A secret binge eater

(280 Posts)
hurried Thu 12-Sep-13 18:17:25

I am seeking, rather than offering advice. I have to be honest, if I could I would eat all day, and I will often have large amounts of carbs in one sitting. I put my toddler in the car today to drive myself us to a local shop to buy carbs- I have nothing against carbs, I haven't been trying to avoid them, I just started on my child's breakfast biscuits this morning and went into a frenzy, finishing off the whole pack. I was stuffing them as soon as I brought them. I looked in the mirror and saw my child watching me. I felt so ashamed and thought I would be so embarrassed if anyone saw me.

Today was a terrible day. My son has had chicken pox and both been in all week and suddenly it got to me. I can't talk to my GP about this, and I don't have friends that wouldn't judge me for this. So I am seeking support here x

Doshusallie Thu 12-Sep-13 18:42:48

People eat for all sorts of reasons most of them nothing to do with hunger. You need to identify what gap you are trying to fill with food.

I know that sounds is plastic but if you can retrain yourself to treat food as fuel and enjoy it again you will be on your way to sorting this.

I do think you need totalk to someone though. Are you overweight?

Doshusallie Thu 12-Sep-13 18:43:14


Hello hurried another binge eater here. I've recently had hypnotherapy and it's made me a lot calmer around food, and I find that I'm not craving carbs like I used to even with stressful situations.

Big hugs to you, it's a bloody horrible place to be. x

IvanaCake Thu 12-Sep-13 20:50:47

I have no advice but just wanted to tell you that you're not alone. I have a massive problem with binge/emotional eating. I had counselling. Didn't work.

clarinetV2 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:45:03

Hi, hurried, I've historically been a secret binge eater. My mother ate secretly (well, an open secret, we knew not to go into the kitchen in the evenings because she would be wolfing chocolate and ice cream), and by the age of 11 I was sneaking sweets up to my bedroom after school. From late childhood onwards I was embarrassed about eating publicly. For most of my life (I'm late 40s) I've had trouble eating in front of anyone, and I can eat whole loaves of bread, several bars of chocolate, whole packets of biscuits, you name it. I've been embarrassed and ashamed about what I eat and how I look for all my life. So I think I know a lot of how you feel.

I've also had several failed diets. Mostly they've ended when I've plateaued, felt bad about myself, then piled the weight back on through not being able to control the binge eating. I don't know whether weight is a problem for you - it definitely has been for me.

However, for the first time since my first diet 40 years ago, I've now maintained a weight loss plan for over a year and I've lost very close to 6 stone. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure why I've been able to do so much better this time around. I started in August 2012 when I realised that I could no longer go for country walks which I'd used to love doing. I was also finding myself getting the bus for ridiculously short journeys, and the lift breaking down at work (I work on the second floor) was a serious problem for me because I was too unfit to climb the stairs easily, so I had to admit how my eating was impinging on my life. So I booked a lovely and expensive walking holiday abroad over Christmas and New Year, paid for it in advance, knowing I really, really, had to lose weight or I wouldn't enjoy it. I can tell you in more detail the other strategies I used, but I think the point is that I couldn't do it until it was right for me. I think I'm now on top of the binge eating (more or less, though I'm resigned to it being a lifelong thing to stay on top of it) and looking back I wish I'd done this years and years ago, but for whatever reason I didn't/couldn't. I've also learned in the past year to enjoy food 'normally', in the company of other people, and being able to stop eating as well as start.

I don't know whether this is of any help. But I do completely get not wanting to talk to your GP or friends - it's something I've never been able to do either. And I've never talked to anyone in real life about it, though I think that if you're able to, it would be a good thing. It's a horrible, horrible feeling being out of control of your eating, and I get that. But it's actually not immoral - it's just eating. It doesn't make you a bad person, so hang on in there. When the time is right you'll be able to address it in your own way.

hurried Fri 13-Sep-13 07:35:00

poster Doshusallie, I can never tell if it is response to an emotion or I have a hormone trigger, or I'm just very greedy, but it's almost like a switch turns on and I just seek to keep eating. I think it is simplistic, I eat to hide many emotions, and if I am honest, at the time, I enjoy it, I am on an absolute high eating, then my stomach hurts and I still want to carry on. It's like I go in a frantic mode to find more food. If I am stopped for any reason, I have to face emotions and quite often get really angry or cry. I think it's associated with low mood, stress- my life shouldn't be stressful! but I can never place what it was that set me off. The only thing I would say, is sometimes even in a good mood, we'll have other mum's here and they bring cake, I have one bite and think I want to eat it all! It's like I'm much greedier than other people. I think I was brought up to believe women shouldn't get angry, my husband says I am very moody, and I think quite often I'm trying to stop feeling moody.

The most ignorant thing is I always justify it, I always think one won't hurt. I nearly always then go into eat everything mode. It is like a huge blanket and at the time I feel soothed, lovely. I love my family more than anything but sometimes I look at the clock - this week especially as I haven't been out of the house much and think what have I got to look forward to today- and it's lunch, or a snack....! I love cuddles and playing with my son, but also his mum and try and make sure he behaves etc and it's not always really easy - although can't moan, he's pretty amazing when I reflect on it!

poster clarinetV2 I am so happy to hear you are tackling this- that's amazing. The odd thing is it must feel so euphoric to feel you don' live for food. I hate to say it, when a family death, that almost snapped me out of it, and I hate myself that something so severe had to happen, to make me not live for food. Then I reverted back. Did you have any friends or support Clarinet? I so admire you- well done.

A hard thing is, and you won't believe this but I am not massively overweight. The stuff I overeat can be really "healthy" it can be multigrain bagels, it can be wholegrain toast and oatcakes! I just love food. But it turns into something sinister, as my stomach will be painful and I feel too sick to do much, it's like my day is then written off as I feel so ill.

The only other person who knew was my mum when I was younger, i once stole all the penicillin that was for my siblings and drank the lot. i also used to binge on cakes, at a very early age.

Clarinet, how do you cope around lots of food? ie I am at home with my son and we have other children here at weekends and they love carbs, white bread etc, I don't know how to just say no- well I do, but have no willpower, the willpower will last until ten am....

I have always done this, I can't blame anyone else, and ladies I am disgusting, i am shoving it in as quickly as possible. It ca be after a meal I have had with my family, or friends.

I once told the doctor about it when I was younger and I felt this led to a black mark next to my name. I had hyperemesis when I was pregnant and when I was in hospital the doctor said to another i had a history of binge eating, I felt, maybe I am oversensitive, that they thought I was making myself sick. It was horrific- I would just like to add I wasn't, and I think they saw that when I was still sick when they were pumping anti emetics into me not having had any food- not that I'm bitter about that or anything!!!

Sunshine supernova, that's fantastic, how did you find the hypnotherapist?

Ivanacake I'm sorry you are going through this too. BIg hugs, if I find a solution or anything that helps I will share. You're not alone either.

The worst thing is, I live in a lovely area, have what should be a lovely life. I expect I have mild depression as I don't look forward to anything any more- apart from food...

I used to like to go for a quick run, but my knees aren't up to it.

I have felt so lonely and ashamed, and I can't tell you how kind it is to receive support here. Thank you.

hurried Fri 13-Sep-13 07:36:34

Ps I also meant to say, I have sort of told my husband and he just thinks it's ridiculous. I am not massively overweight, size 14, which is quite lucky I guess at the moment, but I think if I was size 20 he would help me more he just says if it makes me that unhappy I should enforce willpower on myself. I think he is slightly aghast... I can get through a packet of biscuits and whole box of cereal- I hang my head in shame.

hurried I can't pretend to be an expert but I agree you do sound depressed and are self medicating with food. Depression isn't only something that affects people with terrible lives, your life can be absolutely perfect on paper but its an illness like any other and you need to speak to your GP about it.

Do you have anything else in your life except family/home? Do you work or have a hobby? Get a break from the toddler? If you are feeling like life only revolves around other people I understand your depression. You need to find a space for yourself and what you want to do, whether disappearing to a coffee shop to read a magazine alone, or exercise, or further education that excites you for instance, do this rather than seeking out food if possible.

Wrt to the willpower argument, you are never going to win a battle with yourself! This may sound bonkers but have you considered actually giving yourself "permission" to eat whatever you want and enjoy it, rather than having that internal battle of will then giving in to the "frenzy"? When you feel inclined to start eating, stop, breathe, ask yourself if you and your body really wants what is in your head, or would you rather go read that magazine/swim/run instead (if that is possible). If you decide yes you do really want the food, sit, eat it, enjoy and savour it, eat as slowly as you can and feel how your body is reacting to it and how you feel afterwards. think of it as an experiment, do it for a few weeks then see how you are doing...try and remember it is just food....I think when you mentally label food as something you shouldn't have you are giving it a power it really doesn't/shouldn't possess?

Hi hurried I googled one locally and found one who does cognitive hypnotherapy. We spent most of the three sessions talking about my history.

Big hugs x

hurried have you read 'fat is a feminist issue'? it explores some of the possible reasons behind binge eating and some potential strategies. another book you might try is 'overcoming binge eating' by christopher fairburn - it's a book that GPs can 'prescribe' from the library, but anyone can borrow it and it should be easily available at your local library.

they won't necessarily 'cure' your behaviour, but they may be a route to exploring some of your triggers and patterns, which may help alongside any other sort of treatment you might try

specialsubject Fri 13-Sep-13 13:04:13

as a minor issue, remember that there are two types of carbs and the difference often gets lost in the diet babble.

you want about 40% of your daily food intake to be made up of complex carbs: bread, pasta, rice, spuds, and as much veg as you like. This stuff breaks down slowly and keeps you fuller for longer.
what you need to limit are the simple carbs: biscuits, cakes, sweets.

bleeding obvious, of course.

this is less to do with diet, more to do with behaviour. the two aren't unrelated (and as a long-term low carber i fully subscribe to the 'carbohydrates have an impact on your blood sugar that makes it harder to control cravings and easier to overeat' viewpoint), but ultimately you can binge in secret on any foods.

captainmummy Fri 13-Sep-13 13:34:04

OP I also think you are depressed, clinically. It doesn't matter that the food you are shovelling in is 'healthy' - if you carry on like that you will have all sorts of health problems, and not just obesity and diabetes . See your Dr and tell them this story;- don't let them write it off as another binge - it is affecting your whole life.

We are constantly bombarded with carbs and most ofthem taste lovely- as a low-carber myself I am aware of the need to eat 'mindfully' - do I really want this? Is it good for me? Am I hungry? No to any of these - and I'd find something else to do.

SpecialSubject - carbs are carbs. Bread, pasta, biscuits, sweets - all prcessed food, and complex or not, we do not need them. And they do not fill you up - they cause your blood sugars to spike, and then crash. Then you are hungry again - and hit the biscuits.

Hurried, you are NOT disgusting. You have a problem that a lot of us suffer from. I am so sorry the doctors gave you a hard time when you were pregnant. That was horribly unprofessional of them.

I used to binge on 'healthy' foods, particularly complex carbs. For a long time I wasn't very overweight and it didn't seem to be a big problem to anyone else. I think I fairly successfully hid how bad I could be. Eventually it began to catch up with me and I ended up a size 22 which at 5 feet tall is very large.

I read a lot about the issue, got some help with my depression and gradually got it reasonably under control. My absolute saving grace was going low carb though which got rid of the sugar crash issue which would still sometimes cause a binge. I started low carbing a year and a half ago and have only binged once since then.

I second (third?) you making an appointment to see your Doctor and get some help but if you really feel you cannot talk to your GP about this then see if you can find a therapist with experience of eating disorders.

Good luck and try not to be so hard on yourself.

HessianWeave Fri 13-Sep-13 15:45:47

I'm struggling with this too. Have been for over 30 years.
I haven't got anything to add because I haven't yet been able to stop binge eating, just to let you know you're not alone OP.

hurried Sat 14-Sep-13 13:32:51

Whippoorwhill, that's great you have tackled the BE. It's interesting, you were like me and binged even on the complex carbs. I wonder if all affects the serotonin levels in some way. I am glad you have your depression under control and only having BE in a yar and a half....wow! well done you.

I went to see the doctor yesterday, I couldn't tell him outright, I felt a complete idiot but he thought I sounded depressed and prescribed fluoxetine.

Hessaianweave I'm so sorry you have this too. I'm always here to chat to, and it seems others on here have tackled it which really provides hope.

Captainmummy, I spoke to the doc yesterday and he thought I sounded depressed too, see above.

Williwaggledagger - I think I read the Chrstopher Fairburn book some time ago. I'm sure it advised letting the foods you binged on into the house, I did this and seem to just binge on them all the time when I had access to them. i might have remembered this incorrectly though, so forgive me. I haven't read fat is a feminist issue- you'd recommend it?

Sunshinesupernova- that's great, I will do the same....

asleepwhenidie- I think I might be depressed too, but I have done this for so long. I wish I could be the savour every moment, but it's not really even like a true hunger, I would say it's almost like, at the time I am getting a high off the food - I know that's dramatic and I'm not blaming something else as taking over- I just seem to be in a frenzy at the time. It's awful. I think you are really insightful, I am at home with my child a lot, and I do have him in nursery for a few hours each week, but he hasn't been well. I don't have anything I look forward to anymore- does anyone? I often think of something that I could do and then think I don't want to, so I'm my own worst enemy. I mentioned this is my last post, but I hate myself for it but sometimes I look at the clock, and I think how can I get through the day and I think "lunch soon", or I have had a tough morning with my LO I think about when he naps what I can eat. I feel like a spoilt child, and my son brings lots of pleasure and love that I reciprocate- I hope! and I love being with him I just don't enjoy doing much. I don't enjoy meeting with other mums here. It's probably my frame of mind but I find their energy and enthusiasm tough. I hate myself even typing these things as I don't like what I have become. If I wake early, I think about what I can eat when I get up...!

I've been quite overwhelmed with the caring, thoughtful replies I have had. Thank you, everyone of your comments I consider as part of answers to a problem I can't solve by myself.

hurried Sat 14-Sep-13 13:33:52

I meant to write, " as part of the answer to a problem I can't solve myself"

Hurried well done for going back to the GP. Great that he has recognised the depression and prescribed medication - you feeling like you have nothing to look forward to/having no enthusiasm for anything certainly sounds like classic symptoms of depression.

Hopefully the medication will work and start to take effect soon, in addition though, please try and use the time whilst DS is at nursery to do something that is just for you. My strong suggestion would be for this to be a form of exercise - the MH boards will be packed with people attesting to the mental health benefits of this. Even if you just start with a half hour walk it should help. Is there any exercise you used to do/enjoy or still do? Anything you ever fancied trying?

Your description of feeling 'high' when bingeing doesn't sound strange at all. In Caitlin Moran's book 'How to be a woman' she describes food and overeating as the drug of choice for many women - women who have children/partners/parents depending on them as caregivers who need to be sober and responsible at all times - so they can't/won't seek comfort alcohol or drugs as others might, but choose food instead. Added to this is the intrinsic comfort factor in the process of eating, increased by the comfort attached to carbs for you. Almost all of us have complicated relationships with food, it is so bound up with our being, body image, self-worth, love, comfort...the list goes on. Unsurprisingly, many people's relationship, like yours, takes it to extremes sad. At the moment I would try and accept this aspect of yourself, please try not to hate yourself if/when you binge. See how you get on with the medication and regular exercise and think again about how you need to tackle the bingeing after a month or two? You may find, if you are less depressed, it is less of an issue anyway.

Good luck, please keep us updated with how you are getting on. xxxx

jungletoes Sat 14-Sep-13 14:41:40

I also would recommend "Fat is a Feminist Issue", it helped me to understand my problems with food. (I would diet and then go through periods when I couldn't stop eating, could eat a whole packet of biscuits or a packet of cakes after fish and chips.) The book made me realise I was "stuffing down" emotions, especially anger, and also that I had to allow myself anything I wanted to eat. THere are no bad foods. What I held on to most was this mantra; eat when hungry, stop when no longer hungry BUT eat whatever you fancy. Have been a steady weight ever since.

hurried Sat 14-Sep-13 21:43:20

Hi Sleepwhenidie and jungletoes,

I feel a bit of a failure having to take antidepressants and considering I have always been like this, I am worried it will be a life long thing, but I know I need help and actually, it's not fair on my family me being so miserable and secretive.

I'm trying to accept this but can't help but analyse as to what the cause is and how to go forward from here. I appreciate dieting can lead to bingeing, and I must admit, going too low in calories, in my experience can cause me to binge, however, also getting relaxed around all foods doesn't seem helpful either (maybe I psychologist would argue that maybe I do have a deep routed issue with carbs and I can never be relaxed), but when I have taken this latter approach and am more relaxed, eat what I want when I want, I go into compulsive eating mode. I am wondering Sleepwhenidie if depression is the major cause, I booked my son into a creche at the gym this am - and went for a run, my knees nearly caved in but I just went anyway, I also started on the fluoxetine (I appreciate it takes weeks to work), and not sure if that curbed my appetite too, but I wasn't too interested in food today. Maybe it was because I was out and about and busy too, but I didn't have that really tired, low feeling. I also think I'm in shock as to how bad I have let it become. I do notice, even when being mindful about eating, I am a born foodie, I have a little light in my brain that tells me "this is great" lol, even if it's a salad! However, it's when I am seeking the carbs that I go into a strange mode, it's so odd as my stomach will hurt, I will feel really sick and know that I won't be able to sleep the following eve, yet I do it anyway.

Any way, I am rambling. I am going to try and stick to a lower carb but regular diet, not placing any restrictions on myself but I thought if I want cake, bread, porridge- even, I will have it out and when eating in the company of others. It sounds crazy, but so is driving myself and my toddler to a shop for excessive amounts of food. We had extra children here during the summer and there have been lots of biscuits, cakes etc and I think, as much as I wish I could say it would do me good psychologically to just have one bit, at this point in time that doesn't work (just thinking how I brought a few packs of rocky roads and flapjacks and I thought I would be relaxed with myself over the holidays,.... I really don't think the children had that many, put it that way!

I reflect a little, I was a skinny child, as I said, I'm not too heavy now, but I did have some odd habits at an early age, my grandma brought me the largest sized popcorn at the cinema- I ate it all and was sick!, I drank all the sugared medicine in the house when I was four, my mum said I picked all the icing of the baptism cake for my brother, I used to go to my grandma's house and she would buy fresh bread, I would eat a lot and just fall asleep during the day - things that make everyone laugh now, but I find slightly worrying, I also think I wonder if I got away with it because I was slim, if I had been overweight that wouldn't have been amusing, naughty behaviour, it would be what it is... scary!

Yet Jungletoes, I think that is really poignant - eat when hungry, I can't think of the last time I was truly hungry, you know the gurgling tummy empty stomach feeling. I am actually rarely truly hungry.

Thank you again for your support.

2muchmess Sun 15-Sep-13 00:03:16

Hi hurried. A lot of what you have written resonates with me and I understand what you're going through. I recently read a book called "beyond temptation" by Sophie and Audrey boss. The first time I read it I found it very frightening as I have been restricting food for a long time to offset the binging. But I really urge you to give it a try. It has changed my whole attitude to food, and they also have a website beyondchocolate.co.uk with quite a helpful forum and all sorts of resources eg. Worksheets, to work through things. It's not a quick fix, but little by little I am becoming better with food. Feel free to pm me if you want to know more.

I know Audrey Boss quite well 2much! She is fascinating to talk to about this stuff.

I am about to start a nutritional psychology course, run by Marc David. He has written two books, these which are so interesting. I'd definitely recommend the 'Nourishing Wisdom' one. His theories are very similar to Audrey's. a calorie is not simply a calorie, if you put poor quality calories into your body then you still feel hungry because you aren't getting the necessary nutrients....so you eat more rubbish...and get caught in a vicious circle. Also (sounds contradictory, but) no food is bad or good. It is the same with anything, try not thinking about it and your mind wanders back - ban a food and you will crave it and eventually give in. He advocates stepping back, giving yourself the freedom to eat whatever your body craves, but you must first really be sure that you want it, then eat it slowly, enjoy it, without guilt and then try to assess your body's reaction to it.

Hurried please don't feel like a failure because you are depressed, that makes as much sense as feeling a failure because you have flu or a broken leg! Feel proud that you are addressing it for yourself and your family. With regard to the stuff about when you were little, once you feel the depression is being managed well, CBT might be something to try?

One more thing, don't push yourself too hard with the running, don't run on consecutive days if your knees are struggling, you will end up injuring yourself - couch to 5k may be a good idea to make sure you are building up gradually, could you swim on some days? Or do a class or DVD even? Yoga might be good?

hurried Mon 16-Sep-13 08:34:50

Sleepwhenidie - thank you for your support.

I feel quite confused a to the way forward. I feel should I eat when I am hungry? I don't think I consider dark chocolate a bad food, but I still eat quite a lot!

I don't want to ban anything but as soon as I say this to myself, I'm very ignorant, I have a little voice, when I'm feeling low that says, go on have some! Maybe I'm in denial or I have a very negative way of thinking at the moment.

I thought I would try low carb but allow myself to have the odd carb when out...not be too obsessive about it. I will have to start reading the books, it's odd, it almost feels me with fear reading them, I'm scared they will say just bring all that stuff into the house and have some when you feel like it. That hasn't worked for me before, I am a porridge, multigrain bread, white bread binger- and I don't usually ban the whole grains. Sorry I have said this before. I just despair at myself. I had a quick look at the beyondchocolate.co.uk website. That sounds interesting and I totally relate, I think if I only ate when truly hunger that would be great- I think, if I'm honest, I rarely eat because of hunger. i find mornings and afternoons really hard, yet in the evening I loose the urge, I usually feel goo and I rarely binge in the evenings-oddly.

There must be something twisted in my head as, as I said, i feel nervous about even reading a book that advises to bring my potential binge foods into the house. Yet I am a complete contradiction, part of me loves to be healthy then another part is so destructive.

hurried - it's interesting that you say that you don't have the urge so much in the evenings, because i think it's the opposite for many. great that you've identified that, because are you in a position to change your routine in any way in the mornings/afternoons? i realise if you're looking after others and ferrying them about you may not have too much control over this, but i'm thinking along the lines of taking different routes, do a different activity, invite someone over, engineer things so that you're not in a place where bingeing is easy or comfortable for you. at least part of the behaviour is habit, so breaking that can really help (sort of getting into the habit of not bingeing)

i don't think it's necessarily a bad thing not to bring the binge foods into the house if that doesn't work for you as it does for some - after all, i think most alcoholics are advised not to keep alcohol in the house until they're well into recovery. all these books are inevitably not tailored specifically to you - you can read them and work out which bits will really help you and which bits won't

take it one step at a time - don't think about the longterm, that's too scary (though of course nothing wrong with thinking about what kind of eating behaviour you would ideally like to have in the future and how you could work towards that). just say to yourself that today you won't binge. or not even that - this morning you won't binge, or for the next hour or half-hour you won't binge. teeny tiny baby steps

Rebelrebel Mon 16-Sep-13 10:38:16

Hi hurried, just wanted to say that it's totally ok to be confused, because there isn't one clear way forward - you are describing addiction, and there isn't a consensus on how to treat it. You will need to do a Bit of searching to find the right technique for you. Personally, I think Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen ( she also has a blog) explains the reasons people binge really clearly and her story is very interesting. Others will go down the Overeaters Anonymous route. Hope you find something that clicks for you xx

Hurried I'll say again that I'm not an expert but I think you have two issues going on, first the depression, then the bingeing. It seems highly likely that the former is triggering or at least exacerbating the latter. So it makes sense to me to try and tackle one thing at a time.

Give the medication 2-4 weeks to take effect. During this time, cultivate an exercise habit and as much as possible, as Williewaggler says, use displacement activities if you start feeling like bingeing. I would avoid bringing your classic binge foods into the house as much as you can, however don't classify them as 'banned' or 'bad' either. Give yourself a break from any kind of dieting, try to concentrate on what you feel your body needs, what would nourish it best, and eat that - be kind to yourself. If you binge, then don't punish yourself, just move on. Read all the books that have been recommended here and consider which resonates most for you/which you feel might help - then approach the bingeing using whatever method you choose?

You say you are a foodie, perhaps challenge yourself to try and create meals that are as delicious and nutritious as they can be - for me that would mean great quality protein, organic veg (see how many you can include in one meal), lovely cheese (I'm thinking maybe aubergine parmigiana with gooey mozzarella and parmesan - yum) or sauces but little or no starchy (particularly processed) carbs - but if you fancy a huge baked potato or bowl of pasta for lunch or dinner one day, have it! The world will not fall apart smile.

hurried Wed 18-Sep-13 17:27:00

I will definitely read all the books mentioned and give you all feedback. I'm really touched, I have had a lifetime of struggling with this and never spoken to anyone in depth about it. I came back to reading all your posts again today as I slightly fell off the wagon this morning but I think I had not organised a busy morning, and my husband brought a loaf of fresh seeded bread home, I am very stupid, I had the "just a few slices, no food is banned... and just carried on. My LO was up int he night a few times and I don't think helped the resolve.

I think the food idea of getting into making low carb meals sounds great and I love cheese but don't usually eat it.

I think the teeny tiny steps idea also is great. As the bigger picture terrifies me.

I will read the brain over binge book!

Hello Hurried. Your posts resonate with me too.
I should say I've not found my way through this yet, but the Fairburn book and Brain Over Binge are both brilliant. Fairburn takes you through a 6 (?) step programme, and I don't remember him saying to have the stuff in the house. In fact he says 'limit your stock of dangerous foods', certainly in the early days of working through his self-help programme.

I've also read another book called Overcoming Overeating, by Jane Hirschmann which advised to stock up on the tempting stuff. Well I stocked up and went into the biggest binges of my life.
I also didn't find the Beyond Chocolate book by Audrey and Sophie Boss helpful at all. I did their e-course several years ago and just gained more weight. Oh I did find their advice to 'Be Your Own Guru' helpful, it helped me move away from Beyond Chocolate. To be fair to the authors, Intuitive Eating just did not work for me, and that's what their book is based on.

Anyway the Fairburn book is called 'overcoming binge eating' not to be confused with the other. He's a Professor of Psychiatry at Oxford and one of the world's leading experts in eating disorders.
The problem that I've had trying to follow his programme is that it's quite slow and I get impatient and just want to be slim and stop binge eating NOW. It doesn't work like that.

As someone else pointed out, there are different views on this problem. And we each have to find what works for us. Some say it's caused by eating specific types of food, some say it's caused by restriction, some say that Overeaters Anonymous addiction model is the way to go. I think it's an addiction but I far prefer the Kathryn Hansen approach to it in Brain Over Binge.

Anyway, I've written an essay, sorry! Read all you can, try different things, find what works for you, and keep posting here. I've marked my place on the thread so I'll be interested to keep up with your progress.

hurried Thu 19-Sep-13 18:14:36


Thank you for your response. I'm so overwhelmed that people take the time out to respond with such thought, and compassion!

I'm sorry to hear you suffer from this too. I am like you, impatient (maybe that's part of it!), I do know, that don't binge on foods that I necessarily think are bad, I maybe do label some foods bad i.e., cupcakes, which I probably shouldn't, but these aren't necessarily the foods I binge on - btw, if I had a load of cupcakes in the house, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to resist! As I said, it's been things like bread, oatcakes, cereals, not burgers and chips, but of course, it can be very high sugar foods like biscuits, cakes too. I'm not too picky!!!

