Chicks in Control - Help!! I can't stop eating junk food!!




Lacey337
05-15-2014, 08:44 PM
Last night, after a fight with my boyfriend, after months on a diet and being good, I curled up in bed with a big bag of Doritos and finished the whole thing. Then I moved on to 2 ice cream sandwiches, a big bowl of frosted flakes and milk, half a can of peanuts, I just couldn't stop! It felt so good at the time, but I feel so guilty now that I've stepped on the scale and saw it go 2 lbs up!!

So today, I finally joined 3FC (after being a long time lurker, Hi everyone!!) and resolved I was going to be good from now on and cut out the junk food. But then I made a mistake at work and caused a problem and I could just feel the stress building up, so sure enough, I reached for a bag of TGI Friday potato skins.

Now I feel worse than I did yesterday after binging. I was doing so well and losing so much weight. Why can't I seem to control myself lately? I really want to get back on track again!

Anyone have any advice for me?


luckymommy
05-15-2014, 09:29 PM
Food can only help with hunger, cravings are something else. Right now, I would recommend you stop beating yourself up due to what happened in the past. Ask yourself how you could have handled those situations differently. Instead of binge eating, could you have gone out to exercise? Taken a shower? Called a friend/family member? Chewed gum? Had some tea?

I would also recommend you have foods available that are healthy. Instead of reaching for chips, ice cream (which I would get rid of, if at all possible), I would have cut up carrots, celery, etc.

Make a list of red light, yellow light, green light foods. Red light are things you can't control at all so you don't have any. Ever. Yup, I said it. Be honest with yourself. Yellow light foods are ones that you can eat within reason but you may eat too much so you need to weigh them and plan for them. Green foods are ones that you never overeat on..I'm talking about broccoli. ;)

Start drinking water and exercise for stress reduction...maybe massage your feet. Do something nice for yourself. It's easier to love yourself thin that hate yourself thin, and is so much more pleasant.

By the way, a lot of the weight is water weight and will go away once you drink enough water and your body flushes it out...maybe within 3 days or so.

Hugs to you!

nostoneunturned
05-15-2014, 09:41 PM
Welcome Lacey, first off please don't beat yourself up over this- many of us struggle with this and it does not define you as a person. You are not "bad" or "good" because of what you eat. And, really, the food you eat is not "bad" or "good" either. There are better choices you can make, always, but do this because eating those things will make you feel good, physically and emotionally. Do not let this "diet" control your life.

There are many different methods to attack binging. I don't know how severe your case is. It sounds from your description that it is in response to restricting. In that case you may want to evaluate your current plan and what's lacking. Are you eating enough calories? Too few will leave you physically hungry and emotionally craving your "off limits" stuff. Are you eating things you enjoy, or does it feel punishing?

Look no one (for the most part I guess) wants to feel too heavy or overweight but a diet shouldn't be used as a way to hurt yourself for being "fat." A diet is a tool for improvement. Focus on what's good for you, what makes you feel your best. I guarantee it's not pizza and chips all the time, but I bet once in a while it's nice to enjoy.

For me I am a long-time serious binger. I have been known to eat what you ate and more. For me I had to let go of being overly controlling in order to get out of the "punishing diet" mindset. I don't try to count calories or weigh myself at the moment but I am losing weight finally by, ironically, not dieting. If I had to guess I am ten pounds down. What works for me doesn't work for everyone, you need to find that right fit that will make you feel content and not overly restricted yet give you the momentum you need. You are pretty close to goal so it may come off slower. Much of dieting or weight loss is mental. It's a game. It takes a life time for some to master. Be patient with yourself and forgive these types of slips. They happen in life, but probably more so if you are being overly controlling with your diet. That is what I found anyway. Good luck. There are many bright and helpful people here so stick around- it helps just to come here!


