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Anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results?

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Old 04-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #91
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Re: your theory... I personally question the whole concept of addiction, whether to food or alcohol or cigarettes or whatever. I believe there are various degrees of attraction toward a substance. If you happen to be highly attracted to alcohol, you'll have trouble moderating your intake. Same goes for food. I think some of us just like food more than others, just as some people like booze or sex more than others. Who knows why?

We all INTERPRET stimuli differently. For example, I enjoy the feeling of being really full. Someone else may dislike that very same feeling. I think the difference lies more in our neurology (the way we interpret the feeling) than in the elasticity of our stomach muscles or even our leptin levels. Just as one person may love the colour purple and another hate it. Same wavelength, same stimulus to the eyes and brain, different interpretation.

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I think you would see a different angle to this if you read The End of Overeating. It's not about addiction in the sense of being a weak willed person or something like that, it's about physiological response to certain combinations of stimuli, one that is unavoidable in our society. Understanding this chemical reaction that my body has to food has really helped me gain control because I'm not blaming myself every moment of the day, I now KNOW that eating certain foods causes me to behave in certain ways and that is something I CAN control.

For example, I've taken great strides in lowering my wheat consumption. By doing so I've fixed some gastrointestinal problems but have also learned that my appetite is not as overpowering as it used to be. I feel more level headed, less foggy, better able to sate myself with simpler foods.

Then a few nights ago my husband begged me to make pasta. We hadn't had any in soooo long that I agreed and had a bowl of it. Eating it was so sinfully pleasurable, I was almost dancing as I ate it. A couple of hours later I was hankering for a piece of chocolate and had that. The next morning my stomach was growling and I was craving cereal, toast, croissant, whatever wheaty carby thing I could find. That's not really normal for me anymore, I've been quite happy with a bowl of yogurt or a boiled egg for breakfast normally. A piece of toast then leads to a pat of butter and a dollop of jam, and then what the heck let's toss in another slice of toast! Eating wheat makes me unravel, it makes me hungry, it makes me want more and it leads to poor choices which in turn leads to more poor choices. I also don't like to use the word addiction here but let's face it, something is going on, something happens to me when I eat wheat and/or sugar. Luckily this doesn't happen to the same extent when I eat rice, potatoes, or corn, but wheat kills me every time!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #92
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So very true, and quite obvious that you read The End of Overeating. I'm in the middle of it myself. Since then I haven't entirely stopped bingeing however I have noticed without a doubt that my bodies reacts very differently when presented with whole foods. I used to go to Chili's and was certain that by ordering grilled chicken I was making a better choice than the fried chicken tenders. Not true. Come to think of it that chicken melts in your mouth so quickly and smoothly it's impossible for me to fool myself anymore into thinking it's healthy - something's been done to that chicken, injected with salt/sugar and who knows what else. It has been engineered to melt in my mouth, chicken breast by nature when made at home does not melt in your mouth, it's good, it tastes good, and has a nice firm texture, but it does not melt in your mouth.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I'm on the start of this journey to eat real food and find it incredibly horribly difficult. I feel like a lab rat, responding to food triggers, commercials, fast food signs, it's terrible. You mentioned that your hormones are now "fixed" - how did you achieve that?
Yes, I have read The End of Overeating. After that, the subject has become a bit of a hobby to read up on, but I'm not nearly as well-versed as some of the other posters on this website. I often feel like a lab rat as well, but I don't live a completely whole foods diet. I still eat an Oreo every now and again, but I have backed off considerably from processed foods. It's really mostly out of anger and disgust. It's not necessarily that I blame these companies for making me fat (not by a long shot), but I get really pissed at the idea that I am being manipulated. I realize that all advertising is manipulation, and I understand the desire to want to get your customers "hooked" and create food the public enjoys, but it frustrates me that they know what has started innocently as a means to get more business has actually become fairly detrimental to the Western diet. I can handle preservatives and genetic modification, mostly because I realize that there are a lot of people to feed in this world, but this other stuff is hard for me to swallow. No pun intended.

