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Hi my name is Emily, I'm a sugar-aholic
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September 1, 2011 at 6:13 am #3980
My name is Emily and I’m a binge eater. Yes, me.
Having polished off the rest of my roomate’s bag of caramel popcorn earlier (about 1/4 of the bag, I’ve been working on it for the past three days and thank god it’s over), followed by the usual feelings of guilt, panic, sadness, disappointment, and sugar-high, I knew it was time to seek out help. I’ve read a few posting strings here, and it seems like there is plenty of support between members of this forum, so I’m giving it a whirl.
For starters, how about a little bit about me:
I’m 29, 5’1, and probably weigh about 110-115 (although at the moment I feel like 120-30 lol). Although this isn’t an unhealthy physique, and I’m in my normal range for weight and BMI for height, it’s the heaviest I’ve been aside from having a child. For years I always weighed the same without thinking about it, I exercised a lot effortlessly, and I didn’t overeat. Then I had my girl (now 3 1/2), and went through post-partum depression, during which time I ate so much more food, mainly for comfort. Recovering from that was accompanied by a significant weight loss, back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Then life stressors and boredom (among other things) began a roller coaster ride of weight loss and gain. The whole time I would definitely binge, although it was not nearly the beast it is now. Frequently I would “justify” overeating with a new resolve to fast the whole next day, exercise more, etc. I did a few fasting cleanses, the “lemonade cleanse,” over the span of a year, and it was really hard but I stuck to them for about 7 days. The last one I did was the easiest, and I didn’t overindulge as soon as I was back on solid food again. Not right away anyway. One thing the cleanses do is make you go to the bathroom regularly via laxatives, and I found that it must have trained my body to expect those, because for weeks afterwards I would still need to use them to maintain regularity and I felt terrible if was constipated for more than a day. But food became so tempting again, just eating it for the taste, not because I was hungry. And I did feel hungrier, too, especially when I increased the amount I was exercising. I became vegan after the last fast, mostly because I’d been noticing that dairy did not help my digestion except for yogurt, which I still eat. I am not a strict vegan, basically I “cheat” whenever there is anything non-vegan that really, really appeals to me, like a piece of cake at my brother’s wedding. But I manage to stay away from it most of the time and I’m satisfied with alternatives to meat and dairy (I’ve been vegetarian for years). What gets to me, turning my usually healthy, satisfied tummy into what feels like a ravenous empty cave, is sugar. I should amend my opening statement.
Hi my name is Emily. I’m a sugar-aholic.
I’m not sure that it’s only the taste of sugar that sets me off, or if it’s the taste mixed by stress, emotions and a psychological disconnect, or what, but sugar is what I binge on. I have eaten plenty of chocolate bars by myself, all in one fast go. I have shoveled spoonfuls of hot cocoa mix into my mouth until I got sick of the texture, I’ve finished off packages of anything under the sun that has sugar so fast after buying a week’s supply at the store, that I no longer buy anything sweet except in single-serving packages. I don’t keep granulated sugar in the house, only honey, which doesn’t quite have the same affect on me. I normally eat as much fruit as I want (within reason) as a trade-off for not consuming sugar. Although I’ll admit to sometimes bingeing on fruit, especially dried fruits like dates and cranberries. I usually accompany my binges with doses of overnight laxatives, extra water, and/or apple cider vinegar drinks (helps to “get things moving” and alkalize the blood). I’m trying to stop this habit, and listen to my body more. Every once and awhile, I had gotten it down to 2-3 times a week, I’ll allow myself a small treat, like the wedding cake, and not feel guilty or the need to do anything differently.
But when I’m feeling even slightly stressed, bored, or down on myself, seeing a full bag of yummy caramel popcorn in my roomate’s corner of the pantry is detrimental to all patterns of moderation. The day before yesterday, I was feeling good about not going back for seconds on that wedding cake, looking so good in a fancy dress, and not bingeing for several weeks (I was mostly motivated by how I’d look in the dress). After the occasion was over, and I went back to work for the week–this is only my second week at a new job–and my roomate is out of town, well… I started off with just a taste, thinking, she won’t mind. Then I kept coming back for more, well past the point of knowing she would mind. Two eating sessions the first day, one the second day, then none today until a couple of hours ago. I came back from my dance class, two solid hours of moving and shaking, and it got the better of me. The worst part is the secrecy. I can’t tell my roomate that I ate all her popcorn, then she’d know that I ate THE ENTIRE BAG (huge) by myself and feel like the biggest hypocrite because it’s usually me giving nutrition advice to her (she’s overweight and dieting on and off herself). So I’m going to the store tomorrow and buying her more popcorn, quick before she notices that it’s gone. In the past I’ve done this with her chocolate bars, trail mix with m&m’s, and banana bread.
