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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #166
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This has to be the BEST discussion on any forum that I have ever read! I am not all the way through the posts but had to say BRAVO!

The whole "dieting ourselves fat" speaks loudly to me. Compulsive dieting has led me to be obsessed with food. I am eager to learn about IE and being finally being free from my food obsession. I have no idea how to let go of the diet mentality and feeling of failure.

Phenomenal thread!!!
Exactly--that's why I don't like the word "diet." It's kind of like telling a kid they can't have something--then they become obsessed with not being able to have it. Food falls into the same category. So I like the life-style change meaning permanent. I really don't believe it's what we eat--it's how much we eat or drink that is the problem. Portion control is the solution for me--with an adjustment toward healthier foods, fruits and vegi's for snacks--versus chips. And if I want a piece of cake occasionally--it's going to be 1/10 the size of what I used to eat.

I do a little self-hypnotism myself and it works for me. I take a sheet of paper write down all the ill effects of being overweight on one side--then the positive effects at being in my BMI on the other side. I put them on the refrigerator and memorize them. Then I continually say to myself--"I am a thin person"--"I do not "overeat". Eventually body will follow mind instead of the other way around. At any rate it works for me.

The key is you NEVER say to yourself "I am "trying" to lose weight" or "I am "trying" a diet. Convince your sub-conscience that you're already there--and it will start to agree with you and it won't send out these constant cravings which make you want to binge on something.

I also don't believe anyone can lose weight--without getting hungry. The stomach has swelled to accommodate the portion size to what a person is accustomed to eating--and it's going to growl for a while until it gets used to having less--and the stomach shrinks to accommodate the new portion size.

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #167
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I'll chime in here.

As described above, my hunger signals were completely screwed up before I started IE. I'd be eating a big meal, I'd have the uncomfortably stuffed feeling, but my stomach would still be growling away, begging for food. I thought... What gives?!

It was only through eating absolutely tons of sugary food (which I thought I wanted) and finding that this got WORSE that I was able to pinpoint my personal problem about why my hunger signals were so out of shape. If I remember correctly from my research, it was a lot to do with insulin resistance, suppressed leptin and/or behaviour of leptin receptors (leptin's basically the hormone that makes your body tell your brain it's had enough).

So, I seriously cut back on refined sugar. From an outside perspective, it must have looked like I was trying to go down the low-carb, ketogenic route. A diet. Not AT ALL. For me personally, it was a best-guess experiment to get my hormones back to where they're supposed to be. I think it's way overlooked that you often can't just "start" intuitive eating the way you can start calorie counting, for example. Being able to listen to what your body is essential in intuitive eating, that much is obvious. But if your endocrine system is out of whack, there's more than a good chance that your body is telling your brain lies.

I think eating at regular intervals is a similar thing - you're trying to preprogram your body into behaving optimally FIRST. Then you can approach the "eat when you're hungry / stop when you're full" thing from the right standpoint. If you just do it straight off the bat, and it doesn't work, yes, your body may say EAT DONUTS EAT DONUTS EAT MORE DONUTS. It certainly happened to me, and the fact it led me to the information I needed is a happy accident.

So, I'm not low carb. I just polished off a donut right now. It's not about being in ketosis or whatever my approach might look like from the outside. My body can process a donut. It just runs into trouble when I eat a whole box. That's happened a few times in the past five months, and I DO need to deliberately low-carb it to get my hunger signal back. It's a precarious thing.

So, I wouldn't say, speaking for myself, that I'm against eating when you're not hungry. Or reducing sugar. Or cutting out things you have bad reactions to. That's all part of listening to, and working with, your body and what it needs. When it's going smoothly, I am against MYSELF eating when I'm not hungry, but that's because it throws me right off. But it might be that for the next person, it's exactly what they NEED.

I've found that intuitive eating isn't so much about cutting out diet behaviour. I cut back on sugar, I have to low-carb for a few days here and there - that is diet behaviour. But the difference is in the approach. I'm not on a diet. I'm not moralising about food. I'm giving my body what it needs, and coaxing it back round to behaving optimally by more considered food choices when I get it "wrong" (emotionally eating that box of donuts my body can't handle, for example). But am I "on" a diet? No. Not at all. No guilt, no moralising, no deprivation, no "one day I'll be done with this".

You can't expect your instincts to work perfectly all the time, especially when there are so many louder things competing for your attention.

