Chicks in Control - Struggling to change my eating habits




LollipopSiouxsie
12-29-2011, 07:42 AM
From May to mid August I went to the gym 3-4 times a week, did loads of walking, and ate really healthily. I counted every single calorie and kept a food diary on Sparkpeople, and I was seeing results. After the first two weeks everyone at work was commenting on how good I looked, how my face looked different, how my clothes seemed to fit better, and how I walked tall and had a big smile on my face. Mentally and emotionally I was in a really good place. I got up each day and put my gym clothes on and got on with it. I worked damn hard and I felt amazing. Then I put it all on hold to write my dissertation, and this is when everything started to go wrong. I suffered a bereavement in August and found it very hard to cope with the loss, so my doctor referred me for counselling. He also prescribed Propanolol (a beta-blocker) because I was having panic attacks and put me on a course of Citalopram (anti-depressants). When I handed my dissertation in at the end of September I thought I would go straight back into my routine and pick up where I left off, but instead I kept eating and eating and I piled the weight back on. I'm constantly reaching for starchy, sugary, fatty foods at all hours of the day, and I've noticed that I'm scoffing my food without really chewing it properly. I'm embarrassed to eat around other people, and I daren't admit that I've been to McDonald's or KFC, so I lie about what I've eaten. The thing is, I really like healthy food! I love bulgur, chickpeas, lentils, all types of vegetables, fish, etc., but I can't seem to leave the junk food alone. I've finished counselling now but I'm having sessions with an NHS health trainer though I'm not due to see her until the 12th of January. I met her just before Christmas and she weighed me, and I was shocked by the result. I weigh a little over 14 stone and my BMI is 31. I felt totally disgusted, but even that hasn't been enough to shake me out of my bad habits. Some days I feel like everything is spiralling out of control and I absolutely hate that feeling. I want to be firmly in control and I want to get this weight off once and for all. I want to enjoy going to the gym again and be able to commit to a healthier lifestyle, but at the moment I don't know where to start or how to get going.

I'd really appreciate some advice/ideas on how to break the cycle so I can start living!


Bunnababy
12-29-2011, 03:09 PM
I don't have any advice for you since I am up the same river in the same boat as you. I know this is going to kill me and yet I don't seem to be able to get control of eating.

I know what to do I just don't seem to have the power to do it. :dizzy:

EagleRiverDee
12-29-2011, 04:52 PM
I kind of wonder if it's the low light this time of year. I did great over the summer and lost weight, but for the last month + all I want is carbs and too much food and I've gained 5 lbs. It's like I can't stop myself and all my willpower has gone away. I'm ashamed and afraid I'm just going to gain all my weight back and yet I have no idea how to regain control. It should be easy to put the fork down or say no to some type of food I know isn't good for me, but it's like someone else takes control.


babygrant
12-29-2011, 05:39 PM
I am in the same boat. As soon as I started cipralex (same type of med as yours) for panic attacks my bingeing and weight has gone haywire. :(. So know your not alone. Will watch this thread.

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-29-2011, 05:58 PM
OK, all three of you ladies mentioned "CONTROL" in your posts. Is healthy eating really about control? That sounds like "WILLPOWER" to me (Dee, did your willpower really just go away -- poof?). I don't think so. I think you do have the desire, and the will to eat & live in a healthier way; after all, that's why you are here.

I want to be firmly in control ...

This sounds like perfectionism to me; not leaving yourself any room for flubs or mistakes, or off days, or enjoyment -- and that can be a recipe for disaster, and setting yourself up for binges. Very few people can eat perfectly on plan every day, all the time.

There's that "ALL OR NOTHING" attitude: if I make mistakes -- it's over, and I will (allow myself to) gain all the weight back. :nono:

You have to step off that roller coaster; starting with one meal, one snack, one day at a time; starting NOW. It may sound trite, but it isn't. You only fail, if you quit -- so, don't quit ... keep going, whether you make mistakes or not, becuz eventually you will get it right. One meal here, one snack there; one day, and one week and so on.

Question: where is all this UNhealthy food coming from? Are you buying it and bringing it into your home? Why? You are sabotaging yourself, so there's something else going on here. Why do we give ourselves permission to to sabotage our own efforts? Don't ...

Don't give yourself permission to fail: don't give yourself permission to quit. Don't make excuses for your actions. You are aware of what you are doing -- so now make a few small changes to counter-act your mistakes. Learn from them; tweak your plan; and work it!

