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Sandi 11-10-2002 11:44 AM

Hi, my name is Sandi and I'm a foodaholic
When you weigh 290 lbs you’re not fooling anyone, you have a problem. But sometimes it's harder for us to see the truth. I'm here to tell you my truth.

I have a problem. I am addicted to food. I don't know if it's habit, addiction, cravings or what, but I eat all the time. There is no such thing as just breakfast, lunch and dinner for me. I eat breakfast at 7:00, and then in an hour or two, I want something. Sometimes I choose an apple; sometimes I choose cookies (more times I choose cookies). Then about an hour before lunch I am looking for something. I snack constantly, ESPECIALLY if I am at home. At work I am limited, so it's not so easy. Yesterday we went to breakfast, and I made good choices, left 1/3 of my meal on my plate, had jam instead of butter. That was about 8:30. 10:15 I was headed out again and there I was in the kitchen looking for something to much on before I left. Hungry? No. Particular craving? No. Just looking for something. This morning Steve went out to get breakfast and while he was gone, I was looking for something small to eat. What is the deal?! He'd be back in 15 minutes with breakfast!!!

I have seen a couple of shows on obesity in the last few days. There was that show Oprah did and then there was another special that I saw. One lady said, I just can't believe that I am 30 and I am still dealing with this. That spoke so much truth to me. I just can't believe that I will be 35 in December and I am still dealing with this. I think about, obsess about my weight and my weight loss efforts every day. Some days it's motivated thinking about how I will/am doing this and how great it is. Some days it's about how terrible I am doing and how I just don't care. But every day I obsess.

My weight is like a roller coaster. I realized that my highest weight (not counting when I was pregnant) was 320, not 311. I have been down 40 lbs or so 3 times, only to gain again.

It's Always hot or cold with me. No medium.

My new goal is to start dealing with more than just the calories that go in. WHY? WHEN? HOW OFTEN? HOW MUCH? I need to change to hot or medium. I cannot continue this path. I fear that this yo-yo dieting with literally be the death of me. My body will only put up with it for so long. It gains NOTHING from the empty calories that I force it to deal with. It gains NOTHING from my sedentary lifestyle. I want to be me, the REAL me who runs and laughs and plays and is silly and fun and daring. Not the current me who is tired, groans when she has to get up off the couch and is most interested in what she gets to eat next.

As I sit here in tears, I try and decide what I am going to do. How I am going to change the 14 years of yo-yo dieting and get off this road and onto a road of healthy eating. I know WHAT to do, I just need to figure out how to make myself change.

I appreciate your continued support. I don't know what I'd do without you guys.

soiley 11-10-2002 12:17 PM

I hear you on this Sandi. If I ate only from hunger, I'd weigh 100 pounds. I eat for just about every reason BUT hunger. I'm not sure what mechanism it is in me that believes if I get FAT at people, it somehow helps me. Part of it is, that as a female of my age (I'm 57) we were taught from babyhood that it is NOT alright to let anyone see you having feelings. "Children should be seen and not heard" mentality prevailed. And I learned that the only way I could soothe myself was with food. At this advanced age, I know better than that, but it is still my first reaction.....ice cream will make this hurt feel better or that hurt go away. It doesn't really, it only makes more hurt, but in my mind I'm still that hurt little 3 yr old. How do we make ourselves grow up? My therapist says the answer is to learn to love that needy little kid, to let her cry, scream, be angry, playful, etc. etc. instead of just stuffing her with food to try to make her go away. In other words, invite her to be a part of my life. Easier said than done, but I'm making tiny baby steps. Sometimes now, I can actually say to myself after I've gone to the food "this is not helping...what I really want to do is cry (or punch the pillow or scream or take a nap or go for a walk or whatever)". Also, I like Geneen Roth's books "When Food is Love" and "Appetites". They talk a lot about using food for comfort. Facing the demons is the hardest part...sometimes when you actually look them in the eye, they're not as bad as you thought they were. Just like alcohol addicts, we have to take it one day, one hour, even one minute at time. One minute is easier to face than the rest of your life.

Charbar 11-10-2002 06:16 PM

OH Sandi....
you are describing me!!! Food is a drug - and I'm always looking for the next fix. I know that my mind is playing games with me.. I know there must be more issues then food that I am not dealing with. I just don't know where to begin. I was doing great for 5 months (a record for me!) then something happened. Sometimes I think I need to see a shrink - there must be something I'm missing here. I don't think I use food as comfort - I think I just really like it.
I have gained back almost 10 lbs - I just don't understand.


