100 lb. Club - How do you stop the cycle.....

View Full Version : How do you stop the cycle.....

11-24-2006, 09:47 PM
I cannot stop the mindless eating. I've have been binging since I was a kid... and I can't figure out how to stop.

When I was a kid I was chubby.... not fat, just chubby. I'm pretty sure that I would have just outgrown it if my parents wouldn't have started me dieting at such a young age. I had two brothers that weren't chubby. I can remember not being able to have treats when they could, never getting treats in my lunch when they would, and when my mom made popcorn she even made dry popcorn without butter just for me. This began my obsession with food that I wasn't supposed to have.

In second grade I started taking change out of my mom's wallet so I could buy peanut butter squares in the cafeteria.... then it was the other teats they started selling, and who could forget Friday bagel day. When I started middle school I would walk to school. On the way we would stop at the convenience store and buy candy (they opened early just to catch the kids on the way to school).

Okay, to make a long story short..... a chubby kid turned into a fat kid, and the fat kid turned into fat adult. I still binge like the food I'm eating is going to be extinct. It's totally mindless.... I eat as much as I can as fast as I can. Even when it seems I doing good on a diet, all of a sudden I'll find myself pigging out again. The funny part is that it doesn't feel like I made a conscious decision to start doing it, it's like I come out of a daze and there I am. I just want to know how I can get this to end. I've been binging on the "forbidden foods" for more than twenty years now... and I just can't stop.

Let this be a warning to parents... don't single one child out for being a little chubby... it can really mess with their head! I don't blame my parents, they we're just trying to help.... but I think it created a monster.

11-24-2006, 09:51 PM
Oh, if I only knew. If I only knew. I wish I could give you (me) some sound advice. :(

11-24-2006, 09:52 PM
I totally agree with you. My parents were the same way, focused on my weight and what I was eating. I was chubby too, probably 20-30 lbs overweight, but nowhere near what I eventually got to (I think my highest was about 280). It created a food obsession. My Mom would never have any type of junk food in the house...I remember going to the candy store every day after school to get junk to eat on the way home. It would be so much better if parents took the emphasis off food (other than setting a good example by eating healthy themsevles) and pushed the physical activity. Take your kids to the park, go biking, go hiking, whatever! I think that's a great legacy to leave your children with...the love of exercise and along with it eating healthy.

I'm trying to learn to view food as fuel for my body, and not as comfort. It was comfort for a long time, and still is, sometimes. Slowly, but surely, I am changing my relationship with food.

11-24-2006, 10:34 PM
One of the biggest things I've done for myself that has helped is to reassure myself that there is always going to be more & I can have all I want of ______. It's not permission to eat like crazy but it does reassure the child in me that never had junkfood around. We were always quite poor so we never had the choices that I have now. Now I do not feel so frantic to get every last morsel into me before it disappears - because there will be more when I want it.

11-25-2006, 02:21 AM
Well welcome to the club. I am a huge binger, or at least I was, but maybe I still am. I thought I had it beat, over 2 1/2 months without a binge, until this Friday, yeah the day AFTER Thanksgiving. But I'm hoping and praying that I will get right back on track today. So I'm not really sure if this is a great time for me to answer this.

Having said what I said above up until yesterday, for me it was just a matter of getting through the first 2-3 weeks. It was sooo hard. But just try to get through it anyway you can. I elminated all the junk from my house and absolutely refused to buy any. I stock my house with only healthy foods, so if I were to binge it wouldn't be as bad. I mean how much damage could 3 cucumbers do? When I felt like eating I would try and see if I could wait a half hour and then wait another half hour and so on and so on. I also started keeping a journal, sort of like a wish list. I listed in it all the reasons why I wanted to lose weight. Stuff like I want to be a normal size, I want to be able to fit in every seat comfortably without ever having to worry. I want to wear fabulous clothes. My children need a healthy, fit, active mother. And so on and so on. When I want to eat, just for the sake of eating I read the journal (oh where was it yesterday?) and this would keep me on track. But really after 2 - 3 weeks it got much easier. The cravings practically stopped. You will see results after 2 - 3 weeks. On the scale and in your clothing and this will also propel you to stick with the healthy eating. And before you know it the healthy eating will become your new normal.

