Chicks in Control - Has anyone figured out what caused them to start overeating in the first place?

01-28-2012, 07:41 PM
My question is how did you figure it out? And I'd love to know why although that's pretty personal.

I know OA isn't about figuring it out but I'd still love to know.

01-29-2012, 11:08 AM
I think I was simply born with a large appetite. My mother tried to bottle-feed me according to a doctor's recommended schedule, but apparently I used to scream bloody murder after every feeding -- until she gave me a whole extra bottle. When I was four, I discovered a large box of chocolates left by some guests and ate the whole thing. Apparently my dad said, "Good, she'll get sick and won't want to eat chocolates from now on," but my stomach withstood the experience without any problem and I continue to love chocolate to this day.


01-29-2012, 11:13 AM
There are a couple things... the found convenient food was cheaper.. and quick.. my family never had much money when I was younger so we grew up on frozen and processed foods.. also I found myself to be a stress eater.. sad.. anxious.. what made me feel better?? Of course ice cream.. cheesecake... a variety of appetizers delivered right to my door.. now I try to stress clean my house.. lol its more beneficial

Nimue Rose
01-29-2012, 08:23 PM
This is a great question. I've been trying to figure this out for myself for years!

I grew up in proverty, and we were always short on food. When I went to college, I had free range of the entire cafeteria. I gained (and lost) weight, but only began to have a SERIOUS overeating problem after I received radioactive iodine to "treat" my thyroid.

After that, even when my hormone levels were considered normal, I would binge, overeat, be really emotional if I did not get the food I was looking for, etc.

I have a hunch that my hormones and what I eat really guides me. I've come to this conclusion due to my thyroid hormone history, how I ate when I was pregnant/nursing, and what my cravings were when I was on or off birth control meds.

I've also discovered that I am sensative to wheat gluten. When I eat a lot of this, I don't feel the "I'm full" signal. I can quickly fall into a frenzy of never being satisfied with what I am eating... and quickly binge on carbs and other foods.

It's almost like having a chemical inbalance in my body. Weird, eh?

I'm still trying to figure this out. I agree - stress definately contributes. So does lack of sleep and not getting daily exercise.

01-29-2012, 09:07 PM
I think this is an excellent question!

I'm not sure I know the answer,but I think it may because I was a picky eater when I was a kid. I strongly disliked the taste and texture of a lot of "regular" food. Green vegetables has a very strong unpleasant taste to me. I always felt like I could taste the chlorophyll. I also did not like if say, the juice from my green beans touched my mashed potatoes or my meat. I didn't like anything to have ever even been close to a green or red pepper or an onion. (I still prefer not to eat anything that has even been in the vicinity of a jalapeno).

I have memories of seriously disliking the family meals my mom made, and school lunches- both always hot meals, w/plenty of boiled canned green veggies to foul it all up. The smell alone made me feel ill. This led I guess to me filling up instead on sandwiches, chips etc. Fast food/junk food was extremely rare for us growing up,but I sure developed a love for it early, because all the other stuff was just repulsive to me and I had to eat something! Bologna sandwiches were my junk food before I had easy access to hamburgers. I stayed at the high end of a normal weight range through sheer willpower most of my life, but I ate BADLY, almost all junk. I seriously rarely ate any vegetables other than lettuce and frozen corn on the cob. Then a few years ago when I went into a serious bunch of life crises and major 2 year long depression, I stress ate and comfort fooded myself to over 200 lbs.

Funny thing is, once I started taking control again, I've found that many of the foods I hated as a child, I now love. Of course now there are steamed veggies, instead of that awful canned stuff, so it all tastes so different and the texture isn't all slimy and icky. I'm honestly amazed I didn't get scurvy though from the many years I had almost no vegetables and very little fruit.

So for me it was a combination of developing a love for the least healthy foods, then stress eating/emotional eating the crap out of it.

01-29-2012, 09:10 PM
Ive always had the issue of not eating enough, like my body just wouldn't give me the signals to remind me Im hungry until I was beyond the point of hungry it would hurt. Then I would eat really fast and eat WAY to much because as we know it takes a few minutes for our brain to catch up with our stomach. Then I would be so full I felt sick.

Most of my under eating stems from depression due to job loss and money issues. The over eating came from high calorie fatty fast foods that were a "quick fix" to my hunger pains.

Honestly I still have trouble some days with under eating but calorie counting and having to write everything down has helped me remember that I should eat BEFORE I feel starved so I dont binge.

01-29-2012, 09:37 PM
As a child, I was always denied the delicious yummy (bad) food while my older brother and sister were allowed to have all they wanted. I was fat and they were not.
Because of this, I've never really freely allowed myself to have a stupid cookie when I wanted, or the whole package. Or a bag of chips. Sometimes I'd treat myself, but it wasn't without severe guilt associated with it. A relationship with food isn't supposed to be like that. It's made me obsessive about food in a way, and I hate it. I can't just have a little bit at a time because I'll not be able to stop thinking about it until the package is empty and the food is out of reach. Instead, I keep foods around me that I hardly even like in an effort to not eat too much, and it really sucks. I need to fix myself. A psychiatrist would probably help! (half lol/half serious!)

01-29-2012, 09:48 PM
I've watched Oprah a number of times and that question has been raised many times. I've thought about it and realized that I don't have any deep dark psychological issues that cause me to overeat. I plain just like food and I want it when I'm tired or stressed. One thing I do know though, is that eating out at restaurants or eating junk food is such a "treat" because I didn't get much of it as a child. I come from a large family and we couldn't afford such things. So now, when I want to "treat" myself, guess what I do?

01-29-2012, 09:50 PM
I think eating a lot of refined foods makes you feel hungrier just like you said. Once I get started, it's hard to stop. Stress and lack of sleep are HUGE factors.

01-29-2012, 09:52 PM
Hmmm....Stress cleaning. I'll have to remember that one! However, that's the last thing I want to do when stresssed! :)

01-29-2012, 11:45 PM
I think eating a lot of refined foods makes you feel hungrier just like you said. Once I get started, it's hard to stop. Stress and lack of sleep are HUGE factors.

