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Old 10-28-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Treat/indulgence vs binge/cheat

I keep reading posts about "cheat days" and "treats". I am struggling to think about the difference for me, and I wonder what the rest of you think.

I have a lot of treats. For me the difference is the controlled nature of what I am trying to do. I used to divide my overeating into "sick" and "Thanksgiving". Thanksgiving eating was when there was a lot of special food, you ate a little too much, mostly by choice. "Sick" (for me) is when the eating is out of control, may start as pleasure but ends up with my eating stuff I don't even want. I almost never am willing for folks to see me indulging in "sick" eating. (A family size bag of potato chips, a whole loaf of sour dough bread from Panera, a tube of cookie dough from the store, yes the whole tube.) Thanksgiving eating is in control enough that I am okay doing it publicly.

My own goal is to give up the "sick" eating. (This is my term for it, for me I think it is a sickness.) I want to retain the treats and indulgences, just keep them in control.

For the last seven months this has seemed pretty easy. I'm scared that it won't last...that one of these days what I call my "feed me demons" will wake up from their nap and launch a full scale attack.

Does anyone else struggle with the difference between these two types of overeating. (No matter what you call them.) How do you fight the sick binging eating?

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Old 10-28-2008, 11:43 PM   #2
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I have to say that I honestly don't struggle with the difference between them. I know when I'm making a conscious decision to eat something that is calorie heavy and nutritionally not-so-great. I believe that I really do have a handle on my lifestyle, which includes treats and no-count meals.

I will admit that I do struggle, once in a while, with what you describe as "sick" eating. That "oh well, I've f'd up so I might as well eat a whole bag of chips" kind of eating.

But I honestly - after 2 years of living like this - don't believe that the 1st leads to the 2nd for me. For me, the circumstances, conditions, and mindset that leads to the 2nd, the "sick eating" is WAY different from the first. I've never had a no count meal or a treat where I used it as a stepping off point for a binge, that I can recall.

For me it's 100% emotional - when something happens that really upsets my equilibrium, I abdicate from being responsible for my life and the first thing I turn to is food and drink. I know I'm doing it ... I don't deny it or justify it. I just do it.

Thank goodness it doesn't happen often and I'm learning to recognize the situations where it might happen and figure out ways to control myself that don't require me to have will power at that particular point. I'm also learning to better control my environment, my emotions, and have taken steps to change things in my life that have been affecting me emotionally and causing that kind of eating. I won't at all claim to be perfect at it, but I'm getting better ... slowly.


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Old 10-29-2008, 02:03 AM   #3
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Its going to take time to be able to control the "sickness" we have. Im sure I will personally always struggle with my addiction to food. I think I just have to learn to control myself enouph to not do the "sick" eating. There is a definite difference between giving yourself a treat and just completely loosing all self control and mindlessly binge eat on anything in site, which i have personally done numerous times. with a treat (which i am going to start calling it) it has to stop at that one treat. you have to just, somehow, know where to draw the line. im writing this as much to myself as anyone else
Like with any other addiction....it takes self control, and time to retrain yourself how to think about food. A treat is something we deserve once in a while as a reward. something that will keep us going in this battle. A cheat, or binge eating is actually detrimental to our battle (i think), its not good for us physically or mentally. we just have to learn when to draw the line and not let a treat turn into "sick" eating.

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Old 10-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #4
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To me, cheat and binge imply a lack of control and no boundaries. Both words have very negative connotations, and are associated with feelings of guilt.

I have planned treats or indulgences, and in viewing them as such, they are guilt-free. I enjoy them, knowing that I have control and have made the choice to have them.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
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I can so relate to what you are going through. For me the sick eating would happen when I was bored or stressed. It took me a long time to recognize that I even did it. It is so easy to slip back into it. I get stressed at work when I'm under the gun to get things finished. I work in a bakery where there is icing and cake everywhere. It's so easy to pop it into my mouth when I'm getting stressed. I'm finding that if I don't allow myself that first bite I'm much better off. It's so scary when I stop and realize i've had way too much. I'm so afraid of that sick eating coming back. I make myself stop and remember what my mom looked like right before she died from complications of diabetes and that helps me control myself.
I think it will always be a struggle that I'll have to fight against though.

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Old 10-30-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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I, too, am now using the word treat. I think it is ok to plan and consciously choose to eat a treat on special occassions, without guilt. This is a lifestyle plan for me and I don't need to feel guilty and beat myself down for treating myself.

As for the binge eating, I have been there. Shoving food in my mouth and crying at the same time because I knew I was full and didn't want to eat it... I have really been focusing on making my eating a conscious decision. If I get a craving or 'feel hungry' I pause before reacting to it... am I really hungry? am I actually thirsty? or am I just bored or reacting to an emotion? And so on... it is really helping.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fiberlover View Post
To me, cheat and binge imply a lack of control and no boundaries. Both words have very negative connotations, and are associated with feelings of guilt.

I have planned treats or indulgences, and in viewing them as such, they are guilt-free. I enjoy them, knowing that I have control and have made the choice to have them.
I will agree totally! I don't like negative words! fiberlover could not have said it better! This is what I call being in contol which is where all need to be in order to be successful!!!

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Old 10-30-2008, 11:23 PM   #8
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I'm really struggling with this now, after some time of not struggling with it as much.

I try to avoid using the word "treat," as I used to use food to counter all of the stuff I was dealing with in my life. Such as: "I've had a bad day and I deserve a treat." So, treat means something else to me.

I try to think of it as "healthy" vs "not healthy" in the overall context of my life. One milkshake is not "not healthy." But if I've been chowing on lots of fast food and ice cream, a milkshake would be "not healthy."
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