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pghchick 03-22-2014 10:13 PM

I don't want weight loss...I want freedom from binging
Looking to see if anyone else feels this way or has had this experience...
I lost all of the weight + some at one point. And then I gained it back VERY QUICKLY. Though there is an inner peace when you absorb yourself in this perfectionism, the flip side of the coin is ugly. When I started I weighed 197lbs and even though I was heavy, I felt good because I was not binging.

Fast forward 8 months later I stand on the scale and weigh in at 142lbs...9lbs above my lowest and I hate myself more than I was at 222lbs. I knew something was wrong with this but I couldn't come to grips with the weight gain and the BINGING that seemed to control me. I was in a panic and I thought that I looked like crap and felt like everyone could see into my defective soul. This is a body image issue and is not cured with weight loss. I hate when I hear people on infomercials say "I was fat and I hated myself but now that I am thin, I love my body." Because the moment that person gains 5lbs, they will feel like they are that much closer to being their prior "unworthy" self. I am a work in progress and trying to be at peace with myself no matter what weight.

After losing all the weight and feeling like a failure for even the slightest weight gain, I've realized that it is the binging that drives me crazy. The moment I let the binging go is the moment I feel free. I have had a weight issue not because I neglected to follow X diet with 800 rules attached but because I have a bad relationship with food and myself (the relationship with myself is a lot better but the food needs work). And the binging is what robs me of my peace.

1. Its not the weight that makes me unhappy, it was the lack of control I've felt due to binging behavior.
2. People like you for you not your weight. Think about the people who you enjoy being around...is it their beautiful hair or good looks? H*ll no! It is their charm, loving nature, humor, etc.
3. Body image issues are not cured with weight loss. That is a self-worth problem and it will haunt you no matter what size you are.
4. If I took a pill that would melt all the fat away in one night it would not fix my problem. In fact, that would be a curse because it is disheartening to breeze past pant sizes in the upward direction. I am working on the root of the problem which is the binging.

These are just some things I've learned to be true of myself. Has anyone else had this experience?

PatLib 03-22-2014 10:26 PM

Weight is typically the symptom not the cause.

A lot of people disagree with me on this point but I believe that most people are emotional eaters and unless you deal with those emotions they'll stay with you even after the weight loss. Which is probably why most people regain their weight.

I personally wasn't successful with weight loss until I fixed everything else in my life like job, family, etc.

pghchick 03-23-2014 01:46 AM


Originally Posted by mars735 (Post 4968818)
There are all sorts of reasons to become overweight. However, bingeing seems to be brought on by dieting from what I've read and from personal experience.

Agreed. I def don't believe that everyone who is overweight has BED. I have a brother who is heavier and he does not understand my chaos. He also has only dieted once whereas I've dieted at least 20 times.

yoyoma 03-23-2014 07:42 AM

You might want to investigate Intuitive Eating (IE). There are some very supportive threads on IE at this site trying to deal with this issue and others like it.

Good luck finding an approach to dealing with this!

Pattience 03-23-2014 07:56 AM

I binge but i don't hate myself when i lose weight. If i lose weight, its because i am not binging.

I am trying to make this diet my last one, or at least make this diet last as long as i can before another rebound.

So have you ever tried any sort of therapy? Would you consider looking into the Beck diet solution which is based on Cognitive behaviour therapy.

There's also mindfulness and food. Books written on it but mindfulness as a practice takes in much much more than just one's relationship to food. But in recognition of the fact that many people have a problem with food, there have been books focusing down the practice to dealing with this problem.

For myself, to deal with binging, i have done a lot of personal growth work. And now as part of this diet, i avoid hunger and i minimise stress, pressure, and low mood.

I recently had a three week period of difficulties, might have been a bit longer and the problems have not exactly evaporated but i am now dealing with them and they are under control. But i managed my episode of stress and pressure by a) finding appropriate people to talk to deal with my real life problems, (currently my diet is not a problem), i took action to address the problems and with regard to my diet, i stuck to my eating plan but didn't worry if i didn't lose weight. The goal was just to stay eating according to my own diet rules which includes no refined sugars.