Yes! The more processed carbs I eat, the more I crave them. When I eliminate processed foods it takes a few days, but the cravings go away. It's getting through those few days that's really hard. :o

01-29-2012, 11:48 PM
Eating is a favorite recreational activity for me, always has been. And I have always had a bottomless appetite - if something is enjoyable to eat, I'll quite happily keep eating it until it is gone.

That is all there is to it for me - no deep-seated psychology, no childhood trauma, nothing to understand or root out of my psyche.

Developing control over my overeating, therefore, has only been a matter of finding ways to continue to enjoy the pleasure of food, while exercising discipline to avoid eating too much of it.

01-31-2012, 10:04 AM
I'm not 100% sure. Some days it's not that I necessarily overeat. I just eat things that aren't good for me which is enough to gain weight. I know that when I was a younger kid my diet was very balanced and restricted. But when my parents got divorced when I was in highschool, my mom became very lax about how we both ate. I don't blame my mom, but I think it opened up a world of processed foods and carbs for me. And so when I got to college I didn't really know how or want to eat things that were better for me. And it was downhill from there.

The funny thing about my binges is that it's a flavor that I get addicted to. For example, I might crave Mac and Cheese. And then all I want to eat is Mac and Cheese for every meal. I don't eat tons of it at one time. I just may eat it for days or weeks. And then all of a sudden I'm sick of it. And then I'll be on to a new flavor. Unfortunately it's never broccoli that I crave. Breaking these cravings is really hard.

01-31-2012, 05:58 PM
I was very healthy and fit until my second job out of college. That second was so high stress that I literally spent all of my time at work afraid of being fired. There was barely any time I wasn't. 50-72hrs per week, every week, I was afraid and so were my coworkers. I was a breadwinner with everything to lose. The company overworked us, underpaid us, and made it sound like if we didn't work well over 40 hours per week we'd be fired. One of my coworkers came to work with whooping cough for a month because they were too afraid to take time off. I know exactly when I put on every single overweight pound, and this was it. Then I was laid off, lost my apartment we were forced, as newlyweds, to move in with my in-laws. I had the time to work out then, but at the same time I had insomnia so severe that I literally had to drink regularly to get any sleep at all. I didn't gain, but neither did I lose.

So, now I'm done with three of the worst years of my life and finally have the health and financial circumstances to focus on Me, for once. I've found, though, that I have two persistent issues from the **** I went through: 1) I am so, so angry that someone as hard-working and independent as I am had to suffer through all that work abuse and unemployment very much alone, and 2) I have trouble not cleaning my plate when there's not enough to be used as leftovers, because I developed the habit during poverty of never wasting anything. I even hesitate to throw out food that is older and not as fresh as I'd like.

Seeing everyone else's reasons makes me feel a bit silly--doesn't anyone else out there have a job situation you can blame for overeating?

01-31-2012, 06:37 PM
For me it's a whole heap of things.

I grew up in a fat family, was taught bad habits and they take some breaking. I was a single teenage mum so had no money as such I relied on cheap convenience foods.

However there is a huge amount of social conditioning in there too. I was taught to eat my feelings, cried as a child received a hug but also a biscuit, fell off my bike get a choccy bar for being a brave girl. I soon learnt that if I had emotional or physical pain then food would provide comfort.

Add to this some bullying for being the fat kid and I learnt that even though I couldn't control their behaviour I could control my eating so I starved myself but the emotional pain would get so much I'd binge and not be able to purge it all.

I had an abusive relationship and I'm a rape survivor. He destroyed what little confidence I had, told me everyday I was fat and ugly and I believed him. It became a self fulfilling prophecy.

My fat has become my safety blanket. If I stay fat no one will love me and I won't get hurt, if I stay fat no one will desire me and I won't get attacked again.

All in all I'm a psychological mess but starting to face my demons and battle the bulge.

one small bowl
02-01-2012, 06:12 PM
Punishment. It took me such a long time to figure it out.

I am not interested in food, could live happily without it. I never really crave anything and have never been much on sweets. What happens with me is that I will feel bad about something and punish myself with food abuse. I gorge on junk foods, foods I would not eat unless in binge mode. I finally realized that I either was trying to pass out from a food coma (avoidance of the issue) or stuffing myself in anger or anxiety. When deep in a binge I am in bingeland and don't have to deal with what is bother me.

I feel sick, bloated and so awful for a reason. I press myself into this kind of pain to punish myself for not being good enough or confident enough to take care of whatever issue is at hand.

Knowing this helps in only a small way, doing something about it is the key.

02-01-2012, 06:51 PM
Stress eating for me!

1)Too many moves (some overseas), too much instability and too much change.
2) Family issues....sigh

02-02-2012, 11:07 AM
Probably a combination of fast food and depression medication. I had always been a bit overweight but was pretty steady for a long time.

About 10 years ago I was working full time doing undergrad and graduate school and right in the middle of my undergerad I had a baby who turned out to be extremely premature (25 wks).

Between running around everywhere i NEVER cooked. I mean who the heck wants to cook at 10:30 at night when you're finally home. Between work, medical appts, and school all I would eat all day is something from a drive through. Add some anxiety meds on top of that and bang, 80 pounds.

I'm off all meds now, done with school, and my son is now 10 (problems yes, but manageable). So, NOW is the time to get rid of everything I gained plus a bit more. :)


02-03-2012, 05:02 PM
Most of my under eating stems from depression due to job loss and money issues. The over eating came from high calorie fatty fast foods that were a "quick fix" to my hunger pains.

