Chicks in Control - Where do you think your overeating comes from?




livelaughlovesunshin
06-09-2013, 03:25 PM
I'm definitely not trying to make excuses, it is what it is I was just thinking about why I overeat so much.
When I was a child, we were very poor for a while. I remember eating soup beans all the time. I won't touch a bean now. So when my Mom became a nurse we had more money and were able to buy more food. I think this is when I started to pig out. When I was full, I would keep eating for no other reason because I could.
Here I am 15 years later trying to beat my want to binge.


kaplods
06-09-2013, 03:51 PM
I think there are many causes for overeating, some as simple as food tending to be higher in calorie, yet lower in fiber than it used to be, and the fact that many foods make us hungrier than if we had eaten nothing at all.

David Kessler's book, The End of Overeating changed the way I look at food and overeating. I'm learning to avoid the foods that combine high concentrations of salt, fat, and sugar or starch which quickly turn to sugar.

I spent decades looking for a psychological reason to my obesity, and discovered a physiological one.

freelancemomma
06-09-2013, 05:15 PM
I overeat because I enjoy food and have learned that it provides pleasure and comfort. Life can be difficult, and most humans seek little bursts of pleasure to make the day go down better. Depending on what gives us the most "pleasure bang for our buck," we may gravitate to food, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, and/or other substances/activities for our fix. Of course, many of us reach a point where our fix becomes more of a negative than a positive. That's when we decide to make changes.

Freelance


irishcanary
06-09-2013, 05:30 PM
My father's side, ALL of his siblings and both of his parents are over weight

BreighRenee
06-09-2013, 05:44 PM
I overeat because growing up I was forced to clean my plate. As I got bigger,so did the portions
Portion control has been my biggest problem since I was little.
Plus I get what I call the "boredom-hungries" where I have nothing to do, so I eat. I also have had issues with control over portions when it came to snacking/boredome-hungries.

Working on it though :)

laciemn
06-10-2013, 01:09 AM
Social conditioning. The ads on TV, the fast food on every corners, and the association of food with family and friends. When we associate food with positive emotions, we tend to eat whenever we feel lonely or depressed. The social cue for eating has outweighed the natural cue for eating.

lin43
06-10-2013, 07:13 PM
I overeat because I enjoy food and have learned that it provides pleasure and comfort. Life can be difficult, and most humans seek little bursts of pleasure to make the day go down better. Depending on what gives us the most "pleasure bang for our buck," we may gravitate to food, sex, alcohol, cigarettes, and/or other substances/activities for our fix . . .

Ditto. This is the main reason I eat. Food is an easily accessible, relatively inexpensive source of pleasure. I'm sure we've all read the standard advice to "do something else" when we get hungry. Usually, the articles that tout this advice list activities like "take a long bath" or "give yourself a pedicure," etc. That does work, but the problem is that even those feel-good activities take some time and effort to do. To take a bath, I have to run the bath, get the bath salts, the towel, etc. To give myself a pedicure, I have to get all the equipment out, arrange it in the living room so that I can watch tv or something while I do it, fill a foot bath with warm water, etc. Food is a quicker and easier form of pleasure. I suppose if I had loads of money, I would go for a facial or get a pedicure or get a massage whenever I wanted to feel good, but again, I don't have the money to do that every time the urge strikes.

Lassilsa
06-11-2013, 12:18 PM
I usually overeat when I'm alone, I use it as a comfort. I'm trying to stop, by trying to find other things I can indulge in.

I've never been one for pedicures, massages, facials, or anything to do with salons or spas because of bad experiences with people who work there. What works best for me is getting deeply involved in something, be it a game or a book, where if I'm alone, I see it as an opportunity to do that as oppose to an opportunity to go raid the kitchen.

Hello Nurse
06-11-2013, 12:46 PM
I think it has a lot to do with being adopted, and the inner self worth and rejection issues that come with that. I've eaten to try and fill a hole. I recall being a young child, maybe 8, and something my mom did made me feel like she was choosing my friend over me. I don't remember what it was, but I remember the feeling very well. I went inside and ate an entire sleeve of chocolate chip cookies while they stayed outside and played. I also remember being a little older and coming home from school to an empty house, and eating what would amount to a large meal as a "snack", then later eat a full dimmer also. I ate to dull the pain, loneliness, and feelings of rejection. Still trying to overcome this today.

rubidoux
06-11-2013, 03:10 PM
I'm so sorry you felt that way, HN. :(

For years I had all kinds of theories about messed up psychology and even positive stuff, like family showing love w food, etc. And then I discovered that it was all basically solved (sadly I doubt this can ever be 100%, I will never be a person w a naturally healthy relationship w food) by changing my chemistry. Now I really truly believe that it's a chemical food addiction and doesn't have much of a psychological component at all.

I did, though, spend decades in that addiction and I ingraining those behaviors and neural pathways and there is a piece of me that really believes that food can make me feel good (though it almost never does). So in a sense that stuff is psychological.

Silverfire
06-11-2013, 03:38 PM
For me, I think some of it is my stubbornness... but I think it started by me thinking that to grow up, I needed to be bigger, and being bigger was gaining weight.... Then, I realized it doesn't work that way and was the biggest in the class. My mom tried to force me to eat less and exercise more. So I did the opposite....

annnnnnd here we are. Granted, I have been a real live adult for 10 years now and I still have issues with overeating. Sometimes, I forgot that I just ate, sometimes I "feel" hungry, sometimes I am bored. Some times "I earned it"... I am starting to learn that some foods make me more hungry too!

No two answers will be the same :)

It's a life long learning experience I guess.

