Chicks in Control Overeating? Binging? Share uplifting support and gain control!

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Old 01-13-2015, 01:40 AM   #1  
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Default Hi, newbie, wanting feedback on my theory about why I binge

Hi,
I'm a 20 year old girl who has weight problems starting around when I was 10 or so. I have a theory about why I do it and wanted some feedback to see if it seemed logical.

There is a weight problem in my family for sure, most of them are overweight, ranging from like 15lbs overweight to 150lbs overweight, so yeah, it might be partly genetic. But, my mom was thin (size 6) most of her life until around 30, when she started gaining weight. She became obsessed with diets and weight loss and "bad" food. That all began around the time I was born, so I was always hearing about her diets and how bad food was. She would hide any kind of junk food from me and my sister and wouldn't let us have anything that was "bad" (this was before my weight gain). The only time we got to eat that kind of stuff was when we would find it and eat it secretly. I think that maybe I never learned how to eat food properly because of that. I can't have junk food around on a diet or I will eat all of it. I never learned moderation I guess is what I mean. Growing up, we had to eat it or she'd get rid of it. We never just had like candy in the cabinet that we could have a piece of everyday, we would always eat it all so that she couldn't throw it away; it was all or nothing. Does that sound maybe like where I could have possibly learned my binge habits?? Also, any tips on how to learn portions now as an adult??
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:11 AM   #2  
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No tips, hopefully someone else will have some, but that does sound like it could be a contributor. It's like when kids with no freedom go off to college on their own and run wild: we go off on our own and suddenly realize we can buy all the sweets that we were deprived of growing up, and proceed to do so. And eat them. Again and again.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:31 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msamberjade View Post
Hi,
I'm a 20 year old girl who has weight problems starting around when I was 10 or so. I have a theory about why I do it and wanted some feedback to see if it seemed logical.

There is a weight problem in my family for sure, most of them are overweight, ranging from like 15lbs overweight to 150lbs overweight, so yeah, it might be partly genetic. But, my mom was thin (size 6) most of her life until around 30, when she started gaining weight. She became obsessed with diets and weight loss and "bad" food. That all began around the time I was born, so I was always hearing about her diets and how bad food was. She would hide any kind of junk food from me and my sister and wouldn't let us have anything that was "bad" (this was before my weight gain). The only time we got to eat that kind of stuff was when we would find it and eat it secretly. I think that maybe I never learned how to eat food properly because of that. I can't have junk food around on a diet or I will eat all of it. I never learned moderation I guess is what I mean. Growing up, we had to eat it or she'd get rid of it. We never just had like candy in the cabinet that we could have a piece of everyday, we would always eat it all so that she couldn't throw it away; it was all or nothing. Does that sound maybe like where I could have possibly learned my binge habits?? Also, any tips on how to learn portions now as an adult??
You're very insightful for such a young person. Developing a binge eating disorder is a very complex thing, there's not just one reason, its a complex web of circumstances.

But you are right, your mother got on a diet bandwagon and began to see food as "good" or "bad." This makes "bad" food supercharged. You deprive yourself of it either physically or mentally and suddenly you become a monster who devours all of it when it finally presents itself. Secret eating is a problem many of us have faced and the one reason that people do secret eating is because they feel restricted to eat in one way or another. Either they're not allowed to by someone else, or don't allow themselves to do it in the open, or feel ashamed of eating something "bad." This then becomes a vicious cycle of binge-shame-guilt-restriction-binge over and over again. The more you feel shame the more you binge, the more you restrict the more you binge. This has NOTHING to do with portion sizes, because binging has nothing to do with actual hunger, it has more to do with rebelling against restriction.

