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This is my first post… in desperate need of some help!

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Old 12-20-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default This is my first post… in desperate need of some help!

Hi everyone!
I am new to the forum, and I am writing because I am almost at the end of my rope…

I am actually a fitness professional, and I am an EXTREMELY active person… I am not even overweight, (however I have put on a a decent amount of weight recently)
but I just cannot. stop. binging.
It's awful. If unhealthy stuff isn't around me, I don't really think about it… but if any sugary food is in front of me, I will eat it. All of it.
I physically can't seem to stop myself, and it makes me feel like an absolute failure. I feel like all of my hard work is going to waste, and I am setting a terrible example for my clients.
This has been a secret of mine for a while…. I will eat an entire box of cookie/bag of candy if it is around me. Which I've done several times this week because it is the holidays and this stuff is absolutely everywhere. I've put on 5 pounds this week alone (which I know is mostly water, but still)
I don't know what to do.
I feel so disgusting. Nobody really thinks it is a problem because I'm not overweight.. but I HATE feeling this out of control.

If anyone has any tips… or anything… I don't know what to do..
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:51 PM   #2
Michelle the Vegan
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Hi there, welcome to the forum.

I totally understand where you are coming from (all of us in this forum do!).

First, you are NOT disgusting, you're human. Nobody is perfect, we all have struggles in this life, and one of ours is this binging problem. While it is certainly a problem, it isn't all of who we (or you) are.

Like you, there were periods in my life where I was very in shape and still binging, though it always eventually caught up with me. I simply couldn't out-exercise a bad diet (including binging) long-term.

Since you asked for advice, here is mine: make an extreme effort to get rid of the junky food from your environment and stay out of temptation's way for a while. Whatever it takes, do it. Think of it as your own personal rehab. You may eventually be able to incorporate moderate amounts of junky food into your life, but right at the beginning you want to really make a break with your trigger foods -- all of them.

While it is very hard to do, KNOW while you are doing it that it gets easier. You will go through physical and mental and emotional withdrawal, and along the way you will find new go-to foods and new methods of coping with stress and new methods of entertaining yourself that don't involve stuffing yourself with food.

In this forum we all know how very HARD this is, I know that at some moments it seems downright impossible, but you CAN do it. ANd it does get it easier. Stay with it, really gut it out at the beginning because it will get easier in time.

Hang in there!

Last edited by Mrs Snark : 12-20-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
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I really feel your pain. Around the holidays, there are so many temptations in the break room at work that I have taken the step of removing them from the table and hiding them off in a corner where I can't see them when I am on break. If DH or the kids bring tempting junk food home, I throw it out when they aren't looking. If I don't, there comes a time of night that I may break down and eat it. If it's not in the house, I won't go out and buy it. That's a step in the right direction! We live very near to a cvs drugstore, and I used to run out and buy candy, but I broke that habit.

Bingeing is a very intriguing condition/disorder. The stuffing of one's stomach with food seems to stop one from feeling emotions. Many people who have turned to bingeing have suffered trauma in childhood or early life. Those of us who battle the condition need to come at it from two directions. We need to work on sitting with our feelings instead of masking them. We also need to remove triggers, like junk foods, from our environments.

Last edited by Valkyrie1 : 12-21-2013 at 12:30 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for your response guys… it really helps to know that someone is listening and knows how I feel!
The binging I feel, is a remnant of the anorexia I had as a teenager…. (about 15 years ago) During my recovery I started eating and couldn't stop. This only starts to happen every now and then, and right now it's been very bad.
It only happens with sweet food… I think that I have to just cut it out completely, because once I start I can't physically stop.
I feel physically sick right now because I was at my job's holiday party last night and I ate probably 10 cookies.
I think even just coming to this conclusion is helpful in and of itself…. An alcoholic wouldn't have "just one drink" so perhaps I can't just have "some" dessert. :/

Many thanks again for reading!!
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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You may want to fall back on the lessons you were learning while recovering from anorexia. Because you are a fitness professional, you're extremely active and burning a lot of calories. Make sure you're still eating at regular intervals. For me, making certain I eat every 3 hours has been a significant help in combating my urges to binge.

