100 lb. Club - Hiding Food

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03-07-2008, 08:38 PM
So for the first time last night I found myself hiding food so my boyfriend wouldn't know I was eating something I really shouldn't have been (another slice of pizza). While I managed to stay within my calories yesterday, and finally throw away the half slice of pizza I didn't eat due to guilt, I was not so good today. The moment I was left alone, I made myself a cheese sandwich on white bread, with mayo. I then proceeded to eat it as quickly as I could to hide the evidence. What is wrong with me? I used to do this every day, but haven't in over six weeks. I know I'm not dehydrated as I have drank over 2 liters of water today. How do I get myself to knock it off and get back on track? Does anyone else have this problem? ARGH!FRUSTRATED! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

03-07-2008, 08:54 PM
Yes, and frankly, I still have this problem and probably will forever. No guilt, pick yourself up, and start again the very next meal. Make a commitment to healthy eating.

Sometimes the process of losing weight is two steps forward and one step back. You'll still reach your goal, and you'll learn a lot about yourself along the way. Missteps happen--you just learn to put them aside and concentrate on doing what you know is healthy for you.

Also, I suggest telling your boyfriend what you've done so that the "secret" food won't have power of you.

03-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Sheila's right. Early on in my plan I would cheat or hide candy from my husband. One time I hid half a pizza under the vegetables!!! I never ate it. The guilt just created more anxiety for me as I do not like to hide anything. Now when I do cheat I don't hide it and it actually helps me if I talk to my husband about it. I talk then pick myself back up. No of us are perfect. It will be alright just keep making good choices.

03-07-2008, 10:24 PM
Add me to the list....I often hide my binges or bad eating. **sigh**

It's something I have always done, and though I'm getting better, it's hard to stop myself sometimes. I share your frustration. :hug:

03-07-2008, 10:31 PM
For me it's a constant struggle, and I imagine it will for a long while. I didn't develop the bad eating habits I have overnight and so I know it will take a long time to break the habit for the future (if ever).

But I do agree with Sheila, we all have lapses now and then. Don't beat yourself up over it, just pick up and continue right the next moment on plan. It only makes you feel worse and more at risk of repeating if ya beat yourself up over it. :) :hug:

03-08-2008, 01:16 AM
Sure, I've done it too. Sometimes I look forward to when I know my husband will be out of the house so I can sit and openly eat some garbage that I don't really need. Let's face it, it's a real addiction and one that is harder than others, being that we can't give up food cold turkey, have to eat to stay alive.

03-08-2008, 02:18 AM
Been there, done that too. Just don't beat yourself up over it and start fresh right away. We are all going to slip up, it is more important that you learn to just move on after a bad choice and start to make good choices than to let it haunt you. Letting it haunt you usually creates anxiety that makes you do it again.

03-08-2008, 11:38 AM
Kim, secret eating is a problem for many of us. If I had really only eaten what everyone else thought I had...."I don't know why you're overweight because you don't eat much at all!".....then I would never have gotten as heavy as I did. This all comes back to committment and reminding ourselves of the reason we're doing this. One of my biggest coping solutions is to not have any junkfood or my trigger foods in the house. Granted, I've been know to binge on healthy foods too, but I'm not as likely to binge if the sugar and processed foods aren't around to tempt me. I also struggle with picking up a candy bar, eating it on the drive home and hiding the "evidence" in my purse. Now, I have to talk to myself before I enter the store and go through my list of reasons to stay on-plan. No more mindless shopping for me!
Kim, you can do this. You can get control of your eating. But, you need to want this more than you want the very brief pleasure of eating off-plan.

03-08-2008, 11:56 AM
I have been a secret eater too for most of my adult life. I think it started before I even got fat. When I was in my 20's I could never sit and enjoy a piece of cake or a candy or a bowl of chips without a passel of preschoolers and toddlers clamoring all over me for bites. I hated that. I like to just enjoy my food quietly. So I started taking my food to the bedroom, the pantry or even the bathroom (ew) so I could eat it with no one seeing me.

I have pretty mujch stopped this behavior now. EVen when I eat junk I do it in plain view. But the hardest habit was the one Paula mentioned about looking forward to DH being out so I could sit and chow. My DH is gone out of town a lot so it used to be when he left, I stopped cooking meals and just bought junk, ordered in pizzas, went through drive throughs. It was weeks of Arbys, McDonald's and all kinds of horrid food I would be embarrassed to eat if he were here. I used the excuse that I had too much to do and no time to cook when he was gone. Now he is gone and I still get these thoughts like, "ooooo, we can go to the buffet tonight" or "I can just go get burgers" but I stop myself. It's hard but worth it.

03-08-2008, 01:04 PM
I totally still have this problem, too. For me, the answer is get the trigger foods out of the house (at least as many as possible).

