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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 04-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #46
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You know I too got scared that I would gain a lot of weight. I still get terrified that I will (just to illustrate that this is not a smooth worry-free process). It always stopped me in the past from giving up on some kind of routine. But heck, I was bingeing anyway from trying to stay too thin, so what did I have to lose? I defined myself as the thin one. Thought I wasn't really good at anything else in life, but being ultra-thin? Oh yeah, I had achieved what most girls/women out there want but hardly ever get: Hollywood thin. For all five minutes, and then bingeing took over and I struggled daily to stay there.

I spent most of winter looking back at what I had lost by obessesing and fretting over 10-15 extra lbs. I wanted to slap myself repeatedly for wasting so much time and energy on a shallow pursuit. If I were not me, I would roll my eyes at myself for engaging in such idiocy. I was whiny and wangsty as a dieter/restricter and in a constant state of panic and guilt. All of my days were either "good" or "bad" depending on how I ate. Pathetic.

As I said before though, I had two dueling minds for the longest time. They're both still there just this time the better, saner one is currently winning and squashing the petulant vain, neurotic weight ****. When the whiner starts to take over again and tell me how I need to lose weight, and it will be all right this time, I push myself through and eat in spite of that noise and it does shut up. I remind myself that I want to have a good summer this year, not like last year where I was so wrapped up in myself and my SELFISH goals that I blew people off and ruined planned events, or how I spent hours in my room contemplating suicide while the sun was shining and people were outside laughing.

The more I do it, the more I shut it down, the less frequently it comes out to play. One day it will be gone completely. I had to create that voice and I have the power to silence it as well.

Oh yeah, and I was never happy at my lowest weight which was 99lbs. I still thought I was fat and could lose just a few more. So yeah...

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Old 04-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #47
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lin - I don't think you're being snide.

I do not have a fast metabolism. I have a normal one; there's nothing extraordinary about me. It's actually a little low as I have been tracking my basal temperatures upon waking and they are often under 98 degrees and last year I was sublinical for hypothyroid. Without metabolic suppression, a normal woman of average size should be able to eat approx. 2000-2500 calories/day and meet her own weight set point. There's nothing wrong with 5'3" and 135, especially not if that's where your body wants to be, insurance charts be damned. I don't know your dieting history so I can't say for sure. If you've yo-yo'ed all over the place you would have to let go of the diet, eat more to raise metabolic rate, gain some weight, keep eating to appetite, and let your body deal with the excess weight over time. But no one wants to do this because of the initial weight gain and I'm pretty much spewing blasphemous statements all over this board. They get scared, and flee to the next diet. Check out youreatopia.com or Matt Stone to read about metabolic suppression from restriction.

I may be 115 right now, and I may have gained some weight since then. I don't know. As I said, I haven't been on a scale in a while, and I have weighed more in the past. About 20lbs above my natural set point from screwing with food.

There's no other option. Either be on a diet forever and remain a crazy, food obsessed hostile loon like I was, or eat normally, gain some weight, risk that it may stay around forever, but preserve my mental health and physical health in the long-run. It's a no brainer.

I'm not always zen either. I have bad days where I feel the pull. Really bad days, but I have better days where I my feel that my digestion has improved (I used to have horrible constipation and GERD from restricting before I started forcing myself to eat more), my hands and feet are no longer ice cold, and best of all, I do NOT binge anymore.

It's highly likely that had I kept restricting, I would have gained that hypothetical 15-20lbs anyway - through binges.

One last thing more telling than my weight: Pre-diets, I had 16% body fat without trying. As in, regular hearty meals and minimal exercise. After years of diets, I have 24% body fat aka, I am more fat now than I have ever been. Good job, diets!

I'm really just here to give support to people like veggiedaze who want to let go of dieting and want to know that they are not alone in such a culture that looks upon food as a sin that must be controlled and thousands of rules attached to it - kind of how we look at sex.

I spew a lot of hate at dieting and our thin obsessed culture because I feel that it has ruined a big part of my life and I wish I hadn't fallen for it. If people want to diet forever, that's their right and not my business, we just have a difference of opinion. And of course, no one will change unless they want to. Two years ago if you had told me to gain some weight and eat more and quit my weight loss, I would have smacked you with a chicken drum. LOL
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply! I think you are courageous to say to heck with societal standards. I really feel as if this will be my attitude . . . one day. I'm not there today; too scared, I guess.

