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Is it possible to be a binger and get to goal?

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Old 01-04-2014, 11:57 PM   #1
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Default Is it possible to be a binger and get to goal?

Hate to sound like Debbie Downer but I'm wondering if there are bringers who go on to graduate to goal and then are able to maintain? It seems like food consumes my thoughts, even when I lost 50lbs last year, and I gained it all back. Will there ever come a time where I'm not consumed by food thoughts? Is it possible to be "normal" and think of normal things instead of food all the time?
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:19 AM   #2
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I'm pretty close to goal and have gotten this far by having one 'cheat day' per week... Not ideal but I've done pretty well eating healthily the rest of the time, and knowing I can have a few treats once a week helps me not obsess over unhealthy food all week.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:15 AM   #3
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I am a binger and below my original goal and working hard at maintenance , so I'm not counting myself out of this game. What works for me is the opposite of what works for Finch (you gotta be willing to find what works for YOU and embrace it), in that I've cut out completely a lot of my most problematic foods. The major benefit besides weight loss is that I'm no longer consumed with food thoughts. My headspace is SO much quieter.

So for me I had to give up the idea of being able to eat certain things in moderation, and now that I'm through the mental/physical/emotional withdrawal of that I'm much more serene.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:11 AM   #4
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Interesting question. Certainly it seems that most people who lose weight put it on again and often more. I've lost weight plenty of times and always put it back on. I still hope to get past it but i'm not sure if i can or not. However I will still keep on trying to lose it and do it each time with the aspiration that i can do it permanently.

I think you have to analyse why you failed in the end, why you gave up and went back to old ways. And also part of it may be to do with the way you go about losing it in the first place.

Because of all this i am trying something new this time. I intend to try to do it slowly. They say now, that once you get down to a loss of about 10% of body weight you may start to find yourself getting particularly hungry. This is a hormonal response to rapid weight loss.

I think for me, its not so much that i lose it fast but at a certain point, i stop being vigilant. You get casual and relaxed. I don't think we can ever afford to be casual about what we stick in our mouths. I don't think most thin women are casual about it either. I have a thin sister and I do not see her as casual.

Then there are some lucky types who do just seem to eat normally naturally and don't have to worry too much. They have a combination of a lifestyle and food that works out on balance to maintain a stable healthy weight. I don't think there are too many people like this to be honest. Most overweight people tend to lead inactive lifestyles and most thin people lead active lives, unless they are smokers.

I hope this makes sense.

So my new plan is to try to stabilise my weight for a period of time when i get to around that 10% less time and before continuing downwards. I have had this plan for a while but haven't really got around to testing it yet. I decided on this approach after reading a long and in-depth article about scientific studies on dieters in a reputable magazine here in Australia that i read about a year ago or more.

So i don't know if this approach will succeed or not. It may just be in my genes to be the way i am in my circumstances. But i'm not ready to give up.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:26 PM   #5
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I'm a former binger/purger. Yes, you CAN get to goal so don't let any negative thoughts hold you back.

What is crucial is for you to keep your binging to a minimum. On your journey (as in practically all of our journeys), you will fall off the wagon but get up and put yourself back on it again.

There are many ways to end binging - my way is somewhat between Finch's and Mrs Snark's way in that I don't have a cheat day but I also don't restrict so I can eat a treat each day if I wanted to. That's been working well so far for me.

You may find that you have to experiment many times with what works for you and what does not but don't give up because you'll get there eventually.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navywife12 View Post
Will there ever come a time where I'm not consumed by food thoughts? Is it possible to be "normal" and think of normal things instead of food all the time?
I once attended a lecture by a doctor who was a recovering alcoholic. He said the key to overcoming an addiction is to find replacement activities that are equally compelling. Otherwise, there's no reason to "just say no" to the addiction.

I think it's no different with food. The key to becoming "normal" around food (i.e., not being constantly driven to overeat and binge) is to find other activities that inspire and energize you. For me it's writing and learning new languages. For someone else it could be golf, scrapbooking, and/or starting a volunteer organization.

People like you and me may never become totally indifferent to food, but I believe we can considerably lessen our reliance on it as a source of comfort and pleasure.

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Old 01-05-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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This is a great question and I like all the responses. I believe that by nature we are bingers. Cave men had to eat and eat alot when they could because it may be days before they found more nuts, berries, fish or game. You may think me crazy, but I think we are genetically at a disadvantage because cave men had to work hard to find food and lived a very active lifestyle. We can just go to Wegmans & jump in our cars, not to mention all the artificial foods we eat. I think that is part of "why" we struggle, we are "wired" that way. So, what to do about it, I think the poster that suggested to find substitutes to occupy your mind is great, most ex-addicts are obsessed with something "else" like running, religion, etc. I won't sugar coat this, I think our weight will be a LIFELONG battle, but one we can learn to win.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
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I totally agree with freelance momma. I did that when i quit smoking the last time and its a strategy. It is ideal if you can find a different thing to do instead of binging. I think binging has become a habit for me at times so its not even as if i do it for comfort eating anymore.

My way of avoiding binging that works is to make sure i don't get hungry. Eat something healthy before you get hungry. Not a lot just maybe an orange or something like that. And make you sure you don't wait a long time between meals.

I find eating lunch and dinner early rather than later helps me avoid getting hungry. Then its good to avoid sitting up all night but if you must, then you should have another small meal or low cal satisfying snack later at night. I don't plan the later snack but its what i do if i find myself in this situation. Something like a piece of wholegrain toast with butter and vegemite is good.

