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What are we really hungry for? Exercise 50, 51 & 52

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Old 03-28-2002, 08:58 PM   #1
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Default What are we really hungry for? Exercise 50, 51 & 52

What are we really hungry for?
The Non-Diet Approach, March 28, 2002

Lose weight without dieting? HOW?!?!

By getting to the root of why you overeat in the first place! "Why Weight," written by Geneen Roth, is a non-diet book that contains exercises designed to help compulsive eaters learn how to stop using food as a substitute for handling difficult emotions or situations. You'll also learn how to enjoy eating and still lose weight naturally. This program offers reassuring guidelines on:

-- kicking the scale-watching habit forever
-- learning to say no
-- discovering other pleasures besides food
-- learning the difference between physical and emotional hunger
-- listening to and trusting your body's hunger and fullness signals

Each week at least one exercise will be posted and you are encouraged to share your answers, thoughts, etc..

Please share any insight, ideas, articles or other information that you may have.

Join us in Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating!
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Old 03-28-2002, 08:59 PM   #2
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[size=3 ]Exercise 50, 51 & 52 [/size]



Exercise 50: Ways I sneak
I sneak food by:
1
2
3
4
5

Exercise 51: Why I sneak
I sneak because:
If I didn’t:
It helps me to:
Without it, I would:
It protects me from:

Exercise 52:If they really knew

Is there someone special in your life that you feel would be disappointed if they knew what and how much you ate?
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Old 03-29-2002, 07:28 AM   #3
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Well, this is one of the biggest challenges that I'm trying to overcome. I have had a real problem with sneak eating. To beat that one, I have an ongoing challenge to myself to 1) eat only when I'm hungry and 2) eat at the table when I'm alone. Sure hope to do this, because I'm sure if I do I'll get the weight off and not have to worry about this crap any more!

[size=3 ]Exercise 50, 51 & 52 [/size]

Exercise 50: Ways I sneak
I sneak food by:
1 "tasting" while I cook
2 nibbling on things in the kitchen while my DH is in another room
3 eating treats when I'm alone and then hiding the packaging
4 eating little bits of things that won't be noticed
5 picking at left-overs while I clean up

Exercise 51: Why I sneak
I sneak because:
If I didn’t: people would think I ate too much
It helps me to: pretend I don't overeat
Without it, I would: lose weight?
It protects me from: feelings -- i numb myself

Exercise 52:If they really knew

Is there someone special in your life that you feel would be disappointed if they knew what and how much you ate?
[/quote] My husband would think i was a pig.

Hmmmm.... not so healthy, huh. I am determined to overcome this!

xo
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Old 03-29-2002, 05:09 PM   #4
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Since I've been counting calories I don't sneak food at all, because I know I have to count those numbers. But I definitely know the shame connected with sneaking food, how I'd be mortified if someone caught me and I knew where I'd stash it if anyone came around. Yeah, I can remember some really ugly scenarios...

I have a different spin on this same idea--this exercise has made me think about it. Since I'm measuring and weighing now I'm embarrassed about that too!!! I don't want anyone to see me do it; I feel co-workers or family members would tease me mercilessly about it, and I don't even like for my husband to see me doing it. I don't want anyone to think 'yet another phase she's going thru'. Maybe it's because my mother dieted without success her whole life and I can remember her weighing and measuring and I also remember her cheating on every diet she was on.

Babette, can you give up the sneak eating? That is, just eat out in the open no matter what it is. Someone presented that idea to me once and it was so hard to give up the sneaking; I couldn't do it, but I really wanted to! We get so good at hiding!

Healthy weekend, everybody!
 
Old 03-29-2002, 09:59 PM   #5
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I don't sneak eat most of the time. I used to when I was bullemic; then, I'd hide out and eat tons and tons of food and then get rid of it. Not exactly sneaking, but all in secret. However, I do notice that when my older brother comes to visit me (which isn't often) and invariably we go out to some very expensive restaurant (he's like that), I usually hide the fact that I'd really rather just have dessert and/or just drive around and talk to him. I finally did just have dessert and that caused him to worry and fuss about my health even after he'd gone home. He mentioned it in an email, that I'd just eaten that rich dessert. I told him it was all going to be fine!

Eydie: I get a charge out of measuring food in front of people! It gets on their nerves because people dislike anyone doing anything differently than they do it. They think I'm odd, but I'm not ... it's a hobby! If I were a 25-year-old bodybuilder or fitness competitor, no one would blink an eye. So weigh and measure as much as you like ... but if it bothers you when out, just memorize the portion sizes of what you plan to eat that day and the calorie counts. As for your family, they probably admire you, don't you think?

