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Does anyone else eat compulsively?

(142 Posts)
noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 15:49:18

Hope it's ok to post this in this section, and I hope it's not too trivial a subject. Just wondered if anyone else feels out of control around food? I eat too much almost every day and find it almost impossible not to.
I'm trying to explore the reasons why but I find it really hard to do this> Have been reading books by Geneen Roth which do help but not much. Is anoyone else in the same situation. I'm really fed up with it now. Have namechanged as I'm ashamed of myself sad

womblesgirl Thu 13-May-10 16:06:03

I sued to feel exaclty the same way that you do around food. In fact I still do. It is nothing to feel ashamed about and you should not be too hard on yourself. You are making very positiv e steps to try and stop. Even posting this on here is a massive step as you have aknowledged that you have an issue with food.

womblesgirl Thu 13-May-10 16:09:20

I found that keeping myself busy really helps me to try and stay in control. I still have days where I end up caving in and end up clearing the cupboards looking for somwething to eat and end up feeling inredibly guitly afterwards. It is really hard. \i even think about food all of the time.

smallishsheep Thu 13-May-10 16:12:18

You have an eating disorder. I think there's a misconception that eating disorders are the domain of teh skinny but that really is not the case. I've suffered anorexia and bulimia in the past and really what you're describing is compulsive eating disorder. It's a recognised condition, and there is help out there. You should be brave and go to your GP. Food should not impinge on your life in this way.
There are some very good books out there that can help, Good Girls do Swallow by Racheal Oakes Ash is one that comes to mind, will think of some more for you

noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 16:14:01

Hi womblesgirl, thanks for replying.
I am busy! I have a 1yr old ds. I think I do it in a way to claim some time for myself, if that makes sense? I have no choice about being busy I am busy whether I want to be or not. I think that's an issue.
If you don't mind me asking did you try and exlpore the reasons behind your eating?

noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 16:15:48

smallisheep, I did go to my gp, she told me to try self help books then to come back to her if that didn't work, and she would refer me to the community mental health team, but I'm scared really. Do you think it would be worthwhile? What would they do?

noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 16:17:52

Thanks for relpying by the way as I'm writing this I'm realising I don't think I can do this on my own, I do need to go back and ask for help.

BessieBoots Thu 13-May-10 16:18:39

I am like this. I think that essentially I confuse an emotional need with a physical one, and really I'll need counselling before I can think of food in a healthy way. My relationship with food has always been dodgy- I am never, ever full- And I should try to trace the reason why I'm like this.

If I'm trying to eat healthily, or not snack, I am always thinking about it- I'm trying to lose weight now and I have to be constantly aware of it or I'll eat without thinking.

noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 16:21:35

BessieBoots, it's shit isn't it? I really just want to sort it out now, I feel so embarrassed though. I think I will go back to the doctors. She also offered me anti-depressants and part of me wants to just get the pills, but I think I should try and get to the bottom of it too.

smallishsheep Thu 13-May-10 16:26:21

I do think self help books have their place. But at the same time I don't think you can do it alone.
WHen my daughter was about 1, my bulimia was the worst it had ever been. I would literally panic if I didn't have stuff in the house I could binge on, and the night I considered leaving her in the cot so I could run out and get some food was the night I realised I had a big problem.
The mental health team will be a help. I've used my local one for anxiety issues and basically the first appointment will be about an hour long chat where you talk about your history. I was scared absolutely shitless before my first session but it really was fine and a big relief when it was over- I felt that just by having been, a big weight had been lifted.
It is an emotional problem, but one that will be having big physical effects too, and to that end at the very least, you deserve to get this sorted out. It is possible to have a healthy relationship with food, you just need to work at it ime.

noteasyformetopostthis Thu 13-May-10 16:29:18

thanks Smallisheep, and thanks everyone for taking me seriously I was afraid i would get loads of answers saying "stop eating you greedy cow" I'm going to ring the docs now and make an appointment, don't want to feel like this anymore.

willsurvivethis Thu 13-May-10 16:34:37

I have had binge eating disorder since I was 7. I was sexually abused by a teacher, did not (feel able to) tell my parents so did not get support and protection anywhere. I dragged sweets into bed in the early mornings to create a happy safe bubble for myself. And here I am 28 years later...


I haven't binged for over three weeks and I haven't dieted instead either which is very new.

It all started to fall into place when the abuse memories came back last year and I finally knew why I ate and since memories about the ED starting came back earlier this year.

It is really tough as I am under too much stress and we have just switched in counselling from thinking about things to tackling feelings, the ones I have now and how they relate to the ones from 28 years ago. But the urge to eat is either absent or very weak and can be stopped by just stopping and thinking what am I feeling, do i need comfort?

Sorry bit of an essay but it's been a long journey.

womblesgirl Thu 13-May-10 16:44:43

Yes I did.
I ate becuase I was unhappy with myself, both physically and mentally. I try to give people the impression that I am a super confident person who is outgoing and fun to be around.

However, in my head,this was not the case. I felt like I did not measure up and and was not everything that I think that I thought that I should be. I managed to talk to my GP and was assigned to see a councellor who helped me massively.

In the last 8 months though, after having my DS I seem to be able to, most days, keep it in check. I have also realised that the only person who was putting this pressure on me to be this ideal person was myself.

Good for you ringing the Dr. It is a brilliant first step and is a massive positive move forward. Aknowledgeing that you have a problem is the hardest thing to do. Good luck and keep us posted how you get on. You need support and plenty of positive people around you.