I ordered a grilled chicken salad from McD's the other day (a hectic day), and their chicken was so moist that it actually grossed me out. The rest of the salad was quite fresh and nice, but I could tell that chicken was some weird stuff. I mean, it was slimy. I think they went a little too far with the moist engineering on that one.

And "fixed" was really a poor choice of wording. I guess I should have used "improved." My labs show that my imbalance from PCOS has improved a great deal since I was in high school. I'm not perfect, but much better. I went on birth control, metformin for some time, (I am getting an A1C in May to see if I need to go back on it or stay off), and I've lost a good deal of weight. I went for a spell not taking birth control to see if I could have my own period since I've lost some weight from my all-time high as a teenager, and I went several months with an on-time period. The out of control hormones contributed to some pretty out of control emotions and real self-esteem issues that I stuffed with food. I think that's some of the reason why I have a pretty innate distrust of my body signals and my mind. I know that it has been incorrect and has lied to itself before. Any time now that I feel like I am going through some existential crisis or some intense feeling about something, I always have to back off and say, "Now, is this real, or are my hormones messing with my brain?" Most of the time, I've found, I don't have a good reason to feel what I feel. I've kind of had to go through the same process with food when it comes to intense cravings.


And there's my novel. Haha, sorry. I didn't really want to give my life story, but I guess there it is.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #93
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I suppose food addiction is like drug addiction. You have a taste of it, realize it's stupid to keep testing yourself against its addictive properties, and stay the heck away except for very special occasions.

Some people can do cocaine and not get hooked, and others find themselves prowling the streets looking for more feeling all anxious as soon as their 20 minutes of heaven are up. I would say "addictive" foods have a similar effect on different people.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:45 PM   #94
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wangela87 - sounds like you have a really healthy attitude towards everything and have taken a moderate approach. Good for you! Just where I want to get to.

Wannabeskinny - I haven't read that book yet, but it's on my reading list now. Interesting about the slippery slope you find yourself in when you eat wheat. I've heard about this happening to other people. Maybe I will notice that kind of thing now that I am trying to incorporate some of my previously forbidden foods. I have not been in the position to notice that because up until just lately it's been an all or nothing attitude with me.

freelance - it is really interesting your take on addiction or attraction. I would aggree that there is probably certain degrees of attraction, but would probably use the term addiction. I would also agree that everything is neurology, but isn't that the whole basis of addiction? I dated a self proclaimed alcoholic for a couple years. He was not as extreme of an alcoholic as a family friend of mine who ultimately drank himself to death, however if we had alcohol in the house he would try to abstain from it because once he allowed himself one drink, he had to have another and another until the alcohol was gone or he passed out whichever happend first. Also at any event where there was alcohol like at a wedding or something, he would go overboard, or restrain himself as to not look foolish but then needed to stop at the liquor store on the way home to load up and binge drink once we got home. I remember thinking his behaviour with alcohol was strikingly similar to my behaviour around certain kinds of food. Whether I call it addiction or just extreme attraction doesn't seem to make a real difference to me.Either way it was definitely a problem and interfered with life. It was actually a humerous situation with us on the "day after". Him and I both so sick and "hungover", him from alcohol and me from food.

Last I heard from him he was completely abstaining from alcohol and doing quite well with that. He practices avoidance and will often not attend an event or occasion if he knows there will be alcohol. He also makes sure there is never alcohol in his home. That has been my way with these certain types of food but it just doesn't really work in the real world. For me to do that I would have to quit my job and become a hermit (I have not quit my job but I am a hermit). I think complete abstinence for me would be the way to go theoretically, but we don't live in a world where that is realistic. And I think it is actually doing more harm than good, making me even more preoccupied with these foods whenever I see them, and reinforcing the all or nothing self destructive behaviours.

Not counting calories and eating when I'm hungry seems to be working amazingly well with me for most food. It's just not working well with "junk foods". So I do completely agree with song of surly that these foods mess with my body's own signals. And I have really been down on myself these last few days wondering what's wrong with me. I think for me if I decided to do intuitive eating while eating only things like chips, chocolate bars, and donuts, it would be a one way ticket to obesity for me. I think my brain (like freelance would say) is highly highly attracted to these foods. I think my mother could do just fine eating a steady diet of cookies and pizza and never overeat or gain a single pound, although she'd probably suffer from some kind of disease due to lack or nutrients or clogged arteries.

