Chicks in Control - Struggling to end binging
01-05-2014, 12:48 PM
I've battled with my weight since childhood. I've gained and lost large amounts of weight numerous times. I binge eat, feel guilty and do it again anyway. I go through periods of depression that last months and don't want to leave my house. Every time I see another woman I determine if I'm bigger or smaller than her and every time I'm bigger and lesser. I think about my size and food all day and dream about one day getting this right. Like some number on the scale is going to make me worthy of happiness, of love, of life, of my own accomplishments. I'm so tired of this battle occupying most of my time and want to be healthy in my body and mind.
Any advice on moving through this?
01-05-2014, 08:40 PM
Hi, there. Although I'm new to the forum, I've been losing and gaining large amounts of weight for nearly 20 years. The reason this round sees to be different is because I recently had gestational diabetes and also learned that many members of my biological family have horrid Type 2 diabetes. This time, I think I have been scared straight. If my health weren't obviously at risk, I probably would still be on the same road. It's been tough to deal with the feelings that come up, but I guess I've decided that dealing with the feelings is better than losing my eye sight (as my aunt has) to diabetes.
All of that to say: maybe you could look at the health aspect of our problem for motivation.
01-05-2014, 09:09 PM
I think we have a few things in common. I don't think about the same way you do though. Generally i don't spend too much time feeling guilty for binging. I don't suffer from extreme self loathing type of guilty. Just ordinary stupid guilty.
Anyway you are asking a big question and you don't provide a lot of personal background info so i can only give a general answer. With more specific info, one could probably give you more specific advice.
Just for your info, i have a history of depression and weight cycling too. I mainly started binging when i quit smoking. that's when my weight started really going up but i used to binge as a little kid at school. but for no other reason than it was fun to eat as much as one could. No one was there to put any sort of controls on me. My sister is thin and has a lot of self restraint. I have little.
But we have to learn self-restraint. of course i know its difficult to make any progress whatsoever when one is depressed unless one is so depressed that you lose your appetite. So anyway have you had therapy. I think you need to learn how to think about everything differently and talking therapy is one way to go about this. Learn psychological tools from books and therapy to enable you to take up different thinking styles.
Learn mindfulness. REad a book about mindful eating. I know they exist.
to have a bit of practice at self restraint, go and spend some time at a buddhist monastery where they don't eat after midday. If you are able. They exist and usually you pay by donation. Look for theravada monasteries. YOu can learn how to meditate whilst there, and the buddhist way to deal with your emotional issues. No one in a monastery would be on meds but many of them will have had emotional or psychological problems. If its a good monastery you should get regular access to a teacher who can help you in the same way as a therapist. You should do a bit of research to find a monastery where the teacher give you frequent interviews. Don't tell them you are there to lose weight or resolve your depression though. At least not in the beginning because they will probably turn you away. Go there to learn how to meditate and experience the buddhist lifestyle which is healthy and harmonious. There is a lot to be learnt from such places when they are good ones.
One thing you must stop doing straight away is to stop looking at people in terms of how fat or thin they are and comparing yourself to them. You should just shut the thought off when you recognise it arising. Because if you notice they are fatter than you you probably use that thought to bolster your weak self esteem and if you notice they are thinner than you, you probably feel worse. So this is a very unhealthy way to manage your feelings. You must stop comparing yourself to others. And also start looking at others in terms of their humanity, not as surfaces and appearances. Learn to think about yourself that way too. Develop yourself. Get into personal growth and make it a lifelong job. There's a great to deal to learn, its interesting and life changing and it never ends.
I hope some of this may be helpful
01-05-2014, 09:16 PM
As my life has gone on, i notice i don't detest myself so much for my appearance as i used to. Though sometimes i do get disgusted with how i've let myself go and usually use that as an opportunity to start a new program of weightloss.
I used to feel so bad about my appearance that i never took any care over it or tried to dress nicely. It seemed to only be worth doing when i was skinny. But now i try to look ok when i'm overweight too and notice that i feel much better. This should help with depression a little bit.
Try making yourself some clothes. I have been doing that lately based on clothes that i have found suit me at my weight. And now i keep clothes in all my sizes as well. Even when i'm thin i don't throw out my fat pants. And when i'm fat i don't throw out my thin clothes. Except things that are worn out or fashion has moved on or something like that.
if you like we can discuss and analyse our binging habits in detail here. I am happy to share what i do while i talk about how i have learnt to change some things or tricks i have learnt to reduce the damage.