Keziahhopes Thu 13-May-10 23:29:22

Hi - it is good to hear your dr is offering you talking options as well as medication. I know I over eat, binge eat, variety of different guises - though it has taken a long time to realise this. I think not eating, or eating too much in some way to meet an emotional need is a very real issue = and working out why, can help, hence referral.

I now know it is an issue, but am focussing on recognising the warning signs now and have a veriety of other activities that can meet the same need now - thanks to being under cmht, which is great progress for me.

Hope you can get the help you deserve.

ItsGraceAgain Fri 14-May-10 02:32:55

You have an eating disorder and there's some deep stuff underlying it. As you're bravely taking steps to address it, you may want to figure out the issues around your feelings about yourself, life & food first. You can look at any other matters later, you're already doing very well!

I've posted a reply on the 'anorexia' thread here, you might want to take a look at it?
The book that changed my life was "Fat is a Feminist Issue" by Susie Orbach. Linked in other thread.

Please try not to stress out too much over it or get down on yourself - food is life, after all, it's not the enemy (easier said, I know!) Wishing you the best of everything

ItsGraceAgain Fri 14-May-10 02:35:10

Meant to add: I do still binge when I'm seriously depressed. Difference is, I just sort of allow it once in a while. I don't puke or feel guilty. Thinking back, I've come a long way ... thank god.

Kaloki Fri 14-May-10 02:36:49

I struggle too. It's difficult control as at least with other compulsions you could try and avoid them altogether, but you can't avoiding eating. (Well, you can, but that's a different issue in itself)

Very difficult to get help as well, so that's good about seeing your doctor.

noteasyformetopostthis Fri 14-May-10 13:08:10

Thanks everyone so much, I'm not the only one am I? It just seems like it most of the time sad I've made an appointment for tuesday. Thanks again

JustMyTwoPenceWorth Fri 14-May-10 13:18:35

Yes. I did. For years. compulsive eating, periods where I would binge and vomit, food 'fads' such as only eating bowls of stuffing, hmm or peas, or something. Also sleeping with only a thin sheet over me and the window open and the fan on, because I'd read that being cold at night makes your body use more energy to heat you up and so you lose weight.

I had a huge hole inside and it burned, I mean a physical sensation of burning. The only time it stopped hurting was when I ate until I felt like I was going to burst. Then of course, the hole came back only with it came the revulsion of having eaten a whole loaf of bread and a family sized cheesecake.

In the end I weighed 36 stone and was told that I would be dead by the end of the year.

I had a sleeve gastrectomy.

'm still the size of a house, but only the one now, not the whole row and in time I'll go down to a bungalow, then a shed.... grin

The hole is still there, that's the only problem. I can't binge, but I still burn. However, I'm alive. for years I didn't want to be, but now I think I do.

Now I struggle with food choices. I can't binge, but I can have a croissant instead of a salad, hmm I am my own worst enemy.

It's really hard. People don't realise that for people like us, it is a mental health issue. It's not nothing to do with food. I always say that it seemed like I just wanted to destroy myself and food was my weapon of choice.

MadeUpNameForAnonymity Fri 14-May-10 13:19:27

I've just started a specific form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for exactly the same problem. I arranged it through my GP - I had to wait quite a while for the first appointment. There should be a specialist eating disorders service in your area that will be able to help, if not you'll likely be referred to the mental health team. So far at least the CBT I've been having has been very helpful at uncovering what's going on in my head and the counsellor is brilliant.

You are not the only one doing this. It's OK to ask for help.

raisinbran Fri 14-May-10 19:35:39

I am in a bad way at the moment, I can't even eat normally let a alone diet or eat healthily.

I think I will have to go back to the GP and see if I can get some more CBT. I saw some one I 2004, after doing weight watchers in 2003 and in 2006 had a gastic bypass I lost weight and its has gone back on and I am still over weight and screwed up. I even got divorced and eat for comfort.

The therapy was good but my therapist was leaving and so I tried to do it alone.

I think it is a relief to know it is an eating disorder and mental issue, for years my husband told me it was rubbish when I tried to explain my feelings..... I can sympathise with drug addicits and alcoholics as you know it is damaging your body long term but you live for the hear and now.

My body has been amazing with all I have put it through i dont even want to be size 12 any more but would love to stay one size instead of having 5 different sizes in the wardobe.I would just love to be able to eat normally.

Binge no More by Joyce Nash was the book my therapist recommended. I have an understanding of what I should be doing but I just can't implement it long term.

If you can find someone in a similar situation to work with go for it as even close family and friends dont really understand what its all about.

raisinbran Fri 14-May-10 19:37:51

Very sorry for spelling mistakes... gastric, here etc

noteasyformetopostthis Mon 17-May-10 14:29:32

Hi justmytwopenceworth, glad you are getting smaller, you must feel so much better. Do you mind me asking are you getting any support to address the underlying issues? It always surprises me that people can't see that if someone is eating and eating to the point of being near to death, that it must be a mental health issue. It's obviously not just greed is it?

Madeupname, thanks for that glad you are getting some help and it's working. How long did you have to wait?

Raisinbran, I have also got some self help books, I know the theory behind it all, but like you I can't put it into practice on my own. I am seeing my gp tomorrow.

noteasyformetopostthis Tue 18-May-10 15:23:52

Got a referral, dr said it would be about 6 - 8 weeks.

willsurvivethis Tue 18-May-10 15:29:29

Well done you - the first step and the hardest.

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