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An anxious overeater's typical day

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Old 12-13-2008, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default An anxious overeater's typical day

This is me....

Start out the day fine. Eat a sensible breakfast, quick, yet healthy lunch during my noon break (I am a teacher), then I get home and start eating!

I start out eating because I am hungry. I haven't eaten too many calories all day because of two reasons...1) no time and 2) I know I will overeat when I get home, so I must reserve some of those calories throughout the day. I call it calorie planning/saving.

Eventually I am not hungry anymore. I didn't eat the best dinner (I am not a cook, and convience foods are not the healthiest), but with 2 picky kids to feed as well, I do my best. My mind is thinking "I really don't care, I want something that tastes good!" A reward for a hard day's work, you might say.

The rest of my evening is spent trying to stay out of the kitchen. And I don't want to eat because I'm hungry. I'm not the least bit hungry. I'm anxious. I am pacing and breathing deeply. I feel like I can't control myself, because I NEED to eat something. My nerves are a wreck. I take a walk, I take a shower, I do everything I can to relax, but my mind always goes back to the food. I can't get away from the thoughts of food! The only way to get me to not eat is to tie my down and gag me! I am a mess.

Why is this feeling so powerful? My MIL is the same way, I found out, so I know I'm not alone in this. I desperately want to find another way to spend my evenings, not a big ball of stress, my stomach all tied up in knots, thinking about how eating something, anything sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth (it comes in cycles, healthy is not a part of it. More of a deterant) will make me feel better. I just want to end my day the way I started it. My body is working against me, and I just want it to stop sabatoging me and my best intentions. I want to feel like a normal person again.
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Old 12-13-2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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Thank you. I am so glad I am not alone. This is exactly me. All of it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:02 PM   #3
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wow, a hundred lookies and only one post in reply. I will say what many would say in this and other forums. (fora?)
Start by eating more good calories at breakfast and lunch. You are planning for overeating instead of planning a balanced diet. Your body is starving by the evening.
try planning for balance. Your lunch needs to be planned the night before, with some microwave meals as a backup plan when you cant do that, so you can get healthy calories in.
hope it helps, try for a week....
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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I agree that saving calories because you're going to binge later is never going to work. You have to focus on filling up on nutritious foods. Maybe try to find a different way to reward yourself, or figure out why your day isn't rewarding in and of itself. If you're eating healthy during the day, and doing all those things to relax, maybe you need to talk to someone about that drive to eat when you're not hungry. You're suffering and you deserve better. Trying to white-knuckle your way through probably isn't the answer.
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:51 PM   #5
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Default I Know What You Mean...

Hey there! I totally know what you mean...when I read your post, I thought I wrote it!

First off, I too am a teacher. I teach first grade in Ohio. Secondly, I eat and eat and eat. I try my very best and start each day great. I eat a decent breakfast, an okay lunch and as soon as I hit the door in the evening - WHAMO! Everything I have done through the day is over, and doesn't even make a difference. I have tried counting calories and points...all those things. However, after 4:00 it stops. I can't seem to control it - even with my best efforts. Hunger isn't an issue - I don't eat because I am hungry - I eat to satifsy some other thing that is going on in my head at the time. I really feel like I am "mental" sometimes.

What to do? I don't know. I feel like everyone tells me the same thing over and over. I KNOW what to do...I KNOW how to eat right...I KNOW what I am doing is wrong...I KNOW all those things.

I appreciate what Julie said to you - because it means something to me. There has to be a reason why I do what I do and "trying to white - knuckle" through isn't the answer.

My support system is very minimal. If you'd like to talk more and need a shoulder - I would love to hear from you. Post or PM, it doesn't matter. Maybe we can work through this together. I am sorry I can't offer any solutions at the moment, but I do understand!
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
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I know that feeling so well!! My situation is a little different because I convince myself not to binge after work with the promise that I can binge on the weekend. Either way it comes out to the same thing. I get anxious, annoyed, and depressed if I don't get to eat junk on Saturday.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think the binges are related to habit as well as physical cravings. I've gotten into the habit over the years of going lax on my diet on the weekends and eating whatever I want. Just like I've gotten into the habit over the years of behaving myself during the week. Now when the weekends hit I start craving junk just because it's Saturday.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
I haven't eaten too many calories all day because .... I know I will overeat when I get home, so I must reserve some of those calories throughout the day. I call it calorie planning/saving.
I call it planning too - planning to fail.