Last night, again I went to have dinner at my friends house, same friend I have been eating with lately. He was going to make a thai style chicken stir fry, one of my favourite dinners. As usual, whenever he cooks it is always ready about 2 or 3 hours later than planned. I was hungry. I knew it would be awhile when I arrived because like always nothing had been started yet. so being hungry i had an apple and a couple carrots (which would have been forbidden before), which really took the edge off and I was still feeling good and looking forward to that delicious stir fry I knew I would be having. But then, he took out the giant bowl of tostitos and salsa. And I wanted some. So I again like before started eating them and much calmer than the last time I was there decided I would just go with it and eat them until I didn't want anymore. I was going to let my intuitive eating guide me, just like it guides me so well with other foods. and I kept eating the chips and kept eating the chips, and guess what? I ate allllllllllll the chips. I felt gross, stuffed and bloated, much like I did when I allowed myself to eat as many donuts as I wanted 2 days ago. It wasn't a binge and I did not feel in binge mode at any point during this episode because I did not feel guilty or feel ashamed or anything. Emotionally, It was a much better feeling than I feel when binging being so ashamed, but my stomach did not feel too much different from a binge. I imagined what would have happened if my mother and sister were there with me along with the old "restrictive me". And this is how I think it would have gone down. My mother would eat like 2 chips or a handful and be completely fine and not want anymore. My sister would eat the chips, and probably eat more than she might like but would negotiate with herself saying stop now, you can always have more another time, pull herself away from the chips before completely stuffing herself and proceed with the stir fry. The old me would have said "no way, you cannot even have one chip" and I would have sat there with extreme anxiety watching everyone eat the chips denying myself until the stir fry came, eat the stir fry still being agitated, still thinking about those chips and not even paying attention the the stir fry, and then go home while stopping at the store loading up on binge foods where I would then binge. My sister in the meantime, would have felt like maybe she didn't need the chips and had a bit too many of them, but no big deal, she didn't binge, enjoyed the stir fry and went home, went to bed, and forgot about it. My mother would not have given any thought to anything whatsoever. I will say though that by the time the stir fry was ready I was so full from the chips there was no way I wanted the stir fry and could not eat any at all. i went home, did not binge becuase I did not feel shame and guilt, but I can say boy do i feel gross this morning. My stomach hates me. I am sitting here trying to drink my coffee but every sip makes me want to vomit. I think I would have been better off doing what my sister would have done and had some, put on some restraints, and still enjoyed the stir fry. I do not see it as a failure that I ate the chips though, because I'm quite sure had I denied myself and just eaten the stir fry, I would have hit the grocery store on the way home and had much much much more "junk food" than the whole bag of chips and would feel worse than I do now.

The point I'm geting at here is that I think bingefree2013s theory on stopping binging definitely works. I think it is best suited though for someone like my mother. I have no doubt it would also allow me to recover from binging, but I feel pretty sure (although i know it doesn't mean much what I am sure about because come on, i have an eating disorder so nothing I'm sure of has much credidbility) I would in addition to not being a binger, would end up in the overweight or obese category. I think for me I am best to do more like what krampus does where I would recover from binging but still be of normal weight (maybe not right away but at some point because I can see there is some trial and error involved with recovery). This is how my sister recovered. She does feel she needs some external brakes and cannot rely on intuitive eating with everything, just most things. It's something my mother will never understand.

So that is how I am going to proceed. I will continue with not counting calories, and eating intuitively with most things. With things like chips and donuts, I will have them and not deny myselt like before, but I will use some external methods to avoid eating 5 donuts or a whole bag of chips. And the guilt i will have to work on. If I do end up eating 5 donuts or a whole bag of chips I will try and not beat myself up about it just like how my sister doesn't. In that respect, like what song of surly said, it helps knowing that these foods are designed to make people eat more, and just knowing that helps with the guilt factor instead of putting it on myself asking "what's wrong with me" and feeling so much shame.