CocoTruffles, my heart goes out to you. I went through the same thing--laid off and unemployed for a year. I lost my apartment. My furniture and most of my belongings all had to go into storage. I had to live with my inlaws for a year as a newlywed--and anyone who's had to move back in with parents knows that it's worse when you're newlyweds. I went through nervous breakdowns, insomnia, recurring nightmares, you name it. I used to dream the room I was already stuck in most of the time at my inlaws was getting smaller and smaller, boxing me in like a caged animal. I'm incredibly sorry to hear about your job loss and money issues. No one except those who lived through the Dust Bowl really understand how hard it is to be unemployed in this economy--except for the unemployed themselves. I know nothing anyone can say can solve your stress about what's going to happen to your future, but at least know that there are many of us out there going through or having gone through the same thing, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. :hug:

02-03-2012, 08:48 PM
I never realised until I was looking through an old photo album, but I think it began when I was around age 7/8. I was a completely average sized child until this age. Then in the space of about a year, my Grandfather died and I had to switch to a school that I was not happy at.. it's funny, I never considered myself an emotional eater, but it's right there in the photos, I suddenly began gaining weight around age 7/8. Nowadays, I've noticed that I have a tendency to eat when I have spare time, so I try to make sure that I'm doing something, even if it's just a small thing that keeps my hands busy. I also turn to junk when I feel stressed, so I've taken up yoga in the hopes that it will help my mental wellbeing as well as the physical :)

02-04-2012, 05:11 PM
When I was growing up my mom was always buying loaves of bread and eating them on the way home from the store, carrying bags of chocolate in her bag, etc., so I learned very young that that was acceptable behavior. Of course now I know it's not, but I can't seem to get rid of the instinct to eat half a bag of candy in a day.

02-05-2012, 11:55 AM
i grew up thin, but always wanted to eat more than what i should. I held back on getting seconds etc. Looking back, I wonder if I would've been fat had I allowed myself to eat like I do now.

I think food is an addiction for me, one that I just have to make a concious decision to get under control.

02-05-2012, 01:31 PM
For me it was a combination.
Being taught from an early age to not waste food (so eat everything you're given)
Along with a mother raised to keep everyone well fed and utterly resistant to change.

Bad combination.
got around the first by making sure that the amount cooked matches the amount needed.
The second has taken a long time to fix as every previous attempt at weight loss in my family as met with failure (usually within the day). Only difference this time is I've taken an active hand in the cooking process and calculate everything (sometimes for 5 people eating different things.... and I'm the only one that tracks).

02-05-2012, 02:23 PM
For me there are a few reasons:

- Emotional/stress eating. This is the big one. I often use food to send myself into a stupor where I don't have to think about anything. I use it as a pick-me-up if I'm upset or if I'm bored, I use it as a reward, etc. Even thinking about food to distract myself from other tasks or thoughts helps me. Sometimes I think I even 'like' (in a weird way) all the guilt and shame and obsessing that follows a binge, because that too distracts me from other things

- When I'm on a diet, fear of the consequences of being thin (more attention, esp more male attention) makes me want to stuff my face

- I'm naturally a big eater and a food lover. For a long time I defined my identity as a 'foodie', with cooking and eating food as my primary interest and hobby. When I started a diet a couple of years ago I realised I didn't know what my non-food-related hobbies were

- My mother is also a binge eater, and has alternated between obesity and a normal weight throughout her life with the help of strict low-carb diets. I probably picked up some behavioural patterns from her, though in no way would I blame my problems on my family

02-05-2012, 07:08 PM
This is a great question that I am still exploring.
From what I can say right now, overeating is a way that I cope with stress/emotions. There are a lot of things in my life that are out of my control right now and I feel that I deal with this stress and uncertainty through overeating/binge eating. I guess it is a way to soothe myself or reward myself. Also, I think the dieting mentality doesn't help because I overeat due to thinking that when I am losing weight, I will not be able to eat these certain foods.

02-06-2012, 02:14 AM
I'm with those who have never really had a specific issue linked to eating too much. I had a great family and a great life growing up as a kid, and my family was pretty normal-sized. I just really liked food a lot, and so if I wanted it, I ate it. I may have had some issues with not knowing when to stop because I remember being very full a lot of the time, even to the point where it was painful. I hated being hungry, and I got stomach pains that made me feel like throwing up sometimes, so that could have something to do with it too. I continued on into high school and college just eating what I wanted because I liked good food and just wanted to eat it if it was already there. A lot of times I would feel the need to empty a bag or container if I had already started in on it. Now I count my calories and keep track of how many I eat, trying to keep it under or at a specific number each day. Accountability is a major part of losing and keeping my weight off, and probably always will be. I really appreciated hearing everyone's stories on here!

02-06-2012, 02:54 AM
A lot of it for me is emotional eating. Especially the weight that I've put on over the last 10 years. I've always been overweight, but not to the point I'm at now. I'm working on keeping my hands busy during those times of stress, rather than reaching for food.

02-06-2012, 11:41 AM
I can't pinpoint the exact moment or cause, but it was definitely when I went away to college (I was an athlete in high school & never had weight issues). My older sister was killed in a car accident when I was 12 and honestly, we just didn't deal with it well. I was a super-sensitive kid to begin with and what family "knows" how to deal with something like that? Honestly, I just dealt with it by cramming it all inside because I didn't want to upset my (very fragile) mother, my brother was actually in the car accident with my sister and I didn't want him to have to re-live those memories and my dad was just not a "talk about it" kind of guy. So I had a lot of emotional issues for years, but they came out in different ways (suicide attempts, cutting, etc.) - but when I went to college just 6 years later, I was faced with not being the "smartest" kid in class anymore, which was a huge blow. Also, I was surrounded by gorgeous friends (and I felt insecure) and to top it off, all 3 of my best college girlfriends all had older sisters (all 4 years older than them, just like my sister) -so I was pretty darn jealous...and very depressed.

Roll all that up I was a ticking time-bomb. Over-indulging was easy - lots of beer and pizza - and soon, it became very soothing. While I was depressed, insecure and jealous, I would "eat" to sooth - rather than cutting (glad I got over that!). That instant gratification of eating something that tastes good became my way of life - it gave me those little tiny moments of happiness in a world where I was desperately depressed.

02-13-2012, 03:36 PM
I am 100% sure that i started overeating when in middle and high school, my mom would be concerned about my weight (i was NOT fat in middle school, when she started in on me) and tell me not to eat if she saw me snacking. I started to snack EXTRA when she wasn't around, and thus began my dysfunctional relationship with food.

02-13-2012, 03:39 PM
Emotional eating (Stress) coupled with PCOS/IR wackies.

I was not dx'd until 26, but I remember at 10 feeling like "whoa!" after eating a lot of toast with butter and sugar. I know it now to be a blood sugar wigginz.