When i go off the wagon, i also regain weight very very quickly. I seem to just eat ice-cream, sweets and cakes and chocolate. I don't bother with much else most of the time. Its seems like within 2 months I'm as fat as i was or worse but i guess its actually a bit more than that but it is very quick nevertheless and then it takes ages to get it together to make another attempt to lose weight.

But anyway i am still feeling optimistic and confident that i can prevail because i am doing a few things differently this time and i have learnt more about nutrition and weightloss than the last time. Each time i go on a diet, i learn more and refine my process more. This time i'm doing it more slowly - that's another new thing i'm doing.

Palestrina 03-23-2014 09:03 AM

I wish everyone would write cliffsnotes in their posts, nice!! Welcome to the forum. I am a long time binger, sought out therapy in past years and recently (like this past week!) been re-diagnosed with ED. It sucks, let me tell you. Therapy helped in a sense, it helped me figure out why I developed an ED. That's great and all but the knowledge has done nothing to cure me.

In the past 2months I've been employing intuitive eating practices and have noticed a big huge tremendous change in my relationship with food. I'm not cured, but I know that I'm better and that the ability to heal my compulsive eating is within myself. You don't need to fix your emotional self, you don't need to fix all the problems in your world. You only need to address one issue and that is..... loving and nurturing yourself. The journey of IE has little to do with food, nothing to do with food in fact. It's all about honoring your desire to eat the food you want to eat, tapping into your body's true hunger and validating yourself every step of the way. It's like bathing in self acceptance all day long. I have to address some of my anxiety and stress issues with exercise and mindfulness, but I won't lie to you, food has brought on so much anxiety in my life and feeling less anxious around food I already FEEL better eventhough I've only lost about 5lbs or so in the last 2months.

I hope this makes sense

mam1958 03-23-2014 10:09 AM


Here are some things that I have learned through my journey. Maybe something will click for you and help you.

In the 70's I was a heavy teenager looking for some help to lose weight I saw this show with an author on it her book was "It's not what your eating it's what's eating you". At that time I thought ya right I was not ready to tackle the mental side of eating.

I am no expert but have been at this a long time. Then I went to a therapist and spoke with her about why I am fat. Her first and only question to me was "Why are you punishing yourself. Of course I wasn't ready to admit it because of abuse as a child.

But through much soul searching and journaling it has come to me that I feel I don't deserve to be loved.

My parents died early my aunt brought me up her words to me where "We are gonna take you cause NO ONE else wants to." This is were it all started for me.

I truly believe until you face your demons the weight will follow you around no matter how many times we lose. Food always is a relief for us it is our way of coping with our feelings.

Doctor told me to keep a notebook and write down what is bothering you this helps to get it out of your body and will help you to heal.

I'm not perfect but I am sooooo much better. I still have binged but I know now it is cause I can't have sugar just like a person who can't ever have another drink or cig. I know I can't have sugar.

I did it for 4 months felt wonderful. then X-mas and am having a hard time getting back to it.

I'm just gonna do it.


Pattience 03-23-2014 10:37 AM


... I know now it is cause I can't have sugar just like a person who can't ever have another drink or cig. I know I can't have sugar.

I did it for 4 months felt wonderful. then X-mas and am having a hard time getting back to it.

I'm just gonna do it.
I don't know if i've said this to your before MAM, but this is me to a T also.

I quite sugar for about six months if i recall the first time i did it. and that was a few years ago. Its taken me a long time to be able to make another serious attempt at it.

I know it won't be quite so long for you and i certainly hope not. But i am more sure than last time that i've got to make this a lifelong thing.

Yes xmas is going to be hard but its a long time away. I am thinking about it now and wondering how to deal with it. The other night i thought if i make a great deal of yummy food that is not sweet, i could be fine. yes i will put on a bit of weight but if i can keep those sweet things out of the way it would be easier. I know my dad always ikea his fruit mince pies and if other family is here, there will be more sweets about but i also just think about xmas cake and pudding and so on. And the shops…

But anyway i'm thinking about my duck cooked a la Francais and other special treats that i wouldn't eat at any other time of year.

