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

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Old 05-02-2015, 01:07 PM   #1  
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Default 2 years since my last post, and I quit binging....

Hi all,
I don't really visit this site anymore but for some reason thought I should since It's been 2 years since I've posted and thought I'd give an update. Also feel i owe it to the ones still on here that followed my old thread "anyone manage to quit dieting with positive results". That thread was maybe the beginning of a journey and brought to light some important questions for me.

Well I don't binge anymore. My binging used to vary in severity, sometimes weekly, sometimes daily. Huge binges. I had considered myself an orthorexic, obsessed with perfect eating, and any divergence or temptation like donuts at work triggered a binge for me. I also felt guilt if I missed a day of running and that would often lead to a binge. A day was either perfect or I was binging. So I will outline what I did to have brought me to where I am now:

I quit dieting and restricting and being obsessed with macronutrient ratios etc. etc. etc. - this was very hard and took probably close to a year to master. It is very difficult to get out of the dieting mindset once having that knowlede. I could not have done it alone. I ended up getting involved in a relationship and spending more and more time at his house and not being alone. This was really essential to my recovery as I was forced to eat non perfect food sometimes (pizza, tacos) under supervision where even when I wanted to binge I could not because I was with someone. It was kind of a fake it until you make it. I definitely went through some anxiety with his late night decisions to make banana bread etc and deliver me a bowl of ice cream fon occasion, but it seemed to retrain my brain that I could eat these things, not binge, and be ok.

I started living my life instead of being alone obsessing on diet websites, logging food into fitday and tracking my weight. I've always considered myself a loner and the thought of doing things with others was a burden because I wanted to be left alone to make sure I ate right and excercised. Well now i believe that no man is an island and that people need other people. and we need to get out of the house and engage. I used to not want to see anyone unless I was feeling perfect, but now even on those days I may feel fat, I will still do things. I realized noone really cares what I look like, and are mostly caring about what they look like, so I don't need to care so much.

I have not told my SO that I struggle with an eating disorder. I told my last partner a decade ago and having him know seemed to enable me. I didn't have to hide it. he knew I binged and accepted it. This actually did me a disservice because I felt I didn't have to change. Keeping this a secret from my new partner has forced me to act normal, and by acting normal I think I was able to break those addiction connections in my brain.

I believe now binging comes down to habbit. I think i began doing it from dieting and restricting and then food became very rewarding and gave me good endorphins. so it wasn't unlike smoking or any addiction. It really took not doing it to break those connections. and it takes repetition. one really must be prevented from binging for a time period to get over it I believe. and i think there can be setbacks. My binging didn't stop overnight. It was a bit gradual where it would be a month or 2 in between and then I would start but they would be small or I would stop miday because I really wasn't getting that high (prob becuase i was no longer restricting and could eat ice cream or pizza anytime and did so it seemed pointless to be stuffing my face with it). and then I noticed that my time alone at home I wasn't binging anymore. I just wasn't. and it didn't take willpower. sometimes the thought would enter my mind in more the way that i was surprised that I wasn't thinking about it, and I would ponder the idea for a minute and then it was gone and I was doing something else.

I also quit chewing nicorette gum during this time. I was really addicted for many years. I was aftraid to quit thinking it may make my binging worse. same with smokers. and I didn't want to gain weight, but I managed to quit and have not gained weight. initially i was very bloated and ate more crap, but that subsided after a couple months. believe me i was tempted to go back to the gum but glad I didn't. and I think quitting has improved my eating habbits actually. although nicotine is an apetite suppressent, It made me feel anxious all the time and binging was always a cure for anxiousness so quitting nicotine was probably helpful in not binging.

over the last 2 years I have not gained weight. My weight still fluctuates between 110-120 lbs. I have days I eat crappy. I am by no means a perfect eater and some days I feel fat and gross. but Id never trade this for the binging perfectionism world I was in before. I jog sometimes and then fall off the wagon like everyone. I love my life now, I love my boyfriend even though the honeymoon has been over for some time and we fight every now and again over stupid stuff. And I still get annoyed when his mom bakes me cookies or he opens a bag of chips. sometimes I say no, and sometimes I eat to many. and then I move on. good luck everyone. it is a long and hard road but you can do it. Ive been a binger for almost 20 years and if i can stop you can too.