Jennelle 11-10-2002 07:07 PM

Sandi --- I totally know where you're coming from, 'cause I'm there, too! Soiley put it best: If I only ate when I was hungry, I'd weigh 100 pounds!

What I'm about to say is not going to be very popular, but I truly believe it. We make the CHOICE to eat. We can also make the choice NOT to eat. I think our (and I say "our" because I am certainly a part of this demographic!) problem is that we know all the strategies for not eating when we're not hungry(taking a walk, calling a friend, engaging in a hobby that requires use of our hands, etc. etc. etc.), but by the time we figure out that we're NOT hungry, it's too late. We need to be identifying our emotional triggers and other reasons why we eat, then be able to stop BEFORE we choose to eat.

Looking at weight loss from an emotional standpoint can be very, very tough. It brings up a lot of feelings that we hide...unhappy childhoods...unhappy marriages...broken dreams...boredom with our lives...that "Is this all there is?" feeling...Isn't easier to stuff those things back down with food than to really, truly confront them?

Soiley recommended Geneen Roth, and I concur. She wrote a very intense workbook called "Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating." You can buy it on Amazon. I bought it, but I will be frank: It forced me to bring back some very painful memories, and I couldn't deal with them on my own. I made an appointment with a therapist, but chickened out at the last minute. Therein lies the problem: I am at least aware of some reasons why I turn to food for comfort, but I am too afraid to really dig down to the dirty truths in order to break free from the power food holds over me. Until I do, I know that I will be a slave to food and I will struggle every day of my life. That's the choice I've made - for now.

Whatever choice you make, we are here for you. :grouphug:

lorelei1 11-10-2002 07:26 PM

Oh Sandi!
You could have very easily inserted my name is Laura!!
I have lost 40-50 pounds several times myself only to gain it back plus more. I had a great normal childhood so I cant blame that. My sister and I both are 100 pounds over our ideal weight though. I have two aunts (one on each side of the family) who are extremely overweight too. I think eating for me makes me feel happy. The foods I eat too much of, eat in secret, or binge on are candy, sweets, chips and dip something like that. It's never a can of beans or broccoli!! :lol: Besides loving the taste, I think it gives me the feeling of happiness. Maybe I use food as a drug to make me happy. The ironic thing is it only makes you feel guilty if you know you are overeating it!!
I wish I had the answers, but all I can say is keep on trying. When you fall, get back up. I will look into those books too. They sound interesting.


KittyMilk 11-10-2002 07:49 PM

I think by admitting your problems your half the way there, dont give up and keep working at why you eat the way you do. Its really really hard and I wish I could fix your problems and make it better but I cant, only you can do this. I was a compulsive eater for years, I ate till bursting, ate till all I could do was lie down and hated myself for it. I dont know exactly why or how I got there but I'm in a better place now where ive learnt to listen to my body. If something is making you unhappy in your life (besides your weight) see if you can fix it. I feel that dealing with weight issues is easier when your in a happy place. Its a struggle but youve only got to read before and after stories to know its possible, I bet thats why they are so popular in slimming mags. Knowing that your not alone in your struggle and keep with it and you will one day find a way. I wish you all the best on your journeys. Ive got along way to go myself but by healing ourselves and dealing with our issues that make us eat will help us get there :grouphug:

Sandi 11-10-2002 08:14 PM

Thanks guys!!! Something about knowing that we are all in the same boat, fighting the same demons. Knowing that someone has your back. Makes all the difference in the world.

I have Breaking free from Compulsive eating in my bookshelf full of books on the subject of weight loss. I am taking it upstairs right now. It's been a while since I've read it and I'm not sure I even finished it. I'll let you know what I think. For some reason I remember something about if you crave oreos keep them in the house because if you allow yourself to have them, they won't be forbidden and you won't want them. Is that her??

Kitty - It's so weird, my weight has been a "problem" for 14 years. Now, well, 14 years ago I met my husband. I am very happily married. I do eat with EVERY emotion. Happy, Sad, Stressed. All of them. It is time I start to really examine my triggers and get ahold of them. Hmmm, I guess if I think about it, My Dad died about 6 months before I met Steve. Maybe there is something there. I think I am VERY emotional and the food helps keep me on an even keel.

