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I feel like I'm drowning in sheer uncontrollable greed

(69 Posts)
Spiralling0ut0fControl Tue 04-Dec-12 22:05:43

I actually can't stop eating.
The past couple of months I've spiralled out of control and I don't know how to get back to normal.

I run a lot (about 28-30km per week, sometimes more) and have a decent pace of about 4'45" per km so I'm burning a fair amount of calories.
However, there's no way on earth I can blame my over-eating on the running as I'm consuming way over the amount I'm burning. I've also been running the distance/pace for quite a few months now but it's only been the last couple of months I've been over-eating.
I'm so cross with myself.
I've had to name-change as I'm so completely ashamed of the amount of food I get through. It's all refined sugars/carbohydrates and I'm utterly addicted sad

I'm not big. I'm about 5ft4 and weigh about 9.3 stone (probably more now, terrified to weigh myself) but the amount of crap I can get down my neck is disgusting and seemingly impossible for someone of my size.
For instance, tonight I had (after a very healthy day):
120g bar of Fruit and Nut Dairy Milk
Half a large bag of pretzels
a very full side plate sized spaghetti bolognese
Large bag of Dairy Milk Caramel chocolate button things
The other half of the large bag of pretzels
Two heaped teaspoons of Nutella
Four Weight Watchers biscuits
Low calorie hot chocolate with light squirty cream on top

It's disgusting. I used to allow myself one binge day every weekend as a treat and I had it under control. Now it's almost daily and I cannot control it. If it;s not chocolate then it's bags and bags of sweets.

I'm on and love it. I've been on it since June this year and finally got down to my (personally) ideal weight of 8st 12. I was ecstatic! I felt amazing. I've no idea what changed.
These days I can do really well during the day but by supper time it's like I've been possessed sad

My thighs and tummy are getting very wobbly, the extra pounds are affecting my running and I'm worried I'll do some serious damage to my organs and arteries if I carry on.

My friends are near enough useless as they say "There's nothing of you", "You do so much running, you'll burn it all off in no time", "It's the colder weather, you need more calories"

They just don't seem to understand the severity of it. It's like bulimia without the purging sad In fact I nearly posted this in Mental Health...

I need to get out of this desperately as, with the Christmas season, it's only going to get worse.

superstarheartbreaker Wed 05-Dec-12 22:14:47

I have eggs for breakfast; they really keep me full until lunch. I also have yougurt with muesli and fruit. A decent breakfast is key imo and not too many carbs at dinner. I snack on apples, cheese, ham etc. Low carb but I do eat fruit and veg. Good luck op!

gotthearse Wed 05-Dec-12 22:16:18

Spiralling, your descrption of a 'good day' does not sound like enough food for someone as active as you are. I think I would lose weight on that amount of food and I am totally sedentary. Perhaps more food on a normal day would help with the hunger pangs. Well done for having a good day smile

Spiralling0ut0fControl Thu 06-Dec-12 19:18:20

I do have a very nice GP. I wonder if she'd refer me...
I've had CBT on NHS before (for a different issue) which, quite frankly, was crap!

FlourFace I think what I meant by Sunday Roast was the Roast potatoes, Yorkshire puds, tonnes of sage and onion stuffing and a jug of gravy - all the stodgy "I'm going to burst" stuff. Unfortunately I'm not bothered about the rest and I can't do that everyday! I like your idea as a healthy alternative though, yum!

Superstar I agree about a good breakfast. I still find it very hard to find filling enough food. Porridge doesn't last me longer than 1.5 hrs and the one I have has added whey protein, so you'd think it'd be more sustaining.
Eggs are a good idea but I think I'd need a few to make me feel satisfied and they're quite calorie laden. Perhaps more egg whites and just one or two yolks might do it...

gotthearse I was originally on 1200 cals per day but increased it to 1400 as long term, 1200 is impossible to sustain. For my weight and height and that's about right in order to lose weight effectively (but slowly)

I've done another day almost. Had a few cravings earlier whilst passing the junk aisles in the supermarket and TKMaxx and all their huge boxes of Christmas treats by the counter (cue lots of staring and dribbling) but I just kept thinking "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...."

VillaEphrussi Thu 06-Dec-12 19:31:03

I really feel for you, Spiralling, and, if it makes sense, I don't think this is really about food, but about guilt or some suppressed emotions? I only say that because it rings bells with me and the way I am. I think you're in a cycle of assessing yourself and your success/failure, and that thinking about your eating is like a a barometer for you, or a stick you beat yourself with. Sorry if that's way off-beam, but it sounds familiar to me. When I was a teenager I had this sort of thing (still do/always will prob, but it affects me less now), although in practical terms it was about not eating much and exercising, but the root of it was the same I think. I'm quite a private person and need a private/secret/internal life which I think is the stem of it all. Anyway I read a book called 'Naturally Slim Without Dieting' (I'll look it up in a minute) and I remember that helping me because IIRC it was about the emotional connection with food and how to help ourselves with that. You're not disgusting at all.

