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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 05-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #436
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Originally Posted by veggiedaze View Post
Just a thought provoking question: what is a "craving"

I am feeling more and more a craving is just a jusitification to listen to our bingeing desire (addictive voice according to Jack Trimpey or animal brain according to Kathryn Hansen-autor of brain over bingge).

I will explain in the following post .
I read your following post and looked into it further.

There have been some studies that show that there are two types of cravings - physical craving and psychological craving.

"Craving for food" falls into the psychological craving territory because food is not an addictive drug. Apparently, cigarettes are not true addictions as well as they fall within the group of items that people crave for out of habit.

Since it is merely a psychological craving, most who crave for food find it pleasurable when they eat. That's where the emotions come in. If they don't eat (or if they don't stop eating), the body releases stress hormones that causes pain unless the person start or continue eating.

The studies go on to say that the brain can be "trained to find pleasure and reward in almost anything". To do this, they should create competing motivations so when their brains crave for something, they can properly weigh it against what they really want or perhaps need.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #437
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For me a craving doesn't necessarily lead or has to do with bingeing. I can crave PB or cake and be fine with a piece or two.

Bingeing on the other hand is - like miracle said - either from restricting/starving or has psychological reasons.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:36 PM   #438
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I agree it's a risk, but for me, at this moment, it's a risk worth taking. I might also argue that the brain connection never really fades, even if we quit the behaviour entirely, so either way we need to maintain our vigilance.

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It is really an interesting question about whether neurological connections fade. I would agree that they never disapear completely, but I do think they fade and weaken. I played the violin for 20 years. I haven't played for about 5 years now and picked it up just the other day out of curiosity. I am very rusty, and am not as good as before, my fingers don't quite go as automatically as they used to, but I am sure with a littlle practice I would be back to where I was; whereas someone who has never played would not be able to improve so quickly. I think unfortunately I will always have the bingeing brain connection brought on by starvation in my early twenties, but I am thinking by not acting on it, it will weaken alot. Much like smoking did for me as a teenager. I smoked and loved loved loved that brain rush. I quit because I knew it was not healthy. I felt at the time of quitting that I would live the rest of my days longing for one because i got so much pleasure from it, but I think that's the addiction itsellf that thinks that. Sure I could smoke right now and get pleasure from it and of course I remember the pleasure when I see someone smoking, but I don't spend my days longing for one (I did for a few months after quitting). I think if right now I had one, it would be easier for me to have another as opposed to if a forever non smoker had one right now. They would not be wired for it yet whereas my weak wires would strengthen. Of course this is just a thought, and makes for an interesting conversation.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:06 PM   #439
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I read your following post and looked into it further.

There have been some studies that show that there are two types of cravings - physical craving and psychological craving.

"Craving for food" falls into the psychological craving territory because food is not an addictive drug. Apparently, cigarettes are not true addictions as well as they fall within the group of items that people crave for out of habit.

Since it is merely a psychological craving, most who crave for food find it pleasurable when they eat. That's where the emotions come in. If they don't eat (or if they don't stop eating), the body releases stress hormones that causes pain unless the person start or continue eating.

The studies go on to say that the brain can be "trained to find pleasure and reward in almost anything". To do this, they should create competing motivations so when their brains crave for something, they can properly weigh it against what they really want or perhaps need.
Really interesting thoughts here. I agree that the brain can be trained to find pleasure in anything. I also believe now, after the trimpey books, that all my triggers are only triggers because of conditioned responses. Because I binged on cookies when i starved myself and it felt good and was rewarding to my brain, and then repeated this action when I again restricted in response to my first binge (and then did this several times); my brain is wired now to associate cookies etc. with the reward of bingeing. Therefore when I am faced with cookies I get an urge. The cookies never caused it; i caused it by bingeing on them when I was starving. I am not starving anymore, but my brain still wants that reward.

