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My first real eating binge

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Old 02-26-2006, 09:36 AM   #1
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Exclamation My first real eating binge

I hope this doesn't get long and boring, I'll try and make it brief. Mostly I just need to write this out and vent a little.

Boy oh boy, was last night a bust. I've had days where I go pick at stuff I shouldn't have or maybe sneak that cookie (although I don't really consider it sneaking, I just add it with my calories, but you know what I mean), make the occasional bad choice, etc. But I've never had a REAL eating binge - to where I stuff food uncontrollably - until last night.

My husband and I were enjoying ourselves, having a couple of drinks and watching The Thing (the remake with Kurt Russel, I love that movie) and I had planned on having one more drink, then going in to get my salad I had put together to have for the night. I always eat late at night, so I put together something healthy and lowcal. My salad had already been counted with my calories for the day.

So anyway, about 11:30, the phone rings. It's my sister-in-law freaking out, calling for her brother (my husband) to come to their mother's house (we all live in the same neighborhood, walking distance away) because she had collapsed and was laying on the floor in the hallway. Luckily she had the sense to call my sis-in-law and when they discovered she was barely coherant on the phone, they jumped in their car to head over and called 911 on their cell on the way there. So my husband heads over there. It was about 30-45 minutes before anyone called me back to let me know what was going on, in which time I paced the floors. If I wasn't pacing, I was sitting nervously on the couch with my phone right in front of me. I couldn't eat. I couldn't even pay attention to the movie.

Finally my sis-in-law calls me to let me know what's going on. Turns out my MIL is fine, she just had an attack of indigestion and got dizzy and laid down on the floor herself because she was afraid of falling and hitting her head. Which was a smart move. The squad was there and said her heart and blood pressure were fine, nothing else was wrong with her, and I even talked to her on the phone and she was laughing, mostly at my husband, who rarely ever drinks and the one night he decides to sit around the house drinking, he's called out of here on an emergency, lol. He was pretty well lit up when he left here. Luckily my MIL's house is only two streets over. I couldn't leave, I had to stay here with our 6-year-old son.

So okay, emergency over, I was relieved. And hungry now. I can't eat when I'm nervous about something, but once I calmed down, I went and got my salad. I ate the salad. Then I got up and went into the kitchen and I don't know what happened, I just went nuts. It was almost uncontrollable. I got in the fridge and got out a tortilla, the sliced ham and a slice of my veggie cheese. Wrapped the ham and the cheese up in the tortilla and at it. Then I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I ate that. Then I got down the box of the peanut butter crunch cereal and ate THAT. I don't know what the heck happened. Maybe it was the adrenalin rush? And then the relief? I wanted to eat more even after the cereal, but I literally said out loud, "Linda, stop, right now, just STOP."

I went in and laid down on the couch and fell asleep to keep myself from eating more. My husband stayed over at my MIL's for a while, sitting with her and his sister and brother-in-law to make sure my MIL was going to be okay before he left to come home.

But this was the first time I actually felt out of control of myself. I know there's nothing I can do about it now, except forget about it and put behind me, it's already done. But I just felt like 'venting' about it a little. Not really a vent, as I'm not upset with myself or anything, but it was just WEIRD. I've never felt such an overwhelming urge to just eat before...not like that. What the heck happened?

Anyway, thanks for listening
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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Fisrt off, thank goodness MIL is ok and it was just indigestion. Second, with what you ate, it's amazing you didn't follow her on the Indigestion Highway !

I'm so glad you're not beating yourself up over it, though. It happens. Just do your best to estimate the calories consumed, record it and chalk it up to one of those weird things that happens every now and then.

Man, you must have a stomach of cast iron!

Glad it all worked out and no one's too much worse for the wear!
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:16 AM   #3
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Linda - it's okay! You just got extremely overly stressed out and you were still not thinking like your normal self when you started eating all that. It happens. It doesn't mean you are now out of control - it was just a moment!

