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Been maintaining for a year, now the binge monster is suddenly stronger than ever!

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Old 12-19-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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Red face Been maintaining for a year, now the binge monster is suddenly stronger than ever!

So, like I put in the subject, I've been at or under my goal weight for over a year.. Sure, I've still been having to deal with a lot of disordered eating, including occasional binging and just plain overeating until it is uncomfortable (there is a difference for me, the binging feels more desperate and out of control), but I had been managing to isolate them to one time occurrences and bouncing back fairly easily.

Well, not anymore. Lately, I seem to not be able to stop binging. I know that a small part of it is that I've been living with my parents (while for a long time I was on my own.. long story), and that triggers a little part of me that wants to raid the kitchen for hours after they go to bed, like I get the urge to be "sneaky" and eat things I wouldn't eat while they're awake and watching me. It's not just limited to that though. Sometimes I'll way overeat at dinner and then still snack and sometimes even binge at night. For the past week or two it has gotten really bad. Eating things I had previously completely cut out of my diet (I should not have crackers in the house), and binging at least every other day, sometimes a couple of days in a row. I've gained over 5 pounds in just a month, and I'm starting to feel helpless even though I know deep down that I can stop this whenever I decide to.

So, I have to look at what the real issue is here. It's not just that I love food. Sure, that's a part of it, but that's not what kept me eating last night to the point where I was so full that the food kept trying to come back up on its own and I felt like my stomach was taking up my entire abdomen, crowding in on my lungs and my heart. No, it's not just that I love food. It's that food is pretty much ALL I consistently enjoy. It is the center of my life. I spend ALL my time either eating or thinking about the next thing I'll eat, or cooking, or shopping for food, or planning meals out. I spend so much time every day stretching out all my meals so that I am eating as long as possible on as few calories as possible... but then after my last meal of the day is over, I feel this sense of dread and loss because that's like 12 hours until I can eat again. And I don't feel like doing anything else in the 4 hours before I go to bed, so a lot of the time I just lose it and I binge.

Sometimes when there is still a couple hours before I am "allowed" to eat again, and I can't think of anything else that I really want to do, I just go to bed and cry myself to sleep (and by the time I wake up, usually it is meal time). I thought maybe part of this was physiological, like my body was just a couple of pounds underweight and so it was trying to get me to eat more, but now I have gained almost 10 pounds since my lowest weight and it is only getting worse, so I don't know what to do anymore. My logic gets so twisted when I get the idea to binge, I justify it in so many ways and play mind games with myself. Now part of me feels like it's okay to binge, like it's a normal thing, and that makes it harder than ever to quit because it's a habit again now. Gaining a pound every few days, going to bed every night feeling like a failure, torn between not eating anything and eating the whole house the next day... I can't do this anymore.

So anybody out there that has gotten into a bad cycle (there have to be a couple of you out there, it is the holidays after all), let's all nip this in the bud. Sure, we still have christmas and new years coming up and there will probably be all sorts of temptations... But there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. When it stops being about hunger, or even about being social and enjoying a treat with someone you love... When it gets uncomfortable, or painful, or you are just trying to fill a void somewhere deep inside, let's take a deep breath and just let us FEEL whatever it is we are trying to cover up, and just lean into that discomfort. It will pass. And we won't regret the struggle, it will only make us stronger.

Who is with me? Let's finish 2010 binge free, shall we? You are not alone in your struggles.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
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Omg! I could have written your post. I am with you!! You know this summer I had these beautiful skinny trousers and shirt, I felt great even the way I walked and moved in my body felt fantastic. Since then I have been sliding, doing ok then binging. These have become more frequent and extreme. So I have gained and can't fit these skinny clothes I can hardly fit my other clothes. I had to undo the buttons of my work trousers they were so tight. Part of me doesn't believe deserve to be skinny, always a fatty! Well I gave regrouped and I started to get focused again, being accountable I couldn't let this go till after Xmas. The damage would have been horrific! So I love food I obsess about it but now I think I had food. It's control over me so I am just going to start eating the same foods most days and track calories. When I hit goal, I will appreciate so much more this time.

I have no easy answers but food is only fuel and I going to have to acknowledge that. I will nit be buying bigger trousers for my work my fat clothes are gone.

