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Journaling My Journey to Overcome Overeating

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Old 04-23-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default Journaling My Journey to Overcome Overeating

This thread will be used for daily (or so) accountability to keep track of the ups and downs of my journey to lose the excess weight and more so to overcome the evil that is binge eating. Since there's no forum for journals I hope this okay. I'm open to comments or suggestions too.

I have felt trapped in this disorder (if that's what it is, maybe habit is more apt) for many years. I believe it started around the time I was 19 or so. I'd always been pretty heavy (or the heavy side of normal) as a teen but after having my child at 18 I suddenly and inexplicably lost all the baby weight and then some. All the way down from a pregnancy high of 198 (which put my start weight at 160, since I gained 38 pounds during the very long pregnancy) I was down to 130, possible even the high 120's if my memory is not deceiving me. I swear I weighed myself at 127 or 128 at one point. But I didn't even own a scale, I was using a friend's. I wasn't even trying and that was the best part.

After starting school and a new job I gained quite a bit of weight and my binging began in earnest. I had maintained that low weight for like a year so it's doable (once again, not trying, no counting, barely exercising) but the binging seems to do me in. I know it's related to dieting and anxiety but I can't seem to shut it down.

I love the book Overcoming Binge Eating by Dr. Fairburn. It's straight forward and offers not only great insights and research, but a detailed plan to follow to overcome the disorder once and for all. The plan actually makes perfect sense- record binge activity as it normally is, then gradually work on framing a regular eating schedule and so forth. It's broken into stages and can move as slow or as fast as you want. I hate very restrictive plans or anything involving excess effort since I am so busy anyway. But this may be worth trying. Dr. Fairburn advocates a no-diet plan since so many bingers/bulimics are triggered by it. Eventually you work into healthier eating habits but in a non-restrictive way.

I wish I could beat this and lose weight all at once! It seems impossible. Every weekend I lose the thread and go way overboard. I start off great and then something sets me off. All I know is, whatever I do, I can't give up. This "disorder"/habit makes me so miserable and it's bringing my whole life down. I have no confidence, and am scared to be in public. I don't want anyone to see me! I feel like I can't build a career or date because I am so self-conscious about my size. I am 5'6" and basically 190 pounds. The most I've been my non-pregnant adult life. I need a change and I need to make it soon.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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Today was super rough. I had an exam I was dreading and felt like I didn't do well. Then I found out bad news for my career. It seems the hits keep coming. I'm still recovering from the loss of a close friendship/boyfriend, a relationship that was done and over but still makes me sad that I no longer have him to share my life with.

So at first I felt so depressed I couldn't eat. Then I got up and started in on the snacks. An oatmeal bar here, some cheez-its there, then golden grahams.. all junk food. I felt so miserable I didn't care even though I knew I would regret it later. Of course it didn't solve anything. I feel so low in this rut I'm in, I can't even see out over it to the future that awaits. All I do is get through each day, and barely at that. I'm ruminating and it's really bringing me down. All I can do is hope this funk passes soon. Hopefully my antidepressants kick in soon too. I started those last Monday, so it hasn't been too long.. the 14th. Give it a month and we'll see. I think there has been some affect on my appetite but hard to tell since I've felt so depressed lately, too.

I don't know how many calories I ate. It was a lot, that much I know. I won't track for now because it makes me feel too wound up, what I don't need. But I am going to take some healthier steps.

-Lay off the fast food. For awhile I ate it every. single. Weekday. No more. I won't say no completely, maybe once a week at most for now. For financial purposes too.
-Lay off the candy. Once again, not a strict never-never thing, but I'm going to lighten this up quite a bit.
-pre-plan meals for the day. I can make better options this way.

That's really it for now. I'll do this for a week and see how it goes. I hate feeling like I'm throwing things around, hoping something will stick, since I've been spinning my wheels trying different things. But something has to give, I need to improve my health and my LIFE. This may be a start.
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome. I've never read Overcoming Binge Eating but it sounds like an interesting read. There is a book called Overcoming Overeating which I thought you were referring to in the title of your thread and that's one of the books that's helping me overcome my eating disorder. I don't follow a diet either so you may want to look into OO and check out some of the other anti-diet threads that dealing with Intuitive Eating. There is support on the forum for those of us who are triggered into binge eating at the mere thought of restriction.

