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Desperate to stop the binge eating

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Old 03-14-2009, 01:28 AM   #1
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Hi there,

I've been on 3fc for a year and a half, so I might know some of you from the 100+ board, but I never really came to this area before. But I really need help. I think there is something seriously wrong with me.

I am 39 and ten years ago, I binged my way from 165 pounds to 245 pounds in less than a year. I got to 278 pounds in 2007 and then said ENOUGH, I have got to get off this train before it wrecks. And I started blogging and eating healthier. And I did great... lost 64 pounds total. I did it pretty much by eating a lot more veggies and lean protein, learning a LOT about nutrition and applying it. Stopping the junk food. And then counting calories. And adding exercise.

But when I hit 214 pounds, something snapped. I lost control over the binge thing. I started having "mini" binges (2500-3000 calories in a binge day.... whereas before, I would get to 5000-8000 calories). But I LIKE vegetables and chicken and fish and all the healthier foods I've been eating. I LIKE trying new healthy recipes. I feel BETTER when I stop eating a lot of sugar or white carbs. And I do fantastic for days or weeks at a time, just eating healthy. Then I lose it and start bingeing again. I started making brownie batter and eating it. So I threw out the entire container of white sugar. The next time I just made brownie batter with BROWN sugar. So I got rid of that. Then got rid of cocoa. Then I'd binge on bread and butter, so stopped buying any bread but wheat (I have 5 kids, and a husband who isnt supportive, and bread is a staple for them). Then I would binge on cheese. So I started only buying cheeses that are low fat or cheese that I do not like. And yet, I can go for a week eating very healthy, lose a few pounds, feel fantastic, and then the next thing I know I am shoving foods that I do not even like down my throat. I've gone and eaten a thousand calories worth of crackers that I HATED the taste of, cheese I didn't like, yogurts I didn't like, turkey sausages, even vegetables. Whatever I can get my hands on I eat. And I do not understand my own behavior!

I am SO fed up. I lose, I gain. I go a month eating healthy and then binge for 3 days. I do not know what is wrong with me, what to do to quit, or how to get a grip. I know I will eat healthy tomorrow and the next day... and maybe all week... but that binge monster is just LURKING, just waiting to steal away my success.

I spent over an hour calling counselors, trying to find someone who knows something about eating disorders. I got some really rude reactions on the phone when I tried to explain that I think I have a binge eating disorder. Counselors telling me to "try eating less and exercising." What? Oh gee, I never thought of that. And after I searched all over the Internet and alled all over town, the only counselor I found who is nearby, can see me when I have child care, and is remotely affordable, wants $25 a session and my husband says no. He has control of the money. He says no. I am stuck. Not that seeing a general counselor is the ultimate key, but I think it would help.

I've done Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, etc. And I always have success for awhile and then binge back up. I am gettin so angry at myself. I had regained 26 pounds and am now back down 6 but omg, I do not know how I am going to fix this.

Anyone?
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi Lynn...

This is the first time I've checked into this group and I saw your post. I just wanted to give you a big hug I consider myself to be a binger (from a family of bingers!) though I've so far managed to control it enough to keep from serious effects. It seems like you've done all the right things...eat better, more exercise. For me, I've finally come to the conclusion that I have to cut out sugar, that's my trigger. I'm totally incapabale of having even a little! It's hard to do at first, it's truly a detox thing, but once I get rid of the stuff I feel so much better and much more in control.

I also really believe (for me) this is a spiritual issue and I tend to binge when I'm feeling "empty" inside. So when those urges start I try to stop and really pinpoint what's going on in my head and heart. Then I try to address those feelings. In my case, I pray...A LOT! But maybe you might find a quiet spot to meditate, or go outside and find something really beautiful to look at that just speaks to you, whatever calms you and fills your heart. Of course, it's always good to have someone to call that will talk you down too!

Anyway, hope I didn't waste your time too much with this response! Really, I just wanted to reach out and give you a big squeeze. Someone told me this is a marathon, not a sprint...we just keep getting up and moving forward. Hope you have a good weekend...

Jenny

PS: My mother is a therapist and works quite a bit with eating disorders...I can ask her what resources she'd suggest if you'd like. Blessings to you today!
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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I have been through bulemia nervosa and anorexia nervosa...I actually got to the point where I was SO scared of food that I wouldn't eat..and if I did take something like a piece of popcorn..i would throw that up...

so let me tell you I TOTALLY understand your pain....

I am EXACTLY like you... I love, love, love healthfood. I prefer it over other stuff...

I eat fine, lose weight...exercise feel great..and THEN comes the binge...WHAT triggered it...

One day, I was feeling pretty hopeless..I couldn't understand how I could make a birthday cake for my son...and then eat that WHOLE cake...and have to make another one??? when I didn't even really care for birthday cake!

I was taking the trash out and there was a box laying on the ground...in the box was a book called "the carbohydrates addict diet"...and I thought oh god not another low carb diet...I was just going to pass the box up..but I saw some christian music cds in there...and I was wanting some...so I dug through the box (it was on the side of the dumpster, clean) and again picked up the book...I thought "if this book is so wonderful? why did someone throw it out??" BUT...something told me to give the book a chance...

It was written by doctors...I started to read it...I came upon a passage where there was a woman..who made a cake for her daughter's school...and she ended up eating the whole cake...and having to make another one! I thought dear Lord! How did I find this book...

I read through it...I discovered the mechanisms that cause binge eating...particularly the insulin/sugar response...and it made perfect sense! Plus, I had always THOUGHT i was the only one with such a terrible, distasteful habit of wasting food in such a way...

