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I get a physical high from eating shit food

(142 Posts)
Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 17:47:57

I have name changed because I’m about to share details that I have never spoken about out loud before.

I am 46 and class 2 obese with about 4 stone to lose. My story doesn’t really matter, although it is much the same as anyone else who has followed a binge-diet cycle for 30 years.

The fact is, I LIKE shit food. Sugar and carbs give me a deep-down purr of bliss, contentment and well-being that nothing can match. Without it life rumbles along fine, but I feel empty and irritable and gloomy and I get terrible IBS symptoms when I’m eating properly. It’s not even the act of eating it – eating it is good, yes, but the THOUGHT of eating it, of having the choice and space to eat it without judgement (i.e in secret), is even better. Like downing a glass of cool water when you’re desperately thirsty, in over 30 years I have found nothing that beats the absent pleasure of it.

I need to find something to replace the high that it gives me – that’s obvious to me without a £60 per hour therapist. Obviously I have lost weight through diet and exercise a hundred times before, but I haven’t dealt with the need to get lost in the comfort and the buzz of eating the food so it always comes back.

I don't enjoy being fat and it irks me that my problem is plastered all over me for everyone to see - I'd prefer to be slim and fit of course. But I quite like myself as a person, I'm all right I think, even if I am fat. I had a health check recently and all is well, I am not pre-diabetic and cholesterol and pressure is low. I don't have any joint or mobility issues, my only health problem is chronic migraine.

I can diet, I know what to do and the mechanics/biology of weight loss. But it won't work unless I can stamp down the yearning for a high.

Has anyone achieved it? None of the definitions I have read around "food addiction", binge-eating disorder, and so on, seem to fit what I do.

DiveBombingSeagull Thu 29-Nov-18 17:52:39

I could have written your post OP - down to the IBS and migraine.

I have no answers but hope you don't mind me parking my fat behind here to lurk.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:02:08

Really, wow there's at least two of us then. No mate, you park away.

My DH thinks it's hilarious that eating a balanced meal sets my stomach off. Maybe we've wrecked our intestines with the perpetual sugar onslaught?

Although I had an oscopy a couple of years back and my colon is a thing of beauty.

stayathomegardener Thu 29-Nov-18 18:09:16

After going virtually no carb for 10 days all the cravings go.
It's actually amazing.
Although I'm under 9stone I'm a total carb addict and the relief of not constantly craving is huge.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:18:11

Interesting gardener. 10 days? What does one eat on NO carb if one does not eat eggs?

halfwitpicker Thu 29-Nov-18 18:20:29

Low carb high fat mate.

Life changing.

Tartpop Thu 29-Nov-18 18:23:43

I get you.

How about fitness, find something you really enjoy, get fit and then you can afford the calories.

Take up running, still eat some but not lots of shit. Lose weight.

Find the balance.

It sounds so straight forward doesn't it. wink

Ladominate14 Thu 29-Nov-18 18:23:58

And enough protein is very important. With a decent amount of fat it's filling.

Bimwit Thu 29-Nov-18 18:24:15

I am totes the same as you. I have no advice grin high fat low carb works great but hasnt been permanent for me, i wibble in and out

Ladominate14 Thu 29-Nov-18 18:24:42

I get my high through exercise, not eating. May be worth a try?

Wordthe Thu 29-Nov-18 18:25:08

It's good of you to share your experience although I am generally aware that it is possible to get a buzz out of 'junk' food
hence the addictive potential of hyper palatable foods!

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Thu 29-Nov-18 18:30:41

Not carbs, but sugar. Ditch the sweets, cakes, chocolate and ice cream! Then eat whatever you want for your three meals - I bet you'll lose the cravings and a shit load of weight 👍🏻

TipseyTorvey Thu 29-Nov-18 18:34:26

Watch the movie That Sugar Film. Its more addictive than nicotine. Once you give up sugar and most carbs except veg. the cravings go. It was harder to give up sugar than nicotine but once its done then its fine. Lots of fat. I live on bacon, cheese and pesto etc. I'm now a size 10 mostly.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:36:26

I have had some success with low carb high fat in the past, although I can't eat eggs which limits me a bit.

Did anyone find that the need for the buzz from the highly palatable foods faded? What happens when you start eating normally again, or is it a permanent lifestyle change?

I would dearly love to get a high from exercise, although the migraine issue has interfered with running many times. I've done C25k about 4 times but a shit migraine run puts me off for weeks.

My brother is a chunker but he took up running and has kept his 3 stone off for 10 years. I am being treated for plantar fasciitis, is running a good idea? Should maybe ask the physio that one.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:37:35

Cross posted with a few, yes I wondered about going cold turkey on sugar. Thanks for the tip about the film.

Pearpair4 Thu 29-Nov-18 18:38:08

Read “The Unexpexted Joy of being Sober” but instead of alcohol think of food... it’s fascinating all about learning how to live without that high you thought you needed. So many ways it resonates re addictive eating too.

Of course you can’t go “tea-total” with food, so the solution can’t be exactly the same; but it’s a really entertaining, helpful book about addition.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:39:11

Wait Tipsey - bacon cheese and pesto?

Now you're talking. Where do I start?

Moominfan Thu 29-Nov-18 18:39:52

I've gone low carb, cravings do go but you have to prepared to give up forever. I'm not in that camp so back to fat

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:39:52

I will go find that, thanks Pear.

Tartpop Thu 29-Nov-18 18:40:58

I have plantar fasciitis. I have a running machine and as long as I wear fit Flop trainers my feet don't hurt at all

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:41:34

Hmm yeah Moomin I think giving up a food group for life isn't a sensible solution. It must be possible to go low for a while to break the habit maybe?

Momo18 Thu 29-Nov-18 18:42:17

It's the dopemine reward system in the brain, creates addictions.

TheDistantSky Thu 29-Nov-18 18:42:18

Can I park alongside too?
The only thing that gives me the same buzz is alcohol...but only alcohol that is high in sugar. And obviously that's not doing my health or my weight any good!

Nothing beats the fuzzy, happy full feeling I get from carbs and sugar. I keep losing weight and keep coming back to it and then gaining again.

Is it really no sugar ever again? I even quit refined sugar and find myself having too much agave and maple syrup. It's the sweetness.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:42:51

Really Tart that's good to know. I've just had my foot taped today, I have excessively short calf muscles evidently.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:44:28

You've got it Momo, it's definitely about reward.

