Disordered Eating Support Thread

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

  1. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

    15,592
    693
    113
    Thought for Food
    Traditional Therapy, AA or OA and Triggers

    Disclaimer: Hopefully, the following does not plagiarize from 'Brain Over Binge'. Many of the author's thoughts concur with my own long-held beliefs and theories. This is why I instantly related to her. If I have inadvertently intertwined some of her thoughts with my own, it is because they are so close in nature.

    Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous
    AA and OA operate on the same principles and 12-step program. I have never been to an OA meeting but long ago attended several AA meetings. Definitely not my thing. I simply could not get on board with most of their basic philosophies. Nor was a fan of their steps. For one example...

    I was supposed to "admit that I am powerless over alcohol and to ask God (or a higher power) to remove the flaws that cause me to drink".

    I could not see those as effective strategies for at least two reasons:
    1. I am not now -- and never have been -- "powerless". To believe otherwise is to fail to take personal responsibility and to hold myself accountable for my behavior.
    2. I am a firm believer that most of my "flaws" (in my drinking days) were a result of my drinking - not the "cause".

    Traditional Therapy
    With most conventional therapies, there's so much focus on addressing the "underlying real issues". Rather than treating the eating-disorder or alcoholism as the real problem, they are treated as symptoms of the "real" problem or "coping mechanisms" for the "real" problem. You're the innocent victim of a disease or personal trauma. I disagree. This is not to disrespect victims of unfortunate circumstances or trivialize their experiences. Some of us have been dealt some very tragic and traumatic cards. I'm speaking purely from my perspective on traditional therapy for addictions.

    I also disagree that alcoholism is a disease. If left unchecked, it can certainly cause diseases.
    But the only thing that causes alcohol-addiction is excessive drinking. Therefore, I was not an innocent victim. I caused my own addiction, regardless of the 'reasons' I started drinking in the first place.

    I now believe the same applies to binging. Binge-disorders are caused by binging. Therefore, I caused my own binge-disorder, regardless of the 'reasons' I started binging in the first place.

    The only way to stop drinking was to STOP drinking.
    The only way to stop binging is to STOP binging.
    Easier said than done, I know. But I believe this to be true regardless of any emotional trauma I may have -- past, present and future.

    I believe therapy, as a means of sorting out issues or learning how to deal with trauma and stress, is great for those who feel the need for help. But I think those issues need to be dealt with, in and of themselves, for the issues that they are... not as a roundabout way of treating addictions. And addictions need to be addressed for the serious problems that they are, independent of other issues. Otherwise, I think we place too much value on "triggers" and thereby give them too much power.

    More on Triggers Coming Right Up. First, a Final Thought on Traditional Therapy and 12-Step Programs:
    My intent is not to knock such therapy or programs. I realize that many people benefit from them. I guess people need to tap into whichever methods they find helpful. They're just not my cup-o-tea. While I believe psychology and spirituality have a place... for me, they don't get to the heart of the matter when they treat the matter as secondary or symptomatic. :shrug:

    Triggers
    Life is full of ups & downs and countless "triggers". Let's say I identify my deep-rooted "real" problems and learn how to deal with them in constructive ways.
    So, okay, finally free to tackle my binging!
    Giddyup! Here we goooo!
    No more unresolved issues! No more unaddressed emotions!
    Voila! Binge-free!
    Even if it did work that way... then what happens when life deals another, inevitable, future blow? Start outta control bingefests again until I learn how to manage my latest heartache/stress/pain? And how long will it take this time? If this were the case, I would have had countless "reasons" and "triggers" to start drinking again over the years.

    Another flaw with attention to triggers:
    Most people (including myself) who have serious binge-issues or serious alcohol-addiction tend to binge or drink regardless of what's going on... whether they're upset, grieving, happy, celebrating, having fun or simply relaxing. Sure, stress and upsets can certainly be triggers but so can various settings... such as wedding receptions, parties, camping, studying, watching a movie, etc. Any emotion/activity/setting that the brain has been trained to associate with binging or drinking can be a trigger.