I did try the book..but the method seemed so odd to me...to eat low carbs all day...to keep the insulin down...and THEN at your reward meal..eat a sensible dinner, then you could everything you wanted at that meal..no limitations...AS long as you followed the rules..

However, the research behind the plan was excellent...I recommend READING this book..it is written pretty much in lay terms...

it freed me of the idea that I was the only ONE...and taught me about some of the physiological reasons I acted that way!
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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This thread understands.Look back at old posts.I think you will find a home here.You will also find people who have overcome the binge cycle and some(like me) who are doing much better but continue to struggle.Welcome.You are not alone or crazy.Many many many suffer from binge eating disorder.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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Jendiet...thanks for the book suggestion! Currently I'm following South Beach, which is low carb (the bad carbs) and protien. It really does help with those cravings and urges to binge. But your book sounds like it would have some really great info. While I haven't eaten a whole cake (yet!) I've certainly had my share of cookie batches and then had to explain to the family why there wasn't any for them!
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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hey there jennygirl...any diet..that limits carbs, limits your insulin response..and therefore will cut cravings...

I don't want you to follow the carbohydrate addict's diet...you already know to cut the carbs..what i want you to do is read the information...to understand the hows and whys.
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
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jennygirl,

Thank you for letting me know I am not alone and giving me some suggestions. I really appreciate it! And sure, I would love to know what your mom has to say about resources. Would you mind sending me a PM with her recommendations? That's great, thank you. I live in an area where there is *one* eating disorder specialist counselor, who specializes in anorexia, and she does not take a sliding fee, and wants close to $200 a session. There is just no way!

harrismm,

Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

jendiet,

Thank you for the book recommendation. I am going to look for it at the library and the used book store.

I know that if I do a low carb diet, my cravings and binges almost completely disappear. The big problem I've had is that I do not think I am able to completely cut out ALL sugar and ALL refined carbs for life. When I did South Beach, years ago, I lost about 35 pounds and was feeling great. But all it took was ONE slip up for a special occasion, one serving of a sugar food, and I totally lost it. I could not get control back. I binged until I regained all the weight and then some. I am terrified if I do South Beach again, I'll lose all the weight and then eat one sweet thing (even artificial sweeteners seem to set me off) and flip out. Not sure what the solution is to this...
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:05 PM   #8
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You're not alone Lyn.

I've realised that sugar is completely toxic for me. I'm a South Beach dieter who does great for a time,as you say the cravings go away completely. But then I have some sugar at some point and set the whole binge cycle off again. Then I stay on a binge for days or even weeks. Then I have to go back and do Phase 1 again.
I've heard some of the ladies here on the South Beach forum say that for them, there did come a point where they could manage their sugar cravings, even when eating a little of it sometimes.
I keep on trying until I hopefully get to that stage too!

How long were you doing SBD before you had your lapse?

I've tried everything. I've tried one of the most popular methods used by ED counsellors - removing all restrictions. I gave myself permission to eat whatever I wanted. No labelling any food as good or bad or forbidden. That absolutely does not work for me....
For me, I think following the principles of SBD, using the Beck Diet Solution book too, and OA are going to be the combination with which I have most success. But I struggle every day.

I don't have any answers,I'm in the same boat as you. Just wanted you to know that you really are not alone.

I've been reading your blog for a few months now, btw and I really enjoy reading it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:07 PM   #9
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I went through the same thing...I was on a vegan diet..and cut out all refined sugar products...I drank soymilk and ate soy meat...and cheese...

I was 135 lbs..and felt so good...

one day...while I was working at the convenience store I saw a nutty buddy bar..I was particularly hungry...and had no healthy food there...I bought one..and ate it..then another....and another...pretty soon I was out of control and feeling ill...needless to say as my resolve weakened my waist line grew again!

When I had lived in Oklahoma there were plenty of health food stores that could support my lifestyle, but when I moved to SC there were hardly any...and that caused me to feel depressed, and just want to give up...

I think people who are susceptible to bingeing are VERY sensitive to sugar..and it REALLY does mean a lifestyle change....it means being aware of your weakness...and knowing your body..the same as any recovering addict...

I think acceptance is the key...YOU CAN NOT eat like everyone else...and you need to let your loved ones know this...and be thankful you don't have something worse going on...and just eat for your OWN health!
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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another suggestion, which i found helped me..is probiotics..when you are a sugar addict..yeast can get particularly bad..yeast are horrible little beasts..they can actually program YOU to think you NEED sugar because they need sugar to survive..they are also the only organism that can exist in microscopic (not seen with naked eye) and gross (seen with naked eye) form and CAN switch back and fortha as needed...they are HARD to get rid of ..and can wreak havoc on your body especially during a yeast cleanse..

good bacteria like acidophilus and thermophilus keep yeast populations in check...if you have been on a course of antibiotics you need more than just yogurt..take a good well preserved probiotic.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:34 PM   #11
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Artemis,

I did South Beach religiously for, I think 6 months or so. Might have been 5. I loved it but when I slipped once that was the end of me. I swear when I am in binge mode I am not myself. I feel taken over.

jendiet,

I will try probiotics. My daughter takes them for medical reasons. Maybe that would help me. I eat yogurt almost daily, but then again, it often has sugar in it.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #12
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yeah, that's why I have to do the probiotics...I prefer to get them out of the fridge...at a health food store...they say the kind at room temperature actually compete with each other and die off...
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