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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #181
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no, you are right jenmusic that isn't what I think most people here mean when they are bothered by hunger. I think when people are bothered by hunger is when they are so hungry that they kind of panic because imagining having to wait until the next scheduled meal time and being unsatisfied with what they eat seems unbearable. And this often will trigger a binge in many because they will cave and have something but then feel so guilty they've gone off the plan. The guilt makes them binge because they feel like a failure. Then they start to really FEAR hunger because they are afraid they will binge.

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Old 04-18-2013, 06:42 PM   #182
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JenMusic, I second what veggidaze has said!

In the past, on "diets", I was feeding myself smaller portions than I actually needed to feel satisfied. So, being hungry brought with it a sense of deprivation.

So, on top of feeling hungry, it was the anticipation of the next meal being completely unsatisfying that made it worse.

Now, hungry = eat something. Before, it used to be hungry = a reminder of constant deprivation (and some perfect, idealistic idea of self-control that I could never live up to - compounding the guilt that was a constant companion on a diet).

That's why I used to be scared of hunger. It's a reminder of what I couldn't have. Now it's just a reminder of what I need.

There seems to be an unspoken consensus among many dieters that the more you deprive yourself, and the more hunger you can tolerate, the more disciplined and virtuous you are. Certain foods are labelled as bad, sinful, devilish... If you eat them you're "weak willed" or "lazy". Other foods are labelled as guilt-free, virtuous, angelic. It's crazy, the advertising... It's like the diet religion. Who can withstand temptation the longest and live virtuously in hunger? Who is in need of repentance for their sins in the name of cookies?

All this moralising around food sets you up to think hunger is a necessary evil.

I've totally gone off on a tangent here.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #183
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shiv, you have made excellent points. As I said before in another post, we treat food and eating like we treat sex: as something sinful but as a necessary evil for survival, but you better not enjoy it or do it too much or something is morally wrong with you. ESPECIALLY in regards to women, food and sex. We're not supposed to enjoy or find pleasure in any of the above but men are expected to have robust appetites and enjoy food and sex at their leisure, and women are supposed to barely eat to support bodily processes (even pregnancy weight is shamed by society), and if they actually LIKE sex...oh boy, what a tramp!

It's gross.

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Old 04-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #184
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Bingefree... YES! That is exactly it! Spot on
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:18 PM   #185
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for anyone who stopped dieting/restriction, can you explain how the transition went, how long it took to kind of get it, and your strategy on how you reintroduced foods you previously veiwed as bad and trigger foods (for those that binge).

Surfergirl - how's things going?

I am good still today. Still haven't binged and am really getting the hang of this. I am going for coffee with a friend in a couple days. I would used to dread having to resist all the goodies in coffee shops. Now I am looking forward to it. It is another opportunity to incorporate a previously banned food in public where it is easier. And I will enjoy it I know now and won't fear the food. This change in my mind is just unbelievable to me. I just didn't think it would be possible. And to think I was ready to give up just a couple days ago. I would tell anyone who is attempting this to be very patient. The mind shift takes a while and it can be so easy to feel it is useless and you won't ever feel any different and give up. I'm so happy I didn't give up. I just didn't even think about food at all today. Normally i am completely consumed by food thoughts. It's like I can actually have a life now

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Old 04-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #186
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I will definitely struggle with not getting pulled back into the restriction (my true addiction).
I think that was a great insight: identifying your true addiction as restricting rather than binging.

Regarding "eating the healthiest foods possible," my own view is that the connection between healthy eating and good health is not all that strong. So many other factors -- including genetic and unknown ones -- determine one's health that trying to eat 100% "clean" is just not worth the effort -- not to mention the fact that even the experts can't agree on what healthy nutrition actually entails.

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Old 04-19-2013, 12:02 AM   #187
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Could it be that non dieting makes them "naturally thin" as opposed to simply liking hunger?
I think there's more to it than the fact that they've never dieted. I'm not sure if naturally thin people actually "like" being hungry -- it's more that they don't notice it as much. A lot of them also dislike the feeling of fullness, whereas (in my experience) most people who struggle with weight have a high tolerance for it and even enjoy it.

At the most basic level, I think people vary widely in their attraction to food (just as they very in their attraction to sex, booze, etc.). You can see this variation in kids, long before they've started dieting. I realized this at age 8 when my best friend shared some Halloween candy with me that she'd kept in her desk drawer for 9 months. I asked her how she had been able to hang on to it for so long, and her response made it clear to me that it hadn't been a struggle for her. She simply didn't like food as much as I did.