Jennelle - No, I think you are right. It is all a choice. I think I know that and that's why it makes me so damn mad!!! This is something that I am choosing to do to myself. It's ridiculous.

So I've started..again. I made my lunch for tomorrow. And here is a biggie. I printed my post for Steve to read. I think he was floored. I cried alot. Usually I tell him I am going to start again, and he rolls his eyes, I told him that I was about to give up and he said that I needed to try. So now he's in my corner. I feel bad for him. He never knows what to pick me up from Wendy's a grilled chicken (when I'm doing good) or a burger (When I am doing bad). I'd so love for him to know I ALWAYS want a grilled chicken and have it be true.

jiffypop 11-10-2002 08:39 PM

oh sandi. you've just described every single one of us here. and congratulations on crying, believe it or not!. you faced the emotion, and you looked at it, and DIDN'T EAT!!!! that's a major accomplishment!

i'm a big believe in therapy as well. and maybe a trip to a GOOD dietician, one who specializes in obesity. unfortunately, they're few and far between.

there's not much for me to add to the wisdom that's already been written here, but i do have a suggestion to help stop the snacking.

DRINK SOMETHING! something without calories. breakfast is fine, but an hour later you shouldn't be looking for more food, but for liquid. try to decide how many hours there should be from one meal to the next, and then when the urge to eat strikes, DRINK.

a hard lesson i learned.


Jennelle 11-10-2002 11:03 PM

Sandi....our poor hubbies! :dizzy: How crazy we must make them! :lol: My husband never knows what to get for me, either! Now, he's learned to call before he gets to wherever he's going and ask.

dougie 11-11-2002 03:43 AM

Practical advice from me, for all it's worth, is to eat a high fibre diet, that way you won't feel ready for 'junk' mid morning.
Sandi, if you were to have a big bowl of all-bran with skim milk and a small chopped banana, and really forced yourself to eat it and enjoy it, and then followed that up at lunch time with a huge baked potato with butter buds and some fat free turkey, i think your hunger management would subside. When you are truly stuffed up with fibre products, i find you dont eat. Problem is that they aren't as palatable as others. however, after reading your mails i think it should be a good starting point. i presume that you are not counting carbs. I also think, and again, a guy point of view, and don't shoot me down please, is that reading your posts you are too obsessed with your weight, and that as a result your life is centered around your weight, which you usually view negatively, and that in itself has put you in a downward spiral. You need to evaluate all the good things you have in your life, a great husband, beautiful son, and be grateful for all the positive ways you contribute to others, whether it be family or to us on the board. You do need to break free, and reevaluate why you are overweight and really do something about it. but crying to your husband and constantly fretting about it, won't help you and won't help your husband. he , as would i, would be genuinely interested in your well being, but unless you really get your act together and evaluate what is important to you, and where weight loss is in that list, then he can't really help or understand your concerns. I mean, and i am not writing this very well, but if weight loss is constant problem with you, over the years, then i am sure it goes in one ear and out the other (of your loved ones), how many times have we said we would lose weight and then don't, we have excuses or whatever. now if you are on the receiving end of that for years, complaining of your weight, your partner will become exasperated and end up saying, okay yeah yeah, heard it all before, ie it becomes a part of his life re your weight struggle and he just accepts it without maybe thinking of how you are truly feeling. so it is up to you, you have to show your loved ones that this time you mean it, you are going to resolve your problems re weight, and really make an effort to reduce, otherwise you will fall back into the comfort trap, you complaining, your husband sympathising, and both of you back again eating Wendy's. Get rid of all your treats and junk, buy fresh veggies and get back to basics, no processed foods, wheat bread, potatos, skim milk, butter buds, fat free meats, and loads of fruit, and skim yogurt. that coupled with one hour exercise daily, without excuses, should be your regime for the next six months. fast food and restaurant eating totally out of the window, just not happening.
the amount of fibre and goodness you will be ingesting, will surely help your spirit and your journey.

okay, i have tried to be honest with you, please don't take offence with any of my comments. but i do look to your previous posts as inspiration, but have noted that you have been off the wagon for the last month.

all the best, doug

Sandi 11-11-2002 06:40 AM

No offense taken Dougie. I think sometimes we don't want to tell each other the truth. It's pretty hard to take. Fast Food out the window...hmmm. I think I have been hiding from that one. We REALLY rely on it to get us through the hectic times. But your right, it is very processed. For me one of the hardest things is that honestly, I don't like vegtables. I have just recently taken a liking to lettuce and now I put it on everything. But I just don't like much else. I do like fruit and eat it every day. But as far as veggies, it's only lettuce.