I know what you mean about remembering your mother's dieting. My mom always dieted, too. What I remember, though, is how much it interested her and how involved she got in each and every new plan that came down the pike. She was a sad person, but the dieting seemed to put a sparkle in her eye. She did not have an eating disorder until her Alzheimer's was somewhat advanced; then, she focused a lot on wanting to be thin (she was).

But eating disorders do run in my family. My younger brother was alternately overweight and anorexic his whole life. Our families do shape our attitudes toward weight and food and haunt us whenever we try to take control for ourselves. But I think what we have to do, really, is to tell those ghosts to go away.

Cheating is not so bad, though. Cheating is ok. I cheat regularly; without cheating I'd be a basket case. So cheat a little, please, just not too much.

Babette: You've been doing really well your challenges! Eating at the table is one I'm working on, too, but not across the board. I've also decided to eliminate the beloved slimfast from my life. I'm just too addicted to it. I've been substituting a canned soy drink that's a bit healthier and not quite so addictive, hopefully. Someday maybe I won't even need that. Not today, though!

Re: "My husband would think I was a pig." I'm glad you recognize that isn't a healthy way for you to feel. I was just wondering if you'd ever actually asked him if he'd think that. I'll bet he wouldn't!

LLB: Thanks for posting. Sorry I don't think I actually answered these questions, just seemed to ramble on. I get like that!

Peace!
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Old 03-30-2002, 06:26 AM   #6
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Default meanwhile, i was still thinkin'...

I think that the whole "sneak eating" thing is tied into a difficulty with being open for fear of being unacceptable. Here's a for instance: on Monday, I was plunged into my end-of-month workathon (yes, i should be working this minute), when i got an instant message from my son. He asked if i could pick him up and take him to the bank and drop him off at work. Sure! So I did, and of course it took 3/4 of an hour out of my day. Then I got home and thought about my husband realizing I'd been out and asking me about it and knowing that if i told him Matt asked me to pick him up that he would have given me grief about it ("he's 24, he shouldn't ask, you shouldn't do it, he needs to be more independent, and so on...") And he would be right. Anyway. I expended way too much of my mental energy thinking about all this. When DH asked I said that I'd just taken the car out because it had been sitting in the driveway too long. And then, that afternoon, I binged. I'm sure that it's related to all the dissonance involved in all that subterfuge. The other difficulty is people asking me to do things that I do and then resent. I didn't, really, in this case, although it certainly happens... Seems like I've got some work to do with these issues.

Crone, my husband probably wouldn't think i was a pig, because it's the "sneak" aspect of the thing that makes it go way out of control. If I just allowed myself to be completely open about what I eat, I don't think that I would ever binge. I almost never eat to the point of being uncomfortably full, because I really hate that feeling, but when I do I feel really unhealthy.

Eydie, I did that for quite a while last year and lost over 20 pounds. I may end up going back to counting points and/or calories -- I keep going back and forth on whether i think it's a good thing to do or not. Funny about the embarassment over dieting, huh. For me, it's like admitting that I'm overweight, a la "the emperor's new clothes"

Thanks for the input, Women! So glad to have this forum to explore these issues (thanks, Lucky!)

xo
babette

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Old 03-30-2002, 12:19 PM   #7
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Babette: Dissonance is a great word to describe the disharmony in my life that makes me binge also. When I am not producing or right on target in all the things I think I should be doing, I seem to go out of control in the food department, too. Managing my weight is extremely important to me; it's very close to the key of managing the rest of my life, so when there is disharmony in one area, the other simply reflects that.

I hate to be too full also. I think it goes back to the bullemia days but I do know that every once in awhile my body does need to feel completely satisfied.

Somewhere in the middle of the night I was reading an explanation of the difference in definition between "satiation" and "satiety" ... the first being that completely satisfied feeling when you are happy to stop eating and the second being the feeling of being satisified and not needing to eat between meals. Together, I guess, these make up the total physical peace my wayward appetites crave. I think I agree that this peace can't be achieved in secret.

A different issue for me is I think some people in affluent countries may have secret bingeing problems because of existential guilt over their comfortable level of food availability versus the widespread lack of same over most of the world. For me in the past this has been a factor of disharmony in the chaos of my attitudes toward eating and led to secret binges.

I'm not sure I have any answers to the dilemma. It is what it is. Peace.

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Old 03-31-2002, 09:17 AM   #8
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I always "lurk" here, thinking I'll join in someday, but this one is me all the way, I MUST explore these issues...