The cycle can be broken and I can tell you that as someone who was binging and secret eating for over 20yrs of my life I have broken the binge cycle! I did it by acknowledging the foods I was binging on as normal foods, and allowing myself to eat them as I wanted, in public or at least not in secret. Simply said, I got them out of my system. Because I don't see them as "bad" foods anymore they are just food, a bag of chips is no different than a bag of carrot sticks so now I'm free of any emotions that could drive me to binge on the chips. I choose the food that I actually want and believe it or not, I eat way more carrot sticks now than I ever have in my life, way less chips than I ever did. This method of treatment for disordered eating is called Intuitive Eating, check out our thread in the General Diet plans section.

Here's something to think about. If your mother was obsessed with dieting, then why did she buy junk food and hide it from you? Do you think maybe she was binging on those foods herself, which was caused from that same restrictions she was imposing on you? Also, how is your sister faring these days, is she having some of the same issues you are with food?
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:56 PM   #4  
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This seems to be a pretty common contributing factor. When I was younger my mom was a huuuuuge stickler about "junk food". I used to do things like hide sugary sodas and chocolate so that she wouldn't find it, and then take it out and eat it all after the rest of the house had gone to bed!

One thing that has worked for me is substitutions--so for example, instead of ice cream I'll have a fruit smoothie. Still sweet, but a lot better on the calories. To be honest, I try to avoid buying too much junk food (mostly because I don't always trust myself to resist eating too much lol), but I think planning what and how much I'm going to eat ahead of time helps me keep my portions reasonable.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:17 AM   #5  
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Oh man, hiding food as a kid. I didn't do it much, actually, but one of my earlier memories of it was when I was in second grade. I was selling Girl Scout cookies, and bought a box of Thin Mints by myself, and ate them over the course of a week.

Then I had to figure out what to do with the empty box! I couldn't put it in the trash, my mom would see. For some reason I decided it best to flatten it out and put it behind one of the posters taped to my wall. Unfortunately, the tape wouldn't support the weight, and the poster and box fell to the floor. My mom found it one night, I remember I was sitting on the sofa watching Superman the movie on TV when she came out and yelled at me about it.

I'm sure she doesn't remember this incident, but it's etched in my mind for eternity!
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Old 01-16-2015, 11:20 AM   #6  
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That definitely sounds like a valid theory! Learning to think of food as "forbidden fruit" (haha get it) instead of something to nurture your body can lead you to prioritize eating food that tastes good to you over food that's good - unfortunately, I had this mentality for a long time. Maybe you gained a sense of urgency with eating (to not have it taken away). The fact that you identified it really indicates how important the experience must've been, and it's so good that you did!

Well, I personally learned portions more or less with my nutritionist. I've never been good with counting calories, so she'd just tell me "two big spoons of this is good, your meat shouldn't be much larger than your palm" and etc. Otherwise, I just remember that I've been told our stomach is about the size of our fist and it just expands as necessary. I usually have more than enough to fill a fist, but because of this information, I know I don't ever need to fill my plate completely.

I also try to respect my big three meals and at most a snack between them. My nutritionist said I should eat every three hours at most, and I know it takes our brains about twenty minutes to realize you're full. To help these twenty minutes pass, I usually chew really slowly - if I enjoy my food slowly, I tend to eat a little less. Because of that information, as well, I try not to eat something else right after a meal.

These have worked for me personally, but I hope they help you in some way!
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:48 PM   #7  
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Yes, there are foods that you know ARE bad foods that have low nutritional value and will make you fat because it's easy to eat lots of calories and not realize it.

My advice, and of course you can follow whatever advice you want- added sugars, liquids like soda and fruit juice, drinking your calories in general, baked goods/bread, pasta, candy, processed foods are things to avoid. Drink water. Your diet should be mostly plant based with lean protein and nuts and seeds in moderation. Nothing fried.

Get a food scale so you know what portions should look like.

If you can do without binging, have like 300 calories of the junk of your choice once a week. , keep it within your calorie limit. Know how many calories you should eat and keep track using Loseit or my fitness pal.

Some of us have figured this out. You know who we are.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:43 PM   #8  
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OMG this is my childhood completely. I am glad I have more knowledge and control over myself now.
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