That book that kaplods mentioned looks interesting too!

joefla70
06-11-2013, 04:40 PM
Wow, that is the $64,000.00 question that I wish I knew the answer to! Its partly what others have said (learned habit of being told to eat everything on your plate; really enjoying food, comfort). But a friend of mine who goes to OA is convinced that we (and other people with food addictions) have a psychological element that makes us overeat. I don't know if I agree with that. I have overate as long as I can remember, and I can't think of anything that happened (or is happening) in my life that would cause it. I don't suffer from any depression or anything like that. To me, the answer is that some people just have addictive personalities.

Missys Mom
06-11-2013, 04:47 PM
Food has always been my crutch and thats how I became so overweight. I had a horrible childhood growing up....I was bullied in school, my dad passed when I was ten, I never really had any friends, I was a loner and I have been through so much crap since. I got married to a douchebag who abused me both mentally and physically so I depended on food. I got divorced after putting up with it for 15 years....I stayed because I didnt think I could get any better. Here I am years later still single, still fat, still have low self esteem and still bingeing....lately because I lost my job and I have dealt with two deaths over a period of six weeks, both of which have affected me so much as I was close to both. I am also keeping these two things secret from my mom until she gets home from her vacation next week because I want her to have a good time and not ruin her vacation.

lin43
06-11-2013, 07:14 PM
To me, the answer is that some people just have addictive personalities.

Yes! This rings very true to me.

NightowlAnnie
06-11-2013, 07:55 PM
Sadly my parents bought a restaurant when were were little and we all worked there at one time or another..I worked there for many years and had 3 kids and quit smoking and gained weight each time and I have loved food since we bought this restaurant, which we still have lol but really NOT lol so that is my story..and I'm sticking to it :o

krampus
06-12-2013, 01:47 PM
Seriously if it were legal and possible and not prohibitively expensive nor neurotoxic I would use psychoactive drugs on a very regular basis. Can't do that and I don't have the libido to be a nymphomaniac nor the guts to get "into" adrenaline sports like bungee jumping or wingsuit flying, so what's left and readily accessible?

Radiojane
06-12-2013, 02:50 PM
I was never deprived as a child, but I always felt like I "had" to eat NOW just in case there wasn't more later, which was absurd. (speaking of, someone upthread mentioned making "snacks" that were basically large meals, and I just flashed back to the "cheese toast" I used to make after school and how many calories were in it... omg, no wonder I'm fat).

When I got older, especially in university, I was completely alone. I was 3 hours from my family, my dad had died, I had no social life. Food was all I looked forward to because there was just nothing else.

Cali Doll
06-12-2013, 07:07 PM
I have an addictive personality and food has been a source of comfort for many, many years.

Lizzyg
06-12-2013, 09:41 PM
I know my overeating and seeking out food for comfort started young. I remember doing it at like 9 or 10 years old. I was hiding what I ate and how much I ate at that age too. And it just progressed from there. I remember my sisters commenting on how much I ate and how ashamed it made me feel and how that just fueled me to eat more.

MAK247
06-12-2013, 11:09 PM
Growing up, my parents actually tried to make sure we ate really healthy. We rarely had soda, things like donuts, ice cream, etc. were rare treats. We didn't get sugary cereal, etc. I think even though my parents meant well, it back fired because when I did get access to treats I gorged because I guess I felt I had to have as much as possible while I had the chance.

I also grew up with the mentality that good food was a reward or celebration for good things and also a comfort/consolation prize when bad things happened. One of the hardest things for me is getting out of that mentality...A lot of my being fat is related to having a rough day (pretty much every work day) and because of that, I deserve to have such and such. Then I will have a good day (pretty much any day off lol) and treat myself to something yummy.

thewalrus0
06-13-2013, 05:08 AM
I think it's my body, really. I do pretty well in most other areas of my life. I had to overcome addiction and learn how to manage money better, but I'm in my 20's so I don't think that's so weird.

I have managed to quit binge drinking, smoking cigarettes, doing other illegal drugs, quit spending all my money at one time and I've started going to college where I'm frequently needing to be disciplined and/or have motivation and willpower, even when I'm not feeling too up to it.

I can't honestly believe that it's all completely me. What I do believe is that I can still hack the system and lose weight. I most often can stop eating when I'm not full. I most often can count calories and I genuinely do enjoy exercise. What happens is I always break, because while I can lose weight, it's really really hard for me to stay on track. If I fall of the wagon just a little bit I am off for a while and I really haven't figured out why that is.

I kind of believe that I haven't employed enough mindfulness into my habits. I often catch myself eating while walking around the house, or in front of the tv, or behind a book, or in the car, or in front of the computer...I also think some habits are so old it's going to take more than the estimated 30 days to break them. Like, probably a solid six months will be needed. I've also had to learn to cultivate patience.

Besides all those theories I think the issue is incredibly complicated and, while I believe I will overcome my issues and lose the weight, I don't know if I'll ever fully understand why exactly I got so big or why it's been so hard to overcome.

alyssarof2012
06-13-2013, 06:02 AM
One of my reasons for overeating is the similar to the OP.

My earliest reason is due to my grandma. She gave us seconds and thirds, everything we wanted, because we were her sweet little grandchildren. Lol. Since that made me learn to overeat from an early age, that's where my struggle started. Then my mom and My siblings and i moved out of her home into an apartment. We were really poor because my mom was trying to do things on her own without my grandmas help. So we struggled for 5 years eating very little. My mom became a nurse, we moved to a bigger place, and I just couldn't get out of that mentality of needing to eat everything put in front of me. Since then my mom got laid off (end of 2009) and we downgraded again, I'm a college student (19 years old) and still live with her, so it's back to poor. Even though she got another job (2012) as a wound care nurse, it doesn't pay enough. Everyone in my house is weird about food. We all try to eat it before someone else can.... We didn't even make groceries last month. So naturally, when we have food, we eat as much as we can. Not to mention my older brother hoards dishes in his room, so sometimes when we have something to eat, we have nothing to eat off of. Which means we still can't eat. So when my mom buys new dishes or my brother finally decides to bring them down, then we can actually eat. That's why we have to buy a lot of junk and finger foods. My brother hoards the dishes....
I have been makings conscious effort to control my over eating as of the beginning of June. (Since we have food, for now), though him keeping all the dishes in his room is still making this difficult.