I tried to put my higher brain into action this morning, I thought I would take a Previous poster's advice and distract myself by going for a walk. I did, but stopped for breakfast and ended up snacking all day. Interesting you found keeping "binge foods" in the house didn't work. It's quite hard to do with a LO. I think thing's like restriction make it worse for me, but certainly aren't the cause, as I can overeat for days, and not following restriction. In fact, the worst thing I can do is to not be mindful, I would just keep going. To be honest, food cheers me up. As I eat it, I'm not thinking I'm forcing this down, I feel slightly euphoric and there is the urge to keep going, despite tummy pains etc. It is absolute gluttony. Maybe I need to strengthen my mind. I feel pretty weak, but like OP's have highlighted, I think I have low mood too and it's hard to know if this is a cause... I tried to just chill out around food, and it doesn't work, like what happened to you, I just binge more than ever. Maybe it's just the stage I'm at. I will certainly make a list of all books and read them with an open mind.

Thanks again for all replies. It's been a a great support.x

hurried Thu 19-Sep-13 18:25:42

PS I think Kathryn Hansen's idea of not binge eating NOW resonates with me, I think thinking of it as something I can do later maybe helpful. I guess this also focuses on small steps as Williwagledagger suggested, thinking I won't do it for the next few hours. Putting it off. The thing I find hard is that compulsive urge at the time... especially when feeling low and tired, any way, lots if homework to do

Since reading Brain Over Binge, nearly two years ago now, I've noticed a difference. I do still binge though, but the amounts are considerably less than before. Not sure about frequency.

It's not easy engaging the higher brain over the 'lizard' brain. I call that part 'Sybil' wink. And sometimes I find myself saying 'I know that I don't have to binge or give in to the urge, but I WANT to anyway'.
But as I said, I have noticed an improvement, and hopefully you will find it helpful longer term too.

I don't binge on complex carbs, only ever high sugar/fat foods, so it's easier for me to just keep them out of the house. It must be difficult when it's 'healthy' food that you binge on and so you can't help but have it in the house.

Let us know how you get on with your reading.

How are you doing Hurried? Just checking to wave hello smile

hurried Mon 23-Sep-13 08:56:21

Hi Sleepwhenidie! (and everyone else who has kindly posted on this link).

I had the best weekend for ages. I don't know if it is because my husband gave me lots of "me" time (thank goodness for sport on the TV!), I went to a yoga/Tai Chi class at the gym and really enjoyed it, and went for a coffee by myself afterwards. I am still overeating (i.e. I am having, I estimate 3000 calories a day but I'm going to tackle this later, and I think the way I'll do that is to focus on low carb). My frame of mind feels different but I'm not sure if this is temporary. I had a low day Friday and BE, but my son was up all night, the night before. I am starting to identify triggers, and certainly tiredness is a huge one- HerdyHerdwick, my lizard brain takes over when I'm tired. I know I haven't "recovered" in two days (!) and brought two walnut rolls yesterday and ate them as soon as I got in, despite telling myself I would save them for soup the next day! So I still have a long way to go, but I just thought, oh well it's only food. I have also been focusing on time with my son and I this weekend I didn't have that frantic low feeling, searching for food. I was also surrounded by kid's stuff, nutella (gulp), white bread, tortillas, cakes- not easy stuff to be around, especially as I was preparing it for children. However, it helped knowing I was going out.

I don't know if the antidepressants are kicking in. I am adding more protein to the diet too. As I said I probably am eating too much, and this will obviously lead to a little weight gain but it is an improvement on that out of control, sick from already having eaten yet carrying on in desperate mission to search for any more carbs thing- that didn't happen this weekend.

So far what has helped:

1. Antidepressants?
2. Having time to myself, despite feeling very guilty (leaving my husband at home with lots of children by himself!!)
3. Getting out of the house - planning something to do, ie, I had the exercise class, I couldn't have a massive breakfast prior to it, or I would have felt sick. I also planned an afternoon coffee and said to myself I could have a high protein chocolate bar then, it didn't happen but having an afternoon treat planned, helped.
4. Postponing the binge, I.e, I 'll eat it later (I have to say, when I have been really down I very much doubt I could do this, I had days of feeling so low and tired I would do anything to help me function, I would wake up and think I couldn't face the day - ironically, BE doesn't help me function but the craving for carbs, when feeling down is overwhelming- so maybe the antidepressants are helping with this one)
5. When I did overeat this weekend, I didn't follow with the thoughts that "I have to eat everything", I just thought maybe I needed it.
6. An afternoon sleep - oh I know it's indulgent, but I felt so much better!
7. Focusing more on low carb meals (slight problem is I'm still eating the carbs, I don't wan to be too restrictive but I will definitely limit them being in the house, I hate to admit it, but if they are there, I think I keep proving to myself, I'll eat them)
8. The baby steps, I have to just last the next hour without BE- rather than I have to be like this forever.

For the first time for many years, after the exercise class I started thinking about eating healthily and looking after myself (food usually has no other function than to lift my mood and energy!). I am not fooled into thinking this is how it will be for the long term, I may not even last until this afternoon without BE, but it seemed exciting to think I may start to look after myself and look nice. However, I am aware I have to be careful with this way of thinking too- does that make sense.

What doesn't help
1. Lack of sleep
2. Low mood - obviously
3. Having food there- I was in a good mood yesterday, but when I got home and made my son supper (and the other children) I reached for the bread rolls ate them, and finished of my son's food! So I am impulsive, when it's there in front of me, I can't rely on my willpower.
4. Stress of any sort
5. 3pm - the witching hour, I get a predictable slump at this time and terrible cravings.

I think learning to cope with number 4 will be a huge challenge. I'm quite a sensitive person, I don't know if that's been exasperated by low moods, but I have obviously had an "easy weekend". I haven't been perfect, but I haven't driven myself off, or interrupted daily life, on a manic mission to find binge foods.

I am also in the realisation, that I'm in a good mood at the moment. Life will bring up lots of challenges and I'm under no illusions. I haven't got it sussed yet - I'm not sure I ever will, but it felt like I was living a little this weekend.

I really have felt less alone with your posts. I don't know anyone close to me who is a BE. I can't really tell if antidepressants are helping, my doctor also put me on cerazette as she said she felt that my hormones were hugely affecting things. I think my appetite may have increased slightly, but it's not a mad out of control feeling.

I haven't read all the books yet, a few snippets of a few.

Thank you all x

hurried Mon 23-Sep-13 08:59:50

PS aubergine parmigiana for supper tonight!

SPBisResisting Mon 23-Sep-13 09:11:55

Getting on this thread and will post properly later. My bingeing seems very different in that I only binhe on stuff I like and enjoy - the temptation thing - but it is also definitely linked to mood and tiredness - but obviously a vicious cycle as there's nothing more likely to depress me than the morning after a binge day.
Your last post sounds really positive. Let this be thr beginning of the end of your bingeing!

Hurried that all sounds fantastic, well done!

I really think that lack of sleep is an absolute killer, it has been proven that it increases appetite and inclination for sweet and stodgy food, so you are far from alone with that. I think it's great that you are getting some time to yourself - do not feel guilty - everyone in your family benefits from you being happier and healthier! Also that you are looking at food (at least some of the time) as something that can nourish and help your body and mind. And recognising triggers is great progress. All small steps that are positive!

Re the 3pm slump, maybe that is when you should have a planned snack - prepare or plan a choice of two - one sweet/whatever you feel you are craving (though I would still try and include a bit of protein with it) and one healthier one. When you hit that wall, make your choice and don't feel guilty if it's the first. Sometimes a piece of cake or chocolate can lift and comfort you a bit, what you want to avoid is 2 or 3 pieces if cake, that out of control feeling and true overeating.

Keep going, so pleased for you about the weekend smile.

hurried Wed 25-Sep-13 12:07:31

A Lapse. I had been following a bit of a plan and being doing really well, I even had some packets of chocolate biscuits and peanut butter here that I hadn't been noticing. Last night my LO was up until 2am and we got up at 6am. I just felt tired and awful this am. I lapsed. I knew this would happen and it's my responsibility I just let myself off the hook at the time. If it's there, and I'm in the house at some point my resolve weakens. I try to think it's only food but there will be consequences ie huge health problems if I keep doing this. I had been so much better though- I thought AD maybe helping. I haven't been banning any foods and I have found eating regularly had worked, I had also noticed just getting up and out of the house straight after breakfast helps.

Feel a bit ruined at the moment though, it's madness, and so contradictory, it makes me so unhappy in the longterm. I try not to feel too guilty but it is a lot of calories in one sitting, I try not to think about calories and I certainly haven't been inadvertently going under what I need to promote a binge. I can't have anything in the house.

hurried Wed 25-Sep-13 12:17:23

Apologies for the rather hurried post above, I live my nickname, obviously, I have a LO how likes to delete my posts for me :-)

hurried, it's ok! you had a rough night and unsurprisingly felt low and tired this morning. Forget it and move on, focus on how well you did for almost a week, that's fantastic and now you know you can do it again.

It's going to be a long process, changing your relationship with food, don't put huge pressure on yourself to change overnight. Would it help to think of yourself as a baby learning to walk? When they stumble and fall you don't get cross with them and tell them to give up trying do you? Be the same way with yourself, kind, patient and encouraging progress smile.

hurried Wed 25-Sep-13 12:27:50

I really should be paying you! Great advice and you make me feel positive, thank you. I feel this huge guilt though, I probably had 6000 kcal's gulp. Literally, oh well, no little black dress for me this winter but at least I have managed to focus more on living for other things this week. :-)


Have you got some time to yourself and/or something nice (date with DH perhaps) planned for the weekend?

hurried Wed 25-Sep-13 12:49:05

No, I think that's hard too, the DH is really busy at work, and we have lost our babysitter- gone to university. Funnily enough, I was feeling a bit flat about the rest of the week/weekend. I think the antidepressants may have affected my mood in a positive way though, I'm starting to want to go out. I didn't feel like anything before.

You were right with your theory that lack of sleep is a killer, despite eating so much I don't even really feel stuffed, I even thought about polishing off my LO's leftovers, when I wasn't thinking!

Sleepwhenidie, and PP's, a mistake I made today was having it there, and not having another activity to keep me busy, apart from the washing which I shoved in the machine, then ignored. I still feel awful from sleep deprivation. Plan for the future; as I'm bound to have a bad night again, just don't keep in the house. Other days I have said to myself if I want something sweet I'll go out at three pm, with my LO and we will share a cake or I'll buy a chocolate protein bar (these really give a sweet hit, and I think the protein stops me wanting more). I also found planning a little walk with LO after the afternoon snack helps. Just keeping busy really and having little food breaks to look forward to helped this was focusing on advice from PP's and I had loved the taking time cooking low carb meals, the aubergine parmigiana was divine! so those things had worked, it still feels it's all been about food but it's worked up until this point.

sad. Can you grab a nap, does LO still sleep in the day? You should try too as well, or use CBeebies to babysit while you doze on the sofa for half an hour?

Maybe book a session or two in the gym crèche over the next few days?

And get on to finding a new babysitter - very important!!

Big hi to hurried...how ya doing?

hurried Sat 28-Sep-13 08:22:23

Hi Sleepwhenidie,

I am sure other posters will be getting bored of mine now, I was going to pm you but then I thought some may be taking a personal interest too.

I have been much better mentally, thank you. I did have a slip up whereby an entire, yes an entire pack of biscuits and peanut butter. Afterwards I always wonder "whatever possessed me". That day I also polished off all my LO's leftovers.

I'm focusing on success being not bingeing, and I have to keep reminding myself of that. Keeping busy during peak times helps, ie 11am and 3pm - I have no idea why, but these are my energy slump times.

I am trying low carb. I have really loved classes at the gym and when I'm there I feel motivation to look after myself. These aren't particularly cardio classes.

hurried Sat 28-Sep-13 08:22:44

I will post again later, the children and OH are up!

I'm still reading, hurried. smile

Hi Hurried - (and Herdy) - I wouldn't worry about other people being bored, they can hide the thread if they want to smile.

Glad to hear you are feeling better. If you want me to have a look at your typical day or two's food I'd be happy to do that in case there is anything in there that might contribute to the slump you are feeling between 11-3pm. Let me know if you are taking any supplements too.

It's great news that you are enjoying the exercise classes grin.

What led to your 'slip up' with the biscuits? Were there any obvious triggers that you spotted? How did you feel, before, during and afterwards?

hurried Sat 28-Sep-13 19:05:08

HerdyHenwick, well done with the reading. How are you?

The biscuit day... to be honest, I was at home all day and I'd had little sleep. I think it was impulsive- they were there and I thought why not, yet I hadn't even thought about them other days.

Ah well, breakfast is often a coffee with skimmed milk (a cup of skimmed milk) and I know this is awful, but a few square of 90 percent cocoa chocolate. Then maybe a small amount of porridge and an apple.

Lunch is often a wholegrain bagel with chicken and salad with a decaff coffee. I went for a Wagamama's for lunch today and felt like sleeping all afternoon! I think carbs at lunch time probably aren't the best thing to have, but they're easy as my LO eats it too and I often crave bread at lunch time.

Snack - dark choc or fruit and hot milk on a non bingey day...

Supper is usually soup, casserole, salad- fish, chicken, curry... anything goes! Low fat yogurt and berries for dessert. I usually have some carbs with the evening meal too, sweet potato, rice etc, because oddly, I don't sleep well without them in the evening.

It's strange with breakfast, I know it's not ideal, but if I force myself to have fried eggs say early..my appetite is huge again by ten am.

Hi Hurried I've just got in and have read through your food 'diary'. I am struggling to see how you think you are getting to 3000 calories but that's sort of by the by....what jumps out at me the most is that it seems very low in fat, although it may be a little misleading due to lack of detail (eg what is your porridge made with, what is with the chicken in your bagel). The other thing is that you seem to have a very good sense of what effect different foods have on your body and that is so encouraging in terms of you getting a handle on your diet and bingeing smile.

Can I suggest something that may sound insane to you at first? Add more fat into your meals....suggestions:

Breakfast- Make the coffee and the porridge with full fat milk (or at least semi skimmed if you can't bear changing that dramatically wink). Try and drop - gradually if you want - the chocolate. Add some nuts or a sprinkling of granola to the porridge. Try poached eggs or make scrambled eggs made with 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites and maybe some smoked salmon. Have the eggs with a slice of buttered (real butter!) granary or rye toast/bread. Other good breakfasts - a slice of granary/rye toast with peanut butter and half a banana or a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt (Greek yoghurt is higher in protein than other types) with berries and 8-10 almonds.

Lunch - would dropping the bagel be possible? Very high GI and nutritionally not great. Instead of that have a salad made with the chicken (or a small tin of tuna, or a roast salmon fillet)and a handful of baby spinach, half an avocado, tomatoes, some beetroot, a boiled egg, some cucumber, green beans - basically whatever veg you like and have to hand. Drizzle with the best quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can get. If you just have to have carbs throw in some pre-cooked healthy grains or lentils (merchant gourmet packs are great) or some tinned cannelliini beans. If you go to Wagamamas choose the rice noodle dishes over egg noodles, chilli chicken ramen is great....this should help lessen the post lunch fatigue.

Dinner sounds generally pretty good and that's cool if you feel you need the carbs, just make it a small portion, no more than 1/3 of your plate max. Switch to the full fat yoghurt of pudding or if you already had some earlier in the day (if I am flagging at 4pm I often have my 'dessert' of yoghurt and berries and nuts then in order to carry me through to dinner smile), then have your dark choc that you don't have at breakfast as dessert instead.

Snacks...as mentioned before in an earlier post, always involving protein... I did try a great one that occurred to me the other day-depends if you like beetroot, I love it, especially the sweetfire/sweet chilli type....have half a pack of this with a little feta crumbled over - delicious!

The reason for all this...if you are reducing carbs in your diet then you need a different source of energy, which has to be fat! Good fat provides not only energy but much more useful stuff for your body to repair itself and function properly. It's no wonder you feel lethargic smile. I also strongly recommend you start taking a good quality omega3 supplement, 1000mg per day - the health benefits of this are numerous but it also often cited as a great help for depression. I'd also add in 1000mg of vitamin D3, perfect timing now that days are shortening. Tbh most people should be taking both of these supplements but you in particular should benefit.

hurried Sun 29-Sep-13 08:31:10

This is great thank you.

Ahh yes the 3000 calories, the above is my "ideal day" I guess I have left out some bits, portion sizes too. Guilty gulp, I often go through a 100g bar of dark choc during the day- it's very dark (over 85% cocoa), snacking to lift my energy- yes, seriously, if I am honest. I have lots of decaff coffee -with lots of hot skimmed milk. I also pick on my son's left overs, to be completely honest, this often means eating an extra half a sandwich, chicken in breadcrumbs, fishcakes and so on. If I am honest, if the bagels are taken home, I'll snack on those too. I often snack to lift my energy levels. Do you think wholegrain bagels would have a negative affect on blood glucose levels.

My evening meals are quite often high calorie or low calorie, usually low fat but I'll often add in avocado, it's odd, I probably have a healthy relationship with food in the evenings, it can vary from being low calorie, reasonably low carb to great big bowls of pasta with tomato sauce.

I did try having a aubergine parmigiana for lunch (that is divine, thank you for that great suggestion) but felt very tired afterwards, but made it for supper (my husband loved it!) and it was perfect, I slept well, despite it being low carb.

That's interesting what you say about fat.... I do generally choose low fat options over full fat, I guess because I know I have a large appetite.

It sounds as if you feel the need to control your food intake during the day so that you can then relax in the evening and enjoy a good meal with DH, because if you've succeeded then you haven't had many calories...I totally get that smile - but it's not working, you are ending up feeling exhausted, hungry and then eating poor snacks and/or bingeing sad. You are running around with DC all day, you need to keep your energy levels up and blood sugar even. This has to start with a decent breakfast that includes some protein.

I am reluctant to start telling you things you should or shouldn't eat at the moment, my advice would be to try and just eat as healthily as you can, without worrying about your weight. Then after a few weeks, feel the difference in energy, mood etc and go from there. But I think that 'letting go' that way probably sounds pretty scary smile. If you really want to low carb, porridge for breakfast, plus bagel at lunch, lots of milky coffee and carbs with dinner isn't going to fit that smile. Moderately low carb would be to have the carbs with just one meal smile.

Little steps - this week...ditch the dark chocolate habit, it's just sending your blood sugar right up after which they crash and leave you craving more. Keep two squares per day for when you really want it, other times have a snack that includes a bit of protein. Have just one milky coffee per day - have a full fat one, it is so much more delicious - savour and enjoy it smile. Do you like any herbal tea, or better still green or white tea? I can't stand green tea but am getting on pretty well with white. Try as much as you can do drink that, or failing that, builders tea with a tiny splash of milk.

Hi hurried I'm not doing so well but I'm reading along.

Very interesting about your sleepiness after carbs for lunch.
I work at home 3 days a week. On those days during the summer I had a big salad, usually chicken and avocado with home made French dressing. No carbs except for the veggies and avocado.
But on my work days, for convenience I just take a chicken or tuna sandwich with perhaps some lettuce or tomato in the sandwich. I find myself wanting to sleep after 45 minutes after eating lunch at work, but when I'm at home I have energy all afternoon.
So I'm trying to come up with some ideas for portable lunches for my work days that don't have starchy carbs in them, it's embarassing for me to be yawning all afternoon after lunch!

sleep I haven't heard of white tea. I do drink some herbal tea at work, and usually have one cup of 'builder's tea' a day. I can't stand green tea either, can you describe the taste of the white? And what brand should I be looking for.

Hi- white tea is not unlike green but has a much less bitter taste. It is rarer than green tea so more expensive but has all the health benefits, if not more, than green tea. I have tried an organic one with elderflower which was lovely, also twinings one with pomegranate is nice. Tea pigs do a great quality unflavoured one called silver tips that is very good but ££.

Ideas for lunches...

- make a vegetable frittata (add a couple of extra egg white to boost protein if you wish), the night before work and take a big slice with maybe tomato and onion (and avocado) salad on the side

- get a bag of merchant gourmet healthy grains (quinoa, bulgur, soya flakes) and throw in some chopped spring onion, mint, parsley, halved cherry tomatoes, a pack of pomegranate seeds and half a pack of cubed feta. Dress with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. I love this salad and it keeps well for a couple of days too.

- tin of tuna, some cannellini beans, flat leaf parsley, lemon zest, a few capers (vinegary ones), black olives and cherry tomatoes. French dressing.

- if you have the urge for a bready type lunch, or it's hard to avoid, have a wholegrain bagel but pull the dough out of the middle and fill the crust with, for example, smoked salmon and cream cheese....or any protein based filling you fancy...


- bake a large piece of smoked cod or haddock in foil with butter and salt/pepper. Steam a big bag of spring greens and when the fish is cooked pour the buttery juice from foil over the greens, put fish on top and add a soft poached egg - and hollandaise for extra yum.

- make thai hot and sour soup. Chicken stock, a sliced chilli, thumb of finely chopped ginger and 4 minced cloves garlic. Stir in 2tbsps fish sauce, one tbsp each of soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Add your own selection of chopped veg (or use a ready prepped stir-fry bag from supermarket). Add raw prawns or cooked and shredded chicken, or bake some salmon with chilli flakes and serve with the soup once it's ready. Once veg and protein has had 3-5 mins simmering gently, remove from heat and stir in 2 beaten eggs to thicken. Serve immediately with lime wedges and chopped coriander. I love m&s little thai fish cakes with this but they are very spicy.

- cook a nice steak to your liking and serve with a big portion of roasted Mediterranean type veggies with balsamic drizzled over and some steamed broccoli. Serve a sauce with the steak if you like.

- large seared tuna steak with stir fried veg

- grilled rack of lamb or lamb steakwith aubergine parmigiana and some steamed greens or roast tomatoes

- stuffed chicken breasts with (cream cheese and green beans for example...) and green veg, roasted tomatoes.

- season salmon fillets, wrap in a couple of slices of Parma ham each and bake. Serve with small portion of warm puy lentils mixed with some steamed spinach and pop a dollop of seasoned yoghurt on the lentils. Green veg on side.

Feedback very welcome....smile

Helloo - anyone still around? How are you getting on?

hurried Thu 03-Oct-13 15:21:34

Sleepwhenidie, I do apologise for not getting back to you earlier. Your menu plan is fantastic and well thought out and it must have taken a long time to think up and write I wonder if any others have been following it?
I had been doing well but the last few days I lost the plot a bit. I haven't felt like doing anything. I thought maybe it was the cerazette (sp?) or maybe just me. I usually make the most of my LO going to nursery this morning I drove myself off some food. I didn't beat myself up about it, but I think I have to take responsibility I could have been doing something much more productive. Sigh.

I think it's moving on from a binge, I have tried not feeling guilty, but it's not that, I've just carried on. I probably should have booked a gym class.... I find them motivating. I'm sorry I am not gleeing with success and I feel guilty with all the support I have received too. We have lost our babysitter at the moment and I'm very spoilt but I am a little bored with tidying up each day and waiting for my husband to get home late :-(

There is my moaning. No justification. What I would say is the menu plan sounds fantastic. I know this sounds ridiculous that I may even be worried about health considering all I can eat in one sitting, but do you try and avoid saturated fat?

Hi Hurried, no problem at all, I am just glad you are ok. I'll say it again - don't beat yourself up about the bingeing. It could be the cerazette, it could be hormones or just plain old tiredness and general lethargy but we all have our up and down days. I do think booking gym classes in advance would be a good idea - if they are arranged then it will be more of a big deal to cancel rather than just not go? Is your DH home a bit more this week? Can you plan some time for you and maybe some time just the two of you?

Can I suggest you start trying something when you binge? Try and examine at the time what is triggering it and how you are feeling whilst bingeing, and also afterwards? So sort of be curious and gentle about the whole process and think about what void it might be trying to fill? So be conscious, not on autopilot/frenzy mode, as much as possible? So no judging, no self admonishment and no guilt, just curiosity and interest? Keep notes about it, write down whatever is occurring to you at the time.

Regarding diet, I avoid transfats and rarely eat deep fried food (although once in a while I love fish and chips!) but I don't avoid saturated fat no. There is no strong evidence to show that if you eat a low carb diet, that saturated fat (in moderation of course) presents health problems. It also plays a big part in helping to make a lower carb diet sustainable, because it stops you feeling deprived grin.

AnotherSecretScoffer Thu 03-Oct-13 23:06:13

Hi Hurried and everyone else. I have NCed in honour of this thread - a very timely thread as I have been thinking about this a lot recently.

I'm another long term binge eater and I think it is also tied to low level depression / boredom / loneliness. It started when I was at school and I lived in a different town to my friends. I used to go to the shop every day after school, buy some crisps and sweets and then eat them tucked up in bed. I was in the house on my own and looking back I was lonely so the food was my comfort.

Fast forward to adulthood and I still have problems with this. I have never really admitted this before. I am overweight - a size 16 but a good 3 stone over my healthy BMI. I overeat generally (I just love certain foods, especially unhealthy stuff) but every so often I get into a binge period. This time it has coincided with being at home more during the day and feeling lonely. I have also felt quite lethargic and low which makes me wonder if I am mildly depressed and if the binge periods coincide with this.

My latest binge food is Pringles and I literally ate a whole tube yesterday and most of a tube today. I was in the house on my own and it was grey and miserable outside. I have also been very tired as DC is not sleeping well at the minute and I insist on going to bed too late (usually watching DVDs or MNing blush ) I feel sick and poisoned tonight. I know how bad Pringles make me feel (even in small amounts) but somehow I love the taste and texture as I eat them. Eating a whole tube in 24-48 hours has become commonplace in the last few weeks, which horrifies me.

I feel like a failure when I binge. I feel like a failure when I overeat. I feel like a failure for being fat. I have never admitted this to a soul, not even DH who could not possibly understand. Everything else in my life looks like a success but I have never managed to get a handle on this. I sometimes feel like because it started as a teen these behaviours are hardwired into my brain now.

I could write pages on this but I feel quite tearful having put this down. So I just wanted to say Hurried, as others have said - you are not alone. Please don't be hard on yourself. We've been using these behaviours for a long, long time. They will not be beaten overnight. I've bought the book recommended upthread about eating disorders and plan to start working through. If my mood doesn't improve I will be going to the GP and saying that I think I may have mild depression. In the meantime I plan to try and get out walking to use the 'exercise antidepressant'.

Thanks to anyone who has read this far and good luck with your own eating issues.

Hi Secret, thanks for posting. I think the knowledge that you are far from alone with compulsive eating is a huge comfort for anyone struggling with this, whether they post or not. It's clearly something that is very difficult, if not impossible, to talk to others in RL about but offloading here can be such a relief and hopefully will set you on a path to working it all out...please hang around and keep reading/posting smile.

You also must try and stop feeling like a failure, you are most definitely not. Every one of us has coping mechanisms, few are healthy, some are positively dangerous. Ask yourself, would you look at another overweight person, or someone you knew drank a bottle of wine a night because they are unhappy for some reason and think them a 'failure'? I doubt it...so why be such a harsh critic of yourself? Be kinder. Be patient. Be curious about the feelings or aspects of your life that may be prompting the binges and try to understand them (note - don't rush to fix them, or the bingeing, immediately, as you said, there's a bit of hard wiring there. It won't be quick or easy to re-programme but it can be done smile.)

LittleRobots Fri 04-Oct-13 11:31:30

I binge eat and plain overeat and attend an eating disorders group. I've been going for ages and although my weights the same I think my brain is slowly changing. Its really hard work. I'm learning a lot about eating disorders and so much of it is mental -you could crash diet 6 stone but still have the eating disorder. We've been working on dealing with the issues, alongside picking up techniques to curb binging. The first thing we learn though is its 'not about the food' and talk of food is even banned in the group sessions, only allowed in the one to ones.

LittleRobots Fri 04-Oct-13 11:37:24

Just realised there were more pages. I'll read and catch up -I'm finding it really helpful to read others experiences. Perhaps we could work through things together.

