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Jenna's Diary – BED for the last 5 years, share your tips here.
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April 24, 2010 at 10:57 am #1868
So I’ve found reading people’s journals on this site really inspirational and I thought I would start off with my own and try and rally as much support as possible. To me it seems this is one of the key ways in which to beat BED.
I’ve been suffering from BED from the age of 22 and I never understood I had such a problem until the last 2 years. I am now 28 and although I am much more forgiving of myself, I still have moements of terrible dislike because I feel like a constant faliure when my good efforts around my health are scuppered because I binge 2-3 times a week. The sad thing is I keep my weight in check (although I have put on 10kg over the last year) using slimming pills with ephedrine in them. This makes me lose my appetite entirely helping to keep my weight down despite my mad binges. I also go to the gym 3-5 times a week and push myself although the gym probably keeps me mentally sane.
The sad thing is i was ina relationship for 5 years with a guy who was pretty obsessed with the gym, introduced me to these pills and couldn’t understand about my BED at all. Thankfully I am no longer with him, but he has left me with feelings of inadquacy and bad self-esteem. I constantly feel fat and sad I can’t fit into my old clothes (and can’t bear to buy clothes much bigger because I feel i should be able to lose the weight to get into them).
I have experienced all sorts of therapy whether it was counselling, hypnotherapy, reading every book on the subject to a variety of supplements and pills and sadly 6 years on I am still demonstrating the same behaviour as my early 20s.
I know I need to normalise my eating, take away the ‘excitement’ of forbidden foods (my sweet tooth is ridiculous) and try and enjoy my life. Obviously, the first thing is to get off the slimming pills and try and battle with the depression that will come plus the horrible feeling when the binge moment is about to happen – i can battle with the binge desire all day (it’s not a case of going off for a walk and forgettting about it sadly) and I have no idea what to do when it comes because the habit and want is so strong.
Any tips and support will be most appreciated. I aim to update reguarly and share what I have learnt along the way. I am hoping I can look back at this journal in a year and feel ‘cured’ or at least at peace with my eating.
Jenna xxxApril 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm #43530
Hey Jenna…welcome! I’m glad you are here with us! Stay hopeful because I promise if you stay determined you can get to that place where a year from now you look back from a place of recovery. I’m at over 7 months binge-free so I promise its possible. Well obviously you know you HAVE to get off the diet pills. I’m a nurse and those things even scare the hell out of me…they are always coming back 5-10 years later with all these terrible health problems they cause. I was also with a athlete for 5 years who basically introduced me to super clean eating/ obsesive exercising which of course I ran away with, which set me up for BED. After we broke up, he made some awful comments about my body which left me with NO self esteem and hating myself…it takes time to heal from somethign like that but you will get to the place where you like and respect yourself. I’m glad you are no longer with him so you can start the healing process. Something that was a big important step for me was getting rid of the idea of forbidden foods and slowly reintroducing them all into my diet in moderate amounts so that I didn’t have that constant temptation to binge on an unallowed food…once everything is permissible, it takes away the temptation/thrill. Also, getting out of dieting mode is important. Are you restricting outside of your binges? Anyways keep posting! ~LaurenApril 24, 2010 at 7:01 pm #43531
You have made a good first step, this group is great.
I know what you mean about having to battle with the binge all day as I have often had days like that.
You say you have tried lots of different therapy and books etc. have any of them had a positive effect at all.
For me one of the things that has made the biggest difference is getting to the point where I really understand why I binge. Although we all hate it, we do it because it is meeting a need we have. whether that is a physical need after we have restricted too much, or whether it is a mental and emotional need it meets soemthing at the moment we do it. Often for me it is about wanting to punish myself if I don’t get something as perfect as I want it to be or I get something wrong I use food to get back at myself because I know it makes me feel bad.April 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm #43532
I’m glad you have joined us here on this forum, you will find tons of help and support here. Keep posting! I look forward to hearing more from you.April 25, 2010 at 12:39 am #43533
I’m sorry, what is BED? It seems like u are doing really well! Good luck to you!April 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm #43534
Thanks for your support guys, feels good to talk to like minded people. Shayla – BED stands for bing eating disorder (i didn’t know the abbreviation at first either!). Thanks for your words of encouragement Joyce.
jacquirsw1 – hypnotheraoy didnt work (i spent thousands), counselling didnt get to the root of it (although I think i need to find a BED specialist with CBT as this probably will work better for me) and some books were helpful the best are Geneen Roth = http://www.geneenroth.com/
and Gillian Riley http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Less-Say-Goodbye-Overeating/dp/0091902479
I think CBT would be the most effective treatment for me. I recently went to the doctor and he was absolutely appalling – he put me on antidepressents and said we could look at counselling. Meanwhile he said – what’s the real problem though? essentially he dismissed my BED and didnt think I should be so upset by it (probably because I am not extremely overweight and seemed like a silly girl caught up in diet fads).