I'm very lucky Sky that alcohol holds no interest for me at all! Bollocks to the wine, pass the cake.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 18:46:20

Sky you talking about the sweetness, reminds me of when I last tried to give up sugar and was putting honey into lemon tea. Without thinking I opened the bottle and squirted some STRAIGHT INTO MY MOUTH.

I am beyond redemption.

DianaT1969 Thu 29-Nov-18 19:19:39

With low carb high fat it isn't really a whole food group you give up. I seem to eat from every food group (berries, cheese, yoghurt, nuts in moderation, avocado, fish, meat, cream and lots of different veg). But although the cravings do go within days, it's difficult to avoid higher carbs when travelling, visiting friends, eating out. People with better discipline than me can do. I last a few weeks and it's my default now to eat low carb. The benefits on my skin, sleeping and joints outweigh the high I used to get from a carb fest. I just wish it was easier to stick with it when not cooking from scratch.
Love the OP! Lots I can relate with there.

Bimwit Thu 29-Nov-18 19:29:06

I think you do have to give it up forever. I find i resist for ages, lose weight feel great, think i can handlrle it so slip for like, a day, then thats it im back on the carbs and the carbs aid the sugar appetite. I just did a week without sugar. Just one week seemed achievable and i did it despite being due on. Then when i rewarded myself with a chocolate bar, i found i couldnt choose one and non really appealed, so cold turkey really does kill that need

TransposersArePosers Thu 29-Nov-18 19:38:05

I am heavier than I've ever been in y life before but can't pinpoint what it is that I'm doing differently to the last 5 years or so. I've put on a stone in the last 6 months. I'm blaming my age (49) and double dose progesterone (for treating heavy periods) for the weight gain, although if I ate less and got off my fat arse a bit more it'd probably help!

Anyway, a surprisingly sweet drink is liquorice tea. if you don't like liquorice it'll be no good to you, but Twinnings do liquorice tea and Aldi have liquorice and mint. No sugar needed.

stayathomegardener Thu 29-Nov-18 19:48:53

So today for example breakfast baked salmon flaked over avocado and mixed salad with oil dressing.

Lunch, soup and cheese.

Supper, roast duck leg with cabbage spring onions and ginger fried in the oil, green beans and peas.

Expensive, time consuming to cook and large amounts of everything but on the plus side sometimes I only eat twice a day as I either forget lunch or am just not hungry (that never happens on carbs)

An easy tip is eat anything under 5g of carbs, limit between 5-10g and avoid 10g+

I'm 49 never dieted in my life, always been slim. My consultant recommended it for health reasons.

FurryDogMother Thu 29-Nov-18 20:04:49

Another advocate of LCHF here. Carbs make me want more carbs - right now, after 3 months of LCHF (this is not the first time, but I'm planning on it being the last time) I can honestly say I have no interest in sweets, breads, pastries etc. I'm a total foodie - have just scoffed almost an entire (small) joint of lamb, with sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, and it was lovely. Last night I had a friend round, and we had pheasant breasts with wild mushrooms, crispy maple-smoked bacon, more sprouts (love them) and a few carrots. Last week I made my first ever lobster thermidor (using pre-cooked lobster tails) for a little dinner party - and I love having stuff like prawns and scallops for dinner. Smoked cod or haddock - with chilli pickle - is surprisingly good for breakfast - I have eggs with mine but they are far from essential.

You just have to white-knuckle it through the first couple of weeks and the cravings for carbs vanish - they really, really do. Yeah, I eat expensive foods, but you can also do it on the cheap - sliced ham and a bit of cheese make a good breakfast, tinned tuna mixed with mayo and a spring onion wrapped in lettuce is fine for lunch, curried mince with mushrooms is a quick and easy dinner - and so on. Worth a try?

My sweet treat is either a few berries (raspberries are the best!) or a mug of Little's flavoured coffee with a sweetener in it - the Swiss chocolate flavour is very satisfying! Good luck!

bumblebee39 Thu 29-Nov-18 20:18:02

I literally don't care about healthy eating, dieting etc. Anymore.

I try to make good choices, but also eat carb attacks like instant noodles and crisp sandwiches

I have had an ED that started with orthorexia, and then morphed into something uglier. I know low carbing is meant to be marvellous and everyone preaches it to me but honestly any kind of restricted eating is a problem in my eyes

I don't know if I'll end up thin or fat taking this approach (it's early days)

With IBS it may be you need to follow the BODMAS diet which is actually closer to "unhealthy" than "healthy" in the conventional sense. Peppermint oil capsules can be helpful too.

I have spent most of my adult life obsessed by finding the "perfect" diet
I've been vegan, paleo, low carb, done slim fast, slimming world, weight watchers etc. Etc. Etc.

Now I eat shit but am letting it go. This is the happiest I've been in years. I eat all the food groups and don't keep secrets anymore (no secret binges, no secret starving, no diet pills, no my fitness pal, no daily or weekly weigh ins, no laxatives etc.)

Mumof1andacat Thu 29-Nov-18 20:32:33

Have you considered looking at the psychological aspects of your eating patterns and how you feel with them. Might be worth looking in to some counselling. My husband was refused to a local service which helped him look at this and he saw a dietician too

Mumof1andacat Thu 29-Nov-18 20:33:19


DianaT1969 Thu 29-Nov-18 20:48:12

I like seeing posts from people who have stopped diets. Just stopped. Eating what you want without guilt must be very liberating. Ultimately, the appetite probably evens out as no foods are forbidden.
But I always seem to be going to an event in x number of weeks and put pressure on myself. So I don't feel I can do this until I stop aiming for a lower weight and accept and enjoy where I am.

TeachesOfPeaches Thu 29-Nov-18 20:52:53

Hi OP, you sound like me. I like nothing more than at the end of a long week, shutting the curtains and eating my way through a mountain of delicious unhealthy high fat high sugar high calorie food. Delicious grin If you find something better, please do let me know. (And yes I am fat)

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Thu 29-Nov-18 20:55:48

I've stopped dieting, I eat three meals a day of whatever I like - nothing sweet or sweetened though. I've lost nearly 6 stone over the past couple of years, no diet, no drama and no binge eating. It's the happiest I've ever been weight and diet wise.