Although I had my first binge after awhile, this time it really does feel different. I really feel like I can get right back on track, which is something I never felt before after a binge. Please I urge you give it 2 -3 weeks of the best you got. You can really do this. You really can. And this site is a GREAT place for support and motivation. I'm glad you found this place and I hope to hear from you often. I wish you the best of luck.

11-25-2006, 06:06 AM
I wonder how many of us grew up in similar households?

We NEVER had any junk food in the house. No sugary cereals, no ice cream, no candy, no chips, no regular soda. I was thin until about 12, but my mom had always battled her weight. Even though she was not heavy when I was a kid, I remember her telling me all the time about her weight battles and warning me not eat junk for fear of gaining like she did. I took to hiding food and eating in secret in the first grade. At that time I got in trouble for stealing change from my mom's purse to buy candy at school. I would sneak into the kitchen in the middle of the night to take whatever I could find to binge on in secret in my room (I vividly remember being 9 years old sneaking natural peanut butter and soy nuts into my room and eating until I was sick, then hiding the packages in the trash -- proves you don't need junk food to binge). I was always so jealous of my friends who brought chips and pudding packs to school! I was the kid with turkey on multi-grain bread with mustard and carrots. I don't blame my parents for my food issues, but it's interesting that you, Liz, Lifeguard, and I grew up in similar no-junk, weight-focused environments... I often think about what I might do differently with my own children.

11-25-2006, 12:22 PM
I completely understand, and it is kind of sad how for so many of us, our food issues started when we were so young. My mom put me on my first diet when I was 5. That was in the 70's, when Atkins was first coming out and at 5 years old, I knew the carb counts of all the food in our house and what I could and couldn't eat. I've been fighting it every day since.

I guess what I've had to realize is that this isn't a temporary situation, I'll never have a normal relationship with food. I really envy the people that don't have to think about what they're going to eat, they just do it and they don't have a weight issue, but that will never be me.

I am a huge binger and can devour massive amounts of junk food in short amounts of time, and if I'm not careful, and I can fall right back into those habits. I know that I always have to be careful not to start.

With 4 kids still at home, there is still junk food in our house, and I never talk about weight with them, but I do make sure that they stay active and they're all a very healthy weight without having my food issues, which I'm very thankful for.

It's hard, but it does seem to get easier. Replacing the old habits with new ones really seems to help. You CAN do this, just realize that it's not a quick fix, but it's so worth it.

11-26-2006, 05:37 AM
I too suffer from compulsive overeating/bing eating disorder. There is a forum on this board "chicks in control" for support on it and I advice all to visit, there is some great support there.

My family was never really too strict with food. We would have some candy or sweets or soda or chips in the house usually but not alot. I do remember having to drink only sugar free koolaid and I didnt know till I was in college that such a thing as not-sugar-free jello existed. My favorite childhood drink was "tab" and I remember also sneaking food at night and and saving all my money to buy sweets at school.

My mother was big on dieting. she was always dieting. i was very overweight as a child and was morbidly obese by the 4th grade. I was always chided by everybody, doctors, family, schoolmates for being so heavy. Food was bad and eating was shameful. So I started eating large quanities in secret.

Sometimes the reasons we binge arent clear cut and mostly psychological. Because we're lonely and we're trying to fill that hole with food. Our brains tell us to eat high sugar or carb foods when we're really just craving sleep. If I dont get enough protein I crave hamburgers.

When you feel that you are going to start binging down a couple glasses of ice water or a cup of hot tea. Then if you still are hungry take out a small plate and arrange foods on the plate. Try your best to take time in this, make it look nice and fancy and pretty, you'll feel better about it. even if it IS potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie. Do not eat anything not on the plate. Avoid standing in the kitchen and eating out of the packages. Take the plate to a place away from the kitchen where there is no tv. Eat everything on the plate. Drink more ice water. I think it slows the binging process down at least. and if you DO allow yourself some potato chips and the cookie you wont end up eating the whole bag of chips and the whole package of cookies.

