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Old 07-09-2009, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Just re-joined Weight Watchers

Is anyone else here on Weight Watchers? Do you think it works well to be on Weight Watchers if you are a compulsive overeater? I have been thinking lately that the key to getting over my overeating issues was to learn to be an intuitive eater, but without the accountability I'm not sure I can do it. I just keep bouncing back and forth between these extremes of how a diet should be. Should it be rigid so I track every bite of food I put into my mouth? That seems to work for me, but is it just a shallow band-aid type solution? Or should I just be training myself to follow my true hunger and dig for my emotions whenever I want to put something in my mouth? Or is it not really that black and white?

I suppose you can do WW and be a conscious eater as well. I do remember discussing emotional eating at some meetings I went to before.

So what do you all think?
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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Hi hon!

I really wish I had the answer for you, because I think that at the end of the day it is a personal journey.

I know that I was a serious emotional eater, and for me, I had to have a mind-switch! I realized that trying to solve the reason WHY for me was kind of like chasing my tail, and I spent years doing that.
I also KNEW that I could be on a severely restrictive diet and lose weight, but I couldn't keep it off.
So I came to the conclusion that my lifestyle had to change. And that involved watching my intake, through WW AND exercise to keep healthy. And to STOP putting unrealisting demands on myself and to NOT be rigid about it IN THE SENSE that I can say "today I give up chocolate" but SERIOUSLY I would fail at that. And I would beat myself up over being a failure and then I would hit the fridge in a SERIOUS way. So I gave up on the self-loathing, too. I just said the following mantra:
Today is the best that I can do. And it isn't perfect. But that's OK. And I did pretty good!
I gave up the time-based dialogue: you know -- x pounds in y weeks and by GOSH if I didn't make it, well, then the self-loathing would start and so would the eating.
I chose to treat myself kindly and to just go one day at a time. Commit to the lifestyle. And monitor the results.

Has this solved my emotional eating? Nah, the impulses are still there. But it IS comforting to say "MAN I had a horrible day, but I have my dinner points sorted out so I'll have a nice cup of tea and relax", rather than "MAN I had a horrible day, better hit the DQ". And I absolutely think much less about food since my day is more structured. So for ME, a structured plan has been KEY to dealing with the issue of emotional eating.

I may never sort out the reasons for emotional eating or resolve them so that food isn't an "issue". But I CAN control my intake without feeling deprived and without hating myself.

There is another thread on this very topic that you might find interesting:
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weig...ting-plan.html
You'll find lots of info here about others' experiences.

Hope this helps!!!



Kira

Last edited by kiramira; 07-09-2009 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:16 PM   #3
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Great post Kira- thanks!

WW taught me about portion control and even though I can name the calories of many foods due to life-long calorie counting, the point system is a great frame of reference. The key for me is to avoid processed and packaged foods for the most part. Seeing low starch vegetables as "free" was huge for me. I eat a ton of them, even at breakfast. Also planning takes the "what should I eat" hamster wheel out of the equation. I plan my meals and that is it. Much much less 24/7 food thinking which is a big part of my eating disorder. If something comes up and my plan has to change, I have gotten much better at estimating points/calories. Pizza may smell good and look appealing when everyone is digging in and the cheese strands are dangling from plate to mouth, but knowing the point value it usually is only worth it to have a taste and know that I have something way better at home, or that I can fit a satisfying treat in without "guilt" if I do not fall into the food pit. Eating without guilt was a new feeling. I used to hate to eat in front of anyone because I thought they were judging every bit that went into my overweight mouth. I felt like that even when I was a normal weight (distorted body image as well). Knowing that I am cool on points helps so much. Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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Thanks! And I think you really encapsulated the journey way way better than I could. ESPECIALLY this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy View Post
Also planning takes the "what should I eat" hamster wheel out of the equation. I plan my meals and that is it. Much much less 24/7 food thinking which is a big part of my eating disorder. If something comes up and my plan has to change, I have gotten much better at estimating points/calories.
Man oh MAN without the structure, it used to be the "I feel like crap what can I stuff in my mouth" search for the "perfect food" -- chocolate? munch munch munch NOPE, hmmm chips? munch munch munch NOPE, hmmm, the drive through? munch crunch slurp burp NOPE, hmmm...