I have tried every diet going (including surgery) and the 3 meals a day and nothing sweet (artificial it natural) anymore has been the easiest.

Octopus37 Thu 29-Nov-18 20:56:40

I can relate to it, there's something about the freedom nd buzz of eating what I like and its almost always stuff that is high in sugar or fat. I don't feel great when I try and eat healthily to be honest, tend to get a bad stomache with too much fruit or veg one way or the other, also get really irritable when I restrict food. I think its true that the high protein/fat, low carb thing helps to an extent, its just hard to maintain in the long term as in my experience its not practical and it doesn't have any treat factor. I enjoy alcohol but do have a stop button, had a couple of drinks on Monday night, felt a bit rough on Tuesday and that has put me off for a bit. The problem is that food is enjoyable and sensual and all things lovely, plus sugary carbs have a calming effect. In terms of exercise I have never managed to get into the gym or running, but do feel better and have a genuine need to do quite a lot of walking

bumblebee39 Thu 29-Nov-18 21:03:24

Tonight I had quiche Lorraine followed by Ben and Jerry's

Both things I would have demolished if "dieting" as a cheat

Instead I shared the quiche and threw a bit of crust away as didn't fancy it and put the B&Js away after a few spoonfuls

I know I can go back if I want

The heaviest I ever was when I was eating the "healthiest"
I try to eat veg and fruit and not go mental but honestly the bingeing doesn't happen (not even on healthy stuff) if I know I can have whatever I want whenever I want

Sometimes I have bread dipped in gravy for dinner, sometimes I have pasta bake with tuna and 4 veggies
It's all about balance

ZebraCowgirl Thu 29-Nov-18 21:08:15

Check out:


These, amongst others, have totally transformed the way I think about myself, my body and the way society views (and conditions us to view) body size.

Elephantina Thu 29-Nov-18 21:54:38

Some really interesting and helpful posts here, thank you - especially for food ideas and links.

I've tried so many approaches over the years, many have worked but one slip and I'm back there feverishly grabbing food in the supermarket and sneaking it back home or hiding it.

I keep thinking of all the clichés about being desperate to change but always doing the same thing, and the definition of madness being doing the same things over and over and expecting things to be change (or some shit like that). How can I make it different? I'm always determined, always resolute, always positive. I plan ahead and I focus on my goal, to lose this weight, be a machine, make that transformation and get away from people looking down their noses at me for being weak. It's unfashionable and a grotesque social faux pas to be fat, I don't buy any of that bollocks about accepting your curves. They ain't curves they're rolls. Plus, people don't take you seriously when you're a bit of a chubster. Whose to say I wouldn't already have a promotion if I were slimmer and my bosses were more prepared to be impressed by my work skills because I'm slim?

Oh that's just irritation talking, I'm coming down with a cold and I need a poo. Probably a few kit kats working their way through my beautiful colon.

Bimwit Fri 30-Nov-18 07:45:32

True about ppl not taking you seriously. I stopped dieting and decided to accept myself when i was diagnosed with BED. But i quickly gained a stone and started being unhappy with my physical mobility. I also just got a new job where i need to be taken seriously and i csnt shake the feeling this will not be the case if im cuddly. I too see it as a physical sign of lack of control, plastered all over me. People mistake my eating disorder as desire to be pretty or sexy but it isnt, its about my control over myself and what upsets me is when my grip slips.

Knittink Fri 30-Nov-18 07:59:42

I'm not very overweight but it's a constant battle not to be, and for me it's all about sugar. I would not recommend low carb high fat because although it really works and does eliminate sugar cravings, it's so unforgiving of lapses and is very hard to stick to long term. (Been there done that).

You don't have to totally give up carbs to give up sugar though. And if you're like me, even refined carbs like pasta and white bread (although they are best avoided too) do not set me off on a sugar rollercoaster like sweet stuff does.

I know that going cold turkey on sugar is what I need to do, but I haven't managed it yet! Btw , sympathies on the plantar fasciitis OP. I have it too and it's stopped me running sad.

I'm trying a new tack: no breakfast (so a bit of a longer overnight fast) and sweet stuff only at weekends. No other restrictions.

Knittink Fri 30-Nov-18 08:05:02

Meant to say - I think we probably all try to make changes that are too drastic and therefore doomed to failure. The key to long-term success is surely to make the changes as easy and unobtrusive in your life as possible. Imagine how many of us would have been so much better off if we'd never attempted any of the 'all or nothing ' diets through our lives and just picked one change that had a small but noticeable impact long term! No yo-yoing weight, just a very slow, modest weight loss but with no weight increase.

EvaHarknessRose Fri 30-Nov-18 08:05:41

It sounds like overweight is the destination, whether you yo yo diet or indulge. So there would be logical sense in deciding to allow treats every day. Time would tell as to whether appetite would kick in and limit you, so you might have to reevaluate.

In my experience there are definitely brain differences at play (your brain lights up for food, more so than some people’s). And commonly either childhood neglect or a tendency to supress emotion or both. So self- therapy focusing on ‘good parenting’ for yourself from yourself, self-care and respect, and finding ways to express emotion, could also be helpful.

Knittink Fri 30-Nov-18 08:22:12

The trouble is, the reward for resisting (i.e. getting slim) is a distant one, whereas the reward of eating the junk (the high) is immediate, and we always go for the immediate.
I've been reading an interesting book about habits. It says make the habits you want (e.g. exercising, eating healthily) as easy, convenient and pleasurable as possible and the habits you want to ditch as inconvenient and unrewarding as possible. Put your gym kit on as early as poss, listen to your favourite music while working out, don't buy biscuits etc, or if you have to for other family members, don't buy ones ypu like! , put junk food out of reach, put healthy food out on display or at the front of the fridge, reward yourself in other ways for redisting junk etc etc.

Junkmail Fri 30-Nov-18 09:47:25

This is really out there and I think quiet a new concept but I was reading about the effects of gluten and your symptoms of migraine and ibs are a red flag—could you be sensitive to gluten? You don’t have to have a full blow coeliac disease to have adverse reactions to gluten. I also have suffered from ibs and migraine and since I stopped eating gluten—gone! I also eat a low carb and high fat diet and have lost all my cravings for sugar and junk. I have lost four stone surprisingly quickly and surprisingly easyily having been miserable about my weight for years. And I don’t eat eggs or meat so it is possible with dietary restrictions to eat this way. Something to think about OP. I would defo start by cutting gluten out for a for weeks anyway and see how you feel. It’s made a huge difference to my life.

