Disordered Eating Support Thread

Discussion in 'Diet, Nutrition and Supplements' started by BigDog, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. pavermama

    pavermama Rut Row!

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    Thanks for sharing Isabella. Sometimes for me, just getting it out there helps. I don't feel like I'm alone because there are so many on here that can relate to some sort of issue with food. Nobody may have the answers but the support here is amazing! Some may have suggestions that might help or they can only offer a hug smiley. :console: Hang in there!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. DimplesBigHead

    DimplesBigHead New Member

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    Hi I am new and I also have a problem with binging. I just hope to gget better a day at a time.
     
  3. Moreniia3

    Moreniia3 New Member

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    Thank you so much for posting ladies!!! It makes me feel like I'm not the only one out there!!!
     
  4. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    Thanks for the update, Patricia. Sounds like you're doing great!
     
  5. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    My #1 food problem is sugar. All things sugar. Okay, not all. There are some sweets that I don't like. But farrrr too many that I do like.

    Keeping it out of the house doesn't seem to help much. If I'm really craving it, I'll go out of my way for it. Heck, I'd probably walk 10 miles through a blizzard to get me some sugary-fatty, bzillion-calorie junk. The main problem is that I'm not satisfied with just one small (or reasonable) portion. Once I get a taste, I want more more more! :piggie:

    However, when I'm not in binge-mode, when I'm focused and in control, I don't keep such junk in the house. Not as a method of avoiding temptation. The temptation isn't there when I'm feeling in control. I'm quite satisfied with feeding my body very well with nutrient-dense meals within my caloric-needs range. Its not in the house because I have no inclination to buy these things and bring them home. The challenge for me is to figure out how to make these periods of control, focus and satisfaction last longer.

    I like myself soooo much better when I stay on plan for a few reasons:
    • Emotionally and psychologically:
      It feels great to be in control and to just know that I'm doing the right things. :)
    • Physically:
      The fat comes off or stays off :) and...
      I have a lot more energy for my workouts and for everything else (be it work or fun things). :)

    You'd think that looking better and feeling better would be motivation enough. For periods of time, it certainly is. Those are the things that keep me on track and also get me back on track after I've derailed. The questions are:
    • Why do I so often derail knowing full well that I won't like the results?
    • Or why don't I at least keep the binges limited to one day or one weekend? Why do I sometimes let a binge turn into several days? several weeks?
    • Why does it take unsightly fat-gain and feeling like a tired, lethargic slug to kick me in the butt and rein it in again?
    :scratch: :ruloco:

    These are questions that I've not been able to answer. And there have been many times that I've opined that the questions don't need to be answered. I realize there are varying schools of thought on this from a psychological standpoint. Some believe that such questions must be answered -- that we must get to the bottom of the reasoning for certain behaviors before we can successfully change the behaviors. I've had a tendency to side with the camp that believes the reasons don't matter because...

    whatever the reasons may be for my behavior... whether I understand the reasons or not... I do clearly understand the consequences or results of my actions. Therefore, it is the actions that matter most. I could analyze the heck out of the reasons forfrickinever. And I may, or may not, find explanations that seem plausible to me. But either way, the changes that need to be made when I'm uhappy with the consequences remain the same. The actions that I need to take in order to enjoy results remain the same.

    Sometimes I have a tendency to ignore the inevitable, pending consequences or sweep them under the rug, thinking that I've got a little more time before they will actually materialize... that I'll get grip before the damage is done... or until reality bites me in the ass (in the form of favorite pants that can no longer be zipped up). Maybe I need to just keep it simple and put more focus and deliberate awareness on actions, consequences and results.
     
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  6. Razy

    Razy New Member

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    What an amazing thread. I can relate to so many of you. I am still shaking my head at how blind I was to my own problem of binge eating.

    I have been in such a vicious cycle for years of strict dieting and then binge eating, back to strict dieting etc etc and it never occurred to me that that is what I was doing. I'd go on this so called great plan and be all motivated and say 'yes this is easy' to 3 weeks down the track and not seeing any great results to saying 'this is rubbish and not working I really need to eat something sweet, just sometime small because I don't feel good or don't have much energy, I just need a sugar hit ........ to sneaking into the pantry while no-one is looking and pinching the kids school snacks and eating biscuits, lollies & chocolates, hiding the packets AND I have even eaten left over chocolate once (okay, more than once :dope:) then rushing down to the shop to buy the same thing and then replacing what I had eaten (after taking away what had already been eaten). AND then eating it again that night with my husband like nothing had happened.

