Weight Loss Support - Compulsive eater back after gaining 40 pounds in 4 months... I'm going to crack!

05-09-2007, 04:11 PM
I used to come here quite often and get support for losing weight. It worked. I lost some weight. Then I decided to quit smoking. I was a two pack a day smoker for the last 10 years. Well it all went to **** from there. I ate and ate and ate... I put on 40 lbs in the last 4 months. None of my clothes fit me anymore. They are all so tight that i look like a joke and I can barely breathe. I run around the house in my nightgown all day cause it's one of the only thing that still fits me. Right now I weigh 340lbs. My knees hurt, my joints hurt. I feel so fat and so smushed together. It's so uncomfortable to be this big. The only good thing is that I still do NOT smoke but sometimes I wonder if it was worth it.

Now I am a compulsive eater. I think I always was but cigarettes helped me to keep it a little under control. I eat so much its ridiculous. I bought a book about compulsive overeating and I am starting to get into it. I am hoping that it will help. I feel like my life is so out of control right now and i can't stand it.

Everyone says....Just eat less! I wish it were that easy. I am back and in need of all the support that I can get.

I dont where to start but I think that finishing that book is the first thing. Any words of advice?


05-09-2007, 04:27 PM
I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling right now. But I think it's great that you quit smoking!!! As for the overeating, what I found to be helpful (being an ex-smoker myself) is I took up knitting. It keeps my hands and mind busy.

Just think of projects, hobbies, etc that will keep you mind and body busy... Best of luck to you my dear, and I hope that you keep a little glimmer of hope in heart that this too shall pass...

05-09-2007, 04:30 PM
Hey Rachel,

I say that deciding to get back on track is the first step! And congrats for deciding to take it. The next step is to develop a plan. What are you thinking of doing? I think you have also made the right decision in coming back to 3FC and holding yourself accountable and staying immersed in weight-loss culture.

Good luck to you!

Then I decided to quit smoking. I was a two pack a day smoker for the last 10 years. Well it all went to **** from there. I ate and ate and ate... I put on 40 lbs in the last 4 months.

Incidentally, this is one of the many reasons I have for not wanting to quit smoking. I also have smoked 2 packs a day for more than 10 years and the idea of quitting absolutely petrifies me. (I tried once before and gained 10 pounds in a month--I took to eating chocolate with my morning coffee... The quitting did not work, but those 10lb stuck around on top of the others for years...) It is amazing that you have managed to do it!!! And really, short-term weight gain is probably a reasonable trade-off. You can take the weight back off again, and it will be easier, too, because your lung capacity will be better and you will be able to exercise a bit more. Congratulations! You are really turning your life around!

That said, I have no idea how I will manage to quit smoking (tentatively planned for later this year) without gaining weight. Ugh.

05-09-2007, 04:46 PM
Welcome back. Your return to 3FC is a step in the right direction! Have you considered attending OA meetings?


I have no specific advice to give you regarding how to control your overeating other than reaching out to OA and getting involved in non-food related activities. The more isolated you are, the easier it is to overeat.

Good luck to you!

05-09-2007, 04:48 PM
I am hoping you get on top of your overeating. However you just beat a big battle, my mother died two years ago from smoking she tried to quit but could not do it. One trick i do when i diet and want to eat is to munch on sunflower seeds till i get sick of them. However i do not know how many calories they have but it works for me.

Janie Canuck
05-09-2007, 05:34 PM
Sorry you're in a bad place with the food and weight, but don't undervalue your accomplishment of quitting smoking. You just did the best thing you could do for yourself! I have never smoked, but my parents and plenty of friends have, and I know how difficult it was for them to quit. My friend gained 20 or 30 pound when she quit, but her Dr. told her "I think it's more important to quit smoking, you can tackle the weight once you're feeling secure about not smoking". PS - she has since lost the weight - it is possible.

Coming here is a great step - I always find it helpful to just browse around here for a little while - I leave feeling much more motivated.

05-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Feel proud of yourself for quitting smoking! Awesome.
Now move toward cutting down on eating, but do it one step at a time. Work on having a success for one day, then try to have a successful week, then a month, etc. You can do it. I think the most important thing is to take it one day at a time. As you start seeing success, the process will get easier!