Wannabeskinny
05-16-2014, 09:00 AM
Welcome Lacey, first off please don't beat yourself up over this- many of us struggle with this and it does not define you as a person. You are not "bad" or "good" because of what you eat. And, really, the food you eat is not "bad" or "good" either. There are better choices you can make, always, but do this because eating those things will make you feel good, physically and emotionally. Do not let this "diet" control your life.

There are many different methods to attack binging. I don't know how severe your case is. It sounds from your description that it is in response to restricting. In that case you may want to evaluate your current plan and what's lacking. Are you eating enough calories? Too few will leave you physically hungry and emotionally craving your "off limits" stuff. Are you eating things you enjoy, or does it feel punishing?

Look no one (for the most part I guess) wants to feel too heavy or overweight but a diet shouldn't be used as a way to hurt yourself for being "fat." A diet is a tool for improvement. Focus on what's good for you, what makes you feel your best. I guarantee it's not pizza and chips all the time, but I bet once in a while it's nice to enjoy.

For me I am a long-time serious binger. I have been known to eat what you ate and more. For me I had to let go of being overly controlling in order to get out of the "punishing diet" mindset. I don't try to count calories or weigh myself at the moment but I am losing weight finally by, ironically, not dieting. If I had to guess I am ten pounds down. What works for me doesn't work for everyone, you need to find that right fit that will make you feel content and not overly restricted yet give you the momentum you need. You are pretty close to goal so it may come off slower. Much of dieting or weight loss is mental. It's a game. It takes a life time for some to master. Be patient with yourself and forgive these types of slips. They happen in life, but probably more so if you are being overly controlling with your diet. That is what I found anyway. Good luck. There are many bright and helpful people here so stick around- it helps just to come here!

Well said nostoneunturned!

Lacey, I don't know you so I can't tell you for sure whether you are a good person or not. But I know for sure that what you choose to eat or not eat bares no effect on goodness or badness. Doritos are not a bad food and you are not a bad person for eating them - consequently salad is not a good food and believe it or not it does not make you a good person for eating it either.

I know you might be looking for some dieting advice but I would say that maybe a diet is not what you need right now. What you have described here is a classic case of emotional eating. Chomping on celery sticks is the last thing you need to do when you're seeking comfort in a bag of chips. Finding solace in food is something that a compulsive overeater and emotional eater can easily relate to. Unfortunately, diets and restriction usually end up having a negative effect on our waistline.

Emotional eating is what's going on and this is how it works. You find yourself in a very stressful situation. Your emotional defenses are down, your body is desperately looking for ways to raise its serotonin levels, you feel extremely uncomfortable and you reach for the quickest easiest and usually most forbidden foods to help you cope. Very soon after you feel guilt. You distrust yourself, you say awful things to yourself and wallow in self-disgust. You reach out to a diet like a life jacket hoping that it will force you to regain control of your emotions and surroundings. Diets promise a lot of hope. So you restrict yourself, instil unrealistic food rules, and then when you binge you call yourself a failure.... you have just successfully converted one problem (fighting with your boyfriend) into a FAT problem. Now you're determined that the problem is that you eat too much, that you're too fat and that your life would be better if you were thinner. So, you continue the vicious cycle of dieting. Meanwhile, those emotions of anger frustration and sadness that stem from your fight get internalized and turned into self hate rather than being resolved.

Food did not cause the fight that you had with your boyfriend. A diet will not resolve those issues. Food can only nurture you, it cannot be a crutch for distress, and it cannot cause you harm unless you abuse it. Learning to eat based on hunger cues and intuitive eating can take the stress away and help you separate eating from emotions. Those of us who do IE do not diet, rather we work on finding ways to cope with our stress and emotional issues and focus on mindful eating practices so that food can always be pleasurable rather than a stressful way to impose control on ourselves.

freelancemomma
05-16-2014, 09:37 AM
I would also recommend you have foods available that are healthy. Instead of reaching for chips, ice cream (which I would get rid of, if at all possible), I would have cut up carrots, celery, etc.

