My whole life I have been an overeater, binger, and a food addict. I have lost a good deal of weight, but haven't made any progress in a year or so. I just recently started back up, but now I fear I am under eating. Thanks to someone on here, I started watching the show Supersize vs. Superskinny on youtube. It is very eye opening! I can totally relate to the supersize participants, but I now even find myself relating to the superskinny participant's eating habits as well. I cannot find a healthy balance. I am either over eating or under eating. I do not have a healthy relationship with food at all. I feel like if I eat the proper amount of food that weight will not come off at all or as fast as I'd like. I do not know what to do to reach a healthy relationship with food Does anyone else have or have had similar issues?
I can relate somewhat... I was an overeater and occasional binger all throughout my childhood and teen years, and then I became obese from binging and terrible habits in general after I moved out of my parents' house... And then, after being obese, I finally got my butt in gear and I started counting every calorie, exercising, eating what I considered to be pretty "perfect" at the time. I didn't regularly eat under 1200 calories per day.. I probably averaged ~1300 calories per day, and I lost almost 90 pounds over a year and a half.
I'm not sure how much food you're eating, and maybe I can't relate to the degree of under eating that you're dealing with now, but I can definitely relate to the black-or-white, all-or-nothing thinking that comes with eating disorders. I was underweight for almost two years, and in an effort to start eating "the right amount of food," I ended up completely losing it and overate and binged my way back up into obesity.
I'm still pretty overweight, and it's hard to lose the weight without going back to the strict calorie-counting, weighing everything, white-knuckling way I did it before. I know that stuff works for a lot of people quite well, but for me, it only worsened my relationship with food and with my body. Now, I'm trying to make the best food/exercise choices that I can each day. Some days, my best isn't all that great. Some days I still binge. I have a long way to go. I have been losing the same couple pounds over and over the past couple months, which is really frustrating, but I also haven't gained, and I've kept up with regular exercise, and my diet is better than it was a few months ago. I'm not sure if it's my body that's having a problem, or if it's all in my mind, or both. All I know is that when I try for "perfect" because I'm frustrated with lack of progress, I feel myself panicking and I know I'm headed down a dark path of undereating, obsessing, and not living my life.
So... Obviously, I don't have any magical advice and I'm just rambling at this point. I haven't figured any of this out completely, but I've learned a lot of things that DON'T work for me... I guess that's my main advice: Listen to your body, and listen to your mind, and when either one is telling you that something's not right, you can try to make SMALL adjustments. Just don't beat yourself up because you haven't gotten it right yet... which brings me to the other thing that has helped me most: Be as compassionate and understanding as possible toward yourself. I've been through a lot, and I bet you have, too, because eating disorders have a way of tearing people down and making them feel powerless and worthless. I'm not always successful at self-compassion; sometimes I still reflexively fall into negative thought patterns when I "mess up" (binge, eat really unhealthy food, fall off the exercise wagon, or just not lose any wight for one reason or another). But, slowly, that's happening less often, and I think it's because I'm actively focusing on building myself up by being kind to myself instead of telling myself I'm basically worthless if I "fail" at weight loss.
"I feel like if I eat the proper amount of food that weight will not come off at all or as fast as I'd like."
This is another problem I can relate to, somewhat. I'm always afraid that weight is not going to come off, especially when I've had a few weeks or months in a row of not losing weight. It makes it tempting for me to just pull out all the stops and eat the small amount of food that I KNOW will make me lose weight, even though I know from experience that sticking to that makes me also lose my mind. I have to just recognize that I have tendencies toward disordered eating, and so I can't diet like everybody else. It'll probably take me a couple more years to get back to a weight I'm comfortable with, because I am avoiding eating in ways that make me feel deprived, and I tend to feel deprived pretty easily. Some people might tell me I just need to find "the right diet" and stick to it religiously, but I know my mind and body better than anybody else ever could, and I'm learning that I need to be flexible with myself, and a lot of times that means not losing weight or losing very little weight. In the times that I can accept the slow-or-no weight loss, I am a lot more at peace with myself. One of my greatest fears is being caught in a cycle of eating disorders for the rest of my life... After the past several years, I'm even more afraid of disordered eating than I am of being overweight. Barely.