02-13-2012, 04:07 PM
I have a lot of reasons for it I think... And weirdly, even when I was thin - like REALLLLLY thin, my uncle said to my Mom, "I think of the kids, Missy will be the one with a weight problem." I don't know if it's by what I liked to eat (carb queen) or my generally sedentary ways even as a kid or what... weird as he was right (though the youngest who was a baby at the time, also has weight problems.

For me it was a lot of things that contributed.

1. I love carby food and they create cravings and cravings I find very hard to resist.

2. When I get sleep deprived I use food to boost my energy and guess what foods? Carby foods which then trigger cravings which then make me over eat.

3. Being very uncomfortable in my skin/my body. I think some part of me used being fat to protect myself from getting attention for my body. I didn't want people looking at my body - so maybe they wouldn't if I was fat?

4. I am a morning eater. I am STARVING the first half of the day and not very hungry later in the day. The American way of eating totally goes against my natural biorhythms. If I eat a hearty breakfast and a hearty lunch and build in snacks inbetween, I don't need dinner. The hunger stops around 4-5 pm. However, that is when most everyone else is thinking about dinner and it's not like I 'can't' eat then, just that I really don't need to.

Nowadays I will often skip dinner, telling my family I have already eaten enough for today. I will prepare their dinner and skip it, or maybe just eat a very small bit of it. If I deny myself all day when I am reallllly hungry, I will binge later in the day and then end up way over eating. And again, what will I binge on? Simple carbs.

So, by staying away from carbs, getting enough sleep and eating when my body seems to be hungry instead of when most people eat their big meals, I feel so much better! And the mental stuff I just worked through over the years.

02-14-2012, 01:55 PM
I am a stress eater and emotional eater. I had a grandmother who used to tell me I was fat and ugly constantly, and I would eat as a way to comfort myself. It's something I started doing at a young age, and haven't been able to stop.
When I get stressed out, I use that as an excuse to eat badly. I tell myself that it's okay for me to have pizza or Chinese food, etc because I can't possibly be expected to deal with the stress AND keep eating on plan. I've been working on that a lot lately, but it's hard.
I am also addicted to food. When I'm eating badly, I eat more for the taste than because I'm hungry. I'll eat until I'm so full I could explode, but it tastes too good to stop at the first sign of being full.
I have been working hard on trying to fix these problems, but it's a struggle.

02-14-2012, 02:05 PM
I am an emotionnal eater. In the past I have used food to "self-medicate" myself when in fact I should have been on anti-depressants and or in therapy. Food = happy...

Also, I have realized that having had a really beautiful mom (think pageant beauty beautiful) has plagued me with a ton of insecurities regarding my looks and I think that being fat gave me a sense of control of what people would think of me...

Issues, issues, issues:dizzy:

02-17-2012, 10:17 AM
My mother was an overeater, and I grew up following her example.

Also, being a victim of child sexual abuse only fuelled my emotional eating.

02-17-2012, 12:40 PM
My weight gain started when I was about 10. I had already been through a lot of tragedy and at 10 my stepfather passed away. He was the only real father I had ever had. My "sperm donor" as I like to call my biological father, took it upon himself on our weekends we had together (every other week) to tell me that I was fat, he was always very abusive. I lost most of the weight during my teenage years and got down to a size 8. He abused me mentally and emotionally and I packed it back on during college and then some. I've finally completely severed ties with him for good (a year and a half now) and am SO much happier and healthier.

02-18-2012, 10:00 PM
I don't binge eat anymore and haven't for a while and I know it's gone for good now. But I do know what turned me from a normal eater into a binger: dieting. Nothing else. Before I had ever dieted I never had a preoccupation with food. Once I dieted, my brain flipped a switch and kept up a bad habit to protect me from starvation (if I did it once, I might do it again, after all). Anyway I quit on my own. I said no more, and I'm done. I don't diet anymore either, I practice intuitive eating so that I naturally stay at the weight my body wants. Hopefully overtime my body will steer me back down to where it was last summer before I binged and ruined it all!

02-18-2012, 10:27 PM
I never had a weight problem until I got pregnant with my twins (only time I was pregnant) Before that I could eat like a large trucker and not gain a pound. My doctor suggested that I have another child to flip my body back to what it was before I had the children. That seemed extreme and a strange way to drop weight, get pregnant. Anyway there is no big thing, I like food, I love food, I love to cook, I love to eat out, both my husband and I love good food. We try, and then fall off the wagon...we are trying again, slowly, a little at a time, so here I am with all you other lovely people.

02-18-2012, 10:55 PM
Like berry, I tend to love carbs and I seem to seek out energy in the form of carbs when I'm tired. So, sleep is essential to me not overeating.

As for when I started overeating, I think it was when I was a young teenager (13-14). Every Friday night, my family would go visit one of my Dad's friends to play cards, and since they had no kids my age, I always asked to stay home. I remember making myself peanut butter sandwiches, as if I was celebrating something (the freedom of being alone??). Anyway, that's my first member of gaining a significant amount of weight. Of course, even then, I wasn't fat. I only became chubby during my second year of college and then fat once I got married. And, of course, I think all the dieting inbetween is what really caused me to continue gaining.

Micki k
02-18-2012, 11:13 PM
I've been overweight almost my entire life. My mom was a single teenaged mom, she was just a month past 16 when she had me. She barely knew how to care for herself, let alone a kid. We had very little money so we ate alot of cheap processed food. And we never ever ate as a family. I remember every meal being a like bowl of mac and cheese in front of the tv. And when I had dinner with family it was no better. Grandma was old school Ukranian, and her food was FILLED with fat. I remember one meal where she cut the fat off of some kind of meat, and fried just the fat up for us to eat. I honestly dont remember vegetables of any kind being served with our meals. So I guess I never really learned how to eat healthy. The thing is, now I love vegetables and eat them all the time. But, I was still eating all the crappy processed convenience foods because I hate cooking.

This is really the first time I've REALLY tried to lose weight, and I'm trying to change my way of thinking about food. I have a 4 year old now, and I want so badly for her to learn to eat wholesome, quality foods. ANd that has to start with me. I've stopped buying processed crap and go for more whole grains and organics and natural foods. And I try to make sure we have our meals together as a family, something I never got to enjoy.