But yeah, that's me and why I overeat.

vatermelon
06-14-2013, 01:42 AM
When I was younger, my mother would reward me with food. "Oh you finished your chores? have some candy" I think its been so ingrained in me to reward myself with food now.

Roo2
06-14-2013, 02:23 AM
Food is the Good in my brain ....releases positive warm feelings of happiness ,comfort and everything is gonna be alright... And of course joy when we celebrate and soothing us when were saddened.

Biting into my favorite food takes me to my Happy Place in my brain.
The Stomach has been called the second brain....and it has used it's mind control techniques to control my behavior and responses for many years.
It can take a frown and turn it upside down....
Made my waistline grow....while I continued to shovel food down my gullet ....and told me to wear Sweats and my weight wouldn't show!
The second brain ruled my life for quite awhile....until I looked up and saw reality staring me in the face....I did look fat in Sweats....the second brain lied !

Aidanqm
06-14-2013, 09:02 AM
From starving my face off...

newleaf123
06-14-2013, 09:30 AM
The second brain ruled my life for quite awhile....until I looked up and saw reality staring me in the face....I did look fat in Sweats....the second brain lied !
LOL I can totally relate to this one...

seize the day
06-14-2013, 02:17 PM
2 places:

1. I have an addictive personality and I get weird food obsessions (lately it's pickles, I can easily eat an entire jar in a sitting) I've eaten 5 bananas in one sitting, half of a medium pizza in one sitting (and then the other half about 2 hours later), half of a loaf of sandwich bread in a sitting, etc. just depends on what type of food I'm obsessing about.

2. Restricting. If I restrict food for an extended period of time, I will always end up breaking down and overeating.

sosurreptitious
06-14-2013, 10:15 PM
I have an extensive history of self injury. After I went to therapy for that problem, I'll admit I just stopped going instead of truly working on the issue. I believe that I over-eat as a source of comfort or as many people have stated, because of my addictive personality.

Garnet2727
06-14-2013, 10:32 PM
This is something I wrote for my blog in February of 2012. At that time, I'd only been on Weight Watchers for a few weeks and had lost close to 20 pounds. The title was "How Did I Get So Fat?

Sometimes, I think it is necessary to look back in order to move forward. Although no one has ever overtly asked this question of me, it has been implied. “How did you end up this fat?” Well, the truth is, I’ve always been heavy. I weighed almost 10 pounds at birth. There has never been a time in my life when I’ve fallen within a normal weight range for my age and height. I’ve never been able to wear “normal” size clothing. I remember when I was a kid, my mother got all my clothing from Sears Chubby sizes. I’ve got no conception of what it is actually like to not be overweight. When I graduated from high school, I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 190 pounds.

Of course, being 30 pounds overweight is a long cry from where I am today at over 120 pounds from the high end of normal for my height. I am certainly a living testament to the notion that obesity runs in families. My mother was morbidly obese. My two sisters are morbidly obese. My brother has struggled with his weight for his adult life and while he is not morbidly obese, he is overweight. So how did all of us get fat? Well, one part is the genetic legacy from my mother’s side of the family. With the tall and skinny exceptions from my maternal grandfather’s side, the rest of the folks tend to be heavy set, with large bone structure and big bellies. Obesity runs rampant in that side of the family although many manage to avoid it until they get older and a few manage not to ever become obese.

That genetic propensity doesn’t explain it all, nor does it justify where I am now looking at those blasted 120 pounds. The biggest reason is that I’ve basically eaten like a pig for my entire life. I grew up in a household where food was an expression of love, a reward and an instrument of comfort. My notions about food are all tied up in that. Feel bad? Eat! Feel good? Eat! Feel really bad? Eat a whole bunch! Overeating became an ingrained habit that got worse as I aged.

Dieting* has never worked for me before. I shan’t go into detail about everything I’ve tried in my life. I will simply say that I failed at every single one**. The longest I’ve ever been able to stick with a diet has been these past few weeks on WW. Each dietary failure resulted in massive feelings of guilt, overwhelming self-disgust and weeks, even months, long eating binges. I also tried increasing my fitness level through various means. All those efforts failed too because I would go at it all drill-sergeant gung-ho, end up hurting myself and quit. Or, like an effort I made at swimming a few years ago, I tried doing it early in the morning. For me, early morning hours are guaranteed failure. I shan’t go into detail about that either, I’ll simply say that I always reach that morning, which becomes every morning, that I can’t get my rear end out of bed.

I finally reached a point in my life where I simply didn’t care to even try anymore. I had made up my mind that I would always being fat and so thhhhhhbbbbbbttttt to all that dieting and fitness nonsense! I’m going to eat whatever I want, whenever I want and as much as I want! So there!

And that attitude, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up adding over 50 pounds in three years to a body that was already well over 200 pounds. I was killing myself with food. Out of curiosity, I calculated the WW points for what I was eating on a daily basis. I was averaging over 40 points per meal, over 120 points per day. I have no idea what that translates into for calories and I don’t think really want to know!

I documented in my first blog entry how I ended up on WW. On a routine doctor’s visit, I registered 302 pounds on the scales. What I didn’t say in that entry is that for some time, I had just been feeling physically terrible. I was constantly bloated and stuffed. I was having trouble walking, and not just because of my knee. My sleep was troubled. Mundane house hold chores were becoming increasingly difficult. Not to mention that, well, OK, here comes some TMI, I was having trouble cleaning myself because reaching certain parts of my body had become a strain. Toilet paper on a stick, anyone? Oh and I was wrapped in depression and that sense of I’m a no-good-lousy-excuse for a human being.

So, I joined WW because I had to do something. I’d actually been reading about diets for months and WW always has high ratings and it’s supported by years of experience and weight loss science. Seeing that 302 number on the scale was like a shove on the back that pushed me here. I think it was a shove that I needed. I'm glad I landed here.

*Yes, I know. I’m supposed to consider WW a “lifestyle change” not a diet. Sorry, no can do. Talk to me about how my lifestyle has changed a few years down the road when I meet my goal weight and I’ve maintained it for a good long time. Until then, in my mind, it’s a blasted diet. Albeit one that is actually working.

**Well, that’s not precisely true. I did lose weight once in my life. It’s not a program I would recommend to anyone. It’s called the “Your Life is Garbage So Drink Mass Amounts of Alcohol and Don’t Eat” diet. Fortunately, I was able to get off that particular roller coaster after about a year.

madelinerose94
06-14-2013, 11:23 PM
Before deciding to lose weight, I would eat all the time. It came from my insecurities - it was definitely emotional eating. When I had a bad day/felt bad about myself/hated the way I looked, I would turn to food.

Wannabehealthy
06-17-2013, 07:51 AM
This has been an interesting thread, hearing everyone's story of how they became overeaters. Growing up we ate only our meals, nothing in-between. There was only enough food for meals, and never leftovers, and my parents couldn't afford snacks. They were only for special occasions, like a cake for someone's birthday. When I got my first job I started eating lunch in restaurants. I gained weight so fast. As I look back, I realize I was eating a dinner-size meal for lunch. They had things that my mother had never made and it tasted so good. After I moved into my own apartment, I didn't keep much food in the house and I slimmed down quite a bit, but now I'm married and the food is there and I seem to graze all day. So I would say, it's the availability of food.

Yesterday, after our father's day cook out, I wanted ice cream. We didn't have any. I kept picking at leftovers, even though I wasn't hungry. I think if I could have had some ice cream I would have satisfied my craving and I would not have been picking at the leftovers all evening. I should have just gone for a walk.

amwm2wm3mm
06-18-2013, 03:22 AM
My relationship with food has been messed up from the beginning. To make a long story short, my exstepfather was a terrible person. One of his rules was that we had to clean our plates. I had no control over how much or what I was given and not eating it meant a spanking and/or sitting at the table for hours.
My grandparents house provided an escape from that most weekends. And while I know they did what they did out of love, it was all terrible foods. McDonalds every weekend, chocolate milk every morning, and tons of ramen noodles. My whole family is obese and it was never questioned.
Then, when I was 13, I wasn't allowed to eat food I didn't buy or help pay for. That meant foods I could store in my room and buy with the money I made babysitting. Obviously, this was all cheap processed garbage. Whenever I had a chance to eat real food, I ate as much as I possibly could.
Breaking those habits has been hard and I worry I'll never have them completely under control.

freelancemomma
06-18-2013, 08:39 AM
Garnet, I really like the honesty in your blog post. You're not just crying bad genes or metabolism, but confronting the real source of your excess weight (overeating, as it is with all of us).

F.

Garnet2727
06-18-2013, 04:31 PM
Garnet, I really like the honesty in your blog post. You're not just crying bad genes or metabolism, but confronting the real source of your excess weight (overeating, as it is with all of us).

F.

Thank you. :hug:

I've wasted a lot of my life trying to escape the fact that I am fat because I've spent most of my life eating too blasted much. Sure, there are other contributing factors, but it always boils down to too many calories.

musicalchick
06-20-2013, 12:33 AM
Well there are a lot of reasons I over eat. I was bullied a lot in school for having a learning disability, and my weight. One such time I had a shirt on and I was on the bus waiting to go home, and one of the boys I rode with walked up to me and said I didn't know sea world sold shirts with you on them. The shirt I had on had Shamu on it. So I guess food has always been a comfort to me.

surfergirl2
06-20-2013, 01:19 AM
Now that I've stopped dieting, I realize, for me, there's a difference between overeating and OVEREATING (i.e. binging). I still probably eat a little more than I really need to for someone of my activity level. That's just because I like food. But I don't overeat by much and it doesn't worry me. The REAL overeating--the binging--is caused by dieting and all things related--i.e. stressing about my weight, etc. That, I no longer do, but I started it when I was around 14.

mingming
06-24-2013, 01:34 PM
Uncontrolled anxiety and depression and dieting. The more I binge, the worse the anxiety and it's a vicious cycle. I also think my medication makes me crave carbohydrates more than I ever used to (Zoloft) I used to be a normal eater and grew up in a normal eating household with normal weight parents.

mingming
06-24-2013, 01:36 PM
I'm so sorry you felt that way, HN. :(

For years I had all kinds of theories about messed up psychology and even positive stuff, like family showing love w food, etc. And then I discovered that it was all basically solved (sadly I doubt this can ever be 100%, I will never be a person w a naturally healthy relationship w food) by changing my chemistry. Now I really truly believe that it's a chemical food addiction and doesn't have much of a psychological component at all.

I did, though, spend decades in that addiction and I ingraining those behaviors and neural pathways and there is a piece of me that really believes that food can make me feel good (though it almost never does). So in a sense that stuff is psychological.

How did you change your chemistry?

LilacPants
09-22-2014, 06:50 AM
I'm definitely not trying to make excuses, it is what it is I was just thinking about why I overeat so much.
When I was a child, we were very poor for a while. I remember eating soup beans all the time. I won't touch a bean now. So when my Mom became a nurse we had more money and were able to buy more food. I think this is when I started to pig out. When I was full, I would keep eating for no other reason because I could.
Here I am 15 years later trying to beat my want to binge.

I think there is something to this... you don't have food, and then you do...

I grew up poor where food was grown in the garden, and lean a couple of occasions in childhood. As an adult, no matter my situation, I could always afford healthy food. I was borderline anorexic for a few years after a breakup fight in the grocery store, and I couldn't shop long enough to buy much food for several years. Then I had a period of unemployment where I had not enough money for food. (Had a friend who snuck me food from her pantry when her husband wasn't home.) I rationed my food just to eat enough not be be hungary, and I had these fears of wasting away and starving to death that REALLY scared me. Needless to say, something flipped in my brain with the scarcity of food, and the anorexia was gone. Once I had steady income again...I ate to the point of feeling full just because I hadn't had that during this period. Feelings of "not hungary" or "satisfied" were not enough--it had to be till full almost panful. And that started the overeating, where I ALWAYS felt like I needed to eat until I was very full, almost to the point of pain. Gained 70 pounds.

I have not been able to stop this cycle.

LilacPants
09-22-2014, 06:52 AM
I'm definitely not trying to make excuses, it is what it is I was just thinking about why I overeat so much.
When I was a child, we were very poor for a while. I remember eating soup beans all the time. I won't touch a bean now. So when my Mom became a nurse we had more money and were able to buy more food. I think this is when I started to pig out. When I was full, I would keep eating for no other reason because I could.
Here I am 15 years later trying to beat my want to binge.

I think there is something to this... you don't have food, and then you do...

I grew up poor where food was grown in the garden, and lean a couple of occasions in childhood. As an adult, no matter my situation, I could always afford healthy food. I was borderline anorexic for a few years after a breakup fight in the grocery store, and I couldn't shop long enough to buy much food for several years. Then I had a period of unemployment where I had not enough money for food. (Had a friend who snuck me food from her pantry when her husband wasn't home.) I rationed my food just to eat enough not be be hungry, and I had these fears of wasting away and starving to death that REALLY scared me. Needless to say, something flipped in my brain with the scarcity of food, and the anorexia was gone. Once I had steady income again...I ate to the point of feeling full just because I hadn't had that during this period. Feelings of "not hungry" or "satisfied" were not enough--it had to be till full almost painful. And that started the overeating, where I ALWAYS felt like I needed to eat until I was very full, almost to the point of pain. Gained 70 pounds.

I have not been able to stop this cycle.

yoyoma
09-22-2014, 01:26 PM
Here's a map of influences. May not be complete, but wow!

http://www.shiftn.com/obesity/Full-Map.html

ubergirl
09-22-2014, 01:56 PM
This is such an interesting thread. I find it fascinating how we all have such different reasons for our obesity.

In my own case, my weight problems came from binge eating, and my binge eating was a direct result of too much dieting when I was young, combined with a "food police" mom.

We ate only healthy food in my house growing up. Skim milk, fish, lots of fresh vegetables and salads. My mom never let us eat sugary cereal or junk food. I'm old enough that eating fast food really wasn't a thing. Every once in a while we would go out to a pizza parlor for dinner, but mostly I was fed fresh home cooked food. The problem came in that from the time I was really little my mom was always warning me about getting fat, telling me that I might be getting fat, and constantly advising me about what to eat and what not to eat. On Halloween, she took my candy and hid it up on a high shelf, doling it out piece by piece-- which only made me crave it more. By the time I was in second grade, I remember worrying about whether I was the fattest girl in the class. (I looked completely normal). As I got older, I went through puberty earlier than many of my peers, grew boobs, and was tall. I couldn't fit into the styles that my middle school friends were wearing because I was tall. I had an athletic build, but I was in no way fat-- I was just a lot bigger than my peers because I was taller and more mature. At that time, I got seriously into dieting. I joined WW for the first time at age 12, followed it to the letter, and dropped from 138 to 120. I was ecstatic, but I could not maintain 120 (and no wonder, I'm 5'8" with a large frame, and I'm skinny at 145) That started for me years of yo-yo dieting and severe body image issues, then bingeing and some bulimia. Because I'm older, there wasn't much awareness of these kinds of issues back then. I think if I were growing up now, someone would have the sense to realize that I was messed up and get me some therapy, but back then, nobody really understood that.

Unlike many of the people on this thread, I actually don't think I have a propensity toward obesity. Nobody in my family is overweight and I was raised to eat healthy-- I love fish, veggies, salad, fresh fruit. I have no interest in fast food and never got in the habit of eating it... I maintained a relatively normal weight until I got pregnant with my first child. That tipped me over into the obese range, and after that, I sort of gave up... I kept binge eating, but I also developed the habit of grazing at home. Instead of yo-yoing up and down, I just kept going up, up, up.

In a nutshell, I think that something in my own psyche, plus a parenting style that put me at risk was what created my eating disorder. I think probably if I had gotten therapy in my teens or early twenties, when I still maintained a normal weight I could have avoided eventually becoming morbidly obese.

I blame myself for letting the problem go on and on rather than reach out for help once I was on my own. With my own children, I was very careful never to comment on their body sizes or shapes, not to food restrict them or food police them, and I'm very happy that my two daughters have grown up with normal body images and no eating disorders.

What is so weird about obesity is that if your parents feed you too much, it can cause a propensity toward obesity, and if your parents restrict your food, it can also cause a propensity toward obesity. Also, in terms of weight loss strategies, I think that is why we all need to find our own paths to weight loss-- what works for some people doesn't work for others.

What's more, I definitely think that genetics and heredity plays a role. I managed to maintain a normal weight for a long time in spite of eating stuff like entire boxes of double stuff oreos in one sitting, whereas, I see that other people can become morbidly obese just eating a little too much every day. My weight problems definitely originated in my head, not in my body.

Sally Pineapple
09-22-2014, 05:11 PM
I believe there are lots of reasons, but one that hit home for me was eating out of habit.
I always ate in the movie theater or while watching television.
I wasn't hungry. It was just conditioned in me to do this.
As soon as I realized it. I stopped and I started loosing some weight.

Aidanqm
10-03-2014, 09:32 PM
Binge eating comes from eating too few calories. Period.

I starved myself for a year and ended up binge eating /all/ the time. Three months of eating at a normal calorie range again (2,000+) I stopped all binge eating. The key is to reduce calories by a very small amount and do moderate but not excessive exercise)

Wannabeskinny
10-04-2014, 08:51 AM
Binge eating comes from eating too few calories. Period.

I starved myself for a year and ended up binge eating /all/ the time. Three months of eating at a normal calorie range again (2,000+) I stopped all binge eating. The key is to reduce calories by a very small amount and do moderate but not excessive exercise)

I don't think many people realize that binge eating is actually a symptom of restriction. It's a very difficult concept to understand and I didn't understand it myself until very very recently. I'd been told that restriction was causing binging many times but it made NO SENSE to me at all. I didn't understand how it was possible someone was restricting while eating everything that wasn't nailed down. But it is possible when your mind is saying "stop eating this, no don't pick up that donut, I'm gonna pay for this tomorrow on the scale, I'm such a horrible person, I can't believe I'm eating all this, I hope nobody sees me, oh well I might as well finish everything here so that tomorrow I can start fresh, I promise myself I'll never eat like this again, I'm such a slob, I deserve to be fat." When you have that dialogue in your head you're not doing yourself any favors, this is the dialogue that lights the fire to binge. It's a restrictive mentality which leads to binging.

Pink Hurricane
10-04-2014, 05:53 PM
Childhood trauma and trauma I dealt with as an older teenager that really broke my soul for a while. I was able to pinpoint that through counseling when I was dealing with my eating disorders. It is no longer an excuse, it was an answer. A few years ago I found the solution and lost the weight. The weight piled back on in 2013 due to lack of exercise then a wonderful, healthy pregnancy! However I amnow healthily losing the weight and exercising.

TheHotMom
10-06-2014, 06:47 PM
I have no idea. I just love junk and can not stop until it's gone. I've been hoping that maybe it's emotional eating, or there was some big reason... I just think I'm greedy, lol.

JeanDC
10-07-2014, 05:36 AM
I binge because the cravings I get are so bad I can't resist them. I identify with Kathryn Hansen in her book 'Brain Over Binge' when she explains that her cravings come from periods of severe food restriction earlier in her life, which is what I did too, plus a strong habit formed in the brain. I know that if I can resist giving in to my cravings for just a couple of weeks then they will fade and I can be binge free. I have done this on about four occasions in the past for months on end, with very successful results. But I started eating my trigger foods again and now my cravings are back with a vengeance. I know that I need to just sit and resist them each evening when they strike, but at present I'm finding that just too hard. But for me it's the only way. Which is why I've joined this Forum, for support.

marigrace
10-07-2014, 08:00 AM
I spent quite a few years thinking there was something wrong with me. Why couldn't I control myself ? Everything pointed to the "fact" that I had no will power....that I was weak....lacking in moderation and broken. Then one day, I tried the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. At first I couldn't believe it. What happened to the nightly after dinner cravings ? Why was I suddenly able to control my eating ? Slowly, I started to understand that although there were psychological components at play, most of the problem was physiological....I mean there were certain behaviors that had become hard wired ...and needed to change, but I wasn so "broken" anymore.

pluckypear
10-16-2014, 09:23 AM
I believe food addiction is linked to childhood trauma which is any childhood where a child did not receive the love needed because parent(s) were not able to love or not available. I do not speak for everyone but for myself and for many I know. Personally my father was an alchoholic and thus not available to father in the way he should have so the love was not there and he was abusive to my sibling, one sibling viewing abuse is abuse itself. In my personal life every very overweight person I have known well enough to know anything of their lives had parent(s) who could not love. Some of my friends I would never say this to but it was so clear that their parent(s) was so wrapped up in themselves they just were not available to them. I believe these wounds caused by childhood resulted in ptsd for myself and thus I am dealing with my addiction day by day. I can only speak for my experiences though.
I do have great therapist who happens to be a psychiatrist and I am finding this work really helpful and healing.

Wannabeskinny
10-16-2014, 11:09 AM
I believe food addiction is linked to childhood trauma which is any childhood where a child did not receive the love needed because parent(s) were not able to love or not available. I do not speak for everyone but for myself and for many I know. Personally my father was an alchoholic and thus not available to father in the way he should have so the love was not there and he was abusive to my sibling, one sibling viewing abuse is abuse itself. In my personal life every very overweight person I have known well enough to know anything of their lives had parent(s) who could not love. Some of my friends I would never say this to but it was so clear that their parent(s) was so wrapped up in themselves they just were not available to them. I believe these wounds caused by childhood resulted in ptsd for myself and thus I am dealing with my addiction day by day. I can only speak for my experiences though.
I do have great therapist who happens to be a psychiatrist and I am finding this work really helpful and healing.

I had wonderful parents and a great childhood. It wasn't without challenges but my parents were very loving. Then again I don't consider myself an addict of any sort.

Velvet bean
10-16-2014, 07:03 PM
I think it has a lot to do with culture. We usually have too much food everywhere, we socialize while eating, we shower our guests with delicious meals and what is a celebration without a feast? It's only natural that we link eating with happiness! Of course a lot of people eat when they're stressed and the issue can be much much deeper sometimes, but I believe it can also only get down to (bad) habits.

I don't like when people assume that I'm fat because I'm "solving my problems with food".

kaplods
10-17-2014, 12:40 AM
I think there are just too many contributing causes, and too many plausible, but untestable theories to answer the question with any degree of accuracy.

I suspected deep-seated social and psychological problems most of my life, because that's where I was taught/led to look - because that was a common theory of health care professionals of the time (of course "back then" homosexuality and schizophrenia were both thought to be caused by the amount and quality of maternal attention and affection).

Currently I suspect a genetic component because I was adopted an am the only person in my adoptive family to have ever been overweight, much less morbidly obese as a child (as I was) or before middle-age, for that matter. At my heighest weight, I outweighed the next heaviest person in my family by about 125 lbs.

I know very little about my biological family, so I'm just guessing, but I don't think it really matters why or how I got fat. Theories can help design treatments, but I think that's actually part of the problem.

When I assumed a psychological cause, I looked for psychological solutions. When they didn't work, I saw it as an indication of how mentally screwed up I had to be, rather than as an indication that there might be physiological issues.

I think overeating has too many contributing causes for cause-identification to be very practical or effective. Also, obesity becomes self-perpetuating and multi-causal. You may begin overeating for one reason, but staying fat can involve many others. I don't think anyone is fat for only one reason, and even stress-induced obesity causes physiological changes that reinforce the obesity, even when the stress is no longer present.

Even stress-induced eating may be genetic. Some people overeat when stresses, others lose their appetite. Genetics, family history, cultural norms... and a gazillion other factors may determine how your appetite responds to stress...

I do think obesity tends to be more physiological than psychological, which is sadly a somewhat radical view. It's more common to assume that obesity HAS to be a matter of mental instability - lazy, crazy, or stupid.... To the point that if you DO believe in physiological factors, you're accused of being in denial or shirking personal responsibility.

flower123
10-20-2014, 04:43 AM
Great thread! So, after reading what everyone says, it confirms what I think. There are many things that can be attributed to overeating. I am not sure I know all of the reasons for me. Then again, I am not sure I know the real reason. I was abused for many years. That may well have caused me to want to self comfort in the only way I knew how. And it may have been one of the few ways I felt control over how I felt. I also ate to calm the pain. Gratification. But I do not think that's the only reason. I eat very quickly. And I am voracious. Much like what we think of the classic alcoholic with alcohol. Its almost like it's never enough.

My eating was somewhat controlled by my abusive mother when I was young. So it may have exacerbated the problem. And still there could be more reasons. I am in maintenance now. But my entire life has been up and down in weight. I have lost more than a hundred pounds from my heaviest. But I have lost perhaps three times that amount with yoyoing over the years. Up and down. The happiest times were when I was heavy. Creating amazing baked goods. Creating with food and then eating it. Serving it. Sheer bliss. But I was quite heavy. I think there may be another reason why I eat as I do. Maybe in a past life I was starved;):dizzy:

VilimovskyM
10-20-2014, 07:25 AM
Overating is sometimes a big problem for me mainly when I have lots of work to be done. I am a full time translator in order to earn money for my medical studies and I frequently translate at night and under pressure. I eat a lot, mainly sweets, such as cookies, honey, chocolate and other similar stuff. So probably I eat too much when I am in stress, which is no good but I really cannot help it sometimes.

DivineDivina
10-20-2014, 08:15 PM
I think my overeating stems from a few things. I grew up in a poorer family and eating out became a luxury. I feel like now in my adult life I want to go out and eat pretty much everything because I can afford to more often. The feelings I get from over eating also attribute to my problems. To me food equaled happiness and was a quick fix for problems I had. When I was eating the foods I loved, I could escape the bad feelings I felt towards my self and my weight. Sometimes I even felt like I couldn't have a good time with friends without eating something unhealthy.

Now I'm realizing that eating doesn't equal happiness and food can't solve any problems long term. I have to face my problems without food. Sadly as they say, habits die hard. I still struggle not to overeat and fixate on food.

VermontMom
10-26-2014, 06:43 PM
I don't know where my overeating comes from! :?: My mom cooked very nutritious meals for us, we drank low fat milk before it was cool :devil: very seldom had dessert and even then it was Jello, had soda only on special occasions. Then again I grew up without a dad..issues there. My super skinny sister never had a weight problem til later in life, However she is a recovering/battling alcoholic. Which I don't have a problem with, I could give up alcohol this second and not care but to swear off cookies for life?? NOOOO :devil:

tldr; no idea :D

Jesslan Rose
10-26-2014, 10:44 PM
I'm extremely blessed when it comes to my family. They've always been loving and supportive. But along with that comes family celebrations (birthdays, holidays, etc) that were and still are always filled with tons of food. Growing up with that I associated food with happiness and love. So I've always been an emotional eater. If I'm sad or upset I eat. The taste of food cheers me up and I feel happier. My Dad once called it instant gratification and he was right. At least in my case. It was the worst after my Husband passed away. I spent the next 3 years eating mostly candy or sugary foods. Hence my ballooning to 400 lbs. Now that I've realized why I eat like that I'm in much better control of what types of food I eat and eating healthier.

Wannabeskinny
10-27-2014, 08:08 AM
Growing up with that I associated food with happiness and love. So I've always been an emotional eater. If I'm sad or upset I eat. The taste of food cheers me up and I feel happier.

This is an interesting blog post about emotional eating that pretty much sums up how I feel about it. http://www.thegreatfitnessexperiment.com/2013/04/everything-you-never-wanted-to-know-about-emotional-eating-what-how-and-why-you-should.html

There is nothing wrong with emotional eating, it gets a bad rap. Seeking comfort in food is a very natural and human thing to do. When we do it we intend to take care of ourselves in the only way we know how to. We can't continue to beat ourselves up for something we are naturally inclined to do. That said, eating for comfort can only comfort us but so much. It shouldn't be our only tool for getting through uncomfortable emotions, but it's easy to fall into the trap of emotional eating and not being able to find our way out of it. That's because it becomes a physiological habit that's hard to break.