WE can take on one thing at a time, like for instance, what do you binge on. I used to binge on chocolate but i thought that was probably worse than other foods so i switched from chocolate to just sweets. At times i binge on ice-cream. That's a really bad. So from time to time i swear off ice-cream.
01-05-2014, 11:09 PM
Awesome post! Everything you said is me. I binge and hate myself for days at a time which then makes me eat more and make me feel worse. It's a viscous cycle. I too always size up any women that comes within a 100 yard radius. I feel as if everyone is judging me for being fat and then I judge them in my head. I also lose weight and then gain it all back.
I think about food constantly. "What can I eat next" seems to be my personal mantra. You are not the alone and it makes me feel a little better that there's someone out there like me too! :)
01-06-2014, 01:35 PM
I feel that way sometimes. Most of the time, I tell myself that I value people for reasons outside of their weight, so while that doesn't mean I shouldn't care at all about what I look like, I shouldn't despise myself so strongly either.
Other times, if that doesn't sink that sad feeling - I just think, well all the more reason to "trudge on and eventually lose." I think Dr Stephen Gullo in the Thin Commandments said something akin to "Remember, what I tell each of my patients, happy or sad, rich or poor, it's still better being thin. Even if you want to be miserable today, it's better to be thin and miserable than fat and miserable." Perhaps not the "right" or moral way to think but I was thin once and this was true for me at least.
01-06-2014, 05:31 PM
Depending on what you have been through in your life can have an impact that you are unaware of as an adult. Examples: Some people that are abused can try and cover their body with fat or do the opposite and strip. Or kids that had food withheld as a kid, Or kids that were made to eat everything on their plate-so many different factors.
I was thin till 8 then an event happened in my life and I ballooned up until 13. I was a good size again until around 23. I was in a bad relationship and before I knew it I was well over 200lbs.
Once that relationship ended I was in shape. Now in my 30's I am overweight again and keep in mind a huge binge eater. I gave up smoking and drinking 2 years ago and I stay home alot. When I am overweight I don't want my picture taken and I don't want to go out.
I started journalling alot of things and it has helped. I want to help myself mentally so that the physical will happen also. Food is an addiction. It is one that can be fun until the guilt and weight come.
I do envy girls that eat a ton and have great genetics where most of their family all looks the same. But at the same time we all have our own troubles.
The advice I can give is for you to dig deep in your life and try and find triggers. Journal them and make your journal your best friend. Do everything slowly so that you fully grasp all lessons that you learn from journaling.
Start with your mind first. I can say you should love yourself but that is a personal accomplishment you will eventually have :smug: Sometimes we really don't like something else and we feel it is ourselves. We are prone to taking things out on ourselves. Even if there was hurt caused by another.
Good luck on your journey and know that you are worth ebery step to find the happiness and love you desire.
01-06-2014, 09:25 PM
Thank you all for your advice.
Jubilee, you make a really important point that this journey isn't just about looking better or what I eat or don't eat, it's about feeling good and building good health. I have an uncle who died in his 40's from a cold because his body was in such bad shape. I can't imagine my life ending so early.
It's nice to hear that others can relate Navywife and Pixellate. I can really relate to valuing people for who they are, but at the same time struggling to give that value to myself. I'm barely even conscious that I make that assessment of my being bigger or smaller and I don't want to judge people like that. I know there are more important things in life, but I have a sort of arrested development when it comes to self-esteem and body image.
Michlove and Pattience thank you for your recommendations. I'm really interested in visiting a monastery or taking a break from my routine and finding some solace and help.
A lot of things have brought me to this point. Growing up my dad was an alcoholic and absent while my mom was like a mouse. I learned to tip toe through life and after a failed marriage shut myself in. I'm an introvert and in the winter I struggle with depression that I've treated in the past with anti-depressants (did not work) and counseling (helped some, but I never found the right person to speak with), while each summer I run and train for a marathon. Sometimes I feel like I'm more than one person, me in the summer and me in the winter. I live in a cold climate and winters are long and lonely. Today it was -50 when I walked to work.
I feel like this is an important time for me. This issue of binging and concerning myself with my size above all else is taking a toll on me emotionally and I think will eventually stunt my career options as I can't be put in a position to speak in front of a group or manage people. I'm also not getting any younger and I'm so tired of letting relationships and opportunities and fun pass me by. I will definitely try journalling and seeing what I can do with the pieces of my past that really haunt me.
Thank you all.
