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Low mood and All I can think about is what to eat next!

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Old 02-16-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default Low mood and All I can think about is what to eat next!

Hi all,

I have a real issue with binge eating. If surrounded by carbs, even healthy ones, if I have a low day, i eat everything in sight. I'm greedy, hedonistic.

Bizarrely, I'm not massively overweight. However, years ago I did gain a lo of weight and had mild depression. I got out of it and found the only way to feel happy around food was to restrict my access to it. None of my friends or family can understand this. I know moderation is the key, but if I'm honest, if I start eating it I want more. By it I mean anything from bread (whole grain or white), oatcakes to cakes and biscuits.

I think what I have found that worked for me was to be very strict with myself and if I was to have binge foods. Ie carbs I would only eat them when we had company. However, now I'm married (to a husband who loves all my binge foods, biscuits, cereals and bread) and my husband can't understand that when I am feeling a bit flat, carbs are almost like a drug. I appreciate I have control but I have no willpower. I feel really alone with this. I eat until
I feel sick and it seems so ignorant. I know I will feel worse in the long run but today for example, I felt terrible when I woke up (my little one was up in the night which didn't help!) but I had breakfast, served breakfast up for everyone else, then it started eating their left overs. Having handfuls of cereal and then it was a case of whatever I could lay my hands on, cake, chocolate, whole grain cereal- "healthy food". If it contains cho I don't seem to have a stop button. It's madness, it makes me feel ill and worse in the long run.

I found this forum and am just looking for a place to find anyone who won't judge me and maybe even can offer advice.

Thank you all x
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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You are not alone! This is an all-too-familiar story. There's a lot of research out there that strongly suggests refined carbs like sugar and flour act like heroin in our brain. I found this book extremely helpful for me to understand and manage my tendencies to binge:Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen Also Robert Lustig & David Kessler write about the addictive nature of these foods. It helps to gain control when you have the background scoop.

2 suggestions: 1) keep some protein go-to food that you like. Sometimes I've eaten almost an entire chicken! It satisfied me & was better than the cookies, candy, pastry etc that would have started the roller coaster.
2) Be very kind to yourself. This is not a character flaw, NOT gluttony. It's a difficult phenomenon that many experience. You need to be a gentle friend to yourself when you slip.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:43 PM   #3
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For me, it is all or nothing. I simply have no control. There is absolutely no "moderation" when it comes to carbs. I know myself, so, it works for me to just say "I can't have even a small bite." So, saying "no" makes it much easier. Some people have the ability to stop themselves. I do not.
I wish you well. I have been successful, so you can be, too.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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These are really thoughtful and encouraging posts. I think on some
Level I think I must be wired differently to others, my husband and his mother have to have cake or biscuits in the house as they just want a slice or a biscuit with a. Coffee but then "they're done" as it were. They say to me not to deprive myself but after that first slice I'm just thinking I want more! As I said it's the same with any cho- even wholemeal bread! So it's so reassuring to read your above posts. How do you abstain when others in your house are eating these foods or you are preparing them for them? Thanks so much for replying, I felt so alone today.
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:57 PM   #5
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Really excited to hear you guys have been successful. I have been when at work and not had access to these foods, another question to fire at you, how do you cope when low, tired or generally have the urge to eat them?

I will try with the protein tips! Thank you :-)
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #6
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I was just thinking of you and this very issue when I read your post! It might be worthwhile to have a heart to heart talk with your husband and explain your needs--they are not unreasonable at all! If you can enlist his help, it will be easier for you, but even if not, you'll have put it out there. Perhaps he can keep his carby foods somewhere out of sight and bring them out only when he and/or his mother are going to eat them.