Elephantina Fri 30-Nov-18 15:44:00

Bimwit I know, I wish they knew there was a sassy fit bird in here trying to get out smile

Knittink I often do the no breakfast thing, if working away from home I find I can last all the way to dinner! Not very healthy but when I last tried, it was the only way I could lose weight, by eating nothing in the day and chicken and veg at night. Woop.

I have tried to stick with a single manageable change but I suppose I'm not getting the quick reward of weight loss.

Very sage advice Eva - do you think it can be done without professional help?

Interesting Junkmail, I'm definitely not coeliac as I've been tested, but I don't suppose it could hurt to cut it out for a while and see what happens?

In the meantime, I bumped into someone I know today who was looking noticeably smaller - turns out she has lost 4 stone on Slimming World. She must be about the 10th person I know to enthuse about SW, I couldn't really get the hang of it but admittedly I was using a 2nd hand old guide at the time and my heart wasn't in it.

What's the consensus on SW, outside of Rebel Fit who say it's a sack of shite. Seems like a lifestyle change of sorts and it appears to work for people?

Knittink Fri 30-Nov-18 16:28:20

I don't think there's anything unhealthy about skipping breakfast. The whole 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day' bollocks was surely invented by cereal companies! There is now evidence that fasting has health benefits above and beyond weight loss. I find breakfast just kicks my appetite into action and I'm starving again by 10:30!

Elephantina Fri 30-Nov-18 16:30:03

Yeah exactly, I'm starving about 2 hours after eating breakfast! If I'm working at home I'll hold on and maybe have porridge at around 1pm.

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Fri 30-Nov-18 16:36:27

*I keep thinking of all the clichés about being desperate to change but always doing the same thing, and the definition of madness being doing the same things over and over and expecting things to be change (or some shit like that). How can I make it different? I'm always determined, always resolute, always positive. I plan ahead and I focus*

That's the thing, I've done the same old, same old so may times ...

The 'official advice' seems to be small changes that become daily habits for life.

My small changes are eating three times a day and no sweet stuff. It really has been that easy, because I can I eat whatever (savoury) stuff I want I don't feel cheated and have managed to follow my own advice for 2 years now, genuinely don't really think about it anymore.

Elephantina Fri 30-Nov-18 17:15:48

That sounds perfectly feasible Ferret - and have you lost weight, or didn't you have any to lose to start with?

TipseyTorvey Fri 30-Nov-18 17:23:25

I know it can be a bit of an of odd concept but once you get over sugar, processed wheat and white carbs your body calms right down in terms of cravigns. Reddit has two subreddits one called intermittent fasting and the other is keto. Not saying you need to go full on keto as i like veg but they're both really friendly and supportive with loads of recipe ideas ( Well not for IF obviously as that's just not eating but I do that most days too now, just skip breakfast).

Bimwit Fri 30-Nov-18 18:21:50

Yeah i find breakfast kickstarts my appetite too. If i'm starving, i'll have some but if not i leave it.

I think LCHF isnt too far off the 3 meals and no sweets thing, pretty much what im doing right now except i skip rice and pasta if possible. I still eat potatoes and the odd wrap. Its LOW carb not NO carb. I agree small changes are going to see the biggest change! And yes, if only i hadnt done such extreme diets when younger sad

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Fri 30-Nov-18 23:04:37

I've lost 6 stone Elephantina. I get my 'high' from my meals (had pie chips and gravy for my tea - cheese, grapes and crackers for lunch and weetabix and banana for breakfast) ... I love every single meal. Because I don't eat sugar I don't have big highs and lows and don't even want to eat jnbetween my meals anymore.

The hardest thing when I have dieted in the past is eating stuff that I don't really get any joy or satisfaction from, and having to think ahead to what I'm going to eat.

My new way of eating is an absolute revelation that I don't even have to think about anymore.

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 05:41:19

Woah. That is seriously impressive and sounds so straightforward!

DH does all the cooking but we're in a rut foodwise, need some new ideas and recipes and to plan a bit more. The trouble is that it only takes one of us getting in late, or coming in with a migraine, or some other small disruption, to throw all plans against the wall and resort to convenience food.

@FabulouslyGlamorousFerret have you given up ALL sugar in anything, or just refined sugar? So you still eat foods with a bit of natural sugar like fruit, milk, etc? And did you give up sweetener too? I have sweetener in tea and porridge!

Now torn between flinging myself into Slimming World for the structure and discipline, or going it alone and cutting out sugar.

NameChangeToAvoidBeingFound Sat 01-Dec-18 05:59:31

I'm with you OP, I'm following both as a supporter and someone who needs the advice given here.

NameChangeToAvoidBeingFound Sat 01-Dec-18 06:33:06

My breakfast today (Don't normally eat breakfast but I've been awake since 1) I had pancakes at half 1, 3 of them. 1 with butter,1 with chocolate spread and a mouthful of 1 with cheese. Right now I'm having a soft boiled egg with a slice of white bread toast soldiers a slice of white bread toast for the rest of the egg white once the yolk is gone. Two small carrots in stick from, one piece of celery in sticks and a small handful of red leicester cheese cubes. No idea what's for lunch or tea as I'm heading home for the weekend from uni so it will depend on what my mother has in the house. I think she has bought squid for me so may have that with egg and veg fried rice for tea. Lunch will probably be freezer food or bacon with boiled and buttered potatoes with cheese and some veg like sprouts, peas, broccoli, sweetcorn or cauliflower depending on what she has in.

NameChangeToAvoidBeingFound Sat 01-Dec-18 06:45:53

@Elephantina In my experience slimming world and weight watchers don't work and encourage the 'high' from certain foods mentality. I've been going on and off since I was 12 and decided that I can't do it anymore at 23.

