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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 10-Jan-19 22:44:07

Lego awww fuuuuck, really? I never even thought, I know my FODMAPS usually. What an idiot. Phew, at least my large intestine has had a good workout eh.

Whatisthisworldcomingtoo Thu 10-Jan-19 22:43:51

Watching with interest, I have the same struggle op

Elephantina Thu 10-Jan-19 22:42:42

I've been dieting all my life, I can eyeball 30g of pretty much anything and know the calories from an apple to a portion of pasta to a slice of cake. smile MFP has been my companion for years and years. I also wear a Fitbit (the Versa, no less).

I know what to do and how to do it, I've even succeeded several times temporarily - but I can't maintain it. I think vanity has always been the driver before (I am totes gawjus when I'm slim donchaknow), but now I need to look after my liver before before it hardens and shrivels up like a turd in the sun.

legolammb Thu 10-Jan-19 22:42:00

Elephantina - I believe agave is a no-no on the FODMAP diet - due to fructose I think, so that could be it. My migraines seem to be more stress-related and hormonal than diet thankfully.

I'm definitely on the sugar treadmill currently - a hangover from Christmas and stress eating due to some family issues recently. I've realised I've not really eaten any quality protein, i.e. a chicken breast or similar for ages. Keeping my protein levels high definitely helps me resist cravings, so I've done a nice shopping delivery today to change that.

I've also had a week-long binge triggered by telling myself I was going to rejoin Slimming World for the 50th time and thinking I had to eat all the bad food beforehand. I've done some reflection and realised that it wouldn't be a good idea for me to go back to SW - I'm just going to practice calm mindful moderation.

Bebe03 Thu 10-Jan-19 22:36:46

Fitbit is amazing, has honestly changed my life- allows you to log food so you can see calories consumption - huge eye opener! Also really encourages you to exercise/move. Even walking more will help & be gentle on your body whilst you loose the weight to do more vigorous exercise.

I think a Mediterranean style diet is the best but not to completely cut out any food group (just moderation) is probably the most sustainable option IMHO.

Good luck op- please consider some CBT for the additiction (which it can be) you may be lucky & be referred through your GP xx

Elephantina Thu 10-Jan-19 22:25:24

I saw a bit of that tonight Chicawow, my ears pricked up at "bliss-point" - that's exactly it.

Elephantina Thu 10-Jan-19 22:24:15

Oh, I forgot...GP called today with the results of my liver related blood tests. All good, inflammatory markers back in the normal zone and according to their "calculator" I am not at high risk of future liver disease - but I'm just on the cusp of low risk and medium risk.

So, its a wake up call - liver is starting to show signs of being effected by my poor diet and obesity. She very gently suggested small sustainable changes to cut down on sugar (and fat, old school), lose a little weight and increase exercise.

So, some motivation for there then.

OK I think my colon is done, I'm getting off the throne now.

Bowchicawowow Thu 10-Jan-19 22:24:03

They deal with this is Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall’s programme about the food industry which was on tonight. Scientists have worked hard to make their food contain the ultimate ‘bliss point.’ That combination of sugar and fat is what’s making the UK obese.

Elephantina Thu 10-Jan-19 22:19:28

Lego yeah the fruit and veg thing is annoying...I do like fruit and veg and would be glad to eat stacks of it, unfortunately it gives me such cramping and diarrhoea I have to go easy on it.

Having said that I tried agave nectar for the first time tonight (a little bit with some natural Greek yoghurt) and now I'm typing this on the bog with some mild cramps. Christ don't tell me my guts can't take that either.

My migraines aren't terribly specific but when I do get a cracking one, it will either be from a spell of tension, or from eating a strong concentration of chocolate - not common garden chocolate but something like a brownie, or chocolate fudge cake etc. Now I'm off sugar I'm not eating it anyway, but the last time I had a migraine where I actually had to take a sumatriptan and opt out for a few hours was a good couple of months ago. Can't recall what kicked that one off. I take propranolol and amitriptyline for mine, very effective as a preventative.

Jeez I'm still camped out on the bog. What has agave nectar got in it to trigger me?

2019Dancerz Thu 10-Jan-19 21:36:25

I agree Velvetmoss and I really don’t want to be in any permanent plan that puts small amounts of sweet food or carbs (or alcohol) off the menu.

legolammb Thu 10-Jan-19 21:15:28

I still need to go back and read the thread but wanted to post immediately because I think your OP might be one of the most resonant things I've read on this - even down to the migraine and IBS. The stomach thing is bloody annoying as I don't have the option of filling up on nice healthy fruit and veg as I get the most atrocious wind! Anyway, now i've found my people I'll go back and read from the beginning!