    In other words, once the problem has been truly overcome there really is no such thing as a trigger. You can't trigger a problem if the problem no longers exists. I firmly believe this because of my success in having rendered my sobriety to be effortless... so effortless that I don't buy the common "expert" theory that I'm "in recovery" and will "always be in recovery". Sorry, "experts", we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. I am recovered. Period. And I'm looking forward to finding the same success with my binging.

    Sorry to keep :blah: :blah: :blah:'ing about my past drinking. Though it was long ago, I have only recently realized the seriousness of my bing-eating and I'm trying to find ways to seriously tackle it. So my mind is busy trying to recall the strengths I'd needed & utilized back then in the early stages of alcohol-recovery. I think that... maybe... I had actually applied some of the thinking-skills/techniques from Brain Over Binge to my drinking.

    Even though:
    •the book hadn't yet been written (the science isn't new)...
    •and I was unaware of the concept, at the time, and didn't realize that's what I had done...
    •and I'm not sure exactly how I did it...
    maybe somehow, I unknowingly used the detachment technique? The book that did help me back then didn't speak of such technique. But the information helped give me tremendous confidence in my resolve! Perhaps my new-found, rock-hard confidence (in my ability to abstain forever) just, somehow, naturally compelled me to detach without realizing it? Maybe that's why abstinance suddenly and quickly became easier & easier, after having been such a struggle for so long? I had effectively disengaged from the neuro-pathways? Therefore, the neurons stopped firing?

    hmmm... I may be on to something here! Now to figure out how do this deliberately with binges. Practice! Practice!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. Patricia

    Patricia Well-Known Member

    5,855
    369
    83
    Well said.
     
  3. Patricia

    Patricia Well-Known Member

    5,855
    369
    83
    I'm glad you liked it. I need to reread it if only to make the new brain habits 'stick'.

    I've overeaten lately but not thought of the habit cycle at all. It's been a while since I've read it.
     
  4. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

    2,262
    46
    48
    I've read that book. Ironically, the author never 'binged' as it's commonly understood (never threw up after overeating).

    The answer to stopping the urge to binge is surprisingly simple, and it's been answered in this book and in Geneen Roth's book. Unfortunately, the answer is hard for people like us (bodybuilders (in the nonprofessional sense of the word) to accept: DO NOT DIET (do not restrict).
     
  5. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

    15,592
    693
    113
    Hi Laura!
    huh? She binged like crazy!! For years!! She considered herself bulimic. Some might argue that she wasn't bulimic as it is commonly understood (binging and purging) because she didn't throw up after binging. Her method of "purging" was to exercise like a madwoman (for up to 7 or 8 hours!) the day following a binge. But she definitely binged.


    hmmm... I got something completely different from Kathryn Hansen. I didn't see her solution to be so simple as to just "not diet".

    She did strongly insist that we "do not diet while recovering" (while training the brain to detach from urges to binge). But her use of the word diet was a bit inappropriate, in my opinion. She seems to view 'dieting' through the lense of her own 'dieting' history of extremely restrictive diets. However...

    She was of the opinion that if someone wants to have a "healthy" diet while still recovering, that is fine. She just thinks that, until fully recovered (comfortably and easily binge-free), "weight-loss" goals should be put on the back burner. Of course, that translates into fat-loss goals for us but she's speaking to a broader audience. I would consider a good maintenance diet for us 'fitness types' (yes, I include myself even though I don't currently look the part) to be quite a healthy diet. :shrug:

    At any rate, I got much more from her descriptions of her strategies, thinking-exercises, etc., than to simply "stop dieting". And for those who have been struggling with Binge Eating Disorders -- and who feel they haven't benefited much from typical self-help books or typical therapy -- what have they got to lose by reading a book that offers a different approach?