I love myself and I love food and I'm going to indulge in that in a healthy a way as possible. I'm going LCHF and seeing if it helps as I have PCOS which fucks up weight loss and management. I can't lose weight with exercise really just by not eating. I realised how messed up we perceive weight as when I was 14 and lost so much weight by either eating only sweets at lunch time and broccoli at teatime. I was physically unfit and all my stats were off yet my GP was delighted because I was a healthy weight but miserable and ill. I decided from then I'd rather be happy, fit and fat. But I know how the world looks at fat people so want to lose weight because I have more chance at landing the job offers and interviews I want. It sucks but it's true and if I need to I'll restrict meals till teatime because I only get hungry once a day anyway, it's just society telling us to eat more often.

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 06:59:33

Well, I forgot to mention that I'm pre-menopausal, so every attempt at weight loss recently has been slow and agonising unless I eat nothing all until dinner in the evening. And that's no way to live is it?

Since I was 21 I've done all of these, many of them more than once;
Calorie counting
South Beach
Carb Addicts Diet
Slim fast
Slimming World (once, for about a week in 2006)

The only reason I haven't done Lighter Life or Diet Chef is the cost!

I like the concept of the latest incarnation of Slimming World, I could do it without going mad on muller lights as they're pretty gross. But it does involve planning.

How do people meal plan and batch cook? I always feel weird about reheating frozen food.

IDismyname Sat 01-Dec-18 07:26:23

Elephantina - love the way you write! Can you wriggle up the bench a bit more?
Would love to join.

I’m a 16-18 and exercise regularly in terms of cardio, and a session of Pilates once a week. BP is that of a teenager, but cholesterol (good and bad ) is high. I’m slap bang in the menopause, and on HRT.

I Just cannot lose weight. I also have a ‘D’H who comments all the time on my weight, which gets me down. Then insists on going out to eat at least once every weekend. Then frowns at my plate, and what I’ve chosen. (Usually fish...)

Did the WW sessions years ago. Lost 2 stone. Put it back on. Went back. Gave up.
TBH, I think SW has a similar kind of scenario.

Did the 5:2 for about a year. Found it helped the IBS, but no weight loss.

I kind of glaze over when the Evangalists of either WW or SW tell me how fab it is. Because given a few years, they revert back to original size. Always!

I think most of my problems are up here (taps head), a marriage that I should get out of, and all exacerbated by sugar and gluten. (Tested for coeliac but negative, too).

Love some of the links people have posted. And there are some good book recommendations via that Laura Thomas website.

TipseyTorvey Sat 01-Dec-18 07:44:59

Just popping back on here to suggest another book called Wheat Belly. This changed my whole perception of wheat and put me off bread pasta and biscuits for good! It's a mindset shift and a hard one because everyone goes on and on about how you should eat three meals a day and carbs should form half the plate etc but honestly I feel so much better now. Also skin and teeth in much better shape. I prep ahead by making a vat of mince bolognaise and bake pork chops and roast chicken thighs. Then if I ever think I'm hungry i have those to go to, or cheese. I eat a lot of cheese!

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 07:49:52

Why thank you. flowers

My DH comments on my weight, but only at the same time as lamenting his own - we need to do it together, we're both fat'ns. But my DH is (mostly) kind, he would never say anything deliberately mean. Does yours need a swift kick in the bollocks?

I was on a client visit recently, one I had postponed due to a back problem. The client asked how it was and I said improving slowly, and he said,

"Of course, weight can be a contributing factor in lower back pain. Do you think - said with a twinkle - it's about time you did something about yours? My daughter was getting fat so I pulled her up on it, it's really motivated her to lose some."

So I said, "Fuck the fuck off you prick, who are you to make comments on anyone else's weight? Your daughter hates you and I don't blame her. Good day."

And flounced out with my head held high.

I didn't really, I blushed furiously, mumbled a bit and swiftly changed the subject.

He is a prick though.

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 07:51:44

Cross posted Tipsey, sorry - will check that book out too, thanks!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 01-Dec-18 08:14:22

Agree with the posters that say you have a sugar addiction and you probably need to give up all sugar to beat it. That will include alcohol. I am similarly inclined.

Have you been tested for type 2 diabetes? You sound like you would be at risk.

Did you know that the NHS is carrying out 155 amputations a week on type 2 diabetes patients?

I've only ever been 1-2 stone overweight but the things I've found most effective are:

Hypnotherapy to beat sugar cravings
Strength training (I hate running)
Low carb
No alcohol
Bioprint (but only alongside the above)

The high I get now being able to look half decent in my clothes, of feeling strong and fit, of knowing I'm protecting my health for the future, is better than a sugar high. Sorry if that sounds pious.

Even a small weight loss helped me hugely - improved moods, more energy, less painful periods, better gut health. It's not all vanity, although that always seems to be where the focus is.

I guess the question is really how do you want to live when you are 70? Able to live independently and enjoy retirement or beset with weight-related health problems?

Bluejay19 Sat 01-Dec-18 08:23:44

Hi. I just wanted to suggest reading the book The Realists guide to Sugar Free. I'm half way through it and have found it very interesting so far and it really makes you think about what you're eating and doing to your body in a way that is easy to understand.

greathat Sat 01-Dec-18 08:31:50

An ax colleague got over it with hypnotherapy. I'm seriously considering it

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 08:43:37

Oh I'm definitely in agreement with the sugar addiction, no doubt. Thanks for the book title BlueJay.

Yes I have been tested for type 2 as I mentioned, I'm all clear and my blood sugar was low (nurse admitted she was surprised considering my BMI of 38), so I've got time to turn things around before those levels creep up and I'm into extremity loss territory.

I have lost lots of weight before and I've enjoyed feeling fitter, lighter, better in my clothes and getting loads of attention and no longer being invisible. Sadly, every time I fall back into bad habits, hate myself for being weak, pretend I'm happy being invisible, and by the time I've slapped myself and come through the misery and I'm ready to go again, I've got 4 stone to lose - and it gets harder as I get older.

I've got a liver scan next week - despite the standard markers for weight related health issues all being fine, I did have an iffy liver result so I may well have a fatty liver. So that might galvanise me.

CheshireSplat Sat 01-Dec-18 08:56:28

OP, you mentioned looking into food addiction before. Have you read Eating Less by Gillian Riley? Your last post resonated because she talks a lot about motivation, and why health needs to be the motivating factor. If it's weight loss, you lose the weight, your motivation goes and you start eating badly or too much again. Weight loss treats the symptoms not the cause.
I think it's really helping me. I haven't lost much but it is changing my attitude to food.