Now I KNOW what I can or can't have and that what I have HAS A CONSEQUENCE. And whether I want that consequence (if I have that Crispy Crunch at 8 points I can't have my Pork Tenderloin Medallions with blue cheese sauce (6 points), 8 oz baked potato (2 points) and huge serving of green beans with fresh squeezed lemon (0 points)...I think I'll wait, thanks...) or not is completely my choice ("I really would love that Crispy Crunch, so I'll use my Flex points for this...).

It. is. FREEING.



Kira

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Old 07-10-2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Oh wow, thank you! These are great posts, and I thought the thread you linked was perfect. I guess I'm not the first one to have this question!

And you know, as I was reading the responses something clicked. I agree with what you (Kiramira) wrote that you follow a plan first, then the other stuff falls into place. I have been at the starting point of a diet for so long that I forgot what it feels like once you're actually sticking to it and succeeding. When I lost so much weight 8 years ago, I did have that happen. I started following a plan religiously and then something "clicked" and I remember actually telling people, I'd learned that there's no point in overeating. In fact, "It's just food" is what I said. That was long before I was too worried about emotional eating, etc., and I reached that point anywhere.

I have a good feeling about WW. I stayed after the meeting for the intro to returning members, and the leader sort of brought up emotional eating, so I just took it from there. I told her I KNOW I eat emotionally and that I really want to work on that. WW and beating emotional eating are not mutually exclusive.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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WW is the only thing that ever worked for me. Why I ever quit and let myself gain 50 lbs, I will never know.

I can't do the diets where you can have unlimited amounts of certain foods - if you eat enough hummus, you will never lose weight. So South Beach was a no go (can't do Atkins cuz I'm a vegetarian).

WW helped me make conscious decisions and be more aware. It was like a game and I really got into the whole points thing and inventing low point snacks. I worry about not having enough at the end of the day, so I always have a TON at the end of the day and can eat anything.

I think you need to deal with the emotional stuff ...not separately but...you need to deal with it. I had a rough day yesterday and the first thing I wanted to was binge - then I thought I wanted to starve myself. Instead I went upstairs, away from the kitchen, and let myself calm down. Then I was able to eat a sensible dinner.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:15 PM   #7
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Great point, ms Girl (I refuse to call you Ms FatGirl, so there )!

It is just like a money budget for me -- if I don't have the cash available, I won't buy it. And if I don't have the "food points" I can't eat it!

And you DO need to deal with the emotional stuff. But you can sort your diet out at the same time, like you say.

Let us know how y'all do!



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Old 07-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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Well, so far so good! I have been totally on-plan since I started officially counting on Friday. The good thing about really paying attention to what you're eating and challenging yourself to maximize your daily allotment is that when you do eat, you ARE hungry! No question about it.

I've managed to keep myself busy enough not to think about food (or alcohol) too much. I knitted a lot more than usual and have finally picked up exercising again. Right now my goal is to earn 10 Activity Points a week, then not use them.

I also feel like my life is simpler now. It's weird, but I started jotting down all these crazy little notes and putting them everywhere...reminders not to eat emotionally, recommendations for when I should eat and how much, what to do when I want to eat, how much to exercise, etc. I put away all my diet books, threw away all the notes. I'll stop worrying about it, and just do what WW tells me.

And unofficially, I'm down 3 pounds already!
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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Kiramira,

I have seen a lot of your posts and appreciate most of them. I have a question for you. Do you "try" to do a lower carb or not so processed version of WW or do you just say, hey if I want a 3 point Twinkie for bfast, that is what I eat? I was going to start a SB or lower carb way of living the day after my bday (July 11), and I have done "okay" but with that, I wonder if I am getting too many calories. I have been going to boot camp (a fitness program) for 6 weeks and I LOVE IT, they give you an eating plan, but I really don't want all of the manufactured shakes and meals. I don't think it is natural to put all that in your body. Even though just months ago I was a junk food junkie..... I am re thinking a lot of stuff in my life now. So, I was just wondering what YOU do as far as this.

Thanks for your input.

Amy8888-- It is such a dang battle this weight loss thing.... hang in there girl. I really do think WW is the most sensible program out there for the way we live our lives these days.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #10
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Hi there!

WHAT? You only appreciate MOST of my posts, not ALL of them??!!