Optical Goddess
05-09-2007, 06:19 PM
this may seem like a really wierd piece of advice: popcorn

I quit smoking about 5 years ago..at first, I didn't gain, but about 2 years later I started to eat where I would have normally smoked. It was a coping mechanism.

It was too hard for me to quit eating, so I started eating popcorn. Everytime I wanted to eat and it wasn't a meal time, I ate popcorn. It's not the best, but better than other choices, and it calmed me enough to look at other ways of coping...

I just needed something to 'occupy' the part of me that wants to eat everything like Godzilla in Tokyo, and then I could work on other parts of me.

If possible, you may want to see about possible therapy, which can help.

05-09-2007, 06:30 PM
Rachel, quitting smoking is a wonderful accomplishment, and stay quit! Don't go back!

We do have a Chicks in Control forum here for those who have problems with undereating and overeating compulsively--you might want to check that out. There is also an OA subforum there.

A plan is definitely a good idea--with eating strategies that can help you get things sorted out. Keep reading that book! And also, go to the 3FC main page and look through the reviews of different books and weight loss approaches--see if you can get some ideas there.

It's discouraging to gain, but I think you are ready to reverse that--because you posted here! :cp:

Hang in there!

05-09-2007, 07:12 PM
I think 40 pounds is definitely worth getting rid of a horrible habit!

Also, now that you know you have the power to cure yourself of one vice, you know that you have the power to make other changes as well. Don't worry-- as this site's amazing losers have shown, weight problems can be beaten!

05-09-2007, 07:16 PM
I don't know how great my advice will be, of course, but what did finally get me back into taking care of myself and quitting the binge is:

1. I set goals for myself - or pick important dates and strive to be in one of my really cute tops or not-skinny-yet jeans. My birthday is coming up soon and I really want to make it under or at least close to 200 pounds. It may be very impossible - but whatever I loose will be the best birthday present to myself and my body.

2. I took photographs of myself at EVERY ANGLE and I taped them on the fridge AND the treadmill. I also put mirrors up in places there hadn't been one.

3. Also, I just thought every binge, every pound that added to me would just be one more pound keeping from me and my goal.

4. Good music. Invest in an iPod, a ghettoblaster, a tape machine if you have to. Listen to the music that pumps you up! I swear, it can be the only thing keeping me from crying or going insane during a very boring or intense workout.

5. Know you CAN do it. You've done it before. And now you'll have lungs that will make it even easier since they'll be clearing up - slowly but surely. You can do it, you just have to take that first step and get that fire in your gut.

I hope this helped - now put on your shoes, look yourself in the mirror and promise to take care of the only thing you've got - your body!

And so many congrats again on quitting smoking. My grandmother quit five years ago at age 63 and she'd smoked since she was 12. If she can do it, I believe anyone can!

Make it happen!

05-09-2007, 08:07 PM
You have done a phenomenal thing for yourself by quitting smoking. You have MUCH to be proud of. That is a huge accomplishment!!!

Now it sounds like you're ready to tackle the next part of your desire for better health. You've taken a big step by just posting here. Keep on reading that book. Maybe something it says in there will just "click" for you. There are lots of informative books out there. 3FC has a bunch of books which they have reviewed. Why not take a look and see if there's something there that interests you? Perhaps then you can go to the library and take a couple out. Read them and begin to formulate a plan.

You've already conquered so much by givng up the cigarettes. You can certainly lose the weight as well. Good luck.

Romeos Girly
05-09-2007, 09:00 PM
Congratulations on your big accomplishment, and congratulations on your new big goal. If you used cigarettes as a way to keep your mouth busy without eating, perhaps you should try sugar-free gum. If keeps your mouth busy, gets rid of the taste of food in your mouth and help you feel more full.

I also find that it can be helpful to pre-portion food that I eat compulsively. Separate foods like chips, crackers, nuts or anything else you munch on into properly portioned ziplock bags right when you get them home from the store. Eating one entire properly portioned bag and not going for seconds can be a lot easier than putting away a partially eaten box of crackers.