Oh and one other thing, you said you do resort to convenience food at times. Could you do some batch cooking so you have home made convenience food in the freezer?

MagicKeysToAsda Sat 01-Dec-18 09:24:48

You asked what SW is like in reality? I decided to try it about 18m ago after both my bosses did it and lost lots and kept it off (3+ yrs for them so far). I've lost 5 stone so far with 1 more to go. Am struggling with mindset for the last one tbh - am my lightest adult weight and it feels weird and self-sabotage is a daily battle.

I decided on SW because: I love pasta and didn't want a lifetime of weighing out my pasta portion, I still wanted cheese, I didn't want to have to track absolutely everything. I did it online but was hugely helped by colleagues to explain things at first. Typically I have had cheese and chocolate most days (not as much as I'd like!) and I generally have porridge w apple and honey for breakfast, veggie soup / cold meats / salad / eggs for lunch, meat or fish with pasta/rice/potato and veg for supper. I have yoghurt (plain not Mullers!), fruit etc for snack and save points for an evening snack so I can have choc after DC bedtime.

Once I lost 3 stone I started jogging and now (weirdly) love it. My guess for why this has worked so far is very real fear of permanent health damage - bp was starting to go up, family history of diabetes and thrombosis...I had to do it, and had to make my peace with doing it forever because if I stop, I'll only have to start again!

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 11:46:34

That's an interesting take Cheshire - yes I have read that book in the past, but I'm talking pre-kindle era so it was a long time ago. I don't even recall that the type of motivation was the main premis of it, but that has definitely resonated. Even though I do have aches and pains and IBS, the GP and physio have said (unprompted) that plenty of slim people have similar issues so it's not all about weight.

When I had my gallbladder out I asked if the stones due to my yo-yo dieting, and the surgeon shrugged and said maybe. I told him I was nervous that my BMI might be too high for the surgery and again he shrugged and said actually, he has more room to manoeuvre in fatter patients so it was of no consequence. Er, anaesthetic anyone?

So far, not one medical professional has mentioned my weight apart from to raise an eyebrow and say, wow isn't your blood pressure low.

Maybe I'll get a good kick up the arse after my liver scan when they discover it's the size of a spacehopper and looks like lard?

I think you're right, my main motivation is to look better and not be the fat person in the room anymore. At the moment my health is mostly fine, so perhaps that side of it isn't "real" enough iyswim?

Oh yes I'm dying to batch cook but I have some psychological worries around hygiene so I would need constant reassurance around what is ok to cook and reheat, do you defrost it first, how long to keep it etc etc.

Fab post MagicKeys thanks, that's helpful! The lady I saw the other day doing SW has always been twice the size of me, for the 10 years I've known her. Now she's about my size, and looks so happy that she finally found something that works.

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 12:43:42

DH is working today (I'm at home with a stinking cold), and he's just text to ask what I fancy for dinner. I suggested a nice Slimming World stir fry and his response was, "Fuck Slimming World up the arse."

So that went well.

Bimwit Sat 01-Dec-18 14:51:52

Im amazed elephantina; i get a lecture about my weight EVERY time i see an nhs professional hmm im only a size 16 at worst. Their telling me to eat less every time kicked off my BED

Elephantina Sat 01-Dec-18 15:12:04

Blimey I'm bigger than you - generally they weigh me and comment that it's stable?

I wonder if I've got resting bitch face and they think I'll have a massive strop if anyone dares point out that I'm fat? Although it's not as though I can't tell...

noodlenosefraggle Sat 01-Dec-18 15:28:53

I stopped SW recently because it stopped working for me when I got to a BMI of 26. I have a family history of diabetes too and was recommended to go down to a BMI of 22 so have started calorie counting. But just popped on to say you cant eat unlimited Muller Lights or flavoured yoghurts on SW anymore. They have cut out a lot of the nonsense foods like mugshots from their free foods. I wasn't eating them anyway so it didn't make much difference to me, but still lost 2 stone on it. Also, I still do slimming world meals from the recipe books I had when I was doing it. I have a beef stew in the slow cooker. If someone said to me do you fancy a slimming world stir fry in the middle of winter, Id have said something similar to your DH grin

MagicKeysToAsda Sat 01-Dec-18 16:39:45

grin to your DH's view of SW stir fry! In fairness, to me that would just be the same as an ordinary stir fry, just using spray oil, and sticking to soy sauce rather than any other sauce. For something easy and comfortingly filling, we had easy steak pie for lunch - M&S tinned steak, mashed carrot and swede on top, grated cheese, baked in oven. Was yummy with half a plate of other veg. Pinch of nom or 2 chubby Cubs are decent recipe sites for ideas, but I tend to cook very simply.

NameChanger22 Sat 01-Dec-18 16:47:10

Low carb is a crap diet - bad for you, bad for the planet. Plus lots of people don't lose weight on it after the initial 7 pound water loss. I tried it for a whole year and lost a total of 3 pounds. Hardly life changing, I can lose that much with a big poo.

noodlenosefraggle Sat 01-Dec-18 18:55:59

I think a study was done of people after a year of low carb and low fat. They lost the same amount of weight. The key is what you can stick to long term. If you get complacent and go back to your old habits on any diet, you will put on weight. I couldn't stick to low carb. I tried. It's very unforgiving of any kind of slip up. I couldn't even manage to stick with it for the 2 weeks hardcore you need to do, so never got to the maintenance phase which is less strict.

TipseyTorvey Sat 01-Dec-18 20:38:22

Well I've been low carb, no wheat & no sugar for two years and feel fine so I think it can work for some people. Not saying I am perfect or don't overeat things sometimes but day to day it works for me and don't crave food ever so I'll stick to it for now.

KrakenAwakes Sun 02-Dec-18 09:42:25

I just posted a similar plea - didn't see this first.

I was just wondering how many people have done some kind of counselling alongside a diet? I'm pretty good at losing a stone but then sabotage my efforts.

Aged 41 (imminently), my divorce has just come through three years after my DH legged it for a work colleague the week before Christmas and I have managed to get back on.the career ladder, keep my home, raise two tiny children and now 2019 I need to focus on me.

Just not sure how I'll do it.....

