You guys have all said so much stuff I can relate to so much. Wannabeskinny, totally feel the same way alot of the time. I have always felt like I needed a plan or some kind of diet philosophy otherwise I'd be out of control, but with being so restricted I end up bingeing too. I also have felt (and still do) that it is easier for me to just say no to some things rather than try to have a small amount, kind of like the feeling you explained with the bowl of cheetos still seeming restrictive. I have argued about this whole philosophy with my sister for god knows how many years. I am only willing to try something different now because I am still a binger. In the last few years I have kind of just accepted that is who I am and try to manage it. But I can't help but be jealous of my sister who is so much less restricted and relaxed about food than I am and has completely stopped bingeing. So I have just decided to try it "her way" to see what happens.
However, I think in my desperation at wanting "non dieting" to be the answer, I was hoping bingefree's and southernmaven's approach was the answer because it just seemed the easiest, but I know it is not the answer for me. Bingefrees assessment that my restriction must mean a low calorie diet therefore starving myself is incorrect and I do feel a little frustrated with this asumption. My restriction and obsession (I suppose I'll reveal it now because I know people must be wondering how on earth I have an eating disorder when I am not conerned with weight) is that I am completely obsessed with "the perfect way of eating" or the "perfect diet with perfect nutrition". Where some people classify foods as good or bad based on their effect on weight, I classify food as good or bad based on their nutritional profile. My obsession with counting calories and entering it into a food log is not just about calories, I am much more obsessed with meeting all my "recommended daily intake" of vitamins and minerals. And where some people are only concerned with not going over a certain number of calories, I am equally concerned with being under. both situations are extremely stressful and can result in a binge if I don't meet that "perfect, optimal number for Perfect health". This is how my mind works. When I see a donut at work, I do not think what most people concerned with their weight think and say "that will make me gain weight, or that will make me go above my calories", what I say is " that will contaminate my body, it's not nutrient dense, it has trans fat which will hurt my arteries, if I consume those calories in donuts it will be difficult to meet my daily nutrient requirement, that food is unnatural and not meant for human consumption". So do you see how I am very restrictive, but not in the same way as someone who is obsessed with their weight is? Just like someone on a weightloss plan, I feel alot of guilt when I diverge from things, and the guilt and anxiety cause me to binge on the very things I try so hard not to have. I know for a fact my body is not suffering from malnutrition. My body is the picture of health. It's my mind that is very sick.
Also, I don't believe I "must gain weight during recovery". I am willing to gain some weight if that means not bingeing, but I think why some people gain weight in recovery is because they are 1. Underweight to begin with which I am not (I also don't believe I am under my "set" weight because if you look at my family I fit right in and am in fact heavier than most), or 2. Because it takes awhile to figure things out, going from all or nothing to moderation. Number 2 is what my sister experienced. She gained some weight because when she initially stopped "dieting" she did not just easily go from bingeing and purging daily to moderation. It took trial and error where she still experienced some binges due to the guilt of trying to incorporate previously banned foods. Once she learned it didn't have to be all or nothing and practiced moderation, she started losing weight. But moderation was very tough for her to learn. It took practice. It did not happen overnight. It was hard to deal with the guilt. She still exercises restraint with certain foods (junk foods) much like how krampus described with the girl guide cookies. She tells herself she can always have more tomorrow or another time, and that's what prevents her from going crazy and eating it all. And sometimes she does overeat, but has learned not to feel guilty and let it turn into a binge. She tells herself "it's okay to overeat sometimes, normal people overeat sometimes" So as you can see her experience is not very much like bingefrees experience. My sister still wants junk food when she is not hungry sometimes, simply for pleasure. My sister overeats sometimes. My sister tries to keep her home surroundings free from foods she feels she overindulges in (avoidance) and always has healthy foods she likes around. These are all things that seem different than what bingefrees experience has been. But my sister doesn't have any diet rules or foods she cannot have. She doesn't count calories, and she will never turn down foods she wants even if she knows she is not hungry and wants it just for pleasure. She does try to moderate those foods though. So maybe that's not really "not dieting". To me it doesn't seem like she is dieting, but she certainly doesn't see everything as a free for all. She cares about her heath. She tries to eat healthy food when she can. She just doesn't expect herself to be perfect. And to me that sounds alot like krampus. And it seems like kittykatfan has had an attitude similar to this too and has gone an impressive 4 months without bingeing using these strategies.
Krampus I loved how you talked about restriction and to you it was psychological starvation. That is how I feel. I don't feel physically starved and I know I am not. JenMusic, I think there is alot to be said about habbit. I am finding CBT techniqus to be helping me with this. I also read something about challenging your own beliefs to break habbits. For example, my bingeing frequeny is about once a week or once every two weeks. Once I get past a week, I almost just expect a binge to happen anytime so sometimes I feel I just do it because I am expecting to. Like a self fulfilling prophecy if that makes any sense. Not all my binges happen like this but some do.
Southernmaven - I am so glad you shared your experience and am very happy intuitive eating is working so nicely for you. After trying the intuitive eating thing, I think it is a nice alternative to calorie counting, but only works for healthy foods with me. This absolutely does not and I doubt will ever work on processed junk foods for me. This is probably an individual thing, but certain foods are just so pleasurable, hunger doesn't matter. I still want them. Also southernmaven, I should point out you've never had an eating disorder so I think it's very hard to understand for someone who has never experiened this. Overeating doesn't even come close to bingeing. I'm not saying you are not saying good things, but it's just not from someone who has dealt with the same problem.
lin43, totally feel some of your same frustration.
So finally I will say I am still doing well. I started my work week again which is always challenging. There were apple danishes in the lunchroom today. I asked myself did I want them. I said no because they looked old and stale. But after I said no I still felt so much anxiety. I realized it wasn't about whether or not the danishes looked good, it was about feeling deprived no matter what it was. So I took one and ate it. Could I have eaten the whole container? yes. Did I? no. I did what krampus did with the girl guide cookies. If I had used intuitive eating I would have been screwed. I said I could have another one tomorrow or whenever if I wanted. This seemed to satisfy me. The guilt wasn't so bad but there was a little. But the anxiety went away. I thought it would be much harder to have "some" rather than "none". But today it seemed to work out okay. I felt relieved. I did not binge. My "health" still seems okay and not damaged
I'm going to keep pushing forward. Not sure if everyone cares for me to keep everyone updated on my progress. It does help me though. I feel in a way I am doing an experiment not just for me but for others who are curious. In some ways it helps me not to chicken out and revert back to my old ways.
*also, my preoccupation with food is lessening.
And just one more thing. I don't think diets or dieting is bad. Many people, even on this thread like amarantha2, and Patlib (who just commented above about enjoying the sanoma diet) are enjoying these activities and obviously find the benefits outweigh any negatives, and they can still enjoy their lives. I think dieting is bad only when it goes toooooooo far like in my case and ends in an eating disorder. If you have an eating disorder that preceded any diet, then diets are probably okay for these people too. I only wish I could be someone who could diet(be restrictive) and not have an eating disorder. I would love that.