I've only been practicing intuitive eating since February but I have found that even in the beginning stages of letting go of the diet-mentality my binges have decreased dramatically. I've only lost about 4-5lbs so far, but my main goal is to stop binging when I'm stressed out. And since that's working out I have no doubt that eventually the weight will start dropping. But I had to come to a realization that I've got to get my binging under control first because dieting was making me gain weight.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:28 AM   #4
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I have read your posts before and am intrigued by your journey. I think we all want freedom from the binge trap but it's too easy to get caught up in wanting weight loss, and fast. I need to remind myself it's ok to take my time and just let it happen however long it takes.

I am really focusing on quitting the binge habits over any numbers kind of tracking. Yet I don't want to go crazy which sometimes happens with zero tracking. For today I ate two oatmeal bars which filled me up fine (probably still full from yesterday but whatever). For lunch I will have soup or a cup of noodles. Eventually I will move away from processed stuff but portion control and pre planning is what I need to do for now.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:46 AM   #5
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It's so true that you need to be non-restrictive in order to overcome binge eating. I haven't binged for a few years now but I used to have the mentality of, "Since I had 3000 calories yesterday, I can't go above 1000 today." That never worked. It only started to get better when I treated the next day as just another day to eat healthy, as if the binge didn't happen. I'm still not perfect around food, but currently if I eat something I shouldn't have, it's not a trigger to keep eating. It really does require a change of mentality and learning to relax and be a bit more lenient with yourself. I wish you the best of luck in your journey.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:10 PM   #6
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Wow Mongoose that is AWESOME I can't remember the last time I was binge-free for more than a couple months. I'd be so thrilled to be where you are at!!

Mongoose is right about the calorie triggers too. Whenever I've counted points or calories (especially lately) and gone over my set limit, even by 100 or whatever, I use that as an excuse to say, "Well, I've done it in for today. Might as well start again tomorrow."

Don't we all say that? But really, "tomorrow is the today you promised yourself yesterday." I read that quote somewhere last year and it's always stuck with me although I've not exactly heeded it. Calorie, points, restriction of certain foods...it all leads to trouble for me. And so much of it is a mental thing, because I know I can't possibly be hungry after eating a 1200 calorie fast food meal yet I always want to have dessert.

Speaking of which. In the interest of full disclosure (and accountability) I ate fast food for lunch today, Arby's. I had the Turkey Club which isn't too bad health wise as far as fast food goes (and I scrubbed much of the mayo off) but I did have mozzarella sticks with it. Then chased it with a box of Mike & Ikes, because...I can, I guess. I had fully intended to eat my noodle cup, I wasn't even physically hungry but there we go, with the psychological battle stuff. A normal person probably would have skipped lunch altogether feeling how I did physically. I just get so cooped up and bored and anxious sitting at a desk all day (I work two days per week, school on the others) and I just needed to get out, and my habit has been to grab some fast food.

At first I was like wow, I can't even stick to a simple, flexible plan for ONE day. But then I considered the way I felt and what led me to make the choice I did. I feel apprehensive beginning a new plan, even though it's not a restrictive diet, I feel the need to indulge in goodies before "I can't." Yes, the old diet mentality/last supper thinking. I felt my resolve renew after a deep breath and a moment of thought.

My mind is exactly what I need to change, so that the changes to my body will inevitably follow. Where I need to be is in a place of wanting to eat healthy foods because they are good for me and make me feel better, rather than a need to eat them so I can lose weight. There's an excellent post in the Maintenance forum, a sticky called "Relapse." One poster talked about her 20 year struggle and eventual change of life that enabled her to enjoy healthful foods and leave the garbage behind without missing it at all. When I read that hope swelled up inside me. I can do this. If another junk food junkie like myself, at about my same start weight and age, can change her life around to loving healthy foods and losing weight (to my exact dream weight no less) I can too!

