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Don't know how to stop

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Old 05-09-2003, 02:08 AM   #1
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Hi. I'm new to this thread. I am a compulsive overeater and don't know what to do. My mother suffered from this and one day she just decided she was losing weight (after her and my dad seperated) and lost it. She is the only other person I know who does this to the extent I do, but she expects me to just do what she did. I CAN'T!!!! I try everyday. Everyday I tell my DH I am going to change and the next day I find another reason to eat 4 helpings of dinner or a gallon of ice cream. I am so out of control, scared and dont know what to do. I am a recovered alcoholic and it was easier for me to stop drinking then eating all the time.
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:56 AM   #2
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Good Morning:

I am also a recovering alcoholic with 22 years of recovery but I still have a hard time with the food. It is easier to stop drinking because you never have to drink again - eating - well we have to eat to live.
Every morning I do get up and say this is a new day, a new beginning, a new start. It helps if I ask for help from my Higher Power. Some days are good and others hellish. What I have to remember is to love me no matter what.
Keep on posting at least I know that I am not alone.

PS - Remember you are your own person and you can't compare yourself to anyone else
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Old 05-12-2003, 11:28 PM   #3
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Hi ladies... I've read your posts and empathize with your frustrations with your eating patterns. I really feel that most of my own eating disorder stems from moments of mental anxiety. It really is a form of self-medication isn't it?? I think it is so terrific that you have done well with your alcohol issues. It is true that we can't cold-turkey food, personally I really enjoy a great meal. I am learning how great it feels to eat like a normal person. No where near perfect but the good days are out numbering the bad now..One suggestion my therapist gave me was to pretend to eat like a normal person. It really is a behavoir I needed to learn again..... It helps me so much to have this forum to share our stories... we deserve to be well...Lori
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:24 AM   #4
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This is very different for me on many levels..I have never been in a chat room or any forum at all. I was drawn here as my best friend and I have called ourselves the fat chicks for yrs. I am 37, happily married 2nd time, 1st was an abuser. I am around 340, I have been between 320 and 370 approx for the last couple yrs.
I, like monique could never see myself at WW or OA. And am also wondering, What now? Thank you Lori, for your compasionate and on the mark replies to everyone...you are a doll!!
Up until 3wks ago, my best friend and I shared our problems, but she just has the bypass done...tho' going to her doctors and meetings made me feel better that this was right for her it has placed a mental block for me with her. I have cried many nights, I don't want that to be me. I'm not a purger..I am an emotional eater, yes, I have a big problem with that, but even when I feel good....I just still love food...Some times I think I haven't sole searched enough then I think I've over anaylised myself. I don't want to be skinny, my goal is to be HEALTHY, and around 230 to 250. There is so much I want to do in my life. I look forward to sharing and getting to know many of you. I wish you all well.
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Old 07-30-2003, 06:33 PM   #5
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Just: I'm a lurker -- I've never posted here -- but when I read your post I saw myself five months ago, and my heart sank. I'm a binger. I've been denying it for years. In February, after years of trying Weight Watchers with limited success, I decided it was finally time to look elsewhere.

I first made an appointment with a doctor (no small feat), and in mid April finally got in for a physical. She asked if there was anything else that I wanted to discuss, and that's when I confessed the real reason for my visit. Within six weeks I was seeing a dietitian and trying (and still trying, to no avail) to find a therapist.

I was skeptical at first that a dietitian who promised no food would be off limits could offer me any help. (After all, I explained to her, that's the plan I've been on for years.) In my case, she really could and did. I'm now on Week 8 and have lost 16 pounds. More importantly, I'm eating a balanced three meals and three snacks each day. I eat fruits and veggies. I get enough calcium. Most importantly, I have -- so far -- been able to break the cycle of binging. That, the dietitian said, would be our first goal, not weight loss. She's a smart woman.

By breaking the cycle, I gained a sense of control and a true sense of relief. For two months, I haven't been obsessed with food (or using it to comfort myself). Have I fallen off the bandwagon? You bet, and I expect I will again. What's different this time around is that I find myself able to recover and start anew. I used to view dieting as a form of perfectionism. Now I don't diet. I aim for a healthy lifestyle (and I no longer cringe when I spot someone I know in the supermarket as I stroll along with my cart of goodies). I don't know how long I'll be able to maintain this. But as my dietitian -- nay, food therapist says -- we'll just start again.

