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Time to 'fess up: Having a difficult time (long)

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Old 05-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by IanG View Post
And that's why beer works for me. Sorry to jump in so inappropriately, but you hit the nail on the head!

No need to to apologize. All ideas are welcome. I'm not a drinker, though (a glass or two of wine or a martini on occasion, but that's it), so I fear your beer idea would not work for me .
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:58 PM   #32
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Just thinking about this and processing. Here's an anecdote from a couple of weeks ago that I've kept in the back of my mind since then - I think it might relate a little.

I was at an end of the year celebration cookout with a group of friends. I'd already had my planned food and dessert. Because of our location (public land) no alcohol was allowed, which is usually a cause for lowered inhibitions and more overeating for me, so that wasn't an issue. Anyway, after we'd all eaten our fill and were just sitting around and talking, I notice that my attention kept returning, over and over, to the food left out on the table. I was involved in an interesting conversation with a good friend, but one half of my brain was obsessing over the leftover food, and wondering if I could eat another brownie, and asking myself it would be too obvious if I snuck a little piece of cookie cake (darn you, cookie cake! ).

We soon packed everything up and left. I walked to my car with two others, continuing our interesting conversation. It was so engrossing (same topic!) that I soon realized we'd been standing my my car for 30 minutes, still talking, and NOT ONCE had I thought about food. The only difference, that I can see, is that there was no food out to think about.

So . . . is my lesson that I just need to ignore food if it's present? Physically distance myself from it? Argh.

(Sorry, Lin, for doing a bit of thread hijacking!)
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #33
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Just thinking about this and processing. Here's an anecdote from a couple of weeks ago that I've kept in the back of my mind since then - I think it might relate a little.

I was at an end of the year celebration cookout with a group of friends. I'd already had my planned food and dessert. Because of our location (public land) no alcohol was allowed, which is usually a cause for lowered inhibitions and more overeating for me, so that wasn't an issue. Anyway, after we'd all eaten our fill and were just sitting around and talking, I notice that my attention kept returning, over and over, to the food left out on the table. I was involved in an interesting conversation with a good friend, but one half of my brain was obsessing over the leftover food, and wondering if I could eat another brownie, and asking myself it would be too obvious if I snuck a little piece of cookie cake (darn you, cookie cake! ).

We soon packed everything up and left. I walked to my car with two others, continuing our interesting conversation. It was so engrossing (same topic!) that I soon realized we'd been standing my my car for 30 minutes, still talking, and NOT ONCE had I thought about food. The only difference, that I can see, is that there was no food out to think about.

So . . . is my lesson that I just need to ignore food if it's present? Physically distance myself from it? Argh.

(Sorry, Lin, for doing a bit of thread hijacking!)
Don't apologize, Jen---I'm so glad you posted this. As I was reading your reaction to that food on the table, I kept thinking, "That's me! That's me!" It actually made me feel so much better to read that experience because someones I feel like such a freak for being so obsessed with food. I'm sorry that you struggle with this, too, (as do many of us here), but it's nice to know that I'm not alone.

To your point, though, that removing the food took your mind off of it, I completely agree. In fact, I believe that the proximity of food has a direct bearing on how much I obsess about it. If I know I have something great in my kitchen, I will think about it several times throughout the day/night. If I remove it from my line of vision (i.e., take it off the counter, put it behind something in the refrigerator or freezer, etc.) that will help me to stop obsessing about it. Also, I cannot seem to leave great-tasting treats in my kitchen for long. I feel compelled to finish them.
All this reminds me of an article I read in the NY Times a while back. It was discussing America's obesity problem, and it highlighted a reason and some evidence from a mathematician, no less. He hypothesized that our nation's weight problem directly coincides with the abundance of food in our country. That is, our weight has increased concurrently with the increase in our food supply. He even provided a mathematical formula in the article.
And that reminds me of a bit of trivia I read some time back that naturally thin people (i.e., those who don't seem to have a struggle with their weight) tend to eat the same foods more routinely than overweight people (i.e., overweight people like more variety). These points about abundance of food, variety, etc., stuck out to me because they seem anecdotally true not only from my experiences but from others I've observed.
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #34
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(my emphasis)

I completely agree with you about what "should be," magical. I only wish it could be. The problem is moving from "should" to "can." That's where I get stuck. How does one magically transform one's mind? I would love to go back to some Edenic state of unawareness about food, calories, etc., but it's too late for that. Somewhere along the line (probably from our society's focus on dieting and my attention to that since my teens), putting food into its proper place in my life became screwed up. I am now working within that reality to try to stay at a decent weight. I can certainly try pretending that food is not as important, but it would be pretense, and struggling to maintain that pretense is just the same as struggling to stay within eating boundaries.