I went out to dinner with my friend last night. I have been basically telling my brain "lets go" and am subjecting myself to situations I have considered triggers. There was fresh bread on the table before the meal. I took one bite, felt the rush of the urge wave over me, and said "f--ck you brain" and didn't have another bite. I did this again with dessert. One bite. So I am trying now to weaken those brain connections. I did it again today; went and bought a whole tray of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies (major previous cause of binges) had one bite of one cookie, left it sitting beside me for 4 hours, could feel the intense anxiety and urge, and again said "f--ck you brain". It gets me so giddy I actually laugh. I know it seems extreme, but I finally totally get what the author of brain over binge was meaning. I don't know why it didn' click the first couple times I read the book. I thought it did but it didn't, becasue I get it now. I am just like her in the book where I am looking forward to triggering situations because now I WANT to feel the urges. Just a week or so ago I as disturbed by having an urge come out of nowhere telling me to binge for fun. It scared me. It was panick invoking. I can see now that OF COURSE I had an urge. That is how my brain is wired.

But like Pavlov who did the famous dog experiment, I believe I can weaken these connections due to neuroplasticity. He rang a bell everytime he gave the dogs food. After a while, he could just ring the bell without food and they would salivate expecting food. After sometime of ringing the bell without food, the dogs stopped salivating in response.

I know now (in my case), to stop bingeing I have to simply stop bingeing. I know it seems stupid to say that considering the 12 plus years I've been doing it, but it is that simple I think. Now that I am laughing in the face of the urges and know they will die down considerably, I feel my only risk of bingeing again would be if I starved myself again bringing on intense urges. But I think even then, becuse I know what's going on and no longer fear urges and don't see them as even a tiny fraction as powerful as my higher brain (like a 2 year old having a tantrum trying to tell an adult what to do), I wonder if I could quite possibly and easily starve myself to death. I think I could (of course I do not want to).

Kathryn (Brain over Binge author), talks about how anorexia is tougher and deadlier because it is in fact their higher brain that is succeeding in controlling themselves, not their primal brain. Anorexics feel the intense drive to eat early into their starvation but they override it/ignore it. They then don't binge and never form that reward connction (however if they do cave even once they will often end up with bulimia which is a common occurance). The only way really to cure them is to convince them they don't look good that thin. Often they can't see that though. Sometimes they will reluctantly eat knowing they will otherwise die. But it is always their higher brain in control. Often after starving themselves for so long, their signals to eat will stop because the brain sees it is useless, just like when a child throws a tantum and is never rewarded, they eventually stop.

I don't think everyone will feel the same way I do about this, but honestly I can't see myself bingeing anymore; overeating yes, but not bingeing.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #440
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Also, about calories: I think if someone wants to count calories and it doesn't result in obsession and decreased happiness in life, then all the power to them. One of the reasons I am finding it so easy not to count now is because I just don't want to know. If part of me wanted to know, I would probably have a hard time not going there in my mind, at leaAst estimating. But I am not even estimating. I don't want that as part of my life anymore. For me it was only negative and took away from my happiness an enjoyment in life. And, I don't want to lose weight. In fact, I believe I have lost a little weight over the last week or so. My clothes are getting slightly looser. I am out doing things having fun, not thinking about food or hiding at home afraid of encountering a trigger. I can't see that I would have stoppd thinking about food if I were still counting calories.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #441
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Sure I could smoke right now and get pleasure from it and of course I remember the pleasure when I see someone smoking, but I don't spend my days longing for one (I did for a few months after quitting). I think if right now I had one, it would be easier for me to have another as opposed to if a forever non smoker had one right now. They would not be wired for it yet whereas my weak wires would strengthen. Of course this is just a thought, and makes for an interesting conversation.
Overall I agree with what you're saying. One of the reasons sporadic smoking seems to work for me is that I never got a "head rush" from it, probably because I never inhaled much. The pleasure for me was more mental than physical. I enjoyed the harsh taste, having something to do with my hands and mouth, and the soothing aspect. Once I made the decision to put very firm boundaries around the experience, following through wasn't all that hard.

The only times I crave a cigarette are when I'm REALLY upset about something. And I'm pretty certain that if I had to face some kind of unspeakable tragedy I would start up again.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #442
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I did read BoB and Jack Trimpey, but even though I was impressed they did get my black and white thinking started. I felt like quitting has to be easy and "a piece of cake". I felt like a complete failure all the time so I guess it wasnŽt fo rme. But I do believe these are great books and can help other people, just not me.

