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Old 04-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #31
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Wait, is intuitive eating different from stopping when you feel stuffed and it all starts to taste the same?
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #32
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Intuitive eating sounds very appealing to me conceptually. I wish I trusted my intuitions, but I don't. More precisely, I don't think my intuitions are compatible with staying slim, and right now I'd like to stay slim. (This may change in the future...)

To give an example: Last weekend I stayed at a B&B. For breakfast they served yogurt with berries, two rye-bread toasts and butter, scrambled eggs, fried tomatoes, a large piece of smoked trout, and orange juice. I had it all (I figure about 1,000 calories) and felt GREAT, not stuffed at all. It felt like just the right amount and balance of food. Later that morning I went for a 5-mile run and had lots of energy.

I fear that if I ate intuitively, all or most of my meals would look like the above. This means I'd be eating about 3,000 cals per day, which means I'd start gaining weight even if I exercise. I might settle at a higher weight, like 200 pounds, but I don't have the desire (or guts) to do that right now. See the problem?

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Old 04-02-2013, 09:42 PM   #33
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Also I am having an epiphany this morning and that is that I hold on to the belief that I "should be able to just want 1 cookie" and what I realized that even as a child i could eat quite a bit of these things in a sitting.
That's a great epiphany! Who says we "should" be able to crave just one cookie? We can't and that's OK.

I do think that people differ in their cravings for more, though. People like you and me are certainly common, but there are people out there who stop craving foods, even so-called addictive ones, after they've had a few bites. I know such people and they annoy me to no end.

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Old 04-02-2013, 10:24 PM   #34
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I am trying to learn intuitive eating. It seems so simple in theory but it is hard IMO!

I can read hunger cues, but can anybody give tips on how to read fullness cues? I am still relying on stopping when I "think" I should stop, or based on how many approximate calories I think I have eaten, which defeats the purpose of IE. probably because of my years of overeating, I don't seem to find that using the cue of being full when food stops tasting good. I'm afraid food still tastes good even after I have eaten a ton of it

I'm working on stopping the diet cycle and eleven that just having a 3 meal, 2 snack/day plan has helped me. But I worry that I will not master intuitive eating.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #35
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bingefree - I love reading your posts. They are inspiring.

If you don't have a blog, I hope that you would consider starting one. I would be your first subscriber. Seriously. You have a great story to share that I think so many people would benefit from reading.

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Originally Posted by bingefree2013 View Post
With re: to overeating.
I don't practice intuitive eating - that's what led me to my last severe restriction in the first place (trying not to eat past satisfaction which led to too little food, fear of fullness, guilt if I hit fullness levels, trying to obsessively rate hunger on a numeric scale, and extreme weight loss because I was essentially eating too little overall stopping before fullness; a diet within a non-diet), but the principles are similar to how I eat. The point is, I don't label how I eat with any program, just like I don't label how I breathe and urinate.

Hope that helps.
Thank you so, so much for this... I understand what you're saying about the "rating hunger on a scale" idea posited in IE. When I started it, my mind completely rejected the idea of assigning a number to my hunger or satiety, as I believe that automatically put it in the classification of a diet. So now I'm finding I eat until past full but not stuffed. I've always been able to leave food on my plate (especially in restaurants) but I think it really needs to be because you just KNOW that you cannot eat another bite. I believe you wrote in another post that you get to the point that the food suddenly becomes repulsive. I've had that feeling too, though not on a regular basis.

Both hunger and satiety are so individual. I don't think they can be described accurately. That's why I maintain that IE has to be what works for you and for no one else.

I can understand how you lost weight if you were stopping too soon, which I think is a danger we can fall into with IE. Some days I eat and I know it's not enough, and that's the day I may end up eating more than I would have had I just allowed myself to eat more when I needed to.

I don't weigh myself but I know I'm not shedding weight at a rapid pace, that's for sure! I also feel fortunate that I was able to embrace, pretty early on, the idea that I may not drop another pound. I call it my "the h*** with it" moment. It was very liberating. Don't you think you just HAVE to let go of that idea in order to make peace with food? I do.

Certainly, though, the way you eat is truly intuitive - although I respect your decision not to classify it in any way. I believe that's very wise. And by sharing this with us, you have shown that it is entirely possible to reach a point where food has absolutely no control of you. How wonderful that is!
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:41 AM   #36
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Intuitive eating sounds very appealing to me conceptually. I wish I trusted my intuitions, but I don't. More precisely, I don't think my intuitions are compatible with staying slim, and right now I'd like to stay slim. (This may change in the future...)
If you're not willing to take the chance that you may gain weight practicing IE, then I believe you are correct not to try it.

