When I was 20, dieting and weightloss was not completely worn out. I started my first "diet" at 15 and after only 5 years, I had a lot of hope that I would find the answer, lose all the weight and get a perfect body.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that I had a very disorder pattern of eating. Binge then starve then binge then starve...and so on. When I started realizing that I wanted to have a normal realtionship with food, the whole "diet" thing got a lot harder. Strangely enough.
Now at 30 I freaking tired of it. I've tried everything. Most recently, I tried cutting out all sugar. I must admit that for the most part I did notice many positive effects. But when TOM hits, I don't just eat a little extra, I binge. Like grossly binge. No mater what I have tried over the years, nothings seems to help. I'm ready to wire my jaw shut monthly.
My binging usually is short enough (a few days) that it doesn't destroy my weightloss efforts. Although, the weeks between binges, I have to over exercise and live counting calories religiously. I hate it.
I just want to eat normally. I'm so tired of food running my life. And here's the kick in the pants: Now I have to maintain this?!?! Really? Because if I don't everyone will see I've fallen off the wagon again.
The exercise part I kind of got. I run now, and I like it. Granted I don't do it as much now in the winter, but I'm not too worried. Except for a awhile there I was able to make up for my binges with running. A 5 mile run burns about 500-600 cals. Its like 125 cals a mile, give or take. But factor in that I was doing about 25 miles a week. Well, I was able to binge a few times a month, and for the first time and still lose weight.
But my running has slowed a lot. I have a treadmill, but I'm just as lazy about the treadmill as I always was. So now I have this binging, and I'm not burning it off anymore. But I'd rather just not binge. Easier said than done.
Are some of us destine to spend a life time fighting with food?
12-04-2011, 09:05 PM
Have you tried starting a daily meditation practice? A lot of time just stopping and sitting and paying attention to our breath and noticing our thoughts and feelings without doing anything about them can be very helpful in stopping behaviors.
12-04-2011, 09:11 PM
Besides your mind? I don't think there's anything to stop it. I don't major binge, but I tend to over eat too often, not being able to stop myself "because it's there". My weight loss is fine, but it's slow. I should be a lot farther by now. Sometimes, like today, I just feel like eating and I want something sweet. I can eat and eat, but the only sweets I have in the house is fruit. Fruits not doing the trick. I'm not eating because I don't have what i want in the house to eat, but I can't stop thinking about it!
I was thinking about hypnosis. Have you thought about that? I used hypnosis to try to quit smoking and it didn't work. The problem was, the suggestion was that I didn't want to smoke. I knew I did. Maybe if the suggestion was that smoking would make me sick, it would have worked. I used Chantix to quit, and smoking made me sick. It worked.
I saw an ad for hypnosis and weight loss, and I started thinking about it and wondered if it would work. Not by suggesting I don't want the food, but maybe suggesting feeling satiated earlier? That a little is enough? I don't know the answer.
It really comes down to mind over matter, and just not, even though you want to, really want to, and can. It's frustrating when you can't find that inner strength to just not.
12-04-2011, 10:24 PM
I would strongly reccomend you look into intermittent fasting. For me it has been a great experience.
I've not been able to hit my vanity goals but maintaining without counting calories has been a breeze.
Short version is I eat two times a day. Easier not to over eat when you're eating fewer meals.
There is an adjustment period but after about a month I wasn't even hungry until around noon. Now I can easily go till 2:00 or 3:00 PM if I want to before eating. I was a natural breakfast eater too.
As for your specific problem - perhaps you can strategize a solution. I'm going to send you a PM.
12-05-2011, 07:00 AM
We are about the same age, I'll be 30 next month.
I just have a question: if you honestly look back at how you dealt with food when you were 15, through your 20s, would you say that your behavior has only worsened? That your binges have become worse?
My eating may not be perfect now, but it is a heckuvalot more stable than when I was in my teens and for most of my twenties. This is mostly because I have learned how people safely lose weight. I used to go through extreme, emotional dieting involving intermittent forms of anorexia and bulimia.
If you feel like (even with what you know about calories and weight loss) your behavior is increasingly spinning more out of control, then I'd probably look to help beyond this website.