Branleuse Sun 02-Dec-18 09:50:38

I wonder if youve got some food intolerences to some of the healthy food, which is why you feel better when youre getting pure calories that dont take work to digest or youre not intolerant too.
Might be worth looking into what you cant eat.

There is also the option of not depriving yourself of the food that you enjoy. But of course eating it to obesity levels has its downside too. Most people stick better to a diet when they can still treat themselves.

Elephantina Sun 02-Dec-18 12:29:28

Ah Kraken, glad you've come out the other side! I guess it'll take some practice, this self-care lark. I have asked on here before about CBT to support healthy eating but didn't get much in the way of replies. I've looked up some local counsellors in my area, and there is one that specialises in food issues so...who knows?

Hmm I'm sure you're right Branleuse. It's very often typical FODMAPS that kick off the IBS response, but only some of them - and not even all of the time. My innards are very generalised, if I'm eating GENERALLY badly everything is fine, if I'm eating GENERALLY well it's carnage and I have to time work appointments around my time on the toilet. Lovely.

I sometimes wonder if my sugar habit hasn't lined my intestines, protecting from an adverse response to fibre. The minute I drop the sugar, my shield passes through and then fibre causes me problems.

GP put me on fibogel once. Hahahaha! Did not go well.

KrakenAwakes Sun 02-Dec-18 16:57:39

Thanks Elephantina my oldest is nearly nine - I lost all my baby weight after her to a size 10/12 (I'm 5'9 so can carry a load of weight!), but its fair to say that the last six years since having my youngest has been an emotional roller-coaster. I'm now wearing my old maternity clothes because I refuse to buy any more clothes that are in size 16/18/20.

Now looking at the VLCD diet - shakes just to see if I can get the weight shifted quickly to start with and then once I start to see progress move to something more like SW or the 5:2. My issue is that I have few vices (gave them all up before I had children), no partner, dislike cooking and LOVE sugar......

Moominfan Sun 02-Dec-18 19:59:48

Ferret your going to give me an answer I don't want to hear. So no sweets or snacks between meals? Do you ever have a pudding, treats, special occasions, pmt cravings, snacks during outings ect? Eating just three filling meals a day seems reasonable but I'd just miss week haribo and my vices that are also keeping me fat

Elephantina Tue 04-Dec-18 08:39:42

After a week of careful research and reading (and filtering out the bollocks from internet quacks and non-scientific sources), I am on day 2 of quitting my sugar habit.

I need to be realistic, so I'm swerving the standard suspects like cake, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, desserts etc, and avoiding processed foods with obvious added sugar - but continuing to eat fruit, skimmed milk etc (what I consider to be natural sugars), and the occasional bit of artifical sweetener, although much much less than before.

It has to be sustainable, hence the relaxed stance over natural sugar and moderated artificial sweetener. I'm only being militant about refined sugar.

It feels fine at the moment - I don't feel the usual misery of knowing I can only eat 1300 calories a day for an ill-defined period, all I'm doing is avoiding sugar. And I don't tend to overeat savoury foods, they don't hold much interest for me so they are purely for fuel which is as it should be I suppose.

Feels quite liberating so far, but I'll report back after a few more days.

I have never mentioned that I don't drink alcohol at all, so I'm lucky in that respect! My lard arse is built of cake and chocolate alone.

TipseyTorvey Wed 05-Dec-18 13:57:10

Well done Elephantina!!! The first days are the hardest so you're doing brilliantly. Please also research eating fat as it will keep you fuller and your cravings away. Fat doesnt make you fat, it makes you full. Google bulletproof coffee - sounds utterly disgusting but tastes great and feels you up completely. In the early days i did used to have sugar free jelly with full fat cream to stop the sugar cravings as well.

Elephantina Wed 05-Dec-18 21:31:24

Bulletproof coffee sounds rank...but I'll give it a try!

I've watched That Sugar Film and read about a third of the Realists Guide to Sugar Free (or whatever its called), and I have in mind to check labels and avoid anything with more than 5g sugar per 100g, AND aim to stay under 6 teaspoons (24g?) sugar per day.

Today I felt irritable and had a headache, but I'm still getting over a cold and have a cough so that might be connected. I didn't eat at all today, just had 2 cups of coffee, so looked for a snack in Tesco's express near home. Nothing really appealed, so I bought a cooked roast chicken breast, impaled it with a fork and ate it like a lollipop.

It was rather satisfying actually. <wanders of to research sugar content of nice fruits>

TipseyTorvey Wed 05-Dec-18 22:16:10

Electrolytes! Eat salt. Google keto flu. Quick post as must go to sleep as up at 5 but your body will go through a horrible withdrawal phase so you'll need salt and lots of water to cope. Steep fruit tea bags in fizzy water also.

Elephantina Thu 06-Dec-18 07:07:43

Cheers Tipsey! I was up at 5am too, got a days work in London and need to get to the station at fuck all o'clock or I won't get a space.

I woke up feeling SO much brighter this morning. I do take anti-depressants/anxiolytics for an ancient phobia, have done for over 15 years, and in winter I'm prone to waking feeling very low - although it lifts quickly once I'm up and moving. But I didn't have it at all this morning, I was unusually perky for 5am, especially as I've been dreading today for work reasons.

It's only day 4. Feeling very positive and not deprived at all - avoiding sugar is actually much easier than avoiding calories full stop. It's amazing how many things it's in though isn't it. Gravy!

alphaechokiwi Thu 06-Dec-18 09:51:28

Hi OP,
I think your honesty is amazing and rare. My weight has yoyoed for years and I was (perhaps still am...) full of excuses and denial. I recognise it in others with similar weight issues to me. I want weight loss to be instant, like the gratification I get from food. I can't do the long hard slog to get myself back into standard clothing sizes and into a physically healthy place. Because food is my comfort, my drug of choice to deal with pain and grief and happiness and boredom etc etc...
But a few years ago I went to a Gillian Riley seminar, and she talked about motivation, choice and addictive desire. And something shifted in how I viewed food, weight and health. It's not been a straight path, but my head is in a much better place now. I feel (mostly) in control. What I eat is driven my my fully thought through choice, rather than fuelled by addictive desire. I found Gillian very powerful. Everything she says is backed by scientific peer reviewed evidence. She does on line seminars which I highly recommend.
I don't know what I weigh now. I'm a size 14 and I'd like to be a 10. But 12 months ago I was squeezing myself into stretchy size 18 with difficulty. What I've learned is to reframe my urges and use my logical rational brain to make a choice. I have ups and downs but mostly I'm free from the awful shame I carried around about my size and eating habits. That's worth 10 dress sizes to me.
Good luck with whatever you do next xxx

Elephantina Thu 06-Dec-18 22:01:50

Thanks for your post Alpha, I think I need to revisit Gillian Riley. I might have her muddled up with Geneen Roth.

