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Old 02-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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Unhappy Eating in secret

I am struggling with a demon that I thought that I had beaten. For many years, I would eat little or eat healthily when with others. I did my high calorie eating in secret. I mean, if no one saw me eating, the calories did not count......., did they? I got up to 300 pounds by eating healthy food, didn't I?

A big part of my process of losing weight was acknowledging and controlling this secret eating. I have found myself slipping into my old way of thinking when under stress. I took a trip to help my parents while my father was in the hospital. During my driving times, I kept wanting to stop and buy junk. I actually thought, "No one will see me." Once my father got home, I kept wanting to get up in the middle of the night to eat. No one would see me then.

Confession is good for the soul and I want to confess that I did some secret eating. However, I could have done a lot more. I thought that this urge would go away when I got back home, but I woke up in the middle of the night just last night, trying to figure out how much of my husband's junk food I could eat without him noticing. Then I remembered that Pepperidge Farm cake in the freezer. I could eat that whole baby and no one would realize it! I didn't do it. I thought about how difficult life was with that extra 100 pounds and forced myself to choose between the food or mobility.

I am an intelligent educated woman with common sense. I know that my body counts calories whether they are eaten in public or in private. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Anyone else struggle with this?

Persistence is more important than Perfection

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. - Winston Churchill
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by time2lose View Post

I am an intelligent educated woman with common sense. I know that my body counts calories whether they are eaten in public or in private. I have to keep reminding myself of that.
When I eat bad I try to tell someone. Common sense rarely comes into play when it concerns my food.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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Yes I still struggle, don't feel bad we all do.

It's good you acknowledge it. It's the first step towards not repeating the behavior.

A lot of our bad behaviors are habits, you started to get back into the habit, so now you have to break it again- don't worry- you can do it!
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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For me, if I sneak some of my trigger junk, the things that make me sneak and binge, it starts me back on stinkin' thinkin' and I have to scale way back.

You told us now, its out in the open. Not a secret anymore. Hugs and kudos your way.
I will:Journal every bite * Be gentle to myself and my family * Exercise to the best of my ability * Drink at least 8 glasses of water * Focus on colorful veggies, salads, low gycemic fruit, lean proteins and healthy fats * Limit grains * Get up at the same time everyday and get back into routine * Visit 3FC every day, it makes a big difference to my attitude, thanks to the wonderful folks here.

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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Yes, I have occasionally struggled with this too.

Eating became associated with shame for me; fat girls should be eating skinny food so they can become skinny girls, so I sometimes ate "fat food" where it wouldn't be noticed. I didn't mind being seen fat--in fact I generally felt pretty good about myself even at my largest--yet I didn't care at all for having others see me in the process of becoming fatter.

I remember going through drive-thrus to pick up dinner for my husband and me, ordering a little "lagniappe" for myself (a chicken wrap, usually) and scarfing it down before I walked into the house with the bags. My husband could see me naked anyday, anytime and undoubtedly saw the evidence of all those extra calories--but heaven forfend he saw me actually eating those calories. I don't know what I thought he'd think--he surely knew I didn't gain weight from breathing deeply--but I would've been ashamed to admit to those extra chicken wraps. It's as if I thought it was acceptable to be fat because of hypothyroidism or bad luck, but not okay to be fat because I loved to eat.

It sounds like you've been through some stress recently with family illness and having to travel. Maybe you just need to give yourself some time to re-adjust to being back home, to being back in your routine rather than in the chaos of a different environment.

Secret eating is one of the least stressful activities that we can do (at the time, though it causes great stress after the fact); we're not counting or measuring, we're not taking measured bites and consciously eating slowly. It's a relief to shed others' judgements and our own careful monitoring for a little while.

Who wouldn't want that kind of break from stress, especially if she'd just gotten home from visiting her parents during a time of illness?

I hope that your confession here was good for the soul and that you keep doing what you've already done so well. It IS hard to override decades of habit with thought alone, yet you've been able to do it to the tune of a hundred-pound loss. Try to pamper yourself in other ways and recover from your stressful trip.

All the best to you and to your family.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:49 PM   #6
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Yes yes yes! I know exactly what you are talking about. This has been my take on it. When I want to do this I wait. I will not allow myself to eat "cheats" alone. If want to splurge I do it in front of people (usually my family) I analyze what would cure my craving yet be reasonable too. Like last week I wanted ice cream and thought of getting it in the drive- thru parking and indulging alone but I followed my rules. I know if I did it alone it would be a large ice cream covered in chocolate and nuts. Instead we had a healthy dinner at home and loaded up to go get ice cream together I got a kiddie cup of vanilla and enjoyed every bite along with my family.

