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Massively fat, unhappy about it, want to change my whole relationship with food

(47 Posts)
Pengawhoops Fri 16-Sep-16 11:41:52

Kind of what the title says.

I've even name-changed for these fat posts, because I think people will judge me for my weight. I'm 5'4" and weigh 16 stone 6 lb. I'm 33 and have one DD who is 3. I'm a single mum.

I've been this heavy once before and got it down to 13 stone again before having DD. I maintained the weight over my pregnancy and for a year after, but have put on 3+ stone in the last two years since starting work, mostly due to binge eating.

I don't think I'll ever be a 'normal' BMI but I would really like to get out of the obese category and down into 'overweight'. I'd be completely delighted if I could get to 12 stone 6.

But I need to sort out my whole head space really. Why do I do this to myself? I buy awful things and eat them in huge quantities. Why am I self-sabotaging? (Interestingly I notice myself doing this when it comes to procrastinating on important personal admin too).

I do notice that it happens particularly when I am working full-time in roles that are very intensive (or even just full-time now, which on top of being a mum and doing all the drop offs, pick ups, cooking, admin and keeping house clean feels like a lot).

I don't really know what I'm asking. I guess it just feels good to get it all out and say it. I need to make a change, but as well as changing the symptom (overeating or eating unhealthy things) I feel like there are some underlying causes I need to tackle too.

OP’s posts: |
user1471462290 Fri 16-Sep-16 11:46:06

You can do it xx

My tip is my meal planning, plan what your going to eat in the morning or the night before, if I know what I'm eating I don't slip up xx

You can do it, xxx

Pengawhoops Fri 16-Sep-16 12:05:36

Thank you, yes, I think this could help. Especially if I did some of the prep the night before so it was quick and easy to prepare dinner in the evening.

I guess there are two parts to this.

The unhealthy quick suppers because I'm tired and don't want to cook (this could help fix that).

And the binge-eating things like cream cakes when I'm not physically hungry but just can't stop myself. I am going to try tracking what I eat in the hope that it will control that :-/

OP’s posts: |
Wellywife Fri 16-Sep-16 12:18:23

I can identify with what you're saying. Is there any way you can get to a Weight Watchers or Slimming World class or something?

I've restarted Weight Watchers as I've found the class set up to be really supportive. Plus by going for a weigh in it draws a line under the past week and you start with a clean slate. You get lots of tips and advice, and lots of goals are short term so you can see a quick win.

The other nice thing is that everyone there understands the impulse to eat a whole bag of doughnuts so you don't feel so weird!

People at my local meeting take their DC too sometimes.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 16-Sep-16 12:19:54

Try this: Do the quiz (at the bottom I think)

When you've used something like that to identify your triggers, what emotions you are attempting to suppress etc, then hypnotherapy can help you manage your unhelpful bad reactions as you learn to handle yourself differently.

Emotional Eating Hypnosis

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 16-Sep-16 12:30:22

Hi. I wanted to come on your thread and offer support. I have a rubbish relationship with food, I am a habitual yoyo dieter and have never been able to maintain a constant weight. Had 2 all inclusive holidays this summer and I could not restrain myself. All that unlimited food messed with my mind! I am now the heaviest I have been for a long time and I hate it. Looked back at photos from our hols and hardly recognised myself.
I am currently trying to cut sugar out of my diet, in an attempt to get a bit of a better relationship with food and hopefully lose some weight, without being 'on a diet'. I am done with WW, SW, etc etc they don't help me in the long term.
No magic answers I'm afraid but happy to join and support you in a healthier way of eating.

user1471462290 Fri 16-Sep-16 12:33:37

I have an eating disorder so I find the meal plans help me from not eating or to the other end of over eating

I make sure I have snacks to hand as I can eat my feelings too

I also find if I know what day I'm having a "treat" I can normally not binge and look forward to my treat xx

Cut your weigh loss into chunks set mini goals with little rewards (non food items) like lose 8lbs buy a new book, 14lbs buy a bunch of flowers for the main room so your see them all the time and thing of your achievement

Good luck xxx

GlitteryFluff Fri 16-Sep-16 12:35:49

Watching for tips as I am the same as you op X

Backingvocals Fri 16-Sep-16 13:47:17

Single parent working FT here too. For me it's to do with not having to be responsible for every damn thing and this is my release - the time when I'm not meeting anyone else's needs . Feeding myself far too much feels like someone looking after me. Of course it's not looking after me at all but for me that's a thing to try to think about.