I will be around for a bit on here but then will leave because I honestly believe dieting culture including this site perpetuates eating disorders. You have to get off the computer and live your life. you only get one so get out there!!!!
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:24 PM   #2  
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It sounds like you have made amazing progress, and I am so happy for you. Not that I know you, but it really is good to hear your life has improved so much! And I agree about spending too much time on this site or generally obsessing over dieting being unhealthy. I'm trying to find a balance between finding an appropriate level of support here, and just getting on with it without overthinking it, and I think for me that means being here less, and stopping once I have reached goal and got settled into maintenance.

It's also a great sign that your eating disorder is doing better in your new relationship. Yay for having a lovely partner! I hope it's not presumptuous of me to say that I hope that one day, when you feel more certain that the disordered eating is a long way behind you, you'll feel comfortable telling your partner about what you've been through.

I've started reading up on Intuitive Eating, and what you say echoes a lot of that. Also Brain Over Binge, from what I've heard.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:50 PM   #3  
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thanks so much Esofia!!! yes I hope that one day I will tell my SO (if we stay together that is) about my eating disorder. I suppose at the moment I don't want to mess with what's working for me and I really believe being forced to act normal 24/7 has been a huge contributer to being normal. My twin sister has a very similar story as me. I used to get annoyed that she broke the binging habbit and ate whatever she wanted. She also seemed to quit at a time when she entered into a new relationship and had to hide her habbit and then ended up living together and having children. Shes divorced now and living on her own again with 2 small children in tow but she has still been binge free for about 5 years now. For me it's been about a year. she used to try to explain how she stopped and I would get frustrated because it's very hard to explain. It really feels like a change in the brain.

I got very into intuitive eating at the beginning of my journey and it did help turn around some of the diet mentality, but i sometimes became too obsessed with that and when I'd eat something for pure pleasure, I'd feel guilty and a binge would ensue. I think people have to allow themselves and not beat themselves up for eating out of pleasure on occasion, even when no hunger signals are there.

And I believe in brain over binge. I read that and it did help to put a different spin on things and I do agree with it entirely. but I think it's incredibly tough to always master ignoring that animal brain and slips will happen, and I feel that people often throw the baby out with the bathwater. they feel that if they read this book and apply it and then binge that it doesn't work. I'll say again, I could not have done it alone. I credit the time I spent in my boyfriends home being unable to binge that allowed me to ignore that animal brain in the initial stages. Left to my own devices I am sure I would have given in and then felt hopeless. there is a brain connection to binging and endorphins and the action must be stopped continuously for it to weaken. and so our own free will does us a diservice.

I don't blieve necessarily that I will never go back to binging again. I firmly believe it's like any addiction like smoking. but I feel that I know the steps to get away from it. and it's really about living life, having relationships (friendships) and for gods sake, STOP DIETING. and that is the tough thing to stop. even at my work i hear the girls talk about diets etc. and it can be tough not to get back into that. and it can be tough when i'm feeling gross to not want to lose 5 pounds instantly instead of passively making an effort to do non obsessive healthy things I enjoy. Like a hike or run with the boyfriend on a sunny day.