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To give an example: Last weekend I stayed at a B&B. For breakfast they served yogurt with berries, two rye-bread toasts and butter, scrambled eggs, fried tomatoes, a large piece of smoked trout, and orange juice. I had it all (I figure about 1,000 calories) and felt GREAT, not stuffed at all. It felt like just the right amount and balance of food. Later that morning I went for a 5-mile run and had lots of energy.

I fear that if I ate intuitively, all or most of my meals would look like the above. This means I'd be eating about 3,000 cals per day, which means I'd start gaining weight even if I exercise. I might settle at a higher weight, like 200 pounds, but I don't have the desire (or guts) to do that right now. See the problem?
Oh, that breakfast sounds great! If it had been about 10:00 am or later, I could have eaten most of that...but not all. Some of the trout would have likely been left behind (as well as the orange juice - I love it, but my esophagus does NOT!). And then I would not have been able to eat another bite until around 5:00 pm or so....another full meal, perhaps, depending on how much exercise I'd gotten that day. Or maybe just a bowl of cereal or a sandwich....possibly even a dessert in place of a meal, if my rare sweet tooth kicked in. My point is, that meal would have filled me up for 7 or 8 hours, leaving me with ZERO desire to eat anything before then. And I could not have eaten it before 10:00 am, later if I'd slept later. No way could I eat three meals like that in one day.

freelance, do you mind sharing what you DID eat for the rest of the day and whether or not it filled you up? Do you feel that you could have eaten that same meal for lunch and dinner? If so, then no doubt the practice of IE would probably result in some weight gain for you. So if that is what your body is telling you and you are not willing to take that chance, you are smart to stay on your current plan.

You'll absolutely know if and when the time has arrived to change the way you eat. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - IE is not for everyone. It is not a diet, nor is it a guarantee of weight loss. It's a way of making peace with food. That's it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #37
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I am trying to learn intuitive eating. It seems so simple in theory but it is hard IMO!

I can read hunger cues, but can anybody give tips on how to read fullness cues? I am still relying on stopping when I "think" I should stop, or based on how many approximate calories I think I have eaten, which defeats the purpose of IE. probably because of my years of overeating, I don't seem to find that using the cue of being full when food stops tasting good. I'm afraid food still tastes good even after I have eaten a ton of it

I'm working on stopping the diet cycle and eleven that just having a 3 meal, 2 snack/day plan has helped me. But I worry that I will not master intuitive eating.
KittyKatFan - IE does take some practice. As I stated in my previous post to bingefree2013, I do think it's basically impossible to describe what fullness really is, as it is different for everyone. For example, I've had times when I've thought I was "full" according to the various descriptions I've read from the IE "experts," but discovered later on that day that I wasn't full at all, and ate things that weren't as nutritious as the food that I rejected. I also noticed that those were the days I fell into the trap of eating in front of the TV, which is a way I use food to comfort me...even though I was probably actually hungry when I ate it. So now I'm concentrating on eating bigger portions at meals, and I'm discovering that when I do that I usually eat only two meals, with basically no snacking in between. That's my intuition AND it's also the way I generally ate whenever I wasn't dieting. It's what is natural for ME. So when I do eat the big meals I eat until I'm full...maybe past full...but I don't eat until I get that stuffed feeling that I used to get. Comfortable fullness, not uncomfortable fullness. If that makes any sense.

For example, yesterday morning I ate a banana. That's it...I wanted just a little something to eat, and that really appealed to me. I had a very busy morning and early afternoon that didn't allow me to eat, so around 1:30 pm I was pretty hungry, as you can imagine. I was without a car but was really wanting my favorite meal from a local restaurant. Problem is, it's 3.5 mile round trip. But I wanted that meal very badly, and goodness knows the exercise wasn't going to kill me, so I walked. It's 3.5 miles up and down hills, so I got a pretty good workout. But it was a beautiful day. I got there about 2:30 pm, ate a wonderful meal of a 5 oz sirloin and wedge salad, asparagus, rutabagas, and ranch dressing. Unsweetened iced tea to drink (3 glasses!) and a cup of black coffee and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert ... compliments of the house. A wonderful meal complimented by a nice visit with the always attentive staff - obviously not a busy time. Only customers at the time were myself and a three-person party that had already finished and were just visiting among themselves (I always eat in the bar).

Needless to say, that was a BIG meal and it filled me up! I ate nothing for the rest of the day.

Now it's around 9:30 am the next morning and I'm thinking I'll be eating in an hour or so...probably cereal and that last banana I have. Right now that sounds very appealing!