I don't know how to answer this one

"How does one magically transform one's mind?"


I know for me, once I gained control of my ED, food became much less of a focus, to the extent that I've been skipping meals because I had to do other things. Yes, I do feel hungry but the hunger is no longer important to me. The other things (work, postgrad studies, kids) took precedence.

I really don't know, Lin, I'm sorry...
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #35
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How does one magically transform one's mind?
Just some random thoughts.

There isn't any going back--you can only go forward.

Transforming the mind is possible through awareness, which isn't the same as obsessiveness. Obsessiveness is a battle for control. Awareness is seeing what is.

It may take a long time for your desire to eat more, even after you are full, to go away. Probably you'll need to practice eating enough and then stopping. By "enough" I mean a good plateful of food--but not seconds. Once that full plate is empty, you're done. And maybe you'll find you're done before the plate is empty. That is OK. It is OK to not eat all the food you are served.

Try a day where you don't count calories at all, but go by good, full plates at meals and no grazing or snacking between. It's just an experiment--one day won't make or break anything.

Slow down your eating not by taking tiny bites, but by taking a good bite and then chewing it a long time. I don't mean count the times you chew, I mean doing more than chewing three times and swallowing. You are probably tasting your food less than you think. Rest in between bites. Set your fork down from time to time. Meals can be leisurely.

Cultivate awareness and intent. The habit of "wanting more" when you are not hungry may take awhile to go away, but as long as you remain aware and avoid eating more just because of that, you help extinguish the habit.

Jay
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #36
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Just some random thoughts.

There isn't any going back--you can only go forward.

Transforming the mind is possible through awareness, which isn't the same as obsessiveness. Obsessiveness is a battle for control. Awareness is seeing what is.

It may take a long time for your desire to eat more, even after you are full, to go away. Probably you'll need to practice eating enough and then stopping. By "enough" I mean a good plateful of food--but not seconds. Once that full plate is empty, you're done. And maybe you'll find you're done before the plate is empty. That is OK. It is OK to not eat all the food you are served.

Try a day where you don't count calories at all, but go by good, full plates at meals and no grazing or snacking between. It's just an experiment--one day won't make or break anything.

Slow down your eating not by taking tiny bites, but by taking a good bite and then chewing it a long time. I don't mean count the times you chew, I mean doing more than chewing three times and swallowing. You are probably tasting your food less than you think. Rest in between bites. Set your fork down from time to time. Meals can be leisurely.

Cultivate awareness and intent. The habit of "wanting more" when you are not hungry may take awhile to go away, but as long as you remain aware and avoid eating more just because of that, you help extinguish the habit.

Jay
Great post, Jay---and some useful suggestions that I will try. Your point about not counting calories for a day stood out to me because it is something that I have contemplated but have not done. There have been times when just the knowledge that I have extra calories to spare has spurred me to eat when I actually had no strong desire to.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:36 AM   #37
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Just chiming in to say that this thread was extremely interesting to me, coming from the perspective of someone who lost a lot of weight, succeeded at maintaining for a long while, and then found that my seemingly tamed binge eating disorder emerged full force (leading to a substantial regain.)

I'm now trying with some success to reshed the weight that I regained, but I definitely find myself often thinking about a number of the different thoughts and perspectives reflected in this thread. The most important one being that I will have to find some kind of a balance between managing my weight so that I'm not living the the morbid obesity range, while at the same time, finding a new way of looking at food, life, and myself, so that I really and genuinely can be at peace with this issue.

Thanks to everyone who shared thoughts here, as there are many helpful perspectives to contemplate.
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