Horses for courses. Apologies for the dissertation, but I couldn't find a less verbose way of putting all of this.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:57 AM   #168
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It's been 3 weeks now doing this no diet thing. I almost felt like giving up because all my attempts at incorporating previously banned foods have not gone the way I had wanted. I overate them. not full on binge but overeating for sure. I guess I had hoped recovery would suddenly mean not wanting these foods. The toughest part is not "not bingeing". The toughest part is by far far far letting go of the restriction. It's one thing to tell yourself you will not restrict and a completely different thing to actually not restrict. It's like I tell myself I can have everything, but with the small print or hidden clause that says "but you will not want those things". When I asked in this forum before on advice on incorporating things, bingefree gave me 2 options; 1 would be to just face fear and eat them; or 2 that if I didn't really want to eat them in my everyday life that I didn't need to eat them. Well obviously, I chose 2 because it allowed me a way out, to convince myself I didn't really want things. And I kept having opportunities to include something restricted and not going for it. I had really convinced myself I didn't want these things and was then confused why I still felt anxious around them. I was LIEING to myself so I could keep restricting without admitting it. Well I finally said, I have to go with choice 1 now, face my fears and eat these things when given a chance. So I've been doing that. and overeating. and feeling discouraged and gross. and today, suddenly, I just didn't want anymore. I had allowed myself to have all the donuts I wanted at work today. Had one first break. another huge one second break that was as big as 3 regular donuts, and then I told myself I could have another one on the way home, and you know what happened? I actually DIDN't want one. Like the thought of it made me sick. And you know what else? I actually FELT like a healthy dinner of a chicken stir fry. The old me would have decided on something else forbidden for dinner like pizza due to binge mentality and feeling like a failure for having the donuts, but no, this time I just felt like something healthy. Today, for the first time, the guilt is truly gone. I can see the donuts as a success not a failure. I can feel a shift taking place in my brain. Food really is starting to seem just like food, not good or bad. apples do look equal to donuts. I honestly feel like I could have binge food in my house tonight and it would make no difference to me whatsoever. It wouldn't tempt me. It would actually be just harmles food. All the stuff bingefree said, I wanted to believe it all but just couldn't ever imagine it would be possible, at least not for me. But today I am seeing a glimpse of it. I called my sister to tell her. She said she remembers feeling that shift too but that it is really impossible to convey to someone else because it just isn't something you can explain. you have to experience it to understand. Food has ruled over me everyday since about age 14. That was 18 years ago. and it just suddenly feels lifted. I also realize that I have always focussed on bingeing as being the problem. and viewed days I binged as "bad days" and days I ate so strictly as "good days". I see now though that the addiction (for me at least) isn't the bingeing, it's the restriction. The "bad days" are actually the restriction days, and the bingeing is just the symptom not the problem (not saying this is everyone but probably anyone in a binge/restrict cycle). I by no means feel I am cured at all. I hope I can keep feeling this way, but I think it will only be possible if my focus stays on not bingeing as being the most important thing, and my obsession (perfect health for me, weight for others) has to take a back seat and may never be realized. The minute I want my obsession more than I want to quit bingeing, I think that is when it will start up again. So honestly I'm very skeptical anyone who is more concerned with losing weight than recovery from an eating disorder will actually recover. I think it takes hitting rock bottom. Knowing you are at the bottom of a hole you will never climb out of unless you give up the obsession. I could never do that in my twenties. being perfect was just too important. i wanted it too bad. I wanted to not have my eating disorder, but I wanted perfection more. but my twenties are gone now. wasted by my eating disorder. Now that I am in my early thirties, I don't want this decade gone too.

Surfergirl - I think it's awsome you are venturing into the non diet thing. I have to say though, I think you will give up maybe if you keep weighing yourself and counting calories. It means you are trying to hold onto the control, and I only know this because I wanted to rationalize doing these things while "quitting dieting". I said the same things that the number didn't matter I just wanted to observe. The truth is, if the numbers didn't matter you wouldn't need to observe. Honestly, I really struggled with this. I wanted to keep doing it. But I KNOW if I had I would have given up the first week. Transition into non dieting is not smooth. it feels uncomfortable. it is trial and error. it takes patience and persistance even though you feel completely gross. I don't even know how long i can keep it up. I can see that although I may stop struggling with bingeing, I will definitely struggle with not getting pulled back into the restriction (my true addiction). Also, the trade off of not bingeing will mean accepting not being perfect and for some people it will mean possibly not being as thin as you want. If I decide perfection is more important, I guess I will have to let go of how wonderful it feels to be free of an eating disorder. My point is, I don't think you can have both.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:22 AM   #169
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A question about the meal timing thing, and one thing I've wondered about. I'm a teacher and have a very inflexible daytime schedule. I often get hungry before lunchtime but have no time/space for a snack. One of the things about portioning out lunch in advance is that, no matter how hungry I am, I know I eat the "right" amount of food at lunch to satisfy without being overfull. If I went off huger signals alone I would overeat.