I would add... healthy and appealing to you. I actively dislike celery and find carrots very boring, so munching on those foods wouldn't satisfy my need for sensory pleasure (which is a big part of eating).

To the OP: Perhaps you can make a list of foods that are both healthy and personally satisfying to you. For me, the list would include a sliced tomato with sea salt and freshly ground pepper or a sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon and heated up. Keep those foods around and keep the bags of chips out of your house.

F.

Lacey337
05-16-2014, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the words of advice, everyone. Wannabeskinny, I especially loved the beautiful quote in your signature. I AM tired of feeling deprived.

In the past few months, I lost 10 lbs by rigidly keeping myself to 1200 calories a day, exercising a minimum of 400 calories a day, and logging everything. I would plan out all my meals for the week in advance. And they would look really similar and be filled with boring things like plain greek yogurt. I'd constantly be thinking of food. At night, I'd find myself looking at pictures of food porn from cooking blogs. I guess I got a little obsessive...

I think looking back on it, there were a lot of changes in my life this winter that I felt like I wasn't in control of, and I developed a mentality of "Well, everything else sucks right now, but at least the diet is going well!" Probably not the best way to go about things. Over the years, I've always lost weight pretty easily but had a hard time keeping it off.

I think I'm going to try taking a break for a little bit and just relax. Try to make healthier choices but eat what I want to. And stop weighing myself constantly. Maybe just at the end of the week. I think I'll still log everything, though, because it's been helpful for me to go back and put a timeline to when the obsessive dieting started and when the binges happened.

I'd never heard of IE before, but this forum seems to be filled with threads on the topic. I'm really glad I decided to join!

luckymommy
05-16-2014, 12:47 PM
For me, the list would include a sliced tomato with sea salt and freshly ground pepper or a sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon and heated up. F.

These are brilliant ideas! I love especially love the sliced apple with cinnamon warmed up! :carrot:

lin43
05-16-2014, 01:47 PM
I would add... healthy and appealing to you. I actively dislike celery and find carrots very boring, so munching on those foods wouldn't satisfy my need for sensory pleasure (which is a big part of eating)

This is good advice and something I try to do when I need to watch my calories a bit more.

In that same vein, OP, I realized some time ago that there are a ton of healthy foods that I really like (and not as in "I like this because I'm dieting and anything tastes good"---but I ate these things even when I was my heaviest): shrimp cocktail, goat cheese salad, smoked salmon and boiled eggs, olives and "Wickles," etc. You should try to make a similar list and simply DO NOT BUY anything that you know you will overeat. I know many would disagree with that, but sometimes we're simply not strong enough to resist certain foods or eat them in moderation (this isn't to say that you will never be strong enough, but maybe right now you aren't). I was going through a tough period with eating a couple of weeks ago, and I decided I could not have certain foods in the house. I've kept them out, and I feel much less stressed and more in control now---no more internal debates about whether I'll eat [fill in the blank] or not.

Lacey337
05-17-2014, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!! I really like the idea of making a list and thinking about healthier foods that I truly enjoy and look forward to instead of just diet foods.

But part of the problem is that I live with my sister, and she's the one who buys tons of junk food! She's one of those types who's super skinny, has a really fast metabolism, and is constantly munching on chips. So foods that trigger my binges are pretty much always around my house.

I think in general though, when I'm able to keep my emotions in check and I'm not really stressed out, I can control myself much better.

Wannabehealthy
05-17-2014, 09:48 AM
This is good advice and something I try to do when I need to watch my calories a bit more.

In that same vein, OP, I realized some time ago that there are a ton of healthy foods that I really like (and not as in "I like this because I'm dieting and anything tastes good"---but I ate these things even when I was my heaviest): shrimp cocktail, goat cheese salad, smoked salmon and boiled eggs, olives and "Wickles," etc. You should try to make a similar list and simply DO NOT BUY anything that you know you will overeat. I know many would disagree with that, but sometimes we're simply not strong enough to resist certain foods or eat them in moderation (this isn't to say that you will never be strong enough, but maybe right now you aren't). I was going through a tough period with eating a couple of weeks ago, and I decided I could not have certain foods in the house. I've kept them out, and I feel much less stressed and more in control now---no more internal debates about whether I'll eat [fill in the blank] or not.