Thankfully I threw the antidepressents away although am frightened when i get off the slimming pills I am going to need them (one of the side effects of being off the happy pills so to speak).
I have decided that Thursday is the last day I am going to take them. I am going away for a long weekend out of the country and want to go ‘cold turkey’. I have done this before and managed it (although whem i return to normality is the hard part)- the irony is on holiday I am too hot to overeat and too excited to be away to want to. So I think I am going to really need support when I come back next week.
Lauren = i just want to say you are clearly a real figurehead on this site, i see lots of women respond to you and your encouragement is a true reflection of your strong character and good person – keep up the good work!
Tomorrow I am going to post a series of tips i have learnt over the years about how to deal with BED and trying to deal with the ‘binge attack’ – in a bid to get some tips from others exchanged here too.
Jenna xxApril 25, 2010 at 9:29 pm #43535
A very very good book which I have used is overcoming binge eating by dr christopher fairburn. it is a mixture of factual portion and then has a whole section of self help based on CBT and is the same thing that most of the ED centres use for treatment of BED. Definitely worth having a look at it.
if you put cbt into the tag thing on here there is a brief summary of the stages of the therapy.
Can I ask why you are so definite that the Dr was wrong about the possibility of needing anti depressants. It could well be that your body is using food as a way of boosting your mood, and if this was done in a different way then the binging may reduce. There is nothing wrong in taking anti depressants if you need them, at the end of the day if you needed insulin would you worry about it probably not and if your brain is not producing enough seratonin etc why worry about replacing this through medication.
the reason I say this is because it took me a long time to accept that I needed medication, I had a big stigma in my head about needing them. I take anti depressants now to help me manage an anxiety disorder, but by doing this they have also had a positive effect on my eating as I am not eating as much now because of anxiety which was one of my big triggers. Sometimes it is not good to rule things out that might help without fully trying them and letting them have a chance.April 26, 2010 at 2:19 am #43536
Hey Jenna! I’m sorry about what your doctor said…I think some of them just seriously don’t get BED. Thats a shame. Well I am so glad you are going off the diet pills soon. Don’t worry we will all be here to support you when you get back. Have fun on your trip! btw thanks so much for your kind comments…they mean a lot to me Have a great night! ~LaurenApril 28, 2010 at 10:49 pm #43537
I am not adverse to anti depressents – actually I will probably need them when I come back and no longer take the diet pills which give me a bit of a high. It’s more my doctor’s treatment of me and the medication, basically he has no idea.
Inevitably I will probably suffer depression when I am off these pills in a few weeks but I am going to try and battle it with vitiman supplements and exercise to see if I can combat it.
Sadly I had another binge today, so frustrating because I was battling the feeling all day long. It wasn’t as bad as it can usually be but maybe I am trying to trip myself up as I am going to be in bikini tomorrow and have been dreading it for 2 weeks?
I am so tired of this disorder and the power it has over me. I know Lauren you say you taught yourself not to have any sanctions on food but I feel like my craving for sugar and artificial sweetener is scupering my efforts? I am going to try and avoid them on holiday and see if I can maintain it when I am back. I dont want to have an all or nothing mindset but I have tried the sweet stuff in mdoeration and it never seems to work for me (i.e I can never just have it in moderation!)
Jenna xMay 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm #43538
I came back from my holiday this week and had a really good time and got a good tan! (always an excellent ego boost). I took 5 books on binge eating disorder with me as i was determined to use the time to absorb as much information as possible. It worked to a degree. Although I ate loads on holiday and enjoyed myself, I tried to remain within the parameters of 3 meals a day. I certainly felt much better mentally although it was difficult to keep pushing ‘i am so fat’ out of my head all the time. Because I am the heaviest I have been in a long time (i put on 20 pounds since breaking up with my fiancee and at 5’4 and 150 pounds have gone up a dress size) i find it difficult to fight the urge of bingeing and always feel on the verge of going back into the cycle.
I haven’t really been using the slimming pills (only once this week) and I am really going to try and focus on 3 meals and 2 snacks. Historically I wouldnt eat that much, course the irony is that in a binge I would eat 5 times the amount. So food diary starts here tomorrow and I am going to see how long I can go without a binge – i have never done this before, I binge at least twice a week! I hope i can do it.
I am dating a guy at the moment (who is a fitness model!!) who has no idea about my BED and although i know he likes my womanly curves, i keep thinking in my head
he thinks i’m fat and thinks i’m lazy – e.g he went to the gym today and i didnt go with him as i felt tired- really i was being lazy! The laziness then spun me into a binge as soon as he was out the door. Not the worst binge i have ever had but my excessive cereal consumption got out of control (i love sitting watching tv and shovelling cereal into my mouth).