Littlerobots - your comment about your group and the fact that 'it's not about the food' is so right, we definitely need to look at everything else that's going on in our lives (and in our past) that is driving the compulsive behaviour.

It's natural to seek comfort from food, the most natural thing in the world..from a baby breastfeeding, to a loved one preparing your favourite meal, it's so tied up with love and the comforting and enjoyable sensations it brings (if only temporarily). We need to try and understand why we feel we need more of that comfort than our body is really asking for (or would benefit from). Fighting or trying to control compulsions using willpower is a battle we are destined to lose, we need to go deeper than that.

LittleRobots Sat 05-Oct-13 14:30:18

I've caught up now!

Hurried - thankyou so much for starting the thread, I can identify so much with what you say. I know tiredness and stress are "triggers" for me. I really struggle on a day that I wake up tired and low and have to fight the urge to put the tv on for the children, sit and just eat. Its a vicious circle isn't it? When I'm full of beans and not stressed its a lot easier to make better choices.

Sleep - Thanks for all your input on the thread. I like your menu ideas (Half my problem is I dont take the time to properly menu plan or to try cooking things, I'm exhausted by about 3 and then go for whatever is "easy" at 5). It looks a lot like the "clean eating" idea, I like that a lot ideologically but find it hard to stick to as life is so chaotic at the moment.

I really like the idea above about being more in touch with your body - listening to it/ nourishing it. Can't remember your exact words, that's a concept that will help me.

The willl power issue is a big one too isn't it - eveyone (even my dr) just says "eat less and exercise more" but its a much bigger deal than that.

So far this week I've said no to biscuits at toddler groups, not had a pudding when I ate out and feeling more confident in my decisions (I normally have a "fear" of not eating something I want. Its odd). Today I was hungry just after lunch, decided I fancied yoghurt and banana (after reading it further up thread!) thought that would be good and nutritional but I would have it for my afternoon snack. Somehow feels more in control of the decision and ok with thinking about what I'm really wanting/feeling.

I'm very very overweight so its going to be a long journey physically as well as mentally.

I identify with the "failure" thing too. Overall life hasn't turned out as I'd hoped and I have to talk myself out of feeling a failure a lot.

BadSeedsAddict Sat 05-Oct-13 14:38:57

Marking place to read this later as the posts on here look really helpful. Have ADD and disordered eating. According to my ADD book, carbs do indeed give you a 'squirt' of dopamine. Plus reading through the Paleo and low carb threads, it's apparent that sugar and wheat etc are highly addictive and it's hard to eat a small amount of them. Looking forward to reading this thread properly later smile

LittleRobots Sun 06-Oct-13 20:42:58

I've done relatively ok over the weekend (with a bit of donuts) but now on drugs that increase blood sugar and appetite for a week :-( I'm weighing weekly and a bit anxious about that.

How are you hurried? And anyone else?

Hi Littlerobots, can I ask why you are weighing weekly? Are you trying to diet whilst on these drugs (and trying to address bingeing confused)? If so, how are you doing it?

hurried Mon 07-Oct-13 08:16:53

Anotherseceretscoffer (:-) like the name), Littlerobots, Badseesaddict, thank for posting. It somehow comforting to know I am not alone.

Have you found anything works for you before?

It's interesting that Sleepwhenidie mentions breastfeeding, I have to say when I'm bingeing I'm in a state of euphoria, I do think part of that is by some physiological mechanism... personally, it's hardly ever a box of chocolates (I could devour them too :-) but when on a real low I seek out sugary cereal, bread....cake..stodge! Carbs. They do lift my mood for a while, then afterwards I am in a state of repulsion sets in and a "who on earth did I do that as I feel even more sluggish and sick". Sleepwhenidie is full of good posts and support as are all the other forum members.

The first week I went on this forum I felt great, it felt for the first time I didn't have to hide anything and I didn't feel judged. There has been some exceptional advice and support.

I had fallen of the wagon and for me it can start first thing, I just want to reach for coffee. I am not sure if this helps, but actually what has stopped me bigeing when I am not feeling mentally great is by booking a gym class- I nenver thought I would be a gym class kind of gal, and I'm not talking a full on cardio class, a Tai Chi type class. I booked one over the weekend and interestingly, all morning I didn't binge (although tired etc) as I knew I had booked it and couldn't get out of it and didn't want to feel sick/too full when going. So others advice on finding something where you can't binge (and this class is great because you can't binge before either - you would just feel ill. I appreciate it won't work every time, but just avoiding binge situations seems to work at the moment.

A terrible confession, I think I used to control bingeing when I was younger because I was concerned about my appearance... probably, hormone..ie boys etc, going out, I was probably too vain to binge all the time. Since then, I no longer really care how I look, and I obviously care how I feel as I seek food for a high/comfort when stressed, bored, frustrated, generally binges follow that tired, really down lethargic feeling but I am not very good at not being impulsive and being mindful, ie "if I eat this bagel and I'm not hungry, I will want more as I'm eating for a different reason to hunger, and will need to carry on because being full won't make any difference"- actually just typing that seemed like a revelation, and common sense but it's not something I think about at the time, so often I think, "this will give me some energy". I know this isn't the same for everyone, but when I was more vain in my youth I obviously found willpower, so it's seeking a different motivation, and obviously my own health isn't good enough!

Well done Littlerobots, for avoiding the biscuits at toddler groups. It's hard isn't it. I find if I don't have one I get lots of comments. I think the other mum's must have decent relationships with food, they are all slim and always eating the cake and biscuits. It is interesting about your ED group, where directed to that through your doctor? Is it overeaters anon?

It's interesting too when Sleepwhenidie says it's not about the food.

Any way I have rambled, and I'm not sure I have been very helpful at all, but I'm just posting to let you know how I am getting on. Having a chat to a friend who is a foodie, says she turned her obsession in food to a healthy one by learning to love to cook (she doesn't have children yet!). She has learnt to love food and she loves "good healthy food" and loves learning new recipes and thinking about what a tasty meal can do for her, not just because of the taste but her and her husband's health. I don't think it's that easy but it did shock me to hear she once said said she went to a number of different shops to buy food, because she would go out of one shop and eat a cake, then go into another (so they didn't recognise her) and eat another and so on. She is slim, beautiful hair and skin and I never suspected or has she admitted she once felt like this. She did say she was lonely at the time.

I started to prepare myself a massive salad, with loads of veg, salmon, cheese, very low carb and I felt so great afterwards... even if I still looked an old hag... Badseedaddict, which book are you reading, does it say to avoid carbs?

A dietitian told me I need to include the complex carbs, and this used to work when I took one wholegrain sandwich to work, but it seems now, if I have access to more, I just keep eating them...

Sleepwhenidie has been a great resource as have others on this forum.

Keep in touch xx

Hi Hurried - don't worry about rambling, post as much as you want! I think its good for you to be able just to talk and probably helpful for others to read and know that there are plenty of other people in the same situation. I'm so pleased you have found a friend to speak to about it in RL too, even better that she looks so slim and beautiful smile - it just goes to show that you can never tell what demons people have and I do believe that people with a truly healthy, relaxed relationship with food and their body are in the minority. I also think that her approach of making food - good, healthy, delicious food - an interest/hobby sounds like it would work well for you as you are interested in it already.

I'm so glad you did the tai chi class - interesting that you didn't feel the need to binge afterwards. I think often binge eating is a quest for nourishment - but nourishment in the non-food sense. We must all make time to do what nourishes us emotionally/spiritually. Whether that be an exercise class, painting, dancing, music (listening or creating), poetry, walking outside, having sex, playing with children or pets....these things feed our souls and finding the things that you enjoy, that relax you, then doing them regularly, will decrease dependence on the undesirable habits we use to try and replace them. Physical activity is something I am particularly keen on as a way of trying to get back in touch with our bodies too, learning to appreciate (if not love) them for all that they are and can do - rather than feeling locked in battle!

As I've said before, for now I'd try not to get too hung up on what you are eating, especially the carbs/no carbs thing. Personally I minimise carbs because I feel much healthier that way, but can't give them up completely - I simply cannot get my head around life without some bread in the day, so I keep it to one or two slices of granary bread and then the rest of my carbs come from veg/dairy (80-90% of the time grin). Everyone is different and we all need to find a healthy, sustainable way of eating that we enjoy and physically thrive on. No one diet - low carb/vegan/paleo is perfect for everyone and there are shades of grey around them that can work - eg some 'vegetarians' eating fish!

Whenever possible if you want carbs then I would recommend making healthier choices - so choose beans, healthy grains, sweet potatoes or lentils for example, rather than anything with white flour as its base (also in preference to potato or rice), but there's no need to cut it out completely. Think first about aiming to feed your body well, enjoying the food you choose and taking care of yourself, not trying to lose weight. By doing the former, the latter will often follow but if necessary you can worry about that later when you are feeling on a more even keel. Did you get an omega-3 supplement?

Littlerobots I just wanted to come back to you on the 'failure' thing - could you try and look at yourself as an outsider might, but as if you were a child (perhaps, your own child) telling you that she considers herself a failure? What would you feel/say to the child? What positive aspects of life would you point out? In this way could you try and be kinder and more sympathetic towards yourself?

Just on the meal plannning thing, why is life crazy? What is your typical day's routine and what would you cook that is 'easy' at 5pm? What food do you and your family enjoy?

hurried Wed 09-Oct-13 09:43:50

This is the first time I have ever done this, stopped a binge - mainly because there isn't much in the house, but I have a day in with my LO, we are together all today and I'm very, very tired, I woke up and just started eating, even polishing off the leftovers of LO's porridge! and realised I'm not hungry. I know if I stay in I am in a "danger" zone, but I feel a complete cop out going out with my LO to completely avoid bingeing (I thought I would take money for a coffee somewhere and maybe take LO out to lunch) but I think that's what I am going to do, despite there being a lot of ironing and washing to do. There is so much guilt, guilt in not doing the housework and guilt for taking LO out just so I don't binge.

I'm working away and haven't had chance to full catch up on the posts, same with the other threads I'm on blush. As soon as I get chance I'll catch up with everyone.
Just wanted to say to sleep I tried a variation of one of your lunch suggestions the other day. I got the Merchant Gourmet Red & White Quinoa, mixed about a 1/4 of a bag of it with a tuna salad. Normally if I do tuna salad it's just tuna, mayo and a squirt of lemon juice, but I added thinly grated carrot, celery and spring onion to the mix. Then served it all on some romaine lettuce and it was very nice.
This will definitely become a go-to lunch for work. The only problem is that I ended up wasting half the pack of quinoa because I didn't find a way to use it all up. It needs to be used within 3 days of opening so I think I'll have to have the same lunch for 3 consecutive days and have a third of a bag each time. I'm wondering if it can be frozen but I'm a bit wary to do so as it doesn't mention it on the pack.
Anyway, it was delicious and so convenient, whenever I've tried to cook quinoa myself it ended up a slushy inedible mess!

How funny Herdy I tried a new recipe with quinoa last night (I am trying to find as many ways as I can of making it enjoyable grin), cod fillets flash fried in oven proof pan with a splash of olive oil and pesto butter (came with the fish at Sainsbury's) for a few mins then threw in a pack of fresh plum tomatoes and roasted for 5 mins, added in a bag of Waitrose quinoa and lentils for another 5 mins of cooking. Stirred a bag of steamed spinach in with the lentils et voila. It was really nice - and so quick and easy. Could you use your left over quinoa to combine with a bag of lentils with something like that for dinner? Stuff some peppers or mushrooms with that and some chopped veg and/or minced beef? Add it to a soup maybe? Otherwise I think it will be fine to keep in the fridge for 2 or 3 days....your salad sounds delicious, I will try it myself.

Hurried well done on stopping mid-binge! Its a great sign that you can take a bit of a step back and be mindful, if only for a moment when that impulse takes hold smile. The more you can do that, the closer you will get to understanding why it is happening and facing the feelings you are blocking or any issues in your life that you don't feel able to acknowledge and/or address. Don't feel guilty for getting out if it lifts your mood and you feel better generally for it, that's good for everyone. There will always be ironing/housework to do - like death and taxes grin.

Having said all that, I would still be wary of feeling like you are fighting the urge to binge by going out, it sounds counter-intuitive but the impulse to binge is not your enemy, the more you can examine it, question it or even just be with it the more its power over you should decrease and you can more easily find a way through. Does that make any sense, having taken that step back you did earlier?

heymetoo Thu 10-Oct-13 10:22:42

Hi all, another name changer here. I've never really put a name to my eating habits, but after reading this thread I have to admit I am a binge eater too. I am a little overweight (size 14 jeans, BMI 26) so I guess I have got away with it. But the thing that has triggered it for me within the last year is my youngest child starting nursery - after 7 years of being a SAHM with young children (I have 3 DC), I now have my mornings to myself and it feels like I 'deserve' a treat! I guess I need to work on finding non-food-related treats.

I am fit and healthy (I ran a half marathon earlier this year) and I am definitely not depressed - in fact I am really content with my life at the moment. It's hard for me to see the reasons for what I do. But it's interesting to hear some of you talking about your childhood. I remember once baking and eating an entire full size cake when I was around 12 or 13 - that's not normal is it? I can manage without bingeing for weeks on end - but then I'll suddenly do it three times in one week.

Planning to buy Brain Over Binge and have a read. It has helped me to read this thread (although in a rather uncomfortable way), so thank you OP and everyone who has contributed.

Hi metoo thanks for posting. What do you tend to binge on? Do you have particular 'trigger' foods? What about your usual diet, what is that like? Tell me to get lost if I'm being too nosy smile, it's all interesting and helpful stuff though. Do you run for exercise regularly now? Do you enjoy it?

Rules Thu 10-Oct-13 23:49:24

Sorry, havnt read the whole thread. Have you tried Paul McKenna I can make you thin book and CD. It is a really relaxing cd and helps to reprogram your mind regarding food. You are encouraged to eat whatever you want, whenever you want with two other rules......
only eat when your truly hungry
and stop when you are feeling that satisfied feeling.

Diets can cause us to binge. There is the mentality of binge today diet tomorrow. Often when your feeling lonely, stressed or unhappy then you can find yourself throwing food down your neck even when your not hungry. I have found with PM mindful eating i don't do this as no food is off limit and there is no diet but you can and do lose weight cause you tend to not overeat. Lots of people try it and lots give up doing the basic mindful eating and then eat unmindfully and start overeating again.

hurried Fri 11-Oct-13 08:56:07

Rules that's helpful, thank you. I will put this on my list too. You are right about the mentality of diets, I find I really truly love food when I'm hungry! I even savour it, when truly hungry.

The things I struggle with are (please skip this bit, as it's kind of for myself to highlight my personal struggles) and some of these I have said before and received advice on so will elaborate with things that have worked so far;

1. The lizard brain feeling: First thing in the morning, after a a bad night with my LO (my husband leaves the house at 6am too), that, "I really don't care about anything" feeling and the thought of coffee or even chocolate (yes, I know!) seems like a big hug.

Another real issue I have with sleeping is when I'm disturbed at night (husband getting up or child crying, or even an owl tweeting) I can't get back to sleep, it's so frustrating. This was great when I was breastfeeding, as I had no problems getting up. Now though, each time I'm woken up It's almost like I have a surge of cortisol and I feel like I want to get up (even thought I know I will feel very tired later).

2. Diet composition: I am between a rock and a hard place with this one, as I don't think sticking to a rigid diet is good for the brain as you highlight Rules, however, yesterday, for example we had two packs of chocolate muffins my husband brought, and granary (yes, granary bread) and I thought I would have a little lunch, egg sandwich and half a muffin... I started eating the muffin and was like a woman possessed, I found that I was finishing off my partner's, my son's (they were full after half of one, I wish I was like that, it isn't hunger for me, it switches on my greed button, and instead of making me feel satisfied, I just felt like I wanted more, afterwards I wished I hadn't bothered with them).

I also had porridge again for breakfast, not following the low carb diet, and I can honestly say I was reaching for even more food all day. I think the porridge thing would work if I was at work all day and had no access to other food, but porridge also feels like a warm hug, just like bread and muffins....

Sleepwhenidie makes me think what I'm craving, I think it's sleep (!) and the only thing I have found to help this is get out and do something like an exercise class, but this isn't always possible.

I will repeat this again below, but for me, I have noticed the days I do a class, I haven't binged.

3. Keeping busy and being relaxed around food (This should also be in the "what has helped section): Again, this is a rock and a hard place. I find being busy makes me less likely to binge, putting myself in situations where I can't binge, ie an exercise class, or walking with my LO. At the same time, I'm often very tired, yet if I stop during the day, I will often reach for something that feels like that warm blanket and now my LO has dropped their nap, I'm reaching for anything to keep going. I also find if i am not mindful and just think completely "it's only food" I find I'm snacking all day, often polishing off left overs. Maybe on some complex level I'm not completely comfortable with this, but I think it's more that, I won't say "greedy" as nice people like Sleepwhenidie will pick me up on that as it's a negative statement and maybe it gives food more value than it should have, but I just like eating, full stop, if it's there I eat it. In some ways this is a great thing as I love all food, I love all the healthy stuff too. So it wouldn't be ten cheesecakes or burgers I'm eating. However, I rarely binge on chicken and salad! I am also my own worst enemy, my son does go to nursery for a few mornings in the week, but by the time I have packed him off I am wide awake. By that time I have already had my coffees and dark chocolate. A habit I know I must break.

4. Habit: I think I am just used to eating in response to any emotions. I bumped into my partner's ex wife, and it's all amicable, she is very beautiful (grr) and slim but very friendly, both have moved on, she is married with other children. It was all fine and I didn't think I felt anything. When I got home, I went to my son's cheerio's and ate a lot. It was complete ignorance on my own behalf, I hadn't recognised I actually found talking to the ex stressful, which would shock everyone as all parties have moved on. My husband was away that evening and I was in full on binge mode. I had turned to food completely without thinking. Boredom is usually my biggest trigger, but as i said this was obviously stress.

5. Dieting: Again a rock and a hard place. What has worked: i have almost been a lot better when I have been not "dieting" as such just following a healthy eating plan (you could call this dieting as my weight lowered during these periods). A while ago we went to a ball, or I can remember before my wedding, I wanted my skin to look nice, I had a goal and real motivation. I didn't diet as such, but I was excited about following a healthy eating plan, one full of colours (it was low carb actually and my skin completely cleared up- just a side note) but lots of olive oil and salads, I lost weight, everyone commented how well I looked and I felt wonderful. I got excited about following a healthy eating plan. it wasn't a low calorie one particularly as it had lots of healthy fats... and I guess in some ways it was quite rigid, perhaps too rigid on reflection , I completely avoided the stodgey carbs, and I didn't binge. i can remember one day eating three muffins and that was over the course of a year (prior to the wedding) and the few months before the dance. I had a goal. I have no goal now and I also feel embarrassed that i was that self indulgent, that vain to want to look great. So maybe my odd psychology there. i read Matt Roberts the personal trainer once said celebrities are highly motivated because they always have short term goals ie a premiere in two weeks or a photo shoot...

So I haven't really explained why dieting hasn't helped me, the times I have managed to cut calories or my food intake, has early always been followed by a binge. If I cut my calories too low I can't sleep either and lack of sleep is one of my worst triggers.

So what has worked:

This is obviously repeating some of above and what I have posted before:

1. exercise
2. having a goal - I get excited by the idea of following a healthy eating plan - I'm not sure this is entirely healthy... bizarrely...it's also finding that goal, I'm quite a contradiction these days I look so awful most of the time I have given up
3. being around others who are passionate about fitness etc I find I'm around others a lot of the time who have a great relationship with moderation....
4. Following a low carb diet- I'm not doing this at the moment, but I think is the way to go for me
5. Big breakfasts actually don't work for me, the best thing so far, that has worked, is going out for breakfast and taking SLEEPWHENIDIE's advice and having smoked salmon and eggs- this set me up for the day but read point 6
6. Doing something straight after and before food, i.e., the day we went out for breakfast we parked the car and walked cross country to a beautiful cafe in the hills, then walked back, a few miles and I didn't crave anything else and by the time we got home, it was lunchtime anyway. I find doing something else, straight after food helps, anything a walk, something pleasant, but not to do with food.
7. Having a full stop - I leant this from one of the books, having somehting to finish your meal, ie a coffee and a small square of dark chocolate, something to symbolise the meal is over. I'm finding this works for me. having a stodge dessert doesn't work as a full stop for me btw, it makes me feel tired and just makes me want more.
8. Access if it isn't there I don't eat it... simples. I want to be relaxed around carbs, but not too relaxed. I do wonder if they are like "my drug of choice"amd like someone rote to me, an alcoholic wouldn't keep alcohol in the house, but the I also don't want to give carbs credit, or give them a value by making them forbidden as I understand this may give them an extra value

hurried Fri 11-Oct-13 09:03:28

Heymetoo We are similar in size I think. I have definitely done the "whole cake thing too!".

I read a study about children (I'm sure you have all heard this before) being placed in a room with a marshmellow. They were told if they stayed in the room for a period of time and DIDN't eat the marshmallow, they would be rewarded with two marshmellows. Some children were able to refrain and others were impulsive and gobbled up the single one. Reseachers found that the children who didn't eat the sweet were able to distract themselves, they played games they distracted themselves. So it wasn't willpower they just had learnt or new how to succeed. The researchers did the experiment again telling the children to view the marshmellow as something else, not as a sweet treat, but just as an object in the room. The children were much less likely to eat it when they viewed it this way.

Interesting that children have much better techniques than me, a thirty something year old. This also supports sleepwhenidie's theory of only viewing it as "food" nothing to get bothered about, nothing special.

hurried Fri 11-Oct-13 09:07:40

Another thing that doesn't work for me unless I am really busy (I used to do this unintentionally when working) is to say I will eat nothing all day, if i have a day of access to food I inevitable give up and eat everything by eleven am lol.

heymetoo Fri 11-Oct-13 11:39:14

Sleepwhenidie, I tend to binge on crisps (like the earlier poster who talked about eating a whole tube of pringles), chocolate and cake. I don't normally keep that stuff in the house, so I have to drive to the shop and buy the food - it's a planned thing! I never binge in the evening.

My usual diet is healthy, although too carb heavy as I love pasta and rice - I am trying to cut down on carbs. I enjoy cooking so it's mainly home-cooked food, loads of veg and salad, protein etc. I do notice that I have to finish everything on my plate (and my kids' leftovers too! blush ) whereas my DH is very good at leaving food if he is full. I've been on WW a couple of times in the past and lost 1 or 2 stone.

Yes, I run regularly (or go to the gym if it's cold and wet) and I really enjoy it. I do pilates too. I'm honestly very happy and healthy! It's just this one thing! Is that really bizarre?

Hurried, I really identify with your lizard brain comment above. And the bit about finishing all the muffins just because they were there. In fact I found a lot of your post really interesting - thank you for sharing it. It's funny to read about a complete stranger but recognise something of yourself.

Rules, maybe I'll give Paul McKenna a try. I do like the idea of completely changing my mindset towards food.

Rules Fri 11-Oct-13 12:05:45

Hey .....Sleep mentions viewing food as just food. This is what Paul McKenna ( Or any other Mindful Eating Program) does. All food is equal. All food. Once you accept that then you find that the power that food has over you goes but it does take a good six months. I eat whatever I want but because of doing mindful eating, I tend to have a few mouthfuls and then im done. I no longer like the feeling of being "full". I keep all the foods I love in the house. Good cheeses, Olive oils, real salty butter, Green and Blacks Chocolate, nuts, full fat green yoghurt, cream, crisps....whatever. But I really don't eat that much over the course of a day now. IF I even think of going on a diet then it causes me to have food issue meltdowns which I am now aware of. Denying myself food or feeling bad about food causes bad feelings that need medicating....usually with food. Nothing wrong with eating less carbs if they cause you problems like bloating or IBS etc but if you are avoiding them with a view to lose weight only then this will inevitably result in a binge on carbs at some point cause you are denying yourself them when you want them. The more you deny yourself something or make yourself feel bad about certain foods then the more you crave them and eat mindlessly without stopping to actually register if you have had enough or not.
Seeing your husbands ex who is pretty and slim is enough to make you feel bad about yourself and inferior to her and then you might get feelings of wondering why your DH is with you when she is so lovely??? Then you overeat to make yourself feel better and to give you that "hug". When food is "just food" you might only have a couple of bites of something and then because it was the most wonderful tasty delicious piece of food in the world, you might stop after a couple of bites. You can always go back to it later.

Binging is an emotional response in my opinion and I have been there but until I viewed all food as equal and no good or bad food talk, then I was stuck in diet mode and DIETS DO NOT WORK.......they inevitably lead to bingeing even in people who don't normally binge.

Hi everyone. I've been fascinated reading your posts, there is so much more I would love to learn about you that probably isn't possible on a forum! I have some thoughts I want to talk about, some arising from your posts, some from all that I'm learning myself....

Hurried - your comment about food being nothing special, maybe I miscommunicated earlier - I don't think that! Food is special, it can be love, celebration, comfort, medicine. But flip the coin and it can also be hate, punishment, pain and poison smile. Too many of us have turned food into our enemy or crutch and/or have a distorted relationship with it and our bodies (myself included). We need to 'relearn' how to be with food and our bodies and to enjoy both but that can take a long time smile.

As Rules and other posters have said, mindful eating is key and DIETS DO NOT WORK! This is pretty obvious just looking around at the general population hmm. Pretty much every woman you see will be/will have been/will feel she should be on a diet at any given time - and very few will be happy with their body - it's insane. Diets, in the generally accepted sense, immediately set us on a path of trying to control what we eat, set up a battle of willpower (which we are inevitably, at some point or other, going to lose), they are all about punishment, hating our bodies and being in a limbo where we are trying to change ourselves - which we may or may not achieve, but then we go back to eating and regarding food as we were before...and then shock the same issues return! I think a great aim to have is to live and eat in the way the person you feel you are meant to be would. For most of us, lifestyle wise that means someone at a healthy weight (not necessarily a size 10), feeling happy in our skin, regularly doing exercise we enjoy (not that we force ourselves to endure), having good relationships, time with our kids, a hobby and/or career that fulfils us and eating a healthy diet, including the food we really love and enjoy (even if they are 'unhealthy') in moderation. I really believe that the more you can do this, then eventually you can become that person, but it takes practice, patience and compassion. If Paul McKenna helps with this then fantastic!

With regard to the compulsions - I am going to use the small child analogy again as I think this provokes the most compassionate response in us - try to imagine your compulsion as a 2 year old having a tantrum. Completely out of control, crazy flailing abdabs grin. You know there is something wrong with that child, even they themself cannot recognise or verbalise what it is. So you as the caring adult think - is it tiredness, grief, boredom, hurt, loneliness, failure, frustration, hunger(!). Chances are this is one of the things triggering your urge to binge. If you can, practise trying to take a second to pause, breathe deeply and try and analyse what it may be for you (even if you are in the car on the way to buy supplies for that binge!) Hopefully you can start to feel the emotions/thoughts you are instinctively blocking with overeating. If you can, keep a diary for yourself and write down any thoughts that occur, even if you continue with the binge - keep writing during and after. The more you do this the more insight you will get - try to learn not to fear your compulsion, it is trying to help you make a change in your life for the better. Over time, the less you fear them, as with the less you 'ban' foods, the less power they will have over you.

While I say no food should be banned...I think the exception to this is when you know that it is a trigger for you. Hurried - sounds like anything white and carbohydrate! Then don't do it. It is indeed possible to be addicted to a certain food or substance that is really bad for you yet gives you a 'high' - drugs and alcohol being the obvious contendors wink. If there is an immune response in your body - say to Pringles smile - this can create a mild stress response that gives you an 'up' and makes you want more. So, just like an alcoholic, you need to lay off it, at least until you feel better balanced with the rest of your diet and overeating.Hurried note I don't mean all carbs, just the beige ones sad. If everyone is having muffins, could you find a delicious alternative? A few squares of dark chocolate, some yogurt, an ice cream?