I'm glad everyone is okay!!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:38 PM   #4
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Hey LLV, little bingy things sometimes happen during times of great emotional stress. Completely normal - food comforts. You did a great job stopping and defusing the binge. 2 sandwiches and a bowl of cereal wasn't terrible at all, you are not bad, you didn't lose control, you stopped.

The important thing is not to punish yourself or restrict your calories to "make up" for yesterday. Drink a lot of water today and treat today like normal, you'll get back on track immediately.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:55 PM   #5
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It's okay! Everyone have those binge times! You had a good reason too. I'm sure alot of the ladies here would've done the same.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Less of Lena
Fisrt off, thank goodness MIL is ok and it was just indigestion. Second, with what you ate, it's amazing you didn't follow her on the Indigestion Highway !

I'm so glad you're not beating yourself up over it, though. It happens. Just do your best to estimate the calories consumed, record it and chalk it up to one of those weird things that happens every now and then.
Nah, I'm not gonna worry about it. What's done is done, that was last night, no sense trying to figure it out now.

Thanks for the good wishes, I'm glad she's okay too. I'm one of the rare females that actually likes my MIL, lol.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icmethinner
Linda - it's okay! You just got extremely overly stressed out and you were still not thinking like your normal self when you started eating all that. It happens. It doesn't mean you are now out of control - it was just a moment!

I'm glad everyone is okay!!
Me too, thank you

I guess that's what it was, just the stress. But it sure was weird. The "need" to eat was so overwhelming, I've never felt anything like it before.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87
Hey LLV, little bingy things sometimes happen during times of great emotional stress. Completely normal - food comforts. You did a great job stopping and defusing the binge. 2 sandwiches and a bowl of cereal wasn't terrible at all, you are not bad, you didn't lose control, you stopped.

The important thing is not to punish yourself or restrict your calories to "make up" for yesterday. Drink a lot of water today and treat today like normal, you'll get back on track immediately.
Thank you

Yep, I've been drinking lots of water today. And I definitely won't be punishing myself. That will just add insult to injury!
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by x0xmelissax0x
It's okay! Everyone have those binge times! You had a good reason too. I'm sure alot of the ladies here would've done the same.
Yeah, I was just wondering if anyone else had ever done that under a stressful time.
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:16 PM   #10
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Woah! Glad to hear your MIL is ok. Whew! What a night!

Glad you're ok too and not mad at yourself That was a very stressful situation and chances are, it's not something that will happen very often!

Drinking surely made you even more hungry under the circumstances too. A few drinks combined with the stress and not being able to eat is gonna be a recipe for disaster for anyone! I know that when I used to go out and have a few drinks, I'd come home starving and carrots were not was I was in the mood for! lol

The cool thing is, you still were able to tell yourself to stop eventually! The adrenaline rush and probably a steep drop in your sugar levels after the drinks probably left you starving.
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Old 02-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #11
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Since it was just last night, you could try exercising today to burn a bit of it off. One of the premises of my "weekly wildcard" is that it doesn't matter how bad it is, if it only happens once a week, and you're good the rest of the time, it's not going to put a huge dent in your average. And, if you can, exercising the next day helps too. But one bad day isn't going to ruin you.

Just pick up and keep going with it. I had a date with a buffet table on Friday, and I knew I could have one nice dessert from it, but it all looked so good, I decided if I started, I wouldn't be able to stop... so I avoided it altogether and then had some sweet stuff yesterday on my own terms. But, even if I did have something, it's like, "you can't live with your head in a hole your whole life." Don't get too upset over it - just smooth it out with the rest of the week and some exercise, and it'll "work itself out."

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Old 02-26-2006, 08:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLV
Yeah, I was just wondering if anyone else had ever done that under a stressful time.
LLV! I was looking up some stuff and stumbled on this article. Looks like you were right on about the adrenaline rush etc making you hungry!

Here's the article

Quote:
Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

Your job is hanging by a thread, and the credit-card bills are mounting. Your teenager wants to quit school and become a professional snowboarder. Or maybe it’s the increasing tensions in the world, brought to you 24 hours a day on your TV screen, getting you down.



