Overeaters Anonymous - I think I'm addicted to FOOD....?!

03-01-2009, 11:08 AM
Prom is exactly two months away from today. I have been trying to lose weight since I was 13... so what on earth makes me think that I can do it now? I'm definitely overweight, but not to the point where I stand out, or couldn't get a guys attention. But thats because I dress to flatter my curves. But I NEVER wear tank tops, even in the summer. =[ I hate not being able to wear cute clothes without something over it. My dress is beautiful, but my arms are so fat and bursting out of it, and my face always looks heavy in pictures. I'm going to be 18 in a month, and I really want to look different. Can I make a big difference in the two months before prom? Noticeably different? But I'm addicted to food. ='[ I eat so much, and I can't stop. And then I feel worse. I just want to be like normal people who eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. Last night I was crying my eyes out because I had binged so much that day. I have to stop this. Someone please help me!

-Hopeless :(

03-01-2009, 11:32 AM
You've beaten yourself up pretty badly in the post above. I can see you are hurting. You absolutely CAN change but I would not recommend putting an artificial timeline on it like Prom. I also commend you on deciding to take control while it's a smaller number (20 lbs.). I remember needing to lose 20 pounds at your age and I was so overwhelmed and didn't know how to do it. It felt like such a huge number.

Based solely off the above post, I think the first thing you need to work on is your attitude and relationship to food and your body. Before you even try to lose weight. Mentally, you are in a little bit of a war with yourself and you have your whole self image on the line. I've noticed that people who have a healthy weight and food relationships have learned to take much of the emotion out of food and food choices. They see themselves in a cooperative relationship with food and exercise- it's a tool to keep their body in good condition. They don't go to war with their bodies but rather work in cooperation.

It's a hard attitude to get to for people like us who tie our self esteem to the scale but it can be achieved. I've been working on it for awhile and I'm slowly losing the weight and making the permanent changes I need to do it. You're young and that means if you adopt the right attitude now, you'll never have to go further down the road many of us at 3FC have traveled for years.

The place you are coming from right sounds like you want to punish yourself and your body for failing. It isn't healthy. Forgive yourself for your imperfection with food. Decide you want to nuture your body and cooperate with it coming from a positive place. You want this because you deserve to have good health for life and therefore you're going to (fill in the blank). If you mess up, don't say 'I'll start over Monday'. Pick yourself up that very moment and move forward. When you make good food choices, praise yourself or come here and we'll do it for you.

Right now you're in a cycle of only noticing the negative things about your weight and making judgements about yourself because of it. Turn that around and your weight will turn around. Notice all the GOOD things you do for your body and decide to add a few more. When you fall short, shrug your shoulders and move on. All mental energy is expended dwelling on the positive changes you're making. Doing that will make you feel powerful instead of hopeless and people are ALWAYS more motivated to change when they feel good about themselves and feel they are already successful.

Remove the artificial time line of Prom. Those who set timelines like that almost ALWAYS fail to achieve them then they give up. You're embarking on a process of healthier living and that's going to take awhile- and it's okay. You'll live with these changes your whole life so take your time and make them something you can stick with even if that means it takes a whole year to drop that 20 lbs.

Thighs Be Gone
03-01-2009, 11:53 AM
Good for you to be thinking to take care of your body now. I wish I had made the commitment sooner.

You can do this. The most important "advice" (if you want to call it that) I can give is to give you is to make healthy living (good nutrition, exercise, proper sleeping) the utmost of your priorities. Let nothing and noone come between you and your goal of a healthy weight.

You sound like a dear and I just know you will knock them dead at prom. Safely, you could probably lose 15 pounds before the big night. As to the way you will do it, I can tell you that calorie counting and Alli has worked for me. You must make the decision to JUST do it though and then with each day, make decisions in line with your commitment.

You can do this.

03-01-2009, 12:24 PM
Oh my god you guys are so sweet! thank you so much for your encouragement. I have realized by reading both responses that I do need to tackle the emotional addiction first, and keep an optimistic "I can DO THIS!" mindset. It's just so hard... never knowing when I'm going to relapse, never knowing when my appetite will get the best of me.

Want an example? I woke up this moring, started filling out my college housing applications, watched some TV, and then I remembered the brownies that my neighbor brought over last night. I had to have had at least 7 huge ones. What is wrong with me????! I'm so full, I feel so ashamed, yet I know in a half hour I'll go to the fridge and get something else to eat. Not even listening to my body to see if I'm truly hungry. AAAaaah I hate this.