Hey Rules - x post!

Rules Fri 11-Oct-13 13:42:07

Sleep I think we are on the same track here anyway [ smile]

Definitely Rules smile

Hurried - why do you say you 'look awful' most of the time? And what problems do you have with your skin?

hurried Fri 11-Oct-13 16:54:15

Just a quick one, I'm sorry my posts above were not very well put together... I had a little one demanding attention and I sent them in fear of losing my thoughts. It was a bit of a brain dump.

Rules I agree with you and it's great you found the Paul Mckenna cd it sound good. I however, get upset sometimes as part of me wishes I was completely relaxed around food. I'm not dieting or restricted yet I am overeating foods I haven't even banned (maybe I ban them only because I keep overeating them). I almost feel like a freak. I wish I could just keep all those things in the house and just have a bit like you do. I obviously have a long way to go, but I was like this as a child, when I wasn't restricted or dieting.

I keep letting myself having bits of what others are having or keeping them in the house as I feel a nutter not being able to do this, but I fail everytime and at the moment, it's not because I'm dieting. I just don't seem to get full on these foods, I eat when I'm not hungry and I eat for comfort.

I keep buying cereals etc for others and I can't do what everyone else can Sleepwhenidie, I'm not sure if it's correct nbut it feels almost a comfort what you say what you do abouyt addiction, I am not trying to abstain from responsibility, it's me that eats after all and I can stop, but everytime I have all these "beige" foods in the house I just eat them all day... I honestly, can eat the lot! I'm a pig :-) It's like a box of milk chocolates, I don't even like them but I'll keep eating them at Christmas time when they are just there. I know it's ridiculous and illogical and I always say I'll have a little bit and eat it slowly, but if I'm truly honest I always have the urge to keep on going and I'd rather have none. Does that make sense? maybe I have some deeper issues I need to sort lol. It's like when I was younger, a skinny child, eating too much sweet stuff until I was sick... I was allowed it, I wasn't dieting, I just didn't have a stop button and I haven't matured much, obviously.

I feel guilty about my "getting a high from food" I keep listening to others like my DH who says he wants me to join in and enjoy it too, but as I said i don't feel deprived not having it, (ie the white carbs) i feel deprived when I don't then go on to binge on them when I have had some.

As I said it makes me very upset that I am not good at moderation. yet part of me wouldn't want to give up that love of food, Sleepwhenidie, this reassures me. I just wonder, if from experience, and from others have said, not restricted this s such but channeling it in a healthy way, choosing foods that make me feel great...

I think a lot with me is I need to find a passion in other areas, I have found it hard to enjoy much else. I love my LO and I have never felt such love and happiness from him, and I have a great family but i feel I need to put my heart and soul into other things too. i don't get excited about much, and I think that maybe the problem, does that make sense?

I think my relationship with food is very complex. Of course, I have also had dieting issues, like many women have, whereby I have in the past, probably gone under the calories that I have needed and then of course overeaten but I don't think dieting alone has been my problem. I feel there are more people who can relate to this one. It's my overeating when I'm just existing, on an every day level, that isn't caused by dieting. I feel ashamed of this and sometimes really alone as it doesn't seem normal- although has been great to communicate with others on here about it.

Skin, oh don't go there, dry, saggy skin. I love it when I see people with glowing skin, I really envy that. I also respect heath and fitness (ironically!) and I'm interested in sports and admire those that look after themselves - not anorexic models- but sports woman - friends who just look like they have made the most of themselves and seem confident and full of energy.

Thank you for all you input everybody. I had a guilty day today today thinking of all the valuable things I have in life and how short life is, yet this is an issue for me. I eat so I feel sluggish, feel sick, and make myself feel terrible.

Rules Fri 11-Oct-13 20:47:03

hurried have you tried reading the original mindful eating book ( I think) ....Overcoming Overeating by Jane Hirshman. It was the first helpful book I read and it caused me to make sure as far as I could that my children grew up with no food issues. I made sure I always had all food in the house and no food was ever banned. Seems to have worked too. Daughter is now 23 and size 6 to 8 and eats whatever she likes whenever she is hungry but stops when she is full and loves her chocolate. My son is tall and slim and eats when he is hungry. When I have asked them what makes them stop eating they have said that they have had enough so why would they make themselves feel sick by eating more. If they feel hungry they will eat again later. That's it really isn't it. Eating like a slim person 101!
Maybe you cause the binge mentality by not having the beige foods because you know that when you do you overeat on them. In effect you are therefor setting yourself up to overeat them by denying yourself them in the first place possibly. Paul McKennas book gives you ways of dealing with the cravings called "tapping" where he teaches you to tap energy points in the body and the cravings disappear. There is the hypnosis cd too which you listen to for half and hour and it really relaxes you and you tend to drift off in a light sleep but this is the time when your unconscious mind heres everything that is being said by Paul. There are many other people who do this type of therapy with cds so if you don't like Paul look on amazon for others. Its worth a try. It can reprogram your mind to cause you to not overeat without you having to consciously change your habits.

Hi hurried - sorry I haven't been on for a few days, I have been thinking about you a lot though smile. I feel really sad about how you are feeling guilty (you shouldn't) and that you look awful (I'm sure you don't). I would love to have you as a client and work properly together but its frustrating because I haven't yet done all the training I need to! I think you are identifying the right things to focus on in so many ways but you sound impatient to 'get over' the bingeing very quickly, which realistically isn't going to happen because as you say, it is all very complex. I think you need to try and be a little more patient with yourself smile.

There have been lots of books recommended on here, also Paul McKenna, or you could look into NLP or CBT counselling. If you were my client though, I would be looking to take a more holistic approach and try to make some changes with regard to your day to day life, your perceived body image and your approach to food, along with a few tweaks to your diet - to summarise the things I would try and coach you with in an attempt to help....

You say your skin is dry - and when I looked at your food diary I commented on the lack of fat. If I list some of the symptoms of sub-clinical fat deficiency, maybe you could tick for yourself any that may apply to you? Dry skin, dry hair, (or oily skin/hair), poor nails, low mood, rednesss around the eyes, constipation, mood swings, depression, weight gain or inability to lose weight....any of these sounding familiar? If so you need to move on from the 'fat is bad' idea and as I suggested, eat full fat versions of everything, make sure you get the olive oil, nuts, avocadoes and oily fish regularly, plus the Omega 3 supplement. The only fats to avoid are the 'fake' ones - hydrogenated stuff found in processed food.

Still on the subject of what you are eating, spread your calories more evenly through the day so you don't feel deprived or ravenous or get such low blood sugar that cravings strike. A good breakfast, protein with every meal and regular healthy snacks, especially when you are feeling sleep deprived. On the subject of which, if you get the opportunity, go to bed as soon as you can after the children at least one night a week!

Cook a lovely meal for you and DH at least twice a week and sit and chat over it (no TV!), doesn't matter what it is, even if you fancy a creamy pasta dish, have it, but eat slowly and relish every mouthful.(I know I said before to ban the white carbs and so I am contradicting myself but I can't tell which is the best way to go without you experimenting - a full ban could make it far more enticing and bingeing more likely, so 'controlled' eating, such as having them with one or two meals a week may work better to 'scratch the itch' but the truth is, you have to try the different ways and see what works best for you).

You recognise that getting out with your toddler lifts your mood and is an effective displacement activity to avoid bingeing. Try and make sure you get out for a walk in the fresh air, if only for half an hour, every day, this will be great for your little one too. Also you recognise the benefit of exercise so try and make sure you book a few sessions up in advance every week.

It sounds like you need to take more pleasure in life and whilst you may not have a deep and obvious passion that you can point to, finding something to do that is just for you every day would be great. Get a manicure/pedicure, or do it yourself - have a candlelit bath - dance around the house to your favourite music for 20 minutes (toddler will love this) - bung on a face mask and deep conditioning hair treatment on an evening when DH is away, get a magazine( I think you would like something like Zest or Womens Health/Good Food - DO NOT buy Heat or anyof thise woman hating piles of trash grin)/a good book and a nice tea or coffee and take 20 minutes out to relax and read - do a tai-chi or yoga class, treat yourself to a lovely item of clothing or make up once in a while.....nourishment for yourself...but not in the form of food smile.

Keep posting, please let us know how you are getting on - same for anyone else struggling with similar problems smile.

Oh - and drink 2L of water every day! Almost forgot the water!

Rules Sun 13-Oct-13 19:29:01

Sleep everything you have said is brilliant and is along the lines of all I have learnt over the last 20 years with regard to re learning how to eat like a normal person after a childhood of being forced to diet and view my body as fat and ugly (if wasn't). I am much better now and have learnt so much. I only eat foods that I really want and enjoy and they are usually fruit and veg, fish, chicken, hagan daaz icecream, green and blacks chocolate. W
Everything you have also said is in the Paul McKenna system. He not only teaches you to view your body in a different way and to learn to love it but he follows it up with a re affirming hypno cd. He teaches you to eat what you want, when you want it, chew chew chew and eat totally mindfully , stopping when you are satisfied. As you pointed out there are many others who teach this way of eating too. Its definitely the best way out of the diet trap.

Rules Sun 13-Oct-13 19:46:20

What is it you do if you don't mind me asking sleep

At the moment I am just someone with an avid and passionate interest in food, nutrition and exercise smile. I also feel strongly about how badly most of us (by which I mean women in particular) feel about our bodies and how we repeatedly take the approach of punishing and depriving ourselves through diet and/or exercise to try and achieve some false image of perfection - only, of course, to repeatedly fail.

I am doing a course, run by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, which will hopefully lead me into a career as an 'eating coach' to help people like Hurried, or anyone who has yo-yo dieted, has poor body image and/or is sick of the constant 'internal battle' with regard to food and body, or simply completely confused by what is a healthy diet. I also plan to add on the options of personal training or cooking, even food shopping lessons for clients if they would like them.

Rules Sun 13-Oct-13 21:51:41

Sounds very interesting sleep. Has this come about from your own feelings regarding your own body?
I love food but only quality food not ready meals or total junk. I know that food is our best medicine and should be the first place we go to to prevent illness and treat illness. After all everything that we put in our body is creating our body renewal process so it makes sense to give it the best you can. I do try and avoid some things like flour in sugar in large quantities and avoid most processed food and tend to head to the natural food aisles for fruit, veg, meat etc. It is a terrible thing that women still believe that the next diet will make them slim. Twenty years later they are still dieting and then overeating and then dieting etc etc.

tumbletumble Mon 14-Oct-13 10:40:45

Rules, can I ask you a question?

My brother is obese and I'm very keen for my DC to grow up with a healthy attitude to food. I try hard to promote the 'eat until you are full, then stop' mentality.

But I just wanted to ask about your comment 'I made sure I always had all food in the house and no food was ever banned'.

For example, we always have brown bread in the house as it's healthier than white and DH and I prefer it. My DC would prefer white bread, given the choice. Do you think I should have both in the house?

Another example, my DD age 6 loves crisps. I don't ban crisps, she can choose a pack if we go to the village shop after school to buy a snack(maybe once a week), but I don't have them in the house as a general rule. Are you saying I should buy crisps and let her have as many as she wants? That just wouldn't feel right to me!

I'm sure Rules will have her own thoughts on that tumble but fwiw I think you need a slightly different approach with kids - they don't have the same understanding of the need, let alone the desire to eat healthily so until they are old enough to make all of their own choices, you need to do that for them. I take a similar approach as you - I don't buy juices, crisps or white bread for the house except very very occasionally. But if we go out for a meal or visit friends where this is on offer they can have it - so it isn't banned as such, just not a daily thing that we eat. They are also allowed small amounts of sweets/chocolate on weekends.

If they ask for the 'junk' I explain why I don't want them eating lots of food that isn't very good for them (note - I say 'not very good, nothing in there that is good for your body', whereas the wholegrain bread, for example, does have some great stuff, rather than just calling it 'bad'). In this way we have to hope that their tastes develop more naturally towards the 'better' food and they don't go completely crazy when they have enough autonomy to buy their own crisps and sliced white grin. Its a minefield though. People have suggested to me that as part of new role I should offer people advice for feeding their kids but I'm not brave enough to set myself up as any kind of paragon in that respect grin. I think the best you can do is model good habits and keep putting piles of veg in front of them!

Rules my interest isn't driven hugely by my own eating issues, I've never been a binge eater (although I do have that rebel voice in my head that says 'stuff it - I'm having the huge sandwich, followed by the cake, I don't care'). I definitely have perfectionist tendencies when it comes to body image, always wanting to lose that eternal last 5lbs when rationally there really is no need and I know that if I did lose it (and I have, in the past) I would then have to work obsessively hard to maintain that weight, which would make my life fairly miserable. In addition to which, at the weight I have in my head as perfect, my face starts to look gaunt so, as with life, nothing is ever all 'perfect' at the same time grin - but that is the same for everyone. I am much happier and healthy focusing on the nourishment, enjoyment and other good things food and exercise can give us.

Hi Hurried how was your weekend? You ok?

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 00:13:51

Name changed....
Tumble I personally feel that mindful eating and growing up without food issues starts in childhood for that is where most of us get screwed up when we are told that some foods are bad and others are good. Children will generally make good choices when all food is available. Yes they will sometimes choose cakes, crisps sweets etc but they will also choose veg, fruit and meat. Bread is just bread. In fact with IBS white bread is preferable to brown. The type of fibre in brown is not good for those with sensitive tummys. The best bread is meant to be Spelt which they use an old form of wheat for which is not meant to cause reactions in people. Yes, I have always had crisps in the house for my children. They don't overeat them nor do they overeat chocolate or cakes. Nor do I. People tend to overeat things when they perceive them as a treat cause its a now or never mentality. Eat as much as you can now cause tomorrow we wont be allowed them.
We generally eat loads of fruit and veg and salad, nuts, salmon, chicken, beef and duck. We have full fat greek yoghurt, honey, maple as sweeteners. Lots of seeds, oatcakes sweet and savoury ones. We then have a chocolate and biscuit drawer. Crisps in the cupboard and my daughter makes homemade cakes a lot. Both children are very slim and eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. I love Green and Blacks Chocolate.

Hi Milly, to me that sort of proves my minefield point smile. I have 3 DC's, two naturally prefer granary bread, never touch fruit but eat plenty of veg. Ds1 hates brown bread, loves white - would never choose brown if white available (no digestive issues), he has a very sweet tooth and eats loads of fruit (and veg) but has very little self regulation when sweets are available, same as ds2, but dd actually doesn't enjoy the sweets so much, kind of gets swept up with the boys' enthusiasm, eats a little, then stops. So I feel the need to put the brakes on with the boys iykwim?

Also, sweets, whilst restricted when I was a child, hold little attraction for me, and I don't binge eat, but pretty much the only thing I eat 'mindlessly', knowing that I don't really want it! is stuff like hot cross buns and butter, something that was always available in my childhood and I sort of wish It hadn't been as I don't think I would have such a taste for it (but who's to say, given the fact that it is exactly that type of stodgy that draws so many of us?) confused.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 10:43:17

But if u regulate and you control his food choices then when he is away from you won't he overeat them because you control him? smile

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 11:03:16

When I started eating this way after doing much research into diets and weight and yo yo diets it was a leap of faith to start buying all the forbidden food that had been labelled "bad" my whole life. But you know what, once I got used to having all naughty foods around me a strange thing happened. They lost their appeal and hold on me and I only ate them if I really wanted them. I found myself desiring salads veg meat etc. Many studies have been done on this so I am not unique. That said I do understand the fear of letting go and allowing your children free reign. It was when I saw my daughter getting bigger that I adopted this method. I didn't say anything negative about her weight, just always assured her she was beautiful. I didn't put her on diets or tell her she looked fat. This had been done to me as a child and ny mother controlled everything I ate. We never had any sweets or cakes or crisps etc in our house as they were seen as unhealthy. When I was away from my mother's control, I overate and overate. My daughter started to self regulate and developed her own pattern of eating. She still ate cakes etc but only a little and then stopped. Her weight came off over a year. She is now 23 with no food issues. She is very into food and nutrition and is 5'7 size 6 to 8 UK which is a 4 in US I believe. I envy her so much. Her ability to stay a healthy weight without weighing herself or dieting. It amazes me when I think of my own life long battle.

hurried Tue 15-Oct-13 11:14:29

Children, fascinating. I had free access to bread when I was younger, my mum brought fresh bread home every few days, and even then she said I loved it and would always want more (I didn't and don't really like butter). I was given chocolate and sweets as a reward i.e., for being well behaved, for taking my medicine or eating my greens, however these aren't foods I binge on.

I am an overeater/binger and the foods I choose are bread, white, granary and cake/muffins/porridge (!),/any cereals. I hate sweets and we always have them in the house because my husband likes them but I never touch them and my LO doesn't like them (I was slightly horrified to see my OH feeding him one, but my LO pulled a face and spat it out). I do eat dark chocolate thought, and I eat wuite a lot of it- too much, however, it's not one of my absolute binge foods that I eat mindlessly (unless I am eating it with a frothy milky drink watching tv the I can go into a mindless zone and look down and wonder who ate the rest of the bar).

I obviously am not great with my relationship with food, but my son mainly has vegetables, meat, bread, cheese, he doesn't like fruit for some reason but will drink smoothies so I stick with that. I don't ban cakes, I try and choose healthier versions ie carrot cake, but I'm afraid cake is something I don't have a stop button with, so I probably am quite selfish and make sure we only go out to eat this i.e., an afternoon coffee and a little slice of cake at a cafe somewhere.

I have noticed my son,if he has sweeter stuff, he s less likely to eat his meals i.e.. fishfingers, broccoli and sweet potato for example, he would much rather have cake or a load of yogurts instead, so I give him a main meal and a small sweet dessert, but I have to be careful, if he has too much sweet stuff, I notice he definitely goes off the more savoury foods. My son is like my OH though, my OH gets full up quickly, and my son if my son drinks a drink at meal times he can't eat any more food yet I notice his little cousin, had her drink, ate all her food, then wanted my son't too- she probably needed the nutrients but my sister in law had said the doctor's were concerned that her daughter is overweight, she seems to have a much larger appetite. I know a GP friend of mine sees children in an obesity clinic, and she says lots of these children have free access to crisps and cake and their parents are upset that their children don't eat vegetables or main meals. So I think there is a balance, and each child is different. I think luckily, my son isn't like me, we went to playgroup and they handed out chocolate biscuits, some of the kids were going crazy wanting more, yet my son had half of one, then told me he was full up. Yet some of the little girls (coincidentally) went for more. They could have just been very hungry of course. At the same time, she told me she sees a child in a child protection case who was failing to thrive and the parent's had ensured this child didn't have any chocolate etc (the mother was anorexic, it was complicated apparently) but the child wasn't allowed any cakes, chocolate and for this child, who didn't have a large appetite anyway, a chocolate milkshake may have been helpful!

I know this will cause rows, and is controversial, but SLEEP has helped me to reflect on things. I have friends who can't have just one drink. I have always been too full after two glasses of wine. Of course, I have got tipsy in the past, but it's just not my thing, does that make sense. However, I wonder if there is a part of me, that when very stressed or upset, wouldn't turn to drink of course, because I know my nature is to self medicate. My point however, is, that some people turn to alcohol and I don't think I have that alcohol gene...if that makes sense. My LO isn't like me, he has never been that fussed by food, any food really, my cousin was the same, really tall and skinny and my aunt used to worry for him as he would forget to eat as he was always busy doing things and he found eating a chore. My siblings, brought up in the same environment as me love food too, however, they will feel they really fancy a piece of cake etc and have once slice at say 11 am and they feel satisfied. Whereas I can be with them not even thinking about having cake, have some and then just think well now "I'm thinking about cake and I have just had some" I wasn't banning it. Of course, there could be a deep psychological feeling that I have banned it in my mind that I am not aware of.

My LO loved breast feeding and he has been quite fussy, but the way I have dealt with him is to eat with him and offer him foods from all the food groups, and to be honest he probably doesn't have as much fat as he could have, but I try and not give lots of sweet or salty stuff, just because he doesn't seem to miss it (I do give some, but once when I brought a pack of jaffa cakes, I kept them in a cupboard which he could reach - we have always had the odd jaffa cake so they haven't been a banned food and I hate them so he hasn't seen me overeat on them, but he was a nightmare, he kept helping himself, having huge tantrums, throwing his dinner on the floor shouting "jaffa cake" both out lives were much easier when he didn't know they were there!).

Sleep I love your posts you are so thoughtful and sometimes I feel like you know me. My mum has just brought me a subscription of Zest!

I think the two nights a week, pasta or pizza is a good idea, having it with my OH. I don't really binge on pasta, but I suppose it's not a food just there... you have to cook it and prepare it. Yesterday I had made myself salmon in the slow cooker with tomatoes, and I put a full fat olive pesto sauce on top and it kept me going until the evening. I have to be honest with myself, part of me is so stubborn and spoilt, I will think this will make me feel worse later, yet I can often do it anyway... so i am a complete fool! I am in no doubt about that.Sleep I think I actually don't often feel true hunger, yet you are right, I think that some of my cravings can be in response can be to low blood sugar, as certainly I thought about raiding the bread (I had left from the weekend) and I thought I would have my lovely salmon supper first, I think knowing it was smothered in pesto helped me to look forward to it.

I'm working on the breakfast! I had a soya cappuccino but still having a few squares of dark chic first thing. I might look into raw chocolate or try having just one square, I think I'm complicated, with somethings I would rather have a no go approach ie, just don't have any, it's easier to give it up... mornings I'm battling with, I think if I got straight up and out that may help too.

My skin is dry, but interestingly since I have been having more full fat things (slight problem is I haven't cut down on thee carbs too much yet!!! ) a few people have commented on my skin! I think I have a psychological battle with adding fat to food, but I did notice yesterday my salmon satisfied me, yet half of me was craving the bread, but after eating the meal I didn't want it.

I have to recognise emotional triggers too, this morning I woke feeling sad, yet I dropped my little one off at nursery (a free morning) and it's sunny, yet I felt really hypersensitive (a small unrelated matter, that really isn't an issue) and I noticed I started craving a coffee and chocolate/food. I had to literally talk to myself and say is this because of me being hypersensitive/emotional about something else. I deal with emotional issues with food, like you say SLEEP it's become self medication. I often think I could smoke right now when something happens, I don't and have never smoked, because I think I could turn to that too in times of crisis!

I think I have an underlying self loathing, and actually I don't help myself, I often hide from things and make matters much worse.

Today I have another piece of salmon and more pesto (OH is away for the week) any ideas what I could have with it sleep? I fancy something yum but nutritious... :-)

You must tell me when you have qualified!


MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 11:40:12

Hurried carbs are sopaphoric whereby they induce feelings of calm.

Hey - I read Milly's last but one post asking me about the self-regulation thing, then made my way home, thinking about it before reading your post, Hurried. I go round and round with the kids stuff in my head!

I completely get your argument Milly and I think that maybe it depends on the child (their nature and their age), as with Hurried and her siblings. I am pretty sure my DD would self-regulate but equally so, the boys probably wouldn't - or more to the point, they wouldn't necessarily eat what would be considered excessive amounts of sweets/crisps if allowed unlimited access, but almost certainly they would eat enough to diminish their appetite for a nutritious meal when it came to time for that smile. I wonder if sometimes it depends how sensitive you are to sugar (or the insulin hit from carbs), some people simply find it more addictive than others?

I don't ban everything with my DC's, they have a biscuit or two, or a hot cross bun or muffin after school for example, and a small pudding after dinner (but I am 'guilty' of making this a condition of eating most of the main meal). The only thing I really feel strongly about keeping them away from is fizzy drinks (I also never buy juice or smoothies any more but they have them in restaurants/friends houses). My ds1 is 8 and so he is starting to be in situations where fizzy drinks are available and he is (understandably) keen to try it - partly because his friends like them but also because he knows DH and I don't like them grin - so if he sees, say, a can of coke on the table and I am nearby, its almost a challenge 'look mum, I'm going to drink some of this'...to which I have to say 'look sweetheart, you have to make your own choices, you understand why we don't drink that stuff and why I'd prefer it if you don't - but it's your body, so you have to decide, I'm not always going to be around to tell you not to'. Truth is, he really doesn't like the taste and I want to keep it that way, rather than him developing one by 'practising' through regular access! We also keep the emphasis on being strong and healthy - DH and I love good food and are very keen on exercise and being fit and the dc's are (so far) also keen on exercise - so our focus is on eating lots of the stuff that helps with this and just a little of the foods that aren't so helpful for your body.

Hurried - how about some lentils (pre-cooked sachet is easiest) and roast tomatoes, steamed broccoli with your salmon? Or some steamed spring greens with butter and salt and pepper?

The 'fat is bad' thing is hard to get away from isn't it? Good that you see such a difference in your skin when you are eating more of it. I think we need a different name for fat in food because it is so synonymous with fat on our bodies! Would it help to focus on the EFA's in food like salmon and olive oil - Essential fatty acids? The clue is in the name!

Do you have any thoughts on why you have 'self loathing' Hurried? Also, what is the small issue you are hyper-sensitive about? If you are feeling that way about something it maybe isn't actually that insignificant hmm?

I don't qualify properly until May but I am more than happy to continue chatting and trying to help Hurried, I am getting more and more interesting insights with every lecture and its great if any of those can be of use to you - we can learn together grin.

Mollydoggerson Tue 15-Oct-13 12:25:42

Hi there,

You sound very similar to many of the poeple who put themselves forward to the shows 'Obese - A year to save my life', and 'Fat the fight of my life'. Many of the people on those shows are secret eaters and self loathe as a result of the secret eating. The trainer and mentor Jessie Pavleka is amazing. He is so positive and understanding and kind. I find the shows really insightful, you should check them out. By the sounds of things you are not obese but you are suffering from some of the same complaints as the participants. The tips on the shows might come in handy.

Well done on the really positive steps you have taken so far x

HeirToTheIronThrone Tue 15-Oct-13 14:27:17

Hello everyone.

I've just read this thread from the start and wondered if I could join you - I have struggled with binge eating for years, all in secret. The car tends to be my spot for it - stopping most days recently for petrol or one missing dinner ingredient so I can buy biscuits/chocolate/crisps/flapjacks/cake/sandwiches, stuff them down on the drive home and then have a 'normal' dinner.

The thing I struggle with is that I just cannot see an underlying reason - like hey I feel I am genuinely happy, I am newly married to a lovely man and have a good job. I am overweight - size 14/16, about 12.5 stone - but not huge. If I try and explain to people what I do the stock answer is that is must be because I am sad/depressed - but I really feel like I'm not. So WHY do I do it??

Hi Heir, welcome. Its not as simple as being depressed is it? Although this is clearly an issue for some people.

You could be binge eating for a myriad of reasons and it can take time and patience to discover them, then even more to resolve them. You can be pretty sure though, that compulsions (whether it is eating, alcohol, self-harm, drugs or shopping) are not about real appetite or the food/whatever itself though - its the manifestation of something - a situation, or feelings that you haven't resolved or felt able or willing to deal with. This could fall under such diverse areas as family background and relationships (in your childhood and now), your main relationships now (lover/spouse/dc's), your work and money situation and how you regard them , sexual issues, religious issues, environmental issues, personal interests and body image.

Do you recognise any particular triggers for your binges, how do you feel before during and afterwards? Have you talked to DH about it? What is your life and diet like generally?