    As for the other author you mentioned:
    I haven't read any of Roth's books but -- based on the previews, reviews and her guest appearances on Oprah -- she seems to take the very approach that has never resonated with me; addressing the 'emotions' and the 'deep underlying issues that go beyond food'. Even her book titles suggest that theme. She also suggests that "dieting", for many women, is a form of punishing themselves. That is certainly not the case for me. Maybe if I were to read a full book, I'd have a different take. But from what I've read so far, I'm just not drawn to her. But if some people find her helpful, more power to 'em.

    Binge Eating Disorders (BED) are quite complex. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution. Again, I think people need to tap into whichever resources they may find helpful. Personally, I don't like the philosophies of Overeaters Anonymous or the theories/approaches of conventional therapies. But I don't discount them, because I'm sure some people do find them helpful.

    Just curious; What would you suggest as a good approach to overcome binging for "bodybuilder" or 'fitness' types? It appears that many people here have overcome their binge-issues. But many others are still struggling.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  6. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

    2,262
    46
    48
    Hi Mackie.
    I see that my post lacked some critical details, and showed my mis-use of the term 'binge-eating'. I've always thought of binge-eating as involving purging. So, when I said that the author didn't binge in the conventional sense of the word, I was referring to my own (mistaken) use of the term 'bingeing'.

    When I was 'growing up' (I am 43, I overexercised compulsively in my late teens and 20s, but never binge-ate), orthorexia, binging, and compulsive exercising were just starting to emerge. I thought I was 'special' by doing such large amounts of exercise and restricting food intake. I know now that I am one of many women doing the same things, and the numbers have only increased since the 1980s/1990s.

    I think that some women get addicted (for want of a better word) to clean-eating and dietary restriction. When one restricts too much for too long, the urge to binge ensues. It's almost impossible to prevent without drugs.

    So - the answer is never to restrict too long or too much. That's where a good coach can come in handy. BUT, I think (and this goes for me, too), that so many of us 'fitness types' would be very well-served by learning to eat in a way that supports our activities and lean muscle mass and a healthy level of bodyfat, WITHOUT weighing all foods, sticking to a specific food plan, and constantly dieting.

    ... From what I understand (but I am not certain), Precision Nutrition and Scott Abel advocate these kinds of eating habits.

    ... When I worked with Erik, I remember that at one point, I wrote to him saying that I had this urge to eat lots and lots of food. It was something that I had never experienced before. His solution was to tell me to completely free up my diet for several days. No restrictions, all free meals. It worked. Refeeds can do the same thing. But over a longer term, we have to learn to eat in a way that completely prevents the urge to binge.
    I find Geneen Roth's work excellent.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  7. mackie

    mackie With my hero, Brigitte Gabriel

    15,592
    693
    113
    I had never heard of orthorexia. I had to look it up. Thanks so much for sharing your personal history. Oh and...

    you are special.


    I agree. Especially when it is extremely restrictive and low-calorie. Not all people who have engaged in such extreme dieting have ended up binging -- or at least not with serious Binge-Eating Disorders. But soooo many have that there's an undeniable connection.

    Therefore, I agree that certainly a good preventative measure would be to refrain overly-restrictive dieting in the first place. Also, I think its important to seriously address binge-eating or tendencies at their earliest signs. However...

    For myself, right now, the focus isn't on preventative measures. It is on fixing/overcoming a chronic Binge-Eating Disorder. I've recently become convinced that repeated binging, itself, causes the chronic disorder, regardless of the reasons that the binging first started. Therefore, I don't think that refraining from 'dieting', alone, is the solution for me. Kathryn Hansen and many others (including myself) have had crazy-ass bingefests even when not 'dieting'. It may be that, in many cases, overly restrictive dieting led to the initial/earliest binges but once the binging has been allowed to develop into a full-blown disorder, its a whole new ballgame.


    I agree. Although, I'm not necessarily opposed to some weighing/measuring in order to keep within caloric needs range -- as long as the calories aren't too low.

