Join Date: Mar 2013
wow; all the excitement I've missed over the last couple days. I am already foreshadowing this post being very very long. Biggsbabydoll I am glad you are enjoying this thread. Maybe you have some opinions or personal experiences that you could add. Amarantha2, it sounds like you are pretty happy with how things are going with you and the calorie/point counting stuff etc. It is important I think to recognize that for many people it is not the soul crushing obsession it is for me. And as for silversky, I appreciate the opinion and I think the whole topic of food addiction is something I was about to bring up and I am very pleased about that; however the tone seemed to be a bit abusive. Also, the subject of fat acceptance at any weight doesn't really have to do with this thread. I feel like this thread is about disordered eating. The link didn't say if these overweight or obese people had eating disorders. People with eating disorders come in all different sizes, and I would say it would be very tough to tackle a weight problem and an eating disorder problem concurrently. I would also say it would be extremely tough for someone who is overweight or obese to address the eating disorder first and perhaps deal with the weight issue once the relationship with food can be healed or much improved. I understand it is much easier said than done and don't claim to know what that would be like as I am battling an eating issue and not a weight issue. I would also like to say that the article trivializes body dismorphic disorder and claims that people use it as an excuse to be overweight. I think that's quite an exaggeration. I think BDD refers more to people like me and bingefree2013 who still felt big at 100lbs. I remember being around 100 pounds and feeling overweight when everyone around me began telling me I looked like I had a problem. Looking at pictures from when I was that weight I can see now how emaciated I was when at the time I really couldn't see that. It was tough for me to accept that I actually looked much better and healthier having gained 15 lbs. It still is an issue though because even now if my weight ever approaches 120, I begin to feel like the good year blimp. I was completely in denial about my BDD until my accident when to me my facial scars were so monstrous that I could not be seen in public. I am recognizing now though that people don't notice them until I point them out. It is something I am still working on.
As for me things are going fairly well. I am feeling much more at ease with not counting calories and can see I don't really need to do it. I can also see that with eating when I am hungry and listening to my body, I am probably eating around the same amount of food I was eating while calorie counting. The difference for me is just the timing. The benefit to me seems to be that it prevents me from being hungry and denying myself food, and also prevents me from eating when I'm not actually hungry.
I think part of why I rejected the idea of not counting calories and not having a structured plan in the past was because I honestly felt I was not subjecting myself to any extreme or unrealistic amounts of food. I felt it was unfair when I mentioned I was calorie counting that people were very quick to assume that meant I was on a starvation diet. Sure, in my early twenties It was not uncommon for me to assign a ridiculouslly low amount of food for myself. That has not been the case though in recent years and my new experience of listening to my body confirms I was not really off or being unrealistic. For me now, the biggest benefit of not assigning a calorie amount or structured plan is the mental aspects of it; feeling free which I think greatly contributes to my mental satiation after a meal as opposed to the feeling of being deprived. Also, not having numbers constantly floating around in my head has greatly reduced my overall stress levels which make it easier for me to cope with other things in life. I can see I really can use my bodys physical signals to my benefit. However I will not reject the idea that perhaps some people may have a problem with their bodys own signalling. I cannot speak for them because I don't walk in there shoes. As for my own body, I am definitely getting those signals, so why not use them.
Now onto the topic of food addiction. Although I am having no real issues with not calorie counting/portioning, and eating the amount of food I want, I am still having an issue with certain types of food and that would be food high in fat/sugar/starch/salt etc. I feel like with all other foods there is just no problem. only with these kinds of foods, and that is why I think when I see them I feel so much fear, because I know my physiological response. For example, a couple nights ago I went to my friends house and he was bbqing and so I decided to buy a steak becuase I just felt like it and wanting to test a bit my previous strictness that would have dictated that I eat a chicken breast. So I had the steak and no problem. no issues whatsovever. I felt like "yeah, food is just food". But then yesterday at work there were donuts along with apple turnovers that someone brought in for their birthday. Feeling as confident as ever after the steak the night before, and also being quite hungry, I confidently said to myself "I'll have an apple turnover because I really like them". And you know it was quite humerous because a co-worker actually joked to me that he thought he was imagining things because he never sees me eat that kind of stuff. So anyways, I began eating it and I could feel something come over me. I felt like a high, and after finishing I felt like I wanted another one. My first instinct was no, just have one, but then I thought you know what I want another one so I am just going to have it. So I went and got another one. I could then feel I was very full, actually too full, and still yet I wanted more. I realized I could easily eat all of them in the box. I was not exactly feeling binge mode because I was not feeling any guilt, but I could definitely feel something going on. It really wasn't comparing to the lentil soup I had brought for lunch the day before (and I will note I had previously not alllowed myself to eat legumes despite their health benefits because they are not a complete source of protein, on the higher end in terms of starch, and simply in my mind were a waste of calories even though I really enjoyed them). With the lentil soup while seeming equal with the apple turnover with respect to something I liked but had restricted from my diet, they were definitely not having the same effect on me. what gives? and I am wondering if this is where true food addiction comes into play for some people and not for others.