Regardless of the reason, stress is a way of life in the 21st century. And for some people, the effects go beyond feelings of anxiety and discomfort. For these people, stress can mean facing each day ravenously hungry -- and adding weight gain to their list of worries.

"While the immediate . . . response to acute stress can be a temporary loss of appetite, more and more we are coming to recognize that for some people, chronic stress can be tied to an increase in appetite -- and stress-induced weight gain," says Elissa Epel, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco.

The problem, she says, lies within our neuroendocrine system -- a brain-to-body connection that harkens back to evolutionary times and which helped our distant ancestors to survive. Though today the source of the stress is more likely to be an unpaid bill than a saber-toothed tiger, this system still activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened.

"These hormones give us the biochemical strength we need to fight or flee our stressors," Epel tells WebMD.

The hormones released when we’re stressed include adrenalin -- which gives us instant energy -- along with corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol. While high levels of adrenalin and CRH decrease appetite at first, the effects usually don't last long.

And cortisol works on a different timetable. Its job is to help us replenish our body after the stress has passed, and it hangs around a lot longer. "It can remain elevated, increasing your appetite and ultimately driving you to eat more," says Epel.

While this system works fine when our stress comes in the form of physical danger -- when we really need to "fight or flee", and then replenish -- it doesn't serve the same purpose for today’s garden-variety stressors.

"Often, our response to stress today is to sit and stew in our frustration and anger, without expending any of the calories or food stores that we would if we were physically fighting our way out of stress or danger," says Shawn Talbott, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Utah and author of The Cortisol Connection.

In other words, since your neuro-endocrine system doesn't know you didn't fight or flee, it still responds to stress with the hormonal signal to replenish nutritional stores -- which may make you feel hungry.

Following those stress signals can lead not only to weight gain, but also the tendency to store what is called "visceral fat" around the midsection. These fat cells that lie deep within the abdomen have been linked to an increase in both diabetes and heart disease.

To further complicate matters, the "fuel" our muscles need during "fight or flight " is sugar -- one reason we crave carbohydrates when we are stressed, says endocrinologist Riccardo Perfetti, MD, PhD.

"To move the sugar from our blood to our muscles requires insulin, the hormone that opens the gates to the cells and lets the sugar in," says Perfetti, who directs the outpatient diabetes program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. And high levels of sugar and insulin set the stage for the body to store fat.

"So people who are under stress, metabolically speaking, will gain weight for that very reason," Perfetti tells WebMD.

Mind Over Matter

As much as we would like to blame all our weight gain on stress, experts say that eating in response to stress can also be a learned habit -- one that’s merely encouraged by brain chemistry.

"Under stress, there's an impulse to do something, to move, and often, eating becomes the activity that relieves the stress. It's easy to do and it's comforting," says David Ginsberg, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Behavioral Health Program at New York University Medical Center.

In fact, it may be our bodies’ initial response to rising levels of cortisol that teaches us there is comfort in sugary or starchy foods.

"During the first couple of days following a stressful event, cortisol is giving you a clue to eat high-carbohydrate foods,” Perfetti tells WebMD. "Once you comply, you quickly learn a behavioral response that you can feel almost destined to repeat anytime you feel stressed."

Now for the good news: Whether your urge to eat is driven by hormones or habits or a combination of both, research shows there are ways to interrupt the cycle, break the stress and stop the weight gain.

Here’s what the experts recommend:

1. Exercise. This is the best stress-buster -- and also happens to be good for you in lots of other ways. "It not only burns calories, when you move your body, even with a simple activity such as walking, you begin to produce a cascade of biochemicals, at least some of which counter the negative effects of stress hormones -- as well as control insulin and sugar levels," says Talbott.