Will this work for you? Maybe not. Maybe you'll find a doctor with a different approach. My point is that by asking for help, I found people who truly want to help me. By the way, my insurance doesn't cover the dietitian; however, it's actually about a third the price of going to Weight Watchers, and that's including weekly one-on-one weight checks and bi-monthly follow-ups that last 30 minutes. I told this woman I needed support. She told me I'd get it. In the meantime, I continue to search for a therapist. Come Jan. 1 (and here's why they call it the Great State of Maine), insurance companies in my home state will be required to cover treatment for eating disorders, including binge eating. Seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist will then cost me no more than $10 a week. In the meantime, I'm hanging on. (Kudos to my state legislature for recognizing the need for mental health coverage and for talking about obesity as a major public health threat!)

I hope you have similar resources at your disposal. I am truly fortunate. This has brought me a lot of peace of mind these past few weeks, and I wish you the same. I can break the cycle. I just can't do it alone.
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:54 PM   #6
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Thanks Jennifer, and congrats on your better choices and your lost weight. I have been trying to be more honest with my family and friends(as well as myself) and tho' most are sympathetic, I still realize they just don't get it. although, it's not for them to get, it's up to me. These last two weeks in a whole have been ok. I have made a lot of better choices, cutting back on fats and salts(my two worst loves) also evening starches. the couple meals that I didn't do so good on were at my mother's, even tho' I'd made my resolve to eat low fat, I allowed myself to be talked into staying for dinner knowing that the choices there were not for me. I ate the smaller portions(which was a success for me and my big appetite) but they were still high fat. I've got a cool family Doctor and we have discussed my diet many a times. I know the right things to do...I can even do them for a while, but I seem to be on the mark for 6/8 wks, eating, exercise, then pow, down the dumps I go...The sad part for me is when I really look at my life, I've technically never been happier...home, husband, yet the eating and depression are out of control some days.well,
at least today was good eating and I walked the dog a short walk. Tommarrow? let's hope.
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:03 AM   #7
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Evilyn: Thanks for the kind words. For what it's worth, I've dropped the idea of being "on program" and now try to just do the best I can in every situation. If I have a "bad" day on Monday, I just try again. Previously I could go for three months on Weight Watchers, then have a terrible relapse. I would completely lose sight of what I'd accomplished and immediately gain back everything plus five pounds. This went on for 15 years until I reached the point where WW terrified me and I couldn't go back.

So I do sympathize with your struggle to keep it up beyond eight weeks, and I've expressed my fear that I'll blow it to the dietitian who's working with me. Her response: You make a mistake, you try again. That's all. She's helped me realize that I'm going to have to control food for the rest of my life instead of let it control me. (We spent our session yesterday talking about how I'm going to handle going on vacation for two weeks. That would have me rolling my eyes in WW, but she gave me strategies that I think are more realistic and will work.)

I am fortunate in that this dietitian beat an eating disorder herself and understands what I'm up against. You're right: Other people don't get it. They think we eat because we want to and don't recognize a painful compulsion. My husband finally, finally understood this past spring when I came clean. My binging was secretive behavior, and he had no idea how bad it had gotten or how much emotional pain it's caused me. It was a great relief to be able to discuss it and to see him now behaving in quietly supportive ways (he hides food he knows might tempt me, for example, and doesn't talk about it). I also don't think he understood until now just how much pressure there is on women to conform to a physical ideal. I think the past couple of months have been a real eye opener for him. So what's the point? No, other people don't get it. But I do, and I know what I've got to do for me. And I have a couple of allies -- one a pro, the other my dearest friend -- who are helpful.

I hope I don't sound smug, because I am still struggling. On Tuesday morning, eight hours after eating a light breakfast, I was ravenous -- and I lost it completely. It wasn't a binge but controlled overeating, and believe it or not, I hated every minute of it. I realized after that I was under a lot of stress (big deadline looming at work), used food to cope and, because I failed to plan ahead, didn't have good food on hand to deal with it when my appetite got the best of me. On Wednesday, I started again and look forward to another "good" day today.

One day at a time. And when that doesn't work, one hour at a time. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-01-2003, 12:24 AM   #8
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Boy, was that just the right thing to say Jennifer. I wish I had signed on to the computer a couple hours ago instead. I had a lousy and very long day at work today and ate lite due to time but once I got home almost at 8:30pm I just didn't have the mind set to make a good lite meal, I made a not so great choice,but in the long run not a horrible choice...my big problem was then I started the picking and snacking...things I didn't even really want either thats what just kills me. Now normally I would still be down there in the kitchen munching....mindlessly.Then tommarrow I would have ended up blowing it worse. But I decided to check the computer instead. Well now I'll try and think of also having a 'good' day. You don't sound smug....you sound positive and that's a wonderful thing. I should listen to my husband (don't you dare tell him! lol) his outlook on our life and marriage is that as long as he has more good days than bad, he considers himself lucky and happy. I need to apply that thought process into my mind set. I was also sad because I didn't make any time for excercise, I did ok the last 3 days, well I've just got to not let that dampen tommarrow. Thanks for your support.