    I'd then feel sick and horrible and get all depressed over it and start another type of diet the next day mostly of protein and the cycle starts again. ALL along, blaming the diets for not working, not blaming what I was doing, because surely 1 little binge wasn't really hurting it (other than making me feel horrible). The funny thing is I now see that it wasn't just 1 binge, it was a constant binge every 1-2 weeks for years and years.

    It's all starting to make sense but it hasn't stopped me again this week :( I went off my usual diet of no refined carbs and mostly protein, to just eating what I felt like BUT making sure it was still low fat and healthy. I actually felt really good for the first time in I can't even remember how long ..... BUT then Friday came and I went to the supermarket and made the excuse of watching a movie so I could get chips, lollies & chocolate. Not only did I end up buying way too much and then opening them up when I got home to eat some and then pretended I bought a smaller packet, to still having to eat it all so there is none left the next morning. I have to do that so I don't eat it and then need it for the rest of the day.

    I then went to bed, feeling bloated and sick but tell myself it's okay, just start again tomorrow ......

    I can't wait to start my plan with Amy & really hope it gets me on the right track, feel good again about myself and just be happy.


    NB.... just read back through what I had typed and can already see that it is my choice of diet that makes me binge. I know I can be very focussed and motivated and wanting to do it all the right way but if I am on the wrong plan to start with, then I have already set myself up to fail. To think I have done this for years just makes me shake my head. Hopefully only a few more weeks to wait :)
     
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  7. Natt

    Natt Member

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    Hello, my name is Natalie , and I'm a sneak eater ! Lol:dope:

    Seriously though, I have been with Erik for about 10weeks now and still struggle with off plan eating and have had a few binges over the way........the couple of binges have been no way near as bad as I have had in the past and I am happy to say that they have not extended past that particular day. Previously I have done 3 day benders and anything is fair game.....healthy choices and crap food...it didn't matter! It's like u become possessed and know you are doing it but almost can't stop yourself.

    ATM I am trying to stay positive (my progress is slow , suspected MD issues) so this is normally a trigger for my like was stated in the post above.

    I don't expect to be "fixed" overnight, cos this has been something I've battled since I was around 17.
    I also found if someone tells me not to eat something, or I shouldn't be eating something it only makes things worse ..almost the mentality of "don't tell me what to do, I'm gonna do what I like" .......

    I had a dinner out with some friends on Thursday night and decided to have an off plan meal. I am trying to learn to enjoy these rare outings and enjoy a nice dinner and then back on track the next day. The guilt of the meal can also trigger me to binge the next day.

    I don't want to blame anyone for my actions but I do wonder if I am the way I am with food because of my childhood. I wasn't a skinny child or a fat child just normal I guess, but my mother had anorexia for years and years and years and this really impacted on me and my food issues. She was a very unwell lady and I would often get told "you don't need to eat that"..... SOS that's where I think it all started. My brother and sister were slim, and they didn't get affected like me. My sister has no food issues at all..(except being a vegetarian lol:laugh:) and she has never had a weight issue in her life......

    Anyways, I could keep reflecting on my childhood but I don't think that will help the present!!!!
     
  8. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    Maybe - or maybe not. I believe sometimes just reflecting-out-loud (or writing out loud :lol: )can be helpful. Describing issues and any thoughts on the possible contributing factors are ways of acknowledging the presence of the issues. I think, for many of us, simply acknowledging our personal challenges, can be instumental in tackling them.

    But then... what do I know? :shrug:

    Just thinking out loud. :lol:
     
  9. Natt

    Natt Member

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    No, I do agree, it's just that I feel bad for my mum, she is bipolar and I don't want to "blame" her, she had no support in the worst of it all and my dad travelled a lot for work. I am 36 and when I was growing up there was no awareness of mental illness and no support. I do know that it impacted me but I almost feel guilty talking about it. I love my mum and she is always there for me so I feel bad even talking about it :love: she struggles every day....and I know that she carries so much guilt for our childhood....I don't talk to her about this, it would kill her(for want of a better word)

    I try not to let my girls see my ups and downs around food........
     
