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Old 09-15-2006, 02:34 PM   #1  
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Default reasons we have strange relationship with food?

I'm always trying to think of why I gained weight in the first place.
I was always ( I believe) a happy child. I wasn't abused. There was always enough food. I can't think of any huge calamitous reasons I would become so overweight in the first place. I was always a consistent overeater. I didn't have HUGE binges to the point of becoming sick, and I never made myself throw up. I just always ate too much and probably for the wrong reasons a lot of the time. I think a lot of it had to do with mindless eating, eating out of boredom, and eating to soothe uncomfortable feelings. I'm one of those people who feels guilty about anything REALLY easily, so I think I also always had trouble saying no. It's so interesting that now that I'm really thinking about what I'm eating instead of being on automatic pilot, I see so much.
I hope that people understand that when I say "no thank you" to a morsel of food, it's because I really don't want it or because I'm not hungry, and not because I have an eating disorder.
I see a lot of automatic eating going on around me, and that's fine. I understand that. But I realize I need to stay away from that kind of behavior or all 90 pounds I worked so hard to lose will come back, plus some.
I can actually detect the moments when I have the impulse to eat because I'm having an uncomfortable thought or feeling. It's uncanny! Sometimes I give in to it and have just a small amount, but at least I thought about it.
Here's to hoping that if we really figure out how we got into this in the first place, this can be the last time we ever have to lose our excess weight. A "diet" with all kinds of stringent and cruel restrictions, in my opinion, is not going to work, unless we get to the bottom of this. Anyone have any other ideas?
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:44 PM   #2  
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There are many schools of thought...

One is that we are trying to fill a void. Something could be missing from our lives. Support, love, comfort, money, you name it. That the eating is an attempt to "fill yourself up".

Another is that we eat to avoid feeling whatever feelings are rising to the surface. Sort of stuffing the feelings back down.

You wrote that you can feel it coming on.

The key is to recognize and "feel the feeling" (I HATE that expression). If you feel something uncomfortable coming, try to figure out what it is. Write in a journal.

Then, we need to replace the eating activity with another completely UNRELATED activity. Something like a craft that will allow your brain to focus on something pleasurable in the place of food.

We eat for comfort. We have to figure out WHY we need to be comforted and then change what we can as well as find another means of comfort.

It's very hard (obviously). It's almost like quitting smoking, or another addictive habit.

I truly hope that all of us can find a way through this.

PS: I also think there is some truth to the whole "carb-addict" thing. I know that when I eat a bunch of carbs (pasta, pretzels, bread) I get a sort-of "stoned" feeling. When I'm upset, that's what I crave...bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta, chips, etc. Now I'm diabetic, so I really can't binge on carbs at all and there is a big difference.
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:46 PM   #3  
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I think you are right, a stringent and cruel diet is what contributed to most of my weight getting up as high as it did. When i was younger there was a girl in my neighborhood who weighed the same as me. We had the same build. She was told constantly that she was at a healthy weight. I was constantly under the assumption that i needed to lose weight. I would lose 20 pounds only to gain 30 and so on. She stayed the same, totally comfortable with her weight. She never dieted, as i did. Now, she is still basically the same build as always. And here i am, needing to lose 150 pounds. She needs to lose about 30. I have just always wondered, if i had approached my weight as she did, would i only have 30 pounds to lose?
Right now i am living the best lifestyle that i ever have. It is something that is realistic for the rest of my life. I wish i would have known to do that all along.
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:54 PM   #4  
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I am fairly certain my "weird relationship" with food dates back to my childhood as a latchkey kid. When I was in 5th grade, my mom went back to work. My brother (4 years younger) and I were supposed to come home everyday and stay in the house until my parents got home. No playing outside, no having friends come in. In the summer (except for some weeks at camp) it was the same thing - all day, inside.

What was there to do but watch TV, read and eat? I ate because I was bored and wanted some pleasure. I remember sprinkling white sugar on bread and eating it. Just for something to do. This was a very bad habit to start - I an easily eat when I'm not hungry. This is one of the reasons intuitive eating and moderation don't really work for me. I don't have much of an "off" switch, I can mindlessly eat far past the point of satiation. Carefully measured portions at set times have done wonders for me

When I started changing how I eat, I was really surprised to finally notice that I snacked constantly, all afternoon. Lattes and muffins, M&Ms, chips. Pretty much eating non stop from 2-5 everyday. Modifying that habit was one of the big keys to my success. I started planning healthy snacks about every 1.5-2 hours and I started drinking a LOT of tea in the afternoons, to keep my hands busy. I also started deliberately scheduling work meetings for the afternoon.
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #5  
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Man, I can fill a page on this topic.

I actually thought of locking up the food. I was going to take out what I would eat for a day and lock the rest up (a locked drawer in the fridge and lock a cabinet or 2).

I'm serious. I was ("was" because I am living in the present now) literally unable to stop myself from bingeing. I knew what I was doing and just seemed like I was outside my body.

I think a big HUGE part of this is to focus less on all of it. We spend 99.9% of our days thinking about food, planning meals, counting portions, finding recipes, and chatting about it.

We need to focus on something else. It's like an alcoholic trying to stop drinking while talking about, looking at, and handling liquor. Difference is, they do not need liquor to live and can avoid it for the most part. It would be like being a herion addict trying to get clean, but needing to take a dose 3 times a day to stay alive.

That's where we are unique. We have a substance abuse problem with a substance we need to stay alive.
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:04 PM   #6  
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Part of why I over ate was because I was raised by a feminist, and so thoroughly believed that I was the equal of my husband in everything, that I never thought twice about eating the same amount of food he did.