I don't know if I'm lucky or cursed....My husband is also a larger man...LOVES FOOD! We have talked alot over the years about our weight...how serious it is, that we need to really work harder,(he has become diabetic over the last three years) then he says, on a day I'm tired or depressed, Oh honey, let me take you out to dinner. (and always the all you can eat places) So, last year I sat him down and said Look....I weight over 350lbs, I really NEED your support. His reply? Sweet or Mindless...your guess is as good as mine...He doesn't believe me...I say Joe...I've gained more than 130 lbs since we've been together, over 60+ since we were married 7yrs ago, I've got 100lbs on you now.....he just doesn't see it. Like I said I'm either the luckiest woman in the world to have a husband who doesn't see my weight but loves me for me...or cursed that he just doesn't see my pain.

Well I've bent your ear long enough tonight and tommarrow is another long and difficult day and when your tired, positive choices and attitude are that much harder to keep. As my dad would say...."Be Well."
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Old 08-01-2003, 05:53 AM   #9
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Evilyn: Three days of exercise is great! Like you, I've been terribly busy at work, but unlike you I haven't made myself make time for activity. Thanks for the reminder. I am about to go on vacation and am promising myself that I'll hit the road every day.

Last night wasn't a great one for me, either, though I thoroughly enjoyed it: I went out for a good glass of red wine with colleagues after work (mmmm, first time in three months or so) and went wild with a McDonald's Happy Meal on the way home. (Who knew I could be satisifed with a hamburger and a child-size order of french fries? Not me. Turns out it was fine.) Hardly the nutritional honor roll, but I stuck to my calorie limit and followed the dietitian's guidelines, which are realistic. So I was pleased to look back at the day. Not perfect, but pretty darn good and generally healthy. I am gradually finding that yes, I can be satisfied with smaller portions and tastes. Whether I can stop the occasional binge remains to be seen.

You're lucky your husband loves you just the way you are. Is it possible it's hard for him to be supportive because he'd have to acknowledge his own weight issues if he did?

I know exactly what you mean about the mindless late-night munching. If I start, I can't control it. I've found a no-cal drink of some kind helpful because it fills me up. I also love strawberries and grape tomatoes -- very filling and low-cal.

Ironically, what's helped me the most was the death of our old refrigerator back in June. When the new one arrived -- perfect, white, empty -- my husband decreed we would no longer keep any food for longer than seven days. Good call! It's packed with fruits and veggies, some cold cuts, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. -- so if I binge, that's all there is to binge on. I do stock up on Lean Cuisine-type entrees so that when I get home and am too tired to cook, I can throw one in the microwave. I also used bagged salads and pre-chopped veggies. It's hard for me to make a bad choice.

Yikes! I'm starting to sound like one of those women's magazines, and I do apologize. But I'm also smiling as I write this because I think I am -- finally -- developing some habits that I can stick with and that bring me peace of mind. Now I've just got to get your exercise bug.

Hang in there.
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Old 08-02-2003, 05:19 PM   #10
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Jennifer,

Boy, I found myself actually desiring to come upstairs, away from the food, just to log on to see if you wrote.

You may think you sound like a woman's magazine, but you know what? IBUY those magazines! So, I'm lovin' it.

This last magazine I bought was discussing just these types of support. Diet with a buddy, or going on line to share and I thought well why not, at least go look. I'm happy that I did.

I think it was a great idea to have a happy meal...such a simple solution (which most of the great ones are) and you didn't have to feel completely deprived and stayed within your limits..BRAVO!
Hope you have a great vacation. When you said hit the road, do you run? Walk? I can't run and sadly I have an awful time with walking.(my poor dog, he sooo loves to go for walks) I like riding my bike and lucky for me so does my hubby. It's one of the few things that I can do. Boy do I get some funny looks from people when I do....I guess people don't think fat chicks can ride. It doesn't bother me, I find it quite humorous as long as they are not nasty.

I've started to leave a number of yogarts in my work fridge and those bags of baby carrots...in case, like today, my staff got donuts from a client and even tho' they are not my favorites I saw them and wanted them....so I had a yogart. Yahoo for me! I sometimes get the pre-made salads...you are right, they are pretty nice when you don't have time or energy, it makes making a good choice sooooo much easier. My problem ? I am such a cheapskate!!!!! I learned it from my mom, but she even says I put her to shame. I know, I know.....I need to think of my health not my wallet! I have been realizing, slowly but surely, that even tho' good food and prepared food is more expensive it is offset by not buying lunches, not buying lots of junk food and trips to the goody box at work.

One of my little exercises is I planted a garden....I couldn't get down to the ground any more very easily so I made raised gardens with cinder blocks. Guess what I planted this year for the first time? Grape tomatoes!!!! They just started getting ripe this last week. Wish I could send them to you through the screen! I'll think of you when I have my salad tonight.