I think for me what happened was this -- I recognized that my eating was seriously out of control and I had to get a grip. I've tried a bunch of diets and found that while I could stick to a highly restrictive diet for a period of time and get great results, I couldn't KEEP it off. I'd learned nothing about managing food and LOTS about restriction. So will-power really wasn't the issue. It was that the diets didn't fit the reality of my life because unfortuantely, the reality of my life is that I want to eat like "normal people" and not obsess about my food. I didn't want food to be the ultimate focus -- I want to go on vacations and say that "MAN the buffet wasn't great but I had plenty of choices and accounted for everything" rather than "MAN, I'm a low carb, organic, raw foods, no-sugar eater, and there was NOTHING there for me" or worse yet, have to take my shakes or meal substitues with me so I wouldn't "break my plan". And how would I deal with a buffet AFTER the shakes/meal substitutes were over? I'd eat and eat and eat and regain the weight.

So I went to WW and started. I had enough points to really pretty much eat what I wanted without too much impact -- I had a chocolate bar a day, and still fit in the dietary recommendations. I could have a donut on the way to work, and still fit it in. And I lost weight! Seriously!

But the more I LOST, the fewer points I got. And it got to the point that the junk in my life was, well, EXPENSIVE, points wise. I get 22 points a day. A chocolate bar is between 6 and 8. Doesn't leave me very full. Doesn't feel me feeling good. So to maximize my food intake, I had to change my food choices. Or else I was HUNGRY ALL THE TIME.

So, I could eat a 60 gram Oh Henry chocolate bar for 8 points
OR
1 English muffin (2 points), 1 oz low-fat cheese (2 points), 1 tossed green salad with mandarin slices and toasted almonds and no-fat raspberry vinagrette (2 points), 1 cup cherries (1 point), and a small cafe au lait using 1/2 cup milk (1 point).

Same points, different consequence...

And there are TONS of different ways to get 8 points -- you can low carb it, replace the cheese and the vinagrette as they are processed, and swap out the coffee because it has caffeine. I just like cheese, and English Muffins, and coffee, that's all.

I guess my choices have evolved naturally to get the most food for the points. There ARE foods for which the points value are the same: white rice vs brown rice, for example. 1 cup is 4 points for each. IF I eat rice, I prefer the taste of white in some dishes and brown in others. So I'll choose accordingly even though brown rice has more fiber and is less processed. But since 8 oz cooked potato is only 2 points, I'll choose potatoes over rice almost every time as a side dish because I get more food volume bang for the buck. On the other hand, I have a friend who eat 3 chocolate bars a day. That's it. She's within her points for now and losing weight, but clearly is not healthy. Which is why WW has dietary guidelines about fruit/veg/healthy oil/dairy servings per day to make sure you have a balanced diet.

And, there ARE times when I want something "junky", and I'll just go for it and suck up the consequences. Like, if I really want some baked Lays (2 points for a small bag), I'll have it. I KNOW I'll be hungry later and I have to swap out something for it, but sometimes a bag of chips just fits the bill. Other times, I'll say "I really WANT it but I'm having a HUNGRY DAY today and just can't afford it. So I'll stick with 2 cups of grapes, instead".

Today, my diet is mostly whole grains, veg, fruits, and low-fat protein. I plan for and make my own desserts and I don't have the points to eat them regularly because they too are expensive -- 3 or 4 points is HUGE when you only have 22 a day! I don't buy pre-made or frozen entrees, but cook everything myself. I have a TON of WW cookbooks and cook almost exclusively from them. The other recipes are calculated for points, too, but tend to be "expensive" -- one small serving of lamb tagine with fruited couscous comes in at 16 points, for example. So I'll make this maybe once every 3 months when company is coming and use Flex points for it. I figure that my diet is 85-90% healthful and 10-15% not so healthy in any given month.

But there ARE days when I wake up and say, "I want a sour cream glazed donut and a coffee" for breakfast, and I'll account the 7 points for it. And I KNOW that I'll pay for it later and have to plan accordingly to stay within my food budget. And I'd say that this happens maybe MAYBE once every 3 or 4 MONTHS, because the consequences are too great.

And with the WW system, my DH and I went on a super vacation at an all inclusive for 10 days, and I actually LOST 1.5 lbs. Seriously. Cause I could account for everthing (I've been on this so LONG that I have the counts pretty much in my head!), and stayed within my points for the day. Go figure!

Anyway, this is what worked for me and how it is working for me now. Everyone has a different path which works for them and I really make no judgements about it. I must confess that I DO grumble a bit, when I have vegans, lactose-intolerants, high lean protein no carbers, and onion allergics over to the same BBQ because I firmly believe EVERYONE should be accommodated and respected. It just makes for a TON of work and a TON of dishes!!! Which I get DH to do

PM me any time...