Another thing that worked against me...I never got into any activities at all. No sports, no music, no dance....nothing. I never had any kind of hobby to keep me busy, except eating of course.

Wow...thanks for the opportunity to get all that out, that was very therapeutic for me!

02-19-2012, 10:41 AM
My mother was an overeater, and I grew up following her example.

Also, being a victim of child sexual abuse only fuelled my emotional eating.

I really related to what you wrote.

My father was an alcoholic (although not always actively), my my mom was an overeater with mental health issues, and I was sexually abused and generally didn't have healthy boundaries. My big body made me feel a bit safer and invisible. As for habits, I saw them both deal with their stress/problems by eating, and then the insecurity/invalidation/etc. that they did to me, I tried to eat away. Food and books became the only two real friends I had, and since we were poor/working class, I tended to binge when we had either of those things.(Digression: I once had a cousin who told me Sara Lee was my best friend. Ouch!) Family atmosphere was compounded by clinical depression that came on at an early age, which only fueled my need to chemically change my brain with food. I also *TRIGGER WARNING* used to be a cutter, but food was my first real mind-alter-er (Thankfully I never went to drugs, but some days I feel like food is worse, ya know?)

Anyway, I see myself in a lot of you who wrote here.

02-19-2012, 10:53 AM
I'm not really sure? My mom always made healthy food, we never had soda in the house and I think we ate fast food maybe once a year when my grandma was in town. We're all sortof chunky anyway but I've become the biggest by far in the last few years.

We would have sweet stuff in the house but although it was within reach I was always told never, ever, to touch it so it became a bit of a forbidden fruit kinda thing. Then as I got older there were some family issues in the home and although I'm never sure if I'm an *emotional* eater or not I sure did enjoy the taste of yummy things when times were bad. With my first job came money and that's when the bingeing really started and I'd hide away in my room with a grocery bag full of cookies or candy.

Really though I don't remember a time when I didn't crave sweet things and as far as I can remember I've never had an 'off' switch when it came to eating.

02-19-2012, 11:23 AM
Well...I've always LOVED food....addicted to it, really.

That, and I was always an introverted loner, so I didn't have that constant feedback from my peers about my eating habits and weight. I never really cared about how I looked until relatively recently.

Unfortunately I don't think my food addiction will ever be "cured"....the most I can do is try to get it under control.

02-19-2012, 11:36 AM
Well, i first started overeating at a young age. It was all based around depression. I had no friends, went to catholic school with only 18 kids in my class, so I was the odd one out. Being too young to get it, I started eating, giving them more ammunition to make me miserable (my weight). By the time I was in 5th grade I was cutting myself (which continued until I was almost 17). I later developed an eating disorder which was just a different form of the same thing. Then a drug addiction until 2yrs ago. It was all depression and anxiety, I realize that now. Hence why I am here, I stopped all the bad habits, but never the eating so much. I was bulimic, so the binging never stopped though the purging did, so I'm here to handle that.

02-21-2012, 04:19 PM
Did you guys see the bit on the Today show this morning? It was about the hormones secreted related to the digestive system. I'm not going to pretend to remember the cause/effect exactly, you can look it up, but high frutose foods inhibit the secretion of a hormone that staves hunger. Lack of sleep does the same.

It was amazing to me how scientific and quite simple it all is.

02-21-2012, 06:30 PM
For me it was going through infertility treatment that ultimately never worked. I hated my body for betraying me and I quit taking care of it. Add in depression that led to binge eating (who knew a whole apple pie wasn't a single serving?) and eating fast food due to lack of time...

I need to find the "old" me: the one who was athletic and skinny and happy. I know my weight is all tied up with the depression, etc. I have to find "me" under all this fat.

02-21-2012, 07:03 PM
My mother passed on her bad eating habits to me. We ALWAYS had a afternoon snack, after dinner snack and a bedtime snack. NO MATTER WHAT! Also, none of it was healthy. It was almost always fruit snacks (those candy jelly things), or icecream, or potato chips. If we refused healthy snacks, mom never made us eat them. We never had to eat the broccoli on our plate, we always were allowed dessert (and what kid doesn't turn down dessert) and we were allowed to raid the cupboards whenever we wanted.

This continued into my teenage years. Itchyban (ramen noodles in the USA), Kraft Dinner and potato chips were a staple in our house. Along with those frozen canned juices. We were never told to drink water or milk or anything. It amazes me that my mom was a size 4 all the way until I was about 6. Then the weight slowly piled on over the years and she is now a size 14.

I've had to teach myself healthy eating habits and recipes and am still learning that food is not a cure for bordem, it is something you eat to survive.

02-21-2012, 09:42 PM
Thinking back to when I was a young child, I don't ever really remember thinking much about food...what I was eating, how much or how little. I was always taller than kids my age and never what you would call thin, but not fat. I think i was pretty normal. I always felt "fat" though because I was just physically larger than kids that were my age and even older. (In 5th grade, I was 5'6 and by the end of my 7th grade year, i was 5'11. In the 70's it wasn't all that common as it is now) Even though I played sports in jr. high and high school, I always felt awkward and self-concious. I remember being embarrassed in high school of my long, muscular legs because they were bigger than everyone elses. (What I wouldn't do to have them back again!!!!) I guess though in Jr. High and High School I probably started using food as a solace since I didn't have many friends and certainly no dates. Not that I was unattractive, I was just painfully shy and awkward. So, while I've definitely overcome my shyness, I guess not much else has changed. Yes, I did eventually begin to date and even got married, though my insecurites led me to marry someone who was controlling and abusive. During the 10 years of my miserable marriage, where did I turn for comfort? Food, of course. Over the years, I've lost 50 lbs, gained 60 lbs, lost 40 lbs, gained 20 lbs, etc. Food has always been something I could turn to for comfort when I needed it. It always has time for me, I can have whatever I want, whenever I want. I'm tired of living that way. I'm almost 50 years old and have a lot of things I still want to do before I die. I saw this quote not long ago that has certainly helped me slowly change my way of thinking: "What would you do if you loved yourself?" Powerful question, don't you think?