There were a few people on here that posted regulary to my old non dieting thread and I've wondered from time to time how they are doing. southernmaven, surfergurl, wannabeskinny, freelancemomma, and many others. would love to hear from them!!
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:31 PM   #4  
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Thank you SO much for posting this. I recently read Brain Over Binge and it has helped, but I still frequently fall off the wagon. I haven't been on this site in awhile, and I was just hopping on to try to find a new diet to try. After reading your post I decided I'm done with dieting! The only problem with that is, I do need to lose maybe 20 to 25 pounds to be at a healthy weight. Not skinny, but healthy. I don't want to put you into the wrong head space, so I understand if you'd rather not respond, but it sounds like you were probably close to your happy weight when you stopped bingeing. What steps would you take to lose some weight slowly and healthfully, but also not dieting? That's where I'm struggling. I do know that dieting won't lead to permanent weight loss in most cases, but just perpetuates the binge/diet cycle.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:57 AM   #5  
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Thank you for this post. It gives me hope. I think it's crucial to all "support forums" online that people that actually succeed (if it's about binge eating or managing sickness or whatever) DO come back and tell the good news and how the made it. I hope I will one day.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:32 AM   #6  
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How inspiring! I've read that thread and I'm glad you came back to share your story. You rock!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:07 PM   #7  
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Hey welcome back! Still here, still doing IE and I'm still super happy I gave up on dieting. I'm not cured of binging yet, I still have my moments when stress piles up and I don't know any way out but to dive into a binge. That part sucks. But on the whole I'm able to navigate my daily life without guilt and my binges have reduced so much that they're nearly gone.

The areas I'd still like to work on is automatically thinking about food when I feel anxious/stressed. No matter what I do my mind continually goes there. When things get very busy for me I also tend to get afraid to eat the foods that make me feel good and instead opt for heavier foods. I'm afraid that the salad (which is delicious and I love it) won't be enough so I opt to eat the pasta instead which makes me feel slow and yucky. I'm just not at the point where my choices are dictated by my body entirely just yet.

I'm inching towards incorporating Brain Over Binge into my tactics. When I first did BoB I was trying to restrict food and diet. So I was underfeeding myself and it was causing massive binges. But now I have the tools to understand real hunger, and I am not trying to achieve drastic weightloss. And so I think that the habitual response to eat in times of stress is indeed a wiring of my brain that needs to be short circuited. I haven't made that leap yet and I won't until I feel confident that it won't cause me to binge. But if I do I will not focus on weightloss, and instead try to keep myself well fed.

Glad you came in to check on us, I remember your thread and it was inspiring. Even more so now!
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:29 AM   #8  
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lattemomof3,

It's a really tricky thing I think to actively want to lose weight and quit bingeing. because food that is thought of as unhealthy or eating too much food or unplanned food becomes a source of guilt and the pending future deprivation and guilt make it easy to binge. You really have to not want to be a binger more than you want to lose weight. yes i'm in a good place with my weight but it does fluctuate and when I'm in the top end I can't just force those 5-10 pounds gone. if I tried too actively then I think food obsession would begin again for me. I also really stay away from listening to other people talk about their workouts or how healthy they eat because it affects me at a deep and i don't want to be thrown into that world. I just came off 4 days off with the bf. we ate some healthy meals but there were also some unplanned late night popcorn and butter events. and I am pmsing and bloated and feel slightly uncomfortable in my clothes today but I just have to suck it up. I am not going to feel my best all the time. and to try creates a miserable binging life for myself.
My advice would be work on not binging first. accept a little more weight. when you have done well with not binging for a few months then maybe passively make some healthful changes starting with more excersise that does not feel like punishment. and set yourself up for more healthful eating like keeping the garbage out of the house and having healthy food at hand. And don't deprive yourself!! if someone offers you chocolate eat a piece and forget about it. one really has to lose the all or nothing mentality. and for lastly, try not to be alone where you have the opportunity to binge. i think we binge out of lonliness or boredom sometimes. at least i did. there are a lot of reasons why I binged, and it really was just a dumb habbit.
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Old 05-06-2015, 08:33 AM   #9  
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Sounds like youre on the right track palestrina. having your binges reduced is a good sign. it is a process. don't be so hard on yourself. continue with what youre doing and I feel you will beat this eventually. It was 2 steps forward and 1 back for me. the change did not happen overnight. embrace your friends and social life. for me being alone was my worst enemy.