  10. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    I'm glad you don't blame her, even as you realize the impact that her illness had on you. Maybe it would be helpful to both of you if you were to share your thoughts/feelings with her? Maybe tell here what you just said here (but edited as needed for sensitivity)? Might not help with food struggles, directly. But perhaps it would help relieve her of some of her guilt?
     
  11. Natt

    Natt Member

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    I would definately have to edit for her sake, but unfortunately she would not be able to handle such discussions, it would send her on a spiral downwards.
     
  12. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    You know what's best. You're a loving, caring daugther. I'm sorry she has such a difficult time.
     
  13. Natt

    Natt Member

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    Thank you for those very kind words ... And thanks for listening
     
  14. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Are you an eldest child Natt? My parents divorced when I was 12 and my mother suffered from untreated depression for much of my childhood. I'm the eldest of 4 and I find that the oldest child tends to take on so much as a way of shielding our siblings.

    I often use food as comfort, I know my mother and Aunty do too. In fact my Aunty once said after her doctor told her she was pre-diabetic and needed to watch her diet that food was all she had to make her happy and bugger if the doctor was going to take that from her too (she also suffers from depression) *sigh* I love her, and my mum, I want them to be healthy and I fight not to be consumed by emotional eating. I don't always win but I think I have the upper hand.
     
  15. Natt

    Natt Member

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    Hey Emma, sorry to hear about your mum and obviously we can relate to a lot of things...I totally can see your aunts attitude!!!!!but at the same time I get your thoughts on health

    I am a middle child, I have an older brother, 3 years older and a sister who is 6 years younger.
    I think, for me, my brother and sister are very alike In personalities and I am more of a peacemaker and tended to not want to upset my mum(and still do).......
    There is a lot more history than I feel comfortable sharing on the forum, but I do know that someday I want to win the battle like you said.
    I am trying, but somedays are harder than others, as I am sure you can relate to.
    It helps knowing that I have you guys to chat too......:sos:
     
  16. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Ahh, the peacemaker, say no more, I play the same role.

    We spend so much energy making sure everyone else is ok that we leave ourselves with nothing.

    We need to find our own coping mechanism that does not involve the pantry or the fridge.

    Easier said than done I know.
     
  17. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    Just ordered it. Thanks for the recommendation! If you hadn't suggested it, I would never have given it a 2nd glance based on the subtitle, "Why I Was Bulimic, Why Conventional Therapy Didn't Work, and How I Recovered for Good". The term "bulimic" would have thrown me off because I've never considered myself (and still don't) to be bulimic. I've never "purged" and have never had an inclination to do so -- nor have I engaged in excessive compensatory exercise. However...

    because of your recommendation, I decided to overlook the title and read every word that Amazon allowed with the free "Look inside" preview. So glad I did. I can totally relate to the author in so many ways! and I'm inspired to read the rest.
    Can't wait for it to get here! :popcorn:

    Many of my thought processes are quite different from the author's -- but some are quite similar -- and yet others, I'd even go so far as to say exactly the same!

    I can hardly wait to read how she has overcome it and become not only binge-free but, also free of the urges/compulsion to binge and get past her obsession with food.

    And bonus! I love that she found her own approach and solutions -- after realizing that she hadn't benefited much from many years of typical, orthodox counseling and psycho-therapy from various eating disorder "experts".
    Sounds right up my alley! :thumb: I'd be 98 yrs old before I'd ever get a handle on my binging, if I were to go the conventional therapy-route of analyzing the heck outta -- and trying to the bottom of -- all my emotional issues and neuroses.
    :lol:

    Thanks again, Patricia! :)


    eta: Just finished reading all the reviews. It looks like quite a few people with milder "binge" tendencies also found this book very helpful -- as well as those with severe issues.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  18. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    You may be right. It could be your uber-restrictive dieting that causes you to binge. If a diet is too resticted/limited, it simply isn't sustainable. The deprivation can be both psychological (feeling deprived) and physical (the body actually is deprived of essential nutrients and calories).

    I can't say that this applies in my case. When I'm in control (to me, this means not binging), my diet is definitely not too restrictive. I get plenty of calories and quite a variety of delicious foods.

    While you're waiting for your plan, you might benefit from the book Patricia suggested, "Brain Over Binge". I ordered a copy for myself. Its not written by a therapist or "expert". The author tells her own story of her history with binging and how she has finally overcome it. Based on the preview, it appears that you may have some things in common with her. Your 'issues' don't seem to be anywhere nearly as severe as hers. However - she too, at certain stages of her life, engaged in secretive eating, getting rid of the wrappers/packaging, and going to the grocery store to replace the items she'd eaten before anyone could notice.

