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Keeping the weight off- Extreme eating

(22 Posts)
Pidlan Tue 07-Nov-17 12:49:34

Hi there. I've taken quite a long time to pluck up the courage to write this, because I do find it quite hard to face the fact that I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. I have been a yo-yo dieter for years. I was overweight throughout my adult life until my marriage broke down, and I lost 5 stone in no time at all. Since then, I am always either on an extreme diet- I'm talking cutting out carbs and fat, living on fruit and veg for months on end and losing quickly and dramatically- Or binging, having everything I fancy and too much of it.

It's not a healthy way to be. I just want to be normal around food, but I don't know what normal is anymore. It's as if I can't control myself- once I have one treat food (and I'm talking about stuff like ryvita or an oatcake here), it leads straight to eating an entire pizza, 3 chocolate bars, crisps, etc.

I have now (through extreme diet) reached my perfect BMI. I want to stay at this weight (which isn't skinny- size 12/14) without putting weight on or losing any more. But I have no idea, mentally, how to achieve that.
Anyone in the same boat? Any tips?

GoingRogue Tue 07-Nov-17 20:00:32

I'm trying to maintain a healthy BMI at the moment and it's really fucking hard! I have healthy meals, but it's the snacking, treats on the weekends and finishing the kids' leftovers that are contributing to me gaining over half a stone in the past six months.

Do you exercise? I'm trying to increase mine, And try to look at over all health rather than just a number on a scale.

I'm 5ft 7" and 10st 12lbs so at the top end of the healthy range, And my size 14 jeans are all too tight atm sad

Pidlan Tue 07-Nov-17 20:11:35

Thanks for replying! I am 10st7 (ish- scales broke and I don't think buying more are a good idea) and 5ft11, so not overweight right now. But I am so bad at maintaining. One little slip up, and I binge.
Not great with exercise either, except for walking.
I hate it when clothes get tight. I have an event at the end of the month, and have been trying on old clothes to see what will suit. Almost everything fits, but I look 3 months pregnant.

GoingRogue Tue 07-Nov-17 20:19:46

Do you carry your weight around your middle too? That's where my extra 7lbs has gone.

Checked my waist measurement last week, against my old Slimming World book (I went Sept-March and lost almost a stone, but have done SW a few times in the past) And I've gone from 30.5" to 34" ! (So at increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the British Heart Foundation website).

The only exercise I do is the school run, which is 5 mins each way (uphill pushing a buggy though haha). Although I've started going to a 1hr weekly Pilates session recently which I'm loving.

I too wish I had a normal relationship with food. I obsess over it and it gets me down/exhausts me.

Pidlan Tue 07-Nov-17 20:39:18

God, your last sentence is EXACTLY how I feel. I remember my sister saying, "Just don't think about it" and I can't ever imagine being able to do that. It's constantly on my mind.
Yeah, around my middle, and I have a flabby tummy that I should exercise away. The thing is, I am large anyway- big build, and even at my thinnest (when I was practically anorexic) I was only a size 12, though my bones were sticking out. With my clothes on, I looked completely fine.

GoingRogue Tue 07-Nov-17 22:06:44

I can't ever imagine not thinking about food for most of the day either, it's nice to find a kindred spirit! It's like when people say "just eat less". Erm, if only it were that easy. I was looking at some old threads on here this morning, after searching "food addiction" and someone said that it's tough to beat as you can't just stop eating food.

Have you always been like this? I have, and am seriously considering asking my lovely GP to refer me for CBT. Sounds ridiculous though, as I'm in the healthy BMI range and don't look overweight (I have a large frame too; people can never believe I'm a 14 as I have wide hips and shoulders, a large-ish bust and "carry" weight very well...thanks Mum for that gene!).

Congrats on losing 5 stone btw, keep forgetting to say. It's amazing you've lost that amount and kept it off.

fishonabicycle Wed 08-Nov-17 13:24:30

I think the psychology behind that is that you deprive yourself too much, then the uncontrollable hunger kicks in. Try to eat reasonable sized (not small) meals that have protein fat and carbs and fibre. Don't Starve yourself or restrict yourself so much.

district Wed 08-Nov-17 13:51:31

Oh god, I hear you, OP. I could have written your post, but specifically the part about one single little bit of food triggering a binge.

I’ve lost over three stone. I’m now a size 10/12 and trying the stay there. But I hover between restricting and bingeing.

How I would love a ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ relationship with food. sad

MummyMummyMummyyyy Wed 08-Nov-17 17:20:06

If you think you're on the verge of an eating disorder, OP, I'd definitely speak to your GP about getting help (as others have said). You don't need to be super obese or mega skinny to have food issues as I'm sure you're aware. I totally get where you're coming from and it's awful flowers

Pidlan Thu 09-Nov-17 14:08:33

Thanks all. I do think that it's a kind of disorder because it's on my mind all the time. I had a binge last night, and now I have the shame today. I should be able to eat little and often as a PP said, but whenever I do that I just stuff my face.
I know exactly where this all comes from- I can remember being told I was fat as a teen, and I'm hyper-sensitive about it. My siblings have had eating disorders too.