I hear you about the metabolic restriction. I definitely have been a yo-yo dieter, so maybe that explains the problem.

I appreciate your candor. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:14 PM   #48
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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
I am so glad that you wrote this! I have tried IE so many times in the past, but ultimately, it was really a diet in "disguise" as an anti-dieting plan. (I'm not saying that it is this way for everyone, but it was for me). The guilt from not eating when just hungry was just as bad as the guilt of going over calories or eating too many carbs on other plans.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:55 PM   #49
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lin43 - thanks for chiming in. I have also found this about IE being a diet in disguise. I have read some things about it but I am finding it is better to not read about it and just NOT DIET. I think alot of people who are bingers as a result of obsessive dieting will also look to IE to explain how exactly to do this and measure your fullness. Not dieting means not measuring anything. So I have pretty much just eaten what I want at the time. And it's quite different each time. Sometimes I want to be quite full, but sometimes I don't want to be full at all, I just want the hunger to be gone. Like when I'm at work it is just as miserable for me to be really full as it is to be extremely hungry. I am not thinking too much about the definition of how we are supposed to feel after a meal. I am eating to feel exactly how I want to feel at the time. Sometimes it's more and sometimes less.

Obviously I have not done this long enough to know if it is the answer or not and I still have to get over some hang ups about particular foods. But it's been about a week now of no binging. And yes I've gone much longer than that by restricting and being obsessive, but as of late I was having a really hard time making it a week so it feels really good now and I'm going to continue for now to not count calories, not track my food, not weigh myself etc. I have to admit not weighing myself doesn't seem to make much of a difference for me. Most of my disordered eating days I did not weigh myself much. It's only in the last year I decided to do a daily weighing for the purpose of graphing it because I was obsessed with numbers and it was just another way to track. But quite honestly the scale number started to not mean anything to me as I could see it could fluctuate 3 pounds in a day and then back again the other day depending on the time of the month and how much salt and or wine I ate etc. In some ways I had wished I weighed more frequently when I was younger so I would not freak when I weighed in after a couple of months and seen a 3 pound increase when in fact if i'd weighed in again the next day it probably would have been gone. But for now I am not weighing simply to remove all the obsessive activities I do. I figure it cannot hurt.

And bingefree2013 for me also I felt the crappiest with the lowest self esteem at my lowest weight which was around 100 pounds 2 years ago following a break up. Due to the break up I didn't binge for a few months and my appetite was completely gone. I was also exercising like crazy as a way to cope. And at that time I had the worst body image ever and was more critical than ever about my body and really just wanted to die. Then when I got over the break up and my appetite returned so did my binging and I regained the 15ish pounds extremely quickly. I try to forget about that time in my life. It was the worst.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:01 PM   #50
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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.
I don't remember everything I ate that day after the big breakfast, but I know it was quite a bit: a quesadilla and a large carrot-zucchini muffin for lunch and a normal supper of some kind, along with wine. I had lunch at noon, right after my run, and was definitely hungry for it -- even after that 1,000-cal breakfast.

As I've mentioned before, I was born with a large appetite, weak fullness signals, and an iron stomach. So yeah, IE would surely result in weight gain for me.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:07 PM   #51
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<<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 believe I would be wanting the same amount.

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Old 04-06-2013, 07:54 AM   #52
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well I'm still doing okay with this whole no diet thing. But it is hard because I feel lazy or like I'm not "doing enough". That need to control really runs deep. But I just have to keep telling myself my number one priority is to stop binging and asking myself if I want to still be counting calories in 30 years when I am 60. And the the answer is no.

Like I've said before, my biggest hurdle is including previously banned food. The trouble is, unless I am in binge mode I don't want these foods. It's just when I snap that I want them. In fact when not in binge mode these foods cause me fear. So although I've been doing well with the no counting calories, eating when and how much I want, I have stayed with the same "safe foods". And I am feeling now that unless I force some of these things onto myself, I won't have them which may make me binge. So what I am thinking to do is to force myself to have at least a bite of these things when they are brought into work (like donuts etc). Hopefully that will help to take the fear away and I will learn that these things won't hurt me (when not binging on them) and that I don't have to eat so perfectly. Do you guys think I am going about this the right way or do you think there is a better way. I feel I have to take small steps otherwise I will be scared back to where I was.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #53
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Like I've said before, my biggest hurdle is including previously banned food. The trouble is, unless I am in binge mode I don't want these foods. It's just when I snap that I want them. In fact when not in binge mode these foods cause me fear. So although I've been doing well with the no counting calories, eating when and how much I want, I have stayed with the same "safe foods". And I am feeling now that unless I force some of these things onto myself, I won't have them which may make me binge. So what I am thinking to do is to force myself to have at least a bite of these things when they are brought into work (like donuts etc). Hopefully that will help to take the fear away and I will learn that these things won't hurt me (when not binging on them) and that I don't have to eat so perfectly. Do you guys think I am going about this the right way or do you think there is a better way. I feel I have to take small steps otherwise I will be scared back to where I was.
veggiedaze - Do you find yourself feeling more "in control" when you do take a bite or two of those foods? If so, and if you feel that eating small amounts of them helps take away the fear and keeps you from binging later, it's hard to see a problem with that.

