Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

has anyone overcome overeating?

(77 Posts)
NewYearsDaysie Wed 06-Jun-12 02:11:13

I hate myself. I CANNOT and I really mean cannot stop stuffing my face with crap. I keep putting on weight and I'd love to lose about 8 stone (to make me vaguely normal) I have motivation to lose the weight health, kids, wanting to look nice for hubby but I just cannot stop myself doing it! I'm feeling incredibly down at the moment and previously have overeaten then made myself sick, or used blades on myself which helps a lot but obviously isn't good.
Has anyone overcome overeating and how did you do it. Please don't say 'go out and find a hobby as I will scream. DH says it all the time as tho its a magic cure.

Emphaticmaybe Wed 06-Jun-12 17:46:02

Hi Daysie you sound like me.
I know rationally that this addiction, ( because let's face it that's what it is), is damaging me in terms of health, lifestyle, self-esteem, the whole lot, but the immediate desire to eat so often beats any theoretical future happiness.

It's been said many times that over-eating is a form of depression- a way to cope with the present because we are not invested in our own future. I think this is true. If you are struggling to cope with the day to day demands of children, work, relationships etc it is often a coping stategy just to get you through the day. Eating is dressed up as a reward for yourself when no-one else is likely to reward you, or a way of obliterating bad feelings but without the hangover and being unable to fulfill your role as a carer. Like Caitlin Moran says food is the drug of choice for mothers and carers.

I know you probably know all this and like me you've probably tried many times to address it, but the one thing that has helped me even though I resisted and resisted is exercise. I used to laugh when people talked about the benefits - I felt my addiction was too deep for something so simple to have an effect.

Well I was wrong - and all I'm doing is walking and going on an exercise bike about four times a week for enough time to get me out of breath and feel like I've done something. Nothing major.

It's got to be the endorphins because in and of itself it doesn't really shift a lot of weight. The only thing that does that is less food. What I found though is that I've started to view my body differently and the separation I felt between me intellectually and physically is changing.
I've started to see my body as worth treating with respect not as a rubbish bin.

I've got along way to go but it just seems to help me to stop for a minute before a binge, which is all you need sometimes to get a grip. It hasn't stopped me every time but I would say over half and the more times you are successful the stonger you become. I've lost a couple of stones in the last six months and that's not down to dieting- it's from just not binging.

This may not have helped at all and your life may be incredibly complicated and the chance to exercise very limited, but if you can give it a go it may really help. I just think if food is an addiction dieting doesn't really help, as it focuses your mind on food, it's the cycle of binging that needs to be broken first and for that you have to feel differently about your body and it's worth. Exercise changed my mood and allowed me to look objectively at what I was doing to myself and see my body as 'me' and not some separate thing.

Sorry for the essay but it's an issue I have struggled with for a long time and I still have a long way to go but I wish I'd tackled it in this way before.

Good luck

NewYearsDaysie Wed 06-Jun-12 23:03:44

Thank you so much for the reply its really helpful. I think I know what you mean about the exercise thinng. I think the best time I ever had regarding depression/anxiety etc was when i used to go to the gym (I was single and much younger!) My life isn;t that complicated I just have three young children and by the time I have someone at home to look after them I'm too shagged out to move. I think if I start though I will probably look forward to it, I did start jogging last year (I was going to say running but I never got past a puffed out trot) but was with a friend and I never felt like I was getting anything out of it.
Think I'll have another crack at it.

Concordia Wed 06-Jun-12 23:07:37

marking my place here. i cant really say i have any magic answers. although eating less by gillian riley has helped me a lot - it seems totap into the cause of my difficulties. i need to read it every month though sad

Concordia Wed 06-Jun-12 23:07:57

that's a book btw

FiftyShadesofViper Wed 06-Jun-12 23:16:59

No useful advice as I haven't conquered it at all. I often blamed it on young children and general chaos but now they are older I am still as bad, if not worse.

Am just starting to try to introduce some exercise into my life but it is a tough process!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 06-Jun-12 23:36:06

I do feel for you. I'm a bit the same. I think I view food as a treat and just can't resist.

What seems to be giving me a kick up the bum at the moment is the exercise though as Emphatic said. I bought a second hand treadmill. At first I could just about run for a minute but now I can run for five minutes and I've only been doing it for a month. Half an hour of walking and running, every other day. It worked for my friend and my sister so it's got to be worth a go.

I also downloaded a diet app to my phone. It records your weight, age and measurements and you have to put in what you eat every day and it works out the calorie content and what you could lose. It's called MyNetDiary and it's ace. If you get into the habit of weighing stuff out - you only need to do it for a little while until you get the hang of it - and religiously record everything, you can see where you're going wrong. It's quite an eye opener just how calorific some food is!

I now find that because I know how many calories I'm burning up exercising, I don't want to waste them by then stuffing my face. It's a good incentive. Well it works for me and I'm a greedy bastard so it must be good.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do. It's not easy and it's quite depressing being overweight, but once you make that first positive step you've made a start.

LucieMay Wed 06-Jun-12 23:39:04

I can empathise. I'm a size 16 so not massively overweight but I am definitely a binger. I go through binge/starve cycles and my weight has yo-yoed massively over the years (I was a size 12 this time last year, and a size eight/ten a few months before that). It makes me so miserable, but I just can't find it in myself to get a stable attitude to food and have my weight stabilise at a healthy weight.) Good luck.

