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Old 06-24-2002, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default OK, give me some cheese to go with my WHINE

I do whine, but not normally here.....well here I go.........Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I just returned from Paris where I consumed every pastry and chocolate in the city.........they are totally out now.

All kidding aside, I can understand eating everything I want on vacation but what is it about me that makes me binge???? Even when I felt sick (tooooooo much chocolate), I continued to finish a piece of pastry to the point where it was actually unpleasant.

Anyway, had to vent....certainly can't tell friends, workmates, etc...(they would not understand). I am actually looking forward to gettting back on track tomorrow. But there is another question---Why did I have to wait till Monday to hop back on the wagon???????

OK going to have some veggie slices (fake cheese) to go with my whine.
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Old 06-24-2002, 10:20 AM   #2
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MMMM. Paris - chocolate crepes, good wine, great meals, and the Pattiseries! One of the first things I learned to say in French was "I would like a chocolate crepe." Lucky duck. Did you have a good time?

I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist, but I am a fellow binger, though I haven't binged for a couple months I think. I'm finally getting it under control. I think binging is part emotional - eating to feed feelings or to keep from feeling them or mistaking feelings for hunger, but I think there's something physical going on too.

I've read that binging can be triggered by either overeating - which stretches your stomach and oddly makes you feel hungry even after a huge meal, and can be triggered by starving or waiting too long before meals. The latter has to do with low blood sugar. The way to avoid these physical triggers is to eat several small meals throughout the day, never eat loads of sugar on an empty stomach, and try to include protein in most meals, if only just a little bit. Don't go more than 4-6 hours without outing.

The other physical issue is the neurotransmitter dopamine. I've read that researchers have found that the dopamine system in very overweight people is deficient. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical substance that allows neurons to communicate with one another. There are alot of different neurotransmitters in the brain with apparently different functions, but dopamine is specifically connected with motivation and drive and also with the sense of reward we get when we act.

The brain requires a certain amount of stimulation in the areas that register rewards, and if there isn't enough, stimulates us to do something rewarding. In overweight people, the levels in our reward centers rise much higher from eating food than from other pleasures, so that when our brain stimulates us to do something rewarding, we register that as EAT.

Worse yet, when food is displayed, the dopamine levels in our brains surge - (this surge happens in both normal weight and overweight people alike) - but they don't surge in the part of the dopamine system that registers pleasure in food, they surge in the part of the system that urges us to eat just to just consume calories, the drive to eat.

That's why, when we binge, we can be eating anything, even something we don't really like, even eat past the point where we're comfortable, or to the point of sickness, when we're no longer enjoying a previously enjoyable food. Our brain is stimulating us to keep eating.

I think the answer to this physical problem is stimulus control. Looking at food that tempts you to binge is a problem. Find out what stimulates you to binge and head it off. If it's looking at food when you're feeling low or even after a nice dinner, don't look at it. Get up and leave if you have to. Some bingers are put on certain antidepressants that help control the dopamine system.

So binging can have alot of causes and factors. The bright side is that there are therefore many different approaches to solving the binging problem. There's working out the emotions, getting support, figuring out what the physical and emotional triggers are, controlling or avoiding what stimulates you to binge especially during vulnerable times, keeping your blood sugar stable and avoiding overeating. These are the things I'm working on, and they seem to be working for me. I only wish I had discovered all this sooner. I used to think it was all willpower and that never worked for me.

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-24-2002, 10:31 AM   #3
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One more thing - Gee, I hope you dont mind reading this. I identify so much with this problem.

I used to feel obligated to eat EVERYTHING on my plate. Why? Because I had this notion that food should not be wasted, that someone somewhere was starving. Actually, eating everything on my plate will not keep someone else from starving. It will only make or keep me fat. Now, when I sit down, I try to tell myself that I don't have to eat the whole thing if I don't want to. I can throw something away, or better yet, take a smaller amount. We can end up with somr pretty funny ideas about food, can't we?
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Old 06-24-2002, 10:33 AM   #4
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JML is absolutely right! Whenever I go on an exciting trip, I go into "traveller's eating mode". For me, the wonderful food is always a big part of the excitement of a trip. . .I can only imagine what going to Paris would do to me!!! (Zoinks!)

I too suffer from "Mondays only" syndrome ~ I guess the beginning of a new week makes sense to us for a new beginning on eating right.

Try not to be too hard on yourself ~ just forgive yourself and begin again! Blessings, irishwings
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:04 AM   #5
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Ok, now I feel embarrassed. I just checked out your profile, Nikolas, and see you are a neuro surgeon, and here I am writing about neurons when I know next to nothing! I'm just interested in how it all works.