Anyway as promised i thought i would share some useful tips that i read in these books which may help peeps:
- go out and buy some new clothes that fit your figure – give up on trying to fit yourself into a size too small or buying tight clothes with the mentality you’ll diet into them – you will end up bingeing for sure
- focus on 3 meals and 2 snacks. Be healthy but afford to eat treats when you want them. To deny will send you into a spiral.
- Don’t try and eat less the next day to make up for a binge. Start eating normally. Otherwise your brain will recognise the ‘famine’ and your old habits will spark up again after a few days of minimal eating
- Distraction is a powerful tool – when you are at your weakest is when your distraction techniques can help you pull through. Keep a list of distractions on you wherever you can such as in your purse e.g call a good friend, go out for coffee, have a bath, go shopping (even for a small piece of jewllery), get away from the kitchen!!!
- have a room in the house where you would never eat and use it as a refuge – when you feel a BED attack about to happen go in there and carry out an appropriate distraction technique.
The most useful thing i read is that our BED habits are exactly that – our brain has recognised them as repeated behaviour which we fall upon to deal with various issues or emotions in life. Although it is difficult, a habit can be unlearned – we can form a new pattern in our brain’s pathways the same way a habit is learned. BED can be beaten, the first step to recovery is acknowledging its existence.
Jenna xxMay 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm #43539
Hey Jenna! Glad you had a nice holiday and now have a gorgeous tan I know its hard to push those fat thoughts away (especially when you are dating a fitness model) but just keep reminding yourself that you are beautiful just how you are and however you see yourself in the mirror is for sure a more distorted image then the rest of the world sees! I’m glad you are weaning yourself off those diet pills and that you are going to be keeping up a journal here. You can get binge free days behind you but recovery is never perfect so if you do have some slip-ups, thats ok, its just about taking what you’ve learned here, continuing to apply it, and moving forward! Thanks for sharing all those tips from your books..I agree 100% with all of them! And bingeing is very much a habit….it is one that is now a very distant habit in my life now…so they can become un-learned and easier to avoid! ~LaurenMay 11, 2010 at 11:41 pm #43540
I’m so upset. The urge to binge started yesterday, my first day back at work. I tried to suppress it all day long. I went out for dinner with my mother which was lovely but when I got home I had a dessert and because my flatmate was home I ate some candy in my room as didnt want her to see (she is obsessed with her weight and she would only comment on my ‘greedy’ eating).
The binge feeling continued from this morning – i walked for 40 mins and felt really lethargic before work – an instant binge trigger. As i havent been taking my high energy slimming tablets all day i felt like picking on food and have been eating chocolate and candy from the afternoon. I decided to try and stop that and eat dinner at work (had to stay late) although i wasnt actually hungry. I got home, waited until my flatmate went to bed and then binged on loads of crap (she buys loads of junk so it’s too easy for me to eat it and than hastily try and replace it the next day).
I feel really bad about myself- i laid out some slimming pills to take in the morning to undo the effects but i know this will spiral into restriction to binge again.
I just dont know what to do to try and combat these urges which seem to go on for days until i quieten them with food. People talk about their urges eventually going but mine seem to linger and takeover my thoughts until i succumb.
I know the urge is from stress at work and my date tomorrow night (i feel a bit nervous). I know i should have gone to the gym this eevening to try and distract myself but I was tired and in my head i thought that i shouldnt have to punish myself. It always comes back to punishing vs. rewarding – 2 opposites in my head. When i try and have a happy medium it doesnt work out for me.
Sugar is a real problem – i dont know how to get it our of my system, moderation doesnt seem to work as soon as i have some i want more
What is wrong with me!!!May 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm #43541
since writing this i have decided i am not taking the slimming pills tomorrow.NO WAY! I have to hold myself accountable and need to get used to eating. One technique i am going to try and employ tomorrow is Time and Plan – time when i am going to eat and plan what it is. I cant expect my bingeing to stop unless i try and put some hard work into making it so. Am going to a french restaurant tomorrow night and my date has said i have to try snails so hopefully this will put me off food for life (joke).
wish me luck for when i wake up in the morning. i hope i feel like this…..May 12, 2010 at 3:42 am #43542
Oh girl I am so proud of you for deciding not to take those pills….they are really are such a dangerous thing for your health and really do not solve any problems with your eating..if anything they make it all worse…so kudos to you for refusing to take them. I hope you wake up feeling better! haha Good luck with the snails..I think that would keep me without an appetite for a week Hope it goes well though! ~Lauren
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