I think IŽll look int Geneen Roth.
Fair enough. Nothing is for everyone. I felt at first too that it seemed black and white. Somehow the idea of giving up bingeing seemed surpisingly threatening. Almost like when it was suggested I could quit forever I felt protective of it. But for me I eventually saw that was the addiction talking, making me feel I would long for it in the same way I felt at the prospect of quitting smoking as a teen. But, I will still enjoy food. I will have 5 pieces of cake or a whole cake if I really want for pleasure; but it won't be a binge.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:38 PM   #443
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Overall I agree with what you're saying. One of the reasons sporadic smoking seems to work for me is that I never got a "head rush" from it, probably because I never inhaled much. The pleasure for me was more mental than physical. I enjoyed the harsh taste, having something to do with my hands and mouth, and the soothing aspect. Once I made the decision to put very firm boundaries around the experience, following through wasn't all that hard.

The only times I crave a cigarette are when I'm REALLY upset about something. And I'm pretty certain that if I had to face some kind of unspeakable tragedy I would start up again.

Freelance
I totally agree with what you are saying also. The fact that you put very clear bounderies and don't cave ever is why you can be successful doing that. I know now I could also have occasional binges if I wanted to and have just as you say ffirm boundaries. I guess it's always a possibility. But for me the pleasure I get from bingeing I don't think is worth flaring up the urges soon after. I would just as soon overeat and not get into the binge mindset (although obviously not quite as stimulating as actually bingeing). But for smoking I could see it as a better tradeoff. Maybe I would consider that. You've go me thinking now. hmmmm

P.S. I do enjoy a hookah pipe when I'm in Turkey and never even consider doing it once I return home. I suppose it does flare up a smoking urge ever so slightly when I return home.

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Old 05-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #444
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I will always have the bingeing brain connection brought on by starvation in my early twenties, but I am thinking by not acting on it, it will weaken alot.

You're right. Your brain will always be especially primed to respond to restriction (by sending binge urges) and far faster than someone who has never restricted before.

It reminds me of the people who chronically diet and binge and report that with each diet episode, the period of being able to restrict and successfully stay on plan gets shorter and shorter; the hunger, bigger and more persistent each time.

It happened to me as well. When I first began undereating it was very easy and exciting because it was my first time and it took about eight months before my body completely took over and the bingeing became very frequent and unstoppable. Well, after regaining a decent amount of weight I would try again to lose it by going back to the same undereating patterns, but for some reason I couldn't do it. All of my old "rules" were failing me, and I couldn't understand why, but looking back it makes perfect sense. I had primed my body and brain the first time around to deal with the starvation and so when I tried to do it again, it picked up on what I was doing real quick and shut it down.

In other words, my body made me give up, and I lost. That's why I say to people in the case of them vs. their bodies, that they will ALWAYS lose, and if they don't lose, they die. If my body had never revolted against my weight loss, I would have ended up in the hospital with a feeding tube eventually. Losing 25+ lbs starting from 125lbs, wasting muscle in the process was killing me, but I couldn't see it because my poor brain was starved and in denial as well.

Anyway, I don't think, even with the brain having had those past connections in place, that one is doomed to binge forever or even has to be on the watch for a binge. You can completely relax around food. The only thing you have to make sure you do is never restrict again (if that's what caused the binges for you in the first place), and try to think of it as not bingeing, so much as your body trying to restore the energy balance within. If you feel the need to inhale 5,000 calories in a sitting, you are doing something wrong in your every day eating patterns that needs to be fixed.

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #445
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You're right. Your brain will always be especially primed to respond to restriction (by sending binge urges) and far faster than someone who has never restricted before.

It reminds me of the people who chronically diet and binge and report that with each diet episode, the period of being able to restrict and successfully stay on play gets shorter and shorter; the hunger, bigger and more persistent each time.

It happened to me as well. When I first began undereating it was very easy and exciting because it was my first time and it took about eight months before my body completely took over and the bingeing became very frequent and unstoppable. Well, after regaining a decent amount of weight I would try again to lose it by going back to the same undereating patterns, but for some reason I couldn't do it. All of my old "rules" were failing me, and I couldn't understand why, but looking back it makes perfect sense. I had primed my body and brain the first time around to deal with the starvation and so when I tried to do it again, it picked up on what I was doing real quick and shut it down.

In other words, my body made me give up, and I lost. That's why I say to people in the case of them vs. their bodies, that they will ALWAYS lose, and if they don't lose, they die. If my body had never revolted against my weight loss, I would have ended up in the hospital with a feeding tube eventually. Losing 25+ lbs starting from 125lbs, wasting muscle in the process was killing me, but I couldn't see it because my poor brain was starved and in denial as well.