However, I'm wondering about the wisdom of eating something - anything - that you don't really want to eat at that moment. I just really don't know how to answer your question accurately - someone with a lot more knowledge of binge eating is better suited to answer that, I think. Perhaps bingefree2013 or someone else can help you with that.

It is certainly important to make peace with food - all food.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #54
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But it is hard because I feel lazy or like I'm not "doing enough". That need to control really runs deep.
So sad isn't it? That our society makes us feel guilty for nourishing our bodies and that starvation is a virtue? *facepalm*

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Like I've said before, my biggest hurdle is including previously banned food. The trouble is, unless I am in binge mode I don't want these foods. It's just when I snap that I want them. In fact when not in binge mode these foods cause me fear.
This is different than what I experienced. When I had banned foods, I too would binge on them when coming into contact. After I found IE, I got so excited that I had "permission" to eat them any time I wanted in any amount so I went out and bought them with a vengeance. I never did get sick of them because even though I was eating them daily, I was eating such small amounts that my body was still hungry and undernourished and I never got to the point where the book says that enough exposure will lead to a gradual disinterest. I only have now this go around because I have been eating a lot more in general, so now all food is boring and neutral; a brownie truly has the same weight with me as an apple. If I'm not hungry they both look unappealing. Never thought that would be me in a million years.

Really though; food is only interesting when your body is hungry otherwise it's mundane at best. When people post lists of what they had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I scroll over it because I have no care to read it. I start wondering why they are posting it at all in such detail, but then I realize that it's like a form of food porn for them.

You get an entirely different brain when no longer in diet mode.

Part of having an eating disorder means that your brain misidentifies food as something to fear. Two options here: I would suggest you do what they do for people with phobias. Expose yourself to your fear foods one by one and eat them. Let yourself feel the anxiety and then conquer it. Eventually you'll realize there's nothing special about them, especially if they can be eaten daily for the rest of your life, and you'll not only not fear them, you'll get tired of them and want other things. This only works though if your body is well-fed overall. You'll want to binge if your exposing yourself but still depriving your body of calories. The urge to binge will happen because your body will seize a chance to get fast calorie dense food in and what's more dense than ice cream and donuts?

I think this is where a lot of people go wrong. They think they will introduce forbidden foods in, but still slash calories at the same time and then wonder why they are still bingeing. Not knocking anyone, I made this very error for over a year.

Two, if there are really some foods you honestly wouldn't bother with unless in binge mode and don't want them as part of your life, you don't have to eat them at all, ever. Not even to prove anything. For example, I HATE cake, but I used to binge on it because it was there to binge on. The perfect food. But outside of diet/starvation/restriction/reactive eating mode, I have ZERO desire to eat cake. Like not even at a birthday party, just hand me the ice cream. I never even liked cake as a non-ED kid. Ick.

Hope that helps. Glad to see you're moving along through the fear. It is scary, but it gets less the scary the more you keep at it. A little anxiety is good. Crush it.

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Old 04-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #55
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bingefree2013 - I knew you'd have great insight for veggiedaze, but I learn a lot each time I read one of your posts. I'm grateful that I've read what you have to say this early in my IE experience, as you've not only answered questions that were lingering in the back of my mind but you've also confirmed other things I've already discovered on my own.

One thing I find interesting that you have said is that you didn't eat enough when you first started IE, therefore you were still restricting, and in doing so you lost too much weight. I've really taken that to heart, as when I first started I was trying to "rate" my hunger based on all these arbitrary "scales" that I'd read in various literature. I'd pretty much decided that d*mm*t I'm just going to eat until I want to stop, whatever it is that makes me decide to stop. And then you confirmed that that is really the right thing to do. I no longer agonize over whether or not my satiety is at any particular level - I want to eat until I know it will hold me for awhile. I like hearty, robust meals...but I can eat one of those a day and have one or two "snack" meals and that keeps me completely satisfied. If I have several small meals I'm NEVER satisfied, and those days I always end up eating more than on the days I have one big ol' meal.