And i have a couple of our clauses (exceptions when i think might be able to eat some sweets and get away with it) but i am not super confident so i'm putting off the moment until i think it might be worth taking the risk but when i say that, I am sure there is no dessert that's really worth it.

Anyway that may not help you.

Mam, if you don't mind me asking, what sort of diet are you trying to follow now? I know it was really hard getting to this point, but ever since, i got to the point of deciding to start a new diet without sugar, at the beginning of January, i haven't looked back. As you've done it before, you will find it easier the next time if my experience is anything to go by. I am finding it easier and better because i have improved the nature of what i am eating. I suppose the main difference now is more protein but that's only a recent change. Oh, and includes nuts, cheese and seeds which i've been doing from the beginning. So that means more fats than last time.

mam1958 03-23-2014 04:39 PM


Right now I am kinda going between Richard Simmons program my favorite had my best results with his program. Lost 119 pounds and felt wonderful.

And WW pts sometimes. But mostly I would say RS's program.

My main focus is to not eat sugar right now I know it gets easier and I feel better both mentally and physically and sleep better.

Right now my main to go food is grapes (always have a bowl on my counter ) better then eating a cup cake or sweets plus I get full on grapes I can't eat that many grapes that the calories would add up to a cup cake or a sweet binge.

Mostly my diet consists of good fats, fruits if I am really famished I will have a fruit, veggies all kinds. With peas and corn few and far between. But I will not have any white pasta (just tried brown rice pasta LOVE IT). No white rice or white bread. Brown rice and wheat bread.

I go portion control. 5 lean meats a day (Beef rarely), 6 good starch, 3 healthy fats, at least 4 fruits, and 4 veggies, 2 milks or milk products.

I am a big eater so portion control helps me.

A typical day of eating is:

Breakfast: 2 slice lite Whole Wheat bread, 1/4 cup low-fat cot cheese , 1 TBSP butter
Snack: apple
Lunch: 1 cup No-fat greek yogurt, 3/4 blueberries, stevia, vanilla flavoring
Snack: 1 cup grapes, coffee with ff creamer (my treat have to have my coffee).
Supper: 3oz. chicken without skin, 1 cup sweet potato, broccoli

Pattience what to do you do?


pghchick 03-23-2014 04:42 PM

Lots of good feedback here. To address it all at once... I have been in therapy which has opened me up to a lot of life issues I have been shoving down with food for a decade. This has led many positive changes in my life. As for the eating plan...I am done with diets. I try to employ IE as much as I can without being the perfectionistic IE police. As far as sugar goes, I cut out sugar when I was bodybuilding and I did not crave sugar at all. Some of it might have been the fact that I was seeing such great results in terms of weight loss and I was obsessed with the precision of my method. However, the backlash of this was HORRIBLE and though I appreciated not having cravings during the diet I don't think abstinence is realistic for me and I fear that the binge monster would return with a vengeance.

It is just weird because two years ago I was very "calories-in and calories-out" but following this experience I realized it is detrimental to my relationship with food.

I just want peace with food. My mom eats when she is hungry, stops when full, doesn't restrict, and rarely overeats. Comparing yourself to other people doesn't help but I do desire to have a healthy relationship with food.
Thank you guys.
Being on these boards helps because I know that I am not alone. I mean who sits around the lunch table at work and talks about their crazy a** binges.

Disclaimer: I do not condone diet + exercise for other people as everyone is different. Do what works for you.

pghchick 03-23-2014 04:54 PM

oh and p.s. I definitely just went 12 days without binging which is the longest I've gone since "the diet". I've been employing IE (no calorie counting, eating when hungry, eating to satiety, no restriction of type of food, mindfulness), dismissing the ED voice (any thought pertaining to food anxiety, "was that too much", "is this the start of a binge", "you could have eaten less of that", etc), and keeping binge foods out of the house.
I am not still on the roll as it was broken on day 13.