SouthernMaven, BingeFree and others who have made this switch, how do you adapt to inflexible eating times? Or to meal planning in general?
JenMusic - You've asked an excellent question.

Since my schedule is completely flexible, I'm not faced with your situation. But it's funny; I've actually thought about that, since I know so many people are. My ideas about how I would handle it are right in line with what bingefree wrote. I completely relate to what bingefree wrote regarding the absence of the fear of hunger, which is one of the side benefits of this WOE that I did not anticipate but am so very grateful for.

For example, yesterday I had an errand to run and it was 45 minutes to the location. I left my house about 11:30 am (I hadn't eaten anything, but that's typical for me) and I was not hungry. In the past I would not have even considered going that far that close to "lunchtime" without eating something - even if I wasn't hungry. I would have eaten something in "anticipation" of hunger. Yesterday was very different; when I arrived at my destination I was feeling some hunger, but no panic. Took care of business, had thought about going to another location which was also about 45 minutes away (I live in a major metropolitan area) but heard something on the news about traffic ties up near that location due to a suspicious package, so I decided to put that off for another day. Headed back to my area of town and by the time I got back it was around 1:30 pm. By that time it was definitely time for me to find something to eat, so I did. (and I didn't eat again, even though I didn't go to bed until 11:00 pm)

But for me to even CONSIDER driving yet another 45 minutes to another location without stopping to eat - even though by that time I was pretty hungry - would have been unthinkable in the past. I would have been obsessing over where to eat, what to eat, how many calories, if it would satisfy me, what then would I eat for supper? and on, and on, and on. Yesterday it was "Humm, do I want to fight that traffic or not? Uh, no. I'll save that errand for another day." What and when I would eat was not in the forefront of my mind at all, because I knew that eventually I'd eat, and that when I did I would be able to eat as much as I wanted to satisfy my hunger. It's a huge mental shift.

If I were in your situation - and keep in mind, this is what I would do, not telling you what you should do - I'd pack a pretty substantial lunch, since I wouldn't know just how hungry I'd be at lunchtime. That way I would know I'd have enough to satisfy my hunger, regardless of its level. In the past, when I was restricting myself by dieting, it would be portioned out, as you have described yours as being. I also don't know what your lunch situation is - are you able to eat alone, are you with other teachers, or are you eating with your students? Each of these scenarios are going to impact how well you'll be able to practice mindful eating, and obviously eating alone is the ideal. Eating with other teachers isn't as good, but it can be done. Eating with your students would present the greatest challenge in this regard, but it can still be accomplished.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:37 AM   #170
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I think the only time in my life where i ever lost weight and kept it (most of it) off for a long time (about 10 months), i was probably doing "intuitive eating." Really i was not doing anything at all...i was in between jobs, traveling the world. I effortlessly went from the low 160s to the low 140s in the first month or two of traveling. I did not have access to a scale and really i didn't know i was losing weight (i didn't know until i got home at the end of the trip). In fact, i specifically remember thinking at times, "oh no, i'm probably gaining weight" and having that panicked feeling. Yet, most of that time, i remained sane, ate in restaurants at mealtimes, didn't count calories (at least not to any degree of accuracy, although i probably tried to guess them), and lost weight. So i'm trying to evoke that time again. Which is to say...it's ok to worry about weight gain a LITTLE bit, which i did--but just to not let it rule my life.
I've heard and read so many stories like this. When you give yourself complete freedom from dieting and restriction, regardless of the reason, it almost always follows that you will lose weight. I had this same experience when I went to Europe...no worries about food, coupled with lots of walking, and the lbs just came off naturally.

As I've mentioned several times in previous posts, the most unrestricted time in my life was between the ages of 28-48. I'd had my first child, I was very thin and nursing (and busy!) and weight was no longer an issue. I never gave food a second thought. After my second child was born (at age 30) I was REALLY thin - underweight, actually. Every once in a very great while I'd think back on when I was obsessing about weight, and I'd wonder why my weight was no longer a problem. But then the thought would disappear as quickly as it came. When I began putting on a little menopausal weight, I panicked. That's when the dieting/restricting cycle began again, and it continued until I'd finally had enough.