Good luck with the battle!
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Old 06-24-2002, 09:29 PM   #6
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Default aaaaah PARIS!!!

i loved paris. every bit of it.

and as they were wheeling me down the hall for my wls surgery, all i was saying was 'i want to go to paris'

so, why did you eat everything in sight? there's the physiological, which JML so nicely summarized, and there's also the psychological issues [on vacation, everything is so wonderful, you can't get these things here, enjoy while you can, on and on and on and on.]

but what's important? you got there and back in one piece. you had a great time [at least i hope you had a great time] and you're now back on the wagon. doesn't matter that you're a day or two later than you had thought, the fact is that you're back on it!!!

and you have pictures to remember your wonderful time. and they'll last a whole lot longer than those pounds you put back on. because you'll be taking them off immediately, RIGHT??????

and one more thing: what kind of cheese do you want with your whine? brie? montrachet? some locally made goat cheese with herbs???
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:05 AM   #7
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mmmm, Camembert.

I do mini-binges, I only began to recognize them as binges after I started paying attention to my normal sized husband's eating habits. I like to eat a nibble of everything in the kitchen and while I'm eating I really disconnect, I'm working on that big-time.

When I was last pregnant, in my second trimester I had this strange thing happen, I stopped craving food, bingeing etc. I wrote in my journal about it because it was so profound. I ate when I was hungry and didn't crave sweets or fats. My DH got me a Godiva ballatoin box for V-Day and I had one to be polite and stuck them in the fridge where they stayed uneaten untill I was about 4 weeks post-partum. I kept thinking that my overeating might be hormonally driven, so the pregnancy skewed my levels to where I felt like a normal eater feels, but now I wonder if I was being flooded with dopamine. It was a really happy time in my memory.

Whatever it was I wish desperately that I could get back to that state. Never before have I been more convinced that over eating is not about lack of willpower. If i had been able to keep that neurotransmitter mix going I'd be thin right now, there is no doubt in my mind. It was the only time in my life that food was just food, I made no emotional associations to it, it was fuel that's all. I wrote in my journal that "this must be what normal feels like, I don't ever want to go back."

Sorry that was a bit off track-
So I have been losing weight sucessfully now and I find that the most sucessful streaks are times when I try very hard to anticipate possible diet dangers. I eat every 2-3 hours, I just cut everything in half, and make it last for 2 "meals". I screw up when I lapse in this, or when I get stuck out and about without a good snack and a big bottle of cold water. If I bake something, I make DH take leftovers to the office

I try really hard to be conscious of hunger/boredom/fatigue/stress/anger etc. For years now I have been tuning it all out and feeding myself instead.
Example last night I found myself at 11PM in front of the fridge with a tub of coolwhip and a spoon. I put it down and after a few angonizing moments realized that I really needed to discuss a money issue with DH, it had to do with visiting my dying grandma and so was pretty emotionally fraught. It was uncomfortable to sort through it all and find the thing I was trying not to think about but I did it, we talked, and when he made popcorn later I wasn't at all interested because I was back in emotional equilibrium and I wasn't hungry.

If I can do this just half the time I feel like I'm making huge strides.
I guess it's all about coping strategies. Exercise is also great. I always heard this but had never stuck with it long enough to notice a difference in stress levels or eating impulses. But, lately I have to say when I get up early and spend an hour taking care of my body, raising my heart rate, breathing big deep breaths, I eat less all day, infact my screw-ups over the past 2 months have NEVER come on a day that I worked out(I looked through my journal entries to confirm it) . And I also seem to have more patience with my kids after a good bout of exercise.

And lastly, I keep something around that I can eat a lot of if I absolutley need to, celery, marinated cucumbers, watermelon, carrots, diet jello etc. Every morning, I make sure there is something in there for emergency, need to chew for a few minutes to feel better, times. I ate a lot of watermelon on saturday

So, my big question is will it always be this way, absolute vigillance, or do the habits finally become a part of your internal makeup. People who have quit smoking say they always crave smokes, just much less frequently. Will it be like that, I wonder.
-- How to Keep Young by Satchel Page:
1 Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.
2 If you stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
3 Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
4 Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.
5 Avoid running at all times.
6 Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.

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Old 06-25-2002, 12:41 PM   #8
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Sundrop - "the emergency need to chew" ~ I like that phrase! I completely understand what you mean! I read somewhere that cravings are usually less about taste and more about texture. I have "crunchy" cravings (carrots or celery will do), "crunchy/salty" (apples with salt, or tortilla chips if I feel comfortable that I will only eat one serving!),and "creamy" (yogurt or fudgesicles). I also have the "chocolate" taste craving, especially around TOM.

