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need to confess my binge eating

(33 Posts)
justcantstop Wed 23-Jul-08 19:21:24

When I was a teenager I had anorexia, then it moved on to bulimia.

In the last 3years this has changed to binge eating. As a former annorexic it sickens me, I cant understand how someone who used to control thier food as well as I did is now like this.

Heres what I have had today -

2slices bread with spread
banana
glass fresh oj

3 break sticks

slice of bread, lentil pastie

(that was breakfast, snack and lunch)

then it all went wrong -

kitkat chunky
caramel bar
1/2 tin of beans
6 mini scotch eggs
2 bowls of cereal

And this is a good day - a very good day.

I cant go to my dr - I just cant. I have tried everything. I do exercise and I suppose that helps my weight, I am 12stone just now but am only 5ft4 so looks big on me and I am clinically obese.

Has anyone got through this? Please tell me I am not alone. This is the first time I have ever confessed this - never even admitted it on a message board before.

I try I swear I try, but even if i have a good couple of days I go back. I think about food and eating almost constantly - almost as much as i did as an anorexic.

zazen Wed 23-Jul-08 19:32:37

Thank you justcantstop.

My Mum is a binge eater and I know she lives in fear and loathing - she's 76 and has been like this for as long as I've known her. Seems such a waste, but she's in denial.

I went through a bad patch in my teens, and was underweight for about 2 years, but got help, and realised I wanted more from my life than my mother.

I hope you find someone in real life to talk with - not necessarily a counselor or a professional - though they would be good also.

You've made the first step by coming clean here, and I know that took courage. I also know you don't want to live with this awful disease anymore. So you are actually well on your way to changing your life around.

Best of luck with your new choices and your new life. You are in charge of you every moment, every second, and you can make the right choices for yourself every time. Recovery of your healthy self is a second by second journey. smile

TheHedgeWitch Fri 25-Jul-08 15:21:22

Message withdrawn

Me too, your typical diet sound all too familiar- I haven't bothered telling the doctor because at 20 stone I don't think I'd get much sympathy. But given your history, speaking to a professional might be the best way to go, as somebody else said, it sounds like you have an addictive personality (me too but never been anorexic or bulimic)

My best advice -one which I don't follow right now because I've been so tired and depressed recently- is to get out of the house, fill your day with planned activities, or just walk, go to the library, visit friends.

And when you are at home, recognise your triggers (boredom, sadness, loneliness, etc) and try to find other coping strategies such as phoning friends, watching funny films or even playing games/doing puzzles.

Try to fill up with bulky meals, lots of rice, pasta, potatoes, cereal, bananas etc so you don't snack on crap as much.

If you want to talk, I'm here. Suffering alongside unfortunately.

ellideb Fri 25-Jul-08 15:49:45

It's such an awful place to be isn't it? You're world revolves around food and you just can't get it out of your head. You are trying to fill up this huge big emotional hole inside yourself and the only time you feel numb is when you are putting food into your mouth. Then you feel despair because you have 'lost control' and disgusted with yourself so you make yourself sick. You feel briefly better as though you have purged yourself, then the feelings come rushing back along with feeling physically weak and shaky from the effort. It is a horrible cycle, I know, I've been there.

I went to see my GP because I was severly anaemic from all of the vomiting and I felt it was taking over my life. I was also very depressed. sad He was sympathetic and understanding and put me on iron tablets and anti depressants. I hated the thought of taking them but I made myself because I wanted to get better and feel normal again. I hated the thought of what I might be doing to my body because it is dangerous. Most of all, I wanted to feel like I had a normal relationship with food. I didn't want it to have the hold that it had over me.

I was so ashamed when my mum confronted me about it, but I'm glad she did because she was a fantastic support. She had found out because I was always a long time in the toilet and my searches about bullimia on the internet had caught her attention. I wasn't able to tell my boyfriend until I had fully recovered a whole two years later.