Between the ages of 28-48 I was eating intuitively - I just didn't realize it. Because I went into that phase of my life being a normal weight, that gave me the freedom to no longer diet. And the absence of extra weight was a result of that decision. It's so very simple, yet I never realized it - even after I returned to diet h***.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:48 AM   #171
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Surfergirl - I think it's awsome you are venturing into the non diet thing. I have to say though, I think you will give up maybe if you keep weighing yourself and counting calories. It means you are trying to hold onto the control,
When I first began this WOE, I literally decided in the middle of the day - in the middle of a meal, actually - that I'd had enough of this nonsense. So I wasn't really prepared to incorporate every aspect of intuitive eating right away, and I think most people aren't. Each person has to sort of "ease" into it.

So surfergirl, I do agree with veggiedaze, although I also understand and sympathize with your plight. You have to do things on your own time and your own schedule, but be aware that in order to really make peace with food (and ultimately that's what this is all about) you need to let go of the "tools of control." Calorie counting and the scale definitely fall into that category.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:06 AM   #172
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But for me to even CONSIDER driving yet another 45 minutes to another location without stopping to eat - even though by that time I was pretty hungry - would have been unthinkable in the past. I would have been obsessing over where to eat, what to eat, how many calories, if it would satisfy me, what then would I eat for supper? and on, and on, and on. Yesterday it was "Humm, do I want to fight that traffic or not? Uh, no. I'll save that errand for another day." What and when I would eat was not in the forefront of my mind at all, because I knew that eventually I'd eat, and that when I did I would be able to eat as much as I wanted to satisfy my hunger. It's a huge mental shift.

If I were in your situation - and keep in mind, this is what I would do, not telling you what you should do - I'd pack a pretty substantial lunch, since I wouldn't know just how hungry I'd be at lunchtime. That way I would know I'd have enough to satisfy my hunger, regardless of its level. In the past, when I was restricting myself by dieting, it would be portioned out, as you have described yours as being. I also don't know what your lunch situation is - are you able to eat alone, are you with other teachers, or are you eating with your students? Each of these scenarios are going to impact how well you'll be able to practice mindful eating, and obviously eating alone is the ideal. Eating with other teachers isn't as good, but it can be done. Eating with your students would present the greatest challenge in this regard, but it can still be accomplished.
Southerenmaven - I am finding this about the hunger thing. I am really not fearing being hugry at all anymore. When I get hungry at work and it's not breaktime yet I don't feel all panicked like before because I know eventually I'll be eating and I can eat as much or whatever I want. Bingefree talked about this too. It really is true. All of a sudden hunger doesn't seem like a bad thing and you actually find it comforting because it means your body is working properly.

Also, it is really funny you say you would bring a really substantial lunch because you would not know how hungry you would be. That is EXACTLY what I have been doing the last 3 weeks. I am literally bringing tonnes and tonnes of food with me to work, way more than I could ever possibly eat because then I know I can eat as much as I want and also there are different options so I can choose whatever I feel like. Usually I go for the sames things (unless there are donuts ha ha), but somehow doing that makes me know there are no limitations and doesn't make me feel confined by any preset amount that may not satisfy. And the funny thing is I don't think I am actually eating more than before. It's just the freedom of it all that is amazing.

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Old 04-18-2013, 10:45 AM   #173
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Southerenmaven - I am finding this about the hunger thing. I am really not fearing being hugry at all anymore. When I get hungry at work and it's not breaktime yet I don't feel all panicked like before because I know eventually I'll be eating and I can eat as much or whatever I want. Bingefree talked about this too. It really is true. All of a sudden hunger doesn't seem like a bad thing and you actually find it comforting because it means your body is working properly.
Agreed! I can't ever remember "embracing hunger" before in my life, but that's the best way to describe how I feel about it now. No matter how hungry I may be, I never panic, because I know that eventually I'll eat. I try not to get too hungry, obviously, because there's always a danger that I'll eat too fast and therefore eat too much, but if I'm in a situation where I can't get any food right away, it's no longer a source of worry and frustration.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #174
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I've come to the conclusion that hunger is something that I will have to face. I've been "facing the hunger" for a while now. I have good days and I have bad days. But I know that being hungry is something I will have to get used to until my appetite/stomach capacity shrinks. I really think that hunger is something we dieters do our best to avoid and try to find tricks to fix it but I think we're missing the point. We're intolerant of hunger while I believe that skinnier people are ok with it. Ask any model and she'll tell you she's been hungry for years.
Very well said.

