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Old 12-31-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default Hoarding food

I have complained about this before in various posts but it's driving me nuts. I am such a hoarder with my diet/healthy lifetstyle foods that it is costing me $$$ and, perhaps, giving me cause for concern.

I eat a ton of canned fish (typically 5 cans a day of different ones), so I actively seek out the best varieties and buy them. And then stock up. A lot.

Add to that kimchi, tabasco sauce, seaweed, various pickles (e.g. quails eggs, garlic), beans, vegetables, eggs and the desire to keep stocks both at home in a mini-fridge (separate from the rest of my family) and at my office in another mini-fridge and I am definitely coming to the conclusion that I am losing it. Yes, I bought the mini-fridges too.

I have literally hundreds of cans of fish in my possession right now.

So that's the bottom line.

Is anyone else hoarding? I pray not as bad as me.

I have become obsessed with what I eat. And I am not sure that is a good thing. Like it was when I just didn't care.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Ian, you know what they say, well maybe you don't, but the first step is admitting to yourself that something might be amiss. Actually the wording is more like, admitting you are powerless, not sure if that applies to you in this situation, but if it's causing you concern it deserves attention.

I've had my lazy Susan cupboard filled to the point it wouldn't turn hardly, I kind of tough loved myself by making myself use the stuff, I know I have these tendencies, not just with food, so I try and stay aware, like now I've discovered Bolthouse farms dressings, I want to buy every one and try it, but I already have a bunch of dressing in the fridge, I've been measuring out 2 tablespoons when I use them so I know I won't use them up quickly, but I am a little annoyed that I didn't buy another one tonight at the store.

Anyway, just like we make rules for ourselves about the foods, quantities, etc. that we eat, maybe you need to make some rules for yourself about using something before you bring something else in.

I know from personal experience it's not easy to do, but otherwise we end up drowning in stuff, whether it's cans of beans, fish or clothes, etc, etc, etc.

I'll be thinking of you and wishing you success in keeping yourself healthy in all aspects.


In your honor I'm going to make myself get into my closet like I was kind of thinking about doing over this holiday weekend and see what needs to be donated or tossed, like a bunch of CDs for the computer that's out in the shed and never going to be used again...
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:19 PM   #3
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while I don't hoard...I do tend to hide foods that I want to keep for myself to eat....usually I take them straight to work...sometimes i'll discreetly put them behind other things in the pantry because no one will look that hard in the pantry....I do tend to get possessive sometimes about the things I buy specifically for me
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'll start to eat my pickings then. On-plan, of course.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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I was reading this one book on how to organize a home and it said to keep an inventory of certain products so that you don't keep buying the same things again and again. I know that you are aware that you already have those things, but perhaps it would be a useful mental tool to literally list everything that's in your possession with their expiration dates. Then when you feel like you need to buy more, you can look at the list and try to override the urge with making a rational decision. Besides, being organized and having the feeling of being in control might soothe the mind that wants to hoard.

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Old 12-31-2013, 11:19 PM   #6
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Thanks SparklyBunny.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:56 AM   #7
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My only concern would be that you'd get a big stock of this stuff then get sick of eating it, which would then be a waste of money. It's not a bad idea to stock up on unperishable items when they're on special, but if the stuff you're buying is going off faster than you can use it then it is probably time to not buy so much. Oh, I see you have hundreds of cans, then, yes maybe time to cut back, LOL, or open your own store.
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:19 AM   #8
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I don't have this problem with food, but I sew and I have fabric hoarding tendencies. The thing that worked for me (and I have hardly bought any fabric since I adopted this line of thinking) is to decide that the fabric store was an extension of my fabric storage, but better bc I don't have to pay for the fabric till I buy it. The place where that gets sticky is when there is a good sale or it is a fabric that I won't be able to find later. I have managed to convince myself that I am better off storing MY fabric at the fabric store even if it will cost me three times as much when I'm ready to use it. I still have a hard time if its something gorgeous that I won't be able to buy when I want it later.

This line of thinking has worked a lot better for me than other strategies, such as "I can't buy more till I use x amount," or "I can only fill a set amount of space with fabric."
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:58 AM   #9
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Maybe it's because you fear you might run out of finances one day to eat the way you want to eat and are eating now to maintain your weight loss?

This is a fear of mine, i do visit my local food bank as times are tough around here and it's mainly my husband that eats that food and i buy my salads, greek yogurt, etc. and while i can't stockpile these things, i am fearful that one day i will be forced to eat food that i do not want to eat.

Maybe this is what you're going through?
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #10
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Not exactly. When I was at the height of my secret binges then yes, I would hide junk food in strange places like my closet, my bookbags, my car, the coat closet, the linen closet etc. When I was having a bad day and needed food for comfort I stocked the fridge and pantry with chips, dips, bread, soda, etc. It was comforting to have around even if I didn't eat it all at once. Could that be happening here?

When we started eating whole foods and made the decision to eat a lot of raw foods every day the first thing we did was clear up the pantry. We don't eat canned food to the extent that you do so you might find half a dozen cans of tuna, a few sardines for my husband and a pile of canned anchovies that I use for cooking. My pantries are pretty bare nowadays. But I do know a thing or 2 about organization so I'll try to help because I remember the days of stockpiling.