02-29-2012, 03:00 PM
Like a lot of people , emotional eating and going into details, I ate because I was told to and it made me feel I was doing my father a favor. My parent would get into a fight, and she would apologize and make everyone feel better with sweets, it was associated with forgiveness and care. Whenever I needed it I went to food, then realizing it's not working it would lead to rude awakening and panic attack and I would binge. Control and bingeing is underlies my weight issues, but something else underlies this whole thing

03-02-2012, 03:53 AM
I think for me it was being a latchkey kid who loved food. I had unrestricted access to food for a significant part of the day, almost every day, long before I understood the principles of healthy eating or what I was doing to my body.

I can remember getting home after school and eating like fifteen cookies, an entire bag of chips, and whatever else I could find. By the time I started to notice or care about my weight, I was already pretty big and had established some truly awful eating habits which are hard to break to this day.

03-02-2012, 11:44 AM
My step father was, among many things, very controlling about food. I remember many nights that I was forced to sit at the dinner table and finish everything on my plate, even the fat on meat, summoned sometimes even as late as 12 or one in the morning. (Also my mother is a terrible cook.) So I started stealing food from the fridge and convenience stores to hide in my room.

I was depressed, I never had anything good to eat and after I got a job at 15 they stopped giving me lunches for school or money to buy my own. I ate a lot of junk that my school sold in the snack bar because I couldn't afford a whole lunch.

03-02-2012, 11:56 AM
I was 10, in the 5th grade and suddenly got a high from the toast with butter and sugar I was eating like never before. I felt weird. I know NOW that it was probably a blood sugar wigginz. And it was 21 yrs later that I was dx'd with PCOS/IR, which I've had all my life. Just never put the childhood AN and the skin tags together til it was added to the irregular periods and the mysterious weight gain that came in teenagerdom and in early 20's. Also the bad sleep pattern/stress/anxiety.

I always thought my AN were birth marks or something. But I was clearly IR.


03-07-2012, 10:02 AM
In my case it was probably work-related stress (

I just came home from work, really wasn't looking forward for the next day and my only pleasure was eating.

03-07-2012, 03:08 PM
I have no idea but my guess is ...

2. I wasn't taught how to cook until i was in my early 20's
3. I was taught to cook pre packaged foods.
4. I may not be as "funny" if I'm thin
5. My MIL told my Dh before we were married 20+ yrs ago that I was the type of girl that would just continue to gain gain gain ... Guess I've been proving her right.

10 yrs ago I started to really experiment in cooking and now I have a food blog and I make about 2 to 4 new recipes a week. Now although I have eaten healthy for the past 10 years I DO NOT PRACTICE PORTION CONTROL.

Portions are my down fall.
I'm counting cals now so HOPEFULLY it works out

03-07-2012, 03:20 PM
The sheer comfort of food. The excitement of finding, hiding, and stuffing my face with food. When I was lonely, angry, sad, food. food. food.

I remember my dad caught me when I was young (maybe 9 or 10) and I had just eaten a whole jar of honey roasted peanuts. He was really angry. My parents used to hide goodies to ration them..which only made me want them more.

03-07-2012, 11:44 PM
I throw myself into things, and I let other areas go in my life. If I am studying, all I do is study and everything else falls apart (weight loss and regain). Same with finding an apt (weight loss and regain period) or a job (weight loss and regain).
I am very self critical. As bad as my family or worse. My family is critical and controlling. I wish that they were either one or the other, but it sometimes feels like I get the worst of both worlds. I am glad that I moved out.
I am a people pleaser and I would have done anything to make people like me to the point where it makes me spineless. I blame myself if people criticize me even if I know in the back of my mind that it could be them and not me.
I work hard and never treat myself and if I do try to, my heart isn't in it.
I worry about hypothetical situations a lot.
However, I am also critical of people, even if I don't express it. Sometimes I wonder if thats because thats how I grew up - always being nitpicked.
I can give people objective advice, but ask me how I feel and I choke up. I can't express my feelings, only garble.
All this stuff makes me a go-getter, but to the point where it stresses me out and I take it out with eating.
But it has to stop at some point. I can't be a binger forever. I know that part of it is trigger foods and I have to toss the bread. Another part is the emotional problem and I have to address that as well.
I have to forgive and appreciate myself and really mean it.

03-08-2012, 12:30 AM
Pixellate-we are very much alike, I could have written the same! *hugs*
my other issue is that I push my feelings down with food, lots of food... in a continuous grazing binge. I did well for the first 2.5 weeks and I started feeling super depressed without my "medicine"(food) thankfully I haven't gained back anything but I am having a hard time balancing my emotions without being able to "cope" using food. I have a bachelors degree in psychology and impress myself when giving advice but I definitely have an emotion disconnect with myself. I am afraid of change and even more afraid of failure. Working on these issues took the backseat when nursing school started over a month ago but I am in a groove now so hopefully I can get back to it. I did well today. Stayed in my calories and free of cravings :)

03-08-2012, 12:38 AM
I'm tired of living that way. I'm almost 50 years old and have a lot of things I still want to do before I die. I saw this quote not long ago that has certainly helped me slowly change my way of thinking: "What would you do if you loved yourself?" Powerful question, don't you think?

*hugs* I was in an abusive relationship for 5the years and it can really mess you up... that is when I started gaining my large amounts of weight and it got worse after I left him. I love that quote, I think I would like to get that engraved on a bracelet!

03-13-2012, 07:27 PM
Yes. I hide behind my fat and I blame it for my failures. I find that when I'm feeling too vulnerable, too exposed, I tend to eat more because when I am heavier, I feel less afraid, like I'm wearing armor. I feel like I am a bit more invisible, anonymous, or un-noticeable behind it. It's led to stress eating, but only when it's a certain kind of stress -- it's like I'm afraid to face myself. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually help me. I do know the source of the problem, that the event in question caused me some serious body image issues, but I haven't yet conquered them. A certain traumatic event in my life really undid my ability to deal with criticism and control; my family is loving but controlling and critical and manipulative; I am highly self-critical and blamed myself for a loss of agency in a crucial moment during something traumatic and it's led to a bit of self-loathing. In some ways, staying fat is a way of holding on to control because it is a rebellion against the control imposed on me and my image by others. It's also self-defeating because I don't like being fat, but, I prefer it to being told I shouldn't be. Cutting off my nose to spite my face, maybe. I think that losing the weight while creating awareness of why I'm holding on to the weight will help me get over both the trauma in my past and the weight problem in my, if only I could stick to it and not panic and retreat into this kind of behavior. I go long periods of time without eating and then periods of time where I'll only eat very fattening things (candy, ice cream, chips, coffee drinks) and then once I've gained a few pounds, I'll exercise or diet to bring it back down, but I seldom manage to hold on to positive progress on my weight loss journey in the face of emotional obstacles. I don't like to eat. I try to avoid eating in front of others, though I don't mind tasting things or eating pastries or fruit in front of others or drinking beverages. I know I've got issues and I think I'm working on them....