Something you said resonated: "I want weight loss to be instant, like the gratification I get from food. I can't do the long hard slog to get myself back into standard clothing sizes and into a physically healthy place."

That's it right there isn't it? Losing weight is bloody hard, and the will and determination so often wears off before the flab does so we reach for a fix to soothe the misery.

Anyway, I fear I may soon have a reason for losing weight other than vanity - I missed a call from my GP when I was getting off a train tonight, I only had my liver scan 2 days ago. That can't bode well can it, they don't call to say all is normal. sad She left a message and said she'd call back.

Elephantina Thu 06-Dec-18 22:05:06

I'm so sorry Alpha, I was so caught up with myself I neglected to congratulate you on your weight loss. Well done - I'm 18 pushing a 20, I'd dearly love to be back in a 14 without knowing my weight!

I've just been writing myself a little list of foods with the sugar content in teaspoons. Bloody hell, who knew there are 4 tsps sugar in a slice of bread??? That's the same as a kit kat!

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Thu 06-Dec-18 22:17:05

@Moominfan 🤣 Nope, I've not eaten them for nearly 2 years - I've found it's easier giving them up than limiting them. I'd buy things like Time Out bars and try and have one in the evenings .. and then end up eating the pack!! .. then trotting to the shop to follow it up with a tub of Ben and Jerry's! Sugar and sweeteners definitely led to binge eating for me.

To me, sugar is a a bit like all or nothing, same as crack and fags I imagine 🤣

I've given up sweeteners too - it seemed logical to get rid of my sweet tooth permanently.

FabulouslyGlamorousFerret Thu 06-Dec-18 22:18:54

Don't build me up as a paragon of health though, I'm still a size 18/20 .. but that's a much better place to be than a size 26/28 which I was before the sugar embargo.

Nacreous Thu 06-Dec-18 22:25:42

I've gone for cutting out a) crisps (but allow cheese and crackers or nuts, as I don't go crazy on those) and b) buying confectionery, biscuits, cakes etc. So if someone gives me a box of chocolates, that's okay. Or if I can be arsed to actually get up and bake something, also fine.

This way I know I don't want it that much of my laziness wins.

I've been trying it for a mere 2 weeks so far though, so not sure how well it will last. I agree that sustainability at least medium term is key.

alphaechokiwi Thu 06-Dec-18 22:30:26

Elephantina, thank you. I really hope everything works out ok for you with your scan x

TipseyTorvey Fri 07-Dec-18 06:10:51

Elephantina - yes bread is the worst!! Sits there pretending to look innocent, sometimes disguising itself even better with little seeds and wotnot whilst all the while being a trojan horse for sugar. Funilly enough sweet potatoes have less sugar if you need some better carbs. Hope the news from your doc is okay though - crossing fingers for you.

MizzMimi Fri 07-Dec-18 07:51:09

Try making your own bread. It's ridiculously easy in a bread machine, and although all the bread recipes have sugar in them, it is something like 2 teaspoons of sugar across the entire loaf, rather than a teaspoon equivalent per slice. And actually I experimented and left sugar out altogether and it worked. So now my bread is just wholegrain flour, water, butter, salt and yeast (it's delicious as well). The list of ingredients on shop bought bread is massive.

Shop bought bread has so much sugar in it to preserve it and make it last a few days. Home made bread goes stale very quickly - I slice mine and freeze it straight away, and eat it from the freezer.

OP you asked about batch cooking and freezing it. Try batch cooking things like soups, veg or lentil curries, bolognese, stews, chilli, etc. When cooled, portion them up and freeze. To use, you can either get them out the day before and defrost in the fridge, but I've also used them from frozen, just nuking them in the microwave or putting the frozen blocks in a covered casserole dish and slow cooking in the oven at a low ish temperature for an hour.

You could then eat your defrosted stews with a side of veg; curry with an Indian salad (chopped tomatoes, onions, coriander, chilli, lemon juice and salt); chilli with a Mexican salad (bulgar wheat flavoured with chilli, cumin, diced tomatoes, onion etc), and so on.

Elephantina Sat 08-Dec-18 19:28:58

News from doc was nothing much - "signs of" fatty liver so they want to do a fasting blood test. I haven't actually spoken to the GP so I don't know details, but they can't do a blood test until 4th Jan anyway so I'm clearly not close to death.

Thanks Tipsey and MizzMimi, especially for the batch cooking advice - just what I needed! Not sure we have the space for a breadmaker, and in any case DH will roll his eyes at yet another "fad".

I am still coping very well with my avoidance of sugar, haven't slipped once - DH bought lemon pancakes last night and demolished the whole pack with a cup of tea, I was unfazed.

I think I'm enjoying the novelty of depriving myself of the usual suspects like chocolate, cake, all the sweet gooey calorific stuff I LOVE which has made me 4 stone overweight - yet I don't feel deprived. I don't normally look twice at savoury food, I'm not bothered and if DH is not around I'll feast on chocolate and won't eat anything proper. But he's out tonight, and I have enjoyed a feast of peri peri chicken salad, quiche and cheese, and I have plain Skyr yoghurt and melon in the fridge. Perfectly satisfying, no rabbit food or weighing stuff out, and no sugar in sight.

Not even sure I can eat anything else. I haven't weighed myself, I think I might take some measurements and see if the inches start to go down? I feel slightly sceptical about the potential for size reduction, given the extraordinary amount of fat I'm eating, but that's a lifetime of low fat dieting for you...

TipseyTorvey Sun 09-Dec-18 07:52:47

Well done Elephantina! Glad the news from the docs seems to just be routing checks. Don't worry too much on the inital weight loss, just get used to changing your tastebuds and not being crazy for sugar. Careful of the base in the quiche! smile

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