Well, I'll let you go and again, thanks alot.

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Old 08-08-2003, 08:49 PM   #11
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Hi, Evilyn: Greetings from the scale, where I have just checked in at -- sitting down? -- seven pounds heavier tonight than I was in the morning one week ago today. Egad!

OK, I can rationalize. I've been to a two-day family reunion (where I showed remarkable restraint in the face of seven-layer dip, if I do say so myself) and spent four days aboard a sailboat in fog and rain. Yes, a sailboat. A tiny enclosed space with nothing but books and food. So I did the best I could. No chance for exercise, since we weren't able to make it to any major ports. The only bright side is that we finally decided to throw in the towel and wait for this bad weather front to move on. So we stepped off the boat and treated ourselves to dinner. I won't frighten you with the details.

As silly as it sounds, I'm confident I can get rid of this quickly and get back to the I've-lost-19-pounds mark. So it's back to water, sensible meals and healthy snacks. No more wild abandon. If I can get back on track, I'll achieve what I never managed to do in all those years of Weight Watchers! By the way, I have to tell you that I did not have a bad binge one in the past week (plenty of vino, though!). That's eight weeks for me without a binge -- a huge relief and another success.

I'm going to try once again to follow your example and get out there and exercise tomorrow. How is it going for you this week? Your determination really helps me. Your point about keeping healthy food at work is great -- it's a habit I've got to work on. As for spending more for pre-made salads, isn't it funny what we are and are not willing to shell out for? I admit I wince every time I spend in the double digits on fruits and veggies, but (back in the day ;>) I didn't think twice about paying more than $3 for a pint of Ben and Jerry's I knew I'd inhale and come to regret later! I also used to eat out constantly, largely because of my job. In the two months that I've managed to break that habit, I've saved quite a bit of cash.

Once again, I'm amazed that I am happy about this. Hope you can find success and satisfaction in small achievements, too.

Jennifer
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Old 08-08-2003, 10:43 PM   #12
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Good evening Jennifer, I was really getting to miss you!!

Well lets see, rationalize........ok, it's nighttime....you always are heavier at night.......food, water,,,,Yeah, that's right!

I'm sure proud of you that you didn't binge this week.That really is a great success! You really should be proud of yourself, EIGHT WEEKS! YAY!!!! I think thats the part i'm tring really hard to do....smaller acheivements. Like, being happy that I too didn't have any big binges this week.(that's two weeks for me) and although I didnt excersise all days, at least I did a few days...better than I would normally.

Sailing, that sounds like that would normally be fun but sorry you had such lousey weather.

Family reunions can be really tuff on staying on board (sorry, no pun intended) of your program. Any thing that has to deal with family can be sooooo stressful...even when you really enjoy your family...there always seems to be something that comes up.

I'm glad to see you positive about jumping right back into the swing of things. A lot of times I get down about myself and say, what's the point? I'll blow it for another couple days, get it all out of my system, (yeah, right!) then go back to being good. Then those few days turn into weeks, then months.

Like today, I've been really over worked and stressed (aren't we all?)for quite a while at my job....It's afternoon, work is piling up, I'm frustrated and I can't keep my mind centered....all I can think about is putting food in my mouth because of the pressure....I tell my coworker how I'm feeling and that I just want to go in the back and eat a donut! I know that as soon as I eat it I'll feel better..I'll be able to concentrate better.....won't feel so stressed, comfort food...it always works....for a while, then a little later, oy, you pay for it. later I would feel really bad if I eat it. Tring to get her to understand it's sort of like a drug addicted person, get your fix you feel better until you come down then you crash, physically as well as emotionaly. what does she do? Trys to explain to me that if I think I would feel better, than eat
it!!!! I told her no, I cant...explained some more.....tried to at least. she kept telling me I've been good for so long,(GEE, A WHOLE TWO WEEKS!) I should just do it and then not beat myself up, and start again tomarrow.
I said I cant keep telling my self that its ok to have this ONE thing because one becomes two and one days becomes a week of it. That I had already made one less than perfect choice at lunch and that was it for the day....Ihad a tuna salad salad. Not horrible, just I've been staying away from as much fats as possible. Oh my, why don't they get it?!

Listen to me rant and rave!!! These last couple days have been harder, I really have been having the desire to just eat everything thats not nailed down....last night I kept looking and looking so I finally took a small, maybe a 1/4 cup of choc. chips upstairs and ate them while doing some paper work.

Hey just realized as I,m writting....I have my punctuation this week.....no wander I'm emotional and hungry and craving sweets!

Well again, glad your back and look forward to talking to you some more. Have a really good day tomarrow and enjoy your weekend!
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