01-07-2014, 12:33 AM
I'm an introvert and in the winter I struggle with depression that I've treated in the past with anti-depressants (did not work) and counseling (helped some, but I never found the right person to speak with), while each summer I run and train for a marathon. Sometimes I feel like I'm more than one person, me in the summer and me in the winter. I live in a cold climate and winters are long and lonely.
Has anyone ever suggested getting your Vitamin D levels checked? Of course, a low Vitamin D level would not have protected you from your childhood, but I think it does play a part in seasonal affective disorder, i.e. winter depression.
Hope things warm up soon.
01-07-2014, 02:10 PM
I am an introvert also and I do feel sometimes its a good thing and other times not. As an introvert we already look within and I feel that may be why we take things out on ourselves.
I had an alcoholic stepdad and my mom was a bartender- so chaos is what I lived in. I developed my own morals based on what didn't seem right at home.
Sometimes finding the right Dr. and Medication combo can really help. If possibly there is a low seratonin issue. It took me yrs. to get the right combo. Seeing a specialist would be a lot better than a General practioner from my experience.
Take every day one at a time. My mind used to race out of control and I understand how hard it can all be.
Once everything is steady in the brain, so many things fall into place. Track moods, seasonal depression, length etc. that also helps.
Good Luck you are not alone :hug:
01-07-2014, 05:07 PM
I'm in the same boat, but my binging has gotten a lot better. I think eliminating stress in your life will do wonders for you. I know it's hard to have self esteem when you struggle with eating - I for instance, have none. But you should look at it as having a tiny competition with yourself :] Your mind may say "eat this, all of this" but you should wake up every morning telling yourself you want to take care of your body because it's the only one you have. Body over mind sometimes. And mind over time. Nobody got in the body they have over night, so it's not going to take overnight to get it to change. And honestly, I struggle every day. It's hard for me not to splurge but it's so nice when I can say at the end of the day "good job" to myself. Because that's all that matters is you in this.
01-27-2014, 03:42 PM
How are you doing?
I determine if I'm bigger or smaller than her and every time I'm bigger and lesser. I think about my size and food all day and dream about one day getting this right. Like some number on the scale is going to make me worthy of happiness, of love, of life, of my own accomplishments. I'm so tired of this battle occupying most of my time and want to be healthy in my body and mind.
I often find myself using this comparison and I never really thought of it before. I wasn't aware I did it. I do remember several years ago of always looking around the room during work meetings. I would scan quickly and then tell myself, yup I'm the biggest lady here. I now look at it and also remember I would purposely try to find the "next largest" person in the room and sit with them. I always, always, avoided the "skinny perfect" table. I am not the largest person in a room anymore at work, yet I still feel as if people are analyzing me and sizing me up as well.
I understand also what you said about some number on the scale is going to make me worthy of happiness, of love, of life, of my own accomplishments. I'm so tired of this battle occupying most of my time and want to be healthy in my body and mind
Again, this isn't something I really noticed doing before. But, it hit home. I am currently 15 lbs heavier than I normally am. I find myself really really noticing my size and the extra pounds I have picked up. I am very negative when I look at myself in the mirror stepping out of the shower each morning. But, I never ever made the connection before that the obsession over my weight or gaining a few pounds directly effected my relationship with my husband.
I've become so upset and self conscious of myself over the "huge amount I've gained back" that I am embarrassed around my husband. I am constantly thinking in my mind does he notice, is he disgusted? This is followed with seeking a great deal of extra attention lately like I want to be reassured by him that he still finds me desirable. Like gaining 10-15 lbs is a deal breaker. It doesn't make sense, but I am doing it and didn't notice it.
02-06-2014, 09:53 AM
Oh been there done it ALL.
As you can see, Ive been a member here for over a decade. Ups and downs....and also an introvert ;).
I've found that I can only maintain with therapy and meds. I know not everyone will agree nor will my method work for all. But I've been binge free for almost a year now and losing slowly but surely.
02-16-2014, 04:54 PM
Sometimes I feel like I'm more than one person, me in the summer and me in the winter. I live in a cold climate and winters are long and lonely. Today it was -50 when I walked to work.
Hi Prairiegirl! Have you tried light therapy. Sounds like one thing you are dealing with is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
It's great that you have specific goals. I recently went to a class in financial planning & the teacher said what makes a dream into a goal that you achieve is writing it down and then writing down & following the steps to take. It sounds simplistic but in hindsight, i realized it's been true for me.