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Old 06-25-2002, 02:34 PM   #9
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very interesting thread. wonderful ideas on why binging is such a part and does explain the reason i can eat till i puke!!

Nickolas just get ont he horse, donot worry about the time frame you needed a cool dowm phase first before juming into it. so just go for the gusto and enjoy the time you had. remember this si a woe you do not plan on eating like that every day so why not for the short time that you were there!
Sue You get what you work for, not what you wish for.
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:38 PM   #10
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You are all so wonderful.....just reading your posts helped me and there was such great info and insight. I have been back on the wagon (2nd day) and feel better that I am " in control"

Jeanne, I throughly enjoyed reading all you wrote. I want to tell you I am not a neurosurgeon. I even forgot that was there and will change it immediately. Many, many months ago while I was in chat, I put it there on a dare. I am an accountant which of course does help in being able to read the #$%#$% scale.

Ms. Jiffy Pop, I was drooling as I read your list of cheeses. Boy do I love brie. I had cheese every morning for breakfast.

I did love Paris, have wonderful memories that are not spoiled for me because I binged.

SunDrop, I did quit smoking years ago. Once in a while I do have a craving. However, I don't think it is like that with food, at least for me. I truely believe that I will always have this problem with overeating and the only way to keep it in check besides all the things that you mentioned is to realize that I am addicted and get support on a regular basis.

Thanks again to all of you........hugs
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Old 06-26-2002, 12:16 AM   #11
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Well, that explains it. I was wondering. I'm a music teacher myself. I'm also interested in philosophy and psychology, have struggled with binging, and want to know why we do this. So, I read and try to understand.

Another thing I've found that helped is admitting that I have a problem with binging. By owning up to it, I'm more likely to take the steps I need to conquer it. It's too easy once a binge is started to excuse it or deny it. I find that it's only when I admit where I am weak that I can be strong.

I had a lightbulb moment today about willpower. I've been trying to reconcile free will, which I believe in, and compulsive or conditioned behavior. Some people would have us believe that we are victims - of our parents, teachers, employers, or even of ourselves. I don't consider myself a victim. I believe in free will, in willpower, but I tend to think that there are some processes that can impede our ability to choose freely. One of these is ignorance. If you don't know you have a problem, you're not in a very good position to choose to seek a remedy, right? Other problems would be habits and physical compulsions which, be they strong or weak, do make things more difficult.

I think that, in light of the fact that the drive to overeat exists and from my experience, sheer mindless willpower does not work. If I deliberately stare at those cookies, I will give in eventually. However, if I use my willpower to choose to avoid situations where I tend to binge, or to figure out what is bothering me instead of emotionally eating, my willpower works just fine. I've used my ability to choose, but I'm not working against myself.

Oh, and after a couple months of better eating and no binging, I don't have the cravings for binge foods that I used to have. Cookies do not have power over me. So there's hope. Don't give up. Sorry this is so long. It's something I've been thinking about for a while.

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Old 06-26-2002, 12:19 AM   #12
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Default Jennelle~

I have the same types of cravings... not just for a particular food, but for salty, crunchy, chocolatey, cheesey.... Just terrible!!!!

I find I go on a binge most when I'm stressing... Or the chocolate binge when Aunt Flo is here for a visit. But the stress does it to me the most!
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Old 06-28-2002, 10:28 AM   #13
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Nik..So glad to see you come in and admit all this. It's hard to admit things sometimes. That's why it's so good to have a place like this. You're not alone, as you can see. So much I can say right now, but most of it would just be repeated again. lol

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Old 06-30-2002, 12:54 AM   #14
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Jennifer, you are a sweetie for asking. I have been back on track all week....Yesterday (Sat) was difficult but made it thru in my own fashion.
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Old 06-30-2002, 02:08 AM   #15
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Hey Dr. Nik,

I was wondering when you were going to get caught???

What a great thread you have going here. Everyone is so supportive and giving.

Nik, there was no doubt in my mind that you would get back up on that horse and keep riding. You have accomplished so much and worked tooooo darn hard to stay down. I am proud of you!! You have been an inspiration for me and many others. Don't ever punish yourself when you fall. (besides, how many of us can resist food while on vacation, especially great food?!) Just do what you did, get up, forget the pain and keep going.

I've missed you! Hope to see you soon!

Thanks to the rest of you wonderful gals for some very interesting reading and for caring and sharing.~~~~~~~Meg
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