Now that I've calculated his calorie requirements, I realize that he needs twice the food I do, and I cannot match him bite for bite. Ever.

I'm not saying that's the only reason I used to overeat, but its definitely on the list!
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:08 PM   #7  
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MariaOfColumbia, the fact that I simply do not need as much food as a man who is larger than me, an average sized female, was hard to come to terms with! It's annoying, but very logical. Not fair!
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:43 PM   #8  
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Personally, I blame it on my brother--not that it's his fault, really. He's 8 years older than me and I idolized him to the point that I would mimic him--especially when it came to food. I'd eat the same sized portions and take seconds just like him. Mind you, he's not only 8 years older, but 6 inches taller and you know how the teen-aged male metabolism is--he'd eat and eat and eat and never gain. Me, a little 8 to 10 year old girl, did gain. Not that I got fat (really) but no one ever said I shouldn't eat so much. I still feel deprived if someone takes more than their share at dinner. Isn't that sad?

Also, he'd take advantage of me at times--he'd always raid my Halloween candy and take all the best candy, so there were times where I'd eat it all just so he couldn't have it. Wow, was that bad!!! Funny thing about that was we did develop different tastes and I'd gladly give up the little chocolate bars in order to keep the sugary crappy stuff!

In junior high school, I know I wanted to lose weight, but didn't understand the mechanics of doing it, so for lunch I'd eat a bag of Doritos with a Dr. Pepper and think that since I was eating less food, I should lose weight. Maybe they should teach nutrition in school rather than sex education!!!!

Finally, I eat out of boredom. Late afternoons are the worst for me. I like to munch while cooking, too. Lately, I'll drink a club soda and 100% juice mixture (like cranberry or pomegranate--80% club soda and 20% juice) to keep me from noshing out of boredom and I try to cut up some tomatoes for dinner so I can munch on those and not feel guilty.
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Old 09-15-2006, 03:56 PM   #9  
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I posted this once before, but deleted it because I wasn't sure if it answered the original question. However, upon further reflection I think it does, in some ways. SO:

I became overweight for a lot of reasons, I think. I do tend toward emotional eating, but that trait developed later in life, after I had been fat for a while.

I was at a normal weight for the first two years of school, but then I was diagnosed with severe allergies and asthma. My mom panicked a bit, and strongly limited my outdoor activities; for the most part, I was only allowed to play inside the house, where the more calorie-burning kind of fun wasn't permissible. I was also sick a LOT. Add that inactivity to the fact that I didn't really make the connection between what went into my mouth and what I weighed until I was about thirteen, and you can see why I was always "the fat kid".

From my teen years on, I can only attribute my weight problems to stress eating and addiction to sugar. I ate all the wrong things, and was in complete denial about how much of them I ate. Serving sizes grew larger; the Big Grab chip bags, the king-size candy bars. And since that was the way the food came to me, I assumed it was "okay" to eat all of it. Well, it wasn't, and after yo-yoing for several years, I got on the scale one day three years ago to see 238 staring back up at me. That was the only time I ever saw that number, because I hopped right back off the scale in horror and didn't get on again until after a month of dieting.

Nowadays I'm focusing on only eating when I'm truly hungry, eating only until I'm satisfied (which is not the same as being full), and realizing that American portion sizes are NOT normal, healthy, or what I need to be eating.

One thing that's helped me is to think of sugary foods and trans-fats, etc. as something akin to cigarettes or drugs. I've never used either of those things in my life; I simply don't do it. And by the same token, I don't eat junk. They're hard lessons--that just because something makes you feel good doesn't mean you should do it, and just because something's there doesn't mean you have to eat it--but I'm learning.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:27 PM   #10  
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Kind of a little background on me:

I wasn't a chubby kid at all, never. I was always a normal weight, all the way until high school. When I was a kid... we didn't have much, we were poor, and my dad was a drug addict, and my step dad an alcoholic, and me and my brother were molested by the same man, and there's just so much in my childhood that I NEVER dealt with. So, around when I turned 16, I started dating my current fiance, my friends didn't like him and so they decided to stop being my friends without telling me. heh. (really great friends, right?) So, anyway, I got into a REALLY deep depression and started cutting myself. My mom took me to the hospital and threatened to put me into an institution. I didn't want to go, so she gave me one more chance. Instead of cutting myself to release my pain, I started to eat... and eat, and eat, and eat. I went from 160 to 225 in a VERY short amount of time. I got stretch marks everywhere, I dropped out of school and started doing homeschooling, and I had VERY VERY low self esteem. I went to a psychiatrist and she suggested I start to exercise and eat better. So here I am... trying to do just that. Now, I've got anxiety, social anxiety, and a mess of other issues that I'm trying to deal with, WITHOUT using food as a way to make me feel better. It's hard, but I'm trying. I guess that's what counts?
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:26 PM   #11  
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As I had posted in another thread, I grew up skinny. Was from a poor family. I can remember hoarding food in our treehouse. Was very upset that ants found it and got into it. I remember a comment from my youth of me and my siblings being so skinny because we were poor. We did have enough food to go around but we all ate very fast. I still have problems with this.
My weight gain really started in college. A long way from family. Too much pizza and parties. Men troubles soon started and my weight escalated from there. Baby weight came along and never really left.
My biggest fault has been over-eating. It seems like I thought I had to eat til I was stuffed. To this day, I still sometimes will over-eat out of boredom and emotional eating. I try to make sure it's with healthier foods, but it still does happen occasionally. I think it used to be the case with every meal but it isn't anymore.
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