And although I am not weighing, there is absolutely no doubt that I've lost a little weight....not a great deal, but since I'd totally embraced perhaps never losing another pound, each time the clothes fit better that's just lagniappe, as far as I'm concerned.

Anyone reading this - please, take it from me, you simply cannot IMAGINE the freedom that shedding the diet mentality brings. It is such a wonderful feeling. To be able to walk into a restaurant and order any doggone thing on the menu without thinking about calories, carbs, points, or any of that other nonsense is just exhilarating. And even though I'm not as far along in the process as bingefree2013 is, I can tell you that I cannot imagine ever going down that road again. Ever.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:31 AM   #56
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bingefree2013

Anyone reading this - please, take it from me, you simply cannot IMAGINE the freedom that shedding the diet mentality brings. It is such a wonderful feeling. To be able to walk into a restaurant and order any doggone thing on the menu without thinking about calories, carbs, points, or any of that other nonsense is just exhilarating. And even though I'm not as far along in the process as bingefree2013 is, I can tell you that I cannot imagine ever going down that road again. Ever.
I'm reading this and I wish I could feel the same. I just don't see how it's possible. I just asked you this on another post of yours but what exactly is it that you are doing?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:32 AM   #57
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I'm reading this and I wish I could feel the same. I just don't see how it's possible. I just asked you this on another post of yours but what exactly is it that you are doing?
Wannabeskinny - I answered your question under "Eating past the point of hunger." Just wanted to make sure you see it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:02 AM   #58
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Thank you SouthernMaven. I'm glad my posts have been of help to you
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:07 AM   #59
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Thanks southernmaven and bingefree2013 for your advice. Bingefree2013, you do give some very good advice, and this latest advice has been helpful and has helped to figure things out. Not dieting seems like it would be a simple thing to do, but for someone with a long history of disordered eating it can be confusing to figure out the motives behind our food choices. For example, asking a kid or normal eater what they like to eat or what their favourite foods are is not a complicated thing and they can tell you right away. For me it is something that has required quite alot of thought.

It`s funny though because when actually thinking about it, I can see that maybe I am further ahead than I thought. In my years of trying various ways of eating, there are many foods I enjoyed that I banned completely for one reason or another. An example is that at one time during a low carb phase I had completey elimiminated all grains. And I also did this when I was convinced paleo was the way to go. But as much as I liked the vegetable omlettee for breakfast, I missed my beloved oatmeal. It was actually during these low carb and ketogenic phases where my binging was at it`s all time worst. I eventually decided that I liked grains too much to not have them part of my life. And same with fruit and dairy which I had also banned at some point for various reasons. And now I would say I do include most previously banned foods including chocolate and cheese and other things I simply like. But there are a few things I can see I need to to allow and those things are not really a daily thing for me but more of a spontaneous maybe weekly or monthly craving thing which I often deny mysellf. For example, last month I was in a coffee shop with a friend and saw some kind of square with all kinds of nuts and seeds etc. that I just couldn`t take my eyes off of. I considered having it and counting it in my daily calorie allowance, but I just couldn`t accept using that much of my daily calories on it. Often that will be my deterent. I had also just eaten a meal not long before and had a tough time rationalizing why I would need to have it. It seemed like it would have been more for pleasure. But my friend did have one and I was just tortured and I wasn`t even at all focussed on the conversation. And it`s really weird how the mind works. In one way I was mad at her for having it and making me watch her eat it, and on the other hand I felt a sense of superiority for abstaining while she did not. I saw her as weak. I think that part of what drives my control over food is because it can make me feel somehow ``better`` and more disciplined than other people which is so screwed up.

Also, the foods I binge on are not foods I even like and are just the cheapest form of sugar I can consume to get it into my blood as quickly as possible. It never matters what it is. So I find myself denying foods that I truly love like a fresh baked ginger cookie, and then binging on stuff I would otherwise never want. I should note that I never end up eating the ginger cookie or whatever it may be I am restricitng even during my binges. It is really strange. But what do you think of that coffee shop situation when you are restricting something you really want but know you are not physically hungry. I was thinking that next time in a similar situation I could buy the thing I want, but then wait until I feel the hunger signals to eat it. Or should I just eat it because I know I want it. Hmmm, it can be hard to sort this stuff out.

