100 lb. Club - Self-medicating with food
08-22-2006, 09:04 AM
I've been holding rather steady at 50-60 pounds lost for the past eight months, and am trying to get the steam up to work on the next 50. As I'm looking at my habits and why/when I eat, I've realized that I think I self-medicate with food. Am I the only one?
I have PCOS, and it's highly likely that I'm insulin resistant. ****, chances are pretty darn good that I'll end up diabetic before long. I've known this for years. The PCOS is why it took us so long to have Gem, and why she'll probably be our only child.
I get SEVERE mood swings when I'm hungry. Not just run-of-the-mill grumpy. I used to think it was the same irritability everyone gets, but I am beginning to think it's not. My family actually has to make allowances for "Mama hasn't eaten yet" just like we have to for "Daddy has a headache" (Hunter gets migraines that put him right out of circulation). And it happens regularly... like every night after work if I haven't had a 3-4 o'clock snack.
I get sharp and lose all patience for anything -- husband, chores, child, pets, you name it. If it doesn't fit my idea for the moment, I get irritated. I can feel myself tightening inside, getting stressed, and can't do anything about it. I try deep breathing. I try holding my tongue. I try distancing myself from the irritating situation. Nothing helps.
I eat, and within 15 minutes I "feel human" again. It's like night and day. And as I have been analyzing my habits, I find that I eat pretty constantly... not because I'm hungry or because I'm lonely or bored or stressed or upset... it's not emotional eating. I eat because it literally makes me feel better.
Some things help. Protein, whole grains, lots of fruit/veggies. Normal healthy eating. But limiting my calories to a level where I can lose weight, even slowly (for me, about 1600-1800 a day) just doesn't seem to be enough to keep me from becoming a monster to the people I love.
So I feel like I'm torn between being an unhealthy obese weight, slowly killing myself with food, or being a ***** on wheels, living in a self-created ****, and taking those I love with me.
*sighs, only realizing now that tears are running down my cheeks how much this has been bothering me*
There's GOT to be a middle ground.
Get n healthy
08-22-2006, 10:29 AM
That is awesome for holding steady with the weight loss and SUPER for losing that much in the first place.
I dont know what the answers are but i wanted you to know that you are definately not alone. I get mean and nasty too when i am tried and hungry after work and it seems like everybody needs something from me. I try to at least curb the hunger by taking a snack to work. If i eat something around 4 then i am fine to face the crowds of home and the whole evening goes better.
Perhaps you could try a relaxing workout on days when the irritability is high...pilates or yoga workout. Although, sometimes i need to get that aggresssion out by doing a really aggressive workout, like kick boxing or something. Experiment and be sure to have that afternoon snack.
08-22-2006, 10:56 AM
Synger, I've had fantastic success with eating a low glycemic load diet -- which, especially in conjunction with a good exercise plan, will quite possibly also prevent diabetes. I discovered this on South Beach induction phase. When I cut out flour and sugar and concentrate on fresh veggies, a little fruit, good-quality protein, etc. I feel remarkably better: clear-headed, optimistic, energetic, happy. It's just amazing. There have been a number of studies that indicate many diseases, not just diabetes, can be prevented with a low glycemic load diet.
It sounds as if you're eating pretty healthily. I know for myself, though, that I've got to cut out or severely limit even whole grains to keep my moods balanced. They're much better than white crap, of course, but still affect the body's ability to keep blood sugar levels balanced.
That said, I haven't been stricly following that diet for a little while now. Thanks for jogging my memory about how good it makes me feel! Seriously, it could change your life.
08-22-2006, 10:57 AM
Sounds to me like you are typically insulin resistant and you need to get the doc to run a glucose tolerance test.
I have PCOS too and I would have terrible blood sugar crashes - I wouldn't get mean and nasty (well not all the time!) but I would literally have to sit down and eat something before I collapsed. Manys a time DH and I would be out shopping and he would have to run off to get something for me, leaving me hanging onto the cart for stability.
Since I've been on Glucophage this has only happened a couple of times - once when I had not eaten in hours - I missed lunch for some reason and this past week with being on penicillin and tylenol with codeine for toothache - those meds messed up my sugar balance for some reason. Fortunately I can 'feel' it coming and eat some protein - I don't grab anything sugary anymore as I haven't eaten refined sugar since February - that would give me a nice sugar high and then crash lower than I felt to begin with!!!
You say that you eat protein, whole grains etc - it could be that you are not eating enough at your meals to keep you going - or it could be that you need to space food out more - eat smaller portions more often - high protein snacks etc.
Go see your doc and tell him about this. As you have PCOS he might put you on Glucophage anyway - liver function test is important tho before you start.
08-22-2006, 12:08 PM
I agree with Arabella.
Also, have you considered seeing a psychiatrist? The counseling aspect could be helpful wth these issues and you could also consider taking an anti-anxiety and/or mood stabilizing medication until you can get this under control. Because it sounds pretty bad to me, and I unfortunately understand where you're coming from.
I have to wonder if all of it truly is a physical need for the food (I don't doubt that part of it is) or if you're just addicted to it. I have woken DH up at 3 or 4am and had him go to the store to get me something I was craving because I tried to hold out, but I just couldn't do it and I "needed" whatever it was. He knows it's better if he just gets it and shuts up because if he doesn't, he's about to be an audience of one to my Oscar winning dramatic performance called A Hissy Fit. If we don't have a fully stocked pantry and fridge, I will literally cry because I don't have anything immediately on hand to eat. I may not be hungry at that moment, but not having the food scares me. I feel deprived even before I'm actually, physically deprived. Does any of this sound familiar or am I just babbling? :D :dizzy:
From a physical standpoint, if you have to eat that much to feel better, then I wonder if you aren't getting all the nutrients your body wants. Your chances of being fulfilled are greater the more variety you eat. And, if you're eating alot of carbs (even the good ones) it can also keep you hungry.
There is such a thing as being allergic to carbs. Severe mood swings is a primary symptom. You may be rather sensitive to all carbs and need to nearly eliminate them all to get this under control. You won't know of course until you actually do it and see what happens. I'm mildly allergic and if I eat anything sweet, I suddenly get super hungry and moody. White flour products do the same. But I seem to do alright with a limited amount of whole grains and low GI organic sweeteners like agave nectar.
I don't think that you're stuck with those choices of being obese or being **** on wheels. I think there's more options out there for you, and I would first visit my doctor and try to find any physical illness that may be causing this, and then I would get some counseling and consider taking something to take the edge off this so that you can cope while things get evaluated and while you get on the right track. Because it sounds like a difficult journey to me, and I know I would want all the help I could get. Your doctors can tell you more than I could about your options.
11-13-2006, 03:28 PM
A couple of things to consider... Could you be in perimenopause? I know while I was in it I was a real BEAR!
Also, how about increasing your proteins and eliminating more carbs? That helped me A LOT!
Exercise really DOES increase your endorphins and helps boost mood. You don't have to wear yourself out, either, for the endorphins to kick in!
I'm about halfway to my goal, too! These last 50 are harder for me because I already feel so much better and like the new clothes that I bought after losing my weight! I have to get motivated to be the smaller person that I haven't been for thirty years now. It's a bit scary but exciting to think about!
Good luck, and I wish you much happiness as you lose those last 50!
11-13-2006, 07:37 PM
Now that this post is up again after a couple of months, I was wondering if you have taken any action since this post? Are you feeling any better? Just curious!
11-14-2006, 01:23 PM
I am wondering that, too! :)