This probably isn't something you want to hear, but I'm on another forum with intuitive eaters and one lady said it took her 13 months to really master IE. Maybe it's just that I came to it at a point in my life where I was completely, totally, and thoroughly disgusted with dieting, but I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what I need to be doing. I'm listening to my body more and more, and I really don't think any person can TELL another person exactly when they should start or stop eating. The only thing you really have to be aware of is the difference between true hunger and mouth hunger - I think that's a valid concept, at least for people who are chronic dieters. They both exist, and frankly I think it's okay to honor both by eating, but eventually you should be able to move away from the mouth hunger and eat only when true hunger strikes. Learning the difference is a process, I believe. Easier for some than for others.

My biggest problem has always been a fear of hunger. IE has completely eliminated that for me, as I know I can eat WHENEVER I'm hungry. And I can stay hungry for awhile because I know I can eat AS MUCH AS I NEED TO SATISFY THAT HUNGER.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:46 AM   #38
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Wait, is intuitive eating different from stopping when you feel stuffed and it all starts to taste the same?
krampus - you'll see a lot of the IE proponents say to eat when you reach satiety, which according to many is simply "full." Well, I think that's very hard to describe in a blanket way. I'm more in the camp of bingefree...eat until the thought of eating more makes you sick - although I don't react that way. I would say I eat until I am very full but NOT uncomfortable. At first I didn't do that, but I found that I wasn't really satisfied until I ate to obvious fullness. Left to my own devices, I generally don't overeat at meals. I think most of my weight gain came from mindless snacking, particularly at night.

I believe I have one advantage over some people in the sense that I had a significant time in my life (other than childhood) where I was a normal eater. It was a 20 year span from after the birth of my first child until I started entering menopause. So I can reach back to that time in my life and remember how I ate...which was without a care in the world. I was a normal weight (actually underweight for a portion of that time - nursing babies) and ate intuitively, although I didn't know it had a name! Never gave food a second thought. I think learning to eat intuitively has to be more difficult for a person who has lived with disordered eating most, or all, of their lives.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #39
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I'm curious about this too, because like many of you, dieting makes me binge. Period. So for about 6 months recently, i gave up dieting completely. I just wanted to get away from disordered eating and obsessing about food. Well, for the first couple of months, it actually worked really well. I actually didn't overeat and i actually lost a few pounds. Then, gradually, i started to overeat again...i never went on a true binge, because that only happens when i diet, but i definitely overate. It got worse especially over the holidays. I gained back several pounds and finally decided that i couldn't just eat "naturally." So i started dieting again.

If i ate naturally, i'd probably gain a couple more pounds, and probably settle at around 165 (i'm guessing). (Or who knows...maybe it would slowly creep up to 170). But i'm NOT ok with that. So i diet. But when i diet, i binge. I feel like there is no solution to all of this

But, veggiedaze, if you could not diet and maintain at a desirable weight, i would take that and RUN. Seriously. If i could even maintain at 155 without dieting, i would totally settle for that. In fact, that would be my dream. 165 is only 10 pounds above that, but i just feel so weighed down at that weight...it's just not a good weight for me.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #40
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kittykatfan - I think maybe you are overthinking things. You are looking for external rules to dictate things. And anything external that tells you what to do is a form of dieting. I have read a little about intuitive eating now, but mostly I am just trying to eat when I feel hungry which is not completely natural for me after so many years of disordered eating so I am really looking for the physical hunger signals. Sometimes I expect them to be there and they are not, and sometimes I don't think they should be there and they are. And I am eating what feels satisfying to me and I believe the level of fullness varies. When I am at work I don't want to feel absolutely stuffed because I have to continue working afterwards and being too full makes me feel sick when i have to run around all over the place doing my job. Also if I am too full I just feel like taking a nap which does not go well with working. At other times I am eating to probably a higher level of fullness. I dont think it has to be the same every time. trying to make it the same every time seems like dieting. Remember that if you eat a few extra bites one time and a few less another time, the idea is the body will regulate itself and be more hungry the next time you feel it's time to eat. It should all balance out in the end. Anyone elses thoughts on this?

bingefree2013 - thank you for your story. you are right that i am sure you benefit from having been a normal eater up until your late times as a reference to look back on. And same with southernmaven. For me I have never been a normal eater as an adult, just til about probably 12 or 13 years of age. But it's better than nothing. Bingefree2013 it is wonderful that you don't feel you overeat ever. Even when I was a normal eater I overate at times like haloween or christmas dinner etc. Of course it would be wonderful to get to where you are where you never ever overindulge, I would be quite happy with overindulging from time to time like I did before my disordered eating set in if it meant never binging. Maybe once (or if) I ever get there I could continue on and get where you are. Maybe my overeating at certain times as a child was because as a child you are not atually free to eat whatever you want all the time since your parents are the ones providing food. If my parents kept haloween sized amounts of candy around all the time it is likely I would not have ever overindulged on haloween. Or if christmas dinner was available to me every day if i wanted i would likely never have overeaten on christmas.