It's your home too, and may be healthier in the long run for all of you to limit those refined carbs, including your little one.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:53 PM   #7
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You are definietly not alone. I was on a strict high protein low carb diet for several months and lost a huge amount of weight, never had cravings for the bad stuff at all, then one day last month I decided to have a "cheat day" and that opened up a whole can of worms. Before I had this cheat day, the way I dealt with my emotions and stress was I just dealt with it. I was strict and didn't falter at all and that control made it so much easier for me. Now it's been a month and I've had so many carb binges I'm lucky I haven't gained a ton of the weight back. I think you already have the answer to your question and that is the strictness and the control. Some think that having that much control would backfire, but after what happened to me I truly believe that for some people that's what works. It's been two days since I've been back eating on plan and I'll admit I'm afraid that tomorrow I could go off and binge again, but the key is to just do it, be strict with yourself and feel good about it. Much luck to you and know that you are definietly not alone.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:24 PM   #8
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I can relate. Being tired. Being bored. Being depressed. These are all triggers for me to sugar binge. I've read Brain Over Binge and it is definitely thought provoking and has helped me regard my binging habit as something that can be controlled by changing my behavior. I'm currently on a high-protein, low fat, low carb diet program. Today was a low day for me--in fact all week has been--and it has been a struggle to maintain good choices. My go-to these days is a tablespoon of almond butter. It gives me something to savor but because it isn't sweet, I seem to be able to stop at one tablespoon. It is hard once the emotions take over, though. You're definitely not alone.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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You ask how to abstain. If I'm truly in the zone, the bread, cake, cookie, etc. won't tempt me at all. One of the diet gurus, Dr. Gullo, has a saying that I like: "if I don't start, I don't have a problem." That is me, exactly. I have noticed when I'm tired or cranky, it's harder. But, the saying helps. Another thing that helps when I feel like straying is to ask myself " am I hungry?" Usually the answer is "no," but that bit of time gives me the opportunity to be mindful of my eating.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:42 AM   #10
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I think for at least some of us there must be a link between our seratonin levels and our appetite. Certainly i do pretty much as you do when i'm in a low mood. But i also am prone to do it when i'm not in a low mood. i think the former has led to the latter through a sort of habit.

so i think perhaps the first key for you is to get yourself happy. Are you seeing a therapist? or counsellor? Figure out what it is that brings you down and learn strategies to get you up again. I would suggest doing this with a counsellor and also learning mindfulness meditation. The secular buddhists do a good job of teaching it and all their related psychological tools.

If you are starting from scratch it does take a while to learn all these tools but growth and strengthening does happen.

Also you may benefit from antidepressants if your depression lingers. Though the antidepressants aren't like to stop the binging.

I am a sugar addict though except when i'm in binge mode, i am fine with all the other carb foods. When i'm in binge mode i will certainly focus all my efforts on getting lots of ice-cream, cake and lollies to eat. I am sure if i didn't have them or couldn't get them, i'd just eat whatever was to hand, cheese, nuts, bread, anything but probably not steak. I can eat a whole kilo of peanuts just as easily as i can eat a whole bucket of ice-cream.

But its only sugary foods that when i eat them even without depression that trigger a desire to keep on eating. So i do not consider the rest a problem at all really but i do still be careful with cheese and nuts because they re so high in fat.

Anyway, get yourself happy first. But on a diet level, try just banning the sweet stuff to start with. I don't think i could establish myself on a diet when i was down so i find it hard to imagine anyone else can too. But you know what you can do. So give it your best shot and if now is too difficult, wait until you start to feel better in yourself.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:48 AM   #11
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Level I think I must be wired differently to others, my husband and his mother have to have cake or biscuits in the house as they just want a slice or a biscuit with a. Coffee but then "they're done" as it were. They say to me not to deprive myself but after that first slice I'm just thinking I want more! As I said it's the same with any cho- even wholemeal bread! So it's so reassuring to read your above posts. How do you abstain when others in your house are eating these foods or you are preparing them for them? Thanks so much for replying, I felt so alone today.
Been there! For years I've tried to fix this problem and I think I've been going about it the wrong way. I've recently decided to aleviate myself from the torture of dieting and I'm finally seeing weightloss. I do believe that the dieting mindset backfires and I only believe it because I've tried every diet on the planet, lost weight, and then gained back more. Even diet plans themselves tell you "diets don't work!" which is really bizarre because they go on to tell you that THIS diet will be different. I just had enough of the hamster wheel. So I noticed I was in a vicious cycle and it went like this:

Stress, stress, stress --> eat eat eat ----> oh no i'm so gross! ---> must control myself, bad bad girl! ----> oh here's an idiotic diet ------> oh no it's not working, it must be my fault ---> BINGE -----> terrible thoughts about myself -----> Stress stress stress

So I stopped listening to DIETERS who only say focus on control, restriction, blaming food, blaming metabolism, etc. And I started paying attention to the people around me who eat real food and don't gain weight. Like your mil, your husband, my husband, my mother, and all the random people I see in real life that enjoy desserts and don't gain any weight. Surely they can't be blessed while I'm doomed right? I mean, I must be good at something - I've got some masters degrees and my own business and I run around after a toddler so maybe I'm not a pathetic loser after all.

