Chicks in Control - Hello everyone.
01-10-2014, 05:52 PM
I am brand new here and I have a question about binge eating. I am having a hard time trying to decipher what is food addiction and what is me trying to eat to comfort myself. I used to be in very good shape and then I lost my 15 month old daughter in an accident 16 years ago. I have never been able to shake the depression despite numerous medications and more money than I've ever thought I could put into therapy. So I eat when I get sad, and sometimes now, I am noticing that I am even eating just because I am bored. Not just a little bit, either. :(
I guess that I am just asking for everyone's personal experience on this. I can't figure out if I have a binge issue or if my all too often sudden need to loads of food is just a byproduct of my depression.
Thank you in advance for any input.
01-11-2014, 01:55 AM
Hi Brennan! I'm sorry to hear about your daughter :( I know that things like depression and anxiety can be really big motivators to overeat, and therefore can be rally big pains in the butt when you decide to try dieting. I have really bad anxiety--which was much worse before I started losing/regaining some of my self esteem--and I would DEFINITELY comfort eat after a bad day. My suggestion to you would be to try to find some calorie-free activity that preferably keeps your hands busy (knitting? Jogging? A video game?) that you can distract yourself with when you start to feel like comfort-eating.
I would also find a low-calorie snack that you love (I'm a fan of those 100 calorie popcorn bags), so that when you DO get the urge, you don't have to deny yourself on those really bad days (because I don't know about you guys but I go STRAIGHT for the cookies when there's no easily accessible, healthy alternatives), but you hopefully won't go overboard, either.
It takes a long time to train yourself out of going to the cupboard when you're bored or upset, but after a few weeks of being strict with yourself, you'll hopefully be able to get your kicks somewhere else.
01-12-2014, 08:40 AM
Thank you for taking the time to respond, Melonlefay. It is greatly appreciated. I have been looking around some and have decided that I will do Atkins, as I think it may help lower my sugars.
I did manage to peek around the boards a little more thoroughly, and I may look for an OA group that meets somewhere close to me. It can't hurt to check it out, can it? :)
01-15-2014, 12:00 AM
I am so very sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope you're able to make some headway here. Welcome. :hug:
01-15-2014, 08:01 AM
Thank you, Jubilee. I would like to as well. I went through my house the other day and threw out any and every trace of junk food. It was tough to not do the whole "two for me, one for the trash!" thing during the process. Thankfully I have a supportive husband that didn't mind. :P The good thing is that I didn't have anything in the house to really get a good binge on, so I ate lettuce instead.
01-15-2014, 08:30 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss. I have suffered plenty of bouts of depression but not due to loss of a loved one. I have eating issues too. I do binge eat. And my eating habits deteriorate when i get depressed though i also eat badly when i'm not depressed. And then i go through periods like now when i try to get it all in control and behave myself. And when i'm doing that i can avoid binging but i know it wouldn't take much for me to slip back into my bad ways.
I started binge eating when i quit smoking about 17 years ago now.
So i think your eating is probably a combination of all that you mention. Yes its from boredom. Yes its comfort eating. And yes its related to your depression. The only thing you haven't included is that binge eating and eating from boredom can become a habit and so you can binge even when you don't feel bad. At least i do that.
When i get into binge mode, i stop eating fruit and veggies and healthy normal food and just eat lollies and other rubbish which never satisfies me and i get out of the mood to cook. And I eat as much as i can squash in. Its the nature of refined sugar to want to keep on eating more of it. I think i have trained my brain to really go for it while other people who haven't developed the binging habit are still able to stop themselves quite easily. I think we bingers give ourselves permission more easily than those who don't because we have done it often before and we learn that guilt is easier than self-restraint.
I don't know if this is food addiction. Certainly i started my binging habits when i gave up smoking. And i've recently come to the conclusion that almost all of us are capable of and likely to become fatties. In order not to become a fatty, we have to lead very active lives and practice much self-restraint. When we were poor we weren't fat. But now we live in rich society where bad food is cheap and we don't have to physically work hard.
There are few people i have ever met who seem to be incapable of becoming fatties. One of them is my brother in law. He's six foot three and eats not much more than my sister who is 5 feet four and also skinny. But he's really skinny. I think he is hard-wired not to be able to eat a lot. I think there's a hormonal thing going on. And for us when we get into comfort eating, i think that's partly a hormonal response. But i don't think all my binging is hormonal.
Another trigger for hormonal appetite seems to be when i lose too much weight or lose it too fast. So now i try to lose it slowly, especially when I am at the lower end of my range. And i am deliberately training myself in self-restraint.
So if you want to get control of your binging, you may need to do something similar to what i'm doing here and everyone else, which is to make a decision to adopt a managed eating plan. It gives you a sense of commitment and in that time it seems easier to say no. But i have noticed from other people, if you are down, you may not be able to follow such a plan. On the other hand, sometimes the very act of making a decisions to adopt a plan can help lift your spirits. And as you go along successfully, your spirits strengthen, you find new energy and motivation and so on. People tend to fall off the wagon when they have an emotional upset. And it can upset their whole program. Some people are better at getting back than others. I am bad at it. Usually its the end of my diet for another year or years or few months.
I would say if you want to tackle your binge eating you probably have to adopt a wholistic thing as well because of the depression. Maybe take up some other means of strengthening your mood/mind at the same time. Like join a yoga class, tai chi, meditation group or something like that. BEcause these activities can be healing and good for you mentally, socially, emotionally. Its not just burning calories. there's much more to it. Ok you won't burn much while meditating but you will build your brain. And then being part of a group is or can be supportive and strengthening. Then with the food management, go for either stabilising your weight or reducing slowly. EAt well at mealtimes only. Don't eat between meals. EAt good nutritious meals and don't leave yourself going hungry. That's when calorie counting helps. Don't aim for low calories such as 1200. Its a recipe for disaster unless you are in very very good spirits and already weigh not much.
I hope some of this verbiage is useful to you.