SrirachaGirl Thu 06-Dec-12 19:42:21

I had this when I was running a lot. You are probably burning a lot more calories than you think and ideally , running long distances should have you maintaing your weight , not losing, or you pit yourself at risk for injury. Try runnin no more than 5k at a time and take rest days in-between to lessen that insatiable runners appetite and ditch te low-cal stuff. Just eat normally but focus on maxizimgbyour nutrition with every bite. Things like nuts and Greek yogurt ate good snacks with a piece of fruit. You don't need to worry about the cals in a banana, silly. You're an athlete!

tiggy114 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:48:40

If you havn't already, take a look at the 5:2 thread. I honestly am a convert. Not only do you loose weight but it's good for your health. Plus i've found that my appitite has drastically reduced on my eating days too. Tale a peek. It might be for you.

Spiralling0ut0fControl Thu 06-Dec-12 20:26:16

Thanks for the advice!
Villa I'll look that book up now. I can't seem to attach any emotional reasons to the binge eating. I've thought and thought about it but it just seems to boil down to pure greed. I adore the taste and can't seem to get enough of it. I don't even feel sick if I eat too much. I can keep going and going. Whereas most people would feel sick after a large bag or even two of chocolate and/or sweets/biscuits etc. I am utterly amazed at the amount I can get through. I've always been the same. Even before I became a runner.
It does worry me as, even though I'm moderately slim, I have mid-high cholesterol (a family traight). I also worry about giving myself diabetes with all the sugar - is that possible?

SrirachaGirl If I stopped calorie counting I'd eat too much of the good stuff. Greek yogurt, I could get through a large tub easily and still want more. Same with nuts, seeds, fruit, whatever. I will eat too much therefore still gain weight, which is why I calorie count. I can still eat healthy foods but be in control of portion size.

tiggy I keep meaning to go over and have a look. Will check in a sec smile

SrirachaGirl Thu 06-Dec-12 20:34:23

I hear you smile. How about water? Are you making sure to drink lots?

Sorry about appalling typos in my last post...was typing on phone from my car!

Spiralling0ut0fControl Thu 06-Dec-12 20:46:39

I used to drink loads of water. I always struggle in the winter months for some reason. I suppose we're all much thirstier in the summer..
That is something I need to get back into for sure. I just want to drink hot drinks so end up drinking lots of coffee as I hate tea and not over fussed about herbal/fruit teas as I find they're not sweet enough. Hot Ribena on the other hand... <tsk>

beakysmum Thu 06-Dec-12 21:00:24

I agree with a couple of others; you've said that on a healthy day you eat about 460 calories for breakfast and lunch. In no way is this enough for someone who is running as much as you are! No wonder your body craves food.

I think if you ate more during the day, you would actually eat less in the evenings. Trouble is, I know this for myself, I have a great attitude all day, but by 8pm am eating everything in sight. I just can't make myself eat more during the day cos then I think I really will put on weight!
Eat as much as you want, so long as it's healthy foods, your body will sort it out (not sugar and processed crap).

And good luck! x

harrietspy Thu 06-Dec-12 21:09:30

Don't know if this helps, but I gave up sugar (except naturally occurring) for 5 months this year after being really worried about how much I was eating and thinking I was going to give myself diabetes hmm. I wasn't putting weight on, just eating really unhealthily and for all the wrong reasons. Happy to say more about this, but don't want to blather on unsoliticited!

cq Thu 06-Dec-12 21:12:03

Agree with Beakysmum.

I would forget about the calorie counting completely. For someone exercising as much as you are, it's pointless as you can never accurately measure calories burned.

Eat much much more protein, it will fill you up for longer, help control the sugar highs and lows, and help restore your body after a workout. Snack on nuts, bananas with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, pieces of cheese, cold chicken, ham etc.

I definitely find that if I eat a decent lunch (rare) I have less afternoon 'slump' and fewer evening cravings.

These things work for me, along with just not having the crap in the house. Even the children have got used to it now, they know when we go out they can have a treat, some chocolate or Coke or whatever, so it's not forbidden fruit, but we just don't have it at home.

harrietspy Thu 06-Dec-12 21:17:22

Can I add oatcakes and dates to cq's list? Yes, dates are packed with sugar but definitely better than the processed kind. I also second no calorie counting and eggs for breakfast.

QueenofWhatever Fri 07-Dec-12 16:59:31

I have a similar thing where I am often very hungry and increasing protein makes a difference. When you describe your day, it sounds like you're eating a lot of processed food. Starbucks porridge, supermarket soup and ready meals in the evening.

When you describe the calorie counting, you sound scared that if you stop you'll be out of control - chances are you won't. Also a lot of your thinking seems quite black and white. Ask your GP to refer you for CBT again, I think you could benefit.