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Old 04-19-2013, 12:35 AM   #188
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Veggiedaze--things are going well for me. But it's really too early to say. I mean, I basically transitioned from several days of binging (when I was still on my diet) to just not dieting in the last few days, which meant I just allowed myself to binge, sort of--it wasn't exactly binging because I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong, I was just eating what I wanted to eat. Today was the first day that I ate somewhat close to maintenance--the previous days I have been WELL over. Anyway, I don't think I have as much trouble stopping the restriction as some people do--I never really had any forbidden foods anyway.

Like I said before, I've been down this road before...and did fine for a few months but then started to freak out when I started to gain weight again. So, not sure how this time will be any different. The only difference is that i'm going to stick with set mealtimes. Who knows, maybe that will be sort of a natural way of regulating my eating that will in the end work for me.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:48 AM   #189
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Another thought about "intuitive" eating...I keep thinking about how I wish I could develop an aversion to certain foods because of their consequences (i'm sure there is a psychological term for this, but I don't know what it is). For example, I always feel bloated very soon after I eat anything extremely salty or greasy, so I've learned to not even like those foods very much. I like the taste of pizza, but to me it's just not worth the feeling I get after I eat it. I cannot say the same for carbs, however! The "aversion" part doesn't come until a day or more later, when I realize that they've made me gain weight. My mind doesn't associate carbs with that "icky" feeling because there is a time lag between eating them and the consequences showing up. So...not sure how to solve that problem. But that's my problem I think.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:16 AM   #190
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JenMusic, I second what veggidaze has said!

In the past, on "diets", I was feeding myself smaller portions than I actually needed to feel satisfied. So, being hungry brought with it a sense of deprivation.

So, on top of feeling hungry, it was the anticipation of the next meal being completely unsatisfying that made it worse.

Now, hungry = eat something. Before, it used to be hungry = a reminder of constant deprivation (and some perfect, idealistic idea of self-control that I could never live up to - compounding the guilt that was a constant companion on a diet).

That's why I used to be scared of hunger. It's a reminder of what I couldn't have. Now it's just a reminder of what I need.

There seems to be an unspoken consensus among many dieters that the more you deprive yourself, and the more hunger you can tolerate, the more disciplined and virtuous you are. Certain foods are labelled as bad, sinful, devilish... If you eat them you're "weak willed" or "lazy". Other foods are labelled as guilt-free, virtuous, angelic. It's crazy, the advertising... It's like the diet religion. Who can withstand temptation the longest and live virtuously in hunger? Who is in need of repentance for their sins in the name of cookies?

All this moralising around food sets you up to think hunger is a necessary evil.

I've totally gone off on a tangent here.
Not a necessary evil. But it is necessary and we can take away the evil label and call it a blessing instead. I am learning how to value hunger, I'm learning how to make it less important than I think it is. For years hunger has been a scary monster under the bed. You're willing to do anything, anything to placate it to make it go away! Hunger is not an emotion, it's just a physical feeling. It's not pain and that's important to understand. It's like the difference between being snuggled comfortable in a blanket or being sweaty hot. It's the difference between being lonely or being happy to have some solo time. It doesn't always have to be this bad thing, it can just be there. We're not in danger of starving for crying out loud, why do we act as if the world is about to end if we don't eat something?
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #191
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Veggiedaze--things are going well for me. But it's really too early to say. I mean, I basically transitioned from several days of binging (when I was still on my diet) to just not dieting in the last few days, which meant I just allowed myself to binge, sort of--it wasn't exactly binging because I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong, I was just eating what I wanted to eat. Today was the first day that I ate somewhat close to maintenance--the previous days I have been WELL over. Anyway, I don't think I have as much trouble stopping the restriction as some people do--I never really had any forbidden foods anyway.

Like I said before, I've been down this road before...and did fine for a few months but then started to freak out when I started to gain weight again. So, not sure how this time will be any different. The only difference is that i'm going to stick with set mealtimes. Who knows, maybe that will be sort of a natural way of regulating my eating that will in the end work for me.

surfergirl - well that's good that you are having a close to maintenance day. I think you are much ahead of me in that you have spent a fair amount of time not dieting before and that you don't have a hard time not restricting. For me it is all so foreign. My first days transitioning were not great either because everytime I tried eating a banned food I ate way too much of it. I think because you never had forbidden food it would make things easier.

You know, regarding how you gained weight before while not dieting, maybe what you can do is try making your environment encouraging to healthy eating (which you probably do anyway just thought I'd mention it). Like I'm not going to my particular friends house much now because everytime he pulls out the chips. I will not tell myself now I can't have anything if I want it, and because this is all so new to me I expect I will still overeat these things quite alot, so it's better for me just to not go there so often for the time being. I read an interesting article on long lasting weight loss and it said that willpower wasn't a good predictor of it (like what people have to rely on when dieting), and that the most powerful thing linked to weight loss was behavioural change like going out for dinner less or scheduling an activitiy during a time that someone is most likely to overeat. Those things don't require any kind of restraint or diet mentality.