VelvetMoss Thu 10-Jan-19 14:02:41

Interesting thread.

For some people I think it is strongly around the "pleasure principle" which is a mix of things - satiety, taste and so forth.

But I do think this is adaptable. You can "learn", though changing taste buds and food eaten, to enjoy different kinds of food and smaller quantities. When I was young I could drink 4 - 5 pints of lager on a night out biscuit, whereas now I'd struggle with one!

I also think if there is little or no pleasure in your life - food can present itself as a cheap or simple option. I sometimes think well-off women who are slim have lots of pleasures - new clothes, clothes that look nice on, spas, make up, going out to enjoyable places etc etc. If you have nothing, a penny ice bun is at least something .... so personally I think its good to embrace new pleasures - sensual or otherwise - whilst getting back on track with food.

Dieting per se is usually counter-productive. I think the aim (for me at least who has about 2 stone to lose) is to get into a place where eating less but more healthy food makes me feel good! Nothing is banned but some self-control helpful and not a contradiction. Eating one slice of cake or drinking one glass of wine can be a natural pleasure. Eating a whole cake or a whole bottle can make you feel quite ill.

Anyway, rambling now ... smile

Elephantina Thu 10-Jan-19 09:02:55

Wow, 6lbs - that's good going! I've had a blip the last day or two as I've been working away, which always weakens my resolve a bit. It's not as easy to have the right kind of foods to hand, and after driving for hours I just grabbed anything. I'm not even going to admit what I managed to shovel down my throat on yesterday's road trip. blush

Never mind, today is a new day and last night someone told me emphatically that I had lost more weight. Back to savoury!

Moominfan Wed 09-Jan-19 21:36:13

Feel like I've broken through pain barrier. Lost 6lbs but eaten lots of savoury crap to get through through sugar cravings. Want to focus on some good quality food now

Elephantina Sat 05-Jan-19 21:21:20

That article is fascinating Whatchathink, thank you for posting the link!

Visitorthedog you have articulated it perfectly, that's exactly what it feels like - being in a trance. It's a habit, so presumably it can be broken right?

Babygrey7 Sat 05-Jan-19 18:26:23

Interesting that it gives you a high OP

Eating too much sweet stuff, or a takeaway give a me a "low"... I feel sluggish and slow and a bit down when eating crap food

A bit is nice, but eating too much sugar or fatty food makes me feel.nauseous, gives me heartburn and then I feel sad and gassy grin

Interesting how people can respond so differently (physically or emotionally) to food

2019Dancerz Sat 05-Jan-19 18:22:22

Interesting thread. I don’t think I have physical cravings for sugar so I don’t think these diets will get to the route of the emotional craving. Half read a book once called Brain over Binge and really should look it out and finish it.

Whatchathink Sat 05-Jan-19 17:50:18

Elephantine- so great that you are able to share your thoughts on this matter.

Really interesting article in the guardian today:

Written by a woman who lost 13 stone

visitorthedog Sat 05-Jan-19 12:09:45

Hi Elephantina, just wanted to say I completely understand this, it’s not so much a high for me but the absent feeling - if I can get in bed with a book or TV or something and a pile of the food I like (sweet) next to me then it’s like I can be content and soothed, safe, like hypnotised for that time that I’m reading and eating. Arghh, nothing replaces it.

Yorkshiremum17 Sat 05-Jan-19 08:10:10

I started low carb high fat again on the 2nd I did it a couple of years ago and lost nearly 2 stone but life got in the way and whilst I maintained it for ages piled it all back on last year! The thing is I felt fabulous whilst I was doing it, I felt fabulous when I was half doing it, I felt totally crap when I stopped. I was bloated, headachy, and my joints wee killing me. I've been back on it for 3 days not calorie counting this time, just cutting out refined sugar, pasta, rice, bread, flour and no snacking between meals. I woke up this morning and for the first time in a year my joints don't hurt😀. I don't feel bloated hopped on the scales and have lost 5lb. I know it's early days, but eating this way is something I can do, that makes me feel good. I have a lot of weight to lose, but actually think I can do this. Cutting out the sugar is the most important thing that works for me, I know that I can have occasional carbs with no ill effect, but sugar is a big no.

J008 Fri 04-Jan-19 22:55:59

Oooo interesting post!!

I CANNOT moderate! I can abstain...currently doing lighterlife and once through the pain barriers of the first few days my cravings go and I get the benefits of breaking the food addiction.

BUT at some point I need to eat again and I am literally all or nothing?! Being addicted to something you have to have everyday but...not a lot of. Driving me mad. Would like to wake up...not think of until I’m full and 3 times a day. I agonise over every meal...what not to have etc

It’s tiring really isn’t it.