03-17-2012, 12:00 PM
I think there are several reasons for why I have a propensity for overeating.

One reason is that I have always been very shy and reserved. I have come out of my shell, so to speak, in the last 5-10 years, but as a child I was painfully shy and probably even had social anxiety. I always had a few close friends, but even just going to school and interacting with new people caused a great deal of stress. I found that food was the emotional comfort and, to be honest, the company that I craved. If I was feeling anxious, food was there to comfort me. If I was lonely, food was the friend I needed. Because of this, I was always a little overweight throughout my childhood. Not super obese (because I played sports), but definitely not small. This was compared to my brother, who was small for his age and was a stick.

Which leads me to the second reason I mother was constantly monitoring what I ate and criticized every piece of food that went into my mouth. She would buy unhealthy snacks for the house, but only my brother was allowed to freely eat them. If I reached for a cookie, it was "You don't need that" or "Eat an apple instead". I felt like the foods I really wanted to eat (pizza, cookies, chips) were constantly being deprived of me. Because of this, whenever we would order pizza for dinner or go to restaurants, I would eat like there's no tomorrow. Mainly because I had this weird subconscious feeling that I never knew when I would get to eat this food again. One of my main problems now is needing to tell myself "you'll eat pizza again in your life, this is not the last slice you'll ever have". I always have to remind myself of that because I've developed this idea that tasty food is a very occasional thing and I need to eat as much as possible of it. It's also the reason I started sneaking food. I don't really do this anymore, but until I graduated high school and moved away, I felt like sneaking food was the only way to eat what I wanted without criticism or dirty looks.

I don't know if that mindset makes sense to anyone, but I do feel that it's a large contributor to my overeating and emotional eating problems today.

03-21-2012, 11:12 PM
My doctor thinks it stems from childhood sexual abuse. That I ate for comfort and to ward off sexual advances. Like that if I gained a ton of weight I could avoid the abuse. I think I agree. One of the things that has me panicking about losing weight is men approaching me. I don't know if I can handle that.

I ate in boredom and for comfort. My parents would chastise me if I snacked between meals so I'd hide food a lot. That's probably when the ED started.

03-31-2012, 11:59 PM
For me I think it was because I was raised by a mother who used manipulation and control and was very over authoritative. She was just plain old mean much of the time thinking being a firm disciplinarian was the best way to parent. My sister became anxiety filled and I turned to food big time. I can remember as a very young child sneaking and eating tons of sugary snacks and such in my room. I was stuffing pain. My mother was also very accusatory too...she still is at almost 80 yrs old and very suspicious. I remember it used to drive me crazy some of the stuff she thought we were up to. Now I see it is just plain wrong and I no longer have to seek or get her approval.

04-01-2012, 02:45 PM
Oh man. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

I remember always wanting to eat lots of food. I can remember sneaking to get extra servings, raiding the pantry, hiding food, etc. from a very early age. I was sexually abused. Both of my parents are overweight. My brother has never been obese like me though. I was also a latchkey kid and had free reign to eat whatever I wanted after school (Hot Pockets and Pot Pies!). As I got older and my weight caused depression, I ate to comfort myself. I've always wanted to eat more than was acceptable. I need to ask my mom if I was a hungry baby too.

But what actually started it all? I think I was just born programmed with a strong desire to eat. I see it in my nephew. He loves food. He's 18 months. Nothing traumatic has happened to him. He not addicted to cheetohs or soda or a heavy carb diet. He eats healthy food, just wants to eat too much of it. It's just how he was made.

All the other things/reasons in my life, are just me using or allowing my tendency to overeat serve other roles.

04-01-2012, 05:55 PM
Oh man. I'm still trying to figure this one out.
I need to ask my mom if I was a hungry baby too.

My mom told me I was a very hungry baby from day one. Her doctor gave her a bottle-feeding schedule, and my mom told me that I would scream bloody murder unless she gave me a lot more than that. As soon as I finished one bottle, I apparently cried for a second one.

I sometimes think we "overpsychologize" our desire to eat. Some people just have bigger appetites than others, IMO.


04-01-2012, 07:58 PM
I think you're right. I'm coming to the realization that no one thing caused me to overeat. I just lean that way and I never learned how to moderate it or being from a fat family, how much I needed to.

Some people definitely overthink it and also turn food into an enemy or some sort of forbidden fruit or an obsession. I know I have. Maybe as I go along on my journey, I'll find some trigger food that I need to avoid, but right now, my trigger is giving food too much power.

04-03-2012, 11:37 AM
I started overeating when I was 14. Before that I had been really sick for a couple of weeks and lost so much weight. Once I got healthy, my mom was so happy that I was feeling better that she kept stuffing me with delicious meals and basically spoiling me (buying me everything I wanted). I can't blame her, she was just happy I wasn't sick anymore. But somehow I ended up associating feeling good with food. After that, I just kept eating more than I had to and nobody stopped me. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wasn't right, but it's hard to stop.

04-08-2012, 10:34 AM
I don't know why I started binge eating rather than drinking or something else, but I do know that a family emergency (suicide attempt) triggered my overeating.

I also noticed that men stopped paying attention to me when I was fatter - which was a relief. I find unwanted sexual attention very disturbing, or at least I did when I was 13.

That's a long time ago, though. I think whenever I experience something I can't handle, I tend to not dwell on it, because I tend to ruminate and not get anywhere. So rather than getting agitated for nothing, I treat myself to something really nice so that I can forget about the unresolved issue. Also, I think it helps me fall asleep. It's a sort of tranquilizer.