05-10-2007, 01:54 AM
Sorry to hear that you are in such a bad place right now with how you are feeling. I am about a week from my quit date, and I am scared. Granted I dont smoke that much, but everyday.. is still too much. I hope that I will be able to not gain any weight or lose my fiancee lol but I certainly dont want to have a heart attack, stroke or even cancer. Doesnt make since to put all this good food in your body and then all this exercise and then light up. Its weird though because my cravings for cigarettes are after very strenuous activity only, i.e. working out?! shopping... stuff like that. Anyways.. I commend you for being able to quit, and I think that the weight gain is only temporary and you will conquer it. The hardest part is over.

05-10-2007, 03:03 AM
Thank you so much to everyone who replied. I have to say that I was really shocked when I saw how many people replied. WOW! Thanks! I do feel so happy that I quit smoking. I just keep thinking about how much longer I am going to live because I decided to throw away the smokes.
I know that its going to be a challenge but I need to turn around my eating habits. Thank you for all the good advice. I will definitely use it all. The popcorn thing and the portion size snacks are really good ideas that worked for me in the past. I really think that I need to start them up again. :)

Isn't it funny how something like food can completely take over your whole existance? I am obsessed with it.

Usually whenever I would gain weight I would go out and buy a few items of clothing that were a bigger size to tide me over until I lost the weight. Well...can't do that this time cause the stores only go up to a 30/32 around here and thats what I have now thats too tight on me. That's a big wake up call when you can't even go out and buy clothes. I know that I could order them over the internet but I'm not going to do it. Money is tight and I dont need to waste that money when it would take me about 10 -15 pounds of weight loss to fit into my "fat" clothes a little comfortably again.

I am going to finish that book which isn't too bad. It's called "The Taming of the Chew...A holistic approach to compulsive Overeating"

One last question....Since I gained these 40 lbs I have had really bad hemorrhoids. I have never been pregnant and I am not pregnant now. I am thinking that the hemorrhoids are due to the rapid weight gain. What do you guys think?


05-10-2007, 08:54 AM
Hey Rachel,

Only a doctor can tell you for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if the hemorrhoids are related to weight. This is yet another reason to lose weight!

More fiber in your diet can help this to some extent. There is a cereal a lot of folks here like--Fiber One. Or you can use a product like Benefiber.


Beach Patrol
05-10-2007, 12:04 PM
Bless your heart Rachel! - smoking & obesity are probably the two worst things you can do to your health... so, first I want to say CONGRATS!- on quitting smoking! - I've never smoked, but have friends/family who do... and I've watched them as they tried to quit... some quit but started again, etc. So you have done a WONDERFUL thing for yourself by quitting!

Now for the compulsive eating problem - personally, I think you should see a doctor. Your weight is high enough to be an extreme hardness on your general health. I think you should see a doc to make sure you are physically able to do a diet, and see what he/she recommends. They may even send you to a nutritionist. (It's generally always recommended that one sees a doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.)

You know you can come here for support & general advice. We're here for you! But please make your health a priority FIRST. The weight will come off if you make YOU the most important person in your life. That's not selfish; it's self-love.


05-10-2007, 01:11 PM
Rachel, BeachPatrol had a great idea there. Nutritionists are most often covered by insurance. Completely. Maybe you want to call your carrier and find out. It will be someone for whom you can be accountable to and she can guide you step by step with an eating plan.

Another thing you mentioned, is that you are obsessed with food. So was I, I still am in fact. Probably more so. I took that obsession and swtiched it around - to my advantage. I got really into finding healthy and TASTY recipes . I got into planning and shopping and preparing my foods and my weekly menus. I also got into reading up on nutrition and the such. And then of course there's 3FC. A great place to "talk" about food, weightloss, cravings, struggles and successes. I just switched around the focus of my obsession. Eventaully, I became more "addicted" to the weightloss and all it brought about then I ever was the food, hard to imagine - but really so. It is doable. 100% so in fact.

05-10-2007, 05:06 PM
You might want to check out the "Chicks in Control" forum here -- it is a great support for those with food issues. Hope it helps!
Hang in there...

05-10-2007, 09:14 PM
BeachPatrol... thanks for the info. I went and saw my doctor about a month ago and told her about the weight. Of course she already noticed it. She told me that I am cleared for whatever exercise I choose to do. I would love to go see a nutritionist but no insurance cause I work part time and i go to school Full time for nursing.....which means no insurance.

I ate good today...Lots of lettuce and salad like foods. I am pretty proud of myself. One day at a time!