03-08-2008, 05:36 PM
I'm right there with you also. And like others have posted, it's an addiction. And just like with any other addiction, once it's *in the light* it doesn't hold the same power over you and it's easier to tackle since it's no longer such a shameful secret. Also, I suggest telling your boyfriend what you've done so that the "secret" food won't have power of you.I have to agree with this wholeheartedly. In November I told my DH - after over 12 years together - about my binging/hiding food issues (not that he *understands* them like others here do!) and it was a HUGE step for me. I could share it with others here, but sharing it with someone IRL was so liberating. Sure I've slipped up. Just one night last week DH went and got in the shower and I RAN to the kitchen! :dizzy: Things didn't get too out of control, but the behavior was still there.

03-08-2008, 08:58 PM
I've also dealt with the "secret eating" thing and it's really hard, but I do agree with everyone. You need to talk about it so that it doesn't have the power to make you feel guilty and then you need to move on and get back to healthy eating. Don't let it drag you down!!

03-09-2008, 03:28 AM
I think it's a hard attitude shift to make.

I've never been a secret eater, but I have my own response to criticism. Whenever anyone commented on a poor food choice, I'd just eat twice as much to "show" that person that I could do what I pleased. Of course, that was just letting someone else's comments tear me down and change my behavior.

I have certain rules about eating food that doesn't fall into my personal parameters (which I don't think are "normal") for healthy. If there is a healthy alternative which will hit the same spot, I make that. That is to say, if I'm desperately craving chicken strips, I know that I can make my own coated in ground almonds with a light dusting of parmesan that will thrill me just as much as running to the diner for the deep-fried variety.

If there isn't a healthy alternative: First, I drink a glass of water or tea and think about why I want the item. I have pms food cravings that will lead to complete breakdowns if not satisfied. I also occasionally "crave" food just because I'm too hungry to think about cooking or my emotions are ruling my stomach. I always cave to the former, but I usually don't need the latter.

If I still want it, I go and get it. I don't try and substitute other non-related foods, because it doesn't work for me. I can eat three cucumbers, a few bags of carrots and a whole chicken while dreaming of a Wendy's cheeseburger, and in the end, I'll still drive to Wendy's.

Once I buy the item I wanted (and ONLY the item I was craving), I must drive all the way home before eating it. There will be no burger cramming while driving one handed back to my place. The item is put on a plate. It is eaten at the table as a proper meal (or snack). This is food that nourishes my body, and it should be enjoyed thoroughly.

I think this works for me because my most commonly craved foods are "healthy". So, I'm not fighting a constant need for a box of cookies or a container of french fries.

I also see this as a lifestyle change, and it needs to be sustainable. I can exercise daily. I can hit the gym running every morning, but I will never be able to see food solely as something that fuels me. Food is pleasure, food is social, food is culture . . . For me, trying to deny this is impossible.

In my long-winded way, I'm trying to say that it's hard to tackle the guilt that's associated with food, especially if you've had it pressed upon you for your entire life. But I am worthwhile. If I want a second slice of pizza and I take the time to think about it, then I'll eat it. If criticized, I'm perfectly willing to let people know just how hard I work, and that being overweight and trying to get healthy doesn't mean I need to forgo all food related pleasure.

If I overdo it without thinking, I just do my best to own it. Everyone overdoes it sometimes. I just think about how I can avoid putting myself in the same situation with the same results again.

Maybe you can try thinking about why you feel the need to secret eat. Is it criticism from your boyfriend? Could you confront him? Are you worried about disappointing others? Is there a reason why you might not want to succeed at your new lifestyle? What do you think would happen if you did eat that sandwich sitting at the kitchen table? Would it work better if you made half a sandwich that's not "on plan" and ate it with others?

There is a way that will work for you, but it might take experimentation to find it. Good luck, and may you get all the support you need.

math puppy
03-09-2008, 04:11 AM
you are not alone at all! the important thing is, to not give up! no matter how hard it is somtimes, there will be easy times too.

03-09-2008, 11:51 AM
Hey....I thought I was the only one who was a secret binge eater. Guess not because several have admitted to this corrupt practice. I know I am going to beat myself up but I can't seem to stop. I guess we need to be more intuned to what we are doing. I have gone almost 90 days but slipped 2 days ago with the candy bar at the checkout line. Wolf it down and throw the wrapper away before going into the house. I realize that this is my 'high' and I don't need it to live.

I have been reading the posts here and I am really inspired by the support offered here. I believe I will introduce myself to you in the section. Hope I can jump on and join in......

03-09-2008, 01:07 PM
I hope it helps just to know that you're not alone (none of us are!).

And thank you for bringing up this subject, as its very near & dear to my heart too. I love what someone said about getting it out in the open & not letting it have power over you.

Its so seldom what we eat - as much as what happens next...... so make sure that you do something positive to get all that bad stuff out of your head!!!

