wow, I am really overwhelmed by all the responses and so greatful. I have read through them and there is alot of information to take in. Definitely alot of great things to think about and I will have to read them a few times over (and have already done so) for courage and inspiration.
WannabeSkinny - Yes, I hear you about being the obsessive type and how it impairs my life and relationships. Im not sure though if I am misunderstanding you about learning skills of portion control etc. I should clarify that through my years of calorie counting, most of it has been through "eyeballing" and "portion control". The actual measuring with measureing cups and the food scale is less typical of how I count calories and seems to occur after a bad phase where I am doing alot of binging, where the number of days I binge become almost equal to the ones I don't. I think by actally measureing, I'm doing it as almost as a ritual to "show" myself and "prove" to myself how in control I am. Then after a week or so of doing this and managing not to binge, I then slowly ease up and revert back to eyeballing. The problem isn't that I feel I don't know what a serving size is, the problem is more the caloric numbers I assign to everything where I am adding up everything in my head, wondering what my total is, wondering how many I have left until I am at the number I have chosen for myself. I would like to eat an apple and think "I am eating an apple" and not think "this apple is approximately 80-100 calories", therefore I have blank number of calories left in my day. I would like to dish out my yogurt and say "how much yogurt do I feel like and would satisfy me" instead of thinking "this amount of yogurt appears to be 150 calories which fits nicely into my calorie controlled day". Am I making any sense here. Maybe I have misunderstood. Also, thank you for reminding me of "Brain over Binge". I have not read the book just the summaries on the website and I found it too to be quite helpful. I tried putting it into practice and I believe it did save me from a couple binges, but I think maybe I could not fully put her ideas into practice because she advises not being in diet mentality, or being restrictive or calorie counting, and I wasn't ready to give that up at that time. Maybe now if I get away from the counting/restricting, it will be even more helpful
Southernmaven - Please tell me more about intuitive eating and how you went about transitioning into practicing it. I have heard the term and done a very small amount of reading on it and until now haven't really given it much consideration because quite frankly the lack of external rules like counting calories/portions had been too scary for me to even consider for a great length of time.Just a couple days ago though, I googled binge/restrict cycle and watched a couple youtube videos labeled intuitive eating just quickly by a Josie someone I think, and It really made so much sense to me and was such a refreshing take on things. I am in mid work week now and don't have the time to look too much into it now, but as soon as I get to my days off I will further research this. I think it is in line with the direction I would like to go in. From what I know so far it is what my sister does. Please keep me posted on how it goes for you. I am also thankful for your confirmation that you also believe binging is part of the obsessive dieting/restrictive behaviour.
Paintedponies - congrats on 10 days not binging. The fact that binging was preceded by you losing alot of weight helps to answer the chicken and egg question on what comes first. For me too I didn't have my first binge until I became restrictive and obsessed. Sure I overate at times, but I didn't binge. Falling back into your old ways sounds all to familiar to me too. I also find whether or not I have exercised aka burned off calories, to be a deciding factor of how much I allow myself to have for dinner. Looks like we are both struggling with wanting to be "intuitive". When you say you want to be into smaller portions and find them satisfying, I find that as long as a meal is associated with a calorie limit, wether it's 300, 600, or whatever, I am never satisfied. Honestly I could "allow" myself 3000 calories per day (and have) and just by there being a limit, I am never satisfied. It doesn't matter how big of a cage I am in, it still feels like a cage, and I want to get out.
Krampus - If leangains is a pretty detailed program, does it fall in line with intuitive eating. I still have not had the chance to read about it but will. I just have 2 more days of work and then I will read all about it. I think though I am unwilling at this point to try any kind of structured eating plan, but I am thinking by your advocacy on not being restrictive that it must not be in line with that way of thinking. It is definitely sparking my curiosity since you have done so well with not binging, having struggled with that in the past.
Carol3639 - thanks so much for providing that link. Have not read yet but definitely will.
Bingefree2013 - Your post is literally leaving me speechless. The words you say are so very helpful. When you say you were working towards not restricting food since last november, what do you mean by this. I am wondering for myself how the transition will be and if there will be many setbacks. The last thing I want is for a setback to keep me from pushing forward with this. I am feeling like now is the time for me to take the plunge. I hear you so much on the "starvation diets are a staple and encouraged". It's tough to reason oneself out of calorie counting and restricting when it is so heavily advocated. It's so true when you say that you still have the knowledge of calories in your head and wish you could erase and never learned about it in the first place. That is exactly how I feel. I wish I wasn't so educated about calories and know the number of calories in virtually every food. it is what I am trying to erase.
And lastly, about how I've been doing the last few days. I haven't binged. and i haven't had even the slightest urge. Relief I haven't felt in a good long time. I was really afraid, since I am so experienced with calorie counting, that I would automatically asign caloric values to everything I ate and start adding things up in my head. A couple times a number did pop into my head, like today for example I grabbed an orange from my lunch bag and automatically said to myself "60 calories", but I have not to my delight totalled anything up. I have been careful when I am serving myself something to ask myself "does this amount seem like what would satisfy me at the moment" instead of deciding if I am taking a "proper serving size". And I have definitey not said anything like "does this look like blank number of calories". I thought it would be really tough to not add stuff up but I am really surprised that the not tallying has not been so hard. It is really encouraging. I really have not a clue how many calories in total I have been eating. It's scary, but liberating. Also, the minute I consider that maybe i should just retreat into my confort zone and start counting calories again the next day, I begin to get anxious, and I'm pretty certain if I made that decision I would probably binge. Another thing is that there have been donuts and lemon squares every day and I did not even give them a second look since I have been bringing so much extra food with me to work to ensure I will have food if need be. Before I would only eat the alotted amount and obsessively eat every last crumb feeling so restricted. But I think one day I probably ate even less than before. I simpley had had enough. Not too many times I have been able to say lately. So I guess I will just see where this takes me and how it goes. Only time will tell. Also I have not weighed myself and don't intend to at least for a while. I am a bit conflicted on that and was wondering what all your guys' opinion on that is. I am tackling the food part of things which is enough for me to think about right now.