What I'm trying to tell you is this. There is help available, if you look for it. Go and see your GP, antidepressents might help you because most people who have eating disorders are usually depressed. How can you be happy when you are so caught up in this destructive cycle? Antidepressents can also help binge eating specifically. Confinde in a close member of your family. It will help to have someone you can talk to. It is no good to keep it a secret. It just makes it worse. You need to address the deeper issues. Get your GP to refer you to a professional.

You have to realise that caring so much about your appearence to the level you do is such a waste of your life. It is very ego-centric. You need to adopt the mindset- Who Cares? So what if I put on a few pounds? Really. Is the world going to stop revolving? There are so many more things to care about in the world out there. Enrich your life. Do things out of the ordinary that challenge you. Set yourself goals that have nothing to do with food and weightloss but make you feel proud of yourself. Reach out there and do things to help other people. Join a voluntary organisation. Do something that scares you and makes you realise what a big wide world we live in. Take the focus out of yourself and start enjoying life again.

I have total sympathy for you so sorry if the last bit comes across a bit harsh, I don't mean it to be. I just want you to know that there can be light at the end of the tunnel, if you try really hard. I did and I am much better now. I have settled at a normal weight, I eat relatively healthy, sometimes I binge, but so what? Who cares? I'm just normal. I just don't make myself sick anymore and certainly don't let food rule my mind/world. Explore your triggers and be kind to yourself. There are lots of books you can read that will help you to learn to like yourself again. Good luck. Sorry about the long post.

DancingMamaWithBabes Fri 25-Jul-08 18:23:52

Dear justcantstop,

I can relate.
For many years I was obsessed by food, but then after ds1 I was determined to face this, so I sought some short term help and for over a year I actually improved dramtatically.

dc2 arrived recently and something maybe hormones??? unbalanced me and I find myself eating mindlessly rather than thinking and enjoying food like I had been before baby2 arrival.

I feel caught up in a cycle of good days and bad, feeling fine one moment then not the next and I am tempted to visit the dr but part of me is scared to confess. I start to feel ashamed as I had a supportive DH but am being secretive again now about the binges
On the other hand when I feel ok, I think yeah I can do this I am in control again but then it all flops. I am trying to be kind to myself.

I think elliedeb has a lot of useful things to say and I agree (though sometimes it is hard it is worth knowing that what I am dealing with is a deeply engrained habit and that I CAN break it as I did it once before, and it does help sometimes to have support.

I'm also here if you want to talk.

DancingMamaWithBabes Fri 25-Jul-08 18:24:54

that should be have not had a supportive dh blush

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 25-Jul-08 18:34:25

Right.

For a start, stop panicking. 12 stone at 5'4" is very overweight - it is NOT clinically obese. It gives you a BMI of 28.88. 30 and above is clinically obese. Stop catastrophising.

You have not eaten a huge amount of food, honestly. It's not ideal, and the foods you are choosing aren't ideal, but I understand they are ideal for comfort.

i think you have a warped idea about how much you should be eating.

Weigh out 70 of dry egg noodles. Weigh out 200g of fresh prawns. Add a stir in sauce packet and as many veg as you want. This is a light and healthy meal - and can be HUGE.

As a former anarexic, you probably associate an ideal diet with a very very tiny diet. It isn't. You drop one of the chocolate bars, the scotch eggs and add some lean protein and some carrots and peas and a jacket potato - much more filling and it is NOT too much.

I personally think you could do with going to weight watchers because you need to see just how much you CAN eat. Any 'diet' where you propose to starve until you feel thin is doomed to misery and failure.

ellideb Fri 25-Jul-08 19:00:58

I also agree with TBGP about joining a slimming class (not that you sound as though you need to) as I joined slimming world and it was a relief to know just how much I could scoff without the fear of gaining weight. It helped to normalise my eating habits a little.

ellideb Fri 25-Jul-08 19:04:58

And something else I found which helps too. Divide your day into sections, either hourly, 3 hourly, quartely etc. If you have a binge at noon, don't write off the whole day and find yourself on a downward spiral, just say to yourself 'fine, i've messed up my eating for this quarter of the day, the next quarter will be better' and start over again. Don't let a binge ruin your whole day/week.