After work I considered grabbing pizza since I'm "starting tomorrow." But I almost physically felt a change pass over me. I told myself no, it's not going to be like that. This is for me, and for my health. Not about some diet and quickie weight loss plan. The urge passed rather quickly. I've so rarely been able to talk myself out of a "last supper" like that, it happens once a week or so and I almost always grab whatever it is. BUT NOT TONIGHT! Instead I made a list of foods that are fairly/very healthy and I enjoy. I'll start with those and build my meal plans around them. Planning ahead is a MUST, I know. Otherwise I resort to fast food and other quick garbage. Tonight I ate a bowl of dry cereal (need to grocery shop this weekend, so finishing odds and ends. It was Life so not horrible but a large portion) and some leftover Easter candy (no excuse, my daughter was sharing which was sweet. There wasn't very much though!) This is it. I am DOING THIS. My health and well being depends on it.

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Old 04-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Today was really easy. I wasn't hungry at all. I don't know if it's the Wellbutrin or what exactly. The only time I had an urge, it was for a fast food lunch (since I've been doing that so often) but I went shopping instead, LOL. I had an oatmeal bar for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for lunch (yay! I packed it ahead of time), and Subway for dinner, turkey with no dressing. Which is still kind of fast foody but WAY better than my usual choices. And I got my hair cut nicely, so that feels really good. It's several inches shorter and feels light and springy. Hopefully tomorrow will go well, weekends are always the battle for me. If I stick to my basics I can get through it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:48 AM   #8
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Wow! I feel good. I feel like I'm in a groove, not wanting junk food at all. I know there will be moments. Yesterday I spent doing major spring cleaning, for 6 hours. And still not done LOL. I stuck to my planned meals for breakfast and lunch. Then I went to my mom's. She offered to order us pizza but I said I'd grab Subway since my daughter likes that better anyway. Even if we would had pizza I planned on having 2 slices and stopping there. It would be interesting to see if I actually would have, but I feel like I can !

I feel better emotionally too, it's been pretty nice out and I love that my house is getting cleaner and school is nearing it's end. Sometimes I dwell on the end of my relationship but that's getting better too. You never know what happens in life and I feel more excited for it.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:12 PM   #9
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This weekend was the easiest weekend ever! I ate the same things every day, same breakfast, lunch and dinner even and did not go crazy. Didn't even want to. I felt filled and satisfied and not constrained a bit. It was amazing! I feel like it's a breakthrough but it remains to be seen how this goes overall. I have a good feeling though. I will weigh myself sometime in the next week or so, not in a rush since that can trigger me to binge if it's not quite the number I hope for.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:08 PM   #10
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Yuck! I have a mouse in my house If there's anything it's good for it's an appetite suppressant LOL. I made my PBJ sandwich for dinner with a cup of unsweetened applesauce, and took two bites of the sandwich, and that's it. I'm pretty terrified of pests, actually insects bother me more than a mouse (I'm assuming there's only one, since there's minimal, er, evidence). Still it grosses me out to think of it crawling on our food packages and stuff. I cleaned thoroughly and set out a bunch of traps, more than necessary maybe. One of the sticky ones caught someone last night.. but he/she got away! There was just some fur and scratches and half the glue was gone. (Now I feel kind of bad for the little guy, but he sure is tenacious. Chewed up my blender cord too.. which means war.)

Anyway. So my appetite isn't the greatest. I haven't been feeling pb since it's my bait of choice, LOL. Today I had my usual breakfast and since it is chilly I had some hot noodles for lunch with a pear. I'm not sure what's for dinner. I can barely imagine eating in my apartment at this point.

I can't believe how much my appetite is reduced from not eating so much junk, and eating at regular times. For instance I used to eat tons of junk in the evening. That was a big binge time if I ate "healthy/good" during the day and was counting points or whatnot. After a stressful, restrained day I might eat multiple servings of some dessert, a bunch of chips or crackers, then another sweet. Then I'd figure that I used all my extra points before my week was up so I'd just say to heck with it and eat anything and everything, maybe make a gas station run for more junk.