HeirToTheIronThrone Tue 15-Oct-13 15:06:55

Boredom is certainly one. I think possibly self-esteem too - I have never thought that I look as good as any of my friends, so why even try to? And stress probably another. But it's so frustrating, as these are all such disparate things, so why should they result in the same behaviour?

DH will listen to me talk about it and is sympathetic. He has offered to pay for a counsellor if I want. I am not sure about that, not sure I could do it and am semi-convinced that I would not be taken seriously - I am an intelligent 30 year old happily married professional woman, but all I can think is that I'd be laughed at - it's only eating!

And life generally busy but not horrifically so. Outside of the binges I eat well, generally. Breakfast and lunch at work and I take it in so as not to be tempted by the sandwich van - so cereal or porridge usually, then a home made wrap, soup or salad. Dinner is almost always cooked from scratch, I love cooking - things like chilli, last night we had fajitas, tonight will be gammon and baked chips and poached eggs.

Heir - no decent counsellor (or even any bad one I suspect!) would laugh at you. It's not only eating. It is your medicine/distraction/comfort from the true problem. It is upsetting you and will (if it isn't already) cause you health problems and weight problems. Your feelings of low self esteem are important and a good counsellor will help you address them.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 19:30:30

When I was a child and my mother controlled my food to the extent that I never felt truly satisfied by what I was given. If I helped myself to anything I was made to feel very bad and told how fat I would get. Whenever I went to anyone else house I would be so excited to see what food they had in their house. I would see bread and real butter instead of slimcea and low fat spread. Chocolate, biscuits, crisps, packets of cereals. I would eat soooo much and still wasn't full. When my parents went away for the day and left me alone I would go through the cupboards eating a bit of this and a bit of that making sure my mother wouldn't be able to tell. I was s very skinny teenager cause I wasn't allowed to eat. I was deprived of food but got better when I was older and living on my own cause I could eat whatever I chose.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 19:35:16

Heir if your going out in the car and buying all this food and eating it, why don't you take the food home and eat it with or in front of your husband? smile

Milly, that really is extreme control! I'd say issues with food were pretty much inevitable given that upbringing sad. You've done amazingly well to resolve it.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 20:51:25

Thank you. I do deal with body issues on a daily bases though and it can be disabling at times.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 20:53:55

I didn't mean my question to Heir to sound twitchy and hope that's not how it came accross....just want to know why she doesn't eat all her food haul in front of her DH.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 20:54:23

bitchy.....bloody phone grin grin grin

Can I ask...have you forgiven your Mum for all that Milly?

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 23:20:20

Well Sleep ...interesting question. Short answer...my parents didn't have anything to do with me for 21 years. They had moved back to my home country. I had tried contacting them but couldn't find them. Lots of childhood issues. I hadn't forgiven them for lots of things but had moved on resigned to the fact that I had no parents and would never here from them again. They then turned up last year trying to find me. I decided to put my anger and feelings aside as my mother said she was ill. They were here 3 days and then flew back home. It was a bittersweet time and emotionally draining. It has taken me till now to adjust and sometimes have regretted seeing them again. Nothing really resolved but everything just moved on from. Now my Father is ill and I try and keep my emotions in a box with regard to them and not let it interfere in my life. Hard though.

MillyMillyMe Tue 15-Oct-13 23:21:51

Well Sleep ...interesting question. Short answer...my parents didn't have anything to do with me for 21 years. They had moved back to my home country. I had tried contacting them but couldn't find them. Lots of childhood issues. I hadn't forgiven them for lots of things but had moved on resigned to the fact that I had no parents and would never here from them again. They then turned up last year trying to find me. I decided to put my anger and feelings aside as my mother said she was ill. They were here 3 days and then flew back home. It was a bittersweet time and emotionally draining. It has taken me till now to adjust and sometimes have regretted seeing them again. Nothing really resolved but everything just moved on from. Now my Father is ill and I try and keep my emotions in a box with regard to them and not let it interfere in my life. Hard though.

LittleRobots Wed 16-Oct-13 00:54:17

The thread fell off my active conversation list when I wasn't on so much but I'd like to rejoin you.

I binged hugely at the weekenand really want to get back on top of things. Its so helpful reading some of the above posts - hurried your thought process is so verysimilar to mine. I wake up feeling exhausted or just unable to manage the things I need to do and food does feel like a hug.

I similarly don't tend to eat or fancy burgers or frozen food so I think I kidded myself m diet war ok - but I'm 16 stone and it feels a huge battle to get back down to normal. Food seems such a normal part of my day and sometimes one of few pleasures. Although I know even before eating that its a strange pleasure, I'm not massively enjoying the actual food it just fills a hole.

I binged at the weekend quite badly but I did start an exercise referal thing at the gym and took myself there for the first time yesterday. I have to really fight the negative thoughts (this is boring, half an hour won't do much, you're not going very fast, how on earth did I get this unfit, God I'm fat.) however I felt so proud I'd been and I do so little exercise

LittleRobots Wed 16-Oct-13 01:01:07

(oops) that I did feel good getting sweaty for a change. I also start worrying if I'm at the right gym / financially making sense / best type of exercise / if I'll have enough time to continue away from children.

I've really realised a lot of my thinking is so very very negative and critical. I have very low self esteem (crap childhood so I guess the patterns are pretty deep) and don't have good close relationships now (I've often thought I could do with a loving mother /sister/ friend who could just care sometimes. However getting sad of lack of support doesn't actually help. . .

Its a vicious circle - I'm sure losing a lot of weight would help self esteem but low self esteem is a reason I eat I think. Its certainly not straightforward x leads to y in my head.

If other thing I struggle with is all the planning, shopping, cooking around meals. Especiallywhen I have low energy or motivation. I'd love home cooked nutritious meals to just arrive and for some reason I'm struggling to do the basic tasks of being on top of ordering food and cooking it that most people manage. I'm well educated but really struggle with routine jobs in many areas - housework as well!

HeirToTheIronThrone Wed 16-Oct-13 08:22:03

Milly I think it wouldn't really be secret binging if we did it together!! I try and eat 'normally' with DH, overeating really isn't an attractive trait!

Thank you Sleep for your PM. I have been recommended a local counsellor by a friend and have been brave enough to look at his website - a start!

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 09:00:28

Millyme- I'm sorry to hear about what has happened to you. You have my admiration for staying so strong and working through food problems, it is little surprise that you developed secret eating. You sound like you have become a very loving mother with lovely children.

Littlerobots, I'm so sorry you had a tough weekend. I can relate of course. I am not sure if it helps, but exercise has been something that has stopped binges, I think it might be finding the right thing for you, I hated the thought of classes - trust me, they are not "me" or so I thought- and I actually found a class, the Tai Chi/pilates one, that I come out of, not trying to avoid binge or dieting, but wanting to look after myself. Rather than, "I feel really tired, bored, upset, I really want to eat as i don't know what else to do" and then fighting this with "but I mustn't eat too much as I am not hungry and have already had a good lunch". The motivation to want to care for yourself is a huge one, but I find getting into the self love mode rather than the "lizard brain " (to steal a phrase) "I really don't care. I'm rubbish, there is no point, it doesn't matter, just grab it, this is my only joy, this will make me feel better (despite any later consequences)" voices (I appreciate I am sounding schizophrenic here, but my mind is certainly contradictory). You are not alone. I honestly think if people saw me they would never guess (although I am a size 14 and although that doesn't sound huge, I am quite petite framed), like you (you wouldn't think it from my "hurried" almost incomprehensible posts, but I had quite a good job years ago (although I hated it)

Really long walks help for me too, for some reason, I actually enjoy walking (when it's a really long walk- I guess it takes a long time and feels like I achieved something - but of course this may not be the same for you) , especially knowing there is lunch or supper at the end of it! I hear you with the menu planning. I find it hard to even prepare all the food as if I have anything in bulk I eat it...however, this hasn't been the case with MASSIVE salads etc, ie, preparing roasted veg and something yum. However, if I'm making sandwiches for the family... I end up snacking as I go along! I am sure Sleep will be full of ideas- you could prepare some soups?

I am not sure this is helpful for self esteem, but for me, even typing this helps me to be mindful, but I know if I am in all day, and there are bagels (whatever the food you overeat on) accessible, and the day has little structure... this is a danger zone. I know, for example, Wednesdays are often a binge day (you could try logging in a diary when you do it, no one else needs to see it). My husband is often home very late (and returns stressed) or away, I have a whole day alone with my LO, and if it's raining, and I plan to stay in all day... (in fact, I can't think of a time I haven't binged on a day like today) I know I'm likely to binge- so I better get out, quick!!!!

I hope I don't sound patronising, these things may not apply to you or be helpful at all. I am obviously not a recovered soul....x

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 09:02:18

Heir- I will send another post in a bit- I won't rush one as when I do I seem to send garbled rubbish! xx bog hugs from another secret eater x

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 09:54:19

Heir thankyou for replying. I wondered why you felt it necessary to hide " eating" from your husband. You have seemed to imply that him seeing you eat all your binge foods would be unattractive. Is he someone who is into healthy eating?

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 10:02:48

HurriedThankyou....I didn't want my children having food issues like me...and they don't grin I don't binge now and I credit this to Paul McKenna and Overcoming Overeating. I still have to stop myself picking while I'm cooking but that is a habit I'm working on. It also kills my appetite so I don't enjoy my dinner which is sad really. The Paul thread I have been on for a year has been amazing as we all support each other to never diet again and to eat normally. smile

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 10:17:14

I think another question, I have and am trying to solve is what to have after a binge.. I tend to find, if I have scoffed a whole load of food, I think "stuff it" (excuse pun) for the rest of the day. I know that doesn't make logical sense but I think a combination of the effect binge has on blood glucose levels and the psychological process of thinking I haven't used food to nourish, and thinking I have eaten 6000 kcal what's the point of caring... again, I realise that doesn't make sense but that is what keeps it going for me. I also find after a binge my lizard brain is having a field day, I feel so tired and sluggish I don't feel like doing anything. I am confessing all here, I know it's awful and to be honest, greedy and illogical!

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 10:18:29

MillyMillyme It's great your kids don't have food issues. Such a great start to life. OOOO the picking when cooking - me too, however, this isn't so ba when cooking something with loads of veg- not that I am patient enough to do this sometimes.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 10:36:45

Hurried I used to have that " start again tomorrow" attitude and continue overeating anything and everything because tomorrow I will be back to dieting!! Now that I never diet I never binge. I don't need to because I don't deny myself anything. Does that make sense at all?

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 11:02:40

Yes Millymillyme, maybe I do think I have some "diet issues" however, it's more I feel I have achieved something if I haven't binged. I then feel energised and happy. Yet I feel I have failed when I do, does that make sense?

another OP recommended "obese- a year to save my life" (I think that's the title) and I have to say, I really relate to those folk. They all seem to turn to food for comfort and exactly the same way I do. I worry as I do have a "oh blow it" attitude and I'm sure I could develop real weight/health problems. The frustrating thing i, I can watch that type of programme and be really wishing the participant well, but can find myself getting annoyed with them too- yet I do exactly the same things. It's a fine line between self loathing and at the same time "letting yourself off the hook".

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 11:06:57

I was thinking about it all just now. If I even think about dieting and manage to do it for a day say, that will bring on horrible feelings of emotion where I feel bad for hurting myself yet again. Then my eating becomes disordered for that day until I adjust to non diet mode again.

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 11:07:57

When I have binged, it ruins my whole day, I feel tired I get brain "fog", it's more than just the thought of having gained a few pounds in a few moments. It's the way I feel, yet I continue to do it, I'm sure there are some words of wisdom somewhere that says a foolish person makes the same mistakes again and again, I almost purposely drive myself to the edge of the cliff. The only thing for me, is be busy, and to be physically somewhere I'm not thinking about food too much, or if I am it's somewhere I am looking forward to food for nourishment and to relieve true hunger. When I have a day using it to comfort feelings it feels great at the time, euphoric even. I must admit, a long run or drugs must be the only other things I have to comfort akin to that received off carbs.

Going back to carbs, I honestly they are not bad if eaten in small quantities and a dietitian has rolled her eyes at me when I mentioned going on a low carb diet and part of me feels it can't be healthy, but anyway would be healthier than what I'm doing at the moment surely.

Mollydoggerson Wed 16-Oct-13 11:31:44

Hi Hurried, I hope you don't mind me popping in, I find this thread very interesting.

I'm the one who mentioned Obese - A year to save my life. Yes you are right about it being hard to always remain loyal to the participants. One thing that Jessie Pavleka promotes is self love and also self responsibility. I love him because I find him wholesome and responsible (who knows maybe it is just his general hotness that has swayed me ! (-; ). He used to be a body builder but turned his back on that because the lifestyle was so unhealthy, food was being used to mutate the body rather than nourish it. The more I find out about his approach to food and exercise the more I am attracted to that positive attitude!

By the way you mentioned upthread how you have a stop button for alcohol, how you simply feel full after 2 glasses of wine. I am the opposite, I have a stop button with food, no bother really, but I really have to monitor myself with alcohol. I have to fight against having more. I also crave it during the week and consider it unacceptable so don't drink it at home during the week. If I let loose I will drink until I fall down. I'm not an alcoholic (parent had alcohol issues), but alcohol is a problem for many family members. It is only now in my mid-thirties that I am realising just how skewed my entire families attitude to alcohol is. I never realised some people have a similar attitude to carbs. Of course in some ways it is easier to avoid alcohol as 1. it's socially unacceptable for mum's to drink to excess, and 2. I cannot have hangovers in work and 3 it would be really bad parenting to model the behaviour of very regular, excessive drinking to my kids. That behaviour was modelled to us as children (only 1 parent - not an eye batted by the surrounding family and community as lots of other families worked in the same way). Sorry I am derailing massively! The link between the addiction of excessive eating and drinking is only becoming clear to me now.

Some people (even if not alcoholics) will drink until they vomit and some will eat until they are physically sick and want to vomit. How sad that people succumb to what is ultimately a form of self harming. Anyway enough waffle from me.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 12:44:02

I know I'm simplifying it here hurried but I used to feel very foggy too Yeats ago after eating loads of carbs and sugar. It's the insulin surge and then the high and then the crash and then the need for more of the same to get the high again. In the end though you just feel rock bottom because you have abused your body again. I also now wait for that lovely " true " hunger signal before eating anything. Why don't you read a Paul McKenna I can make you thin book. He really has done his research into diets and how they cause us to binge and have disorded eating. He helps you to see yourself in a different light and when you have binged rather than continue he helps you to get back on track and forgive yourself and get back on track immediately. I'm probably older than most of you ( apologies if I'm not ) and if I could go back in time I would have wished to have had this understanding of my disorder eating years ago.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 12:47:22

The hypno relaxation tape for reprogramming your disorder eating is lovely. Helps you to really really relax.

hurried Wed 16-Oct-13 14:03:28

you have pursuaded me, I'm open to any help. I have some other books coming too! I'm 36 btw :-) (I probably sound very immature I should imagine :-) )

HeirToTheIronThrone Wed 16-Oct-13 17:00:29

Milly not especially healthy in terms of eating, and he loves a pint or two, but he is very fit - trains every day. I think I'm grossly unattractive whilst doing it, and I am ashamed of it. It's very much a solitary thing - like someone said above I don't binge in public because I am conscious of what people will think.

HeirToTheIronThrone Wed 16-Oct-13 17:01:41

I also found Paul M to be of little help to be honest. I have had hypnotherapy too and that didn't work either...

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 18:10:12

Worth a try Hurried join us on the Paul McKenna thread number 13 if you want. Not many of us on there but those that are on it have been doing it for about 3 years now. It really can help with the cause of overeating but obviously you have to put in the mental work and do the exercises in the book and listen to the CD. We are all there to share and help you if you want.
Heir I can understand not wanting to overeat in front of DH. Do you and he never buy lots of foods you love and go home and watch a film and eat though? Like crisps, dips, chocolate, icecream, etc? Do you allow yourself to eat a lot of your normal meals and snacks in front of him or do you eat like a mouse so he thinks you don't have a big appetite?
Im 52 but people are very shocked by that as they think im mid to late thirties.....ha ha ...Go Me!!. Good genes in our family. I know its hard, I really do but I wish I could have sorted out my eating when I was in my mid thirties then I wouldn't have wasted all those years not liking myself in the mirror and having a love/hate relationship with food.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 18:13:02

Heir why do you think Paul Mck didn't work for you if you don't mind me asking. Did you find it easy to stick to the four mindful eating rules?

Wow, this thread is growing - and getting ever more revealing smile

Milly envy at looking 15 years younger than you are! That'll be all the EFA's wink. Your reply about your parents was really interesting - and sad. The relationship is definitely not great is it sad. You may not even want to try - understandably, it will be painful and you are maybe still holding lots of feelings of anger inside that little box you mention - but I do feel that if you could forgive your parents (and if your Dad is ill it may be a very good time to do so), you may find you struggle less with the body issues you still say you battle with. Do you believe that your mum's controlling behaviour was driven by love? Do you think she felt pressure to be slim herself - culturally it was as big an issue 30-40 years ago as it is now - and felt it a favour to you to teach the same control she tried to exert over her own diet? Or did she feel having an overweight child would reflect badly on her? Whatever the motives, you surely understand that they were her issues that she was imposing on you, rather than anything being actually about you? Maybe she (and your dad, you don't say so much about him) had their own troubled upbringing? The things Hurried said about her friend treating children with eating issues and the problem lying with the parents...so true. My teacher says that if a child is referred to him with eating issues he always has a consultation with the parents first because it is always, always the parents that have the issue, never the child (even if problems manifest themselves through the child) smile - something to keep in mind. Maybe try and parent your parents....tough though...

I'm coming back after my dinner with more thoughts...especially for hurried smile

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 22:22:51

Sleep yep, definitely the oils and fats I eat and I have always eaten loads of veg and fruit. love love love veg, especially green veg. How weird am I.
I have forgiven but not forgotten. I had to forgive to be able to meet them last year.
I don't believe her controlling behaviour was driven by love, it was driven by vanity. Vanity to have a slim daughter. She was embarrassed if I wasn't dressed perfectly or looked scruffy or if I looked fat. It might be her issue but she made it my issue as when you are treated like this from the beginning it becomes part of you. She and my dad probably did have troubled upbringings, many people do but I don't give them that as an excuse because I had a crap childhood which I made the best of but I have not passed that onto my kids. I read so many books on bringing up children positively . I cuddled them, comforted them, praised them and taught them right from wrong in a positive way.
My mother said to my daughter last year at the restaurant, "you and I don't need to diet do we" . My daughter felt sorry for me and angry and wanted to have a go but she didn't. She said a few other stupid remarks about me too in front of my kids. O...and I spent my childhood parenting them and often felt like the adult.
Anyway, sorry this is not my thread. Maybe its helpful though for hurried to hear from others as to why they feel they have binged over the years. Sometimes others stories ring bells and you can see yourself in them.

Hurried - soup is great! I am currently having a bit of a love affair with roasted butternut squash soup with chilli and ginger grin.

My latest thing that occurs to me with your posts Hurried is you are really so very hard on yourself. So many posts, you put yourself down - 'I'm a pig', 'I must sound immature', 'my posts are incomprehensible', 'I look so awful most of the time', 'I feel so guilty for getting out of the house', 'I feel vain and self-indulgent for wanting to look great'. sad. List out all these harsh criticisms you have about yourself out in a list (just for you) - see how mean you are being (!) and then try and counter each one with a logical, rational argument that you may have with a friend saying the same thing about themself!

I would say, just from reading your posts and without meeting you, you sound highly intelligent, write very eloquently and you are kind, a loving mother, curious, intellectual and sympathetic towards others. How about adding to this positive list, every day for a month, at least 3 things - however small they may be - 'I can do the splits', 'my child adores me', 'I can rap all the words to the Sugar Hill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight', 'I make fantastic soup', 'I can walk for 5 miles and feel great', 'I have lovely ankles' smile....they are all great and make you you. Every day you will have a longer and longer list to look at and appreciate!

You haven't said too much about your relationship with DH or your family, how are those?

By the way, please, I've said it before but please try and forget the idea of losing weight/dieting at the moment, focus on great quality food, enjoying it and nourishing your body. I get the impression this is being slightly derailed by your thoughts about what you 'should' and 'shouldn't' be eating smile. As you've said yourself, you aren't hugely overweight, once you are feeling happier and healthier I am sure it will seem easy to shift any extra pounds.

Milly - I hear you - you sound angry...with good reason (and I'm sure we have only heard part of the story here)! I have lots of issues with my own mum and she definitely knows how to push my buttons. I can't say that I have forgiven her for many things in my childhood either - so I am definitely suggesting something I am struggling with myself. I do believe though, that if we harbour bad feelings we are ultimately prolonging the pain for ourselves...we certainly aren't going to change the way our parents feel about anything whether we forgive them or not - in fact, they probably wouldn't even think they have done anything that they should be forgiven for! So its only us it makes a difference to in the end....

Molly - you are so right about your observation about binge eating being similar to alcohol abuse or even self-harm. Interestingly, I read a post on another forum about eating disorders where someone actually won a bikini ('natural' bodybuilding) competition - at which point she had a moment of realisation that she too was abusing her body, through over-control of food and over-exercising. She had finally achieved the 'perfect' body - validated by an entire judging panel - and was shocked to realise that she was just as miserable and had all the same problems as she had before she lost a lot of weight..if not more (awful mood swings, no period, problem skin)...so self-abuse takes many forms and a slim and beautiful body does not guarantee anything...

Robots well done on getting to the gym. It sounds like you felt great afterwards, keep focusing on that, most regular exercisers do smile. Stop worrying about keeping it up/being able to afford it, just keep going, regard every day you do a bit of exercise as 'money in the bank' for your health and fitness (physical and mental) smile. Day by day, baby steps...the body you are meant to have is there, it may just be hiding for a while - treat it well and in time it will reveal itself!

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 22:54:08

Yes Sleep your right. They are most likely oblivious to how they have been. I just try and love them and appreciate them as they are now. Older people who are not in the best of health. I try and think with my "adult" head on rather than my "child" head. Until a button is pressed like this thread, I forget and don't even think about it. I have moved on and left all that behind me. But I have my triggers and they seem to be more apparent since they came back into my life. My lovely DH said last year that it would be a rollercoaster ride for the next year trying to get my head round everything and he was right. I do sometimes think it would have been easier if they had not come back into my life as it is surely for their benefit that they have done this, not mine but I could not hurt them and turn them away now unless they do or say something (anything really) that really really angers me. It is very fine line. When they told me by email that my dad had an illness
my first reaction was to cry and then to feel angry that they have come back into my life and now they are going to go again. It is very very hard.
Thank you for listening to me rant though. I feel very tearful when I write but that is a good thing I think and I will probably go back to forgetting about it again now.

Where do you live Sleep. America? I have to say I love love love homemade soups. Yesterday I had butternut squash, carot and ginger. OMG it was so delicious. I love parsnip and cumin too but I must admit to a fondness for Heinz tinned Tomato soup.
Do you have children? He he......sorry just don't know much about you and you have been sooo kind listening to us.

Sorry Milly I didn't mean to pry into such personal stuff and upset you....rant as much as you want though, I am pretty sure Hurried doesn't regard the thread as 'hers' so much as group therapy smile. Your DH sounds lovely.

Heinz tomato soup...OMG now that is definitely a taste of childhood - in a good way smile. I should get some!

I live in London but I am a (long escaped) South Wales valleys girl grin! 40 years old, SAHM - but possibly not for much longer judging by the numbers of people joining this thread wink, lovely DH and 2 DS's aged 8 and 3 and a DD, 5.

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 23:18:47

Well.....nice to meet you Sleep grin
I live in North Wales and I love it but am Australian originally. Lived in London for ten years when first married then moved back up here so the kids could grow up in this beautiful place. Do you ever think of moving back to South Wales? DH is Welsh and a Welsh Speaker (as they all are up here), kids speak Welsh and I speak a little. Do you?
What a lovely way to think of this thread...."Group Therapy". Seems like you have your first non paying (he he!!) clients Sleep. smile

LittleRobots Wed 16-Oct-13 23:39:43

I went to the gym again today - while my daughter was in an activity in the same building. Gosh it feels good. It really isn't much (30 minutes of heart warming activity, and at a very slow pace!) but it feels good.

My aim is to get fit enough to start the couch to 5 k. I started it once before but my achilles wasn't strong enough and I'd love to be fit enough to have another go. Goals like that motivate me.

I've also bought some new clothes. This is a very big thing! I've had issues for as long as I remember with spending money on myself, especially clothes and have been wearing ill fitting supermarket clothes (where I keep changing shape). I've got a few very "me" tops and a necklace and feel so very different. I still look large but I look "me" in nice clothes and large rather than ill fitting.

I've always said I'd wait until I lost weight but the clothes with the gym and I feel so much more positive. I've probably had too many calories today but I've been eating at sensible times and not binged either, just mid morning and mid afternoon snakc.

Hope everyone else is doing ok> I just wanted to share my encouraging day.

Thanks for the thread Hurried, and the group therapy, Sleep!!

MillyMillyMe Wed 16-Oct-13 23:46:46

Well done Little small steps. Buying nice clothes for yourself is hard isn't it. I still find it difficult to spend money on anything for myself. Glad you had a positive day smile

Nice to meet you too Milly smile. My sister lives in N Wales too, just outside Llangollen. We aren't Welsh speakers (like most S Walians of our generation). It certainly ls beautiful there but I can't imagine moving back, I have lost my heart to London and the thought of living somewhere quiet makes me feel twitchy grin.

Well done Little, that's is so great that you are enjoying the gym and have a goal of doing the c25k. Even better about the clothes, I think your comment about feeling 'you' in them is so important. Keep it up grin!

Milly I just have one small comment about your Mum, I keep thinking about her comment to your dd at the restaurant...I don't know whether it should make you laugh or cry rather than get wound up by it. She clearly is still obsessive about food, it sounds like she has spent her life controlling it and obsessing about weight gain and is still, as an elderly lady, doing the same thing...even if convincing herself she doesn't! What a miserable life. I know it took some time but at least you have freed yourself from that, you should be very proud of that and the way you have brought up your children. Xx

Bluecarrot Thu 17-Oct-13 09:56:06

Hi ladies, only read the first few weeks if posts and skimmed the rest ( will read properly later) after coming to the abrupt realisation last night that i am a secret binge eater ( in phases rather than constant).. And so is my 10year old dd in a lesser way (hers is mainly icing- icing sugar, writing icing, Betty Crocker tubs of premade icing)

I'm currently pregnant so visible effects of my overeating won't be that obvious for a few months. To other people at least! I buy cheap chocolate and sweets then gorge on them. I barely think about the taste, just about having another. Then I'm having to dose up on heartburn meds to counteract it. It's like I'm in a trance or something!

For me its stress. I gave up smoking a few years ago and think ive replaced it with eating. I've never been slim, but size 12-14 which I have generally been happy with. But occasionally I go through phases where I binge - yesterday and the day before I reckon 1000 calories each day just in sweet food, not counting the extra "normal" food I eat. I also go through phases where I forget to eat meals. Normally skipping lunch as I genuinely forget.

Yesterday my food was

Large bowl bran flakes
2 glasses (about 400ml total) pure apple juice
Activia yogurt
1 slice 50/50 toast with flora buttery.
2 bags of thorntons vanilla fudge ( not in one sitting)
Lunch ( late as we were out)
Tomato soup and 4 slices 50/50 bread.
Chicken nuggets and chips with mixed veg.
Dilute juice with fizzy water
Large bowl of strawberries and grapes with Rachel's low fat vanilla yogurt.
3 slices 50/50 bread. Would have had cereal but we ran out of milk.

I drink milk, water and dilute juice ( no added sugar) through the day.