You just gave yourself permission to overeat. It's ok, because I "saved" calories. It's ok, because I didn't eat a lot all day. It's ok. I planned to fail.

I think the first thing you need to do is eliminate the concept that it's OK to overeat because you planned for it. It's not ok to overeat. It's not healthy, physically, emotionally or mentally.

You say you have no time to eat during the day other than your quick lunch. I say, everyone can MAKE time for things that are important to them. There's another thread right now discussing the same thing - things that are unimportant to us, we leave to chance - we hope to "find" time. Things that are important to us, we MAKE time.

There are so many things you can do the night before to set yourself up to have healthy and quick snacks available. Boil some eggs, fix some 1/2 peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain, slice an ounce of cheese and an apple. Put all of those things in snack baggies and stash them in the fridge. In the morning grab one or two of them and have them on hand for a quick afternoon snack so you're not starving when you get home. It takes less than a minute to eat a boiled egg (3 bites), less than 2 to eat a 1/2 pb sandwich (5-6 bites), so I don't buy "I don't have time".

I am seriously wondering if you're physically setting yourself up for these binges by depriving yourself of food during the day and causing your blood sugar to swing wildly. It's possible to *program* your body: If your body is EXPECTING a binge every night, you'll start producing insulin even before you start eating - which will cause your blood sugar to plunge, which will cause the extreme hunger and craving. By spreading out your meals and calories, you CAN retrain your body to expect regular food and not to have these wild blood sugar swings and plunges.

That said, I agree with Julie. If the drive to eat in the evenings is THAT strong and you're that miserable about it, I think you should investigate talking to someone about it. There must be some underlying emotional need that you're trying to fill with food ... and you shouldn't have to do that. Obviously you're able to stay on plan during the day when you're busy and structured, so there's something about being home that is triggering this.

Do you go to the gym or workout at all? I will say that if you maybe incorporate some kind of evening exercise into your routine, it might help. I find that after working out (or even a long brisk walk) I am not hungry and it's much easier to not give in to cravings. Something about having worked out not only does away with my appetite, it makes me not want to waste all that work by then eating something that's not good for me.

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Last edited by PhotoChick : 12-16-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:51 PM   #8
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Hi! Well I have felt like you do before, what really helped me is....EATING ALL THE TIME! LOL....but healthy foods in small amounts.

For instance....if you had an apple and some peanut butter, hummus and veggies, any little snickety-snack that had a bit of protein in it every 2 or 3 hours, you might find yourself satisfied with smaller meals.

Have a bowl of veggie-based soup or a plate of crunchy veggies ready for when you walk in the door....it WILL take the edge off!

Try planning your meals 2-3 days in advance to take the stress out of it. As for the little ones, they won't starve if they don't like the menu that day!

Allow yourself ONE low-calorie nighttime snack after the dishes are done....a lite fudgesicle, airpopped popcorn, whatever, but then tell yourself: THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED!

One more thing: TURN THE TV OFF! I know I sound like a conspiracy nut but when you watch commercial TV you are bombarded by ads and messages to consume, consume, consume. Plus turning it off an hour before bed will help you sleep better. Honestly I think nighttime TV is one of the most fattening habits there is! ESPECIALLY THE NEWS! It stresses me out, gives me the munchies.

The bottom line is this: if the way you are approaching it now isn't working for you , then you have to be creative and turn it upside down.

The immediate goal isn't "skinniness" but being at peace with food, eating, and meal planning. You can do that! I feel very inc control of it at the moment but if I quit planning -- I'd be screwed.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K8-EEE View Post
One more thing: TURN THE TV OFF! I know I sound like a conspiracy nut but when you watch commercial TV you are bombarded by ads and messages to consume, consume, consume
I completely agree! I am an advertiser's dream. Every food commercial starts me craving whatever food they're advertising. I'm such an easy target, I tell ya! Thankfully, 99.98% of the advertisers don't deliver and I'm usually not in the mood to put my shoes on and drive to the store so I'm safe.