Good luck with thinking this through. It's hard.

Runningupthathill82 Fri 16-Sep-16 13:56:03

I think things will be easier for you if you tackle this... I buy awful things and eat them in huge quantities

When do you buy stuff like cream cakes? Is it in your usual weekly supermarket trips?
Because I'm thinking if you don't have this stuff in the house, you can't eat it. As a single parent with a toddler, it's not like you can just nip to the shop for a cake if you fancy one.

When I go to the supermarket I don't go down the cake/crisps/sweets/fizzy pop/etc aisles, as we don't have that stuff in the house. If I buy it, DH has no willpower at all and could eat a packet of biscuits in an evening. (He burns it off as he runs 70+ miles a week, but still).

So. Could you just not buy this stuff at the supermarket - go with a list of your planned meals for the week and stick to it? If not, online shopping would be a good idea IMO, as if you don't have "treats" in your house you won't be tempted to binge.

It sounds tough and I get why you overeat, but this overeating isn't making you happy. Also - and I mean this as kindly as possible - your DD is learning her eating habits from you, so if you snack on fruit, carrot sticks, natural yoghurt, nuts etc, that will become her "normal" too, rather than eating cakes and biscuits to excess.

My only tip for weight loss is to forget "diets." Instead, eat like a slim person, starting now. Lots of fruit, veg, fish, meat, whole grains, little or no junk, and eat until you're full. The key is to change your eating habits for life, rather than doing a "diet" which you can "cheat" on.

Very best if luck.

FranklyMeDeer Fri 16-Sep-16 14:01:41

Marking place. I'm the same. Will be back later smile

JellyBean3000 Fri 16-Sep-16 14:38:24


I used to always be following some sort of diet regime and never really lost any weight, but I've since given up diets altogether and am finally happy with my weight and am the slimmest I've ever been (I weigh the same now as when I got married 10 years ago and I never diet).

I really got into the idea of intuitive eating, which sounds too good to be true but has totally changed my relationship to, and attitude towards, food. I can massively recommend this book Intuitive Eating Hope the link works. But there are others around too, I actually started off by reading Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin, which is a slightly simplified version of the IE approach.

It isn't a new diet plan that you need, it's a new approach. smile

JellyBean3000 Fri 16-Sep-16 14:41:00

PS it doesn't 'ban' any foods, and no food is seen as any better or worse than any other type of food - it's all just food that provides different amounts of energy. It's actually really hard to give up dieting (and 'healthy eating') etc as it's so ingrained in our society.

Pengawhoops Fri 16-Sep-16 14:43:51

Thank you so so so much for all of the responses, I am really touched that you have taken the time to read and reply.

Wellywife, I've just signed up for Weight Watchers. That was how I lost nearly 3 stone last time. I guess what troubles me is the 'last time' bit, and the sense that I could be so successful once and then regain the weight (symptom) because I hadn't really tackled/fixed the cause. Thanks for saying about people taking their DC to meetings! I hadn't thought they were an option but if I can do that, it may be possible!

RunRabbit, that quiz was... very interesting. Very difficult/painful to even do, which made me feel that it was something really quite important. And the results are quite something. I feel like I have more of a map to my triggers and to my motivations for changing. Going to think about this one a bit more. Did you do the programme, or just the quiz?