OMG I told someone. I was in counseling (not just for this but among other things) up until a few months ago, and it really helped, but I still didn’t even tell my counselor all this. Maybe I thought there were more important things and that I didn’t really have a problem. I am recognizing now that I do have a problem. I really did not want to eat all that popcorn. The past three nights, I have gone to bed feeling terrible that I wasn’t able to stop eating popcorn. It has not been a matter of not eating enough regular food, because I ate plenty today, and even had graham crackers at work, which I usually avoid because they have lots of sugar, thinking that by allowing myself those, maybe I would not touch the popcorn again. But as soon as I got home and saw it, it went into my mouth.
SO, here’s my plan for recovery.
I will make a pledge to myself. It’ll go like this: I promise to you, Emily, that I’ll keep my secret no longer. I will seek out support in my attempts to banish the monster that makes me overindulge in sweets, and tame my sweet tooth for so long that the unhealthy cycle is broken for good and I have a healthy relationship with sugar (or none at all) once more. I will keep a diary in which I share my thoughts and feelings along with a list of what I ate that day.
This is what I ate today:
coffee with silk soymilk creamer
sprouted grain bread with peanut butter
yogurt mixed with a banana and protein powder and flax seed
pineapple bread and a plum
one graham cracker
a salad with carrots, cucumbers, peppers, pinto beans, and ginger tahini dressing
bengal spice tea (like chai without the black tea)
and my binge, 1/4 of a bag of caramel popcorn (about 3 cups)
minus the binge, it was an ok food day. I ate breakfast earlier than normal, around 11. I usually only have coffee and fruit or at most a yogurt smoothie before noon, but I’ve been trying to get more protein in my system regularly to boost my metabolism and build more muscle. but this morning I was actually hungry at 11. Actually, for the past few days, I’ve been eating a little more than normal. I’ve been feeling the relief of not having to look good in a special dress, and perhaps stress factors into it as well.
Well, kudos to you if you’ve read all this so far! Sorry for the length, but I had quite a lot of confessions. Hopefully we can all help each other to have healthier relationships with food and kick overeating to the curb. Thanks for reading.September 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm #85831
Hi Emily. We’re all in the same boat here, and I too am a sugar addict! I watched a really good seminar the other day about it, I’ll post the link below; I’m not the biggest fan of the guy giving the lecture, but the science is there and i’m now going to avoid fructose and see how things play out. I can tell you those, when I went vegetarian I ate A LOT less of it, and cravings/binges all stopped. So, I think i’ve been sold on his theory.
I wish you the best of luck on you’re recovery. Coming on here is a great way to get support – we’re all here to listen if you need us, or just want to vent You’re already doing awesome as to telling a counselor about the problem.. it takes a lot of courage. xoSeptember 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm #85832
i think for most people sugar is one of those things. i shouldn’t have any sugar because i have candida problems [candida feeds on sugar and causes yeast infections.] but if i let myself have just a little [and lately it's been hard not to] i am craving sugar right after, and lots of it. i can eat so much sugar at once. like 10 huge pastries.
looking back to when i didn’t eat too much sugar.. i would eat a banana when i had a craving [which is still sugar, but i have found that eating small amounts of fruit sugars work for me,] or drink tea. stevia is a good sugar substitute because it’s sweet but there is not sugar content in it. it’s hard for people to get used to. but there is this yogi tea called sweet thai delight that has stevia in it, it’s so good! [and caffeine free.] when i had a sugar craving i would just eat something else. but then the problem became that i never knew when i was full. then i would eat food that wasn’t sweet and it would give me a sugar craving. maybe my body was used to the dinner/desert model? i don’t know.September 1, 2011 at 10:57 pm #85833
Emily, kudos for you for seeking help and coming to this board. I am currently pregnant so reading your story really hit home for me. I look forward to reading more posts from you.
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