So I amwith you... Any ideas about how to slay the monster for good?
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
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Maybe you could try keeping a journal?
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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Hello: I signed in today because I could have also written the same post but I am on a 3 week cycle type deal. Journaling, doing so-called distracting things they always recommend, like taking a walk, are ridiculous when you are thinking about food the whole time. I have gone to a shrink, a dietitian and diet counselor who all tell me I don't have it so bad because I am not morbidly obese or dangerously thin. Even as we sit here, I am ten days into my diet and already planning what I am going to eat on Christmas Eve, when I have to go off of my diet for a family dinner anyway. I do not know of a solution except, ultimately death, which will probably come because my pancreas can't take it anymore. Is there a solution for a binging cycle that isn't killing you right at the moment? I know, I know... distract myself for 10 minutes, and yes, I will be OK for a half hour, but then, it's baaaaack.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Wow, thank you for posting that and putting your experience into words. It is EXACTLY how I feel about food and the struggles I go through... the sleeping until the next meal time, the going to bed early just so I wont have to deal with the hours after my last meal.
I, too, have been binging. I, too, have justified it by telling myself my body must think its underweight. I feel so helpless... whether I am binging or eating cleanly, food controls my life and I am never happy! I, too am seeking help via a psychiatrist or therapist, but the thoughts of food still controls my life.
The only thing that is comforting is knowing that I am not alone, and you are not alone either. Clearly, there are a few of us that feel exactly the same.
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:58 PM   #6
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I'm another person who feels like she could have written your post. Only, I have been in this cycle for the past year or so. I've been overweight for about four years, but I was just starting to get it under control last holiday season when I started binging regularly, and I've gained twenty pounds since then. I feel so completely powerless to this--like going a day without binging expends all my willpower and the next day I have to binge. Plus, I'm such an all-or-nothing thinker that I will screw up one day and feel like a failure, so I'll just give in and binge. Or I'll eat one bite too much and think that I may as well go on a full-fledged binge.

It's not like I don't know how to distract myself, just that I won't let it happen. It doesn't matter how motivated I am to lose weight or get healthy when that urge comes around because nothing seems more important than eating.

I'm so sick of it. I'm sick of not having any faith in myself. I'm joining you in not binging for the rest of the year...I want to start out 2011 feeling confident, not hopeless.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Dear All: This is the most amazing thing because I felt that I was somewhat alone in this cycle thing. I have logged into diet forums before but they were usually other people giving each other pep talks to lose weight. I know how to lose weight, but not how to be comfortable with "normal" consumption of food, and keep weight off. Just knowing you are out there is actually empowering me. Now when I think about binging, I think of you folks and am comforted by knowing that you are doing the same thing. Maybe there is no panacea to this but more like an alcoholic mentality that binging is like boozing and we will always just have to be on guard. But my dad dropped dead out of the blue at 52 and my hip doc dropped dead last month at 50. They never saw it coming. I think that if this is going to be me, am I going to die being deprived when I could have had donuts? Any thoughts? P.S. It's 8 a.m. East Coast for me now, and I have to go to mom's now to (of all things), to bake cookies but I know I will be OK knowing I will come home to this forum.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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P.S. Eurydice, Love the Peep pix
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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Wow, guys! I am not sure exactly what I was expecting when I posted this thread, but I am overwhelmed by people actually being able to relate to me. I guess you never know, and it never hurts to put yourself and your situation out there because sometimes people really do understand.

As for strategies, I agree that journaling does help sometimes. Usually when it would be most helpful for me, I don't really feel like writing about my feelings, I just want to think about food (and preferably EAT the food).

I think also one of my problems is just my attitude. I get so down on myself when I start struggling with food obsession and not wanting to do anything under than eat. I start thinking about all the other things I could do besides eating, and all of them sound so impossible... even things I used to enjoy, things that other people enjoy. And then I start thinking about how I should be thankful and joyful for the things that I have, and other people have actual real problems and the simple concept of EATING (a basic human survival activity) throws me for a loop. And then I feel so pathetic and helpless and I can't take it anymore so I just give up and binge.

So my other strategy that I'm going to try to implement is just to try to be more compassionate toward myself instead of always berating myself.
Instead of "I want to eat and I am not hungry, I am a glutton and I am pathetic and I have no self control, and I will inevitably binge so I might as well just get to it," I will try to think "I am having a difficult time and I want to turn to food. If I can't find anything to properly distract me, I will go lay down for a while and let myself feel my feelings until they pass."