I have struggled so hard to resist that urge once it comes. I've read so many books -Intuitive Eating, Brain Over Binge, Kessler's book, etc.- and toyed with different things here and there. I wanted to quit binging but ALWAYS the primary goal was to lose weight, first and foremost, so there was always a little element of restrain even in the back of my mind.

I've become accustomed to mentally calculating calories all the time since I know the counts to so many things. The nice thing about eating basically the same stuff everyday is that my calories never change so I don't ever "have" to calculate it or even think about it. It's just...negligible. Food selection/calories have lost importance in my day to day being. We'll see how I hold up over finals in two weeks! And when I move in June! There are many hurdles to come but I'm plowing ahead. The sensation of not being a slave to food, for now, feels just incredible.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:48 PM   #11
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I have never journaled but I would think that it would be quite helpful. I should try this as sometimes it would be helpful to do so you did not overeat.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nostoneunturned View Post
This weekend was the easiest weekend ever! I ate the same things every day, same breakfast, lunch and dinner even and did not go crazy. Didn't even want to. I felt filled and satisfied and not constrained a bit. It was amazing! I feel like it's a breakthrough but it remains to be seen how this goes overall. I have a good feeling though. I will weigh myself sometime in the next week or so, not in a rush since that can trigger me to binge if it's not quite the number I hope for.
Yay you!
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have never journaled but I would think that it would be quite helpful. I should try this as sometimes it would be helpful to do so you did not overeat.
Angie I definitely recommend it! I've always liked to journal since writing is a de-stressor for me. But this is even better since there's the "public" forum aspect of accountability. If I eat something I'm going to write about it and it will remain here for the ages, LOL. To know that I'm going to put it out there just makes all the more difference to me what I put in my mouth. I don't want to write about binge after binge. I guess that's why some blog but I have neither the time nor the talent to set one up!

And a Big Thank You Mrs. Snark

Once again I made it through the day without a binge or any fast food or any sweets! YES. I am feeling like I'm on fire, despite life stress. I am doing this!
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:58 PM   #14
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Ok today I did have fast food. I wasn't home for dinner, and was running around out and about, so we stopped at McDonalds. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and a small diet coke. The sandwich was filling and pretty good. I scraped off most of the mayo since they put way too much on anyway. It's not health food but not a bad choice. I ate my planned breakfast and lunch so it was a good day.

I did notice I was getting some strong craving pangs in the afternoon, for junky stuff, for the first time since beginning this plan. I ran errands after eating my lunch in the office and drove by an Italian place which smelled yummy. As the day wore on I grew physically hungry and thought about Italian or candy. Instead I decided to compromise and to get fast food, but make a reasonable choice. And that's what I did

I'm worried the cravings will only get stronger. I have to be consistent and remain committed to my plan. I know a little fast food or candy here and there can't kill me but these things can not be regular parts of my diet, maybe more like once every couple of weeks. The cravings today likely stemmed from physical hunger since I ate my lunch pretty early (11:00 instead of noon). Still I will be diligent to not let myself fall back into the bad habits of my (still very recent) past.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:09 PM   #15
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Another good day! No binges/no fast foods/no treats. I didn't have those cravings I had yesterday thankfully. I parked extra far so I walked double what I normally do. It was kind of drizzly and chilly but I managed it! My legs are kind of sore but in a good way.

Today I wondered how long it would take to see results. I mean the important thing is not binging so I'm taking it day by day, of course, not going crazy for changes or anything. Yet I'd love for my pants to fit well and to be able to slip into some others that have been too tight. I am making no effort to track calories but have a general idea (since I eat basically the same thing daily). It seems like there should be weight loss happening and I know it will but I'm feeling impatient today LOL. I'm excited to get to 175 or so because at that point I will know I have lost about one quarter of my weight to lose (15 pounds). 160 is the half way point, and 145 puts me 3/4ths of the way. I do understand it may take a long time. The most important thing is my commitment to eating well and being healthy. Not under-eating to reach a goal, and of course no more binging! I keep reminding myself this is for the long haul: this is for life. And binging has no place in my life. This first week has proven I can definitely avoid it!!!

Last edited by nostoneunturned : 04-30-2014 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Adding something :)
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