    And for some women, a "healthy level of bodyfat" might be a tad more bodyfat than they like? Those whose bodies rebel to uber-leanness -- or who have to practically starve to achieve/maintain such low levels of bodyfat -- might need to learn to appreciate a bit of a softer look if it means being healthier?


    I don't know either. But I've read quite a bit of Scott's stuff on his website and on his FaceBook page. He writes a lot about reasonable expectations and goals for different body types and the psychology behind each person finding her own best healthy approach... and becoming one's personal best without comparing to others. I like him.


    I'm glad that worked for you. That wouldn't work for me if I'm in binge-mode. No way-of-eating has ever calmed the insane, nagging, cravings to eat ungodly amounts of food except to eat ungodly amounts of food. That is why I'm trying to employ the technique that Kathryn Hansen used to get rid of the cravings. Actually, so far - so good. I wouldn't say that I've mastered the technique or gotten rid of the cravings yet -- but they do seem to be much less intense and easier to ignore. Maybe its my trust in the process that is giving me patience to hang in there? Trusting that the cravings will continue to get progessively weaker and weaker is helping me place no importance on them?

    Whatever it is, its been pretty easy to refrain from binging lately. Easier than it has been in a long time. That, in itself, has reduced my caloric intake dramatically.


    I'm glad you like her. Maybe I'll give her more of a chance. Even if I don't relate to her, everyone relates to different people - different concepts. So I'm glad you mentioned her here. Someone else might find her helpful.

    Thanks again for sharing your story. And thank you for your thoughtful insight and suggestions. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  8. mjlivingfit

    mjlivingfit New Member

    13
    0
    1
    Thank you for this post and all the comments!! I really need to read that book!
     
  9. Shekerr

    Shekerr New Member

    19
    1
    3
    thanks for all the posts! It's great to hear everyone's stories, this is how we heal:)
     
  10. ChristineD

    ChristineD makin' a come back

    367
    17
    18
    binge eating is VERY complex and i have spoken to many people, both men and women who are in this sport/lifestyle who have struggled with it or currently still am

    I never had eating issues prior to competiting in 2006 after the show it all started... i had a better " relationship" with food when i was overweight in my teens and 20s then i did as a lean fit figure competitor....this leads ME to believe the "diet mentality" and restriction can be a FACTOR but not the MAIN SOURCE...to me i had to dig REALLLLLLY deep over the last 7 years to figure out the whys; both physiologically and emotitionally why i was turning to foood...

    there are factors that lead one to binge both psych and physical/hormonal you need to listen to your body, research and figure out YOUR whys....no one person will binge for the EXACT same reasons. mine was a combo of restriction for a long time causing hormonal chaos along with some personal factors which were both personal and professional...
    once i was able to figure that out i took the helpful tips that are out there and started to implement them.... my personal experience is that binge eating is HUGE mental roadblock one needs to overcome..... and i cant state the importance of proper nutrition..... REAL nutrition the nutrients and minerals and macros our bodies REQUIRE for survival and proper function that includes eating a VARIETY of foods and not thinking of GOOD vs BAD food....

    hope this helps...at the end of the day when it comes to binge eating you need to have a well rounded balance in life. Emcompassing happiness in your personal and professional life and a positive relationship with others and yourself.....

    again this is MY opinion and experience.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. simba zee

    simba zee New Member

    29
    3
    3
    I just downloaded this to my kindle fire...should be interesting reading. I can definitely use this.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. dreamaxx

    dreamaxx New Member

    1
    0
    1
    Great thread, thanks for posting all your experiences :)
     
  13. jamistar77

    jamistar77 Well-Known Member

    1,804
    26
    48
    WOW Angie! THANK YOU so much for the posts you've written up! They are very well written, and I found myself nodding along with.. ALL of it! I wish I could give you a present! LOL
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. jamistar77

    jamistar77 Well-Known Member

    1,804
    26
    48
    I purchased the kindle version of this book and I've been reading it all day! Thanks for posting about this!b
     
  15. simba zee

    simba zee New Member

    29
    3
    3
    I think I definitely fit into the disordered eating category...but I've been reading up on all the stuff at the FB page and posting and I think I am slowly starting to get a handle on things. I have to admit the idea of eating *normally* again is great..
     