Southernmaven - thanks for all your input. it is wonderful to get the opinion from someone who is farther into this journey than I am but still somewhat new. I have read through alot of that thread carol posted and it is nice to see the thought patterns involved. It helps me not to get discouraged.

wannabeskinny - thanks also for your post. I think we all want to get where eating "healthy" and exercising becomes second nature; something we just do like brushing our teeth. However, I'm not sure you can really compare the two things so easily like that. Things we need to survive in an evolutionary sense are enjoyable to us. Eating is enjoyable, sex is enjoyable, remaining at the proper body temperature is enjoyable etc. Through evolution these things had to be enjoyable otherwise we would not do thing. People who did not enjoy eating died out. People who did not like to mate, their genes did not live on. People way back in the day though only had a life expectancy of around 40, a while before teeth rotted away. Also, perfect dental hygene is not associated with our and society's sense of self worth the way weight and the perfect body is. If we overanalyzed our way of brushing our teeth and stressed that we weren't doing enough, that too would likely become not natural and a problem. My step mother for example has a fear of losing her teeth in old age. She went to the dentist and they told her she needs to floss more because she is having bone loss around her teeth. So she became an obsessive flosser and if she went somewhere and forgot her floss her number one mission was to get to the store for floss as soon as possible. it really stressed her out. she went back to the dentist about 6 months later and the dentist then told her she is flossing way too much and brushing way too agressively and is actually damaging her teeth even more. Just another example how overobsessing and trying to control too much is detrimental.

And freelancemomma - do you suppose that if all that stuff was available to you every morning and you gave yourself all the freedom to eat whatever you wanted that you would still be eating the exact same amount? I have taken a few trips to europe and during those times I said to myself to just not worry about my diet because I knew it would take away from the experience and not allow me to enjoy such an opportunity. I remember the first week staying at a place where every morning they provided a huge breakfast buffet full of freshly made european delicacies, fresh out of the oven pastries, heaps of homemade preserves, pretty much everything you could possibly imagine. The first couple days me and the person I was with had pretty large plates wanting to try everything. Eating past fullness taking in all the new flavours etc. And on those days we didn't even want lunch, and didn't even really want too much for dinner. By the third day we both took much less for breakfast because it wasn't new and exciting anymore. And by the end of the week we were both just choosing a couple things. However, I do believe if I was in fear of the calories and panicked about what I would do the following day, I would have become overwhelmed with trying to hold back and would have continued to overindulge every morning. And that is what happened in my early twenties in the earlier stages of my disordered eating when I went to mexico with my mother and stayed at an all inclusive. I tried so hard the whole time to stick to my calories and overate the whole time and came home heavier. On my trips to europe when I don't limit myself, I always come home either not have gained any weight or a couple times actually lost weight to my sheer amazement.

And as for me things are still going okay and I am still trucking along. I haven't binged. I know though I still have a long ways to go in fully letting go of the control when it comes to types of food. But at least now I am not counting my calories and going by how my body feels, and i do feel my stress level decrease overall although there is still the stress involved with my decision to let go of the control. I think if I do binge it will be because I am wavering with that decision or because of the control I am having trouble letting go of over certain types of food and trying to put external limits on the amounts of foods like saying "two cookies only". That is my biggest obstacle. But I am pretty sure that just by letting go of the calorie counting tracking etc. that my binging will be less and I can already see that happening. The binging or urge to binge will probably not completey go away until I can get over that second part.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:53 PM   #41
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But, veggiedaze, if you could not diet and maintain at a desirable weight, i would take that and RUN. Seriously. If i could even maintain at 155 without dieting, i would totally settle for that. In fact, that would be my dream. 165 is only 10 pounds above that, but i just feel so weighed down at that weight...it's just not a good weight for me.
Surfergirl - I think you have the wrong idea with me. I do maintain a desirable weight but I ALWAYS DIET. And I am miserable and have an eating disorder which is binging. I would not have believed I could stay at a desirable weight without dieting if it weren't for my twin sister who mainains an even lower weight and does not diet. I would have just said, some people can maintain a low weight without dieting but not me, I have to diet becuase of my genes or whatever other excuse. But I cannot use genes as an excuse. My twin has the same genes. She was just like me before, constantly dieting to maintain her thin frame. She gave it up though and decided to accept if that meant weighing more. And she did weigh more at first but slowly it came off. And by slowly I mean really really slowing. not the instant gratification of seeing the scale go down continually as it does with dieting until we are derailed by binging. she gave up the fear. I am working on that.