FiftyShadesofViper Wed 06-Jun-12 23:43:22

It might be getting a bit "deep" but I saw something on tv recently (may have been on Oprah!) talking about people who have bariatric surgery then develop other addictions like gambling, drinking, etc. That really resonated with me and made me realise that food is clearly fulfilling a purpose more than just being a fuel for me. maybe I need a psychiatrist more than a diet!

SmileItsSunny Wed 06-Jun-12 23:46:01

Making my place, good luck OP. I have also found in the past that the more exercise I do, the less I want to pig out on rubbish.
I ned to get back in to the running.

TheLightPassenger Thu 07-Jun-12 17:43:21

I agree with emphatic's post. I am much better than I was a few years back, but still have a way to go

1. completely agree with Caitlin Moran re:food as a drug
2. there are a few brief points in a binge where you can change direction, the first being when you buy the food, the second being that minute or so when you know what you are going to do. try and be more aware of those two crunch points, and how to resist.
3. I find exercise slightly reduces my appetite, and hence desire to overeat, and helps mood in itself. Try and find something you enjoy. If jogging doesn't do it, anything that gets you out of puff - cycling in front of TV, rosemary conley DVD, Just Dance on the Wii, brisk walk with Ipod on, will do.
4. accept it's an ongoing battle, that you need to change for life, rather than till you get to target weight.
5. read up on the heart health etc type info about food, read the labels on processed food, get knowledgeable.

NewYearsDaysie Fri 08-Jun-12 08:45:51

Thanks...good to know there are other people out there that feel the same way. I just seem to have list all my willpower and all the reasons in the world aren't making me want to be thin more than eating that mars bar that I KNOW is in the cupboard. I read somewhere that nothing tastes as good as thin feels...having never been thin I wouldn't know what it feels like but I'd love to find out. I just need something to stop me constantly thinking about food. Exercise seems to be the way to go. Distraction AND calorie burniing...time to get the Wii Fit out perhaps?!

imogengladheart Fri 08-Jun-12 08:55:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sparklekitty Fri 08-Jun-12 15:48:17

Yes! I was diagnosed with anorexia, then binge eating disorder then non purging bulimia (alongside other MH issues) Tons of people said to me 'just stop eating as much' 'exercise more' etc. What helped me was therapy and dealing with my underlying issues.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Fri 08-Jun-12 15:51:41

Also marking place.

You're so not alone OP.

LauLu Sat 09-Jun-12 20:41:57

Also marking my place. Have always had a very poor relationship with food. Have recently lost 2 stone doing WW but have a lot more to go and my bingeing is now threatening to undo what I have lost sad

SmallCardiBigDrawers Sat 09-Jun-12 22:20:19

I'm desperate to lose weight (about 5st) but can't stop stuffing my face either.
I'm going to try something a bit different - for me at least- which is calorie counting but with a generous daily allowance. That means I'll lose weight but slowly, but shouldn't feel too deprived. Well that's today's plan at least. But I do find that I flip-flop around different things - one minute I'm on low carb, then just 'cutting down' then I switch to WW then I think oh bugger it and don't do anything at all. It seems whatever I try - I still overeat. Although I am definitely worse when I've been trying to do a strict diet.

Great post emphatic. I read the thread last night and forced myself out for a walk today. Only did 20 minutes but it's 20 mins more than I usually do blush

NewYearsDaysie Sun 10-Jun-12 01:23:47

Hey small cardi well done you something is better than nothing. I have had horrible stress today and for once couldn't eat. Found the Xbox Kinect Dance Central is fun and gets you out of breath. It's a start!

perplexedpirate Sun 10-Jun-12 01:36:17

Marking place. smile

SmallCardiBigDrawers Sun 10-Jun-12 09:25:59

Well I've just got weighed and I'm at my all time highest weight. sad
Today I'm going to count my cals and make sure I get some exercise.
Thanks for the tip about the Xbox Kinect, NewYears. I've not got Xbox but I've got Wii Fit so I'll have a look at that later and see what's on there. Bought it 3 years ago and it's been used about 4 times blush

msbuggywinkle Sun 10-Jun-12 10:09:28

I am here with you lot.

I have always had a fucked up attitude to food, I had a controlling abusive step father. His control centred around food. I was bulimic as a teen (got off lighter than my Dsis whose anorexia has caused infertility), put loads of weight on when I moved in with DP. Lost it when we got married then put it back on having the DDs. All that in ten years ( I'm 28).

I third (fourth?) what pps have said about exercise. Especially if it is something you can enjoy. I like hula hooping. I am aware that I look right silly!

Can I reccomend the eat more to weigh less thread? It is helping to re-educate me about how to eat. Usually, I would go on a diet, hugely restrict my eating for a few days, be in a vile mood the whole time, then crash and binge. EMTWL is really helping me to understand why I do it and how to stop it.

NewYearsDaysie Sun 10-Jun-12 19:26:26

Excellent thread! Very interesting...lots of things that seem to be written for me!

SmallCardiBigDrawers Tue 12-Jun-12 10:07:09

How's everyone doing?

CatsSleepAnywhere Tue 12-Jun-12 11:24:33

Not sure if I should join you all or not. Am doing a lot of comfort eating --mainly junk food-- at the mo. I think I may have put on a bit of weight. confused

I was the other extreme of the scale though in my 20's and didn't used to eat enough. went down to 8 stone so not drasticly underweight but not great either ----looked really ill.

BrightPlacesBoomBands Tue 12-Jun-12 12:32:02

Hello. Just joining the thread to add this link. Life coach, American, I know, I know, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it's worth a look. I think "What am I truly hungry for?" can be a good question... Good luck, everyone.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: