Weight Loss Support - Do you the food thoughts and obsessions ever stop?

11-30-2013, 02:31 AM
I have been obsessed with food for my entire adult life and also all of my teenage years. Although I am able to control myself lately, so that I can lose weight, I can't help but think about food a lot. And here's the weird thing. It's not that I am thinking about what foods I want right now, it's more like fantasizing about food I will eat when I do certain things in the future.

For example, I am moving abroad in one month and I keep thinking about how happy I will be to be with my significant other...but then on the other hand, I start thinking about what restaurants we can go to and what we can order there. And I always think back on good memories that involve food.

But anyway, I was just wondering if you all obsess about food too, and if your plans and past memories go along with food too? And, is there anyone who used to do this, but has been able to get over it? If so, how did you get over this obsession? or did you just randomly notice that you no longer thought about food?

Hmm...maybe this is just a life long struggle. That would be really hard if that were the case. I hate living my life around food. It's just food, but then again, it's food! lol

11-30-2013, 05:37 AM
That doesn't sound to me like obsessing, to be honest.

Obsessing to me means that if you don't think about it, you become anxious and in general there's this stressful aspect to the thoughts. Like thinking that you have to have it or that you mustn't have it. I think about food all the time, but I don't consider it to be obsessive :-) It only becomes obsessive when I'm on a really restricted diet and I'm really hungry.

Food is part of life and I most definitely consider it to be an important aspect of relationships as well. I think food is something that is to be respected and is a natural part of festivities. I think preparing food for others is an act of love. I am suspicious of people who do not care about food :-)

Seriously, I look at restaurant menus of restaurants in places I'm not even going to! :-) I go through the ideas in my mind and imagine what it would feel like to eat it. This gives me ideas what I would like to prepare for myself or for others or for special occasions. I very much like the thought of creating a nice atmosphere where the people present can relax and enjoy themselves and feel like they are cared for.

So, really, in my world, you are perfectly normal :-)

Mrs Snark
11-30-2013, 08:49 AM
This is just my personal experience; your mileage my vary:

For my whole life I've spent significant time pondering, thinking about, dreaming about, fantasizing about, AND completely obsessing about food. Food, food, food, it was practically all I ever thought about. And this all started quite young for me.

I've lost and regained weight many, many times. Most of the times I've previously lost weight my brain was still firmly under the spell of food and I ate quite alot of junk food and regularly had "free days" and binges (that I then would make up for by being super restrictive and also exercising like a complete demon). Nothing was off limits in my previous weight-loss attempts because as far as I was concerned "a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie", and if I wanted to eat my day's worth of calories in Doritos and tootsie rolls, well then by gosh THAT was what I was going to do (never mind that such behavior would inevitable trigger major cravings and binges -- I didn't want to BELIEVE I couldn't eat whatever I wanted "in moderation"). I was always able to control this equation long enough to lose weight, but never to maintain for any length of time at all.

This attempt at losing weight I have kept my diet MUCH cleaner and I have realized that while I GREATLY envy people who don't have any "off limits" foods (jealous, jealous, jealous!) I truly have a great, big long list of foods that I really shouldn't eat. So I (mostly) don't eat them. And while the whole idea that I can't eat all those foods made me want to cry nonstop for the first couple of months, I am NOW discovering (32 weeks in) that I rarely get obsessed with food and that my head space is MUCH, MUCH quieter and more peaceful.

I have mostly stopped dreaming about and fantasizing about future meals or about having this treat or that treat. For instance, I was going to have cherry pie as a Thanksgiving treat pretty much out of habit -- but once I decided that I didn't want to put that much sugar in my body and go through cravings and sugar withdrawal, it was easy to completely give up the idea without any further struggle.

So in short: I believe that because I steer clear of junky food, I am experiencing more QUIET in my head than I ever have before. I do almost no food obsessing or food fantasizing any more, which is a whole new world for me. I honestly would not have thought such a thing was possible -- it is like discovering a whole different person inside at age 46, which is really, really WEIRD!

But it feels really magical and I can say that the effort is DEFINITELY worth it.

For me.

Suzanne 3FC
11-30-2013, 09:03 AM
Food is part of culture, and you are getting ready to make a major change to your environment. The choices you make regarding food also affect your health, and I don't see anything wrong with being prepared.

Regarding food and memories, I used to feel that my family spent too much time focusing on food as a motive for our family gatherings. We've made a few changes over the last few years and try to focus more on the celebration of being together. Sometimes we just have a light snack and play Bingo, and that's a lot more memorable than hovering over the buffet :)

I think that with practice, it's possible to change the focus of almost any gathering so that it's less about food and more about life. Knowing in advance that you are going to choose the simplest and healthiest foods will let you spend your time anticipating other experiences and making new memories.