Anyway, I don't think, even with the brain having had those past connections in place, that one is doomed to binge forever or even has to be on the watch for a binge. You can completely relax around food. The only thing you have to make sure you do is never restrict again (if that's what caused the binges for you in the first place), and try to think of it as not bingeing, so much as your body trying to restore the energy balance within. If you feel the need to inhale 5,000 calories in a sitting, you are doing something wrong in your every day eating patterns that needs to be fixed.
Totally agree with everything you are saying. I am finding I can relax around food much more now and it should get easier and easier as long as I don't binge. And yes, I don't plan on restricting again like you said. I do wonder though if I did restrict if I could override it knowing what I know (of course I would never want to put myelf into the position of fighting primal starvation urges ever again which are much more powerful than just habit urgs where there is no longer restriction. It's just interesting to ponder what would happen). And honestly, since I feel I've lost so many years of my life to obessing over food, it's tough not to be "mad" at those primal urges, but it did save my life I am sure. Had I not had them, I would have likely starved myself to death because at the time there was no such thing as "too skinny". Thank g-d there is such thing to me now.

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:13 PM   #446
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I do wonder though if I did restrict if I could override it knowing what I know
As someone who read BoB, and did exactly this, and then began fiercely bingeing again three months later for a nine month period, it's not advisable.

I know you said you would never try it and were just curious, but for anyone else out there thinking it, it will not work, because I tried it and crashed and burned. The body is smart; smarter and more powerful than the conscious mind.

Follow your hunger and obey and the rest will fall into place. The body is the master, not you. You don't get decide if yesterday it wanted 2,000 calories and today it wants 3,000.

I fully agree with Kathryn (author of BoB) that in order for her plan to work, you cannot be on any kind of diet and restriction plan because the urges to binge you will be receiving will be survival urges and those cannot and should not be ignored in favor of looking good in a bikini.

Besides, when you eat what your body truly needs, diet media and carb fear mongering be damned, your mind heals, and your weight and body and all the b.s. suddenly doesn't bother you so much. You feel human again.

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #447
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Wow, you actually tried it!! I'm half laughing because I can almost see myself trying it in the name of science . But, honestly it doesn't surprise me the results you had. I was not successful in overriding that urge at twenty when being skeletal was the ONLY important thing in my life. Since that is not important nor desirable now It only makes sense I'd give in to the pleasure of the binge despite knowing what I know. And those brain pathways are there no matter how week (in the same way as I still know how to play the violin although not as well as I once did). It would be quite interesting to give this knowledge to someone who has never ever binged and ask them to starve and see what happens. Kidding it wouldn't be interesting, just possibly cruel.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:09 PM   #448
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Oh yes, definitely cruel. And that's why the Minnesota Starvation Experiment will never again be replicated. It would be deemed unethical. Ironically enough, dieters are told to eat the same allotted calories that those men ate when they were semi-starved, and it is no surprise that they also experience a lot of the same physical and emotional disturbances. Just go read any thread about someone saying they are losing their hair, they have lost their sex drive, they are tired as all get out, cold even in the summer, they have cravings like never before and are completely obsessed with food and bingeing.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #449
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I know now (in my case), to stop bingeing I have to simply stop bingeing. I know it seems stupid to say that considering the 12 plus years I've been doing it, but it is that simple I think.
Simple and rather brilliant -- THE way to cut through the Gordian knot.

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #450
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Besides, when you eat what your body truly needs, diet media and carb fear mongering be damned, your mind heals, and your weight and body and all the b.s. suddenly doesn't bother you so much. You feel human again.

Love this. I'm not sure why I'm not ready to let go of all restriction. (Not that I restrict a whole lot. I eat about 2,000 cals per day, loosely estimated rather than counted, and have frequent treats. But the moment I gain a few pounds I rein myself in until the scale does my bidding again.) I'm 56, after all, so looking good in a bikini shouldn't be that important to me anymore. But I admit I enjoy the ego boost of getting compliments about my bikini bod, even if most of them are variants of "you look amazing for your age." I also feel my husband and kids would be disappointed in me if I regained even some of the weight I lost. But the idea of "just eating food" sounds very nice...

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