So I figured out that they're not better or smarter or more blessed than I am, they just eat for the right reasons and I eat for all the other reasons, all the reason that have nothing to do with hunger - and those are alot of reasons lol! All this has led me to Intuitive Eating, I've been reading Overcoming Overeating, I'm in my third week of this and I've not eliminated anything from my diet, I don't feel hungry or deprived or out of control or self loathing. I'm eating all the foods I love and I've lost 3lbs so far. It's not a lot but I haven't budged from the low 200's in over 2yrs so I'll take it. It takes some getting used to because I've done more research in nutrition than you can imagine and you hear from dieters all kinds of things, like carbs are bad, fat is bad, calories are bad, everything is bad bad bad. Meanwhile all normal eaters just eat moderately, don't deprive themselves and stay thin. Ding ding ding, yes it's as easy as that. It's sort of ridiculous though when I think about it too much, imagine finding a way to have your cake and eat it too? I'm finding that it's not so difficult to do what your mil does in the bold underlined sentence.
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth

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Old 02-17-2014, 11:05 PM   #12
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wannabe a lot of us find it really difficult to eat moderately. Especially when you have a strong craving to binge on high calorie and sweet foods.

I really wish i could stop myself when know i don't need any more but for some of us, the head has its own story going on inside and we don't know what's going on in there but we are unable to follow what we know to be right and rational. We are compelled to give in to the urge to eat more than we need. I wish it were different.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:35 PM   #13
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wannabe a lot of us find it really difficult to eat moderately. Especially when you have a strong craving to binge on high calorie and sweet foods.

I really wish i could stop myself when know i don't need any more but for some of us, the head has its own story going on inside and we don't know what's going on in there but we are unable to follow what we know to be right and rational. We are compelled to give in to the urge to eat more than we need. I wish it were different.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Pattience View Post
wannabe a lot of us find it really difficult to eat moderately. Especially when you have a strong craving to binge on high calorie and sweet foods.

I really wish i could stop myself when know i don't need any more but for some of us, the head has its own story going on inside and we don't know what's going on in there but we are unable to follow what we know to be right and rational. We are compelled to give in to the urge to eat more than we need. I wish it were different.
I know. I've been a compulsive eater all my life, so I understand this completely. The process of IE is not something I came to easily or willingly. I've weeded through a lot of internal struggle to come to the conclusion that I really don't have a problem. I'm not a compulsive monster, I'm not a failure, food is not the enemy, and I don't need an external force (like a diet, an exercise guru, an upcoming event) to motivate change. Some people have a life long tolerance for dieting - I do not. Ultimately I want to eat and be happy and this is the only plan that allows me to do both.
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"Binging is a descent into a world where every restriction... is cut loose. At its core is a feeling of deprivation.. a feeling you can never get enough. Binges do not signify a lack of willpower or inability to care for yourself. On the contrary, binges are a urgent attempt to care for yourself when you feel uncared for. They are the voice of survival. Binges are the mark of the self that says, 'I am tired of feeling deprived, of being told I am wrong, that I am bad." - Geneen Roth
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:26 AM   #15
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Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and I'm so glad a lot of you have found something that works for you. A lot of the time I find I have energy "slumps" and then reach for food, this has been worse since having a little one- and not always a great sleeper! so sleep deprivation has made it worse, alongside my moods.

To be honest though, I love food. I try and be relaxed and I even planned a structured eating day, i.e. to go out for a lovely panini with my LO and a "frothy coffee" and I was really looking forward to it. I had had a relaxed morning, had breakfast and a few squares of dark chocolate. My little one seemed really hungry though, so I impulsively changed the plan and decided it was better to make him some food at home, I opened the cupboards and saw bread, white, seeded, wholemeal (I love bread!) and honestly I was like a woman possessed. I can honestly say, although I always regret it afterwards (if not immediately, then hours/days later, when I have stomach pain, feel sick and tired and obviously have gained weight, I also think it lowers my mood in the long run...) at the time, today for example, whilst bingeing I was on a high...I feel weird saying this, but I felt euphoric, it wasn't majorly "unhealthy stuff", it wasn't a rebound effect from banning anything or restricting anything. I felt euphoric as I was eating toast, toasted sandwiches, fruit loaf, cereal... I mean anything I could get my hands on.
It was impulsive and it really is madness as I know, absolutely, I will always feel worse afterwards, but it's that craving at the time. I have no willpower at all at that moment.