DancingMamaWithBabes Fri 25-Jul-08 21:14:55

That's a good idea ellie about the sections, was thinking recently I may have to think in 4hr blocks to help.

As for the slimming class I joined SW too, when I was functioning better and it wasn't a problem, the focus was on healthy eating not a diet and in turn found I was a lot healthier for it.

I have just recently rejoined and am having a few oh and arr moments in that I wonder if it's not helping at the moment, but I know it works and is a good plan and very recently I read a sw online story about a woman who had recovered over an ED but didn't want to know her weight in stones etc, so with her leader they made a plan and that way it worked, e.g she got weighed standing on the scales back to front so she could not see, the leader I guess weighed her before/after and in time this lady with the old ed was able to share her story with the group. I found that quite inspiring, and should remember that story more.

Anyway, you really are not alone, though it may feel like it, and I think by being open here is a positive step.

Arabica Fri 25-Jul-08 23:12:52

Hi justcantstop, I'm a compulsive eater too. I used to be bulimic, but managed to stop: the binges, however, have remained. I'm too embarrassed to confess what my binges consist of, but many times I've had to make furtive trips to the corner shop in case DH discovered what I was putting away in secret.

Until DD came along 2 years ago I was a relatively normal weight, but her health problems have stressed me out, and are making me binge far more than I used to. In private I eat, in public I cope with all the doctors and therapists and hospitals she has to visit.

I do understand that eating is my way of crying out for help, my way of expressing the powerlessness and depression that I have always felt--another woman in the same position might have chosen alcohol, gambling or cocaine, but I chose food--and so I have been to the GP, asking for a referral to the eating disorders unit at my local hospital. In the meantime he has put me on anti-depressants which have made my eating even worse! I'm coming off them and trying another drug.

I think joining a slimming club can be helpful for some binge eaters as you can learn how to be in control of food within a group environment, but if (like me) you are using food to express most of your emotions, and have been doing so for a very long time, weight loss would boost self-esteem only temporarily: the issues aren't really about weight, they're about feelings. I felt just as negative about my eating, body, and diet at size 10 as I do now at size 18.

I feel a bit better for writing this, hope your experience in posting has been positive too.

Arabica Sun 27-Jul-08 23:06:20

bump because I feel sure we cannot be the only ones!

wigparty Mon 28-Jul-08 00:02:05

Arabica and Justcantstop, hi!

I'm 100% sure you're not the only ones smile I've had ADs for about twenty years. My last phase was binge eating, which lasted for about 8/9 years, and has been awful sad

I can't say I'm cured, and I know I've transferred the 'problem' to other areas of my life, but I haven't properly binged for about 2 years now.

I'm on ADs which have really helped (have you tried fluoxetine, Prozac?), this has really helped with the urge to binge. I also had CBT for a year. I didn't feel it was that immediately helpful, but I'm sure it did help re-set some thought patterns.

If you get the right help, you really can get through it.

Like you said Arabica, my eating patterns were 100% tied with emotions and moods, so just wanted to give you some positive feedback that there is a way through it, believe me, I constantly remember what a hard situation it is to be in.

Please go and ask GP for help/referrals. If they don't 'understand', go and see someone else. (My first GP seemed to think I didn't need help as I wasn't a '4 stone weakling'.

Good luck!
wig

wigparty Mon 28-Jul-08 00:02:09

Arabica and Justcantstop, hi!

I'm 100% sure you're not the only ones smile I've had ADs for about twenty years. My last phase was binge eating, which lasted for about 8/9 years, and has been awful sad

I can't say I'm cured, and I know I've transferred the 'problem' to other areas of my life, but I haven't properly binged for about 2 years now.

I'm on ADs which have really helped (have you tried fluoxetine, Prozac?), this has really helped with the urge to binge. I also had CBT for a year. I didn't feel it was that immediately helpful, but I'm sure it did help re-set some thought patterns.

If you get the right help, you really can get through it.