    My issues aren't as severe as hers either. And they differ from hers in many ways. But I also share some similarities with her, though not the same ones that you share with her.

    Maybe you could read the "Look Inside" preview at Amazon and some of the reviews. See if you can relate to her in any way, and if you feel like the book might be helpful.

    I'm excited for my copy to get here. It may, or may not, help me. But what have I got to lose? It certainly can't hurt.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles. I know it isn't easy to admit to certain behaviors or habits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  19. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    I finished reading "Brain Over Binge". It concurs with many of the opinions I've already had on binge-eating. But also introduces some thinking-exercises and strategies to "rewire" the impulsive part of the brain. I haven't yet quite mastered these exercises but am getting geared up to practice them. For now, just some thoughts and a little more about me... more than anyone probably wants to know.
    :lol:

    Serious binge-disordered eating is difficult to understand. I think people (including the "experts") have a hard time understanding it because they can only relate to their own measures of dietary discipline and temptations. Most people don't have 100% dietary adherence, 100% of the time. Therefore, they certainly do understand challenges. But "binge" disorders are a whole different animal and very difficult to understand (even for those who have them).

    Actually, until recently, I had never admitted (out loud) that I have such a serious issue with "binging". Sure, I've joked about it. But, in reality, I just chose to write it off as simple lapses in discipline. uh... no... frequent sessions of nonstop eating, to the tune of mega-thousands of calories are not a simple matter of occasional overindulgence. I think I was just too embarrassed about it (even in front of myself) to acknowledge the seriously fuktup'dness of my issue. It was bad enough that I'd wasted so many of my younger years as an aimless, sloppy drunk. :sad:
    And now this?? :oops:

    I'm convinced that the two issues are connected. But that's another whole McBook. For now, suffice it to say that I do not buy the common theory that I've simply "replaced one addiction with another" due to my "addictive personality" which is caused by "underlying issues". Drinking and binging are the issues. I have a logical theory on how one led to the other. More on that another day.

    Alcoholism is different from binging in many ways. For one, we can we can't eliminate food from diets as we can with alcohol. However, I've often compared my dietary discipline to the discipline I'd used in the early days of quitting alcohol. I was a horrible alcoholic! I'd quit several times, short-term, before finally learning how to quit successfully. It was actually a book that helped me with that too, "Under the Influence".

    At the time I read the book, I'd been abstinent for about 3 months (a major PR at the time). I'd been determined to give it my best effort, and had already been enjoying many benefits of living alcohol-free. Even so, I had not yet been 100% confident in my ability to keep it going forever. I'd read several books but couldn't relate to the "expert" explanations on the "reasons" for my alcoholism. They all seemed to suggest that I needed to get to the bottom of the deep-rooted issues, i.e., find the 'real' problem. Such conjecture simply did not resonate with me because, in my opinion...
    Drinking was the real problem -- not a symptom of a problem.
    And most of my other problems were results of my drinking -- not the causes of it.

    I was about ready to take a break from reading for a while, when a friend gave me a copy of "Under the Influence". So glad I gave it a chance!!! It was very different from anything else I'd read, as it validated my belief that that alcoholism is the problem. While reading the book, some things just clicked and I knew without a doubt that I would never drink again -- that it would never be open to contemplation -- that it would never even be a temptation again. That was almost 17 years ago.
    :brava:

    So I often catch myself trying to figure out how to tap into whatever-it-was, exactly, that had helped me so much back then -- and how to apply the same methodology toward my food issues. Afterall if I, of all people, had managed to stop drinking, then surely tackling this food-thing should be a piece-o-cake.
    (pun intended ;) )

    That's why I got so excited about "Brain Over Binge" (thank you, Patricia! :love: ) Because it too uses the premise that "binging" is the real problem, rather than a symptom of an underlying problem. When I read the intro, I was suddenly reminded of the other book I'd read waaayyy back when, which I still credit for having helped me find my turning point waaayy back then. I was hoping this binge-book would have the same effect on me -- that by the time I finished reading it, I would just know that my binging days are over, just as I'd known that my drinking days were over. Slightly disappointed to say I did not experience that same type of magic, breakthrough moment. I had high, high hopes based on a gut instinct and a distant memory. However...

