingFree---- how did you do it then without watching carefully what you eat and checking up on yourself all the time/
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:56 PM   #5
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Of course, I think anything taken to extremes isn't a good thing.

When I was heavy, I ate completely mindlessly. If it tasted good and was in front of me, I ate it. I never once thought about the calories or fat content or my health.

Now, I eat mindfully. I do read labels, I do want to know the calorie counts of food (because it's often completely mindblowingly huge). I go online to read the nutritional information for a restaurant because I want and need to make good choices, for my weight and my long term health.

I have found that I can't eat healthy by accident - I have to go to the grocery store and buy fruit, I have to pack lunches. I have to plan healthy meals because they just don't happen. If I don't bring a piece of fruit to work for a snack - my only snack options are the the junk in the machine.

I weigh myself to stay accountable - once a week.

The things I DON'T eat - I don't eat because they are terrible for me - fried foods, fast foods, packaged baked goods, cream based sauces and soda. I don't think I'm obsessed to not want to put terrible things into my body.

Do I have a disorder if I budget my money and don't overspend? I try to look at food and money in a similar way. I have a calorie budget and if I go overspend, I will get heavy. I have to plan and budget to stay within my limits, just like money. Why is it considered laudable to carefully budget and plan money and a disorder to carefully budget and plan food? They both have repercussions if you go beyond your limits.

I am aware and mindful and slender and much happier than when I ate whatever I wanted without ever thinking or planning or counting. Now that I am maintaining my weight loss, I only estimate my daily calories, I don't feel like I'm obsessively counting.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #6
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I guess you could look at it that way but I am not obsessing over things like that. I just take it one day at a time, no calorie counter, no points zilchÖ for me itís just better eating and more exercise, simple common sense I hope. I donít have the patience to be counting calories!
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:13 PM   #7
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I kind of hate food being on my mind all the time - like making 3 times as much chicken for dinner so that i have it for lunches coming up, etc., stuff like that...I'm careful and mindful but i like to think i'm not obssessing LOL, but maybe that's wishful thinking
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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Well - you could look at it from the other angle. Isn't being very overweight a disorder as well?
I like to think of the counting, measuring, weighing and all that is involved with losing weight to be like medicine or a treatment plan for my obesity. I don't know any other way to view it.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:23 PM   #9
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i believe there is nothing wrong with staying focused but like anything else it can be taken too far .. but i defiantly agree there is and obsessive behavior pattern in weight loss.. the thing is there kinda has to be for some people.. i find it easier to sat on track when i monitor everything... and i know i am a little obsessive about it .. but i have to be or i loose focus.. i dont discuss it with other except on this board but i will eat foods for there nutrient content and plan meals around which ever nutrient / vitamin i am low on for the day.. lol I have no desire to take multi vitamins so i want to make the most out of my healthy food lol..
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:23 PM   #10
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What I do now is ordered eating. What got me to 257 pounds was disordered eating. Mindful eating, as Glory put it so well, is not an eating disorder. It's a necessity.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:26 PM   #11
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Different things have worked for me at different times. Getting in touch w/ the emotional triggers for my overeating, both through therapy and extensive reading (again, with a heavy emphasis on Geneen Roth's books; I can't overstress how helpful they've been for me) has been essential. I also don't care how long it takes me to lose the weight; I've been on this "journey" since mid-2002. I find the concepts of "mindful eating" and "listening to your body" to be difficult to practice but very useful and I'd like to be more consistent in using these tools. I also do not "ban" ANY foods and just try to focus on healthy choices and/or the best choice I can make in a given situation. Exercise is also key but I really have not been very consistent with it. Currently I am getting free telephone weight loss coaching through my husband's employer. It has been much more helpful than I expected and keeps me motivated and focussed.

Everyone has what works for them. Just know that there are ways to lose weight that aren't punitive and onerous.

BTW, I have 30-40 more lbs to lose. I wish all the best to all of us in our efforts.
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:28 PM   #12
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I understand what you're saying, Jen. My previous weight loss attempts were just like what you described. I was obsessed with what I could eat, how much I could eat, how I could burn it off and how much I weighed. I finally couldn't take it anymore and just longed to be "normal" and stopped monitoring anything at all. And I gained back all the weight I'd lost and more.

As you pointed out people with EDs have disordered thinking because their weight is normal and therefore doesn't warrant such behavior, but I am fat and I'm going to stay that way unless I have some oversight of how much I eat and how much I exercise. Of course even someone who needs to lose weight to be healthy shouldn't be obsessed with it all. So, is it the unhealthy obsession that makes it an ED regardless of whether you're overweight or underweight? Is obesity in and of itself considered an eating disorder?
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:35 PM   #13
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I think the ED is what made us ...well me I can't speak for everyone...overweight in the first place. I come from a family that is riddled with addictions. Some have alcohol addictions, some have cigarrette addictions, some unfortunately have drug addictions. Mine is food. It is funny how somehow people make outward changes in their life to help and encourage a recovering,drinker, smoker, or drug addict, but not the recovering over eater.

Like my family...Since Jamie quit drinking we don't have alcoholic beverages at family gatherings. Since Marcia and George quit smoking no one smokes at family gatherings. IF Carl is going to be there we clean out the medicine cabinet and lock up the contense. But have we ever had a family gathering with healthy low calorie foods??? Then on top of it family make comments like..."well turkey isn't fattening" (No the turkey isn't but the 3 sticks of butter it was basted with is) "You should eat the vegetables" ( Well the green beans are ladenwith cream soup and the carrots are glazed with butter and brown sugar) or how about, "Go ahead and have a little slice of pecan pie...how much can it hurt?" (Now would she had Jamie a bottle Jack Daniel and say 'a little sip won't hurt'??? I DON"T THINK SO!!)

I know I have an addiction...an addiction to food. So if calorie counting, weighing myself, planning for the next meal is an ED. Well I for one would rather have this ED than the one that got me to over 300 pounds in the first place.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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I had struggled with ED habits as a young teen.
I never really resolved my issues. I went from starving myself to proving that I liked myself by eating.. to emotional eating when my health decided to call it quits. It's been very dysfunctional.

So personally for me, I have to keep my mental voice in check. I dont think I would consider my diligence with calorie counting now as dysfunctional/obsessive behaviour. I try not to get too caught up in it all.

(hopefully that makes sense-seriously sometimes I think working in bureaucracy has made me unable to do anything but talk in circles!!)
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post

Do I have a disorder if I budget my money and don't overspend? I try to look at food and money in a similar way. I have a calorie budget and if I go overspend, I will get heavy. I have to plan and budget to stay within my limits, just like money. Why is it considered laudable to carefully budget and plan money and a disorder to carefully budget and plan food? They both have repercussions if you go beyond your limits.
This is brilliant and I am totally going to steal it. I will be passing this thought off as my own for years to come. It absolutely captures the essence of trying to eat in a healthy, responsible manner.

I, for one, got fat because I looked at food in a totally unhealthy way. It wasn't fuel; it was a cure for boredom or stress. I don't think anything I do to behave in a more logical way towards food could be considered disordered.
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