I'm sorry for your loss.

countrymama
10-27-2014, 08:46 AM
I have three reason why I over eat. Family, growing up food was always a huge part of our family get togethers and still is. Family bbqs and christmas diners and even in my home We sit and talk about our day around the diner table . Its when we all spend time together . Boredom, I have been a stay at home mom for 5 years now and sometimes doing the dishes isn't that exciting haha. I find myself grabbing snacks and munching and then look down and go why I'm eating this? Finally emotional eating . I have had the days where clothes don't fit or just having a bad day and you say well I'm already fat what's a pint of ice cream going to hurt .

flower123
10-28-2014, 05:22 AM
It was the worst after my Husband passed away. I spent the next 3 years eating mostly candy or sugary foods.
Hi. I am SO sorry to read that your husband passed away. I think its understandable to have turned during that time to foods that comfort.

AmethystJean
11-11-2014, 10:18 PM
I clean my plate. I eat mindlessly. I eat emotionally, which I have even done when I was younger and anorexic (I would binge or emotionally eat and then go back to restricting). I eat because it tastes good. I feel like I have an unconscious fear sometimes of not getting more, or having my fill and so I eat more than normal people. Not to mention, I cook for others, so I end up eating that without thinking about it.

circa83
12-11-2014, 12:58 PM
If something is stressing me out then I get this, "I don't care how fattening it is, I'm eating it anyway," attitude. I also eat more when there is a lot of food available, whether it be a Thanksgiving spread or lunch at a restaurant or if someone has come home with fast food dinner after I've already eaten. I think I eat when I'm bored too. There have been days where I've undereaten because I was so preoccupied with other things. I don't think my weight gain is from the times I overeat, but just from a lifetime of eating bad foods. There are days when I feel like I've eaten too much but will weigh less on the scale the next morning.

Skinnygirldreams
12-11-2014, 02:03 PM
I overeat because growing up I was forced to clean my plate. As I got bigger,so did the portions
Portion control has been my biggest problem since I was little.
Plus I get what I call the "boredom-hungries" where I have nothing to do, so I eat. I also have had issues with control over portions when it came to snacking/boredome-hungries.

Working on it though :)

I'm Just like you BreighRenee.... I was forced to clean my plate, I feel like this is what lead me down the path. I also have portion control problems and boredom - hugries. But I'm workin on changing all that!

ReillyJ
12-11-2014, 05:14 PM
I think mine comes simply from the LOVE OF FOOD and that i do not feel full as quickly as the average person.

I can simply eat tremendous amounts of food. :(

freelancemomma
12-11-2014, 11:39 PM
I think mine comes simply from the LOVE OF FOOD and that i do not feel full as quickly as the average person. I can simply eat tremendous amounts of food. :(

That's totally me as well. I have an enormous capacity to overeat and don't feel physically uncomfortable unless I REALLY overdo it.

F.

moonkissed
12-12-2014, 05:56 PM
My sister and I both have talked about this in the past. We are both overweight and eat our emotions.

I think part of it comes from growing up poor with a huge family. Food was used as a huge reward, luxury, celebration. Once a month we would get a big delicious meal and with so many people leftovers would disappear quickly. So it was almost like eat as much as you could now or it would be gone.

I seem not to have realized that I am now an adult and can buy whatever I want whenever I want to. If I want to eat that delicious meal every week I could so I don't need to stuff myself with it like Ill never get it again.

I also think during my teen years I was very depressed. I was bipolar and didn't know it and food was something that I could not only control but something I could get comfort from. So I would eat my emotions. That food would trigger the same feelings of happiness and celebration.

I think it all became a habit that is hard to break now. I get stressed and I turn to food and stuff myself senseless.

djunamod
12-14-2014, 07:18 PM
I've been doing some work lately with thinking about this as part of reading a book called "Shrink Yourself". I know that my binge eating comes from complex issues starting with the emotional abuse that I suffered as a child (and still suffer, to a degree, though I have learned to set the boundaries with my parents). Both my parents are mentally ill (though not diagnosed) - my father has a narcissistic personality and my mom has co-dependency and enmeshment issues.

Exploring reasons why I binge eat, I know that they come from feelings of having been powerless in the face of my parents' severe emotional abuse, their manipulation and control and their expectations that I take care of them rather than they take care of me (as it should have been when I was a child). I also know that my binge eating was my way of rebelling against my parents' control and abuse. I was never allowed to properly explore my independence and autonomy when I was growing up so my only way of rebelling was through food (which is ironic, since the whole idea of binge eating is that you feel out of control).

I'm learning that I have to work on those issues to help me overcome my binge eating.

Djuna

Wannabeskinny
12-14-2014, 10:27 PM
Djunamod it sounds like you have some real insight into what drove you to binge. And I think that the frantic nature of binging causes us to think that the process denotes lack of self control. I think that's wrong - on the contrary binging provides a purpose for those of us who have done it for years. My actions (binging) are not those of someone who is weak, powerless or cout of control. They are a desperate attempt to nurture ourselves in tr only way we know how. Food is safe, it doesn't say no, it doesn't talk back. As most of the time it works brilliantly to make us feel calmer. That's why we continue doing it for decades in some cases.

GiGiBee
12-17-2014, 06:29 PM
The sugar and fat soothes me and all that is currently wrong in my life.

Terra1984
12-20-2014, 04:31 PM
I overeat because growing up I was forced to clean my plate. As I got bigger,so did the portions

Same here, I'm STILL trying to learn portion control almost a year later