Choose physcial activities you enjoy; pick different ones that you can do in your home during the winter. You may have to have a Plan A (for summer) and a Plan B (for winter) -- I do. I do more toning exercises, hand-weights, dancing, indoor walking, and extra housechores for the winter time. I am presently planning on adding a few more very soon too.

Choose a plan that you can stick to; eat foods you like -- NO, eat foods you LOVE: in normal portions. Make your favorite dishes healthier. Eat lots of your favorite veggies & salads. Make sure you eat enough each day; don't be too overly-strict ... and keep trigger foods out of your home. All these are little steps that can work together to help get you back on track again.

Make a new goal: not to gain, until you get some momentum going again. Little steps add up to giant leaps. There's a thousand steps up a mountain, but you have to take the first step first ... 1, 2, 3 and so on; and you have to keep going , or you will never get to the top!!!


DEE ~ try turning more lights on during the winter, to see if that helps you in any way -- even in the day time, if needs be.

OK, gals ... you can do this!!! Altogether now ... :yes:

Ange120
12-29-2011, 06:37 PM
I consider myself an emotional/overeater. I have lost weight and gained it all back and then some several times. It took me a while to change my eating habits. I would go a whole day without eating and then order Chinese and a pizza on the same night. I finally got to a point where I was not happy with MYSELF and I knew that I was the reason for this. I'm not following a special diet I'm just watching what I eat and how much of it I eat. I didn't like to work out but now that I've been doing it for a while I love the way I feel after I do it.

My advice to you would be to take it one day at a time. Start with small goals and work torwards them. We're going to have bad days where we fall off the wagon but that does not mean that all of our previous efforts have gone to waste. Think of your overall goal stay focused and believe in yourself, because you CAN do it!!!

luckymommy
12-29-2011, 07:18 PM
I can really relate to your post. I know how it is to have it in your grasp and it's all out there for the world to see and then, life happens and it's back to spiraling out of control with no end in sight.

You know what it takes to get to goal, but you just can't get back on track. I've been there many times. What helps me? I completely commit to one day when I'm completely on plan. I start with the clothes laid out for the gym. I work out. I drink my water. I follow my plan. I track my calories. I move as much as possible. I do all of those things. I make sure not to dwell on the past. That's probably the most challenging part and the most destructive. I stay positive and think of all the progress I'm making. I also visualize myself waking up the next day and feeling so proud for staying on my plan. I do this one day and then I know I"m back on track. I make sure not to plan any food related events for as long as it takes for me to feel in control again. Sometimes things can't be avoided, but most of the time they can be. Once I have this one day, I can have another and another and before I know it, I'm on track. I hope you can get there too.

EagleRiverDee
12-29-2011, 07:27 PM
Rosebud- all good advice! Thanks. Although it really DOES feel like my willpower vanished. I'm sure it's hormonal or something, maybe related to the low light. Maybe a SAD light will help, although I don't feel depressed, I just feel HUNGRY. LOL. I also have had little willpower for exercising, and my exercising has gone from 7+ hours a week to 3 hours a week. I am not happy with that, and am trying to get back on track. Mostly, I'm unhappy with the recent weight gain and how bloated I feel. And you're absolutely right- I was the one who went to the grocery store and bought all the bad-for-me foods! I am sabotaging myself. Why, I don't know.

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-29-2011, 11:16 PM
Sometimes you have to make it not about willpower or choice, but about commitment ....


KARA ~ ^I totally agree with all your thoughts there^. If our willpower & motivation & control goes up & down or stops, then we must find something more reliable to help us get back on track, and to carry us through ... and decision, and commitment, and perseverance can do that!

Hands up -- ya, me too; another emotional-response eater here. Trust me, I have been where you are for sure; more than once -- and I fought my way back, using the very methods I shared in my post above. Ya, it's a struggle; ya, it's a battle; ya, it's hard work; but it can be done.

LORI BELL told someone on another similar thread ... get back up, brush yourself off, and dig back in ... and I would add, make a commitment to yourself, and keep on diggin' ...

:D

RHay
12-29-2011, 11:49 PM
Go on a low-cal diet with a friend so you guys can motivate eachother better!

Bunnababy
12-30-2011, 03:27 PM
Tara: Thank you for your response regarding commitment and willpower.

Want2be: Your post struck me right between the eyes with the question of "Who is bringing that food into the house?" Hello, ME ME ME! Then I somehow expect myself to have WILLPOWER to eat in reasonable amounts when I know differently. :o

At the risk of sounding dense I think you both inspired my brain to wake up and take a look at this without blaming some power within me that is somehow taken over my being. In other words, STOP FEELING SORRY FOR MY LACK OF WILLPOWER AND COMMIT TO DOING SOMETHING ABOUT MY HEALTH (besides whining.)