If you feel like you can honestly say "Ok, I have improved, but am still not quite where I want to be", then I'd give it time and some meditation, as seagirl mentioned. If this is so, I think you will continue to grow and improve and have less-frequent binges the more you come to understand your body.
12-05-2011, 12:43 PM
Are some of us destine to spend a life time fighting with food?
short answer: YES.
and I am one of them.
I know, probably not what you wanted to hear. But it's the truth.
Binge eating is what got me up to 192 lb.
Dieting and exercise since I hit puberty has yo-yo'd me back & forth between 121-192 lb.
I am now losing weight for the SEVENTH time in my life. That's right - seven times between ages 12 and 48, losing at least 25-40 lb. WHY? Because of binge eating.
It's not that I've eaten "nothing but junk" or gone overloading on carbs, etc. It's that I would eat & eat & eat until I just about exploded, and yet, found reason to eat some more. SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT! Something wrong WITH ME.
And yes, cutting way down on processed sugar & carbs DOES help with that tendency to binge. But I still have to be VERY AWARE of what goes into my mouth on a daily basis ....heck!~ on a MEAL-to-MEAL basis. The TOM does make it worse (did for me), but thank god, now I'm half-way into menopause & don't experience that much anymore (replaced with hot flashes & mood swings, oh the joy of being a woman).
So yes - you have to watch yourself; monitor yourself - meal by meal, day by day, forever. IF you want to maintain your weight loss. The question you need to ask (& answer) yourself is IS IT WORTH IT? It is for me. :^:
12-05-2011, 01:06 PM
We all need to have a relationship with food every day. I was a binge/emotional eater for over 30 years and just recently have changed my mindset about it and it's an amazingly freeing experience. The secret... individual and group counseling. Find a therapist who specializes in eating and weight issues. Be completely open and honest with that person and yourself. It would help to see a dietitian as well if you can do that.
12-05-2011, 01:11 PM
I can't help wondering if it could be hormonal (with stress added). you might want to talk to your gynecologist. I get increased appetite around my TOM too. May be a biological aspect to it that you can get help with.
12-05-2011, 01:21 PM
I agree with beachpatrol.
Hon, I would love to tell you that in the end, we will all find the 'cure', the way to do this without worrying about food, but even for many of us long-term maintainer, that day will never come.
I am an alcoholic. I have not touched a drop in years. However, I will always be one and I will never be able to have that normal relationship again. Food is the same with of course, the exception that I cannot abstain from it. However, I can manage it. One day, you will come to manage it. You won't be "fixed", but you can get through each day.
Good luck :)
12-05-2011, 01:24 PM
Yep, binger here too. This is about the 6th or 7th time that I'm trying to lose weight. Everyone is different, and I've said this in a couple other forums, but for me, what has always worked is therapy and medication.
12-05-2011, 01:24 PM
About the whole TOM thing... that happens to me too and I'm finding that as I change things up in my diet/exercise, it gets worse or better.
I know when I am "starving" that my period is around the corner. Because normally, any other week, I don't get that hungry and I can just eat my calories and be fine. When I am hunting for food around the house, it's usually because of PMS.
Anyway, the point is that I've been able to manage and adjust it with exercise, supplements, and changes to my diet. And sometimes I just eat more.
Now, whether the issue is about eating "normally"...
Well, again, there is no normal. At first, my diets never worked because I hated to be different from everyone else. But then, this time, my "diet" has worked in part because I really took a look around at my thin friends, my thin family members, and thin coworkers. I discovered that they don't eat "normally" either. They share an entree at a restaurant. They exercise every day. They eat salads during the week in order to go out to dinner on Saturday night. They don't eat candy or chocolate or cookies. They ask for the dressing on the side or no dressing at all.
The point is that "normal" isn't really what you probably think "normal" is. Thin people are constantly thinking about what they are putting in their mouths and how much their move/exercise.