But as far as I am doing, I am doing quite well. I am getting alot more comfortable with this no calorie counting thing and still no binges. And it does seem to make my day alot less stressful. These last couple days I`ve had my TOM with just the worst painful cramps and bloat which is a typical situation where the feeling makes me want to binge to numb the pain and because I feel so gross and down on myself. But I haven`t had the binging urge. I can see how allowing your body to dictate what and when you eat makes resisting other binging triggers like emotions and stress, and just pure habit to be much easier. I can also see how that book brain over binge is making alot more sense to me now once I ditch the dieting mindset and truly focus on wanting to recover from an eating disorder without taking anything else into account.

I think for I long time I knew that the dieting mentality was contributing to the binging, as the people who actually managed to break the binging seemed to have to give up the dieting mentality to accomplish that. But I was so unwilling to give it up. I think I thought there was some kind of loophole that would allow me to do both. When I first joined this website and came accross the monthly binge free challenges, it was appealing to me because I thought maybe that would help me to be ``accountable `` and more ``diciplined`` and learn tips on how to avoid binges. But by going over the posts over several different months I could see a common recurrent theme: dieting, calorie control, guilt over breaking ones diet, binging, and then getting back on ``plan`` and coming up with ideas like drinking more water, more veggies, avoiding being around junk food, control control control. And I can just see that to not binge, it is not about controling every little detail of your life in order to force yourself to resist binging. It is not about resistance. True recovery means just not wanting to binge, whether the cookies are in the house or not. Sorry for being all philosophical. Not trying to preach to anyone, just trying to sort things out for myself. Writing these things down helps to sort out my own thoughts. You are very right bingefree2013 that it is a completely different way of thinking. But I think something is starting to click for me. The proof is in the pudding. Only time will let me know truly if I am onto something.

Also, an interesting link that I think is worthwhile to read for anyone wanting to give up the diet mentality but are afraid to try.
http://ohsheglows.com/2011/04/26/a-grain-of-salt/
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #60
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veggiedaze - I'm so glad to hear that you feel things are "clicking" for you. After reading your post I would agree with that assessment.

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For example, last month I was in a coffee shop with a friend and saw some kind of square with all kinds of nuts and seeds etc. that I just couldn`t take my eyes off of. I considered having it and counting it in my daily calorie allowance, but I just couldn`t accept using that much of my daily calories on it. Often that will be my deterent. I had also just eaten a meal not long before and had a tough time rationalizing why I would need to have it. It seemed like it would have been more for pleasure. But my friend did have one and I was just tortured and I wasn`t even at all focussed on the conversation. And it`s really weird how the mind works. In one way I was mad at her for having it and making me watch her eat it, and on the other hand I felt a sense of superiority for abstaining while she did not.
I found this very interesting. I completely understand your fixation on that item. I've been in the same situation, having an internal war over whether or not to eat it....should I? shouldn't I? take it home? eat it and count the calories? watch my friend eat it and resent her? be mad at myself later for giving in?

Oh yea...been there, done that.

I can't say what I would have done in your situation, because it was your situation, not mine...but I can say that when (not if) I find myself in a similar situation, I'm now very confident in my ability to make a decision as to what to do and not second guess myself at all. Obviously that hasn't always been the case.

I asked this question on another forum "What's been the easiest part of the diet mentality for you to give up?" For me, hands down, it's the guilt. Since the first day I started practicing IE, I have been able to do away with the guilt feelings about anything I eat....even if I end up eating more than I really think I need right then. So what? Let it go. That's my mantra now.

So if I decided to eat it, even if I wasn't hungry right then, I'd enjoy it and not worry about it. There is a certain satiety level at which I can't eat anything else; if I had been at that point, I probably would have purchased it to eat later if I thought that's the only time I'd ever see that item. If it was something I knew I could easily come back later to get, then I would have just done without. And of course if I were hungry I would have DEFINITELY eaten it - with pleasure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiedaze View Post
But as far as I am doing, I am doing quite well. I am getting alot more comfortable with this no calorie counting thing and still no binges. And it does seem to make my day alot less stressful.
That's wonderful news!
__________________
"As I cleared out the clutter of diet propaganda that had expanded
to fill every available convolution of my brain, the fat went away with it."

- Rob Stevens, The Overfed Head


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
- Albert Einstein
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