Oh Posie, I can relate so much to what you say. I would be really interested to know how sustainable it is to cut out sugar (my dad has actually done this for a couple of years ago, not for weight loss but to try to help his Parkinsons, and I have to say he is in amazing health now).

user...290 (sorry!!!) Thank you for the idea about rewards. I would probably save quite a bit of money from not snacking unhealthily to be honest. And I think you are right about the snacks. I have just placed an Ocado order for lots of bananas, apples, rye crispbread and low-fat Philadelphia in single portions...

Glittery and Frankly, hello, waving in your direction!!

Backingvocals, YES, YES, so much yes to this. I can't blame this for all of my food issues as I have struggled with weight/food since I was about 14, but the feeling of release really does resonate. And the resistance to self-care, especially because of spending so much time caring for others.

Running, thank you so much, I have saved your very thoughtful post for last to reply. Unfortunately I do get out a lot on my own, because I work from home for about 80% of the week and can 'pop out' at lunch or for a short break, and everything is right on my doorstep. I do need to eliminate some particular things from my weekly shop (which I order on Ocado) like I have a tendency to order a pot of cream for no good reason and then eat it on fruit. I can replace that with something healthier to snack on. But I also need to break the pattern of going out specifically to find 'binge' food to eat secretly during the day. I am hyper conscious of DD watching what I do and am outwardly very healthy, lots of fruit and veg and nuts, with the exception of breakfast which we often seem to eat on the run. But it's kind of added to the sense of secrecy and shame around my 'bad' eating, which has become a 'just for me' kind of time and which I associate even more on an emotional with being a treat whereas in reality it is a punishment for my body and a lack of self-care. i "know" how to eat like a thin person in my head, but I don't "know" in the sense that I seem to be unable to make the change in reality. So it might be that I do diet to lose some weight initially, but I am really aware that the end goal is to change the whole mindset and have a totally different normal. But I don't know how.

OP’s posts: |
Pengawhoops Fri 16-Sep-16 14:45:54

Jelly, that looks fascinating! It sounds like it could be a tool to change my head rather than just my actions, which is ultimately what has failed before even when I have lost weight through dieting.

I am just going to buy a Kindle copy right now.

OP’s posts: |
RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 16-Sep-16 15:04:44

I did the Shrinkyourself programme many years ago. It changed my life. Seriously. Because obviously my problem wasn't actually with food. It was with life stuff.

Bloody difficult mind you. It drags you through the nettle field that is the feelings you are trying to suppress with food. It is fantastic if you can take it because it really gets you on the path to sorting your head out and using the desire to eat to spot the hurt parts of your psyche that need TLC not battering into submission with Yorkshire puddings.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Fri 16-Sep-16 15:10:48

Btw, I have been slim and fit for years after doing shrinkyourself. Much happier too, and that isn't because of the way I look but because of the way I feel. I did it a second time after DC, by which time I had a whole new set of triggers and fears that had taken hold during post natal depression. I ran my first half marathon not so long after that. It worked for me.

PosiePootlePerkins Fri 16-Sep-16 15:51:13

Please let me know what you think about the shrinkyourself programme Penga maybe I should have a look too. I am on week 2 of cutting out sugar so early days, but so far so good, I am having fruit still but cutting out wine, biscuits, and crap in general. The only thing is I am replacing snacks with nuts and some cheese, so probably not cutting out enough in terms of intake/calories.
I honestly feel like this is the one area of my life I cannot sort out. I'm 41 now so maybe I'm just a lost cause....

Joan0fArc Fri 16-Sep-16 16:08:25

Your title caught my eye because you talk about your relationship with food.

You have to change your relationship with hunger. A lot of what you read is nonsense. Little and often just makes me think of food all the time.
Also, it's ok to skip breakfast. I walk to work on an empty stomach and I never feel dizzy or weak or even to be honest, hungry. I eat when I am hungry in the morning. But after that, later in the day tolerate hunger. Allow it. Begin to focus on it and see it not as a situation that needs to be rectified but part of the sequence of being satiated well, and then feeling neutral and then feeling hunger. Don't race to fix hunger. Just accept it for a proportion of the day.