Perfect example is my aunt -- she's been thin her entire life. You would think it was genetic. If you're visiting, you'd notice that she's constantly eating a cookie here, candy there. She's grazing all the freaking time. She isn't "naturally" thin, though. What happens is that she grazes all day, but she never really has a full meal. I'm sure she sticks to whatever her calorie range is for her body to stay thin through her grazing. But if you didn't know her (or observe her, since it took me all my life to notice this), you'd think she could eat junk and still stay thin. Well, yes, she can, but she doesn't eat meals. So, if you want to skip your meals and eat cookies or candy all day, then go at it. But you might not be satisfied with it. She is, obviously, she's been eating like that all her life.
The point is that there is no "normal" way of eating. The "normal" way of eating is whatever makes you happy and healthy, in my opinion.
12-05-2011, 03:15 PM
Rana makes a great point. My husband is "naturally" thin, but if you observe him, you'll notice that he only eats two meals a day, max. One of those "meals" is usually just a roll and butter in the morning. He doesn't snack, and he isn't a sweet eater. That's why he's thin.
I used to assume that all those thin people I saw were somehow magically thin, that they could eat whatever they wanted, not exercise, and still be thin. Well, in most cases, that is not true.
But one difference I do see between me (and many of us on this forum) and people who are "naturally" thin is that they do not focus on food like we do. For instance, my husband has told me he doesn't eat lunch because he just doesn't feel like preparing it. Well, I can tell you, that I would leave my house, drive to the grocery store, get the ingredients, and bake a cake if I knew I could have it! Food is more of a priority for me than it is for him. I wish that wasn't the case, but it is. For years, I was in denial about that, but now that I've accepted it, it's easier for me to deal with it.
Don't define "normal" by what you perceive others as doing. Often, things are not what they appear to be. It's more important to find what works (and doesn't work) for you. While I don't know whether I could be called a binger (I don't think so), I do overeat a lot at times, and it's in a paniced, shoving-food-in-my-mouth way sometimes. Yesterday, knowing I was going to toss out half of a small carrot cake (long story--wanted it out of the house), I took it out of the fridge, ate all the cream cheese frosting off of it, and then ate half of the cake (it was REALLY small, so that just came to about 700 calories). My point is, that my husband would probably have been shocked if he had seen me standing over the counter eating the cake that way. Afterward, I did not beat myself up about it. I realize that I have a disordered relationship with food. Instead, I adjusted my calories for the week (shaving off 100-200 on a few days to make up for that episode), and I am moving on.
It is what it is. Don't beat yourself up over the way you are, Just find strategies to deal with the way you are. I think that feeling guilt and disgust makes it much worse.
12-05-2011, 03:42 PM
I just wanted to say thank you for the responses. Obviously, I'm not the OP, but the question is one I've had too...will I ever have a "normal" relationship with food. Your answers were insightful, caring, and honest. They've given me some "food for thought" so to speak. :lol:
one small bowl
12-06-2011, 12:46 AM
I use to say that very same thing "I just want to eat normally". I even tried with all kinds of Intuitive Eating advice. But it created it's own set of problems. With the all or nothing at all mentality of binge/dieting, the "normal" eating values can be way too elusive. Normal is very difficult to define!
I have been working on stopping all the crazies and instead of fighting and getting angry with myself or my diet, I am learning simple everyday techniques to "manage" my eating. I accept that I will always have the tendency to over eat, to have binge urges and that food will always be my first thought when stressed. I cannot change that, but I can manage it by being 100% aware of the process, by eating 3 meals a day, by using a nutritional software to keep in touch with the reality of what I eat, and by keeping a Zen like approach to my less than optimal choices.
I am still working it all out, bit by bit, taking this step and that. Some days one thing will work, another day it does not. At least I write about it on my blog, I continue on to the next meal with a fresh approach. I am no longer always angry about it. I am finding that the less I fight it, the better I am at making the next meal on target with my goals.
12-06-2011, 11:24 AM
Thank you everyone.
Seagirl- I haven't tried meditaion. I hate to admit, sitting odwn to a snack afte I get my kids to bed, is my way of relaxing. I've been working on ways to unwind without food, and sometimes I just go to bed. I've never been able to relax enough to meditate. I'm one of the those type A, go go go, run run run personalities. I always feel like I should be doing something. It kind of sucks actually.
twinieten- I have thought about hypnosis lately! As a "I've got nothing to lose" kind of idea. I personally don't think it would work, but I am will to give it a try. The only thing is I know my husband would never support something like that, and I don't know how I would sneek off and do it? I have 2 kids and no one to watch them. Is it expensive? I should fake a shoe shopping trip, leave the kids home with hubby and go!