On a practical level I would not keep 'risky' foods in the house, shop online from a shopping list, reduce your exposure to advertising (easier than you think, for example mute the TV when adverts are on or record and then skip). Also it sounds like your DC eat very early - no wonder you go on to eat a lot more later. Could you gradually move their meal time a bit later and yours a bit earlier? Then you can all eat together and you might feel more motivated to cook.

Snowkey Fri 07-Dec-12 19:17:50

I think you are eating too little for the amount of running you are doing and you're body is fighting back. I exercise 5 times a week and I know this increases my desire for food....less running leaves me less hungry - your body cannot run fuel free.

ErikNorseman Sun 09-Dec-12 11:01:23

Hi, I'm struggling with 'food addiction'/overeating uncontrollably at the moment. i lost 1 stone in the spring/summer and have put on 7lbs back through out of control eating.
I know why I do it, sort of - food can have a soporific effect, and has always been my 'drug' of choice. Eating can cause a release of oxytocin that suppresses cortisol - even if I'm not feeling stressed or anxious, the association of food=feeling calm is so ingrained. I don't smoke, take drugs, and I can take or leave alcohol, so food is the only thing left. I'm 32 now and have had insight into this for about 7 years, during which time I have gone down to 9st 12, up to 14 stone after pregnancy and am stuck now between 12 and 13 stone. I aim to be 10.5.

The thing that I'm going to try is intermittent fasting. I am able to fast if I have a 'reward' at the end (I did ramadan this year with no problem) - what I struggle with is long term calorie restriction, it feels too much like a mountain to climb. I have only started today so I'll let you know how it goes if you are interested! I'm going to drink hot drinks during the day (tea/coffee no sugar, options etc) and have a decent meal in the evening. I'm hopeful that this might work...and it has some potential health benefits apart from weightloss.

Spiralling0ut0fControl Sun 09-Dec-12 19:29:59

Erik You sound very similar to me. Your chemical theory certainly makes a lot of sense.
Having read through all the posts and taken on board what everyone is saying. I'm going to give the intermittent fasting a whirl. Just obviously not run on the fasting days. I'm going to fast tomorrow and Friday, go for a run on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and eat sensibly, without counting calories on normal days. Sunday's I will allow a bit of a food splurge.

I would join the 5:2 thread but I'm hopeless at keeping up with threads of that size!

Erok please keep me updated. I'll let you know how my first fasting day goes tomorrow. I just know I'm going to be starving by about 10am! At least it'll force me to get back into the water drinking habit smile

ErikNorseman Sun 09-Dec-12 20:14:46

Hey! I just posted on the 5:2 thread. They seem to be having great results! The day's fasting went fine, just now trying to ignore the compulsion to go and eat more confused I've just had a decent meal.
If I can give you a tip on the fasting - don't spread the food out over the day, it will make you more hungry. Just drink loads of hot drinks and save it all up for a 400/500 cal dinner. I find it so much easier if I tell myself I won't eat at all until 7pm, rather than try to stave off hunger all day with unsatisfyingly tiny meals.

Spiralling0ut0fControl Sun 09-Dec-12 20:20:02

Good plan!
In the past, I've found if I don't have breakfast I can last a lot longer without food.
But then it's drummed into us how breakfast is so important! confused

Spiralling0ut0fControl Sun 09-Dec-12 20:21:23

Well done for today by the way! And thank you for the tips.

What hot drinks did you have apart from coffee? I hate tea but I do have some fruit teas in the cupboard, although not a big lover of them....

Caladria Sun 09-Dec-12 20:26:03

1400 cal a day and 25k a week seems scarily little.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 09-Dec-12 20:31:54

Spiralling, I agree you don't seem to be eating enough for your exercise levels. Do you actually like the food you eat during the day? If not, maybe your body feels "punished" by it. Are you putting all your exercise into MFP? What weight loss per week are you targeting with MFP?

Do you know your body fat percentage?

Spiralling0ut0fControl Sun 09-Dec-12 20:54:49

Yes all exercise being entered into MFP.
I want to lose a good half a stone. I was managing fine on 1200 calories per day throughout the summer and I almost got down to the weight I wanted to be which is the first time I've ever done that. I felt full everyday and I was still running loads plus I was doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD almost daily! I've just become very lazy since the DS have been back at school and the colder weather made me hungry and it's just escalated from there.

Like I said above, I'm going to give the 5:2 a go and see what happens smile

Spiralling0ut0fControl Sun 09-Dec-12 20:55:26

I've no idea what my body fat percentage is. That's not BMI is it? I don't believe in that

Bubblegum78 Sun 09-Dec-12 21:00:19


I just wanted to say that I have been doing exactly the same thing!

I went from 73KG to 58KG with diet and exercise but like you I'm stuffing my face, I'm unstoppable, it's awful. :-(

I'm trying to put it down to time of year and I know in the new year I will have to be proactive.

The problem is, this stuff is so bloody addictive and you have to break the cycle, the more you eat the more you crave.

You are still running regularly so you really don't need to worry too much, get Xmas over with then, be strict with yourself...that's what I'm going to do. x

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