I could continue going as I am not putting any kind of restraint on these foods, but honestly I just don't see myself ever getting to that point where I only want 2 chips. It never happened to me as a child before my disordered eating, so I don't really have any reason to think that would happen to me now. Bingefree2013 you said as a child you had no interest in food whatsoever. That is like my mother. You guys are lucky, but it's just not me. I clearly remember sneaking cupcakes at my grandmas house at around 8years old.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:49 PM   #95
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krampus we cross posted so i didn't see yours. Yes, I agree completely. and special occasions for me will be donuts at work, dinner at friends houses etc. I don't see a need to keep these things in my house. I don't think there will ever be a day where i can have a box of donuts on my counter and not obsess about it and not want the whole thing. But i will not continue torturing myself by denying myself when these things are out of my control like at work. It's better to just have some to avoid a binge later. I can see that now.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #96
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p.s. song of surley, really enjoyed your post. It is really interesting your whole experience dealing with PCOS. Don't worry about writing a "novel". If your post is a novel it would make all my posts be a set of encyclopeidas. I wish more people would chime in on there own experiences with this kind of thing. This has been the best thing ever for me getting the opinions and support from everyone while I try to tackle my disorder. I don't think I'd be brave enough to continue with this without that support. Hopefully noone gets too annoyed with my long posts, although I'm sure some will ))
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #97
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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...food-addiction

In this article, they did brain imaging on 39 women and 15 showed dramitically more brain activity when shown a picture of a milkshake. This was part of a 2 year study. It suggests that quite a large percentage of people may be more addicted to food than others. It talks a bit about the restrict binge cycle as well.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #98
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Yes, I have read The End of Overeating. After that, the subject has become a bit of a hobby to read up on, but I'm not nearly as well-versed as some of the other posters on this website. I often feel like a lab rat as well, but I don't live a completely whole foods diet. I still eat an Oreo every now and again, but I have backed off considerably from processed foods. It's really mostly out of anger and disgust. It's not necessarily that I blame these companies for making me fat (not by a long shot), but I get really pissed at the idea that I am being manipulated. I realize that all advertising is manipulation, and I understand the desire to want to get your customers "hooked" and create food the public enjoys, but it frustrates me that they know what has started innocently as a means to get more business has actually become fairly detrimental to the Western diet. I can handle preservatives and genetic modification, mostly because I realize that there are a lot of people to feed in this world, but this other stuff is hard for me to swallow. No pun intended.

I ordered a grilled chicken salad from McD's the other day (a hectic day), and their chicken was so moist that it actually grossed me out. The rest of the salad was quite fresh and nice, but I could tell that chicken was some weird stuff. I mean, it was slimy. I think they went a little too far with the moist engineering on that one.

And "fixed" was really a poor choice of wording. I guess I should have used "improved." My labs show that my imbalance from PCOS has improved a great deal since I was in high school. I'm not perfect, but much better. I went on birth control, metformin for some time, (I am getting an A1C in May to see if I need to go back on it or stay off), and I've lost a good deal of weight. I went for a spell not taking birth control to see if I could have my own period since I've lost some weight from my all-time high as a teenager, and I went several months with an on-time period. The out of control hormones contributed to some pretty out of control emotions and real self-esteem issues that I stuffed with food. I think that's some of the reason why I have a pretty innate distrust of my body signals and my mind. I know that it has been incorrect and has lied to itself before. Any time now that I feel like I am going through some existential crisis or some intense feeling about something, I always have to back off and say, "Now, is this real, or are my hormones messing with my brain?" Most of the time, I've found, I don't have a good reason to feel what I feel. I've kind of had to go through the same process with food when it comes to intense cravings.