Thank you.

ArtyKay
12-30-2011, 04:07 PM
Yes, to most of what's been said.

There's no secret...no magic word, no super drug. Its just plain old hard work and trial and error.

I think the main thing when you're an overeater/binger is self forgiveness and a good healthy dose of frequent reality checks.

Its just about pushing through it moment to moment and not being so hard on yourself when you slip up...but realizing that there is a line between not killing yourself over a mistake and allowing that to become permission to keep making the same ones.

LollipopSiouxsie
01-03-2012, 03:34 PM
First of all, thank you for all the supportive and insightful responses!


This sounds like perfectionism to me; not leaving yourself any room for flubs or mistakes, or off days, or enjoyment -- and that can be a recipe for disaster, and setting yourself up for binges. Very few people can eat perfectly on plan every day, all the time.

There's that "ALL OR NOTHING" attitude: if I make mistakes -- it's over, and I will (allow myself to) gain all the weight back. :nono:

You have to step off that roller coaster; starting with one meal, one snack, one day at a time; starting NOW. It may sound trite, but it isn't. You only fail, if you quit -- so, don't quit ... keep going, whether you make mistakes or not, becuz eventually you will get it right. One meal here, one snack there; one day, and one week and so on.

You've really hit the nail on the head. I am a perfectionist through and through. I don't leave any room for error, and when things go wrong I punish myself and sabotage my efforts because part of me believes that I am destined to fail no matter what I do. The other part of me knows this is crazy and completely irrational, but as much as I want to break the cycle and start afresh I find it difficult to shake off the nagging feeling that inevitably I am going to fail somewhere down the line. The reason for this is that my ultimate, all-consuming fear is the fear of failure, but the clear headed, sensible part of me knows this is because I'm constantly setting myself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals and demanding far too much from myself in a short amount of time! Yikes... I feel dizzy just writing this :dizzy:

I know it's about making small changes gradually rather than trying to overhaul my entire lifestyle in the course of one day. I need to keep reminding myself of this in order to keep the irrational part of me in check.


My advice to you would be to take it one day at a time. Start with small goals and work torwards them. We're going to have bad days where we fall off the wagon but that does not mean that all of our previous efforts have gone to waste. Think of your overall goal stay focused and believe in yourself, because you CAN do it!!!

You're absolutely right. I'm lucky to be surrounded by a group of extremely supportive friends and family who believe I am capable of achieving anything as long as I put my mind to it. I think it's about time I start believing in myself too! Thank you :hug:

You know what it takes to get to goal, but you just can't get back on track. I've been there many times. What helps me? I completely commit to one day when I'm completely on plan. I start with the clothes laid out for the gym. I work out. I drink my water. I follow my plan. I track my calories. I move as much as possible. I do all of those things. I make sure not to dwell on the past. That's probably the most challenging part and the most destructive. I stay positive and think of all the progress I'm making. I also visualize myself waking up the next day and feeling so proud for staying on my plan. I do this one day and then I know I"m back on track. I make sure not to plan any food related events for as long as it takes for me to feel in control again. Sometimes things can't be avoided, but most of the time they can be. Once I have this one day, I can have another and another and before I know it, I'm on track. I hope you can get there too.

This is great advice, and it's exactly what I was doing in the summer. I had a clear vision in my mind of what I was working towards and what I was achieving. I felt so awake and alive and proud to be me for a change! I've fallen into the habit of viewing everything in a negative light and dwelling on what I don't have (i.e, flat abs, toned arms, etc) instead of actually doing something to work towards achieving the things I want. The imagination is a powerful tool and I intend to keep reminding myself of this whenever I start to feel low.

I think the main thing when you're an overeater/binger is self forgiveness and a good healthy dose of frequent reality checks.

Its just about pushing through it moment to moment and not being so hard on yourself when you slip up...but realizing that there is a line between not killing yourself over a mistake and allowing that to become permission to keep making the same ones.

You're so right. I've always found it very hard to forgive myself, but it's become clear to me that I am achieving nothing and getting nowhere fast by fixating on the past and beating myself up for things that I can't go back and change. I don't allow other people to disrespect me and point out my flaws and shortfalls, so why should I let myself do it?

Once again, thank you so much for the responses. They've given me much food for thought, and I'll be sure to keep you updated with my progress.

X