03-10-2008, 11:56 AM
I actually didn't develop this horrible habit until after I had my baby (he's now 18 months old) and I really started trying to lose weight. I just couldn't do it. I would buy bags of chips and cookies and eat them all by myself. I would keep them in my room on my side of the bed, scarf them down and throw away the evidence. I told myself I'd had enough of the self-sabotage and stopped "dieting." When I was finally ready to move on, I changed strategies. I plan my meals and snacks. Sometimes it's junk. (Shoot we're having frito chili pies for dinner one day this week) Most times it's healthy. I try to watch my hunger cues and I'm trying to retrain myself to eat slower and remind myself that just because it tastes awesome doesn't mean I need to eat a ton of it. So far I haven't had any binges in a long time.

03-10-2008, 04:48 PM
I went to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting for this very reason: secret and binge eating. It is almost thirteen years later and I want you to know, you will move beyond this. Becoming aware of it is the first step forward. Thank you for sharing this.

I also want to thank all the rest of you who shared about your secret and binge eating. I have done all of the same things you ladies have done and more. One of my lowest moments was throwing a bunch of leftovers from other people's plates on top of some creme puffs and then when people weren't looking I dug under all that grose stuff and ate the creme puffs (one of my favorite previous "sins")!! I once ate a half-eaten candybar that I saw discarded on a city street! Someone could have had a disease who tossed that or it could have been peed on by a dog walking by. Worst yet, I didn't care. It was a candybar and I wanted it irregardless of its past "history". Can you imagine that?

I still have slips on occasion. When I identify a "trigger" food, I put it on my mental check list and it doesn't come through the door. However, when my DH goes to one of his many meetings and there are leftovers, he knows I will ask if he brought any home. Sometimes, he will bring me home the healthy stuff but then I see the old me trying to get him to be an "enabler" too. Just last night, I asked didn't they have any cookies? He feels embarassed when he forgets... I feel so sorry for him when I do that. I consider it the grace of God when he has moments where he forgets.

I can usually be strong but I have now come to believe that there are good days and then there are not so good days.... Here's to as many good days as we can take!!:carrot:

Thanks for sharing this, it is a powerful reminder for all of us that we are indeed human....lest we forget.....

03-10-2008, 06:11 PM
I also have this addiction. I always thought it was depression when my husband was gone. He is in the military and recently got back from Iraq. I had plans to lose all my weight in the 18 months he was gone. I actually was 15 pounds heavier when he got back. I was so mortified because I had these dreams of him seeing me skinny and him not even knowing I was dieting. So, when he got home I started my diet. It is so much easier with him home. Well, now the weekend drills have started back up and this weekend I was eating like a hog! I feel so guilty and really sick to my stomach when I do this. Why do we do this to our bodies when it makes us feel so awful and drained.

03-11-2008, 07:41 AM
I have this same problem! I'll wait until the family I work for is gone then rush upstairs and eat something that I wasn't hungry for and that I shouldn't be eating. I've done it since I was a kid, so it is hard to break. I remember hiding bowls of cereal in my room and cramming it into the time I got home from school and when my mom got home from work. My mom to this day does not know about my secret eating habit. It is hard to break, and you may need to start out small. I've stopped having food in my room, which is where I normally binge, instead I only keep fruit down here. It's a mental thing that needs to be worked out, it may take time. Trying talking with the people in your life, you should never feel that you have to eat in secret. If you want something you should eat it, out in the open.

03-11-2008, 08:50 AM
Ok i admit it also. I do it after we eat dinner and will pick up the last peice of meat and eat it . Meat seems to be what i crave most. I will have my serving with dinner and then eat another few bites in the kitchen. I use to pick off my kids plates before scrapping them also. NOw my kids are grown. I notice I dont do this if anyone else is in the kitchen with me

03-11-2008, 12:00 PM
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with this problem. I ended up having another episode last night involving chinese food. My bf had ordered chicken fingers and General Tsao's chicken the other night and has been sick, so he hasn't eaten it. I scarfed down a couple of pieces of General Tsao's and chicken tenders last night and ended up almost making myself sick. I haven't had fried food in two months, so it caused an immediate upset stomach. Worse part, is that I still wanted more. So, I need to figure out how to convince my bf that leftovers are just a bad idea.

03-11-2008, 12:22 PM
I am right there with the rest of you. I have done my fair share of secret binge eating. I would find myself being mad at my BF is he was home when I thought he wouldn't be and had planned on eating certain things. I would hide the wrappers for things I ate at the bottom of the trash can so no one would see.
One thing that helped me (eventhough I still struggle with it) is doing calorie counting instead of a plan with "forbidden" foods. I think part of the reason I was binging was to rebel against myself saying I can't eat certain things. With calorie counting nothing is off limits, and that helps me a lot.