Like you said Arabica, my eating patterns were 100% tied with emotions and moods, so just wanted to give you some positive feedback that there is a way through it, believe me, I constantly remember what a hard situation it is to be in.

Please go and ask GP for help/referrals. If they don't 'understand', go and see someone else. (My first GP seemed to think I didn't need help as I wasn't a '4 stone weakling'.

Good luck!
wig

TotalChaos Mon 28-Jul-08 00:08:39

Arabica - could have written 90% of your post. In the 15 months or so since DS's mildish SN have become obvious, I've put on 3 stone. Evidently I do food the same way others do alcohol or drugs. I'm heavier than I have ever been by about 2 stone, and really struggling with body image etc.

wigparty Mon 28-Jul-08 00:10:36

Hi Totalchaos, sorry about your situation. How old is DS?

TotalChaos Mon 28-Jul-08 00:13:18

Hi Wig, thanks for the welcome. DS is 4.4 (his SN are speech/language related, so didn't really become crystal clear till he hit 3).

wigparty Mon 28-Jul-08 00:18:45

TC, that must be really difficult, as an AD sufferer I'm not surprised you've been using eating to deal with it. For me, when I felt really low/worried it was a way for me to literally switch off while my body processed all the food.

Can I just say, I NEVER thought I'd be in a position to say I think I'm okay, but I almost can now. I've had ADs of varying types for 23 lovely years and couldn't imagine living life without them.

You can sort this out, but you probably can't do it alone, I know I couldn't. How long have you been binge eating? Have you seen/told anyone about it?

Sorry about your DS, hopefully now things have been diagnosed it will be easier as you know what you're dealing with?

tostaky Mon 28-Jul-08 07:47:43

Hi there, just to say, i've been there too for many years and i'm fine now.
What helped/helps:
- supportive partner
- ED support group
- therapy (CBT)
- prozac
- yoga

www dot b-eat dot co dot uk

good luck!

Arabica Tue 29-Jul-08 00:05:06

Glad to see some messages! Hi TotalChaos. Am sure there are lots of us with kids with SN who are using food. In the moments when I binge I become someone else and I don't really understand who that person is, but she doesn't listen to the reasonable side of me who's screaming, 'what are you doing to yourself!'
Thanks also wigparty and tostaky. I found my first lot of ADs just made matters worse--cipralex (escitalopram). Just gone onto effexor (venlafaxin) not sure of sp as packet is in bathroom.
I really, really hate being so overweight and unfit in this hot weather. And yet I seem to be trying my hardest to make things worse...sad

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 00:31:57

I have gone on about hormonal problems on some other threads and it is just as pertinent on this one. ask your GP to do a hormone blood test, this may involve gentle persuasion or downright argument, but it is important to rule out hormone problems. eating disorders are often caused by brain chemical imbalances (mostly seratonin) that can corrected followed by hard work in retraining your thought patterns. one thing common with all mums is that they have had their endocrine system drastically altered when pregnant, sometimes it just don't go back properly, it can be true for women before any pregnancy too if they are exposed to high levels of environmental hormone contamination

Arabica Tue 29-Jul-08 00:37:23

I have had an eating disorder since I was 8 so although it has flared up recently I doubt whether there is any underlying issue of this sort?

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 00:46:43

arabica, looking at your profile, you are quite pre disposed to an underlying issue of this sort that could be causing or contributing to your disorder. before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I ate in binges but never had done so before. AS I am not allowed to treat or diagnose without a face to face consultation, I would suggest to you to get some blood tests done on your hormone levels both female ones and ''in common'' ones and then get yourself along to a nutritionally based herbalist to see what they can do (contact the NIMH, http://www.nimh.org.uk/) for one near to you if your doc cannot do anything for you

justcantstop Sat 23-Aug-08 14:42:44

Hiya, I read all these replies at the time but just couldnt face replying, it was all too real. I will look at very over weight people and think omg how do you get like that...then I realise thats exactly what I am doing to myself.

I could easily eat all day, constantly. SHould I plan meals for breakast lunch and dinner the night before and stick to it? I feel huge and awful.

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