Dont fall into the thought process of "Oh I blew my diet so why not eat the whole bag of candy now". There is no such thing as a perfect diet and allowing yourself 3 pieces of candy is going to do far less damage than the whole bag. Also as lifeguard says, reassure yourself that there are chocolate chip cookies, and there will always be chocolate chip cookies in the world for you to have.

11-26-2006, 04:23 PM
For me, a big part of overeating is "getting my fair share". This applied to everything in my life. I never wanted anyone to have more than me. (Why I felt this way is a whole nother can of worms.) So, at around 6 or 7, I was trying to down as much as the most insatiable full grown man in my presence.

Now, I'm trying to practice mindful eating, which, for me, is the exact opposite of what I used to do. I used to think about food constantly until it was in front of me, then I would stop thinking about it and start shoveling it in. Now, I'm trying to think about food mostly when I'm eating it.

I try to start out by thinking about who prepared the food. I am thankful for the time and energy said person (even when that person is me!) expended to feed me. Then, I think about where my food came from: who grew/raised it, what kind of conditions it was grown/raised in, how it was harvested or slaughtered, how it got to the store and various other things. Next is the smell. Then I focus on the texture and taste. I also think about all the lovely food I didn't enjoy because I was too busy shoveling it down.

My thoughts then turn to how my stomach is feeling. At this point, I think about how the lovely foods that I put into my body are turned into fuel. If I find myself overeating, I think about why I am doing so. Normally, it's either to clear my plate or because I want my "fair share". Both causes of overeating can generallly (although not always) be haulted by reminding myself that I can cover the plate, put it in the fridge and enjoy it later.

And, that's what's working for me right now . . .

11-26-2006, 05:43 PM
I don't blame my parents for my food issues, but it's interesting that you, Liz, Lifeguard, and I grew up in similar no-junk, weight-focused environments... I often think about what I might do differently with my own children.

Sigh.. Add me to this club. :grouphug: I was the only 5th grader in Weight Watchers. My parents also tried signing me up for sports. I was badly teased by my soccer teammates for being slow; too this day, I hate playing soccer with a passion. I won't even kick the ball around with people. I like watching Men's Soccer, but only because those guys are hot ;).

I don't blame my parents either. Looking back on it, I can see how much they wanted me to be healthy and happy, not thin/slender, etc. Everything they did was out of love, but it was the wrong kind of support for me at the time.

My eating issues also stemmed from anxiety and panic attacks. Going on medication for that has made all the difference in the world for my eating.

Good luck! :hug:

11-26-2006, 10:40 PM
I wonder how many of us grew up in similar households?
I don't blame my parents for my food issues, but it's interesting that you, Liz, Lifeguard, and I grew up in similar no-junk, weight-focused environments... I often think about what I might do differently with my own children.

Thanks for bringing this all up. I have oftenwondered if I was strange for developing my eating issues just because we didn't have it as a kid. I remember going for a "walk" after dinner & then going to the store to spend my allowance on junk & scarfing it down on the walk home when I was 12. I was fortunate that the weight didn't come on till I was in my 20's - if fortunate is a word you can pair with 100lbs extra weight!

11-26-2006, 11:15 PM
This topic caused me to think about things I hadn't thought about for a long time. I guess my eating troubles began way a long time ago.

When I was a kid, I somehow got the idea that I was fat. I was just regular ~ so how I got the idea that I was fat ~ I don't know. All I can think is maybe I overheard someone say something. The secret eating started when I was maybe 8. The earliest episode I remember was hiding in the basement with carrots and dipping them into a bowl of sugar.

I used to eat the dry jello, make toast with cinnamon sugar soaked up with melted butter. In jr hi ~ I would buy just chocolate milk and an icecream bar for lunch, then spend the rest of the lunch money after school on candy at the little corner store. My parents didn't know I was doing that. I used to love coming home after school (my siblings didn't come home till an hour later) and have 2 or 3 jelly sandwiches while reading a book.

