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Old 09-23-2009, 08:57 PM   #1  
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Default Any emotional dieters?

Or someone who diets to deal with negative emotions? I'm not sure what else to call it. I've tried looking it up and nobody really seems to talk about this, so I wondered if there are more people like me.

Ever since I was about 11 I've been a yo-yo dieter (I'm 21 now.) I've managed to put much of that aside, but I still get the urge to diet if I'm upset because I want to disappear. I also seem to only be able to lose weight in the darker months because I tend to go inward a lot. I'm still trying to separate my weight from my urge to diet, because I would like to lose weight, but I always tell myself that what I'm doing isn't good so I have a negative view of losing weight instead of just emotional dieting.--If all that makes sense. Maybe it's because of the way my mom scolded me if I tried to lose weight and seemed pleased if I stuffed myself, and I still associate feeling plump with being good. It's just confusing. When I was a yo-yo dieter I'd just quit dieting when I felt better or when there was a distraction.. Now I just find it hard to stick to anything at all. The funny thing is I'm not a binge eater or anything. I just find solace in dieting for some reason. Oh well, that's my sob story..

Last edited by Frigg; 09-23-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:14 AM   #2  
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Hmm, that's a tough one. I can relate to you but in the opposite way. I'm an emotional binger. Dieting is not a solace for me, it's like a big scary lonely fight against an opponent that is much stronger than me. Eating makes me feel sedated and calm. If there is a lack of food around me I panick. I also panick if I don't know what I'm eating next. But I can say that you are not alone, we both have emotional issues around eating/dieting. Hang in there and I hope you find the support you need on this forum.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #3  
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Feeling solace by not eating isn't a normal thing... Have you spoken to a counselor or therapist about this? What you are describing sounds like a type of eating disorder. Try to find a counselor who specializes in food issues, if you want to explore it further. Or talk to your doctor.

You might benefit from eating on a schedule to make sure you aren't slipping into "the urge to diet."

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:26 PM   #4  
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Frigg, I do this and I had never realised it 'til now!

I equate every problem in my life with my weight - if I was thin I'd pass my exams, if I was thin I'd have more money, if I was thin I'd have more friends. I think that when I have lost my weight my life will be very different and a lot better, but it won't become perfect. Problems will still be there, even if I am gorgeous!

So when I'm upset, I hyperdiet. I'm on Weightwatchers, and I'm supposed to have 23 points a day, but when I'm down or something has upset me, I can go down to 10 or 12, which is counterproductive, but still. If I go on a night out and see beautiful thin girls in beautiful thin dresses, I get obsessed with how I need to 'get serious' about my diet, how I need to go to the gym tomorrow, etc. My lack of self-esteem causes this.

I'd love to be able to separate emotions and food. For the time being, I'm just trying to make sensible food choices and balance out bad ones with better ones.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:50 PM   #5  
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I have heard of emotional eating not emotional dieting. Anything is possible though as I would also suggest maybe seeing a councelor would be a good idea.

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:59 PM   #6  
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With all respect and kindness, could it be that your dieting in response to emotions is exactly the same as doing SOMETHING to gain control in your life? It sounds like if you feel out of control in your life, the ONE thing you feel you CAN control is your food. I think this forms the basis of alot of eating disorders.

I'm not saying you have an eating disorder. And I'm not trying to make you sad or upset. It just sounds that when you feel out of control in your life, you turn to controlling your food. This isn't very healthy.

Could you go to a local health clinic that deals with eating disorders? They might be able to better identify what is going on and let you deal with emotions in different ways.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:49 PM   #7  
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"but I still get the urge to diet if I'm upset because I want to disappear." this is a common feeling among people with eating disorders. i'm not qualified, nor am i trying to diagnose you. i'm just saying...your post resonates with me because i've suffered from eating disorders and been treated for them.

also, you mentioned winter months. people do tend to get low and depressed in the winter. combination of the weather and the holidays etc. what do you mean by "go inward?"

i hope that you can maybe talk to someone about your feelings. we're here to listen, too.
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:53 PM   #8  
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Well.. so much attention! I guess I'll address everyone.

Yes, I'll agree it's a bit about control, seeing how I love the feeling of being on top of it all when I'm doing good. It's also about escapism and having something that envelops me for a time. The ridding myself of fat is part wanting to disappear, part trying to fix myself. So I guess there are quite a few factors involved. I've thought about talking to a specialist about it, but I've made my own strides on my own and have been doing okay as of now. I was mostly wondering if this existed commonly outside of standard eating disorders. I guess not!

Quote:
people do tend to get low and depressed in the winter. combination of the weather and the holidays etc. what do you mean by "go inward?"
Kind of the same idea as getting depressed.. I tend to go deeper into my own little world, shutting people out more than usual. I guess that since dieting for me is about being in my own little world anyway, it's just sticking to it for a longer period of time, and taking more pleasure in it.

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i hope that you can maybe talk to someone about your feelings. we're here to listen, too.
Thanks a lot. I don't really have anyone to talk to, to be honest, but if I can't handle it I can find a specialist.
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I equate every problem in my life with my weight - if I was thin I'd pass my exams, if I was thin I'd have more money, if I was thin I'd have more friends. I think that when I have lost my weight my life will be very different and a lot better, but it won't become perfect. Problems will still be there, even if I am gorgeous!
I feel much this way too, though maybe a bit differently. Weight is very tied in with my self-worth. I tend to strongly associate negative feelings about myself with 'feeling fat'--a specific feeling I developed quite young. As long as I felt fat my life couldn't be enjoyed. A lot of those feelings actually did pass when I lost some weight, but it would definitely become a major problem again if I ever gained a lot. If I imagine myself becoming obese in the future I just imagine my life as being so worthless. But that's obviously quite stupid because thinness doesn't dictate value.

Last edited by Frigg; 10-11-2009 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:00 PM   #9  
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I have a similar problem. It's not because I want to disappear, but because I want control. With all the shenanigans going on with my husband, I haven't been eating. I know it's a problem, I know I'm desperately close to dipping back into anorexia, but there's this nagging voice in my head that if I give in to the hunger, I've given up control.
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:17 PM   #10  
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Oh, something else I maybe should have added. I have a long, messy, miserable history with eating disorders, which almost killed me on a number of occsasions. My emotional dieting is almost definitely related to my history, and although I'm technically recovered, it is something I battle daily.

However, this doesn't mean that you have an eating disorder, although it's something you should maybe consider.
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