wow, I'm really enjoying this discussion. I think everyone has very valid points. I do believe that in the case of the blogger who was recovering from anorexia, that obviously her binges were caused by actual hunger from starving herself. I think it's worth people considering whether or not this applies to them before considering that something else might be at play. I don't however believe that everyone who is calorie counting or following a "plan" is starving themselves. For me, I honestly don't believe I was starving myself while counting calories and now that I am not counting calories and taking the "intuitive eating" (a term I use loosely) approach, it is only confirming that I am pretty sure I wasn't starving myself. For me I think the problem was largely psychological restriction and not physical restriction, both of which make a person food obsessed. I do not think I am necessarily a food addict, but I do believe that I have a very high "attraction" (how freelance would put it) towards high sugar/high fat/salty processed foods. I feel I am very lucky in that I truly love "healthy food" and so it puts me at a great advantage with intuitive eating and "not dieting". In my opinion, I do not believe intuitive eating works well when eating a diet that consists mostly of processed foods for people who have a high attraction to hyper palatable foods. For some people that do not have this attraction I think they would not have a problem intuitively eating these foods. I think maybe these people are in the minority when you look at americas obesity rates that go along well with the increase in availablitly of processed foods and the fact that todays culture is not really a sit down as a family and eat a home cooked meal anymore. And i don't think it's true that everyone in america is fat becuase at one point they started a restricted diet. For alot of people, becoming fat proceded the restriction (not all obviously). I do think for me though it has been harmful to completely eliminate processed foods as it just made me anxious and feeling deprived when I would sit and eat my giant bowl of fruit and yogurt while everyone around me ate a donut. very psychologically damaging.
I think it's good for an individual to ask themselves what proceded what. If they were normal eaters before restriction, perhaps restriction is their problem,and it may not be physical restriction, but psychological or both. If being overweight or obeses preceeded any diet or body image issues, maybe there is a true food addiction taking place where it has nothing to do with restriction. Maybe it is not even food addiction but something else like trauma or abuse that preceded these behaviours. Maybe it's simply that you are someone that is "highly attracted to hyper palatable foods" and that was all that was available to you as a child therefore your intuitive eating skills could not really be applied.
If you are someone that finds themselves not being able to control intake of even "non-processed" foods without any kind of restrictive eating or diet taking place, whithout any psychological problems like body image/abuse, then maybe there is an actual physiological problem where your brain just does not give the proper signals. This is where maybe a visit with a medical doctor could be in order.
Also, maybe if you are not restricting now but have in the past, that binging has become a habit where there is a strong neurological pathway that has formed where it has become a way to cope with everything. I think this is partially the case with me. I am reading up on CBT techniques that I think will help with that. Now that I am not feeling like I am restricting, have been a normal eater as a child (but did overeat hyperpalatable processed foods), and had a happy childhood with no abuse or other issues (although I've dealt with PTSD and some depression/anxiety), I feel like it's the habbit part I need to work on. It sounds like wannabeskinny may be dealing with this habbit thing as well. I don't think I could work on the habit thing if I still felt restricted.
Jenmusic - it is interesting that you did so well with not bingeing when you were active. Maybe the endorphins you were getting helped to sort out any actual neurological problems you may have. Also, you mention that you were overweight as a child and that your parents were also overweight. What kind of food did you have around as a child? If you were surrounded by mostly "processed" food than it could be you are someone like what i suspect I am to be highly attracted and unable to use intuitive eating for these kinds of foods. I suspect (not sure of course) that if I had grown up in a family where my parents bought alot of processed foods, then I may have been an overweight child. If you overeat all food, it may not be this reason at all. You could try the no diet approach by filling your house and surrounding youself with unprocessed foods you ACTUALLY LIKE and put no limits on this or rules and see what happens. If you are still overeating, then there could be something else going on. I would be patient though and not give up right away. You may also want to dig deep and see if there is anything going on in your life that you are medicating with food ie. breakup, trauma, past abuse etc.
My point is, I don't believe and will never believe there is a one shoe fits all approach. I was reading a blog from a guy who believes he is an actual food addict. Moderating trigger foods didn't work for him. Only complete abstinence has worked and he has been binge free for several years now. but his life has been very altered as there are many acivities and things he must avoid. but he feels it was the only way for him to be free. For me, absitnence DOES NOT WORK and I believe I am not a true addict. I just find certain foods very pleasurable and can eat them whether I'm hungry or not. If I'm full from dinner I cannot eat any extra broccoli, but put a piece of cheesecake in front of my face and sure, there is always room for that, even as a child. But when it's out of site, it's out of mind for me. It's the work donuts that I SEE and are right in front of me that I say no to that triggers a binge later on every time almost.
Last edited by veggiedaze; 04-13-2013 at 03:04 PM.
Reason: sorry jenmusic, not "well with your weight loss" but "well with not bingeing"