The comment in bold really jumped out at me! There are some foods that are usually considered healthy, but when I buy them I will come home and eat the whole package in one sitting along with my regular meals. I have had to cut those foods out.

Pinkhippie
05-17-2014, 03:05 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!! I really like the idea of making a list and thinking about healthier foods that I truly enjoy and look forward to instead of just diet foods.

But part of the problem is that I live with my sister, and she's the one who buys tons of junk food! She's one of those types who's super skinny, has a really fast metabolism, and is constantly munching on chips. So foods that trigger my binges are pretty much always around my house.

I think in general though, when I'm able to keep my emotions in check and I'm not really stressed out, I can control myself much better.

If you can't control what foods come in the house, you might want to think about not restricting. It might make you feel differently. For example, I am one of those crazy "intuitive eaters" and I had to go through a process where I made it ok to eat anything I wanted. It took a while but now I can have a house with sugary pre binge trigger foods and I actually forget about them because once I know I can have them, the urgency dies down.

So for my example. A few days ago I had the urge to eat some of those little debbie peanut wafer snack cake things. ( I have been known to binge on those in the past so it still made me a little nervous) I bought a box. I brought it home, I sat down and I ate one package and it was delicious. I ate another half package and then I was all done. So, the next day for snack, I thought that I might have another one. And I did. And it was delicious. Then the next day I had to leave the house. I had forgotten I had thrown a few of those packages in my purse a few days ago. So after I left the house I opened my purse and there they were. Just sitting there waiting for me. I had an instant of panic like "Oh no! Temptation just in my purse, what if I get hungry and I succumb?" And then I reminded myself that was my old diet mentality and if I really wanted those, I could have them. I felt much calmer and didn't eat any of them or think about it. It was way easier than white knuckling through my desire for a tempting food. But, I also have done lots of work on my emotional eating as well. I think the two really have to go together to work.

Anyway, that is my experience. I just wanted to share in case it helped. I know it's a very radical idea. :)

Kscott
05-19-2014, 12:27 AM
Last night, after a fight with my boyfriend, after months on a diet and being good, I curled up in bed with a big bag of Doritos and finished the whole thing. Then I moved on to 2 ice cream sandwiches, a big bowl of frosted flakes and milk, half a can of peanuts, I just couldn't stop! It felt so good at the time, but I feel so guilty now that I've stepped on the scale and saw it go 2 lbs up!!

So today, I finally joined 3FC (after being a long time lurker, Hi everyone!!) and resolved I was going to be good from now on and cut out the junk food. But then I made a mistake at work and caused a problem and I could just feel the stress building up, so sure enough, I reached for a bag of TGI Friday potato skins.

Now I feel worse than I did yesterday after binging. I was doing so well and losing so much weight. Why can't I seem to control myself lately? I really want to get back on track again!

Anyone have any advice for me?

Turn all that emotion and stress into a walk, a hike, a great workout, and get away from the refrigerator and fast food joints.

Atalanta83
05-19-2014, 12:37 AM
I am at the beginning of a LONG journey and am finding the cravings the hardest. I am 3 weeks in and haven't given in to them yet, which I am really proud of.
The way I am curbing it is by, each time I want something that is bad for me, I call a friend or, if no-one is available, I come online and post in this forum. I just keep myself distracted until the craving is over.

I also find that drinking from a pop-top water bottle helps - something about the hand-to-mouth action and it tricking my brain.

Atalanta83
05-19-2014, 12:39 AM
And maybe ask your sister to keep the junk food in her room, if possible?