And there's my novel. Haha, sorry. I didn't really want to give my life story, but I guess there it is.
Thank you for your response. I'm in an all out war with foods right now. Partly because I'm angry that I have food-dependency, food addictions, disordered eating, and my will power fights against me. That's a lot of self hatred right there and so I found a bit of relief when I realized that I CAN blame the food industry, not entirely but it was important that I came to an understanding that these foods are engineered in a way to make someone like me eat more of them. No, nobody held a gun to my head and made me buy cheetos, I'm not a food to think that this is not my fault. But carrying the burden of failure is too heavy sometimes when things are stacked up against you. I'm actually extremely angry about GMO's, preservative-loaded crap foods, and other political decisions that work against the general public health. I hate seedless tomatoes, and the weeding out of so many breeds of beautiful fruits and vegetables all so we can engineer one kind of super tomato and one kind of super seed that can withstand any and every kind of pesticides so that some major megaconglamorate can reap the most profits for their profits. It's scary.

Thanks for clearing up the hormones bit, I thought you meant something else.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:48 AM   #99
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I think you would see a different angle to this if you read The End of Overeating. It's not about addiction in the sense of being a weak willed person or something like that, it's about physiological response to certain combinations of stimuli, one that is unavoidable in our society.
I have read The End of Overeating and I continue to question the concept of addiction, as does the U.K. professor who wrote the book The Myth of Addiction: http://www.amazon.ca/Myth-Addiction-.../dp/9057022370

I believe there are degrees of habituation, and that some habits are VERY entrenched and difficult to break. But I don't believe in a separate entity called "addiction" that robs us of all control. I believe we choose our behaviours on some level, even our unhealthiest ones, because they provide immediate and dependable comfort in a difficult world.

Let's say an all-powerful genie came up to you (generic you) and told you that if you didn't quit [insert health vice of choice], the person you love the most in the world would have a week left to live. I'll bet you would be able to stop the behaviour with relatively little difficulty. If that same genie commanded you to get rid of your Type 1 diabetes or else, you'd be hard pressed to comply. The way I see it, we DO have control over our so-called addictions. We just don't always use that control in the service of health, and that's OK.

From Wikipedia: <<The life-process model of addiction is the view that addiction is not a disease but rather a habitual response and a source of gratification and security that can be understood only in the context of social relationships and experiences. This model of addiction is in direct opposition to the disease model of addiction.>> Needless to say, I agree with the life-process model.

I also tend to be underwhelmed by all those PET-scan studies that show brains lighting up at this or that stimulus. The logic leading from "frontal gizmoid cortex lighting up" to "addiction" is rather shaky, IMO.

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #100
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I have read The End of Overeating and I continue to question the concept of addiction, as does the U.K. professor who wrote the book The Myth of Addiction: http://www.amazon.ca/Myth-Addiction-.../dp/9057022370

I believe there are degrees of habituation, and that some habits are VERY entrenched and difficult to break. But I don't believe in a separate entity called "addiction" that robs us of all control. I believe we choose our behaviours on some level, even our unhealthiest ones, because they provide immediate and dependable comfort in a difficult world.

Let's say an all-powerful genie came up to you (generic you) and told you that if you didn't quit [insert health vice of choice], the person you love the most in the world would have a week left to live. I'll bet you would be able to stop the behaviour with relatively little difficulty. The way I see it, we DO have control. We just don't always use it in the service of health, and that's OK.

From Wikipedia: <<The life-process model of addiction is the view that addiction is not a disease but rather a habitual response and a source of gratification and security that can be understood only in the context of social relationships and experiences. This model of addiction is in direct opposition to the disease model of addiction.>> Needless to say, I agree with the life-process model.

I also tend to be underwhelmed by all those PET-scan studies that show brains lighting up at this or that stimulus. The logic leading from "frontal gizmoid cortex lighting up" to "addiction" is rather shaky, IMO.