Also, I think it really makes sense for you to have set mealtimes. I have been helped alot lately by different eating disorder websites and they pretty much all advocate set mealtimes in the beginning for that very reason of getting your bodys signals working again. I also read a recovery story from someone who struggled with bulimia for many years (I really relate to this disorder because my disorder is cyclical in nature where my restrictions are so so extreme) and she wrote that the key for her recovery was learning intuitive eating.

Anyhow, just hoping it goes well for you. I always write more than I need to and forget alot of the time that alot of people on this forum arn't nearly as disordered as I am and I am sure I tell them things they already know. Alot of what I write is to help me and get my thoughts out as well as hoping it might give someone an idea who is struggling that maybe they hadn't considered.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #192
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Another thought about "intuitive" eating...I keep thinking about how I wish I could develop an aversion to certain foods because of their consequences (i'm sure there is a psychological term for this, but I don't know what it is). For example, I always feel bloated very soon after I eat anything extremely salty or greasy, so I've learned to not even like those foods very much. I like the taste of pizza, but to me it's just not worth the feeling I get after I eat it. I cannot say the same for carbs, however! The "aversion" part doesn't come until a day or more later, when I realize that they've made me gain weight. My mind doesn't associate carbs with that "icky" feeling because there is a time lag between eating them and the consequences showing up. So...not sure how to solve that problem. But that's my problem I think.
ha ha, I loved this one because I have wished for this too. My aunt one time when she was younger was forced to eat a bowl of vegetable soup as a kid. She was sick and her mom just thought she was being difficult so wouldn't let her leave the table until she ate it. So she finally did but after she started vomitting like crazy. Her mom felt so bad for making her eat it, and after that she could never ever eat vegetable soup again. Even when she sees it she feels like she is gagging.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #193
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I think there's more to it than the fact that they've never dieted. I'm not sure if naturally thin people actually "like" being hungry -- it's more that they don't notice it as much. A lot of them also dislike the feeling of fullness, whereas (in my experience) most people who struggle with weight have a high tolerance for it and even enjoy it.

At the most basic level, I think people vary widely in their attraction to food (just as they very in their attraction to sex, booze, etc.). You can see this variation in kids, long before they've started dieting. I realized this at age 8 when my best friend shared some Halloween candy with me that she'd kept in her desk drawer for 9 months. I asked her how she had been able to hang on to it for so long, and her response made it clear to me that it hadn't been a struggle for her. She simply didn't like food as much as I did.

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Yes, you definitely have a point there. I also have memories of kids that were pretty uninterested in their haloween candy whereas I just scarfed it down. Also, I was making an observation with my dog as opposed to my sisters (I know dogs arn't humans but just thought it was interesting). With my dog, I keep a bowl of food out for her and she just eats sometimes and not very much. I only have to fill her bowl about once every 3 days and she just regulates her food herself. My sisters dog though, it doesn't matter how much food she puts out, the dog will eat the whole thing every time (and her dog is a tiny toy breed and mine is a larger dog). Sometimes when she comes over we forget to put my dogs food out of reach for her dog, and the dog will just start eating and eating and eating and will sometimes eat so much to the point it is actually sick and starts puking. It's really extreme how her dog is and we do joke that it appears to have a bad eating disorder. So if these kinds of things can happen with dogs I don't see why it couldn't happen with people. It is interesting though because dogs don't have body image issues or impose their own restrictions on themselves, yet can still have stome pretty weird eating behavours.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #194
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I think that was a great insight: identifying your true addiction as restricting rather than binging.

Regarding "eating the healthiest foods possible," my own view is that the connection between healthy eating and good health is not all that strong. So many other factors -- including genetic and unknown ones -- determine one's health that trying to eat 100% "clean" is just not worth the effort -- not to mention the fact that even the experts can't agree on what healthy nutrition actually entails.

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I really appreciate this response and would have to say I completely agree with you. The thing is though, I think this "healthy food" obsession with me is really an OCD kind of thing where you know it's not rational but you can't help it. There is a guy at my work who must read a hazardous materials label on every chemical bottle 3 times through completely before using it. He has worked there for 30 years using the same chemicals and knows the hazards inside out and backwards, yet he absolutely must read those labels each time and 3 times! He knows it's crazy. but he still must do it.

Also, you mentioned that even experts can't agree on what healthy nutrition actually entails, and I will say that this always creates such a dilema for me. Believe me, I've laid awake at night debating whether coffee was good or bad. It absolutely makes me crazy when there are conflicting opinions regarding certain foods. Wine is another one I stress over, as well as whether or not people should take vitamins. I know it's so crazy.

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Old 04-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #195
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Wine is another one I stress over, as well as whether or not people should take vitamins. I know it's so crazy.
As long as you don't have alcoholic tendencies, I say enjoy your wine! Life's too short.

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