Exercise 50: Ways I sneak
I sneak food by:

1 eating as soon as everyone is gone
2 tasting while cooking
3 picking off plates while cleaning up
4 hiding stuff/throwing away evidence
5 wait til no one is watching (at work, too)

Exercise 51: Why I sneak
I sneak because:

*If I didn’t: someone else would get it first! (Childhood thing, I guess...coming from a family with 5 kids, treats were at a minimum. I wasn't getting any attention anyway, I learned at an early age to medicate myself with food.)
*It helps me to: Take away the pain of whatever may be bothering me at the moment. Procrastinate; put off something that needs to be done. Forget.
*Without it, I would: have to eat in front of people and either curb myself, or have them see how much I can really eat. (isn't it obvious? I like the emperor's new clothes analogy, babette!)
*It protects me from: exposing myself for the glutton I really am.

Exercise 52:If they really knew
Is there someone special in your life that you feel would be disappointed if they knew what and how much you ate?

My husband and my kids...I would be mortified if they ever saw me in the throes of a full fledged binge. Sometimes I will think that as I am stuffing my face...what if this was caught on film? would I want ANYONE to see this? followed by feelings of shame, guilt, remorse...Maybe I should do that, next time the urge to eat uncontrollably overtakes me...picture myself in a room with a hidden camera, being broadcast in Times Square, "AND NOW, ANOTHER LOOK AT KAT, IN HER ONGOING ATTEMPTS TO CONSUME ALL THE FOOD IN THE WORLD!"

I must say, having done this exercise, the call of the chocolate bunnies and M&Ms has quieted down considerably! Thank you, Lucky! I'm going to put my sneakers on now, take a walk...listen to the birdies tweeting, smell the fresh air, count my blessings, and come back thankful that I read this thread...I WILL be back!
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Old 03-31-2002, 09:24 AM   #9
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Your welcome, Kat. I am glad you posted here. I believe sometimes just "admitting" what we do does a lot to help us look at ourselves and gain control.
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Old 03-31-2002, 12:40 PM   #10
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Talking oh, another errant thought....

I just remembered, when Kat was writing about being seen in a full-fledged binge: I had a friend in high school who used to binge, and she would consciously do this in front of a boy-friend that she was trying to get rid of. She would get him to take her out for fast food (ordinarily VERY uncomfortable eating in public), and absolutely gorge herself. Can't remember if it worked or not. She was not a very happy or healthy camper, wonder how she's doing these days...
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Old 04-20-2002, 08:10 PM   #11
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Talking Let's Revitalize & Revisit ...

... "What Are We Hungry For?" Yo!

Pursuant to an idea by Babette, I'm revisiting one of the old Roth exercises. I just picked the "sneaky" thread at random. I don't really sneak food unless it's from myself, but I did see a sneaky weight loss tip in Prevention's "Walk off the Weight" (think that was the name; don't have it anymore) mag that reminded me of this thread and that I missed it. The tip was to always leave a bite of food on your plate ... the calorie savings add up over time and it's a "sneaky" way to fool yourself into losing a few pounds. I've been doing that.

Since I really have no weight loss books anymore except the Rockport Walking Program, I decided to share just one paragraph from that on the subject of emotional eating and "triggers:"

"Emotions can set off 'triggers' to eat. We are all too familiar with the depression or the anger that makes us reach for a chocolate bar or a pint of ice cream. Or the feelings of camaraderie that makes us reach for a drink. Or the delights of a delicious high-fat feast. But your emotions can be controlled. Whether you're feeling happy, sad, frustrated, anxious, or exhilarated—you don't have to turn to food. If you're filled with good feelings, relish them—and just go easy on the food and drink. If you are angry, try going for a walk to let off steam. If you're anxious, try meditation or a deep-breathing exercise. Remind yourself that if you binge, you will have two problems—the original problem and the eating problem." (Dr. James M. Rippe & Ann Ward, Phd. with Karla Dougherty, The Rockport Walking Program, Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1989.)

I love this book and all of the Rockport Program publications. They are old-fashioned and DO contain a structured eating program but they celebrate the joy of walking and how much can be accomplished by just putting one foot in front of the other.

That said, referring to the quote, Shakespeare also comes to mind: "If to do were as easy as to know what were good to be done, chapels had been churches ..." You get the idea.

Yo?
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Old 04-22-2002, 10:08 AM   #12
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Default Thanks, Crone!

I really liked the quote -- sounds like a good book. Also your chapels/churches quote was pretty applicable. We know SO much, and yet it's SO difficult to apply it consistently. Re: emotions -- I am so in touch with mine that I sometimes eat to numb one BEFORE I feel it . I feel, for example, the threat of stress, and "squish it way way down" with food before it even hits. I saw an exercise from the "Coyote Wisdom" series on ediets that featured regularly taking one's emotional pulse, just to stay aware. Not, i think, a bad idea... I keep thinking to myself, "what kind of wimp am i if i have to frantically protect myself from the slightest discomfort" - esp. when the "protection" leads to so much more discomfort than the actual feelings would create. Ah, thanks again for reviving this, Crone. It's good to do the work.

xo
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Old 04-22-2002, 04:00 PM   #13
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Default Sneaking ...