Also, while really embracing everyones advice on this thread as regards to eating intuitively, some differences between myself and some of the people were standing out to me. One is with bingefree2013 saying that she never ever overeats now ever ever ever. This has been hard for me to comprehend becasue even as a normal eater as a kid, I remember eating these high fat/sugar/starch/salt foods in excess. I have really thought alot about this. I thought, well it was probably becuase my parents did not have these kinds of foods around too often, so maybe had they been available to me at all times then my reaction may have been different. At the same time, I could not help note that despite silverskys harsh tone, she stated that as a child she grew up in a house where there was always free access to these kinds of foods and she overate them regularly.I would just love to go back in time before my disordered eating and subject myself to as much of this kind of food as possible to see what my behaviour would have been. It is something I well never know.
I can also not help but note some differences between some of the non dieters who have paricipated on this thread that I find to be quite interesting. Bingefree2013 seems to share alot of similarites with my mother in her current food ideas. My mother as a young adult (early twenties) became dissatisfied with her body feeling she did not quite fit the definition of what was deemed as perfect and began restrictive eating and eventually became bulemic. Similarly with bingefree2013, my mother said enough was enough and stopped dieting, learned self acceptance, and now goes by the mantra of nothing is off limits and she eats whatever she wants whenever she wants. She is also very tall and slim and for all intents and purposes, does resemble the hollywood ideal. She gravitates mostly to "healthy" foods, however her cupboards are also abundant with "unhealthy" foods and she will happily have a bite of a cookie feeling completely satisfied. I have questioned my mom about this and have asked her if she needs to enlist any kind of restraint with these kinds of foods and she says no. She notices nothing different between eating a cookie as opposed to eating a salad. My sister on the otherhand who has also recovered from bulemia/binge eating seems to be similarly minded with krampus. With my sister, nothing is off limits, however she says she does need to enlist some restraint with regards to some things and does tend to overeat some of these things (not binging) from time to time. I remember krampus mentioning the girl guide cookies andd having two and being okay with that because she told herself she could always have more tomorrow (which suggest some restraint and negotiating). She also mentioned she does not see a need to wave these foods in front of her face or somthing along those lines. This is very inline with my sister. *please bingefree2013 and krampus correct me if i've made incorrect conclusions here, i'm not trying to put any words in anyones mouth. I also find it interesting with my dad, who has never had weight or body image issues, has never dieted ever, but also finds himself overeating things like chips and cookies and prefers to keep them out of the house. So with all this I have come up with a theory that I am hoping everyone will comment on.
Theory: My theory is that poor body image/satisfaction can lead to dieting which can lead to disordered eating. True food addiction exists in some people and not for others. Binge eating and other eating disorders can occur in people who are not food addicts as well as people who are. For those people who are not food addicts, simply quitting dieting and improving body image can be all it takes to recover from such disordered eating. For people with some kind of actual food addiction, recovery from an eating disorder also may require quitting dieting and improving body image, however some kind of strategy or restaint may be needed when it comes to problematic/addictive foods. I know the theory of food addtiction is a hotly debated topic even among professionals. There does appear to be evidence through brain imaging techniques that for some people and not others, certain foods trigger similar brain responses as it does with alcoholics and drug addicts. I would also like to add that for someone like me who enjoys acohol but does not feel I am an alcoholic, it would be easy for me to reject the idea that alcoholism exists. Please everyone comment away and dispel any inaccuracies or assumptions I have made. I find this all very interesting, and as a scientist myself, I believe being objective is important.