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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.

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

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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.

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