Eating junk alone is behavior I do not want to go back to. Eating infront of other keeps me grounded. Small splurges make this journey not feel like a prison sentence to me.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:40 AM   #7
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I have had a serious problem with this for years! Just recently I have been doing better with this. My binges were so excessive it's just mind blowing to think about it! I would eat junk food after junk food. And I ALWAYS did it alone. I would never eat like that in front of anyone! And unfortunately and honestly I could still do it. I don't know just recently something has clicked and every time I think about binging I just somehow find the willpower to not do it. I think also because I have a celiacs disease and I can no longer eat gluten filled foods I do better with binging. Last night is a perfect example. I really wanted to eat something super fattening and lots of it. But, I can't because it literally makes my physically ill because of my intolerance. So what did I do? I ate a lot of fruit! Now excessive amounts of any food is not good, but honestly I would rather binge of fruit than cookies!
Please check out my blog Pastries to Pushups at http://pastriestopushups.blogspot.com

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Old 02-28-2011, 02:53 AM   #8
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Yes. I too thought it had gone away - surely if I'm ashamed to eat something I won't eat it? Wrong!

While I was losing the weight from May last year, my little local shop had closed for renovation. It re-opened a few weeks ago, just before I went on holiday. I told him and his wife Not to sell me sweets - not that it's up to them but kind of as a statement to myself - but first I bought bread, then I bought cakes, then I bought sweets. Then I got embarrassed - and walked to stores farther away, not the same stores every day, so that no-one would notice what I was eating.
I was putting a lot of effort into secret, shame eating.
Yesterday I didn't eat in secret.
Today I will try not to
but t2l, you are not alone!

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:18 AM   #9
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I was having a terrible time with this last year. I would eat pretty normally during the day, but after my husband went to bed, I would have a fourth meal to fill my belly before bed. Often times, it was a binge where I'd eat some of almost everything I could find and I would keep eating until I was almost sick. I haven't done it since the new year, but I often have urges.

The thing is, I didn't really realize what I was doing until just now. Waiting for him to go to sleep was no coincidence; I was keeping my late-night eating a secret, yet I never thought of it that way. It's strange how my brain worked to cover up my serious loss of control and just consider it normal and acceptable behavior. Hopefully, now that I am looking at this habit with a new perspective, I can continue my streak of not eating at that time.

Thanks for bringing this up and good luck to you!

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Old 02-28-2011, 05:33 AM   #10
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Sometimes, I am at a loss to find something to do when my family is all at school. My go to thing to do was eat when I was home alone or in the car alone. Its still hard everyday.

Next up? No longer obese.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone! Just knowing that I am not alone helps. I think this has hit me hard because I thought that I had conquered this. The greatest lesson from this, I think, is that I should not take my changes for granted. It would be very easy to slip into old habits and gain back the weight that I have lost. There is a reason that so many people regain. I just have to accept that this is a never ending process and remember that it is well worth the struggle.

Persistence is more important than Perfection

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. - Winston Churchill
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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You are definitely not alone. I have recently noticed secret eating popping up. Things like having cookies while my boyfriend takes a shower. Yesterday was quite shameful; I said "oh I'm going to buy some of X toiletry so I'll walk with you halfway" and walked halfway to the station with him, saw him off, went in the drugstore and bought junk food to eat home alone.

Regain happens and it is a real shame that so much hard work can be undone so quickly. Let's try not to let it happen to us. It's so painfully easy to accept an extra 5 pounds. 5 becomes 10 becomes 15 and suddenly our clothes don't fit.
Push on some more!

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Old 02-28-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
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I totally do this, too. Now that I track my calories on livestrong I even find myself not watning to put them in and thinking they won't count. I really wish I had a "therapist" to help me analyze this and fight it.

WHY do we do this?

I know I try to hide it because I am ashamed that I can't stick to my program. I am ashamed that people have gone out of their way to help me on my diet and I feel like I let them down when I break my diet. I feel a lot of shame of all the money my husband has spent on my gym membership and personal trainer and healthy food...and then I sabotage myself with sweets. I also don't like to share chocolate. I want it all to myself. In my gaining stage I remember laughing when a friend wanted to split a dessert. I said, "OH-NO I don't share chocolate." It ended up being a big joke.

Anyway thank you for the chance to reflect.

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Old 02-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #14
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Good for you for revealing your secret.
I like to eat in secret (or alone) without anyone around. When I binge I do it by myself with no one around that way no one knows how addicted I am to food.

Old habits really can die hard. Becoming aware of them is the first step to changing them. Good job for not giving in to your temptation last night! hugs!

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