F.
Freelance - I'm finding your posts quite fascinating. I've never seen this before. Definitely something to ponder.

I suppose I'm one of the fortunate ones who doesn't suffer from any type of addiction. Sure, I'm attracted to certain foods, and goodness knows I love wine, but I'm not a binge eater nor do I find any particular food so overpowering that I'd do some crazy things to get it. Well, maybe with the exception of Zapps Hotter n' Hot Jalapeno Potato Chips..... (jk, of course)

As for the wine, I'd developed a habit - and it was pure habit, mind you - of drinking a couple of glasses of wine every night just to "relax" - and of course, that wine went down quite easily with nuts, or cheese, or chips (particularly of the variety mentioned above). When I decided it was time to shed some of this extra weight I'd managed to add on over the last three years, the nightly wine/snack was the first thing to go. I was absolutely amazed at how easy it was. The first night or two I really missed the wine, but I'd promised myself that I'd do it for 90 days. It was so incredibly easy to give up that it was obvious that it was pure habit. And I'm amazed at how much better I feel not having that sluggish evening feeling...I sleep so much better and I've dropped a few pounds just by breaking this habit.

Yet there are probably people who would have said I was "addicted" to that wine (and those Zapps!) but no, it would definitely be better defined as an attraction.

My brother, OTOH, who is a recovering alcoholic, is another story entirely. He attends AA meetings on average 4 times a week, and he's been sober over 20 years. He says he fights it every hour of every day. He also has what I would almost consider an addiction to sweets (which he probably substituted for the alcohol). He has recently lost 30+ lbs but still "cheats" with the sweets, so I'm concerned about his ability to ever give them up completely. He's lost the weight with the QWLC program, and I think he's using that rather than trying to do it on his own as I suppose he feels it necessary to have that accountability. He goes there three times a week.

I see what you're saying about "the myth of addiction" but in this case, the difference between our "attractions" is significant. So perhaps we could look at the term "addiction" as a measure of the intensity of the attraction. If that makes any sense.

Then again, it might boil down to something as simple as self-control. I have always had much more self-control over EVERYTHING in my life as opposed to my brother. I'm a classic Type B personality, whereas he's a classic Type A. Goes full throttle into everything he does. So personality types may figure into the attraction scenario as well.

I'm going to try and find that book at the local library. Sounds like an interesting read.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:41 PM   #101
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I see what you're saying about "the myth of addiction" but in this case, the difference between our "attractions" is significant. So perhaps we could look at the term "addiction" as a measure of the intensity of the attraction. If that makes any sense.
I agree with this. I also agree with what you said about self-control. These days it's not fashionable or politically correct to suggest that people may have different degrees of self-control, though the recently released book Willpower may be reviving the concept. Maybe some us ARE weak-willed jellyfish after all. (OK, I'm just exaggerating to make a point.)

My mother, for example, had what I considered an iron will. She often said, as I do, that she could eat twice as much as she actually did, but she maintained her teenage weight (and figure!) until the day she died.

Freelance

p.s. It's also unfashionable to suggest that overeating, drinking, smoking, or abusing substances are actually pleasurable or rewarding. But they are! That's why we do them. (I'm not saying the pleasure is worth the price, though in some cases it may be.)
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:03 PM   #102
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http://fyoured.com/post/36059452662

interesting article much in line with bingefree2013 thoughts.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:24 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by veggiedaze View Post
http://fyoured.com/post/36059452662

interesting article much in line with bingefree2013 thoughts.
I agree very much, especially with the following sentence: "◦Trying to cheat your way out of hunger is only going to either make you very miserable, or just much, much more Hungry at a later point, or both." Whenever i've tried to diet, the longer i stick with it and the more severe the restriction, the more hungry i will end up weeks later. I may feel fine for weeks but once the hunger hits, OH MY GOD. It all adds up and comes back and hits you. At least for me.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:33 PM   #104
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surfergirl2 - yes I agree with that too. The more I read about bingeing etc. the more interesting it becomes. For me I am not rejecting any idea and being open to everything. I think bingeing is really complex and something that is true for one person may not be true for another.I think for me there may be a combination of things going on. Stopping the diet/restriction mentality seems to be the first step for me, but not the only step.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:50 PM   #105
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http://fyoured.com/post/36059452662

interesting article much in line with bingefree2013 thoughts.

Wow. That's quite a powerful blog post. I wish I had the guts to follow her approach. Maybe someday...

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