Today, if I wasn't putting any thought into it, is prob be eating the same except I made a mince based pie ahead of time, for our dinner ( extra lean mince, peppers, sweet corn, carrots and topped with sweet potato) and lunch is chicken and sweet potato with mixed veg.

Need to knock this on the head and get reading up for my benefit as well as my daughters.

Feels good ( and also really rubbish!) to get it off my chest. Think I maybe need to talk to someone in RL too. Like admitting it is facing up to it like with any other addiction.

MillyMillyMe Thu 17-Oct-13 12:38:09

I have been reading and I think I have come to the conclusion that binging or overeating for the sake of it is a form of self harm. It releases some tension or stress that we are feeling by eating a lot and feeling sick (or not) and then after we calm down and can get on with our lives back in normal town!!!! What do you think?

Hi bluecarrot - welcome smile. I hope Hurried's thread is helping you too. You have listed your food for a day - did you want some feedback on it in any way?

hurried - you still here smile?

Oh and Milly - I think you are absolutely right with the self-harm thing.

MillyMillyMe Thu 17-Oct-13 15:05:08

I think you actually might have mentioned something about binging and self harming yourself up thread Sleep??

MillyMillyMe Thu 17-Oct-13 15:05:27

bingeing even angry

Bluecarrot Thu 17-Oct-13 15:31:00

Sleep - I guess I just wanted to see it in black and white. Obv the fudge is OTT, but the bread needs kicked out too.

Maybe feedback on the other food if you had any thoughts (bearing in mind Im 7 months pregnant!) Or perhaps Im hijacking! THink it was such a relief to read the thread that my brain just had to get it out!

Ive read through a lot and have thought about it in bits through the day but it makes me feel so anxious I have to distract myself! Im online now to read the blog someone mentioned (overcoming overeating) and also thought about body clutter by the flylady. I liked her style for the house clutter and think the friendly nature might help me with this too.

MillyMillyMe Thu 17-Oct-13 15:32:06

Afternoon Hurried
How's you today?

Hi Blue - I don't think you are hijacking, most people on here seem to have a keen interest in eating healthily smile. Obviously you want to focus on this particularly because of being pg - congratulations by the way! Anyone not interested can skip over this post!

Putting the fudge to one side (is that what you mean as a binge by the way, or is it habitual?), yes, as you say, there is too much bread! Moreover, way too much sugar. You could do with more protein and definitely more good fat.

To put the sugar into perspective, the recommended amount of sugar to consume is between 20-30g per day. You've had more than 60g in breakfast alone...and maybe (based on an estimate of another 400ml of juice in addition to the breakfast juice - I didn't add any milk after breakfast to my calculations) 180g by the end of the day (yes, still excluding the fudge which would add, based on 2 small bags, another 190g shock). Your insulin levels would most likely look like some kind of rollercoaster if plotted on a graph grin. Main step to address this - ditch all the juice. Have actual fruit instead. Also replace the Activia and low fat yoghurt with full fat greek yoghurt. These two things alone would reduce your sugar intake by nearly 100g. Hopefully this, coupled with the things below, will dramatically reduce your craving for sugar (though it may be tough for a few days I warn you).

Protein - try and have protein with every snack or meal. Greek yoghurt at breakfast would be good (greek yoghurt has higher protein content than other types) - maybe with some berries and nuts. Eggs also a good choice - however you like them, maybe with a slice of buttered toast, some grilled bacon or smoked salmon perhaps. A slice of toast with grilled halloumi and a poached egg and half an avocado maybe. If you feel you want a bowl of something, porridge made with milk is good, again, berries/nuts, perhaps a chopped banana are a great addition.

Instead of 50/50 toast with flora as a snack have some toast with peanut butter or an apple sliced and spread with peanut butter, or a handful of nuts and fresh blueberries and a big glass of water or herbal tea. Hard boiled eggs are also great, or a small tin of tuna..other suggestions upthread smile.

Lunch - go for a soup that will fill you up more - one with beans or lentils in it would be great, or have some lean protein with a small salad on the side, maybe some feta cheese/ roast chicken breast/small tin of tuna with spinach leaves, some chopped tomatoes and avocadoes. Sprinkle some toasted seeds on the soup or salad for extra taste and crunch. Ditch the bread.

Dinner - you don't mention the quality of the chicken nuggets but plain roast chicken would be a much better choice.

Evening snack - if you are hungry in the evening then I'd go for a small banana and a glass or mug of milk, comforting, filling and great to help you sleep.

Fat - its been said before on the thread - low fat foods and artificial foods really aren't great - often full of sugar and devoid of the stuff your body actually needs. Have the real thing - full fat yoghurt, milk and butter. You need more good fat in your diet too - olive oil, avocado, nuts, oily fish like salmon and mackerel and (yada yada - I'm a broken record) - an omega 3 supplement.

Aim to drink 2l of water a day, which can include herbal tea. Fennel tea is very good if you are prone to heartburn.

Your meals today sound much better by the way grin!

Apologies for way too many 'great's by the way blush!

Oh and Blue, whilst I don't suggest calorie counting for anyone, if you look at your food without the fudge, your actual calorie intake isn't madly over what it should be for a pg woman - I allowed for a pat of butter on each slice of bread and it comes out at around 2,600. So if you can make a few small changes that will hopefully even out your blood sugar and help hugely with the cravings for more sugar, you can stop worrying about weight gain smile

Bluecarrot Thu 17-Oct-13 17:35:42

Thanks so much - that must have taken you ages! thanks brew <-- herbal tea ;)

Scares me how much sugar I consume (even excl the fudge!)

Fudge incident was probably the worst Ive been in a long time (last i remember is last xmas and open tubs of celebrations etc) Though I did eat a whole box of jaffa cakes the other day.... usually its a small bar of chocolate gone in seconds. I dont go out of my way to buy the stuff, but if its in the house Ill eat it. So I just dont buy it. DP is addicted to Coke and eats a lot of crisps. For a while I drank the coke too, but I didnt even really like it! I only have it on pizza night now (saturday nights)

The breakfast stuff is my (tmi alert) constipation avoidance method. If I drop one of those things Im in trouble (though could spread it through the day a bit more perhaps - water down the pure fruit juice, but overall have the same amount in a day?) I tried switching to other probiotic yogurts and they dont work. (I was on probio7 tablets prepregnancy but was told to come off it) Tried eating a lot of fruit but I just ending up rather gassy...and constipated and all the other reasons why I was on probiotics in the first place. Not going into details but it wasnt nice at all and I was tested for all sorts of stuff.

Lunch was unusual - because we were running late and I was already exhausted, I wanted something quick. I love a colourful plate - big fan of fruit and veg though I like it easy prep.

Dinner was chicken breast dipped in egg/mustard powder mix then rolled in coconut and sesame seeds with baked sweet potato chips. Half the plate was frozen mixed veg (though we use small plates) I could have just had plain but dd made them and i didnt think they would be too bad.

I cant eat banana but could do milk for supper. The toast was probaly boredom waiting for dp to get home!

TOday was up and down

bran flakes, juice (only one glass) and activia
none as I was out
Chicken breast, sweet pot and frozen mixed veg, all steamed. apple juice

Then I went downhill with a small bar of chocolate...I tried to eat one chunk then leave it but it didnt work. I did take the last two bits, melt it then dip strawberries in it. About half actually got to set, the others didnt last that long. blush

Then I had two ice lollies which are for a sore throat, but I could have made sugar free ones from fruit tea or something. DD making us some tonight.

Then I had some crisps. Im not even that find of crisps.

Dinner is the meat pie I mentioned. I love it. Colourful food really makes my mouth water ( I have potential?!). Im gonna try the whole putting-your-fork-down-between-mouthfuls things tonight.

If I had preprepped veg and fruit to hand at all times Id prob just snack on them. Should make more effort to do it..or bite the bullet and buy pre-packed versions from supermarket though not sure how the nutrient content holds up. Would be far better than a chocolate bar though.... Whats your thoughts on the packs of prepped fruit?
All our veg, except carrots (for carrot sticks) and sweet potatoes, are frozen.

And as soon as dd finishes her homework here, Im making dinner so while Im in the kitchen Im gonna have a look at the things I ate today and compile an estimate of what I did consume calorie and sugar wise. Dont think I could go cold turkey, but def need to reduce what I am having daily. Maybe gradually over the next 2-3 weeks and see if overall reduction in sugar and bread consumption reduces my need for the three magic foods I have at breakfast.

Bluecarrot Thu 17-Oct-13 17:49:33

Ill never be the type to calorie count - no worries there - but perhaps I need to be more aware of the actual sugar and calorie content. Not to count them up in a "oh I have 50 left to use up today" way, but just to keep in mind other, better choices. Hmm, maybe in an opportunity cost kind of way? Hope that makes sense.

I was approaching 13st in Nov 2011 and with much discomfort got down to 10st 6lbs over the space of a year. Im now about 14lbs 6lbs - was 12st 10ish before pregnancy.

I wasnt even happy at 10st 6 lbs. Thats when the bingeing started - I thought Id be happy when I got there (it was my pre-pregnancy weight from before my dd) and I wasnt happy at all.

That's great Blue. I'd hope that more beans and good fats (including the supplements) would help the constipation too. Maybe switch to bread with a greater fibre content? Some people find porridge helps - but some the opposite! Do you do any exercise? This can also help, just a decent walk every day (obviously this will have lots of other benefits too)...

Slowing down and enjoying your meal is a great plan. Learning to listen to your body really is a key skill to practise, recognising hunger/satiety is amazingly difficult for many of us, we need to get back to that.

Your food today looks much better than yesterday, the only two things I'd comment on is the chocolate, if you wanted it, that's fine, have it and enjoy every bit, don't feel guilty about it, it's not 'going downhill', it's just a bar of chocolate, you weren't injecting heroin! Don't spoil your enjoyment of it because you think it is bad (and so, by extension are you). The crisps are irritating you I guess, probably because you know it was just mindless eating, which we want to get away from...but the more you can listen to your body, recognise the impulse to eat mindlessly, the better chance you have of stopping the habit smile.

Re the pre-prepped fruit and veg, like you I think it's a much better choice than fudge grin, anything that gets you eating more veg in particular has to be good.

I wouldn't worry about calories at all to be honest. I would, however, look at labels to see the sugar content of stuff, just so you develop an awareness of what is in what, bearing in mind the RDA of 20-30g per day (this is a pretty difficult limit to stay within though smile. Otherwise with labels, look at ingredients, if there's anything there you can't pronounce or recognise, if there are trans-fats or corn or glucose syrup, leave it on the shelf wink.

Bluecarrot Thu 17-Oct-13 18:33:19

It wasn't so much that I ate the chocolate, its more that I couldn't put some of it away for later - I had to eat it all.

Probably a stupid question but would you count fructose ( grapes, strawberries etc) in the 20-30g or would you eat fruit and veg freely and only take into account sugar in other foods? I just googled the sugar in the half punnet of strawberries, handful of blueberries and handful of grapes - it would have sent me over the limit. (Though admittedly I could have had less...)

Then ill get back onto the threads proper topic!

MillyMillyMe Thu 17-Oct-13 20:35:03

Blue brilliant advice from Sleep.
The only things I would like to add are that if you suffer from gas and constipation maybe you have a bit of irritable bowel syndrome. I have and I can not eat all bran and to be honest I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. A lot of nutritionists now don't recommend fake bran but suggest getting your fibre naturally from bananas, nuts, broccoli and other veg and nuts and plenty of water.
My go to for a good toilet visit in the morning is a strong cup of coffee (preferably real ground ) and a couple of squares of Green and Blacks dark 85 per cent. Something about the coffee and the chocolate that gets my tummy moving. Coffee is brilliant as a clean out. But of course have breakfast too.
I eat my chocolate each day but only have about 5 small squares of Green and Blacks as there is more coco and less sugar. A put a small square on my tongue and sit down and be in the moment and let that small piece of chocolate melt until it totally coats my entire tongue and mouth before I swallow. Mmmmmm!!!! Sorry, Im a bit of a foodie now after years of eating too much. I now eat for pleasure only and really take it slow with everything I eat and tune in with every mouthful to see if im still hungry or not.

If you are being strict then yes, you should count the sugar in the fruit, this is one of the things that makes it difficult to stay within RDA smile....and why veg is a better choice than fruit, but the standout items in your diet by far are the low fat yoghurts and the juice (and to a lesser extent, the cereal), so cutting those and other refined sugars will make a significant difference and be more beneficial than cutting out fruit in order to minimise sugar smile. The other stuff is the bread, which you shouldn't necessarily cut out completely but bear in mind that it is high GI and so will add to the insulin spikes.

Your comment about still being unhappy even after reaching your target weight was really interesting Blue, and a bit like my bodybuilder story above. There is a theory that says that the small minority of people who 'successfully' diet and lose weight and then keep it off keep it off because there has been some other fundamental change for the better in their life, nothing to do with being slimmer. This could be anything, from meeting a loving partner, to ditching a poor relationship, changing career, moving house, pursuing a passion, learning to love yourself, letting go of an old hurt....weighing less guarantees nothing except that you will fit into smaller clothes wink and that in itself really isn't enough if you have other issues smile.

Hi Hurried, are you ok? V. quiet! ...

hurried Fri 18-Oct-13 18:23:00


A really quick note, I apologise for not coming back to the forum earlier and I will reply in full when I have time.

I do lov the way, I come to a group of perfect strangers, revealing all my deepest darkest thoughts and asking questions, seeking advice, then...I get thanked for it too. Of course I don't mind others posting. I wouldn't wish binge eating on anyone, but it can be so great sometimes to read others posts and think me too!!! when sometimes, speaking for myself, I have felt very alone and almost a freak at times.

There are so many points that have been made that I wanted to answer, but there have been so many posts it will take me a while.

I had a bad day today, I had three hours sleep and the urge to eat carbs all day has been the most extreme... and I have been trying to be mindful but all I have been thinking all day was please go to sleep to my LO- then he fell asleep in the car grrrr... any way..I think I will admit defeat with a lack of sleep day... I honestly didn't care what I ate today. I can't wait until bedtime :-)

I promise to reply in full, soon. As I said, I'm so pleased others are posting, I just wanted to log in and say hi, and thank you for all your advice everyone.. Sleep I loooove butternut squash soup... M and S do a great one, any sugar free recipes welcomed!


MillyMillyMe Fri 18-Oct-13 19:17:11

Hurried awwww sorry your having a bad day. It will get better. It usually does smile .
I don't eat anything with sweetners in as they trick the body and also they are really really bad for you. Really bad!!
But there are lots of sugar free in the Paleo books but they use maple or honey etc which are natural lower gi sugars.

hurried Sat 19-Oct-13 07:57:06

Bluecarrot, congratulations on your pregnancy. You are doing really well whilst pregnant, I found this one of the toughest times because a. I felt so sick (and only way to stop it was to eat stodge and b. Your appetite increases and generally at the later stages, you don't out as much. That's how it was for me any way so I am empathising.

It sound likes Sleep and Millymillyme have give you some great advice. I wouldn't worry too much about your daughter liking icing... my husband's mother tells me their whole family (not big eaters) would fight to polish off the bowl of left over icing. It's great you are being aware though. You definitely have a basis to work on, colourful food is looking good! I made myself a salad with all different colour peppers, red cabbage, olive oil, tomatoes and felt like I was eating a rainbow :-)

I think Sleep makes some great points, that to tackle overeating /eating issues inevitably something in one's life has to change, and unfortunately that can't just be "to go on a diet" as inevitably the diet ends... and all the reasons that one started to eat too much or have food issues haven't disappeared.. and arise again, well that's what happened to me. I think when I was younger the way I tackled overeating was by dieting, because I wanted to look nice for an event, but it didn't tackle why I overate in the first place or I didn't address that I have now discovered ie, for me, I turn to food when tired, sad, bored... looking slim motivated me when I was younger but now it's not enough. My husband pointed out to me, I have always kept my weight in check however, I can't rely on the methods I used when I was younger as motivations change and turning to food for help has become a way of life, a habit.

hurried Sat 19-Oct-13 08:11:47

I slightly deviated to talking about myself Blue, sorry! I 'm quite partial to doing that on this forum! I know what you mean about eating crisps and not even liking them, I find if something is open in the kitchen I'm quite often just snacking there.. It's hard when you're preparing food. I think it's great your identifying that you're doing this though. I think at the moment (talking about myself again) identifying when my "danger" times are is helpful. Ie, I seem to have bad days when I am stuck in all day, and if it's raining, I was aware of this, and stayed in any way one day and inevitably I did the same thing! So it'a bout changing habits, for me any way, this has been just as important as highlighting my diet composition.

Millymillyme I love the idea of just having a few squares of dark chic, and savouring them. I find I can do this more with dark (all though I still eat way too much) but milk chocolate I just have a "eat it all" tendency even though I don't even really like it, it's so sweet!

I was reflecting the other day, perhaps my mum was a bit strict. I remember when I was younger all the other children having chocolate in their lunch box and I was never allowed any, and I used to ask the other kids if I could have some of theirs! usually they would ay no btw (I was about 5 at the time!). This makes me think about my son, and how each child is different, i gave him some carrot cake in his lunch box for a few days (alongside the other goodies) he just ate the cake lol and none of the other stuff. My mum also said we didn't have a sweet or biscuit drawer (some of my friends did and I raided it when we went round!) but she says she couldn't do that, if we had free access to sweet stuff we would just eat it all until we were ill.... so she gave up on that idea. yet I have a friend who would have one kitkat and then she was done. She is a childhood friend and in older years she has always had a sweet tooth, and sometimes says she is cutting it down to smaller portions due to high cholesterol, but she has always done moderation...

hurried Sat 19-Oct-13 08:39:27

Heirtothethrone, sorry for such a late reply. I think for you it has become a habit too, you have been lighting up your reward centre but you have recognised it. A huge step... Is it every time you go int he car?

I'm certainly no expert and to be honest maybe I'm the worst person to talk to, but I know what has helped me so far, is to identify when it happens, even if I think everything in life is great... then , maybe a habit is forming. ie, for you, every time I drive the car I eat, mine would be, after a stressful event, or being alone (I have millions of triggers btw) but I have recognised that I ahve "habits" and if I keep doing the same thing, nothing is going to change. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I noticed I overeat on days at home, I recognised this, identified it, and then thought "well today I'm not going to do that" I didn't actually go out and guess what.... by 3pm I was bingeing (it wasn't hunger, it was boredom, mainly).

I'm sorry I'm not giving more advice directly, I don't know each of you, and I know Sleep and Milly are much better at this. All I can say is if I'm learning, and recognising, I'm also wanting to sharejust incase it helps anyone too

hurried Sat 19-Oct-13 08:49:43

I have highlighted this before, someone on here identified that a lot of what I describe is similar to those on "obese- a year to change my life" I might have got that title wrong, but having watched it, I do think "that's exactly like me" the thought processes.

I am also struggling with I don't want to go down the diet root, I know this leads to problems, but I love the thought of treating your body well as being a positive thing, rather than a "I mustn't do that" mentality, as the latter doesn't work for me. Yet the idea of feeling great, looking my best, being the best I can be seems like a powerful way to think. I haven't quite achieved any action yet! but the idea I am warming too. I love the ice of spa holidays, walking holidays (I can't afford them) but thi sis motivating. I'm rambling, sorry, but just highlighting part of me gets excited by these things and I wonder if focusing in on this will be helpful. Most of the time though, I just think what's the point, it' s an excuse, but food is easy, it's there, it's accessible... it's quick... but of course, liek for me, it has become my drug of choice. All food, not just the beige stuff...although I don't think I have binged on broccoli...ever...

I love really long walks they feel like a massive achievement, but i also want to do stuff this time that I can maintain... even when I'm 80, so things like running are out (running makes me feel great) but walking (for a long distance) gets my happy hormones floating about, which I'm finding useful and reduces cravings.

Any way, I have had a brain dump and I was hoping to address individual posts. I will have to get a pen and paper, it's a shame you can't write under individual's posts, my short term memory (as is my long term come to think of it!) is non existent!

Bluecarrot Sat 19-Oct-13 09:38:00

Hi hurried. It's great to hear more from you. I don't have tv but will look out for that programme on YouTube or something!

You did well to wait til 3pm... That's what, 7/8 hours of non-bingeing time first?! That's a long time!

I'm similar in that its boredom is one of my main triggers... So I stayed busy all day yesterday! I had one planned dessert of choc brownie and ice cream and intentionally left some in the bowl ( v v difficult!). And tonight is a dominoes pizza night (monthly treat), so light eating through the day is planned, and I've a salad to eat before my pizza so I'm not actually v hungry when pizza arrives.. Will see how that goes!

Have you tried having pre-prepped veg in the fridge? Or frozen veg in the freezer? As I said above, if a fruit salad is ready, ill eat it! Love carrot sticks. Not sure if pre-prepped broccoli will ever work though.... grin

I love walking too! Once spring comes I hope to be out with baby every day for at least the 4 mile circular route near our home. Can't do it now as too many steep bits for my pregnant body! Do you like any other exercise? Pre-preg I loved tai bo and Zumba ( in comfort and privacy of my living room with curtains closed!) as they really got me buzzing. ( max I do now is yoga which is actually hard enough!)

As for my daughter and icing, its 500g of premade rolling icing in one evening , or one whole tub of Betty Crocker stuff ( prob roughly same weight) She sneaks food away from kitchen and I find wrappers everywhere. I'm not overly strict with sweet stuff but nowhere near as lenient as some of my friends whose kids are slim... But a few have had multiple ( like 10) teeth out.

Hi Hurried, nice to hear from you, great to read your posts. So glad I guessed right about you welcoming whoever wants to join to the thread smile. Wrt boredom, I think that is probably an issue for many people, whether they binge or not, I know I certainly I do it too. It comes back to changing habits and becoming mindful again doesn't it, which takes lots and lots of practice! Have you been doing any of the things I suggested, the lists and the nice thing for you every day? Sorry about your lack of sleep, I know how hard that is and it won't be helping at all. It will pass eventually though, hang in there smile.

I'm waiting with interest to see what advice Milly has about your dd Blue. That's quite a worry for you I am sure. My knee jerk reaction would be to stop keeping the icing in the house and just buy it for when you need it, but I am aware that a replacement would no doubt be quickly found! What is your dd like? What does she enjoy doing? What kind of things do you do together?

I am learning that frequently our relationship with food mirrors our relationship with life in general and that our relationship with our body (this is specific to women), mirrors our relationship with our body. What do you think about these ideas?

Hurried if you don't have a pen and paper handy then I find opening another window to read through the thread whilst posting and commenting on pp's is helpful wink.

Durr, sorry, that second idea was that our relationship with our body mirrors our relationship with our mother.

Bluecarrot Sat 19-Oct-13 13:59:11

Well, the icing is bought for baking with by the end of the week (though maybe further in advance occasionally if theres a special offer on - we have a clearly labelled bag of baking supplies for wear it pink day and halloween baking, both for dds school. so far its remained untouched since monday)

She did eat a lot of veg etc until dp moved in - he doesnt eat any and shes taken the lead and put up a bit of a fuss now but just need to distract her a bit and she forgets then eats it happily. Similarly, I stick pre prepared fruit or carrot sticks in front of her and they are gone in a flash! Before dp, we didnt keep any sweets or fizzy drinks in the house (we baked something if we wanted something sweet) He has been good and not bought loads of coke etc (he went through 2l a day) but is a grazer and almost entirely what would be considered stodgy, unhealthy foods. Though today they both tried my sweet potato - dd loved it, dp didnt.

Hobbies are limited and our (dd and mine) relationship is pretty jekyll and hyde - though I think its rather normal for pre-teens based on what I read here.

Most of the food packaging is found in the living room so probably consumed mindlessly while watching minecraft videos on youtube.

How long ago did dp move in Blue? Does DD get on well with him? How is she feeling about the new baby?

Do you and DD enjoy baking together? If so would she and you enjoy planning and preparing great nutritious meals together (or even you helping her to do it herself with you supervising as necessary?) Would you make it a challenge to get DP to eat new and healthier things you create grin?

Talkinpeace Sat 19-Oct-13 16:59:54

This is a really constructive thread. Nice to see.
Can I dabble my size five croc in?

I am not and have never been a binge eater, but we have several people on the 5:2 threads who have been, and getting them to change their mental relationship with food has been really interesting and rewarding.

What really seems to be coming out of those big threads is that people who have had eating disorders (too much or too little) do not eat with awareness.
I've set some of them a challenge and would be interested to see if the same thought process helps you splendid ladies

Eating mindfully and with awareness seems to have made a big difference to those starting from high weights and with past food issues.

Eat what you like
- 400g bar of dairy milk in one go. Fine. But look at each and every square before you put it in your mouth and decide if you actually want / need to.
- Family pack of crisps after supper. Fine. But do not just shovel from bag to mouth. Lift out each crisp and look at it before scoffing.

Turn off the telly, turn down the radio unless it is music, sit around the table
Make a point of looking at your food on the fork before you eat it.
Also then you'll stress less over what the kids are doing.
Meals will take longer, but you will savour them more.

PS as somebody with teenage kids - enjoy being able to get them to eat what you choose, it may not last grin

Bluecarrot Sat 19-Oct-13 17:26:49

Her sneaking junk started years and years ago though. I had hoped she would grow out of it though.

DP moved in part time (to make job hunting easier - his hometown is a few hours away) in April and full time from start of september when he got a job. So hes actually here less now....Shes very fond of him and rushes to him when he comes home.

She seems very excited about the new baby. I have assured her its normal for some feelings to come up that are not 100% joy and am open about feeling anxious about things etc. We looked at a show house today and DD said she wanted a particular room because there was room for a cot in it. When Im resting she snuggles up in bed beside me and reads to the baby.

She came shopping with me today and chose salad and fruit to eat (without prompting) and can cook some basic healthy meals (the chicken nugget one the other night is one of her favourites) Shes aware of the food triangle etc, asks intelligent questions about food etc.

DP...I give up. He huffs if I try to give him good food!

Talkinpeace - I 100% agree that thats v important (Ive been setting fork down in between mouthfuls since last night...almost the same thing!) I have been too busy to binge the last two days and not sure if, in that frame of mind, Ill be able to have the same focus. I think I shove it in because I dont want my conscious mind to stop me!

Hi Talkin I think we have crossed paths on threads before and been in agreement re healthy eating smile.

Mindful eating has definitely been a recurring theme on here and I think your advice is absolutely right. It might be interesting to know that there is also sound science behind it. Sitting, breathing and thinking about enjoying the food you are eating puts your body into a state of relaxation. Eating in a state of stress - on the run, at your desk, with 'I shouldn't be eating this, it's bad for me/will make me fat' running through your head - prompts a fight or flight response in your body, diminishing your digestive and metabolic processes (and raising cortisol and insulin, both of which contribute to weight gain/retention). In contrast, by relaxing and eating slowly we not only enable recognition of when we are full, and indeed feel like we have properly eaten because we have thought about it, we maximise our metabolic efficiency, getting the most benefit and calorie burning power out of whatever we eat, whether it's a big cake or a big salad smile.

Blue I wasn't necessarily suggesting situation/relationship with DP or the baby were the causes of DD eating so much sugar, just that they are the obvious possibilities, given what you have said so far. There must be some issue there though. As I said, I am curious about what Milly has to say about it as she has been through it herself and with her daughter. Also, Hurried can remember bingeing as a child...although, correct me if I am wrong, I'm not sure you fully recognise why Hurried?

I would hope that if you can address your compulsive eating Blue, you modelling eating well and loving and nourishing your body would have a big knock on effect on dd.

IvanaCake Sat 19-Oct-13 21:01:34

This thread is so interesting.

hurried every single thing you have written strikes a chord with me. You could actually be me.