And thanks Munchy and Eatingmyfeelings!!!
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Old 05-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #10  
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Thanks veggie, there are good days and bad. It's interesting that you say being alone can be your own worst enemy. I would binge alone too, I sought to be alone so that I could binge. I hate to use the word "trigger" because people often associate that with a food but for me my trigger to binge was situational. Like everytime I get in my car I think about going to a drive thru. It's Pavlovian response. I don't go through drive thrus anymore but I can't seem to stop te thought from entering my mind when I get in my car. It's tiring to always fight that, that's the part of me that understands that there is a brain component here that has nothing to do with hunger or emotions. It's a habit.

Although being around people does help I have been in situations where I'm dying to get away to binge, this happens mostly when I'm on extended vacations where I'm spending day in and day out with other people and have no time alone. Day to day I have too much time alone which gave me too much leeway to binge.

Some thoughts.
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Old 05-06-2015, 12:56 PM   #11  
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I used to find myself dying to get away frm others to binge in the same way as you described. I think some of that comes from guilt of maybe not eating perfectly or being obligated to consume non diet food or not bring as disciplined as we had hoped. Like having 2 or 3 desserts instead of one. You think it will be ok and then suddenly those binge feelings start and you just want to high tail it out of there and head for the first store. What I realize now is that the people are my saving grace. I force myself to stay. Even have slept on friends couches when I know if I leave I'll be vulnerable to binging.

You know in the early stages of quitting it wasn't unlike quitting nicotine. For a good long while my life seemed to heave this u satisfying empty hole where binging (and nicotine) used to be and I felt why continue if I'm always going to long for it and miss it. But that is the addiction talking. Slowly the hole is filled in by other things and you stop thinking about it all together. Every now and again you might get a passing thought but that's what it is. Just passing. Those brain connections become so weak. And you must stop in order to break them. Just like smoking....
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:49 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiedaze View Post
You know in the early stages of quitting it wasn't unlike quitting nicotine. For a good long while my life seemed to heave this u satisfying empty hole where binging (and nicotine) used to be and I felt why continue if I'm always going to long for it and miss it. But that is the addiction talking. Slowly the hole is filled in by other things and you stop thinking about it all together. Every now and again you might get a passing thought but that's what it is. Just passing. Those brain connections become so weak. And you must stop in order to break them. Just like smoking....
I see what you mean. Normally I hightail it out of conversations about addiction because I just don't buy it. It's just a weird concept that causes more damage than anything. I mean how can somebody be addicted to cake and not be addicted to lettuce - makes no sense. But an addiction to binging itself, I can see that. It fulfills a purpose and those urges can be so overwhelming that no matter how much I try to reason with them they do not go away. As a matter of fact reasoning with the urges makes them worse and worse. I'm putting some BoB practices into place and seeing a real difference.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:55 PM   #13  
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Hey Veggiedaze! I don't know if you remember me but I became inspired and decided to go back to the IE way of life from reading your thread and your progress and experience with it. It's great to hear from you and how you are doing!

I know what you mean about not wanting to hang out here too much versus the support. It's why I didn't see this thread until today. I usually only hang out in the IE thread and no where else on this diet centric forum. But, I had to say Hi and thanks again for inspiring my IE journey. I am basically at my healthy weight, no longer obsessed with food, and I have learned so much about myself and my eating since I last posted on your thread.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:05 PM   #14  
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Commenting late but thanks for posting! I like reading about people's struggles. Er, wait, that sounds bad! I like to read about people who have struggles but ultimately are figuring out how to be victorious over them! That's more of what I meant. It's encouraging to see someone with facets of me in them, like the perfectionism -- oh boy do I know about perfectionism and how it can sabotage healthy eating! -- and finding ways to cope with it.

For my perfectionism, I've decided so far this year to not track calories. Well, I sort of do, in my head, at a rough level some of the time. I love numbers, I'm very analytical, but I think sometimes tracking calories does more harm than good. I'm at a stage of weight loss where I don't have to strictly track so I'm not, doing something like Intuitive Eating instead. I'd get so wrapped around the axle before, like if I wanted to eat something I'd feel like I'd have to journal it before I did, and if I couldn't figure out the numbers for calories and such I wouldn't want to eat it, even if it was probably healthy. And then I'd 'mess up' and perfectionism and woooo binge.
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