11-30-2013, 10:26 AM
I envy people who don't think about food, you know the people who forget to eat lunch? I want to be one of those people. But that won't be me. The world will stop spinning on its axis before I skip a meal. I really wish I didn't even like food, that's why I have considered going to hypnotherapy. I fantasize about being hypnotized and gently coaxed towards disliking foods that I like. That may solve a lot of problems for me.

12-01-2013, 01:22 AM
Food is a part of our lives, be it good or bad.

Food addiction differs from others as we can give up drugs or booze or cigs or whatever, but we still have to eat. *deep sigh*

To be honest, as 2+ year maintainer, I think about food more now than I ever did before.

The thing is, I look at it from a different pint of view.:D

12-03-2013, 12:23 PM
Yes, as a maintainer I still LOVE FOOD and love talking about it and eating it and thinking about it, but I don't obsess about it the way I did when I was dieting, and looking at "food pr0n" doesn't elicit a deep emotional response.

12-03-2013, 03:08 PM
For me, the big shift in my thinking is that I can love the food I love, I can eat it too, I just can't eat all of it in one day. I can split a dessert, or have a drink, not both in one meal. And knowing that I can have it all eventually, goes a long way towards not wanting to have it all right now.

But intrusive thoughts of food come and go. I try and practice mindfulness when they get to be too bad ... not fighting them or reacting to them and instead acknowledging them and letting them go as easily as they came.

Which is easy most of the time but really really hard sometimes. Holidays are really bad (this week ugh). But my old therapist likened such thoughts to telling someone not to think about an elephant: telling them that will make them do it. So fighting food thoughts only make them worse. Don't try to stop yourself from thinking about food, merely change how you react to such thoughts.

And I too am about to visit my significant other in a foreign country with lots of great food. So I get where you are coming from.

If you are curious, this is how I am going to handle it:

1. I'm thinking about the foods I will encounter and deciding which are 'worth it.' Some restaurants and foods are totally worth it, others are not. I plan to space out and limit my non-plan meals, I will have some and I will enjoy them, but I will be careful too.

2. Switching to maintenance for a set period of time. Sometimes it's ok to eat at a high calorie level for a few days or weeks. A person needs to stay in control, but while I visit my husband I am going to go from 1200 calories a day to 1700 just to make life a little easier. No matter what, I will stay in control, and that should make ramping back down in three weeks easier.

3. Plan exercise dates. Dinners are a great way to be with your significant other, but so is hiking or visiting a garden or nature preserve. Plus it's easier to snuggle when there isn't a table piled high with food between you!

And a special note: since you are moving permanently, keep reminding yourself that you don't have to eat everything that first week. Go to dinner at your favorite restaurant once you are over jet lag, maybe switch to maintenance level for a few days until you are stocked up on groceries, but after that get back on your plan.

Good luck!

12-03-2013, 03:43 PM
I am married to a man who "eats to live" I don't see him derive pleasure from food or anticipate eating something delicious. I get excited to learn how to make something new, to go to a restaurant to plan meals etc. I read menus online, think about what I would order, seriously look at and "like" my friends' FB food photos.

The hardest thing for me is giving up snacking. I can handle smaller meal portions but boy am I ever having a hard time giving up the treats.

12-07-2013, 01:44 AM
When I gain weight, I am *not* obsessing about food. I barely think about food. I just eat it.

When I lose weight or am maintaining my weight, I am much more vigilent about my food intake. I can't imagine not being vigilent. If that is viewed as "obsession", so be it.

12-07-2013, 02:26 AM
Mrs. Snark, I just looked at your blog and WOW!!! So inspiring!

When I gain weight, I am *not* obsessing about food. I barely think about food. I just eat it.

This is so true!

When I lose weight or am maintaining my weight, I am much more vigilent about my food intake. I can't imagine not being vigilent. If that is viewed as "obsession", so be it.

When I am obsessing, though, and being that sort of obsessive vigilant, I almost always fall off the wagon. I do best if I stick with really simple foods that I'm not all that interested in and eat the same things day after day. It is boring and my food doesn't give me nearly the entertainment value it used to, but when I stick to eating this way, I really don't obsess at all. Sometimes I'll realize in the evening that I haven't thought about food all day, which feels like a huge victory to me.

So, I have some days that are awesome that way but I still have days that aren't, where I'm either thinking about food and white knuckling it, or I've face-planted in off plan foods. I'm still trying to figure out how to have fewer of those.

Mrs Snark
12-07-2013, 11:36 AM
Thanks rubidoux, that's so nice of you to say! :)

I'm similar to you, I do so much better when I eat really simply. Eating simply has curbed both thrill eating and binge eating for me.