Palestrina 03-24-2014 10:15 AM

That ED voice can be so loud sometimes, I know it is for me too.

There has been some discussion about whether or not IE works for eating disorders vs overeating. But I think that only good can come out of listening to our bodies' needs, calming our negative thoughts, and dealing with stress in a focused way.

Mrs Snark 03-24-2014 11:16 AM

I found that controlling my binge disorder took alot of rigid structure and pragmatism during the initial phases, with alot of mental and emotional energy used to build and embrace a new lifestyle and new habits. It really takes a while for new habits to truly feel second nature (while at the beginning new habits take an inordinate amount of will and mental energy and inner battles to hang onto).

My body and mind needed loving, understanding discipline. I needed to develop a bit more adult yin (a focus on long-term goals and desires) to go with my very strong adolescent yang (pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, now, now, NOW!). ;)

diamondgeog 03-25-2014 01:29 PM

For me binging was absolutely a result of my diet choices day in day out. I had many processed food, a lot of bread, potatoes, pasta, you guessed it lots of carbs and very little nutritional value. There probably was other personal things going on and I am sure these are important for many if not all people wanting to get healthier.

But I was starving while overeating. I was feeling really hungry. This was independent of emotions or history. The calories were getting stored not used. My blood sugar spikes were a mess.

I cut out junk food. Then I cut out pasta, bread, potatoes, candy. My hunger dropped like a rock. I was free. I have remained free.

Here is the thing people forget. They are looking at the present and their history. No way they say can I give up those things. I thought that way.

But the act of giving them up fundamentally changes your body chemistry and your relationship to them. At least it did for me.

BTW I have no problems with people disagreeing. But do not invalidate my experiences. They are just as real as anyone else's on the planet. And besides that I have heard my story repeated hundreds if not thousands of times on the internet.

If you are carb/insulin sensitive you may have to try a month or two without them. I went grain free also, best decision I ever made. You can always go back. But many bingers, and I do mean many have set up their body to only be able to use carbs for fuel. They have shut down their fat utilizing ability.

This creates two huge problems: always hungry and inability to lose weight, especially fat. You have to reset your metabolism by restricting carbs. At the very least until your body is working again properly.

This is called the chemistry over character approach. You are working with your body to overcome hunger and binging. You get your insulin levels down...24 hours a day and then hunger for a lot of people just goes away.

Will it work for everyone? No. Does it work for many? Yes. I was motivated to start for sure by giving up all the foods. Then the magic happened. My motivation and discipline didn't grow. But my food choices were lowering my hunger. I succeeded by using chemistry not fighting it. I should say I also upped fat. You don't want to replace the carbs with protein. Perhaps a little more protein depending upon where you were, but a lot more fat. Organic coconut oil and grass fed butter are great choices. Fat is FILLING. Your appetite comes down completely own its own when you are low carb high fat most people find.

My honest success and take it for what it is worth, one person's success at controlling their hunger.

Locke 03-25-2014 03:13 PM

I agree with others that you have got to get your emotional issues under control- that is the biggest part of preventing binge eating. Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen - her technique is to label urges to binge as coming from a primitive part of the brain and to separate those from your conscious thoughts. Overcoming Overeating has also been helpful for me. Part of the reason that I continued to have food issues is that I was restricting foods. I always had to have an eating plan- vegan, low carb, etc. etc. I got stuck in the mindset that "carbs are bad" or "fat is bad" or "meat is bad". So I would restrict and my body would have cravings.

A huge part of my recovery has been to allow myself to eat foods that I used to restrict. I drink milkshakes and eat candy bars. Since I started eating "trigger" foods with the mindset that I can have them whenever I want I have not had a single binge. As a diagnosed bulimic this is HUGE. I realize that this may not work for other people- we are all at different places in our lives and have different experiences and food issues. Two bulimics or people with BED won't necessarily both recover with the same treatment. I just feel a freedom that I haven't had in a long time and I wanted to share that with you- it's possible to recover, you just have to work hard at it and try different things. You are responsible for your own happiness.

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