I was just kind of roaming around in the 3FC forums when I came across this thread. It really struck a chord for me as I just re read my old book Overcoming Overeating. It's an old book that I really recommend. I also love Geneen Roths stuff. I feel like I could write a novel for my first post here but I will try to condense it down.
I have loved reading all your personal journeys, experience and wisdom on this thread. I actually got a little bit of happy tears in my eyes, Veggiedaze to see your transformation as far as how you were thinking and your realizations. I guess I am posting to share my story.
I have a bit of a unique situation from what I see so far of who has posted on this thread. I have 3 kids and I am nursing my baby almost exclusively. She doesn't eat much solid food. She nurses constantly and it makes me SO HUNGRY. I am also a stay at home mom who homeschools so I am surrounded by food, children and STRESS. Lots of stress. In fact this might be kind of choppy as I have to hop up down and tend to the needs of said children through out this post.
I also have a history of ED. I was a weird combination of bulemic anorexic as a teen ager and my early twenties. I eventually healed myself from that with an amazing book that I can't remember the name of and also Overcoming Overeating. Basically the premise was the same as what in now called intuitive eating and also included legalizing food and body acceptance. So, I did. I legalized food, I worked on accepting myself as I was and I started eating only when I was hungry and seeing it as a gift I was giving to myself. Every time I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was satisfied I saw it as an act of self love and self care. I pretty much stopped emotional eating which was a big one for me. I used to eat when I was angry or sad. I managed to stop doing that by doing just as was mentioned in the original thread, sitting with the emotion and letting it pass. I also got better at talking about my feelings. Eventually, I was one of those rare birds. I was naturally thin, I ate only when I was hungry and I ate whatever I wanted. I was passionate about how much diets didn't work and how I didn't agree with them. So, all was good until I became pregnant with my first child. I don't know if its because it threw my hunger signals off or if it was the weight gain triggering my ED but basically I couldn't lose the pregnancy weight. I did eventually lose my pregnancy weight through extreme stress when my husband and I got divorced when my first daughter was about 2. I basically just stopped eating and would only eat a few crackers to remove the gnawing sensation in my stomach. But once I was down to my pre pregnancy weight I stayed there with no trouble because I went back to eating the way I had been.
So remarried and got pregnant again eventually. As usual got into bad eating habits while pregnant (ie eating when not hungry) and after baby could NOT drop the weight. I just felt constantly hungry and was craving sweet stuff like a crazy person. I went from being the kind of person who would eat a few oreos and think they were too sweet and let the package get stale in the pantry to someone who could eat an entire package in ONE sitting. I started counting calories and exercising and keeping a food journal and I started to lose the weight very slowly. But, I never got back to prepregnancy weight. We decided to have our third and final child and I decided this time was going to be different. THIS time I would eat healthy and not gain tons of weight blah blah... RIGHT. This time I gained more weight and have stayed at a higher weight than last time. I have sucessfully dieted down to about 20 lbs this prepregnancy weight which is still 30 lbs over my ideal comfortable weight but then all my restriction kicks in and I go NUTS and overeat everything until I am back where I started.
So, all this to say that I started reading my overcoming overeating book AND came across this thread and from reading it I realized that my ED is back! I didn't realize it because I am not purging but all the same thoughts I had when I had my ED are in full force. I feel fat and hate myself and how I look after I eat, I obsess about food, I constantly go on diet after diet, I exercise like a maniac until I injure myself and can't do it anymore, foods are now GOOD or BAD. I am out of touch with my hunger signals, its like a horrible vicious cycle. I can only assume it was triggered by my natural weight gain of getting pregnant and then it keeps me from naturally losing the baby weight. So, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me. I am trying to get back to eating only when I feel hungry and right now I am working on self acceptance. ( I realized I was having horrible judgmental thoughts about my appearance because it is so different than how I used to look which really just makes me want to eat MORE) I need to work on my stress eating and my "reward" eating. The eating I do when all the kids are finally in bed and its time to party. I cant wait for them to go to bed so I can have my treat. And I am working on legalizing foods. I am trying to get them back from BAD and GOOD to just FOOD. I also am working on trying not to eat when stressed out. I guess this is a big one for me.
A real lightbulb went on for me with this thread when I realized the reason I turned into a person who could eat a whole package of oreos was my restricting. ESPECIALLY while nursing! DUH. It never really occurred to me that my bingeing could be related to my restricting. I know that seems so obvious now. My body is trying to keep me and my baby healthy at any cost.
So the answer to the question: yes I managed to quit dieting with positive results and was happy and at a good weight for me for years and years. I also usually only ate about twice a day. lunch and dinner. Lunch was usually a sandwich and an apple and then dinner was dinner. I also was always very aware of my appetite fluctuations. Sometimes I was hungrier than usual and I ate more for a few days and then the next few days I wasn't as hungry and it would even out. I was a HUGE proponent of listening to my body. And now I am totally out of touch with my body and it shows.
Anyway, thanks for this thread and to anyone who actually got through my novel.