My first confession...

  • Hi guys!

    This is my very first post on this forum, right after i registered.
    I have come to a point in my life where i have to admit i have a serious problem that i don't seem to control anymore...

    I was never a skinny girl, yet i maintained a healthy weight troughout most of my childhood. It started when i was about 16 i think. I used to be home alone every wednesday afternoon after school. I realised that there was no one home to watch what i was eating or to critisice me for eating too much. And month after month it got worse: i would eat and eat everything that was in the house or available to me.

    At first it was somewhat under control. I would stop when i felt full and i had a sense of 'this is too much'. So gradually i started gaining weight, but not significantly until i was about 18 years old. Now i realise that i was seriously binge-eating by then. I would cook whole meals when i was alone, and then eat again with the family at night. It got so bad that i started eating every time someone left the house or i was alone, and i felt out of control. I felt like i HAD to eat every time i was alone.

    By the time i started going to university i had my own studio in a student's house where i stayed during the week. Things started getting REALY out of hand by then... I would go to the supermarket after classes and buy everything i wanted to binge on that night. It would go that far that during classes i planned out everything i wanted to eat that night and composed a shopping list allready in my head. In the evening i would eat 'till i literally felt sick and couldn't eat anymore.

    My weight has been seriously out of control ever since. I'm 22 now and have a BMI of 36 and high bloodpressure. I'm scared to death of this. I have tried losing weight on my own or with the support of dieticians for years, but always with the same results: i would lose about 5 kg or 11 pounds in a month, and after that i would lose control again. Right now i live with my boyfriend in an appartement, i'm happy and i have a job. Yet the only thing i can't seem to control are these sickening binges everytime i'm home alone...

    I know it's a long post, but it's the first time i've actually sat down and wrote or told this story. I know what healthy food is, i know how to lose weight, the only thing that stops me from achieving my goals is this monster inside of me that just wants to come out and eat everything in sight, and it costs me sooo much energy to supress it, i feel completely out of control.

    I just wanted to get in touch with others that face this problem. I want to know how they handle it and what helps them. So i can maybe finally help myself
  • You are certainly not alone with this issue.
    My advice- from personal experience- Leave. Remove yourself from the premesis when you are alone. If you're alone, go to the park. Go to a store that does NOT sell food. Walk. Go sit in the car with your wallet locked in the house so you can't buy food.

    It's what I have to do. I get off work at 6, pick up my son, change clothes and go to the park or gym until my kiddo's bedtime. I eat ONLY the meal that I prepared on Sunday for that night of the week, brush my teeth, shower, and go to sleep. I'm not in the presence of food long enough to ravage the fridge or pantry. And, I buy ONLY what is needed for my meals for the week so there isn't excess food. My son eats food I don't like, so it isn't a threat to me.

    Until you get to where you can control it another way- just remove yourself and pursue healthier activities.
  • Quote: I know it's a long post, but it's the first time i've actually sat down and wrote or told this story. I know what healthy food is, i know how to lose weight, the only thing that stops me from achieving my goals is this monster inside of me that just wants to come out and eat everything in sight, and it costs me sooo much energy to supress it, i feel completely out of control.
    I know that monster very very well. Secret binging was my most terrible horrifying secret. Hiding food, eating food and then disposing of the evidence was very time consuming. Secret meals before or after dinner, yup! The only way I could describe it - and you might relate to this - is that when I was alone and allowed myself to binge I truly felt like I was myself and at peace. It sounds kind of crazy but it is what it is. And this didn't make me feel better that I was being myself, it made me feel like I was the monster, like there was nobody in the world like me who needed this. But I wasn't alone, there are countless others who go through this and BEAT IT! And I'm one of them!

    First things first: dieting makes binging worse and worse. This might not seem obvious but look at the pattern - you go from binging to feeling guilty, then you make a vow not to do it ever again, then you restrict and suddenly you're back to binging. Millions of women gain wait with this method of so called "dieting." When you restrict your binges come back ferociously. This type of dysfunctional eating cannot be fixed by diets or even by weightloss. Trying to fix emotional eating with a diet is like trying to treat a broken ankle with a bandaid on your elbow. It's senseless.

    I've had over 20yrs of secret binging under my belt, if I can stop then so can you. It's not about miracle diets, it's not about willpower, it's not about determination and it has nothing to do with your character or strength. I've cured my eating disorder with Intuitive Eating, it's not a diet but it is a way to repair your relationship with food, build your self esteem and give you the tools you need to deal with your life without binging. With intuitive eating I still eat, only now I enjoy my food. Let's face it, binging is not real enjoyment is it? Not when you're looking over your shoulder hoping nobody finds out. If you want more info I'm happy to give it but take heart, you will get better and dig yourself out of this bottomless binge.
  • I agree, putting yourself under diet pressures is not good for this. I'd got to a point where I really wanted to be healthier and started researching lots of health articles and it kind of went from there. Weight loss was a great side effect but even now I have the odd relapse into secret eating or binge (and recently purging too) - a couple of weeks ago I put myself on a low kcal weight loss meal pack system as I wanted to shift a few lbs before a wedding and 'bam' I was straight back into bingeing, after almost a week of binges and three days of purge I threw them out and have concentrated on some natural eating days since then.

    I still continue to reinforce the message to myself that if I am hungry I can have something to eat. I will (try) to eat slowly, take 15-20 mins to determine if I am still hungry and then eat again if I need to. As time has gone on I need the extra food less and less. I also try to limit the amount of junk food in my house and keep in plenty of fruit / veggies to snack on if I need them.

    Take it one day or one trigger point at a time. My worst trigger was as soon as I got home from work (although i'd secret eat pretty much whenever I was alone in the house). Feel proud of the ones you work through and don't beat yourself up for the ones you can't.
  • The thing that's helping me the most right now, is rewarding myself (and judging my progress) based on how well I've been sticking to the plan - NOT how much weight I've lost.

    Last week I got to reward myself with a mini shopping spree at a bath shop, and I got new bubble bath and face wash and conditioner... stuff I love. I was rewarding myself for 1.5 months of consistent calorie logging.

    The other thing that helps is the expectation of this being a lifelong process. Sure, I might lose all the weight within a couple years, but that's not really the point, because it means nothing if I don't keep it off. So I expect to log my calories for the rest of my life, and reward myself regularly at least through the first few years of maintenance.