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Old 04-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #175
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http://bingeeatingtherapy.com/2011/1...-binge-eating/

Just another link I found interesting with 20 tips to stop binge eating. One is to quit dieting. One is to embrace intuitive eating. One talks about mindful eating and southernmaven has touched on that but I think it is really huge. When I was eating the donuts as mentioned before, when I first started it was kind of in a frenzy, but then I focussed on really savouring it and thinking about the taste and eating it slowly. It was suddenly so much more satisfying.

Also, one of the tips says to eat by the clock at first if intuitive eating is hard to embrace. Bingefree suggested this too. So I would agree this is a good place to start for someone like surfergirl who really isn't getting those physical hunger/full signals. Probably a little structure in the beginning can get those signals flowing again. the shiv had it right on I think when she said intuitive eating might not be something you can immediately jump into the way you can with calorie counting.

Wannabeskinny - about what you said about having to face hunger in which freelance agreed, I think this brings back the point to me that by giving up dieting/retrictions, hunger doesn't seem like a negative thing anymore. By not being restrictive, I really don't mind being hungry and the panic of "When can I eat freakout" just isn't there anymore. I am definitely experiencing this and bingefree and southernmaven talked about this same feeling. It's really wonderful when hunger actually feels good and not bad.

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Old 04-18-2013, 11:23 AM   #176
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It's kind of sad how even "eating without a diet or plan" or "eating bigger meals closer together" have been given names and guidelines - Intuitive Eating, Intermittent Fasting...
Totally!!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #177
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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...d-binge-eating

I really enjoyed this article. It is really objective and does not try to prove one way or another. What really caught my attention was the paragraph that states that the perception of deprivation, not neccesarily biological deprivation may be the driving force of bingeing. It rings so true to me because I rejected that restriction was causing my bingeing because I knew I was eating enough and not in a calorie deficit. That was my biggest reason for rejecting the notion that my restrictions had anything to do with the bingeing. Again I will reiterate krampus' notion of psychological starvation.


Also, this paragraph from the article

"It's important, of course, to arrange meals and meal times to avoid becoming ravenous and confusing the appetite. But to avoid "rebound" or "compensation" eating, you'll probably need to do more than that. Perceiving food changes as choices, not forced deprivations, helps. Perceiving yourself as one who can choose, and not one whose diet is dictated by others-doctors, spouses, the culture-helps a lot, too. Extremely important, too, for anyone making dietary changes: separating out hunger that calms frayed nerves from hunger that signals bodily need."

I just love that last sentence where again it touches on being able to see hunger as a positive.

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Old 04-18-2013, 12:39 PM   #178
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That's been my observation as well.

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freelance - you wrote this in response to southernmaven's post that observed that natuarlly thin people don't mind being hungry. Could it be that this is all a paradox; that maybe they are not "naturally thin"; that maybe they are just non dieters that don't have the fear of hunger that dieting induces? Could it be that non dieting makes them "naturally thin" as opposed to simply liking hunger?
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:54 PM   #179
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I don't think you're being snarky at all. I question methods of non dieting myself because I perceive it to mean that we have to snap our fingers and become a different person. We all know people who are naturally thin/fit, who don't worry about food or calories, who intrinsically eat the right amount of food at the right time and don't get led around by their cravings. I want to be like those people, I want to "not diet too" we want to be "naturally thin" but the truth is I am not. I've tried pretending to be like them hoping that the fake-it-till-you-make-it-method works. But I can't do it.

Disordered eating is a real concept, not something you can just wish away. I strive to reach the happy balance between binging and restrictive dieting but like you say, even one little tiny change feels restrictive! Even if I decide that instead of eating a whole bag of cheetos I'll have a large bowl instead even that feels like a noose, like I'm policing myself. And then that restrictive behavior leads to binging. I love the concept of not dieting but I love the concept of losing weight more. Those 2 will never reconcile in my life, for others yes, for me I can't imagine it.