    I am feeling quite enlightened and optimistic. I believe that, with a little practice, I too will be joining the list of happily, comfortably binge-free people who are enjoying the same success as the author is. :)

    More on that practice and technique -- as I understand it -- in my upcoming review. I'll try to keep it brief instead of writing a McBook.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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  20. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

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    Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen

    I found it quite enlightening and inspiring. There's a lot of information about the neuroscience of binging. The actual real, physical neuro-pathways formed in the brain from binging, regardless of the reasons a person started binging in the first place. For many/most its too restrictive dieting, be it for competition or any other reason a person may engage in extreme unhealthy low-calorie dieting. I can't say that is my reason. I've never been a fan of extreme low-calorie.

    In any event, whatever the reasons that a person began binging in the first place -- there's a lot of scientific evidence of the effects the binges have on the brain, which keep the binger wanting to binge despite the consequences. Neuro-pathways that route signals, similar to an electric current, through certain parts of the brain which render cravings (to eat mass quantities of food) insanely intense, rabid, animalistic... or sometimes just a dull, relentless nagging. She doesn't use this as an excuse. She knows that it was always her decision to give in to the cravings. But it explains why the cravings were sometimes so distracting, intense, nagging, all-consuming... to the point that, often, simply fighting them was all-consuming. I can sooooo relate to such cravings.

    Most importantly, it explains how the problematic neuro-pathways (which had become very powerful as a result of repeated binging) can be weakened. The brain is very resilient and flexible and can be basically "rewired".

    She doesn't get too technical in her explanations but she does share the sources of her information (books on neuroscience, neuroplasticity) for those who want to read more. She simply explains it in layman's terms (and uses some good examples and analogies) to help make it clear.

    She explains why her years in typical therapy for eating disorders did not help her -- and how she was able to finally overcome her disorder by addressing the neuroscience of it and basically "rewiring" her brain. It required some discipline and practice at first. But the practice and exercises have physically weakened the [binge] neuro-pathways to the point of uselessness. They no longer send signals of animalistic cravings to other parts of her brain. So she no longer has to fight them. Its been years since she's binged or had any inclination to binge. She overeats on occasion but doesn't binge. She has a healthy relationship with food and no longer even worries about "trigger foods" or "triggers" of any type, e.g., emotional, situational, environmental, etc.

    I was a bit skepitcal at some points, in some chapters. But as I read further, it all comes together in a very scientifically convincing way. I'm excited to apply these exercises and practices to my own cravings. That is the key; not to only simply use strength to fight the cravings but to ultimately eliminate the crazy cravings. To get rid of the constant battle... to get rid of the constant fight not to cram every delicious thing I can get my hands on down my trap. So that I'm not spending all my waking hours trying to reason with myself, focusing on the consequences of eating ungodly amounts of food. So that I only have "normal" temptations like everyone else has... like I used to have before I started this crazy cycle.

    In Summary:
    This book tries to teach you to how to disengage from messages coming from the neuro-pathways in the subcortex of the brain -- the part of the brain that controls, among other things, impulses and instinct. According to the author, this is separate from the part of the brain that controls rational thinking and decision making. By not engaging them, they become less & less active until eventually they're totally inactive. She said it was tricky at first because she was accustomed to fighting cravings and trying to talk herself out of giving in to them. But fighting them is a form of engaging them and giving them fuel -- causing the neurons to continue firing, so they remain active and strong. Therefore, she had to learn to simply be aware of the cravings but to view them as insignificant background noise or "neurological junk", rather than fight them -- so that the neurons would eventually stop firing. She said it happened fairly quickly for her.

    I think the trick for me will be to master the "detachment" or "disengagement" technique. She does share "thinking skills" to help. Different ways of thinking about (or imagining) the separation work for different people. Some people think of the rational part of the brain as the 'human brain', and the impulsive part as the 'animal brain'. Some picture a 'higher brain' and a 'lower brain'. Personally, its a bit of a stretch for me to imagine two separate brains. I think I'll practice the technique of simply trying to view the impulses as insignificant "background noise" or "neurological junk".

    According to the book-reviews at Amazon, and visitor-posts on her blog, lots of people are enjoying the same success that she is. But for some people, not so much.

    So much for keeping it brief. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013

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