I remember my parents encouraging me to eat fruit. They didn't have a lot of money, so we didn't have chips, soda or candy around the house. So when we did have it ~ it was somewhere else and sort of a treat. They never talked about that I should be on a diet or anything like that. A lot of good memories though were food related. Enjoyable time with the family around the dinner table ~ especially at Grandma's.

I don't know what caused me to develop such an unhealthy relationship with food. I continue to struggle with it to this day ~ the binging, feeling guilty and all ~ a vicious cycle. As an adult, my dr told me that I was medicating myself with food. I guess I was stressed, depressed. I don't know what I was feeling as a child that made me do the things I did. :?:

11-26-2006, 11:37 PM
This really is an interesting topic. My parents never, ever, ever mentioned my weight. As a little kid I was a twig. Put on a little bit of weight in 5th grade after a traumatic experience, but nothing terrible. I was maybe 15 - 20 pounds overweight through high school. I put on my weight after I was married. But all of this talk about buying candy has begun to ring a bell in my head. But I do now remember taking money and going to the candy store and buying more then I should have. And I also have a memory of going on a trip and we had to order our lunch and I distinctly remember ordering 2 snacks, weird how that just came to me all of a sudden. Reading these posts had brought that up for me.

I also remember that my grandmother was a spectacular cook and baking cookies with her and stuff like that. And many good memories were at her home and food related. To this day some of my fondest memories are cooking with her and eating at her home. And she passed away when I was 13.

Another odd thing, I was seriously considering weight loss surgery and even had it schedueled for September. I had to go for a psych evaluation and through talking with the psychologist he asked me when I put on the weight and I told him for the most part after I was married. I told him that as soon as I had my own place I was buying all sorts of food, that I was finally able to have my own food. And he said it's odd how I said my own food and not like my own furniture. And I think he had a point there. I wonder what that was all about?

11-27-2006, 09:32 AM
It's strange that we could all have such different backgrounds and yet end up with so many of the same issues. Until I was over 200 pounds going into high school, my mother told me I just had "baby fat" and that I would grow out of it. I'd been overweight since about age 4 or 5. I guess she was doing the opposite of most of your parents--instead of putting me on diets or forcing me to change my eating habits or singling me out, she basically just taught me to live in denial :dizzy: I knew I was fat and that it was more than "baby fat..." after all, the other kids at school didn't have that much baby fat (and, of course, they made it quite apparent to me that I was fatter than my classmates--kids can be so cruel). I knew I had a problem, and I joined TOPS with my mother when I was in 8th grade (my choice...I was not forced into it. My mom had been going alone for years.).

Food became freedom and adulthood for me. I would eat a bunch of junk just because I CAN, because I am an adult, and I can do what I WANT. It's the one thing I could do that didn't have to meet anyone else's criteria (since I was that psycho-smart kid who made the honor roll, was in the National Honor Society, sang in choir and an a cappella after-school group, acted in drama, played in public softball leagues, volunteered with our school's Service Corps, worked retail part-time, tutored students in lower classes, and was in countless other clubs and groups). I was so busy doing so much for so many other people (coaches, directors, teachers, parents, other students...) that food was MY thing to control, and I sort of used it to go crazy, to rebel.

If I knew how to fix it, I wouldn't still be fat. But I CAN say that the longer you go without bingeing, the easier it gets to avoid it. Like any addiction, the first few days/weeks are the hardest, but take it 1 day, 1 meal, 1 bite at a time, and remain conscious of EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth.

11-28-2006, 12:55 AM
I am so glad that I posted this topic. I can relate with every single response. I wonder what it is that makes some people develop such disfunctional relationships with food and not others? This honestly makes me so nervous with my own son.... how do I keep him from developing these food issues?

I know this is really pathetic, but I've always felt very lucky that my son isn't chubby. He's only 20 months old... but he was never a chubby baby. I always worried that people would look at my husband and I in disgust if they saw two people with weight issues raising a chubby baby. My brother and siter-in-law (who look like Ken and Barbie) had an extremely chubby baby. He was honestly one of the largest, rollie-polliest babies I have ever seen. Had it been reversed, and they had the skinny baby and we had the extremely chubby baby, people would have assumed we were overfeeding him and been disapproving. I almost feel like we're a normal family as long as my son stays skinny (I can't believe I just admitted that).