Babette: I started thinking about the discussion of adult children of alcoholics on the Blockette thread. I imagine that many emotional eaters might fall into that group. It got me thinking about the relationship between "sneak" drinking, as my father practiced it, and "sneak" eating, which I likely would do if I didn't live alone with a houseful of pets. I know when I was heavier, I did tend to eat in private, as well as binge and purge in secret. On the surface, I pretended that I had marvelous control, just as my alcoholic parent seemed to have control over his relationship to liquor. I know I am still like that, though not as much with food, because I really do somewhat well (sometimes) with that ... but I so often play the role of a person in control, not worried about anything, not feeling sad and anxious, all grown up. It's when I'm struggling the hardest to portray this cool exterior that I have the desire to binge on cold, sweet, vanilla things and never stop.

I think "sneaking" food is a universal phenomenon of all animals (humans, too). Lions, tigers, bears, birds of prey tend to be pretty open about the act of eating, but they do tend to carry their meat or whatever off to a cave or a private place to eat, at least they often do this. They tend to share only with their own little families, not wanting the "enemy" or rival lion, tiger or bear to see what they have and maybe steal it. They are like overweight, successful entrepreneurs who consider big meals a trophy and reward for their efforts.

Domesticated animals (like my Old Dog) are different and more like me ... or like I used to be. They consider food a hobby and consolation for their proscribed life. They want to eat all day just to pass the time. When they've eaten the kibble in the bowl, they look around for whatever other forbidden gustatory thrill might be around. Often this calls for secrecy, as the stick-in-the-mud food provider insists that they must manage their weight and eat only the kibble. Their eyes light up with speculation when the cat heads for the litter box, they slink in that direction, hoping they won't be seen. They know if a dead bird is in the yard. They insist they have to go out for the approved reason, but there's a feral gleam in the eye, a surpressed excitement in their manner that says they are going to sneak a snack.

Ok, I'm starting to ramble. Must get to work. Let's keep this thread going. LLB, are you there?
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Old 04-23-2002, 08:50 PM   #14
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Exercise 50: Ways I sneak
I sneak food by:
1 Going in the cafeteria after 2 and eating the leftover muffins, cookies or pie
2 Eating when I am home alone
3 Hiding cookies in my sleeve and eating them alone in my room
4 Eating light during a meal and then gorging later
5 Eating out....fast food...alone

Exercise 51: Why I sneak
I sneak because: I can't control it....I am always thinking about food or when I can eat next and what I can eat next
If I didn’t: I would be a sane and healthy...lean teenager
It helps me to: Feel satisfied....it fills my void
Without it, I would: Be happy and confident
It protects me from: Nothing....it actually depressed me!

Exercise 52:If they really knew
Is there someone special in your life that you feel would be disappointed if they knew what and how much you ate?

My Mom would probably be dissapointed in me, but she doesn't put any effort towards helping me. I always ask her not to buy the candy and the ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cupcakes etc. My house is literally a smorgasboard (i dont think that's spelled right) of sweets. I throw some of it away when I am feeling tempted to eat, but when my will power is down I cannot help myself. For example I just ate a quater gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough frozen yogurt...why b/c I've had a bad day and it was there staring me in the face.

I sometimes think that if I had a boyfriend it may motivate to stay in shape so that I don't have to be embarassed about my body when getting naked! You know....this causes intimacy problems for me. Maybe that is why I am afraid to get too involved with anyone.

I am really glad that I stumbled onto this thread. I feel a little better knowing that I am not the only one with this sneaking issue. I also have the problem of overindulging. Right now my stomach feels like it is going to explode. I am fighting the urge to make myself throw up. I've only done this a few times but I never really got into it. I hope that I never will.

Please personal message me or send me an e-mail if you have any suggestions or need some support. I am a good listener!
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Old 04-23-2002, 09:11 PM   #15
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Echristo: Thanks for posting. You are definetely not alone and I hope you come back and talk about your feelings anytime. I think you have really good insight into what is going on with your eating and I can really relate to it, though I am much beyond the teen years. But for several decades of my life I struggled with bullemia so I'm happy for you that you've made the decision to fight that "urge."

I'd bet if you simply gave up hiding the cookies in your sleeve and just ate them in front of the universe and everyone, some of the stress would stop. If anyone has a problem with your eating habits, it's their problem, not yours. If your mom is disappointed, then so be it, but I'd be willing to bet she would not be. Maybe you need to sit her down and tell her everything you just posted and she might surprise you with some good support.

In the words of the immortal and gorgeous Emme (she's a plus-size model who has written about weight issues), "Sometimes a cookie is just a cookie!"

Good luck. The journey is long but worth it.
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