Please try to listen to your body, and eat when it tells you it's hungry. Please try to feed your body nutritious things because it's good for you, mentally AND physically, and try not to beat yourself up when you eat too little or too much. Please make sure to keep other hobbies and interests in your life and not get completely caught up with food and weight. If you keep all of this stuff in mind, maybe you will come just a little bit closer to a healthy relationship with food. I wish I could say all this stuff more elegantly and with more wisdom, but I'm still pretty far from figuring it all out for myself.
“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese proverb
Thank you for all your advice. I don't care if it's not "more elegant" or with "more wisdom." Just knowing that other people out there are going through the same things makes me feel a little bit normal and able to cope.
We are all going through this crazy thing with food and it's beyond my comprehension WHY I have this problem.
peccavi, you should be a writer if you're not already. What you said was so familiar to me, relieving but sad at the same time. I would give about anything to free of this monster. I did the "diets don't work" thing and lost a lot of weight from my body AND my shoulders,.. it was like dropping a heavy bag of laundry on the floor,. I felt instant peace and freedom because I was convinced I would no longer have a plan, avoid, obsess about food. OMG,. I seriously felt high when I read the book "Diets don't work" by Robert someone, I still have the book. This guy says to fill your home with everything you want, candy, choc, chips, fresh vegs, meat,. whatever you want. Then you experiment with listening to your body and then tasting what it is you want,. ice cream tasts great the first licks, but then it's just cold,. so if you were happy just having a few tastes, have a few tasts and then chuck the rest in the bin.
I had a walking buddy, we would meet for coffee at a place 5 kms away. I walked the 5 kms to the cafe, ate what I wanted which was usually a sundae or fries and gravy,. play with the food and really really taste it,. and eat it slowly, then stop when i had enough.
Know why it worked? because I wasnt denying myself or depriving or punishing myself,. I KNEW I could have whatever I wanted when I wanted it, that it would always be there, that wasting food is also wasted insiide your body so you may as well throw it out, no left overs!
So then why am I on another diet,. Atkins today?? Hmmm,. I think I need a good boost and then,.. hmmm, now I have myself guessing again,. Diets dont work I lost 7 pounds the first week,. but you HAVE to keep doing the exercises until it becomes second nature. Which I didn't do as I binge at times, so it all came back on me when I stopped doing the exercises.
I've also had weight loss surgery, stomach stapling when worked at first but the weight is back on, what a big mistake that was for me and I'm really angry to have put my life on the line to lose weight. It's a BIG operation with lots of risk,.
Anyway, it helps to talk to others like me.. Thank you both.
I must be rushed today, my last post didn't make a lot of sense! Basically with "Diets Don't Work",. the author says to eat like a thin person.
1. Eat exactly what you want
2. Eat exactly when you want to eat
3. Eat ONLY when your hungry (this is the hard exercise)
4. Stot eating when you're full (another hard one)
5. Forget everything you've ever learned about good food and bad food as it's all just food.
6. Your body will ask for salads and nutritious foods eventually (mine did, I loved salads back then)
7. Don't wait to be thin to do the things you love
Sounds so easy, and it was for me. But maybe I was in a good place in my life, that's why I could "live like a think person",. I don't know. I bought all this meat and cheese etc for Atkins, so I may use it all up and then work on eating like a think person so I can stop obsessing about food!
Another thing about Atkins is that my doctor told me to wait until I have a Cardo Echogram done next week as I have high risk of heart troubles in my family history. But you see, like I said I would give anything to be thin and rid of this obsession so I'm doing Atkiins anyway.