Sitting here in tears that I may cause my daughtes to be as screwed up about food as I am sad

Oh Ivana, I just read your post and feel so sorry, I hope you aren't taking any of my posts to blame mothers for their daughters' issues with food. Undoubtedly we play a huge role in our children's eating habits but the most important thing, as Milly has demonstrated through her story, is that we love our children for what and who they are, not what they look like - and we must make sure they know that.

Please tell us some more about yourself, what is going on? smile

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 16:41:37

Good Afternoon Ladies...... I know for a fact totally that my mother screwed up my view of my body, my image, my self worth and how I viewed food but...and heres the thing, I did not pass this on to my daughter. Once I read "Overcoming Overeating" by Jane Hirschman I started a long lengthy process to change the way I was with food and bring my children up with no food issues. Its well worth a read. My daughter is now 23, 5 foot 7 and size 6 to 8, gorgeous curvy shape and eats whatever she wants whenever she wants it. But she never overeats, she eats "normally". She has long blond hair and loves herself and has the most amazing sense of self worth and she knows she is gorgeous and loves her figure. I don't mean she is big headed, she just is totally happy with herself. My son is thin like a beanpole and cant gain weight at all despite eating loads and loads.

So you see you can do your best to change how you view food and therefore change how your daughter and her relationship with food and her self worth . Its seriously about stopping dieting forever and seeing food as nothing more eating what you feel like. You will be surprised that at first you buy all the lovely foods you want and you eat them but something happens and you find because you have all the foods you have always wanted around you, that you no longer need to binge on them. In fact you find that you might not bother with them or you might have a little bit but you will also find that you will also eat lots of veg and fruit, meat, nuts etc.
I hope that might help all you ladies who are bingeing and doing it in secret. Come out of the closet and have all those foods that you binge on in your kitchen and eat them openly without guilt. Once you stop feeling guilty for eating and loving these binge foods then they will once again take their normal place in your kitchen and your life.

Too much emphasis on "healthy eating" has a tendency to push you towards bingeing and then its a vicious circle. You need to normalise all food and eat all food before you can hope to let go of the bingeing. Even if your bingeing because of an emotional need, by sitting down and eating with all the foods in front of you, you can take back some control. Why binge on them if you allow yourself to eat them . If you give yourself permission to eat anything and everything and have them in the house they do eventually lose their hold on you.

Its not easy but I did it and you can too.

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 16:48:33

Talkingpeace Hi, the way of eating you describe is "mindful eating" which is a brilliant way to eat. Paul McKenna does this in his book.
The worse thing for bingeing is dieting in any way, shape or form. 5:2, 16:8 etc are the fad of the moment and they will die a death eventually. So many people are now struggling with this diet and are finding themselves bingeing on their off days and struggling to keep to their 500 calories on the "starve" days. Starving will always lead to bingeing and this is not the way to deal with disorded eating at all. The supposed health benefits from the 5:2 are the same benefits used to sell most diets to people. Diets do not work.

Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 16:54:12

We'll have to agree to disagree on 5:2 because it is working for lots and lots of people, including former bingers, as it is the way of eating that we lived with for tens of thousands of years before fridges and shops.

Three meals a day is a very modern invention.
Snacks were invented in the 1970's by the confectionery industry to increase profits.
The 2000 calorie figure on the side of the cereal box is based on a time and motion study of a 1950's housewife. It bears no relation to modern reality.
Millions of Muslims fast for a month a year for hundreds of years and it does not seem to do them any harm.

However, mindful eating is really important for everybody, regardless of age, size, sex or body shape as it is healthier in itself.

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 17:18:21

Yep but they don't fast for the whole month, they eat in the night and most of the Muslims I know tell me how bad it is for them because they all go mad and binge at night during the "eating hours". Not that good really.
I don't think you can say that 5:2 is the way our primal ancestors ate. They ate when they caught meat and then foraged for berries etc in between. Paleo and Primal eating is how we were most likely to have eaten but starving ourselves twice a week and eating anything the other days is not the way our ancestors would have eaten. Same with 16:8.
I agree we will disagree on this. For people with disordered eating this way of eating as with any diet is dangerous and will not sort out their issues with food.

Talkinpeace Sun 20-Oct-13 17:21:25

the way our primal ancestors ate
No, I was thinking more of how most of the people in the third world eat currently.
A small snack at the start of the day then nothing till the evening and that not every day.
Even in big cities three meals a day is not the norm.

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 17:33:59

Why overcomplicatate the simple process of eating when your hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. It shouldn't be any more complicated that that. That is why people are so messed up. Diets cause disordered eating. 5:2 is just another diet. Atkins, Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Diet drinks etc etc etc. Its just food. Until we stop punishing ourselves by feeling that we are bad for eating when we are genuinely hungry then we will continue to believe that dieting will actually work. It doesn't. Most people go from one diet to another. There will be another brilliant diet that will come along soon and everyone will jump on the bandwagon in the belief that this new diet will be the one that will finally make them slim and keep them slim for life. Its all just seriously screwed up. Im glad that that this diet works for you and I hope that you can keep your weightloss off forever and never have to diet again. But generally the world over, that is not the case. That is why you are on the 5:2 now. because the other diets didn't work.
You have to make peace with food and with yourself and trust that if you allow yourself to eat normally when your truly hungry and stop when you are satisfied that your body weight will sort itself out.

Talkin I'm not sure people in the third world should necessarily be held up as the epitome of health as we would wish for it smile..however..you regard 5:2 as a woe but the truth is, it is a method of restricting calories. That, to me, is a 'diet' in the sense we usually know it and as such, I definitely agree with Milly that it probably isn't the best way for anyone with disordered or compulsive eating issues to help themselves.

Having said that, I also think that whatever method you find works for you, in the sense that you feel healthy and energised (rather than just thinner!), where you don't feel as if you are using willpower to maintain it (but I find it hard to believe many people actually feel like this while fasting hmm), go for it. My only concern about 5:2 is that all the positive press regarding health benefits is based on the tests done mainly on men. It can and does play havoc with female hormones and can be extremely detrimental to fertility, I am sure there are many, many women unaware of this, yet happily jumping on it as the latest way to lose weight sad...I suspect there may be a bit of a backlash in time in this respect....

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 18:06:44
MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 18:10:38

With regards to my bit about "bingeing", Im sorry if that came across as too simplistic, its just that it is the way that I have stopped my bingeing and therefore to me it seems that it is the way to control it.

article re IF and how the tests are skewed towards men, also potential effects for women....

Talkin I would also love to see how you got on for a month say, solely with mindful eating, dropping the fast days. I suspect that you would maintain a healthy weight without difficulty smile.

MillyMillyMe Sun 20-Oct-13 18:25:48

Many people eat Paleo without fasting. Paleo to me is just eating more like our ancestors did. No wheat or fake food at all.smile

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 17:06:11

Sleep I tried some of the things you suggested

I did try the dancing around the room with my LO, and yes we enjoyed it :-)

I have been going to a Tai Chi class as I mentioned, and it's odd but when I am there I sometimes will look down and think how amazing all our bodies are and I actually stop and think about why on earth I want to abuse myself albeit, by eating too much, not being mindful, being hard on myself as, as corny as it sounds, but I look at my body as a gift almost (I know I sound crackers). Usually, following a class, I feel calm and think of food as nourishment. Today I felt quite tired, went to a class, had a lovely time, went to pick up my LO from nursery, had a beautiful lunch, smoked salmon, with olive oil and salad (leftovers from the weekend). However, we have lots of cakes from the local butcher's farm shop here and chocolatey cereals (Kraves... for guests that stayed and requested them for their children). I decided at 3pm my LO and I would go out and have a piece of one of the cakes (take it with us) and have a coffee/drink later and mindfully eat it. I was looking forward to it. I was tidying the kitchen and really impulsively ate a bit of one of the cakes (even thought I had been saying for the past few hours I would have one at 3pm and enjoy it) and then I was like a woman possessed, I wanted everything, the cereal (yet I had been fine before and been looking forward to having one of the cakes later). I have a childlike compulsion and absolutely no willpower so it seems. Reading over one of your points Sleep, I do think there is some kind of response to those kind of foods that sends me on a high, I am a fool though, each time I think, this time it will be different. I can just go for a few hours with cakes just there, not thinking about them, I just walked into the kitchen, doing some work and saw the carrot cake with it''s butter icing and thought I'd just have a little bit- who am I kidding! I can't do it. It may work for some people and maybe I'll be fine in the future, but when I am home alone during the day I have to be realistic, it's likely at some point I will fancy the cakes/cereal!! I enjoyed lunch though, perhaps I should have made it a bit bigger so I was more full. I could have thrown the cakes away and I should have done, but my husband lovingly brought them for me and guests at the weekend, and I felt guilty to just throw food away.

Sleep you are right I'm not patient. I expect to be completely cured, and there are moments of the day I am.... I am noticing after lunch is a frequent time for bingeing, and maybe I'm repeating myself, but I need to make sure I'm physically unable to do it, I eat, eat with others at lunchtime, or go for a walk straight away afterwards. I'm fine if I have lunch out oddly, I seem to only ever binge when home alone... or int he car like OP. I know that's not so much because I'm embarrassed but because I can then, I don't need to be mindful. I can be feeling stressed and it provides calm at those points, whereas if I'm out and about, it's not so easy. I have to be keeping an eye on my LO or I'm distracted.

Interesting that Milly's fasting link article said that people binged on weekends, I wonder, ok the low calorie diet triggered the impulse to binge, but the fact it was on weekends, was when people had time on their hands. BTW I think lots of people consume a lot more on weekends, alcohol or food, I guess that's obvious. My husband, not a big foodie, can get through a packet of biscuits (and would never classify himself as a binge eater) when working at home alone all day, yet quite often he can come home from work, having been so busy, and not eaten anything (seriously!) all day.

I think Sleep you are right ` holistic approach is what I require but I have to be honest, I just do think there is something in me, if I seem a load of cream cakes cereals, catch me at times, something in me says eat it!!! At this point in time, it's not that it even makes me feel tense, I just can't rely on my own resolve to be sensible. It's really frustrating, I wish I was normal.

Sleep I had planned for a lovely lunch but I didn't stick to your advice today to have a good breakfast, I had some dark choc before I dashed out to drop my son off. Yesterday, I had some dark choc when I woke up but also had fried egg on burgen bread at 10.00 am, I still had a bit of a slump around lunchtime but had a roasted tomato and lentil soup at 2pm (we went out for a walk yesterday am) I then did some cooking and washing in the afternoon and we had guests here. I was eating sensibly until 6pm at which point I was making children their dinner (adults were all eating later) and that's when I started snacking on their food (these kids were eating chocolate cereal, croissants, cake for T (not my LO I hasten to add, although he had four bites of his salmon fishcake before he started wanting their food!!!).

You are right I need to make more passion for life, I think I should be appreciating every moment, but during the day, when I'm looking at the clock and my LO has needs I don't feel extremely passionate. I can be much more mindful in the evening and more enthusiastic about life in the evening too. I haven't worked out why this is.

I mentioned your idea about cooking a lovely meal a few times a week to the OH and it went down very well! i haven't told him about this forum, he probably knows though as I'm often sneaking a look at it. I am cooking Thai green curry tonight. I need some great slow cooker recipes so I can work on the dinner in the afternoon. My husband said whilst I have time on my hands I could walk to town in the afternoon with my Lo and choose a dinner to cook when I get back- killing two birds with one stone. However, it's been bucketing it down with rain. I'll need to get some waterproofs.

I have started adding more fat to my food, as I think I said before, and I have had quite a few comments about my skin recently, I'm not sure if that's because I am a bit calmer (I know I don't sound it). I haven't noticed a difference in my mood yet.

I haven't done the manicure thing yet... I can't really afford to shell out for one at the moment. I haven't done the hair conditioning idea thing yet either, I guess part of me thinks what's the point, I know that sounds very defeatist, so forgive me. I can be defeatist and then quite contradictory with my mindset, I love the idea of caring for myself thorough food or whatever else, I'm not good at doing anything about it.

Another thing that frustrates me, and is completely illogical because I can recognise it, is the way I act when a plan falls thorough. i'm the sharpest tool in the box, but if I see it's raining and I have planned to walk I get thrown off track, does that make sense. I'm with this in other areas of my life too, ie, if my LO is in a terrible mood and I had planned to go shopping or swimming with him,, I won't go as the thought of him kicking up a fuss has tired me before I've even attempted it. I think I have a very defeatist attitude and I'm not resilient, I really wish I could toughen up a bit. I'm just describing my personality faults as I wonder if these contribute to my negative behaviours. I don't know if it's depression or tiredness or just me, but quite often I just feel on my own planet and I think when I feel like this I have to really have a kick up the @@@ to be butt to be more mindful about things.

Going back to MillyMillyme's comments about food restriction during childhood. My mum tells me I drank the whole bottle of penicillin once when I was three, because I loved the sweet taste, apparently, I hid behind the sofa and drank it..... obviously I've always had issues!!!

MillyRules Mon 21-Oct-13 18:57:27

Did your Mum restrict sweet things with you Hurried?

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 19:16:58

Hi Millyrules,

She restricted "sweeties and chocolate" she didn't restrict bread or cereals and the latter are what I binge on (I would binge on cakes too/ and do, but we don't have them that often, but I had them as a child as my mum was always baking). Things like Twix, kit kates were restricted and I remember going to a friend's house and being so excited there was free access to these foods, and I overate them.

It may be linked to mum's restriction of some sweet foods, but she said she had to limit some as we would just eat the all.

I also have found I'll even binge on porridge if I'm down these days and my mum tried to force feed me porridge as a child!

I know it sounds a cop out but I can't help but feel part pf this is physiological, maybe I'm deluding myself, I know I have psychological issues with food now of course, but I can't help but feel some of these foods are addictive. I think it helps me to feels that way towards them because I really try to join in and "just have one" and feel enbarrassed that suddenly I'm euphoric of a slice of a cake and then feel I want everything. It's dangerous territory though as I know also completely restricting something isn't healthy as OP noted, as this can result in bingeing on that food too.

The only times in my life that I haven't overeaten were when I was working hard (travelling on the tube - hot and busy, there wasn't time to binge) and when I went on a health kick years ago as I wanted to look my best (VANITY!). x

tumbletumble Mon 21-Oct-13 19:18:16

I don't think it's quite as simple as that Milly - if you read Hurried's post on 15th Oct, she says she was given free access to bread but chocolate and sweets were restricted. Yet now she is more likely to binge on bread than sweets.

tumbletumble Mon 21-Oct-13 19:19:13

Sorry x post!

Hurried I'm going to say some more after kids bedtime and my dinner but (putting aside the fact that your DH and LO eat them too), what do you feel instinctively is the best thing to do with the cereal/cake etc, not have it in the house at all, removing temptation? Do you think that would be easier for you or do you think you would go out in search of it, or replace it with a different food that you do have to hand?

MillyRules Mon 21-Oct-13 20:04:30

Tumble my question was in response to Hurried devouring the sweet medicine behind the sofa and it turns out that her Mum did restrict sweets. Maybe that's why she was enjoying it so much and in "secret" too. You started young there Hurried lol!.

MillyRules Mon 21-Oct-13 20:06:43

People definitely have different reactions to carbs especially wheat carbs.
They of course raise your insulin levels which gives you the "high" then drops down below the original stable level that you were before the "wheat carb" then you eat more to get that "happy feeling" that you had originally. Only thing is that usually you don't ever get to that initial "high" again though it doesn't stop you from repeating the action again and again until all the cake is gone.

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 22:04:10

Hi, just quickly, apologies for my last couple of posts. My messages are usually rushed, although, in my head I have analysed things for hours, I should make sure my replies are more thoughtful! I laughed at my line "I'm the sharpest tool in the box" as you may have guessed, I meant to insert "not" into that sentence! I also don't know why I put I haven't noticed a change in mood, I think I have been calmer. I can't remember why I wrote that but, obviously, I have felt a little calmer.

There are lots of other typos- sorry! I will try to be better in future :-)

Sleep I'm not sure what the best way is to go, but when I reflect, the times I have not binged in the past have been having completely removed from food ie working, just doing something else - so distracted, or been highly motivated because of an event - not slimming as such, just not wanting to look feel awful and I guess being excited by an event. This may seem random reflections, but I try to think what worked before, by "worked" I don't mean dieting (alright, I think op pointed out that sometimes that resulted in weight loss,
But it wasn't the goal).

I digress...!

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 22:11:46

Yes I definitely started young lol! I hang my head in shame. I would blame the sweet restriction, and maybe that why I drank the sweet penicillin (which, btw, I wish they would sweeten these days - getting my son to take it is hard!) but these days my binge foods aren't restricted ones. We weren't allowed many sweets, and I hate sweets now. My mum was always baking, and like another poster, I used to lick the icing off but we weren't restricted as such.

We were also always allowed pudding but we had to have a savour course first. I remember ring very manipulative. I had school dinners and I remember the staff being worried as I was so slim an I realised if I didn't choose much first course (or said I didn't like the first course (even if I did) I used to get second or third helpings of dessert lol). I am sure my childhood has had an influence but I dot think I can blame my folks, we had home cooked healthy meals with desserts. I just think I was one of the kids that loved food, whereas my siblings do but haven't ended up bingers, as I said before.

A mistake I think my parents did make, was if I was a good girl I got sweets/ chocolate. I know that doesn't make for a healthy relationship with food, although that hasn't negatively affected my siblings. I do try to not reward my son with food.

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 22:13:22

Absolutely millyrules with regard to the high off carbs. It just do something!

Hi Hurried. I think if you know you are going to be tempted by cakes as in the situation you describe, simply because the cake is there in front of you and it is just too easy to start eating (lots of us would be the same by the way), then it would be better if, in a moment of being strong, you gave them to DH to take into work perhaps? And bin the sugary cereal. You need to get DH to understand and support you with this.

I think when the article talks about people on 5:2 'bingeing' it is not necessarily the way you would experience a binge...it is just overeating and I think the deprivation people go through when fasting gives them a sense of having 'earnt' or deserving more food on the other days, always a risk (and often a fatal error wink) with restrictive diets smile. Re your DH eating an entire pack of biscuits - to me that is just mindless (over)eating, again not a binge but oh so easy to fall prey to, for any of us.

I think Hurried, that you need to try and let go of the idea of being 'cured'. Bingeing is not an illness, you don't need fixing smile. It is a habit and a coping mechanism. Like an addiction, you may never be completely 'free' of it but you can aim to live happily without needing it - does that make sense?

I would love to counsel and coach you properly Hurried, there is so much more I would love to know about you and your life. For Milly the cause of her compulsive eating appears much more obvious and straightforward - her history with her mum points the way. With you its more complicated than that. But a compulsion is there to tell you something about yourself, to help you identify and change something...you have identified some things that help and these are rooted in taking care of yourself, finding ways to improve your self esteem and taking some time just to be you, rather than caring for everyone else. These are great steps to keep working on - baby steps every day. Please take another look at that 'great things about me' list and try and add to it each day - and at the same time try and halt that negative voice in your head that constantly puts you down? Every day this week - let us know how you are getting on.

hurried Mon 21-Oct-13 23:19:20

Hi Sleep, thank you again for your thoughtful reply. You wrote some really lovely things (assumptions) about me in a post, I'm not sure they were all true however, but I did appreciate the compliments.

I think you are right to point out it's complex. I am looking for a quick, simple answer. Or a list of instructions that would instantly alleviate any Erm, negative behaviours, coping mechanisms. I will work on the list but a bit stick!

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 00:17:26

Hurried I think also that you need to accept yourself the way you are not just with the bingeing but in every other area of your life. Easier said than done but something we all need to work towards....excepting ourselves!!! .....in doing that you can start to love yourself just as you are. Hating ourselves for the things we perceive as bad or as a weakness just causes a vicious circle. Excepting ourselves lets go of everything.

hurried Tue 22-Oct-13 07:43:05

Ivanacake, I have just read your message. I'm so sorry you are upset. I don't think children necessarily do everything their parents do. It sounds like you are a very loving mum to care so much.

My son isn't that into food- he would much rather be playing!, like his dad, bizarrely...

I look to outside advice with regards to my son, I looked up littlepeople's plates and all the research I could find, so I knew I had a logical approach. He has seen me drive to somewhere to get food, I felt HUGE guilt, but to him I think it looked like I was just going for a food shop.

As you can see from my posts I ramble, and I have been given some fantastic constructive advice and support. Please feel free to ask any questions I'm always here if you just want someone else to chat to. I do sympathise, bug hugs xxx

hurried Tue 22-Oct-13 07:44:33

You're probably right Millyrules, I think I probably have this image of this "normal" perfect person... that I would like to be... yet I do think I am going to have to make some proactive changes. Thank you for all your support

i lost this thread off threads i'm on - it sounds like you're doing really well hurried

i am having therapy for ED (bulimic and anorexic behaviours - I'm afraid I have to hide the 5:2 threads because people talk about the high they feel when fasting and i find the urge overwhelming...)

the therapist has suggested that at some point the disordered behaviour 'worked' for me. it wasn't like i woke up one day and decided i was going to give myself an eating disorder. it fulfilled some sort of need in a shortcut sort of way - maybe i needed comfort, consolation (binge eating), to feel like i was perfect, to feel a sense of 'achievement' (starving) etc, it could be a mixture of things at different times or all at once. either way, it provided what i needed at the time.

of course, longterm it doesn't work because actually you are not really getting what you need, just a temporary patch, but you keep taking the shortcut because it is what you have learnt. and the longer (healthier behaviour) route may be more painful, uncomfortable (physically and mentally), perhaps forcing you to deal with things you have consciously or unconsciously avoided etc

won't apply to everyone of course, but it makes sense for me

I think that probably applies to most people with ED Willie, it's a coping mechanism, not about the food itself (though the high you get from certain foods, or even from not eating in some cases) can increase the addiction to it.

Hurried, you have some idea of being a 'perfect', 'normal' person...apart from not bingeing, what is the life of the 'perfect/normal' version of you like in your mind's eye?

yes, the idea of 'perfection' is a massive thing for me

also (sorry if i'm repeating someone else here), food is bloody everywhere and it's available 24 bloody 7, even in quite rural areas. we are animals and in many ways programmed to eat when food is available. eating naturally gives us positive feedback physiologically because we need it to live. so it's not surprising that we seek that positive feedback in greater quantities and at greater frequency, and food is so very AVAILABLE in our society

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 12:21:46

Willie you are spot on. Any addiction is a coping mechanism and something we need at the time to get us through a difficult patch and as it gets us through the hard times we then continually seek out this addiction to get the same results again and again. Accepting it for what it is, a way of coping that you need for whatever reason is the best way to be with it. Getting therapy is helpful to try and work out your feelings that are associated with it. It worked for me as it helped me to realise how crap my childhood had been. Until I had therapy I was totally unaware of my feelings with regard to growing up. It was like a revelation when things were uncovered. You might find that you don't just have one way of dealing with stress (bingeing) but you may have others too. With help it can become easier to talk yourself through a binge or starve or any addiction to be honest.
Quite often a total life change will almost get rid of it overnight. Im guessing that it sort of blasts through your normal way of doing things. Maybe this is why a lot of you ladies find distraction the best way of dealing with it. Exercise too. You can grasp why you do this and have lightbulb moments and then minutes later can find yourself back to your coping methods. If you cant get therapy then get good boods (read reviews) and work on yourself. Do affirmations, have workbooks to write down what you do each day. Read read read but for now just accept yourself. Interestingly, I can also get very very high from not eating but too high and I crash big time and then am in bed for 24 hours with a horrible migraine so I avoid it. The 5:2 will bring on a headache in me.
Any diet will cause disorded eating in most people. The diet doesn't work for long and then they regain the weight and then try and new diet. Fifty years go by and you are still in the same boat or have totally given up.
Overcoming Overeating book (jane Hirschman) will help you to be more at ease areound food and be easy on yourself to understand why and how to deal with your issue. Of course there are many other books that will help too.

hurried Tue 22-Oct-13 12:53:38

Really quickly, Willywagger the words from your therapist's observations make sense. The madness of knowing you are doing something destructive- (well, it's only food), but eating until you feel sick, your stomach is painful and having brain fog for the rest of the day doesn't make sense, but it is not like I'm eating and crying, it provides an absolute high at the time, like your therapist got it spot on, it's a short cut to a temporary solution. It's easy, it's comfortable and accessible. I have felt euphoric off carbs (the only other feeling I can compare it too is a long run or a very long walk, unfortunately I should have stuck to Sleep's advice about not diving into sport - I have hurt my knees at the moment). The problem is it stops when you stop eating, or a few hours afterwards, so one keeps on going.

I did wonder if someone said that I had to give up food it would all be given in a pill, how I would feel. After a binge it feels like a great idea, but the first thing in the morning, the thought of facing a day without food terrifies me! I did one day make a healthy casserole for my son and myself, we had milk and yogurts in the fridge (for my son, and jaffa cakes but only my non binge foods in the house- only a small bit of cake for my son and I to share) my husband had to take my car to work and his car was at the garage. My son went to nursery and I actually found myself looking for binge food and then crying, realising afterwards that I was actually frustrated and upset about something I hadn't realised had upset me. I have learnt to hide away and not face things. For sure. I think I discovered this from a really , really early age. Millyrules, I'm so glad therapy helped you. I can' imagine being as strong as you, I don't think anything has ever "snapped" me out of a binge once I've set my mind don going... apart from a death in the family or my LO needing something. Millyrules you are so right, you can have that "lightbulb" moment and then completely contradict yourself or I am always shocked at my own foolishness, I make the same mistake again and again.

Williwagger, you are so right, food is everywhere, although I find, if I'm with my son, out in a town, I am actually quite sensible, i go somewhere with him and we share a sandwich or whatever and it can all be very civilised, but like you say it's hard to get away from food. It is everywhere and also looking after a husband, his children, their friends and my own LO revolves around me looking after them all with food, if I then go to town it's to go food shopping.

Sleep I think the perfect person copes well, is resilient. I think they look after themselves and others well. I'm quite spoilt I think, I wish I felt more happiness and pleasure giving to others...I'm often grumpy, I wish I was happier and smilier and I think the perfect person has energy, is friendly, outgoing, get up and go, gets up after they have been knocked down (I feel like breaking into song here). I think the perfect person will be healthy and respect their body, will be intelligent, thoughtful, patient, kind, athletic.... I think the main perfect person is honest and open. Oh and looks nice too :-) I don't expect all these things in others by the way, but that's how I would like to be.

hurried, your final paragraph resonates with me completely. that is absolutely how i feel - 'i should be more robust and resilient' is a constant thought for me (especially as i had a perfectly decent upbringing)

i don't know whether this is relevant, but i was talking to a friend about some pain i was having - period-like cramps that aren't associated with my period or ovulation etc. it was getting me down a bit because it was uncomfortable and difficult to sleep. and i said something like 'but that's what women have to put up with i suppose', and she said 'why? why should you have to endure pain because you're a woman?' and i was shock that as a self-declared feminist i had the ingrained belief that it is normal for women to feel and endure pain and carry on as normal, uncomplaining, resilient

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 13:39:35

Hurried what do you think would happen if you ALWAYS had your binge foods in your cupboard. Never ran out of them and can eat them whenever you want and in any quantity day after day after day. Would they eventually lose their hold on you ?

Milly just as an aside...have you thought about becoming a counsellor yourself? I think you'd be amazing.