Wannabeskinny - This post has a whole new meaning to me now. When you talk about these so called "naturally thin people we all know who don't count calories and know just what to eat and when". The whole reason they are like that is because they do not TRY to be like that. They never got into the restrict/binge cycle to begin with. I don't think they ever valued their thinness more than their well being. Pretending to be like that and faking it does not work. I've seen that in the last few weeks where at the beginning I was faking it and getting frusterated. You have to actually let go of the control and trying, something that cannot be achieved if weight loss is your main goal. You said in the second paragraph you will never reconcile this. You love the concept of losing weight more. That's how I was all through my twenties (except not with losing weight but eating "perfectly"). That's why it was impossible. It's only now that I see an entire decade is completely lost to me and I am losing another one where being perfect isn't more important. You can't make yourself get there, you have to hit rock bottom. For southernmavin it was being 61 and seeing all the years lost. For me it is being 32 and seeing I lost my entire 20s which should have been my best years and foreshadowing losing the next decade and the next. You can't make yourself not care about losing weight. It means your not at the bottom yet. It won't come first anymore once you hit bottom.

My sister was able to recover sooner than me because she hit rock bottom first. She was bingeing and vomitting several times per day. She didn't want to live anymore. It was actually a blessing that her eating disorder was so bad because it allowed her to hit rock bottom much sooner. My bingeing was only once a week. It wasn't bad enough to give up being perfect. Hers was bad enough to give up weight loss. I think that's why alot of dieters whose eating disorders arn't super extreme tend to perpetuate the disorder for so many years whereas people who are near death don't have a choice, they must give up their obsession. they know if they don't they will die.

Disclaimer: I am directing this post to people caught in the binge/restrict cycle who were normal eaters at one time.

Last edited by veggiedaze : 04-18-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by SouthernMaven View Post
JenMusic - You've asked an excellent question.

Since my schedule is completely flexible, I'm not faced with your situation. But it's funny; I've actually thought about that, since I know so many people are. My ideas about how I would handle it are right in line with what bingefree wrote. I completely relate to what bingefree wrote regarding the absence of the fear of hunger, which is one of the side benefits of this WOE that I did not anticipate but am so very grateful for.

For example, yesterday I had an errand to run and it was 45 minutes to the location. I left my house about 11:30 am (I hadn't eaten anything, but that's typical for me) and I was not hungry. In the past I would not have even considered going that far that close to "lunchtime" without eating something - even if I wasn't hungry. I would have eaten something in "anticipation" of hunger. Yesterday was very different; when I arrived at my destination I was feeling some hunger, but no panic. Took care of business, had thought about going to another location which was also about 45 minutes away (I live in a major metropolitan area) but heard something on the news about traffic ties up near that location due to a suspicious package, so I decided to put that off for another day. Headed back to my area of town and by the time I got back it was around 1:30 pm. By that time it was definitely time for me to find something to eat, so I did. (and I didn't eat again, even though I didn't go to bed until 11:00 pm)

But for me to even CONSIDER driving yet another 45 minutes to another location without stopping to eat - even though by that time I was pretty hungry - would have been unthinkable in the past. I would have been obsessing over where to eat, what to eat, how many calories, if it would satisfy me, what then would I eat for supper? and on, and on, and on. Yesterday it was "Humm, do I want to fight that traffic or not? Uh, no. I'll save that errand for another day." What and when I would eat was not in the forefront of my mind at all, because I knew that eventually I'd eat, and that when I did I would be able to eat as much as I wanted to satisfy my hunger. It's a huge mental shift.

If I were in your situation - and keep in mind, this is what I would do, not telling you what you should do - I'd pack a pretty substantial lunch, since I wouldn't know just how hungry I'd be at lunchtime. That way I would know I'd have enough to satisfy my hunger, regardless of its level. In the past, when I was restricting myself by dieting, it would be portioned out, as you have described yours as being. I also don't know what your lunch situation is - are you able to eat alone, are you with other teachers, or are you eating with your students? Each of these scenarios are going to impact how well you'll be able to practice mindful eating, and obviously eating alone is the ideal. Eating with other teachers isn't as good, but it can be done. Eating with your students would present the greatest challenge in this regard, but it can still be accomplished.
SouthernMaven - Thank you for this post! It's kind of like you're in my head, and it's a little spooky.

I'll be thinking about what you've written. It's a good perspective to have.

BingeFree (and others) - About being bothered by hunger, which many have talked about here. Hunger doesn't generally bother me precisely because I time my meals (or rather my mealtimes, by virtue of my schedule, are so structured). What I mean is that I don't care if I'm hungry as long as I know that I get to eat at 12:10. Or 6:30, or whatever.

But, to clarify what y'all are saying, that's not what you mean by not being bothered by hunger, right? I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying.
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