Rainbowshine Fri 16-Sep-16 16:14:51

Blatant placemarking here, I can identify with so much of what you have said Penga. I think it is maybe a case of trying different ways and going with the ones that work best for you.

I also find that I eat even if I'm not hungry and it's all crap like crisps or chocolate etc. I am going to start with a food diary to record everything I eat. My theory is that if I look at my diary before I go to get snacks it will help me resist and discipline my eating habits.

Will be keeping an eye on this thread, thank you for starting it and you are not alone.

JasperDamerel Fri 16-Sep-16 16:48:50

The shrink yourself programme looks very interesting. I had pretty much decided that I needed to do something to sort out my head, and that looks promising.

How quickly do you notice a difference? I can eat well for a month or two, but when things go wrong then I just end up eating and eating. I'm a real introvert, and I've found that since I've had children, I can't just go out for a walk by myself, which is what I used to do to stay calm and unstressed, so I end up boosting my three-minutes-of-alone-time-before-I'm-interrupted with food, and I've now edged into the obese category, and it's very definitely affecting my health. I think that no diet is likely to work until I can sort out the emotional eating.

Pengawhoops Sat 17-Sep-16 11:47:21

I am really considering the ShrinkYourself programme. Thanks for the recommendation, RunRabbit, it looks really interesting. I think I'm probably ready to be dragged through the nettle field...

In the meantime, signed up to Weight Watchers yesterday and will start when I can do a grocery shop. I'm not very impressed with the online WW offering so far; not much explanation of the basics and the forum has been replaced by something that I can't figure out how to use (and I work on digital products for a living so I'm not clueless!)

Stuff I have realised today:

- What I eat is much too carb-heavy and I don't really even notice how much I'm eating.

- Not sure I fit any of the profiles in the Intuitive Eating book. I'll keep reading but I'm not sure it gets to the heart of my issue (or that I can be trusted to eat intuitively!)

- But I did learn that I might be binge eating because I let myself get to a stage when I'm so hungry that I snap and am ravenous. So I'm going to learn to snack more, on good things, to see if it helps me avoid bingeing. (*JoanOfArc*, I thought about what you said, but I'm pretty sure my pattern is different. When I skip meals is when I eat badly later, I think?)

Rainbowshine waving in your direction, hello there!

Jasper, I'll let you know if I decide to go ahead and spend the money doing it. Yes, I get what you are saying about food being a way of de-stressing; stress is definitely a trigger for me too as I want something that will make me feel good quickly.

OP’s posts: |
Howlongtillbedtime Sat 17-Sep-16 18:23:26

Hi Penga, I started ww online last Monday and I agree about the site . I have downloaded the app and I have tracked everything . I have missed not getting a pack of goodies to look through and I am tempted to buy the pack online . But I am determined to carry on because I know it works .

Good luck with it all . I know I have a messed up relationship with food but I am finding that if I drink lots of water and track everything then it will work . And keep busy .

JasperDamerel Mon 19-Sep-16 06:42:58

I signed up for Shrink Yorself. It seems pretty good so far, although not wildly good value for money. I think if anyone else signs up, I'd suggest going for the one month's option rather than the three months.

Eolian Wed 21-Sep-16 11:28:46

The shrink yourself thing sounds really interesting. I don't have a large amount of weight to lose, but I'm always a bit heavier than I should be because I have phases of just eating too much sugary crap. If it's in the house I can't leave it alone.

I've always rejected the idea that I might be an emotional eater' because I don't think I really understood what it meant tbh. And because I don't think I'm a particularly emotional person! But it is certainly true that I tend to reach for the chocolate/biscuits/whatever as a way of distracting myself from thinking about other stuff (worrying life stuff, tedious tasks I can't be bothered with etc).
I'm not signing up for the programme, because it's too expensive, but I might buy the book.

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