Hurried - your name is so apt the more I get to know you by the way grin! Do you feel that you can't be like that 'perfect you' until you stop the bingeing? I think too many of us focus on 'when I get down to x weight/size, everything will be wonderful' and its really upside down. Be, or try to be the person you would like to be - confident, happy, generous, healthy, athletic - and the body you accept and even love (even if it isn't the exact size or shape you imagined it) should follow as a result of that. Losing weight or stopping an unwanted compulsion or habit won't automatically change much else in our lives ....I said something in an earlier post about living as if we were in our 'perfect' life now in order to 'fake it to make it'. If that feels too much of a stretch then think about the small steps you can make NOW towards getting some of those things you want. So exercising regularly is what that athletic you does, regularly making an effort to look nice is something you can do...just concentrate on one or two things, making them a habit, then try one more.

I think maybe you have a different idea about being selfish to how others may consider it too...it doesn't sound like you have much in your life that is selfish at all smile. It's definitely a female thing, feeling guilty about having money, time, things to themselves when they have a family depending on them. Without wanting to generalise too much, its not often something that occurs to a man - eg. your DH spending days away working then coming home to watch sport most of the weekend. I'm honestly not criticising that but I suspect that if you had been away you wouldn't have felt comfortable watching hours of Downton for example grin. Everyone needs something for themself. Do you think you would be happier working?How old is your LO?

I also meant to say, don't beat yourself up about binning plans with DC at the last minute because they are tired/miserable/its raining. Why would it make sense to force you both to endure something you won't enjoy confused? Young kids can be unpredictable, trying to just go with the flow and take the relaxed/easy option is usually best smile.

Willie tell me some more about the pain - when do you get it?

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 14:06:12

Do you think the cramps could be IBS? I get them when very stressed.sad

That's where I was going Milly - in addition to general stress in your life, if you eat in a rush or feeling like you shouldn't be eating something, then this will create a stress response in your body - impairing digestive and metabolic processes and raising cortisol and insulin. Not only often resulting in stomach pain but also weight gain. Talkin's step by step advice re eating mindfully should be applied if you suspect this may be the case Willie. See what happens with the pain smile.

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 14:30:06

Thank you for the compliment Sleep.....and I was actually asking "you" if you thought it was IBS. grin.

no no, this was ages ago and it's all in hand now, thanks, and not related to eating

i'm actually stable wrt eating as i'm a longterm low carber (see upthread), which has worked (for me) in terms of normalising my behaviours. it's not a cure for disordered eating, but it reduces the physiological blood sugar highs/lows which can make things worse

now i'm working on the mental health side smile

Mollydoggerson Tue 22-Oct-13 16:12:44

Hi everyone,

I've read some very interesting articles on line about your intestine having similar primitive functions to your brain. It might explain some of the compulsions to just keep eating. If you have time on your hands I would advise googling 'intestine second brain'.

After reading the articles I feel the sense of guilt has been alleviated and somewhat replaced by acceptance that our bodies can get addicted to these carby/sugary foods and once we are equipped with the knowledge as to why and how the body reacts we can then control the impulses.

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 16:32:58

Yes the Intestine is indeed your second brain.smile

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 17:18:56

Hurried can I ask since you started this wonderful thread and having been given many thoughts, ideas, books and websites to help, what have you taken onboard that you will try and what steps have you taken to begin, if you don't mind me asking smile

There are some wonderfully supportive and understanding words on this thread.

I agree mollydoggerson that since I have done some reading about the metabolism of macronutrients it does alleviate some of the 'beating oneself up' thoughts

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 17:38:37

Willie are you the lady who keeps the scores on the low carb thread??smile

I am milly, and although it works for me for now as a way of eating, I am cautious about recommending it for everyone who has disordered eating behaviours because I do agree with you about the dangers of 'dieting' in this situation. Also, there is a risk that it could become another mechanism for restricting/controlling food. Also I would hate to say this way would work for everyone because it might not do and god knows we beat ourselves up for 'failing' enough already!

However, as we've all said, reducing the sugars and increasing the fat and protein really help with regulation the blood sugars, so the lovely meal suggestions posted earlier look great.

Sorry hurried, I feel like I've taken over the thread a bit! Hope things are going ok today

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 19:48:55

You do a wonderful job Willie.....I lower my carbs when I'm having an IBS attack as it stops a lot of the pain, wind and cramps associated with it but I couldn't do it hardcore as it triggers feelings of deprivation and punishment within me and that leads to sadness for doing that to myself and then a mini overeat just to taste all the things I have restricted. I do eat more high protein lower carb instinctively but will have amazing good quality home made cake or biscuits if I want them. smile

That sounds like a really sensible approach milly as you clearly have a good understanding of your triggers and your thought processes - sorry about the IBS though, it sounds rotten

MillyRules Tue 22-Oct-13 20:25:28

Thanks Willie

Hope4thebest Wed 23-Oct-13 19:08:44

Really interesting thread. So much sharing, caring and ideas...

I compulsively overeat too. Have tried everything including all sorts of talking therapy. I have low self-esteem linked to emotionally unavailable Dad.

My latest attempt at stopping binging is to stop binging and replace with something else. I looked a number of youtube videos from people talking about how they have overcome overeating and the thing they all had in common was the fact they'd replaced the binging with something. Whether or not that was to feel the uncomfortable feelings that I tend to eat/squash down or literally do something else, they all said you need to choose to do something else.

Sounds simple I know, but not sure until now I have ever believed that I could actually choose to stop. I always assumed I would need to find "the answer" (eg feel better about myself) and in return the binging would stop.

I know what my triggers are - a voice in my head saying I haven't done x well enough, or I need to do more of y - so I am trying to challenge the thoughts too when I feel the need to overeat.

Another thing that came across in the various videos was about trying to tackle one thing at a time. So for now I am trying to forget the need to
lose weight and focus on overcoming the binging. I am trying to have 3 normal meals a day (so average portion, with a pudding if I want one - diets are a cycle of deprivation/binge for me) and 3 snacks of fruit.

I do think low carb/GI would also help me, but I cannot cope with that and trying to stop binging too for now.

It is early days but I am enjoying marking in my diary each day that is binge-free. I have never taken such a close note before, I feel like that is a good thing to do.

Good luck to everybody on this thread. It really is a horrible secret world that is really damaging.

The links I found useful - toomuchonherplate.com/melissa-mccreery/

PS. Any Jessie Pavelka fans (I see he was mentioned up thread) might like to know he is doing PAs and some workshop things in the UK. They are ££££ but you get to spend time with the lovely Jessie! www.pavelka.co.uk/pavelka-day.pdf

Hope4thebest Wed 23-Oct-13 19:11:14

Err is it binging or bingeing???

MillyRules Wed 23-Oct-13 22:34:01

Its "bingeing* lol.

With regards to dealing with the bingeing you are right to not even think of dieting.....yet then you immediately start thinking about doing low carb/GI...smile. You have mentioned everything that might be responsible for your bingeing except the diets themselves and depriving yourself food and eating when you are hungry.
Do you think you could stop dieting totally and start eating like a slim person does, ie they eat when they really are truly hungry and stop as soon as they have had enough and its usually not a lot. They also buy any foods they want as well as fruit and veg. I used to find that the minute I thought about going on a new diet it would give me a high and that this would be the diet that will work but by the second day I would be craving foods that I cant have or eating portions more than I needed. The diet mentality is what caused it. Now I eat totally normally and never gain weight but eat anything I want and NO bingeing. smile

i agree with 'bingeing' milly, but oddly my spellcheck prefers 'binging'!

it's all very exhausting. it's only food fgs but it's so bloody hard sometimes

MillyRules Thu 24-Oct-13 09:30:33

I know Willie, its just food. God how did it all become so messed up that most of the western world tries every way they can to avoid it. Its seriously mixed up isn't it. smile

HeirToTheIronThrone Thu 24-Oct-13 10:19:26

Milly I was quite cross with you upthread for asking why I didn't binge in front of DH - I thought it was so obvious and wondered why you'd even ask. BUT what you say in your recent posts makes so much sense re mindful eating. I have been reading about this, about trying to properly identify hunger, eat mindfully when hungry until satisfied and then stop. I am trying very hard to implement it but it's a struggle! Bit of a car 'episode' on Monday...

I too found 5:2 didn't work - I binged hugely on eating days. It intensified my already massive obsession with food which is what I am trying to cut out.

And hi Willie, as a drop-out from the LC boards I know you struggle with the same things I do, you gave wonderful advice when I was trying it out (another failed attempt...), so thank you.

MillyRules Thu 24-Oct-13 12:12:44

Im so sorry shock Heir.....I had no intention to offend. I just wanted to hear your answer and if it was that you were hiding your eating because you felt you couldn't be seen to be eating cakes etc in front of him then maybe that is what you need to start doing. Eating things you binge on in front of him buy trying to do it in a mindful way. Maybe in the beginning you will end up eating one or two or whatever slices of cake say, but eventually when you see that he doesn't leave you or think you ugly for doing it and even laughs with you then maybe it would help to start to be more normal around food and the eating of it smile

Mollydoggerson Thu 24-Oct-13 12:13:45

I think I would spend the money just to sniff Jessie blush

MillyRules Thu 24-Oct-13 12:15:25

Heir what about trying some overeating hypnosis cds. They are supposed to work on your subconscious. Cant hurt. They do work for me but that is just me. I think im very suggestive to these things.

MillyRules Thu 24-Oct-13 12:27:14

I know I go on about this but in the book "Overcoming Overeating" it says that you have to legitimise ALL food and the quantities of it. You need to always have all the foods you want where you want them. In the kitchen or the car. You must always have a supply of these foods in order to normalise your eating and it must always be the very best versions. Not low carb or low sugar or low cal but the very best that you love not for sharing mind, just for you. Get even extra if you want those you live with to have some too.

MillyRules Thu 24-Oct-13 12:31:01

Just googled Jessie Molly mmmmm he is rather a dish isn't he. Sniffing him would definitely stop one eating I would imagine. Lol...

millyrules that is a great point about what you 'allow' your partner to see - i have to get away from trying to be the 'perfect' gf because it actually means suppressing many of my own needs

heirtotheironthrone thanks - so it didn't work for you, and that's fine - you haven't failed, it's just not what you needed at the time.

Hi everyone, how are things going? You ok Hurried?

Having also googled Jessie - crikey shock - I am still pondering how I can convince DH that I need to get on that course grin

HeirToTheIronThrone Fri 25-Oct-13 12:14:20

Well my small victory is that I went to Pizza Express with DH last night and stopped eating after half my pizza - pretty amazing for me! We did have dessert after, but I walked home just pleasantly full rather than stuffed. And now I have leftovers for lunch, which I will eat mindfully...

MillyRules Fri 25-Oct-13 18:49:37

Well done Heir smile

MillyRules Thu 31-Oct-13 13:25:09

Hi Ladies.....how you all doing grin

hurried Sat 02-Nov-13 09:57:22

Hello everyone,

I am sorry I haven't written back sooner. I don't get much time by myself, and I either have a little one trying to type with me (that gets interesting!) or I have others in the house, and I feel your posts are private to me, partly because I am ashamed of binge eating but also because people have such strong opinions about what I should and should be doing at home and I would rather read non bias views.

It's been so eye opening and encouraging that people have admitted to feeling the same way, or just offering their support.

Rules you asked how I am doing. Has the bingeing stopped, No. Has it got better, yes. Am I learning more about myself, yes. Do I think I know everything about myself and the solution, most definitely not, but there is progress and emotionally I feel more comfortable with myself that I'm not alone, and that I haven't been judged by people on here.

What has worked...
Triggers for binge - reflection

Sleep suggested I ask myself, what is triggering my overeating and I discovered I have different types of triggers for overeating...

Food composition and overeating triggers

1. Emotional and hormal cravings and food composition, i.e. a carb craving
I agree with MillyRules that completely banning something leads to cravings. However, I have noticed when I am down, or hormonal or upset I get a huge craving for certain carbs, when I am feeling happy I don't even think about these foods and I don'y "actively avoid them"... I can be around cereal, biscuits, bread etc and not batter an eyelid, but when I am on a downer I reach for them and I only want them in large quantity. the craving is intense, I'm impulsive and frantic. This is my most destructive type of binge. At the beginning, I can actively say this will make my stomach painful, or I convince myself I will have a little bit... this type of binge is never from hunger.

I find if I'm really tired or ill the above is awful.

What I can do to overcome this... Do something else, make sure I am not in a position to hide. This might not be ideal, but I think I do hide behind food. I think because food is there and easy and accessible, I grab it and then feel so ill I can't do anything much for the rest of the day. It intensifies my lizard brain...

What works to overcome this:
Recently, I thought about doing a out door swim, I started to feel very excited about it, (I was probably being faddy) but I planned it for summer next year. The odd thing about this was, with this as my goal in my mind, I naturally moderated my diet, I chose healthy foods that I thought would nourish me as much as possible so that I would feel good. There may have been the odd slice of cake involved but I wasn't that interested, I wanted healthy nourishing food and when I felt tired, my impulse was to reach for cereal and bread but I thought it would affect my training. Erm, I did this for about 4 days (a long time for me!). I am slightly faddy, this fell through when I got ill and little one was up all night (what is it with these bugs!) and then my swimming coach cancelled my lesson and I kind of gave up. I still plan to do this though. It's a temporary lapse though.

What also helps is short term goals i.e., a tai chi class, or a swimming lesson, I can't physically overeat prior to them as I would probably be sick and going to them quite often "snaps" me out of that lethargy just grab food way of thinking. My lizard brain as one of the experts refers to it.

For general cravings prior to a binge

I find as soon as I open that packet of cereal, if it enters my mind to just go for a binge, I kid myself I just want a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of toast (I always provide 100 excuses to myself... I need the carbs, I need the vitamins, a little will help me, I shouldn't ban foods) but if I am not hungry, I have to be honest, it's just an excuse for a binge (I like the high it gives me and that calming feeling, despite knowing I have to keep going to keep it up, and then I feel sick and tired).
To combat this:
Forgive me, someone advised I read advice by someone whose name has now gone (was it Jane?- any way I'll look it up later) also putting off a binge helps. So thinking ok, I'll have that, but not until later. I also found, this won't apply to everyone, I don't binge much in the evening, so saying to myself, ok I will eat whatever I want at 7.30 pm (I think I am unusual in comparison to some other bingers so this wouldn't work for all, but I tend not to have carb cravings in the evening, my mood generally improves) 't restrictions, no quantity limitation.. and by the evening I don't feel like it, or at least I am slightly more mindful.

For me at this point in time it doesn't work to have binge foods easily accessible, because I'm impulsive. I haven't found this negatively affects my child, in fact, at the moment, he seems to be eating more of his savoury meals. I'm not banning him from anything, and if we have been out I will buy him a biscuit a cake whatever alongside his sandwich. I keep ice cream in the freezer (not a binge food for me, unless I'm very down) and he has one for dessert each night. I can honestly say, and I'm not trying to justify this, but his diet has improved!
My husband thinks I am nuts but I put cereals etc in his car at night, I take at one portion of dark chocolate for my son and I (literally a few squares) for the next day and a little cereal for my son. It's one portion. As I said my husband thinks I am nuts (probably correctly, and he is kindly telling everyone what I have been doing) an this has made me so much happier There is one portion an that's it, and when I am in that crackers carb craving mode, one portion isn't enough and it's for my son, or I have made up one sandwich for each of us the night before, I don't have access to a whole loaf of bread during the day. This has helped tremendously. Obviously I can still buy stuff, but I have to get in the car and go out and get it, and by that time, I've faced whatever emotion I was feeling and combating that.

2. My second trigger, is gluttony.
I haven't labelled any foods as banned as such, we have had my mother in law staying for a few days and I have had other mother's round. I have had lots of cakes and haven't limited them. I have noticed, for me, I have some and want more. I'm not beating myself up about this or even analysing it too much, it's as I suspected, I don't feel full or satisfied with cake, I just want more. I go into the kitchen and find myself picking when I see them there. I know if cakes were there all the time, I would eat them. They taste nice, they give a sugar rush. This of course could led to binge eating, but I think this is more, what lots of people have, a mindless eating of something sweet. My husband said to me "please don't keep so many biscuits and cakes in the house I'll be the size of a bus" tho sis the man who always likes bread, a little cake in the house usually. I like food, and sugar stuff provides no satisfaction for me, it just something that provides an annoying craving, and almost obsession i.e., I think this is yum I want more, or I find myself cutting a little slither off!
I don't feel so bad about this as it isn't as intense as the craving above, i.e. if I chuck the cake away or don't have any then I'm not bothered by it. It's not to stifle an emotion does that make sense? however, if cake was around when I was feeling an intense craving I would eat it all no doubt it could easily be a binge food.

3. Hunger - not a bad feeling to feel
This is interesting, I had a day where by I didn't have breakfast. I just had a square of dark chic and that was it. By lunchtime I felt true hunger and I wanted a massive dinner. However, if I have access to vegetables I will eat these. I like feeling true hunger, it makes me appreciate what I'm eating, and I know that it's a real need. It's almost been really helpful to feel what hunger feels like!!! I have to be careful, I appreciate starving oneself isn't ideal and of course, by the time I'm ravenous I fill up my plate sky high- but I don't mind that, especially if it's loads of veg etc.

4. Boredom
I haven't got anything else to do, or if I am not looking forward to the day, I think of food, what I will have for breakfast, lunch etc and then it's fatal as the more I think about it, the more I want and I spend the whole day picking and eating when not even hungry.

Another poster, Hope4best(?) really highlighted something that resonates with me, and I think Sleep identified this, I think what will really work is nothing to do with food, it's finding something to replace the bingeing. When I thought about that swim, I felt different, I know it's dramatic, but I felt self respect and I wanted food for nourishment and to be honest, I didn't think about food that much, only as a fuel. It's not helpful for me to want to be super perfect, or skinny, or beautiful.. but to want to be my best is helpful. Distraction, is really helpful. For me, Sleep is right I think, a "holistic" approach is best. Fighting the urge to binge isn't helpful but just doing something else. I think I get a slight low mood which doesn't help, and exercise does.

Having something to look forward to helps too.

I am still struggling with my self esteem, I often look in the mirror and see these tired eyes and saggy jowls and my heart sinks.. but I have realised I give up easily, and my husband says I do this with lots of thing, he says I provide myself with a get out option, when things get tough. this is something I need to work on. However, when I went back to work, I found this tough as my self esteem was so low, that I turned to food even more when I wasn't at work. So self esteem is something I really need to improve. I'm not confident, like most women I know!

My advice to others at the moment would be to look to your triggers, as Sleep advised me to do. For me, this might not be perfect, the biggest thing is to just do something else, something that gives you confidence. Take away the binge foods so you face your feelings and learn when to eat when hungry. This is easier said than done. Another interest I enjoy is cooking!! I found sleep's suggestion of planning a great meal and then putting it together (doesn't matter if you snack on the ingredients, if it's full of veg and protein, I found as I don't go into a frenzy) is unite fulfilling.

Is all this easy on a day when I have had lack of sleep, everyone around me seems grumpy, I've received criticism about something, or I feel ill, or I'm worried about my LO and he is in a bad mood, it's really tough, but I think I'm learning and getting a little better. Being prepared for days like these helps.

I'm far from recovered and expect it after having a few successful days without bingeing and then thinking way hey I'm cured, then getting ill and reaching for all the binge foods I hadn't even thought about when I was happy/calm.

It's working for me to not have easy access to sugary stuff. I think I probably have eaten about nearly three cakes (carrot cake icing is a little too nice!!) in the last three days, but as I said, for me, if it's there, something very sugary I'll eat it, so I'll expect that, for me that's not always the same as a binge, does that make sense? even though I'll eat a whole cake during the course of a day, I guess what I'm saying is the sugar is pretty addictive, but it's not stifling emotions.

I went to a friend's mother's funeral and they served many, many cakes and many salads, the latter savoury and fruit. My friend's dad commented at the end that the fruit and salad was left untouched... my friend pointed out "who is going to eat salad when theory are miserable and there is cake instead?" she's not a binge eater and I don't think everyone at that funeral was either...

I'm not saying I know the answer. Did anyone read the DM study on carbs making people depressed, I don't think that's accurate, I think SOME people reach for carbs for their dopamine hit, I do, as you all now know and are probably sick of hearing about it but that is my drug of choice when down or ill. Yet when my sister isa stressed she doesn't eat at all. We are just different I guess. My random ramblings....

Any way, good luck to you all. My thoughts are with all you who are trying to combat this. It isn't pleasant... but I think there is hope.. xx

hurried Sat 02-Nov-13 10:07:38

Apologies for the grammar above, I wish we could edit posts, once posted... for me, I have to read through it all to see the mistakes. I'm hoping you can make some sort of sense of it!!

MillyRules Sat 02-Nov-13 11:21:35

Hi.....It was interesting to read your post. The book I recommended was " Overcoming Overeating" by Jane Hirschman...not sure of my spelling though smile . Most women arent all that confident, we just pretend and act like we are. Well I do anyway. Fake it till you make it and all that. Carbs can make me feel low if I have toooo many as I crash but if I don't have them then I can also feel emotionally unstable which is why I eat them as part of my food choices. I havnt binged for years and am totally at ease with having all and any food in my house. I hope one day you can get to this stage.
At the moment tour bingeing is helping you cope with things in your life. It is your crutch and until your ready to let it go, it is helping you to deal with your life. smile

Hey Hurried thanks for your post, so interesting. Reading through, the thought that occurred to me was to remind you of what Milly actually just said, the bingeing is your crutch, your learnt way of dealing with emotions. That doesn't make it wrong, it's just one method, ideally you can gradually (don't rush!) learn other methods that aren't damaging to your health and self esteem and don't leave you feeling ill. So not having a knee jerk reaction to fight against the urge is, as you say, a good thing. The more you accept the bingeing as a technique you use, so try to live with it and understand it more, making you able to pause and think...why am I getting this urge now...could I do something else to help deal with how I am feeling right now? Can I wait until later? The less frequent or insistent that urge will hopefully become. There will still be occasions when you go ahead and binge anyway and that is ok, it's all a learning process smile. You definitely sound like you are getting into this way of thinking, which is great smile.

hurried is your husband helping you? How much have you explained to him? Is he being supportive and understanding? Does he help improve your self esteem? If not then do you think he would if you asked him?

Don't give up on that swim, it sounds like a great plan!

northlondontherapist29 Sat 02-Nov-13 19:08:40

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MillyRules Sat 02-Nov-13 20:49:43

NorthLondon.... the info you give is the same as Paul McKenna and most Mindful Eating books.

MillyRules Sat 02-Nov-13 21:01:46

North ....had a look around your website.Looks really interesting. Its great that you have overcome your own disordered eating patterns. I would imagine this gives you great insite when helping people smile

MillyRules Sat 02-Nov-13 21:02:33


MillyRules Sun 03-Nov-13 17:59:35

North if someone doesn't make their binge foods part of their normal foods how can they see those binge foods as "just food" if they are only eaten in secret and overeaten in secret. Surely to normalise them by regularly buying them and having them always available is the best way to eventually lose the stigma these binge foods have.

hurried Sun 03-Nov-13 18:03:29

Hi millyrules,
I don't not eat binge foods, and will eat them out or when in the company of others, but not in secret or I don't give myself access to them in huge amounts. That seems to be working for me but I understand it's not ideal for everyone.

hurried Sun 03-Nov-13 18:10:14

I think perhaps you are all in a much better place than me with your relationship with food. Until I can work out ways to deal with my emotional eating ie, finding a way of facing my emotions and finding another way to deal with them, I can't have binge foods in vast quantities as I will just keep doing the same thing I have done for years. I am weak, I hide behind food everytime I give Myself that option, it's an easy one and a habit. At this stage it's the only thing that I feel will work for me. I do totally agree that restriction or banning can lead to obsessive thoughts and bingeing but as I explained above, my reasoning is logical for me. I've tried to not care an surround myself with whatever foods (and have done for years) but food has been my drug of choice and for my sanity I can't keep doing the same thing. I feel more comfortable doing it this way xx

MillyRules Sun 03-Nov-13 19:30:38

Hurried I totally respect and understand that you have to do it the way that suits you and to understand how you tick. I was curious to get Norths take on it as she has said she is a therapist.grin

HeirToTheIronThrone Tue 05-Nov-13 09:09:19

I just wanted to pop in and tell you that partly inspired by you, and partly by my lovely DH, I had my first chat with a therapist yesterday. And it was fine! Already feel lighter in a funny way, though much of what we talked about was not about food but all sorts of things to do with my past and my family. So, thanks to you all.

hurried Tue 05-Nov-13 10:11:25

Well done Heir, that's great news and a huge step. Please keep us posted xx

Fantastic news Heir, well done. Yes please keep us posted! xx

northlondontherapist29 Wed 06-Nov-13 20:10:20

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MillyRules Wed 06-Nov-13 23:44:33

Why has NorthLondonTherapist posted again. Ahhh....I see.....her last post was removed by Mumsnet.

hurried Fri 15-Nov-13 09:21:21

Hi all,

I just wanted to sign and say since posting on this board things have got better. I'm far from cured but it's not every day any more.

Did anyone watch that programme on tv about people who got thin then regained all their weight ... and more! I noticed some of those women got very slim, so they were exceptionally good at dieting... and bingeing they weren't good at moderation... that was their downfall. I guess this supports the argument that diets don't work.

Obviously the causes of over eating is a very personal thing, but I do notice the more I binge, the more I want to binge.... does that make sense? So if i decide I'll allow myself to eat whatever I want, I continue to eat all day, I'm don't feel hunger, it's cravings none of it is "intuitive" eating...

For me, I had a bad day yesterday and I think mine is much more an emotional thing and a huge mistake I made was to get to the gym and think I feel down I'll go to a cafe instead lol... I ended up bingeing all day and not facing the problems, had I just forced myself to just walk on the treadmill I would have felt much better. However, today is a new day but I have a day with my son and intend to make the most if every second of it... so despite feeling very saggy in a swimsuit (I am not fat just pregnancy was not kind) I am going to take him out ... there will be mealtimes of course but I'll just get on with those when they arrive and a hungry,

I have definitely noticed after binges, I am MORE hungry, the more I eat, the more I want (another telling sign it's not true hunger) I have really found then choosing lower carb options helps to alleviate that drop in blood glucose craving. Last night, after a day of bingeing I had curry... a beautiful Malaysian curry and I had it with..salad, and I had a chocolate dessert, but the cravings then stopped. I enjoyed the meal. Now I move on.

I have brought a butternut squash, lentils, carrots, sweet potato, carrot and I intend on making a massive batch of yummy curry soup.... that my son can eat too.

I hope you are all well I think of all you other binge eaters and all those who have gone out of their way to offer advice. I feel like I am slowly getting my life back.. even with the odd binge day.

I think for me, being mindful of what caused it helps so I can prevent it in the future. If I rely on my emotions in the moment to dictate my actions I think I would spend a lot more time just eating- food is a quick answer at the time. Days I haven't binged, I haven't allowed myself the opportunity.

lljkk Fri 15-Nov-13 09:42:48

It sounds like you've made terrific progress, Hurried.

Most people with eating disorders think they are doing it in secret.

Some get fat so it seems obvious there might be a problem. many don't.

Anorexics & Bulemics think themselves ever so clever to be so secret but they can be extremely obvious too.

It does sound as if you're doing really well Hurried.
I identify with a lot of what you said.

MillyRules Sun 17-Nov-13 19:19:54

Doing well Hurried even though your not yet practising mindful eating every time you eat, you are still being very mindfull overall. smile

aimeesecret1 Tue 19-Nov-13 10:19:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

aimeesecret1 please be aware that MN, like the most forums, has a policy in the Talk Guidelines about posts like yours.
There's a separate section for these requests, and with good reason, especially on a highly sensitive subject like this one.
I've reported your thread and asked for it to be moved to the appropriate section for you.

MillyRules Tue 19-Nov-13 19:01:36

Thanks Herdy....surprised it hasn't been moved yet.

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