Also surfergirl, when you gained weight you got scared and didn't like the weight gain and so panicked and went back to dieting. If you had been more patient with yourself, not stressed about the weight gain, and worked through some other things maybe you would have lost weight again. I think the automatic response to diet as soon as we see weight creeping up does not allow us to really get to the root of things. Also I think to get over dieting we must accept weight flucuations without panicking. You viewed gaining weight back as evidence that not dieting doesn't work. Whereas you could have viewed the weight gain as part of the process.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:59 PM   #42
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krampus - you'll see a lot of the IE proponents say to eat when you reach satiety, which according to many is simply "full." Well, I think that's very hard to describe in a blanket way. I'm more in the camp of bingefree...eat until the thought of eating more makes you sick - although I don't react that way. I would say I eat until I am very full but NOT uncomfortable. At first I didn't do that, but I found that I wasn't really satisfied until I ate to obvious fullness. Left to my own devices, I generally don't overeat at meals. I think most of my weight gain came from mindless snacking, particularly at night.
Probably confuses people further because "satiety" and "fullness" can vary dramatically from person to person - I personally equate "full" with "do not want to eat more because I feel my stomach stretching."

I have never been a disordered eater minus the brief stint with binging/restricting, just a poor eater from childhood until about 3 years ago. My diet was probably 80% starchy carbs and 20% cheese and my meal staples were bagels, fettucine Alfredo, various other pastas, cereal, pizza and fast food. I reprogrammed my palate and became highly aware of the physiological effects of food I eat and now I don't think I would want to return to that way of eating.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #43
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Surfergirl - I think you have the wrong idea with me. I do maintain a desirable weight but I ALWAYS DIET. And I am miserable and have an eating disorder which is binging. I would not have believed I could stay at a desirable weight without dieting if it weren't for my twin sister who mainains an even lower weight and does not diet. I would have just said, some people can maintain a low weight without dieting but not me, I have to diet becuase of my genes or whatever other excuse. But I cannot use genes as an excuse. My twin has the same genes. She was just like me before, constantly dieting to maintain her thin frame. She gave it up though and decided to accept if that meant weighing more. And she did weigh more at first but slowly it came off. And by slowly I mean really really slowing. not the instant gratification of seeing the scale go down continually as it does with dieting until we are derailed by binging. she gave up the fear. I am working on that.

Also surfergirl, when you gained weight you got scared and didn't like the weight gain and so panicked and went back to dieting. If you had been more patient with yourself, not stressed about the weight gain, and worked through some other things maybe you would have lost weight again. I think the automatic response to diet as soon as we see weight creeping up does not allow us to really get to the root of things. Also I think to get over dieting we must accept weight flucuations without panicking. You viewed gaining weight back as evidence that not dieting doesn't work. Whereas you could have viewed the weight gain as part of the process.
I see. I think maybe you are right. But i just can't let myself get to 165 (although i'm really close to that anyway). If it were just 10-15 pounds above my ideal weight...sure i'd be fine with that. But at 5'7," i think my DREAM ideal weight would be 135 (though i never expect to get to that)...and to settle for being 165 is just not ok.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #44
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It's okay surfergirl. I completely get where you are coming from. It's such a hard thing. It's the fear of being overweight or wanting too desperately to lose weight that keeps people from giving up the control. It's hard to let go of those fears even if we want to. I want to tell myself it's okay to let myself eat 12 cookies at a time if i really want to but deep down it's just not okay and i know right now i am lying to myself when i say I can. It keeps the fear in me. In the same way is it's not easy for you to say to yourself it's okay to be 165 because you know deep down it is not okay. These are the hurdles to get over for someone that wants to not diet. But maybe what it will take for you is to get down to 135 through rigorous dieting and realize you will not be suddenly happy. People always think they will get to their "goal weight" and suddenly they will be so happy about it they will not have disordered eating. But it's even worse because suddenly they realize the number doesn't solve anything. And suddenly they no longer even have a goal to look forward to. They just have the misery of the eating disorder. There is no instant gratification of seeing the scale go down, just the constant fear of hoping it doesn't go up.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #45
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yes krampus i think finding things that are "healthy" but you also enjoy goes a long way. I really do enjoy "healthy" food. It's the banning of the other stuff that causes the psycological damage.
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