Wannabeskinny
05-19-2014, 08:09 AM
And maybe ask your sister to keep the junk food in her room, if possible?

I think that's an unhealthy expectation to put on someone else. Keeping junk food in one's bedroom is something that I associate with binge eating behavior. I used to do this in my old binging days - hide food away in closets, purses, under the bed etc.

It's unrealistic to expect anyone to change their behavior in order to help us. I think temptation lies within us, I don't think that temptation lies within a food. You can't control all your surroundings, you have to learn how to be at peace in proximity of food.

laciemn
05-20-2014, 01:07 PM
How's it going with the junk food? For one thing, keep the stuff out of sight, if nothing else! Sure, your sis doesn't have to keep it in her room, but at least keep it off the counters.

Although, you know this is YOUR battle. Recognize your problem, then label that as an obstacle which MUST overcome, the sooner the better. Make sure you realize it isn't about what happened yesterday, your current weight, or past failures. What matters is triumphing over all obstacles by discipline, planning, and commitment.

lovedancelive
05-20-2014, 01:58 PM
After over a year of hard work and losing 40+ pounds, I binged my way from 131 to 144.2. I'm putting a stop to it now. It happens, it's hard to stay focused. I might ask my fiance to hide or stop buying junk food as I don't want that option.

Work is a little tougher as I work next to a cafe with coffee and cake and candy bars and chips... But I also work with several girls who are gorgeous. One is 5'5", 110, the other looks like the chick from Brave. I kid you not. Customers joke about it all the time. I try thinking of that more often. I never see the Brave girl eat...but I think her shifts are shorter than mine...whereas the other girl always brings in salads and carrots and wraps. So I'm trying to follow her lead more often because she's clearly healthy and I'm clearly not.

I also try to remind myself, "If you eat this, you will regret it. You won't right away but the pain it'll cause you in a few hours will be immense..."

Lacey337
05-22-2014, 11:22 AM
Thanks for the support everyone! The truth is, I haven't been doing so well this past week. It was so easy to develop the mentality of "Well, I've already fallen off the wagon, might as well keep eating to make myself feel better". I haven't been weighing myself (too depressed!), but I know I've been gaining enough these past few months that the new "thin clothes" I just bought myself after losing weight are already tight again.

lovedancelive, I definitely feel you. It's so hard to find the motivation to stay disciplined and keep going. So easy to slip back into old habits! You've inspired me to get back on that horse.

Gingerjv
06-04-2014, 01:56 PM
This is so familiar to me!! after loosing few pounds i start to reward myself with tasty food as if i was a dog(( with little treats at first...but then it goes bigger and bigger..and after few weeks the weight comes to the start position again(( again i am starting a diet...again losing weight...again treating myself with chips..and again gain weight...it is terrible! Motivation is a great power! But also we need to learn not to kill ourselves after few pieces of forbidden food! We just need to learnt to stop!! ok i ate cake..i am satisfied...STOP NOW..and you will have no need to start diet from the very beginning.. Oh yes and the main thing NOT to buy all that junk food! if you do not have it at home you won't go to the shop for it during night right? so it means less temptation! Good luck for you! May the force be with you!;-)

Purple1993
07-02-2014, 06:27 PM
I know all about emotional eating. even after losing some weight its something I struggle with. there is a certain quality in some foods whether it is salty, creamy, sweet, crunchy. and I know in difficult situations when you are feeling so low eating vegetables is the last thing on your mind. I know when my dad was diagnosed with cancer a couple months ago I would have these emotional eating episodes where I would eat anything I could get my hands on whether it was chocolate or chips or a pint of ice cream. I am starting to learn that food wont change the situation it wont make it go away or any better it is just a coping mechanism we use but Its not hopeless just keep the trigger foods out of the house and if you cant just walk away from them, tell yourself no. and if you do slip up don't beat yourself up then you will just be making yourself feel worse and you will eat more and it will be a vicious cycle that repeats itself. Hope you feel better!!