And if and when I do slip up, I will try to forgive myself and move on, because as trivial as the whole food thing SEEMS, it is a completely real and valid issue for me (an addiction, really) and it is unreasonable to think I can fix myself in one day.
So that is my thought and advice for the day -- Do your best, and be compassionate with yourself. I just made it through Day 1 without binging.. Making it through Day 2 will be a record as of recently! Let's do it
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #10
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Hang tough!! if you get desperate eat your journal, lol. Seriously when the avalanche has started there is no holding back. I don't journal when I need to! I can only focus on my binge and part of me knows it's not only going to be a one off but the start of something grim. My binges have been getting worse, not sure why but totally ott!

I sometimes wonder if I had imaginary binge and just went to the feeling crappy phase would it stop me?!

So keep going, I am still focused on getting into those skinny clothes. Soon!
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #11
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I am wondering. THe therapists I went to also say to forgive yourself and move on, etc. I do the self failure talk to myself. A couple of years ago I went to a diet doctor in Warminster, PA who was a meanie. He would say, harshly, what are you doing not losing weight. You can't be following my diet, etc. But he did not say I was a failure, just that I wasn't doing what he told me ( in strong language). Well, for a long time, I did not binge because I wanted to show him, and I did get things under control knowing I was going to face him each week and I was determined not to be yelled at. Could it be that people like us don't need an understanding approach but an external firm hand? I think about going back to him but money is tight now and he didn't accept insurance. Is it self-forgiveness or an internal "knock it off already" that we need? Right now, I don't know. P.S. I have accepted that I will not get into skinny clothes and applaud you who still have that goal and ideal to be your guiding star. I am just trying to get control over my food minds set. As for me, journaling does not help as much as this forum.
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Old 12-21-2010, 12:51 PM   #12
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I don't believe we need to have the harsh reaction that you mentioned. I think the accountability was what worked for you. Many of us here are already very harsh with ourselves and have quite a bit of mean talk going on internally. I saw a show once where all these people who couldn't lose weight lost the weight because they knew that if they didn't, they'd have to wear their bathing suits on t.v. and this motivated them to lose the weight. It was some weird experiment I think. If it works for you to go to this man once you can afford it, but I"m not sure if this is a method that would work long term. On the other hand, we are all so different, so it's possible that something like this could work for someone. I wish you success.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:35 PM   #13
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Wow, we are so much alike. I am maintaining for 16 mo , after only a few months I found myself binging on foods I swore I'd never eat again, mainly anything sweet. My weight would go up & down from water retention from binging, this had been happening for a year. It became a way for me to maintain. My weight also was right on the border of under weight, I am 5'3 & was 104-105lbs. My period even stopped for 11 mo. All of a sudden it became so hard for my body to maintain that weight, I gained weight in Oct. 2010 from a binge & thought it to be water weight that I'll just lose right away. Well it would not come back off, my body wanted to gain weight so bad. It was only like 3lbs, but I was nervous about it. It was ok if I didn't gain more. My weight seemed to settle at 108 for a month, my period came back, but I continued to binge. I am at 109 for 5 days now & I am being so careful not to binge again, fear of gaining more that I won't be able to loose. I felt helpless & like a failure also, but after a while I realized that my body was craving these fatty, sugary foods cause I needed to gain weight & get my period back. Your body will do what it has to, to be healthy. So the binging may not be entirely your fault. Maybe you should try to keep on just 5 lbs. of what you gained from binging or try to lose weight until your body won't go any further down. It won't effect your clothing size( that's what I was worried about) & it might be what you need to stop cravings to binge. It's hard to accept a higher weight after being so thin, I didn't. But after a few months I did and now my personal goal is to be under 110lbs. But no more!
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:51 PM   #14
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I think the thought that your body craves certain things, like sweet or fat, are physiogically valid. What we need to conquer is the all or nothing mentality. As hard as it is, I think I will try my best to limit the next binge to one day only. I think that will be a harder challenge than not binging at all.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:09 PM   #15
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I have heard that the antidepressant Wellbutrin can help habitual bingers to put the brakes on more easily. And I've definitely noticed that its easier to resist binging when I do more weight training and less cardio. OA groups are another source of help


Good luck
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