JohnP- I had actually read up on intermittent fasting several months ago. I must admit, I couldn't fully understand how it worked. It sounds simple enough but I guess the websites I was on were confusing me on the times to start and stop and different times on different days. The main reason I never tried it was because at the time I was running most mornings and not only did I need a small snack before hand, but I needed to eat after. Some mornings I was running between 5-7 miles and with in a hour or so I was starving! But I couldn't stomach a huge meal, so I'd eat something on the light side. And several hours later I'd eat a regular lunch. It didn't seem like intermittent fasting was compatable with running. Now I don't run as often because of the weather and shorter days. I got your PM and that did seem like something I could try. While I really love sweets, if they are not in the house, I'll just binge on carbs. Healthy ones at that. Cereal is actually a big one for me. Cheerios. I could eat a whole box. Thankfully, I'm too lazy to go to the store to get binge food. I've always been to lazy to go get what I want. I'll just make due with what's in the kitchen. And our kitchen is pretty free from junk, because of me and my history of eating all the crap in one sitting.
Unna- I would ahve to say that over the past 10 years, I have gotten better. A big part was that I REALIZED I had a problem. I spent so many years not even seeing my issue. I don't know how deep in the sand I had my head to not notice my binge starve cycles, but in the past few years, that became apparent. Then in the past year or so I started really seeing how deeply rooted and unstoppable the binges are (and occasionally the restriction phase) I had to admit to myself, although I didn't in the OP, that about 2 weeks leading up to my 3 day binge (I hope to stay binge free today) that I was restricting. I was supposed to keep my calories at 1355, which I know is a little too low for me. I notice that under 1450 I start to feel week and tired, and my runs get super crumby. I use an app to track my cals and honestly on many days I only ate between 1100 -1200 cals. I knew what I was doing, but I justified it because I wasn't hungry, and I really wasn't. I am a master of the low cal fill food combos. I can eat all day, and only actually take in like 1000 cals. I know there are ways to help this like adding olive oil on top of pasta, is a way to reach my daily calories, but not really increase the volume of food I'm taking in. But years ago, I'd restrict to like 500 cals a day, for weeks, then binge for weeks, so I guess the cycle is getting better, in the way that its not as severe and I am aware of it. When I restrict I usually have a reason. We are going away in a few weeks and I wanted to get into the next pant size down before we left. I do follow a patter. I seem to restrict (which may not be over restricting) during most of the month, then binge right before TOM. I think both play a part, because months that I'm not restricting TOM binging isn't as bad. It happens but not so severe.
Beach Patrol- It is worth it! :) I sometimes tell myself, "you don't have to do this. You can eat whatever you want, but then you just can't wear whatever you want"...I liken it to alcoholism. That there's a good chance I'll never be cured. I think I'm still in the acceptance stage. Actually, I used to smoke. I don't anymore, but I always want a cigarette. And once or twice a year, if I'm around smokers, I might have one. I wondr why I don't still smoke. Why I don't give in daily to smoking. I like it. I like smoking! But I chose not to based on the healthy risks. Why can't I do the same with food??
LeslieB - you know, I really have thought about going to group counciling for this. I see an individual therapist and its not helpful with the food issues, I think because I really have gained a lot of insight in recent years, and she actually said to me, that I know what's going on, I have insight into my food issues, and that there';s not much she can do it hte way of that. She recommended a food journal, but I know my triggers. I just dont give a hoot when I want to binge, I binge. There is a group that meets like 30 minutes from my home, but, and this is weird, I'm embarassed to go. I really ashamed. I don't want to put a face to my problems. On here, everyone just thinks it Marilyn Monroe that has all these food issues, but if I go to a group, people wll see ME. What if I run into a patient? I'm a nurse. What if I run into someone I know. Also, and this sounds silly, because I now have my weight undercontrol, I'm afraid people won't take me seriously. I'm not over weight, I'm not under weight. My body does not reflect the binge starve cycles I am trying to stop. So I feel like I will be dismissed.