1. Buy fresh food every day - I walk to the store on a daily basis and buy fresh produce/fruit/meats. Fresh food is so much more nutritious and eating fresh makes me feel fresh.

2. Do a pantry raid every month. We do this with our freezer. Sometimes I throw chicken breasts in there that get lost and once a month we raid the freezer and fridge and make a creative dinner using bits and bobs of things.

3. When you buy something on sale, don't put it in your pantry unless you take out all the identical items in there that you already have. So you bought a case of tuna? Pull out the tuna you already have and eat it first. Don't put anything new in the pantry until you finish what you have. That means that your hallway or countertop or corner of the kitchen will have a pile of stuff there that needs to be eaten. Hoarding is easy to ignore if it's all behind a closed door. But if it's right in front of you it will prompt you to get rid of it.

4. Keep a list on the inside of the pantry door of what you have in there. Every time you remove something from the pantry cross it off. EVerytime you put something in, write it on the list.

5. I keep a running grocery list on my smart phone, one for the market and one for costco.

6. Don't buy things just because they're on sale. Only buy the things you need. This is how we get into trouble rather than saving money. We each have to choose what is important to us. I'd rather have a sparse pantry and money in my pocket rather than look into my pantry and feel overwhelmed. It turns out that not buying it saves me more money than buying it on sale.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #11
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I am sort of trying to develop this behavior, actually. I work a lot of hours, and almost always eat at my office. I tend to not eat after I leave work, unless it's an after-work-out snack, and tend to eat my first meal mid-morning at the office. But I went to my filing cabinet yesterday morning to get some food that I thought I had stocked up and realized I didn't have enough for the day. I have eggs stocked, but those take some time to be out of my office and prepare in the basement kitchen (yes - we have a basement kitchen at work - how cool is that?), and I didn't have an opportunity to go prepare them because I was working on deadline. So I got the familiar panic about not having available on-plan foods. I, too, stock up on the same foods at home (for weekends, mostly) and at work so that I don't have to think about food very much, but can be on plan.

So, I absolutely see the utility in what you're doing. I also have financial insecurity in my background, as a previous poster mentioned, so I am definitely into making sure I have enough in times of scarcity.

This is one of those "good problems to have," IMHO. Based on the sheer numbers you mention, you probably are doing too much hoarding, and I think you've gotten some good suggestions about how to address it. But it's way, way better than the alternative -- not having what you need to maintain your health and weight loss when you need it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
I don't have this problem with food, but I sew and I have fabric hoarding tendencies. The thing that worked for me (and I have hardly bought any fabric since I adopted this line of thinking) is to decide that the fabric store was an extension of my fabric storage, but better bc I don't have to pay for the fabric till I buy it. The place where that gets sticky is when there is a good sale or it is a fabric that I won't be able to find later. I have managed to convince myself that I am better off storing MY fabric at the fabric store even if it will cost me three times as much when I'm ready to use it. I still have a hard time if its something gorgeous that I won't be able to buy when I want it later. "
We're talking about HOARDING. What you're describing is fabric COLLECTING!! I don't hoard either - that closet of fabric is, um, a hobbby.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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Wow. Lots of suggestions. Thanks. You have made me reflect on my motivations for this. And I think I have a few.

One is clearly an obsession with what I am eating, which I think has come about through dieting over the past 11 months constantly thinking about what to eat and what not to eat. It is a symptom of anorexia to hoard, but the big difference - or so I read - is that I hoard but I also eat.

Secondly, I love - dare I say crave - variety. I like to know I have choices in my resticted diet. So that makes me buy lots of different stuff if I can.

Thirdly, I don't want to run out of a variety so I stock up. This might be the most irrational fear...that the store may run out, so I get the fabric analogy.

Fourthly, the shelf life on this stuff is years so the discipline of "it will not be good to eat" is pretty much absent.

But some good news. I was on my way to a store today to buy some more cans (of mackeral). But decided to go home instead as I already had enough. That's progress.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:18 PM   #14
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I think roubidoux example on fabric is great, not to be confused with collecting. Anytime we store more than we need out of FEAR it is a form of hoarding.

Ian, I did not know that corollation between anorexia and hoarding.

If you're feeling seriously overwhelmed by your pantry then you may want to try donating a good chunk of it. Clearing a space can do wonders for your state of mind and well being. There is enough for everyone.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
I don't have this problem with food, but I sew and I have fabric hoarding tendencies. The thing that worked for me (and I have hardly bought any fabric since I adopted this line of thinking) is to decide that the fabric store was an extension of my fabric storage, but better bc I don't have to pay for the fabric till I buy it. The place where that gets sticky is when there is a good sale or it is a fabric that I won't be able to find later. I have managed to convince myself that I am better off storing MY fabric at the fabric store even if it will cost me three times as much when I'm ready to use it. I still have a hard time if its something gorgeous that I won't be able to buy when I want it later.

This line of thinking has worked a lot better for me than other strategies, such as "I can't buy more till I use x amount," or "I can only fill a set amount of space with fabric."
I too was going to post that I do it with Fabric! to the point of being ridiculous, I absolutely have banned myself from the shops, UNLESS I need something to finish a started project. I am embarrassed how much fabric I have, I could open a shop. lol
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