I was doing the same or very similiar thing! (minus the exercise part) and it is, was, very mentally painful! The guilt, frustration, and depression got to a point where I couldn't stand it anymore, something had to change (sounds like you may be at this point now? don't despair, your ready for that change and that's how it all starts : ) ).
I will share a few things that really helped me to change this (beginning mid january) and are currently keeping me on track.
First and foremost, it started with a decision to change my plan of attack! I was hardly eating anything all day or trying to restrict my eating way to severely! The end resut: eating anything I could get my hands on at night and yes, I know for a fact I was emotionally eating on those occassions). After doing this time and time again, I developed bad eating habits and totally through my metabolism off. I was pretty well versed in nutrition and proper eating habits but I was IMPATIENT, just wanted that quick fix. So for me the first step was to change my eating pattern.
step 1 - For a couple of weeks, I made sure to eat during the day (I literally had to remind myself, i was so accustomed to not eating at that time). I made sure to eat lunch and healthy snacks inbetween (whenever I felt a little hunger coming on, waiting until your too hungry is a danger zone).
I then made sure to eat dinner within a certain time frame (not to early, not to late). If i eat too early, I am hungry after. (for me now, it's typically anytime between 6-7). I would eat a good substantial dinner, enough to satisfy me but not push my fullness over the edge. I focused on not eating after dinner but would get a bit hungry andWhen I got hungry at night,
I would snack on watermelon, fruits, carrot sticks, etc. As for the dinners, I didn't change much though I was more careful with butter and fats of that nature. My main change here was in eating structure. I still ate pretty much the same except for reaching for healthy snacks inbetween meals.
step 2 - after 2 weeks of doing this, I didn't lose any weight but I was now eating on a schedule and had structure to my eating habits. I then began my "diet" on Jan. 29, basically replaced the higher fat dinners, etc with healthy low fat protein, salad, and or veggies. I upped it a level, added more strictness. I cannot tell you howwwww much easier it was this time around! because I had already worked on and had an eating shedule in place made a world of difference! My body had begun adapting and I didn't get so hungry anymore after dinnerand when I did and do, I snack on fruits and veggies. Having a pre cut veggie tray or fruits in the fridge really helps. As for the emotional component, just the change in the eating structure and habits helped eliminate most of that emotional eating. I began exercising again too, walking mostly......which is the easiest way to start! That really helps me.
I am on just about 2 weeks now and it's going super. I don't feel deprived at all and that's a biggie too! I eat whenever I am hungry (all the fruits and veggies i want). I get this f.f veggie dip i love. Also, I tailored my meals to foods which are low in fat andhealthy but which I enjoyyyyyy and I cut myself some slack too, I enjoy a free night or an occassional something I want (within moderation). Emotionally, I am a different person! sooooo much happier. THat in itself helps eliminate that night time emotional eating. It really works!
IN a nutshell, some key components which helped me:
PATIENCE - not looking for a quick fix, disgusted with cycle (as you mentioned) and that it takes time. Willing to give it t ime as not only to change but make it into a lifestyle.
change eating structure
walking, ex. and signing up for feb. ex challenge to help keep me in line
posting everyday (regardless of how the day went, there will be good and bad days, and the bad days are all part of the journey.
drinking a lot of water
Not weighing myself too much ( a disaster for me) 1x a week only
keeping my attitude in check, not letting discouragement get in my way:
taking it day by day: if i have a bad day and feel down, I say tomorrow is a new day and put that energy or focus into making my new day a good one.
Keeping a food journal is a good way to keep track and see where you want to change or make progress the following week.
REPLACE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS - ex. I did bad today but hey, its natural to have sidetracks, cant be perfect all the time, im going to kick butt tomorrow!
I CAN DO THIS AND i AM GOING TO
as for the mirror business - I tell myself that's okay, it's just temporary! and envision your new figure.
These things are what helped me and so I wanted to share in the hopes they help you and others as well. Keep your chin up girl, YOU CAN DO IT.
keep us posted. have a great weekend all.