Have you noticed that when you eat sweet foods you want to eat more, then don't eat sweet foods.

Sometimes i noticed that even though i've eaten a meal and then eat dessert, if i'm in binging or careless mode that sweet dessert doesn't nicely finish off my appetite but i can still go on eating more. so i realised that if i have to have dessert, have it first. I don't do this all the time cause i don't usually eat dessert but its a strategy that i noticed is easier to do than vice versa.

You've got to get creative with your approach to dieting and i'm afraid to say that a lot of my creative solutions have come about from so much practice.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellamack View Post
This is a great question and I like all the responses. I believe that by nature we are bingers. Cave men had to eat and eat alot when they could because it may be days before they found more nuts, berries, fish or game. You may think me crazy, but I think we are genetically at a disadvantage because cave men had to work hard to find food and lived a very active lifestyle. We can just go to Wegmans & jump in our cars, not to mention all the artificial foods we eat. I think that is part of "why" we struggle, we are "wired" that way. So, what to do about it, I think the poster that suggested to find substitutes to occupy your mind is great, most ex-addicts are obsessed with something "else" like running, religion, etc. I won't sugar coat this, I think our weight will be a LIFELONG battle, but one we can learn to win.
I'm with bellamack on this too. I think we are in general designed for scarcity. You don't even have to go back to caveman days. In india most people are skinny. When you travel outside the cities, 99% are thin. That's because they are poor and also have to work physically quite hard. But the rich people are getting fat and as their middle class is growing rapidly so too are the number of fat people. They have always loved very sweet and oily foods in india so they will probably end up a lot of worse than us westerners.

So we need to learn to practice self-restraint and its not easy. But maybe we can get better at it with practice too. Sorry for over posting. Its just an interesting topic.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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I am a binger and for me it hasn't been possible at all. I try, and keep trying, but hasn't been possible yet.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:20 AM   #11
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My fam is from Hong Kong and most people are skinny and can afford to eat a lot - some, at least the ones I know, stay thin because of the harsh social retributions from Asian grannies - every family gathering is "body evaluation time. " I always scored poorly bwahhaha. In my experience, they eat rich foods, but just during meal time and the walking helps too. I love to eat for the simple act of eating, so that method isn't for me.

Anyways, about the question - I do think weight management is possible for those who work on managing their binging urges and have greatly reduced binging as a result.

For those who actively binge? Hm...without doing something like purging I imagine it can be difficult...but possible if you mix it up with binging and then restricting. Sorta like an ED version of a competitive eater - if you look up Freakeating on Youtube, he talks about what he eats outside of the competitions. Not recommending this, but I think that its physically possible.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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It is absolutely possible. I started this journey in 2011, the year I turned 40, after years of binging and years of steadily gaining weight. Is it "easy" now? No. Do I still binge sometimes? Yes. Do I still lose control? Yes.

But - 3 years later - I am still maintaining my weight loss. The more success I have, which for me (now) is maintaining and losing the holiday/vacation weight when I gain it, the more natural it becomes. It is not "easy" - but it is more natural. I am starting to think more like a healthy-weight person.

I have to admit, I went nuts over the holidays. I totally lost control and I felt guilty and full of shame at times. But, I was able to forgive myself and start over, it's the only thing I could do. I can't go back in time and not eat 50 Christmas cookies in one day, I just had to learn from it and remember how mentally and physically awful it felt.

Yeah, it sucks re-losing the weight I already lost, but the only alternative is not to lose it again or to continue gaining. Until a time machine is invented...
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:27 AM   #13
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I never gained from my binging habits when I had them. I would eat and eat, but it would be lettuce, cucumbers, celery, frozen vegetables, egg whites, etc. I once ate an onion, sliced and baked.

I haven't binged like I used to in years, but I presume I could and still get to goal. It's all about what you're binging on. I have a hard time buying/ordering unhealthy food for myself. I have always been too embarrassed to do it, so that certainly helps.

Once in a while, I'll overeat now, but if I stay out of the kitchen, my binging habits seem to have really disappeared once I got married (& divorced), had a kid, etc. It may be because I'm hardly ever at home alone.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:50 PM   #14
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I am not anywhere near my goal, but I have gotten below my goal and regained many times in the past 14 years. I think there are few reasons why I have failed in the past.

1. I just focused on the diet. All I thought about was restricting, restricting, restricting. I cut out foods that weren't allowed and vowed never to eat them again. Of course, I failed.

2. I never listened to my body. The first time I started having real success was when I started trying to figure out the source of my cravings. My binges always started with an overwhelming craving for something. Instead of thinking "Oh my God, I need French fries," and just giving in, I would try to think about what I was really craving - like I thought was craving French fries, but what I really wanted was salt - and then I would try to meet that need in a diet-friendly way.

3. I never gave myself a break. With all of the restricting, I would place so much pressure on myself to eat perfectly, that one slip up would derail me for days, if not weeks. This time around, I am giving myself little allowances. I cut out my daily caramel latte, but I still let myself enjoy a caramel latte once a week. It's not all or nothing any more.

So, I think it is absolutely possible for a binge eater to get to their goal weight. It may mean trying to dig into the reasons behind why you binge. I think it's really important to be kind to yourself. If you wouldn't expect perfection from someone else, then you can't expect it for yourself. I think it's okay to have a cheat meal or a cheat day if that is what helps you in the long run.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:36 AM   #15
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when i go cold turkey for 6 days straight (nothing bad) and have a cheat day or meal, im a lot more satified. I lost some weight that way back when i was younger, but it hasn't worked for me lately. I guess it's finding what works with your body.
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