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Old 12-08-2012, 06:31 AM   #1  
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Smile Starting a New Journey & Recovery

Hello everyone, I'm Sara and yesterday was the day when I admitted that I am unable to control my eating. That was a big one for me and the start of this journey I Googled "Overeaters Anonymous", tore up when I realised that I can answer "yes" to almost every single one of the questions that are used to determine whether eating is an issue for you, searched for a forum, found this one, took a deep breath, and registered.

This is a small step but I can't even describe how relieved I already feel, just to put the fact that I've a problem honestly out there. The feeling of isolation when you try to hide something (maybe even from myself) that feels so big and overwhelming definitely hasn't made things better for me. I guess I've always had problems with food on varying degrees, being anorexic and orthorexic most of my childhood and teenage years, then switching to my current behavior - but it's something I've never once talked about to anyone honestly and openly before. Some people guessed that something was going on when I was very underweight, but I don't think anyone has any idea how much of a problem and source of stress food is for me still.

The times I've shared a little bit about it, people have thought it doesn't matter if I overeat and feel like I can't control it anymore because I'm a healthy weight. I can see their point; I definitely am lucky that years ago I found a diet that really reduces physical hunger and cravings so I'm able to stick to overeating healthy foods and not overeat things like candy anymore. (If I have one bite of junk food, then I can't stop it... but if I don't have that first bite, I'm usually okay.) I might have a hurting bloated stomach from eating too much all the time, but since the foods I overeat are so healthy, they aren't going to make me obese. I'm lucky to be able to control my eating this way 99% of the time, but the feelings of being ashamed of how much I eat, feeling out of control, trying to get things I should be getting elsewhere from food, feeling physically uneasy because of eating too much... they're the same. Without a doubt had I not found a diet that works fairly well for me so many years ago, I'd also be overweight by now. Being a healthy weight just masks the problem and makes others not take you seriously most of the time.

I seem to go through cycles of having some control over my eating, losing some weight and getting down to a weight that feels comfortable and good to me, followed by a period of time when I feel completely out of control and gain some weight, ending up feeling so uncomfortable in my own skin that I mostly want to isolate myself and avoid people. Gaining weight stresses me out, not letting people "in" stresses me out, hiding from the world stresses me out, and to help the stress I eat even more - which of course stresses me out even more and the problem just becomes worse. There's no rationality and no logic behind what I do, I know that, and I often in a way watch myself from the outside and cannot understand why I'm walking towards the fridge, and yet I do that. One year after another. Even during my most "in control" times, I just have to eat something in large quantities, even if it's just vegetables. Overall I've no portion control if I eat alone (I never overeat when I'm with others - actually I avoid eating with others alltogether, it just feels so uncomfortable). I know it could sound amusing and not like a real problem when someone overeats vegetables ...but honestly how I feel psychologically probably isn't any different than what someone who overeats junk food is. I'd love to be able to experience what it is like to feel relaxed about food and not feel stressed out about it, not feel like an addict...

Now I think I've come to a point where I just can't take it anymore, and I'd say that's actually a surprisingly positive place to be. I can't take the fact that I eat healthily and exercise and really try and yet feel so bloated and disgusting anymore. I can't take hiding my eating anymore. I can't take the feelings of being out of control anymore. I can't take being ashamed anymore. I can't take my habit of isolating myself when I feel like my eating is out of control anymore. And I can't leave myself deal with this alone anymore. I went through anorexia alone and managed to recover alone, but I don't think I can go through this too alone, hiding from the world. I need a place where I'm honest and open, especially with myself, no matter how embarrassing it is. I think I finally have the courage to look into the deeper reasons on why I've abused food all of my life in one way or another.

I'd love to get back down to the weight I feel best at, and it is one of my goals, but the top priority is the psychological side. I know what actions to take in the physical world to lose the weight since I've done that many times, but losing the weight doesn't fix the real issue. This time the weight loss will have to follow the inner change because this time I want it to be permanent. My life situation is difficult, but I need to find and develop better ways to cope with it than food. Food can be a source of pleasure and enjoyement, but more than anything I'd love it to be mainly a source of physical nourishment and get most of my pleasure and comfort elsewhere. I want to feel free of food... eat a sensible portion of food when my body needs it, but not more, and only when I'm hungry, and otherwise not think about it. I want to eat for nourishment and not for a psychological need that should be fulfilled through other means.

My apologies for the ramble ... I'm just so glad to be here. Perhaps I'm not alone after all, and perhaps I can finally recover from all of the food issues I've had all of my life once and for all. Well, not "perhaps" - I know I can. I've taken the first step and admitted that I've a problem. I've almost all of my life been a bit of a fitness and health nut and since I follow a very healthy diet, it's been too easy to pretend I don't have a problem - that I just need a little motivation and self-discipline and it'll be fine... but I do have a problem much deeper than that. And I need to solve it now. I cannot waste yet another month of my precious life feeling like this, not to mention another year. Not even another day.

Today has been pretty good so far, but it could still get much better. I'm going to continue reading others' stories now and think about what my action plan is going to be for the next few months, then write it down. If I find a place for diaries of some sort here, I think I'll start one, and be brutally honest in it. I am done with feeling out of control and it's time to take the control back.

Thank you so much for this supportive place guys! And sorry about all the possible mistakes I made, English isn't my native language.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #2  
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Wow, you seem really beat up about this...
Truthfully, I haven't had any type of eating disorder. I don't binge, I don't starve myself, my weight just hiked up from eating too much of the wrong things and not exercising. Plus genes play a factor as well, but you can't blame that forever.
I'm sorry I don't relate more to your problem, but it's really good that you've realized that you have a problem AND you're willing to do something about it.
I'm sure you'll find plenty of encouragement as long as you keep that will. You just need to remember to keep trying because you'll never get to psychological comfort by quitting!
For starters, I would recommend eating over a longer periods of time. Eat slower, and don't be head up over getting it in your gullet, because it's not going anywhere. And if it does (on the floor >.<), you can just get more, right? Try to enjoy the taste of the food. What's the rush? Why are you in a hurry to eat certain foods?
What helps me when eating with friends, is knowing that everyone feels the same towards the food. Everyone likes the taste of junk food. Everyone doesn't like vegetables as much. The only difference is that my friends weigh less. Your friends are your friends hopefully regardless of how much you weigh, so go ahead and be human with them! Everyone knows you gotta eat!

I know I'm not a doctor or anything, so you shouldn't think I'm right, but that's what helps me. Take it easy. Go slow if you need to. Changing your habits takes time. Don't try to do anything too fast or it won't work. You gotta be patient.

Anyway, good luck, and welcome to 3FC.
By the way, your English was great!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #3  
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Thank you so much for the warm welcome, kind words, ideas and encouragement, Spiritix I know this recovery of some sort won't be over overnight, but I feel like now I've finally at least taken the first step - something I think I've never really done before because now I'm not relying on self-discipline and beating myself up (something that can keep me on track for a couple of months... but then the self-discipline just isn't enough anymore), but rather just being aware and handling the real issue. I'm feeling really optimistic at the moment that I can leave all of my food issues behind and oh boy that feels awesome

Good luck with your journey as well!

Last edited by SaraL; 12-09-2012 at 08:48 AM.
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