So sometimes, I think I eat to just try to stop feeling down, today wasn't like that, the urge was overwhelming and took me by surprise... it's like all the rewards centres in my brain lit up. My husband gets cross when I call it addiction, as I think he thinks that absolves self responsibility but at the time, if I am in that mode I can always justify the binge to myself, i.e. "oh well I'm making a sandwich for my son might as well have some for myself right now", "it would cheaper for me to eat this now than to eat out/get something out," then I start eating the plain bread as the sandwich is in the toaster... "I won't binge tomorrow if I do it now", "I might as well eat it who else will","mum brought me this I better eat it" I can honestly make up a million excuses at the time, and I believe them. I lie to myself. I think part of me think it's no big deal it's only food...at the time. Then later when I feel flat, tired, sick, plump, sludgy I regret it and think "where the **** did that come from?" my skin looks puffy and really dry and I always look and feel awful after a binge.

I have repeated themes, I am nearly always alone (although if I am in manic mode i.e. that taste of cake mode and then want more, I'll still do that in front of others), I try and justify it- I would like to say this or that is the cause, but I can't explain it, yet I can always make an excuse at that moment in time, I even started on the cereal today thinking, I need the iron and b vitamins! When I'm down I don't think it's gluttony in the same way, I am desperately trying to improve my mood and energy... yet today I wasn't down, I hadn't planned anything... I was slightly nervous the other day thinking I would be in the house alone with loads of food so I had planned for us to go out for lunch... yet I binged before it! although saying that my little one was hungry and I did think perhaps it was less extravagant to not eat at home, I also think at the time "it doesn't matter just this once" yet it isn't just once!!!!

It's bizarre and ignorant behaviour, I recognise that. I was once sitting with a group of friends, and one, a GP friend of mine, starting talking about a patient and she then went on to say, in horror, this patient had said they could eat a loaf of bread in a day... everyone laughed in shock... I kept quiet and thought, I could do that. Especially when down, yet everyone else thought how bizarre that would be and why on earth would someone do that. I don't stop until I feel sick. I'm fed up with myself and my excuses to myself.

The other thing that once helped was I used to get up (before having my little one) and go for a jog in the mornings, I wasn't doing it to slim just it would somehow improve my mood and I just wanted into bingeing afterwards. I used to find when I had a new boyfriend or I was motivated by looking nice I could refrain (I don't hardly care about the way I look anymore, sure I notice I look like a puff ball after a binge but I don't have that motivation). The other thing that helped, like I said in a previous post was I just didn't have it in the house, I'm absolutely serious I left carb in the car with my husband and then just left my son and I with potatoes, fish, vegetables quinoa, and whole milk (for him) and although I had the urge to binge during the day, I couldn't, I just didn't have access to it. Then my son also became a fussier eater and my husband was considering sectioning mw I think! I try and just be chilled about food, I've tried being structured i.e. planning everything, I've tried not caring at all and just eating whatever is going, but the latter hasn't helped, I would just binge every day gaining more weight and increasing my cholesterol!

It's odd, after a binge I don't care about anything. I don't feel like taking y son to the park, or housework or wanting to do anything. I know part of it is my indulgent side, but however much it upsets me I still do it. Isn't that meant to be a sign of insanity??

I have only ever had one friend who understood, and she went from a size 20 to 14 (she was a binge eater too) and she was like me, around young children and would make excuses..and often had low moods... she often warns me that the only way she has been able to control her weight (which she has had to do for health reasons) was to wake up each day and acknowledge she has a problem with food and needs to be structured with exercise and dietary planning. She is a great friend and so non judgemental and understanding, but I can't talk to her every day and I'm not sure if she's right or not. I can't make it to overeaters groups as w shave other children with us at the weekend and my husband works late.

I'm sorry to use this as a counselling group... I just wanted advice and and ear to bend. I know people keep telling me to chill output when I do I overeat even more... :sigh"

I don't know if this is psychoanalysing myself too much. I was a slim child, but my mother told me how I once licked off all the icing of the cakes and mum once found me eating sugar, directly from the pack, I had eaten so much I was sick! Yet cakes and sweets weren't restricted in our house, although we weren't allowed unlimited amounts... i.e. my friend had a sweetie drawer that she helped herself to all day long and my mum said she could never do that as my dad and I would just eat them all!

Thanks for listening

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