GoingRogue Thu 09-Nov-17 15:41:48

I would definitely say you should go to a sympathetic GP and be referred to counselling then OP.

My 3.5yo just asked me if I had a baby in my tummy ! sad So I might ask for CBT too.

Pidlan Thu 09-Nov-17 20:23:30

Thanks GoingRogue - I will.

GoingRogue Thu 09-Nov-17 21:27:44

Someone on another thread on here recently signposted me to this website...

I've not had a proper read through it all yet, but it looks interesting (and is free).

sarahbell020608 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:50:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pidlan Thu 09-Nov-17 22:40:32

Thanks for that! I've just been googling food addiction and it is a bit of a revelation- I do think that because I'm not extremely fat or thin, it takes a bit of time to take it seriously as an eating disorder. But it somehow makes me feel better that other people recognize this state of mind as being disordered about food.
I lost the 5 stone with MFP on a thread on here (years ago, different username) but it was really really bad for me. I'd compete with myself to have fewer calories than the day before, and would feel so shitty if I went over 1000 calories per day. The other MNers on the thread pointed out that they were a bit concerned, so I stopped using it.

FoodieToo Thu 09-Nov-17 23:28:58

Try 16:8. It's amazing. Has totally changed my life, is so easy and most importantly I no longer binge or diet.
Check it out on the fasting threads .

Potplant Thu 09-Nov-17 23:46:42

You could be talking About me, I have the same issue, and WE're the same height and weight too.
Mine is anxiety induced and My trigger is my Ex though. I can eat sensibly all week then I'll get a shitty comment off him and off I go. I'm not even hungry half the time and I'll eat stuff I don't really like.
I exercise a lot which Offsets some of the bingeing.

FiveShelties Fri 10-Nov-17 07:16:52

I have stopped trying to be perfect and just try to make better choices - not the best and not the worst. My weight swings about, depending on holidays etc but I usually am around 10 stone. I would love to be 9.7, but although I can get there, I cannot stay there. The more I cut back, the more I seem to end up eating!

Badgerlady Fri 10-Nov-17 07:28:43

I found the book Brain over Binge really helpful in re-setting my relationship with food. Like you I can deprive myself of food (I'm pretty darn good at that!) but find it hard to eat normally. I've never binged in the traditional sense; I just have no off switch and will pick and graze constantly.

Her theory is that my depriving yourself of food your survival instinct kicks in and convinces you you need to eat too much. This then becomes a habit that you can't switch off even when it's not needed. The book is about gradually resetting that habit.

There's a number of resources including a recovery guide (which I used) a free e book and a free podcast.

Zeitgei5t Fri 10-Nov-17 07:48:02

Do you have pizzas, crisps and chocolate bars in the house? I find if I don't have them to hand then I'm too lazy to go out to get them so when I have a craving to binge I'll stomp around the kitchen opening the fridge and cupboards on the off chance something nice has materialised magically in them. Then grumpily eat an apple as the only snack food in the house which isn't what I wanted but it's better than nothing.

Pidlan Fri 10-Nov-17 09:53:38

Thanks for your replies, much appreciated. I have done 16:8 in the past FoodieToo and I know how effective fasting can be- but for me personally, it triggered all the food obsessions and I just couldn't control my urges to overeat/undereat. It's great that it works for you though, I have a friend who swears by it.
That makes a lot of sense to me Potplant - I am single, and this all started when my marriage started going wrong. Even now, I will starve myself when I have a crush on someone. I tell myself that it's because I want to look good should I get off with them never happens but really, I think it's because I dislike the loss of control of actually liking someone and making myself vulnerable.
FiveShelties That is exactly the mindset I'd like to have. The self-control to make good choices.
BadgerLady I'll google Brain Over Binge- thanks.
Zeitgei5t I do have a certain amount of junky stuff in the house for my 2DC, but even when I haven't, I've managed to binge on basically anything- pasta, bread (though have given up bread completely in the last year as it is like crack to me!), crackers, anything. It doesn't matter to me what it is, I barely taste it.

RavingRoo Fri 10-Nov-17 10:05:26

To maintain I use a fitbit and MFP. The fitbit tracks my steps, and MFP makes an exercise adjustment on the cals I’ve tracked. Despite having pcos I am so active (regularly do at least 10k steps) that I can maintain on 2100 -2300 gross cals (around 1800 net after exercise). But I am about a stone heavier than you.

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