  16. Isabella

    Isabella New Member

    14
    0
    1
    Anyone else have an issue with binging on clean foods as well? People have told me, due to my anorexic past, that I eat to little, and that is why I binge. But I know now that's not the case. I usually binge at night when I'm alone, I can never binge in front of others. I don't really feel lonely either, because I surround myself with fantastic people all day. But I struggle with sitting still just doing nothing ... I have trouble stop eating once I've started. Seriously, I can snack on cold potatoes or empty a can of coconut milk. I can binge on broccoli, like what's up with that?
     
  17. chrysalis1

    chrysalis1 No Matter What

    2,186
    59
    48
    I have binged on rice cakes, oatmeal, protein bars and even chx breasts. I binge to change the way I feel and to get away from difficult emotions. I always say I "got drunk to escape" when i binge on straight sugar or bread products because I know they depress my system to the point to where I go right to sleep , translation : pass out like im drunk and wake up with a hangover. I can use food to change the way I feel, so sometimes it is whatever is handy. I am dealing with my issues , the ones I have binged over,so this are getting a lot better. My last binge about 2weeks ago was over a hurt that I experienced from a male "friend". I felt so many painful emotions at one time that I just wanted to "feel" better, so I ate foods I rarely crave and I felt bettter.

    The sucky part about overeating is that it works in the moment for me to pacify my emotions, it hurts later , meaning after eating that crap2 weeks ago, my period came and the cramps were worse, and muscle recovery took longer, so I was in a lot of physical pain. I remember one time i sent a biweekly and didnt realize my period was coming the next day , and E asked why didnt I wait and I told him that because I had been eating right none of the usual discomfort that preceeds my cycle was there, no cramping, or bloating, or harsh emotional jags.

    So all of that to say, yes i have binged on clean foods because I binge to change the way i feel, not because of a particular food item :)
     
  18. chrysalis1

    chrysalis1 No Matter What

    2,186
    59
    48
    I like that you said this because my very first "bodybuilding diet" 18 years ago was severly restricted 6 days a week and I was ecouraged to have a cheat meal on Sunday and was honestly told to eat as much as I want , all I can for one hour,1lb M&M's if i wanted, etc. I have to honestly say that is when I started binge eating.
    It went from 1 hr on sunday , to all day sun, to Sat (could not longer wait til sun) , sat and sun and so on....
    The is why I like the lbc plan because it doesnt feel restrictive to me for the desire I have for my physical health .
     
  19. Norinicole

    Norinicole New Member

    5
    1
    3
    Thank you SO much to all of the ladies who have contributed their stories.

    I've had series of different food and body image issues. After my second competition in 2010, I finally realized how far I had gotten from who I really was. I wished that I had never competed.

    After trying to figure things out on my own, I finally bought this e-book from Scott Abel. I tell you, it was a tough read. Tough because it really made me aware of how far the diet-mentality had changed my perspective on everything. I still haven't completed all of the exercises, but I'm working through it.

    Thanks again everyone for sharing your stories.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Texaschick

    Texaschick Member

    126
    0
    16
    This is such an inspiring post! I do believe I am "getting better," but I am a far cry from "normal." I remember 10+ years ago talking with my roommate. We would binge on ice cream & then run 15 miles to feel "skinny" again. She asked if I ever got tired of the cycle, if I wanted to just feel good about my body. You know what I said? NO! I don't want to feel good about myself because then I'll get comfortable & I'll get fat. Seriously?! What I wouldn't give to feel happy with my stomach & butt & thighs... But I have so many years of bad habits, I feel like I'll never get to that happy, carefree, normal place.
     

Share This Page