So tell me, how is my son not going to have food issues if I'm already worried about his weight????????

11-28-2006, 06:17 AM
I almost feel like we're a normal family as long as my son stays skinny (I can't believe I just admitted that).

So tell me, how is my son not going to have food issues if I'm already worried about his weight????????

I think it's really healthy for you to acknowledge your feelings, Nalynn. Your son being skinny at a time when you control what he eats would (right or wrong) naturally feel like a reflection on your parenting skills. And with society being largely judgmental, you're not off the mark by thinking you and your husband would likely be viewed more harshly by some for having an overweight child than a thin family. And it's great that you're concerned about sparing your son from your own worries about food.

In reading all of the other replies and thinking about my own experiences, here's my untested theory for not passing on food issues: Teach by consistent, positive example. If your son sees you and your husband living a healthy lifestyle and having a good relationship with food then it will feel normal to him to copy you. Just as it will feel normal for him to mimic your food issues and bad habits if that's what he sees.

While all we had were healthy things to eat in the house, my family's relationship with food was (and still is) really unhealthy and obsessive. There was a lot of discussion of foods being off limits, fears of weight gain (my mom's fear I would take after her, my dad's similar fear, his resentment of my mom when I began to, and his frustration with me for not taking after him), shock and disapproval when I started to gain weight, the disposal of my school pictures year after year because I looked fat, the constant inspection/judgment of everything I ate, the "do as I say, not as I do" approach my mom had towards healthy living. I could go on, but I'll spare you!

If I ever have children, I want to be a good example for them and teach them how to make positive choices, but I don't know that I'd have foods be off limits. It just becomes "forbidden fruit". I'd want to exercise as a whole family, but make it just part of playing together and having fun. And any conversations about food and weight would have a positive approach rather than a negative or punishing one. I think my top goals would be to avoid making food an emotionally charged issue for them and avoid making their weight, whatever it may be, a condition for my acceptance.

I believe my parents acted out of love and wanted me to be healthy and happy. They didn't want me to suffer. I guess we can only learn from our experiences and try to do better if/when faced with the same situations. Thanks for bringing this topic up, Nalynn!

11-29-2006, 04:45 PM
In reading all of the other replies and thinking about my own experiences, here's my untested theory for not passing on food issues: Teach by consistent, positive example. If your son sees you and your husband living a healthy lifestyle and having a good relationship with food then it will feel normal to him to copy you. Just as it will feel normal for him to mimic your food issues and bad habits if that's what he sees.

Thank you for your post. I am really struggling with setting an example. I know you're right; my son needs to see my husband and I living a healthy lifestyle. There is no better reason in the world to change your bad habits than for your own child.... and yet I have yet to make the change. I struggle everyday, and he sees me make more bad choices than good. I have to somehow stop this cycle.

11-29-2006, 05:42 PM
Okay, I'm going to get (lovingly) tough here. You CAN stop, Nalynn--if you want this bad enough. You might not be ready to stop yet. I firmly believe that people have to be ready to lose weight. It took me a long time and many false starts before I became committed to changing my lifestyle. For me, it started with making that commitment, then getting people in my life to realize that I was making a commitment and that I needed support. And I told them what support looked like. For me that support meant throwing out all the unhealthy food and telling my family that if they wanted junk food, they needed to keep it in their rooms or have it away from the house. The peanut butter was put on the top shelf, and if I really want it, I'll use a stool to get it. I made exercise part of my life, and drag myself to the gym nearly every day, sometimes kicking and screaming, because I made a commitment to myself.

So, my not-asked for advice to you is to sit down with yourself and see if you really are willing to give up what you want right now (food) to get something in the future (good health, great clothes, and everything that comes with feeling better about yourself). If the answer is yes, then make a commitment to yourself and start making the changes that will support you.

Many :hug: We're here to support you. Tell us what you need, and we'll be there for you.