dragonwoman64- I definitely think something is off with my hormones. I did go in and get everything checked. I ended up with a Hashimoto's diagnoses. But I'm not hypothyroid, yet. I was diagnosed early because my husband (he's a PA) told me which labs to ask for. So they found the antibodies that lead to the Hashimotos diagnoses. My thyroid is still functioning, but inconstisently. Which is not uncommon before totally crapping out. I've done a lot fo reading on PMS, and from what I've read, (and from what my gyn has said) its not uncommon for women to experience worsening symptoms as they get into their 30s and after having kids. I actually read that PMS is at its worse from our late 20s until our early 40s...I did notice the past few years with aging and having 2 babies its just been getting worse. The only solution I've been offered is birth control which I tried and with out going into that whole debacle, it just made things worse.
sacha- I try to look at this like alcoholism, that in a way its an addiction, so I don't feel like such a failure, that somehow I am failing to stop binging. Last year a family member of mine that is now a recovering alcoholic, but at the time had not admitted he had a problem yet, was in an accident. He was drinking. I could never fathom the idea of getting behind the wheel after drinking. The week leading up o the accident, he was not sober, at all. Just a week (or longer) long drinking binge. While driving him to get the stuff from his car. We talked (long drive). And I asked him why he drank. He was sober at this point. And he started to tell me about how he drank when he was bored. How it was something he looked forward to. About his anxiety would start if he realized he was low on alcohol in the house. It made him anxious to think he ran out, and he would stock up. He said it was something to do. ...As he talked I had a huge ah-ha moment. That I was no different that him. Only my vice didn't impair my mental functioning, so I could hide it, but not really because the size of my body was my version of drunk driving. My perspective on a lot fo things changed that day.
mammasita- I haven't tried meds, but I think after my response to LeslieB, I might look into group therapy again, and actually go.
Rana & lin43- I've have the opportunity to stay with people or have a guest that was thin, and I saw what you are talking about. Eating is definitely not a priority to them like it is to me. lol I remember one time we went on this drive with DH family, and say we ahd breakfast at 8am, we left at like 10am, and 2 hours later we were still driving. DH and I wanted to stop for lunch but his family said they didnt have the money and that we only had another hour or so. So we get to our destination like after 1pm, then they want to walk around and DH and I were starving! (His family packed lunch BTW and didn't want to eat it in the car) It just wasn't a priority for them. And I actually felt like a bad mother because my kids had gone all this time without eating. His family thinks nothing of not feeding your kids from lunch to dinner, even if that's like 6 hours. I was raised that kids should be offered snacks, maybe every 2-3 hours. Which I'm starting to realized, maybe isn't the best thing. My kids are old enough to ask for a snack if they were hungry.
moondance- I'm glad this thrread has been helpful for you too! :)
one small bowl- I think a blog is a great idea. I have thought about starting one, just to have a place to put my daily frustrations, so maybe I will not eat to relieve stress. For now I just come to 3FC! lol!
12-06-2011, 02:36 PM
twinieten- I have thought about hypnosis lately! As a "I've got nothing to lose" kind of idea. I personally don't think it would work, but I am will to give it a try. The only thing is I know my husband would never support something like that, and I don't know how I would sneek off and do it? I have 2 kids and no one to watch them. Is it expensive? I should fake a shoe shopping trip, leave the kids home with hubby and go! I don't know if it's expensive. I never actually looked in to it. It probably is. I was thinking that it was something I would look in to next year. Just get through the holidays first. I'm sure if you were to do this, you could bring your kids with. Most places that deal with weight loss seem to understand that kids are often in tow.
12-07-2011, 12:08 AM
Look at the success you have!! :) Your ticker says it all. You can so powerful and have succeded where so many others have failed. I wish you a lot of luck. It is a hard change I know, and I have watched many others do it while I can't seem to just get with it. I think your food battle may be life long, but if you keep your exercise, I think you will balance somewhere in the middle. Just try to make good food choices and don't forget to reward yourself.