At the same time, Ginsburg notes that exercising too hard for too long can raise cortisol levels and actually increase stress. The answer, he says is to choose an activity you really enjoy doing -- be it an aerobic sport like running or a calmer activity such as Pilates -- and then keep workouts to a length that doesn’t exhaust you (this could be as little as 20 minutes a day, three to five days a week).

2. Eat a balanced diet -- and never skip a meal. "Eat breakfast -- and try to consume six small rather than three huge meals a day, with foods from all the food groups," Ginsberg tells WebMD. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady, which in turn put a damper on insulin production and eventually reduce cortisol levels -- all helping to control appetite and weight.

3. Don't lose sleep, over your weight problems or your stress -- When we don't get enough rest, cortisol levels rise, making us feel hungry and less satisfied with the food we do eat, Ginsberg says.

4. Devote time to relaxation -- Because it works much like exercise to produce brain chemicals that counter the effects of stress, Ginsburg suggests finding the activities that make you feel relaxed and calm. For some, he says, yoga can do the trick. Others may prefer meditation techniques or deep breathing.

And don't overlook the relaxing power of cuddling up on a sofa with a good book or magazine, or even playing your favorite movie on the VCR. "Anything that makes you feel calm and relaxed will help counter the biochemical effects of stress," says Talbott.

5. Snack on whole grain, high fiber foods. If you just can't ignore those stress-related hunger pangs, try filling your tummy with foods high in fiber and low in sugar, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or fruits such as pears or plums.

According to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, author of Fight Fat After Forty, foods that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates -- like white flour, cookies, cake, white rice, or pasta -- cause insulin levels to rise, which in turn increases stress hormones and ultimately makes you feel more hungry. But high-fiber, whole-grain foods -- particularly cereals like oatmeal or multi-grain flakes, as well as fruits -- help keep insulin levels on a even keel, which can help control blood sugar levels, and ultimately, hunger, according to Peeke.

6. Avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol -- According to the American Institute of Stress, cigarettes, as well as caffeine-laden soft drinks, coffee, tea, and even chocolate, can cause cortisol levels to rise, stress to increase, blood sugar to drop and hunger to prevail. The institute also cautions against drinking too much alcohol, which can affect blood sugar and insulin levels.

7. Take your vitamins -- A number of medical studies have shown that stress can deplete important nutrients -- particularly the B complex and C vitamins, and sometimes the minerals calcium and magnesium.

Because these nutrients are needed to balance the effects of stress hormones like cortisol, and may even play a role in helping us burn fat, it's important to keep levels high, Talbott says. While a good diet will help, he says, taking a high potency multi-vitamin supplement can insure you give your body what it needs to not only deal with the stress, but also burn fat and lose weight.

And speaking of losing weight, here’s one bit of news you may be happy to hear: Experts say you shouldn’t try to go on a strict diet when you’re under extreme or chronic stress.

In one study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2001, researchers from the University of British Columbia found that severely limiting calorie intake could kick off a series of biochemical events that ultimately not only increased stress levels, but could make people feel more hungry.

The researchers followed 62 women for three days. Of this group, 33 were on a diet of no more than about 1,500 calories a day, while the other 29 consumed up to about 2,200 calories daily.

After analyzing urine samples, researchers found that the women who had consumed the least food had the highest levels of cortisol. Not surprisingly, these same women also reported more stress during what researchers called "daily food-related experiences." In short, the more they restricted food intake, the greater their levels of stress hormones, and, ultimately, the more they wanted to eat.

If you find yourself chronically stressed out, the experts say, you should do what you can to decrease your stress levels, then follow a reduced-calorie, yet balanced, diet to stop the weight gain and lose the extra pounds
I was an interesting read. I had heard that stress was responsible for making our waists bigger...although I don't know for myself...I don't find I have a stressful life but my middle got quite large anyway lol Looks like we need more and a little less in our lives
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:54 AM   #13
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Thanks, everyone, for the responses and the read on the adrenaline thing. Stress can definitely do weird things to our bodies.

That was just a weird night. I'm hoping it doesn't happen again anytime soon.
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