You really hit home with my diet plans going in one ear and out the other. Especially with hubby. If I do good for a couple of weeks, then he starts to follow suit, but I need to show him I am going to do this.

I do need to find a breakfast that has more staying power. I have eaten go-lean crunch in the past. Does that have the amount of fiber that you are speaking of. Today I have planned a small bagel (calories equivalent to 2 slices toast - not the big ones) and peanut butter. I am hoping the protein in the peanut butter with stay with me.

I think somewhere I want to be able to do this without too much change. Leave things like they are, without the junk food. (The house is clear of it - BTW) just eating less frequently and less. I don't want to face the fact that EVERYTHING has to change.

Again, as Dr. Phil would say Thanks for "keeping it real"

HotFlash 11-11-2002 09:10 AM

HI Sandi! I'm currently reading (again) "Life Strategies" by Dr. Phil. This time I'm not skimming and only picking out the parts I think are relevant to me--I'm reading every...single...word. It's some powerful stuff! He says: Ask yourself every morning "What can I do to make my life better?" Answer the question. Then DO IT! Compulsive eating has nothing to do with food (as I"m sure you know). I think for me it was a distraction from things I didn't want to confront or think about. I now realize to get different results you have to do something different. I can no longer "intend" to lose weight...I have to take the steps that result in weight loss and better health if that's the result I really want. Change is the hardest thing--especially when it means getting out of our comfort zone and putting ourselves "out there". You are such a beautiful person--inside and out-- and I hope you find peace with this issue. I felt so sad when I "heard" the pain in your post. Keep the faith girl!

MzPen 11-11-2002 09:35 AM

Wow, this is a lot of really deep down stuff! Sandi, I think a lot of us can relate to you.

Have you ever tried any kind of low carbohydate plan? I don't mean necessarily something as strict as Atkins, but personally I have found that high carbs - particularly "bad" carbs - trigger eating for me much more than emotional eating. Eating high carb stuff constantly, in fact, for me can bring on the emotions. Who was it that suggested high fiber cereal and banana for breakfast? For ME, if I were to eat that I would be starving by 10:00 and searching for more to eat. There are lots of different programs to choose from - Carbohydrate Addicts, Sugar Busters. I did Atkins just as a sort of kick-off. Figured I could force myself to do anything for just a few days. After a few days, the cravings were gone for the most part. Then, after a couple of weeks when I couldn't stand the stringence, I switched to Carbohydrate Addicts.

There's a book called "Potatoes, Not Prozac" which primarily talks about nutrition relating to clinical depression, but even if you don't feel you're depressed it gives a pretty neat plan for weaning yourself from sugary processed foods - kind of a baby steps plan.

Then, of course, there's exercise which we've been through before. Sandi, I recognize your tone, believe me. I'm amazed to say that I haven't had my mood drop into those same kinds of feelings since I started my strength training regime nearly 6 months ago- and believe me, before I started, I would've had one by now.

Best wishes,

Jenniffer 11-11-2002 09:44 AM

I will be back..after my meeting. But with tears in my eyes...I wanted to give you a hug Sandi. Luv you girl.

muelledk 11-11-2002 10:57 AM

Sandi, I am glad that you have taken this step. I think that I could have put myself into your place very easily, except that this is my first time working on losing instead of gaining weight.
I think that Dougie is right, try not to make your weight the center of your life, you will find your emotions going up and down, as your weight does. It really isn't healthy (I know that, yet, I still don't follow that, so I understand how difficult it really is).
But, the fast food thing could really be hurtful for you. I used to rely on fast food whenever I had a busy evening or after soccer practice. But I think that I finally realized that was a big problem of mine. I have started planning ahead for those days and either pre-making meals and just reheating for dinner, or using the timer on my over and making casseroles or such.
Most of all, remember that we are here for you. I'm glad that Steve has been very supportive. Keep your chin up.

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