I also make it a habit not to watch certain shows on DVD when I'm having a "weak" day. You know, those shows that seem to like to center scenes around the kitchen or in restaurants where everyone's eating. Golden Girls is a bad one for me because they have cheesecake scenes WAY too often.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:39 PM   #10
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I call the evening hours "the witching hours" as that's when I turn into a witch. What helps me curb that desire to overeat is having a small meal/snack that is high in protein right when I leave work. It does help me stop eating everything in sight when I come into the house about forty minutes later.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #11
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I do the same thing- not so much anymore because I make sure to eat more during the day.

Literally I'd consume MAYBE 500 calories by the time dinner rolled around so I'd be ravenous- I'd eat EVERYTHING and then some by the end of the night!

Now I pack a large lunch and I eat every bite of it- if I start to get full I save the leftovers then eat it during my break a few hours later.

A typical day for me is I get in at work at 7 am and first thing I do is sit down and eat an orange or two tangerines or a banana and/or oatmeal, just something to get my system turned on.

Then at 11:30 I eat my lunch, this usually consists of some main dish (usually leftovers from dinner such as some meat and veggies), then I have a light yogurt, then I might treat myself to a small pack of sunchips, and I'll have another piece of fruit.

If I don't eat my yogurt let's say, around 3:30 I'll eat that or another piece of fruit.

Then when I go home I start dinner (around 4:30 pm), I usually make a meat and vegetable type dinner, I'll also make brown rice with it or something.

Then my last "snack" of the day is some prunes or fruit, sometimes a small bag of sunchips if I didn't have one for lunch.

I'll drink water if I feel hungry after that- and only snack on more fruit if I want- but usually I'm good after that.

I also started asking myself, am I hungry or bored? Most of the time I found I was bored- so now I'll keep myself busy by playing with my pets or being with my hubby or sister or talking with friends, ANYTHING to keep me out of the kitchen

Good luck! Definitely eat more during the day.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:33 PM   #12
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I haven't read all the responses to this thread..so I apologize if I am repeating someone..I'm at work and can't read them all ...

Anyway, I also work at school (and am a student as well) and find that I HAVE to pay attention to the signals my body is sending me. If I feel hungry, I pull out whatever few snacks I have in my backpack. I always pack foods that are high in protein so they will fill me up. Then, when I get home I am not STARVING and thinking about eating everything in the pantry. Mostly I will pack things like nuts, peanut butter on crackers, a half of a peanut butter and banana sandwich, turkey pepperoni, things like that. I also always have a slim fast or some other diet shake on hand...

I also have the same problems at night about food...I pace around the kitchen figuring out what I can put in my mouth. I always have low cal foods in the house that I can eat a lot of and not feel guilty about. It's not necessarily head-on dealing with the anxiety, but it helps lessen it if you eat a handful of grapes and a slice of turkey. That's only about 100 cals so you haven't ruined your day but you feel like you got what you needed..

Obviously the anxiety needs to be dealt with some other way besides eating, but until you (and me) can learn how to do that, I don't see anything wrong with "binging" on a super healthy food.

Anyone disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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HI, I am Monika, and I am brand new here. I just read a few of this thread's posts. In reply to the latest post by gkalphabeta: you are right about bingeing on healthy foods in the sense that introducing 2000 calories of homemade fruit smoothies and sprouted weat bread might do you less harm than eating 2000 calories of Oreos and Cheetos. But it is still 2000 calories, and you are still going to gain weight. And if you call bingeing eating a slice of turkey and a haldful of grapes, that is not bingeing.
Unfortunately, there are no tricks to stop bingeing. Just plain old fashion common sense. Do not restrict your food intake in a way that leaves you too hungry - ideally a meal every 3 or 4 hours - and the second, most important thing, learn how to deal with your anxiety and other emotional issues. I am sorry I can't help you much with the latter, despite my 15 year long battle with emotional eating issues.

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Old 01-03-2009, 05:16 PM   #14
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I had this problem big time in high school. I would 'diet' until 4:30 when I got home, and then pig out.

I think a shift in the way you plan your meals will help. Make it so that lunch is the "best" and "grandest" meal of the day--something to truly look forward to. Delicious and filling. Then have a light dinner--or, break it up into two healthy, nutritious snacks, one an hour or so before dinnertime and one an hour or so after. If you want to binge, just think about tomorrow's delicious lunch.

When I stayed in Germany as a teen, they ate their "big meal" of the day at lunchtime and had a cold, light dinner--and it seemed to work well for their digestion. While there I ate mostly chocolate and meat and lost weight, so hey!
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