04-08-2012, 11:03 AM
I read "secrets of a former fat girl" and it really helped shine some light on much of my overeating.

04-09-2012, 08:22 AM
I think I'm one of those who can respond to this with a definite answer.

When I was little I was slightly chubby. From the age of about 6-12 I was a relatively normal weight and didn't have major issues with food, apart from the overwhelming urge to eat it whenever it was available as food was mostly locked up in our house.

When I was twelve I was taken from my parents and placed in a series of foster homes. I can trace my binge eating to this time in my life. I was so depressed that I'd hide in a toilet cubicle at school, sometimes for an entire day, and when I came home I'd often just sleep until well past dinner. I was given pocket money around this time too, for the first time ever, and there was a little shop just up the road that sold junk food and magazines.

I'd always spend my money on junk and crappy magazines, as there was nothing else I could feasibly spend it on, and would then lock myself in my room and just eat and read and try not to focus on what was happening to my life. It was around this time that I started seeing food as a major comfort and proceeded to gain 40 pounds.

I've been using food as comfort ever since and the scale creeps higher and higher every year. It got so bad at one point that I was binging almost every single day, and was so addicted to it that I felt literally helpless to stop. I didn't know why I was doing it, only that if I didn't I'd be left to sit in my apartment and think about all the things I didn't want to think about.

Thank goodness I'm not still locked in that vicious cycle but I have been left to deal with its legacy. I haven't had a real binge in quite some time but I can't honestly say it'll never happen again. I don't know what's around the corner. But I have learned that if I'm going to eat something to only buy enough for a single serve. If I buy more and it's just sitting there I know I'll be tempted to eat it.

04-09-2012, 08:29 AM
I don't know why I started binge eating rather than drinking or something else, but I do know that a family emergency (suicide attempt) triggered my overeating.

I also noticed that men stopped paying attention to me when I was fatter - which was a relief. I find unwanted sexual attention very disturbing, or at least I did when I was 13.

That's a long time ago, though. I think whenever I experience something I can't handle, I tend to not dwell on it, because I tend to ruminate and not get anywhere. So rather than getting agitated for nothing, I treat myself to something really nice so that I can forget about the unresolved issue. Also, I think it helps me fall asleep. It's a sort of tranquilizer.

I can relate to this. My sister and I both had rather traumatic upbringings and we both turned out very differently. She became someone who constantly looked to men, most often the wrong men, to give her the love, attention and affection that she craved. She also developed a serious drinking problem, and later a drug habit which saw her nearly die more than once, and her beautiful baby son to be born in withdrawal.

I'm opposite to that. I do not crave attention from men and am totally fine with not receiving any at all. Being virtually invisible to most men was one of the reasons I ensured I stayed fat for so many years. I was comfortable with that identity, but not at all comfortable in my big, slow body.

I also used food as a way to avoid focusing on any issue I didn't want to deal with. It works a charm but it's not without its price.

04-10-2012, 12:16 PM
As a child, I was always denied the delicious yummy (bad) food while my older brother and sister were allowed to have all they wanted. I was fat and they were not.
Because of this, I've never really freely allowed myself to have a stupid cookie when I wanted, or the whole package. Or a bag of chips. Sometimes I'd treat myself, but it wasn't without severe guilt associated with it. A relationship with food isn't supposed to be like that. It's made me obsessive about food in a way, and I hate it. I can't just have a little bit at a time because I'll not be able to stop thinking about it until the package is empty and the food is out of reach. Instead, I keep foods around me that I hardly even like in an effort to not eat too much, and it really sucks. I need to fix myself. A psychiatrist would probably help! (half lol/half serious!)

This is similar to how I feel. When I was younger, my brother hadn't been born yet, so I was an only child. Because of my weight, my dad made a limit to the junk food I was allowed to have (2 slices of pizza, 2 freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, 2 cinnamon rolls ect), and I would obsess over it, and eat too fast, which left me still feeling hungry and unsatisfied. When it came to my favorite foods it was like I was bottomless and could just keep eating and eating. However, on canned foods and more homemade foods I got full faster but never felt satisfied.

Once I became a teen, I started skipping my mom's dinners, staying up late and making my own dinners later at night when no one was awake to comment on how much/what I was eating. I would load my plate with deli meat sandwiches with all the trimmings, chips, cookies, snack cakes, pizza, tuna salad, hot pockets ... ect, bring them to my room and eat as I played video games, watched tv/movies, played on the internet, or talked on the phone. This was my time to relax, because there was no pressures on me, because I was the only one awake, so I liked to savor the moment (which usually resulted in me sleeping through school and flunking my classes). I still like to kind of "Save" my "fun meals" for when I have something fun to do.

My husband came from a huge, poor family, so once we got married, the first few years we went a bit overboard on eating. There was a time when we'd buy a huge bag of taco bell and eat it over 2-3 days, make homemade pizzas almost every night, load up on junk food during the day and evenings. It was pretty bad. We've just now started incorporating healthier options, but we're still not perfect. We still have a couple "cheat days" through the month, and I'm lucky if I stay below 2000 calories most days, but we're learning.

04-13-2012, 02:08 AM
I've thought about this question and I think I may have an answer. I do have some childhood drama that may have caused my issues now. When I was born I didn't eat. My parents told me that it took a while for them to get to eat like I was supposed to. Then when I got older around 9-10 my brother began to act out and get himself into trouble. Around 12 (my brother was 14) he began to get himself into drugs.

My parents spent so much time on him trying to get him better that I was overlooked. (Not that my parents didn’t love me and spend time with me they did. They love me and I love them very much and I do not blame them one bit). My bedroom was upstairs and the stairs lead right down into the kitchen. My parents’ bedroom was on the other side of the house so naturally they did not hear me sneak and get food. I just never stopped sneaking. To this day I still do it. I want to stop badly but my loneliness and depression won’t let me.

I think it’s a combination of being ‘overlooked’ and from just liking food. I was pretty normal weight up until about 10 years old. Then I was always the fat girl and so on. Though I don’t know how my elementary was 4 floors plus a basement and I had to walk up flights of stairs every day you would think that I would stay in shape without the elevator(since there was no elevator in that building). LOL