Don't under estimate your caloric need but consider your total daily requirement while planning your meals and two snacks each day. I am finding the more stable my caloric intake, every three hours, the easier it is to resist the urge to binge. First, I feel more full and satisfied that way. Second, I know with predictability it will only be a few hours until I will be eating again.

Despite this approach, I knew I could not be around fancy, beautiful, sugar-filled food this holiday season. I skipped the office party and refused to frequent the staff room when I knew there would be sweets dripping off the sideboards and tables. Although I still experience the urge to binge, I've focused on staying away from situations where I am able to act on the impulse.

Finally, what's done is done. As Mrs. Snark said, you're human. Everyone on the binge eating boards knows exactly the difficulty you're experiencing. Beating yourself up doesn't help so just let it go and focus on getting yourself onto a normalized, healthy eating pattern.

There's another thread on the boards that might be of interest to you. It's a discussion of the book, Brain Over Binge. Like you, the author was a healthy, athletic woman who played softball and ran track. Like you, she experienced anorexia. Like all of us, she experienced the powerful grip of binge eating. Her approach may or may not work for you, but at the very least, you'll know you're not alone if you opt to read her book.
Binge free since October 18, 2014.

One for every 10 pounds lost; one for every 5 pounds lost:
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
Michelle the Vegan
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Originally Posted by Songofsusannah View Post
I think even just coming to this conclusion is helpful in and of itself…. An alcoholic wouldn't have "just one drink" so perhaps I can't just have "some" dessert. :/

Many thanks again for reading!!
I've spent alot of unsuccessful years telling myself I could learn moderation around desserts (and other carby junky items). Never mind that all objective evidence PROVED that I could NOT. But I wanted to learn moderation SO VERY BADLY. I mean, I'm 46 now, when did I think I was going to gain this skill?

Once I let the idea of moderation around my trigger foods go, gave them up, and learned that life is still worth living without them (which I didn't really believe at first), things have gotten alot easier all the way around.

And you're right, it is the same for alcoholics.

Edited to add: not that all binge eaters would have to do what I do, my approach may be drastic to some people, I'm just sharing what works for me.

Last edited by Mrs Snark : 12-21-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:45 AM   #7
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I just downloaded "Brain Over Binge" last night and I actually got through most of it in the first sitting… Her story is almost EXACTLY the same as mine. It was honestly really eerie. Even down to the tonsillitis triggering the anorexia to begin with. (That's how I first learned how to starve, and how good it felt to lose the weight.) It was so eye opening, the tiny shift the brain can make. I will take her advice to heart and see how it works in my situation…

Thank you SO Much for the advice and recommendations… it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders to know that I'm not alone, and perhaps there is indeed an answer.
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Old 12-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #8
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Songofsusannah— I'm so excited for you that you discovered Kathryn Hansen's Brain Over Binge!! My own story of moderate binging w/ no purging is rather different from hers, but all the same I found it enormously helpful. Thanks to that book, I have broken free from the control that cookies & other sugary foods had over my life, and I've made it to well over one month binge-free.

I don't know if this will be of any use to you or not, but in my early days of using Hansen's technique I found it helpful to use visual & auditory imagery to help separate myself from the urge to binge. For example, I imagined that the urge to binge was a yappy little dog trying to get me to play with it, while I was engaged in doing something else, like playing chess. =laugh= There I was, seated in my higher brain, doing something intelligent, and I could ignore that annoying little dog with its high-pitched ridiculous voice. And eventually the dog got quiet!

Best of luck to you!

Current mini-goal: Get down to 240
Pounds to go: 19

Mini-goal 1: 30 days binge-free —> done 12/21/13 & binge-free now
Mini-goal 2: Get down to 280 —> done 5/22/14
Mini-goal 3: Get down to 260 —> done 1/1/16
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