Solutions...?!?!?! I’m just hoping I can reset through LL and crack management phase.

I went too thin last I say...all or nothing.

Exercise may well be the key...

Elephantina Fri 04-Jan-19 21:10:19

Gosh WhycantI, that's awful...I'm so sorry. It's so difficult - we want them to love us for who we are, but they still have to be true to themselves after all.

I am in the fortunate position of having a DH who also battles with his weight to an extent, so he can empathise. He is also loving and when he squeezes my fat bits and I self consciously wriggle away saying it must feel horrible, he says he loves it because its part of me. <sniff>

Anyway, enough of that. Why don't you join the crusade? Don't diet, just try exchanging the cake and chocolate for good fats for a little while. I did it for 4 weeks and had already started looking smaller, and I didn't feel like I was "being good"! My pet hate...

Whycantidoit Fri 04-Jan-19 20:44:44

Elephantina you describe your struggle so clearly and it has really resonates with me.

I can’t stop eating the food you love either! Despite knowing the health risks and the consequences, I still do it.

Unfortunately, my husband could not tolerate the weight I gained from this destructive behaviour and is divorcing me because if my weight. It would be nice to think that he loved me for who I was but ultimately I gained so much weight(7 stone) that he said he no longer found me attractive, was emabarrassed to be seen with me and didn’t want to be pushing me around in a wheel chair in ten years time. It was brutal but he is right, I guess.

You sound like you are making the changes needed and the no/lo carb thing, although challenging sounds like to is the key. I’ll be cheering you on!

Elephantina Fri 04-Jan-19 18:22:14

Fuckwheresitgone sorry, hectic few days - no I didn't go cold turkey in terms of sweetener, I've just dialled it down a little to gradually accustom myself to less sweet flavours in my life! I hope to eventually eliminate them, but one step at a time eh.

I got on the scales and I have somehow lost a lb over Christmas, which is bizarre. I'm pretty sure I ate a lot of quality street, and the leftover giant chocolate yule log made most of its way into my gob rather than into the dustbin as planned. Mind you, thanks to some veg and a touch of work related anxiety I did have 5 poos the day before. smile

So yes I re-commenced the crusade on new years day, although there was minor lapse when a) I had my bag stolen along with my sweeteners, so at the office they kindly put 2 sugars in my tea instead, and b) I remarked that owing to the shock of the theft I had eaten nothing all day so someone handed me an Aero. confused

I shoved it in my (makeshift, temp replacement) bag, but the thought of another 4 hours in the car drove me to succumb to it eventually. A bloody aero for gods sake, they're rank!

Back on it today, fasting blood test at 11am so I was hungry when I came back and ate some porridge piled high with raspberries and a banana. I can't bear it completely unsweetened but I used a sprinkling of sweetener, not much at all, to take the edge off. Now I'm sitting here like a princess waiting for DH to bring me my dinner of turkey meatballs, pasta and his home made tomato sauce.

Flightymare, when you are coping with initial sugar reduction try eating plenty of fat - cheese and full fat yoghurt are good, I'm not fond of nuts personally (IBS + cashews = BOOOOM) but if you can stomach them they're a good option. Fat actually gives you the satisfied feeling much faster than sugar/carbs, and lasts longer too. As I said earlier and someone else has mentioned, my appetite actually reduced quite a lot in the 4 weeks I stuck to it leading up to Christmas.

I'm mad for cheese now, but it doesn't take very much and I can walk away without desperately needing 2 lbs of it.

I'd love to know what the deleted comment was MNHQ, was it spam (drink this tea made from cat vomit and lose 4 stone in a day) or was it abusive (you're all fat fuckers, try eating less and going to the gym etc etc)?

FlightyMare Fri 04-Jan-19 16:04:56

Hello - are you still on with your no sugar crusade? I can totally relate to your posts as I am an undeniable sugar addict. I've read so many books about it, and nod along and can recognise that I'm addicted - but seem unable to get past a day or two without it. It drastically affects my mood and makes me totally miserable when I deprive myself of it.

At the same time though, I recognise that I really should address it, as my eating is out of control. I'm not over-weight, but I rarely eat proper meals. Like you, I have IBS symptoms when I eat many foods - garlic and onions are out as they make me ill. Lots of veg cause painful bloating. I always seem to default to snacking as large meals make me uncomfortable...

Anyway, enough of my self-indulgence. I'll loiter around and see how you get on in the hope that it'll give me the push I need and I pick up some ideas and tips on how to crack this!

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