Kira

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Old 07-13-2009, 05:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for your response! I am to the point that I am getting down to the "nitty gritty" of my WL. I did a modified version of WW when I first began, but now I have to decide what I am going to do, and the most sensible thing is to get my butt back to WW online. I am like you, I know most of the point values in my head..... so that is not the problem. Like you, I am limited to 22 points a day, so I am going to have to get creative. I have 2 more questions for you. Do you count your activity points? I do boot camp which they tell me is about 4 points for 45 minutes, and then I walk 5 miles a day. In the past I did not use my AP. I am wondering how it worked for you.... and also do you use all of your extra points at the end of the week? (35 I think)?

I appreciate your help. Amy8888 I am not trying to take over your thread-- I promise!
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #12
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Hey hon!

I've found a couple of things about myself. I can't eat all my AP and FP every week and lose weight. I just can't.

FOR FLEX POINTS: Every week, I eat out one meal a week with DH. Sometimes it is breakfast; sometimes lunch; sometimes dinner. I pick the best choices that I feel like having that day. What this means is IF I feel like pasta, I'll have pasta with marinara sauce and NOT alfredo sauce. If we go for Thai, I'll have pretty much what I like but avoid alot of coconut sauces. And I don't have dessert.
I count this one meal as 35 Flex points. It usually ISN'T but I count it as such and any left-over points are absorbed in the week by unintentional overages (like 1 serving is 2 points and I have 2 servings and count it as 4 points but if I do the math with the total calories/fat/fiber, it comes out to 5 points but I've only counted 4 points).
But I make sure that I am reasonable with that meal: like, I won't go out and have 4 pieces of deep fried fish, 2 orders of fries, a huge side of coleslaw and a slab of chocolate suicide cake. I might have 1 piece of fish, 1 order of fries, no coleslaw and fruit when I get home.

Activity points! Another story completely!

I started my graph in January (see below), and am on a clear 4-week cycle of loss.

I started exercising on Feb 20th, and did 90 minutes of hot yoga 4 days a week. I ate only 2 APs per day in the form of an extra banana on the days that I did yoga. My weight loss continued pretty much as before.

On June 1st, I started a 30 day Hot Yoga challenge, where I did one 90 minute class a day. I kept the points and Flex points as before, and ate 2 APs every day in the form of a banana. For the entire month of June, I lost a NET of 1 pound!!! This has happened during other attempts at WW -- I get all inspired, bump up the exercise, and my weight loss slows.

I don't like to say it too loudly on the forum, because I've mentioned this before and received lots of responses that question IF I'm really eating what I say I'm eating. TRUST ME, I AM.

SO, I took the exercise down to pre-June levels, and lost 3.5 lbs in the last week.

My PERSONAL advice would be this: Eat the daily points. Decided how you want to eat your FPs but keep your FPs to around 25, so the other 10 can compensate for unintended overages. Don't touch the APs yet. See what happens for 2 weeks. Add 2 APs per exercise day for a week. See what happens. And go from there.

That's the best I can do!!!

We'll see what happens this week at the scale! (Had a disasterous evening at my dear SIL-God-Love-Her's home on Saturday. After I ate my meal out with DH. Grrr...)

PM me and let me know how it goes!!!



Kira
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:50 PM   #13
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Thanks for your help. I am going to give WW another try...... it just fits my life-- I am just going to have to monitor my carbs. When I was doing the "modified" WW I was not using AP. I am going to start out that way.

PS. I love the entry on your graft-- wtf?
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #14
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When I go UP like that, I know I earned it. Which is why that Up was SO DARN IRRITATING. I was on plan, I was exercising MORE than ever. So, WTF???



pm me any time if you need anything!

Kira

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:19 PM   #15
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I personally love weight watchers, because i have counted calories since I was 14. I pretty much know every food's caloric content, and fat content, but I got TIRED of keeping a strict journal. I love ww because it is to an extent a shortcut.

I found if I dropped below 29 pts in the 180s I would stop losing. I kept an excel spreadsheet of my food and points with the formulas built in .I never bothered with the flex points, because I didn't need an excuse to eat more. But since I knew they existed, I used them. I plan on using ww to maintain my weight, but I'm using a more radical plan right now.
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