03-01-2009, 12:27 PM
Getting food issues under control can be really hard, but it's definitely doable. You can do it!

For me the best way to approach anything overwhelming is with baby steps. What kind of food are you eating too much of? Is it health foods or junk? If it's junk, why not try to switch it out for healthier foods first? I know sugar and simple carbs (white carbs like wonder bread and white rice) make some people binge.

I'd also recommend getting in some exercise. It'll make you feel good and will help you to lose inches and become smaller even if you can't see it on the scale. Thighsbegone is very right to mention sleep as well. Getting proper rest is very important to weight loss and maintenance!


Thighs Be Gone
03-02-2009, 02:43 PM
neveragain, I hope I am not giving unsolicited advice here but I want to tell you one more thing...

It is so very important to set yourself up for success...when the treats come in the front here, they go out just as quickly..I don't keep it...otherwise, I can be tempted and I just don't want to go there right now..like the above poster mentioned, it is truly a vicious cycle...the bad crap (not bad in moderation for normal folk) can send you searching your cupboards for more and more--that's how you end up eating seven brownies when it only began with one....

good luck sweetie, I am always here if you want to chat :)

03-02-2009, 03:39 PM
I don't think you're addicted to food. Food and eating is a biologicial need. I think you're addicted to the comfort, the good feeling, the support you get from food. For me, binging is a way to curve my anxiety. The oh-my-god my hands are shaking, my mind is racing...I'll stuff my face to help me. I just take it it one day at a time, think I'm going to do one small thing different today. If you binged on 5 pieces of pizza... today I'm only going to binge on 3. It still sounds like a failure, but it isn't...you did it less and less. Also, understand your emotions behind eating. For me, I joined this blogging website which I write out everything religiously....every feeling and I haven't binged in like 2 months. Hang in there. You're not a failure.

03-02-2009, 09:38 PM
You sound a lot like me. All through high school I struggled with huge weight issues. I was only ever about as much overweight as you are, still am, but I was soo self-conscious. I would go through cycles of binging, purging, starving...never anything healthy. I never learned how to live healthier or cared to learn. I wanted to drop a ton of weight overnight, and while I could do that for the short stretch with starvation methods and diet pills (I didn't eat for the two weeks leading up to my junior homecoming dance and lost a good 15 pounds or so but nearly passed out at the dance and got violently ill the next morning), eventually I would gain it all back and more because I too was addicted to the comfort of binging. It feels so good to stuff your face that I would sit and do it for hours. It was entertainment for me.
Let me say this, with no motive of being discouraging--this is probably going to be one of the hardest things you've ever done. It has been for me and still is. If you're just thinking about prom, or dropping a quick twenty pounds, or caught in the vicious cycle of not listening to your body even though you know you want to be better, then you might not be fully prepared for the journey you will have to take to lose the weight.
You have to learn to listen to your own reasoning as to why you shouldn't eat seven brownies, instead of "I shouldn't but I want them so there's nothing I can do, I have to eat the brownies, as many as I can." I still do this with myself. The chatter of the binge monkey on your back can easily drown out all other reason or logic.
To lose the weight you have to be ready to sit down and commit yourself to a life-long change. You have to learn to eat healthy food, in healthy portions. You have to learn to say no to the temptation. Address the problem. Reconfigure your life.
If that sounds like a huge scary overwhelming thing, I'm not at all surprised. The idea of ACTUALLY losing the weight for the first time in my life was a terribly daunting idea to entertain for me, giving up the comfort of food for the comfort of feeling good in my own skin.
I have been in your very shoes, and there are plenty of days where I come back and try the shoes on again, shuffle around the kitchen in them, eat for hours because I never really get full when I'm binging.
Once you're in it for the long haul, the weight will drop away. Just don't send your body into haywire or malnutrition for two crazy weeks while keeping in mind the whole time the seven cheeseburgers you'll eat the day after prom. Because after those seven, there will be seven more and seven more, and the feeling of gaining back that hard-lost weight is worse than any craving or hunger pain I've ever felt.
Stick with it, its a learning process. I have full faith that you can make it if you commit yourself to a lasting, needed change in your attitude and your lifestyle.