How To Stop Eating

Tips to stop binge eating, stop overeating, stop emotional eating, stop eating fast food, stop eating junk food

Nouveau Nulth-The Journal

This topic contains 51 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Nulth 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #4794

    Nulth
    Participant

    Today’s the day I’m making a commitment to work on finally stopping bingeing (or is it binging?never have been sure). I have a fairly clear outcome I want to achieve – that is that I want to eat like a ‘normal’ person. I want to stop bingeing, I want to stop feeling out of control myself and controlled by food, I want to believe that it’s ME who’s in control, not the food. I want to make mostly healthy choices, giving myself the freedom to say ‘yea, I can eat whatever I want, but I CHOOSE to eat more veggies and less sugar’ or whatever. I don’t want to feel scared when I go to do my food shop. I actually started to shop for groceries mostly online because as soon as I walk into the supermarket I can feel panic rising. All that food that I can’t control myself around…all those choices..blah blah. Those are the voices in my head. Since reading Brain over Binge I know now that actually I CAN choose to control myself. The food itself doesn’t force me to eat it. I don’t want to be scared around food any longer.

    .

    I started to binge when I was 17. I’d just gone on my first diet, my first serious boyf had broken up with me, I’d been very ill too that summer with an infection. One day I was alone in town and realised that I could buy as much food as I wanted, and eat it, all by myself. It was so weird it was like it had never occurred to me before to binge and there it was – like a flash in my head. It sounded like a great idea, just to pig out on everything I loved and nobody would know. I remember the moment very clearly…and that’s interesting because I remember very little else about that summer of 1979…

    Of course, when I started to binge that day I had no clue about the repercussions. Or that I’d be here, looking back on that summer almost 33 years ago, having spent all of my life since then either trying to diet or bingeing. I don’t know where the years have gone. Anyone reading this who is young will probably be rolling their eyes at that – another ‘oldie’ saying what they all say! 

    I would beg any of you who are young and have just started to binge to deal with this NOW. Please. Don’t let this ruin the best years of your life.

    Sometimes I feel as if I’ve ruined my life stuck in this cycle…bingeing has certainly had a huge affect on the quality of my life. Despite the bingeing, several times a week, I was never really overweight until I hit my mid 30’s. Since then I’ve gained more until I became obese. I’m now at least 5stone ( 70 pounds ) overweight. Since I was about 35 I haven’t been able to wear nice clothes, or feel good about myself. I have been out of control around food. I’ve not been able to focus my energy on very much else in my life except the bingeing, trying to diet, etc. This affects all areas of my life. I have isolated myself – who wants to go out and have fun when they look like I do? I also isolate myself because the truth is, I realised most of the time I’d rather stay at home alone and binge. Binge eating has turned into pretty much my favourite thing to do…its become my hobby. A dangerous one.

    My personality has changed too. I was always happy, outgoing, I was the fun bubbly girl who everyone wanted to be friends with. Now I spend a lot of time feeling depressed and unhappy. It kills your self esteem to feel out of control around food all of the time. So I never went for promotion at work, I let go of any ambition to be successful at a career, because I didn’t have any self-belief. I have very few friends now. I moved to a new area around 10 years ago, lost touch with nearly all of my friends and was too unhappy to make any new ones.

    This wasn’t how my life was supposed to be – I do a basic entry level job, which is boring and badly paid. I work from home, so I never see any co-workers. I could have been so much more, done so much more. I have no confidence to even go for an interview. I have no good friends, actually I hardly know anyone. I am in a relationship but I struggle every day with that. He’s a successful man and I fear that one day he’s going to wake up and ask himself why he’s with me. As I said, this is so far from how I thought my life would turn out. I’m annoyed with myself for wasting my skills and opportunities. It’s too late now to turn my life around completely, but I do believe I can make some big changes/improvements. I know this sounds like whining, maybe it is, but the main reason I wrote this last couple of paragraphs is to try to help others who may be reading to realise the long reaching effects of binge eating. If it goes on long enough it WILL affect all areas of your life. I know for sure my life now would be very different if I wasn’t a binge eater. Don’t underestimate the damage this can do – it’s not just about obesity. It’s emotionally harmful too.

    I first realised that I had a problem – it wasn’t known as an eating disorder back then – in the early 1980’s. I think it was 1984. Had a fight with my then boyf who stormed out, and I went on a binge. It was the biggest one I’d ever had and I felt very ill for at least 24 hours after. There was no help available, I didn’t know what the problem was, there was no name for it. Those days we didn’t have the internet of course, and nobody talked about it. (Actually anorexia was very rarely spoken about then either). I didn’t realise how serious it was – I just thought I couldn’t stick to a diet. By the late 1980’s there were a couple of self help books that talked about it. They were based on the food addiction model though, and for me, following their advice – restrict white flour, sugar, – that just made me binge more because of the restriction. I think I’ve bought nearly every book I could find on the subject, just hoping for an ‘answer’. By the time I was 35 I knew that this was a real problem and I knew that I needed to take action but anything I did wasn’t working. I just thought I needed some self discipline and to stick to a diet. I just couldn’t figure out why I had this desire to binge.

    Then last year I read three helpful books. One was Brain Over Binge. The other is Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher Fairburn. The other one was Eating Less by Gillian Riley. My current thinking is that I will use a combination of these books to give me a strategy to deal with my binge eating. I am coming up with a plan, based on 3 meals, 2 snacks a day. No restricting BUT at the same time being awaree that I have a choice. I have a wheat intolerance, if I eat it it has some negative effects on me. Needless to say, a lot of my binge foods are wheat based – cakes, bread,biscuits, pies etc. Because of the health concerns it gives me, I’ve given myself permission to eat it if I really want it, as long as I realise that eating it will make my rosacea flare up, I’ll get bad stomach acid, IBS symptoms etc. I will have to decide if its worth it.

    My starting strategy may not be what I’m doing three months from now. I’m prepared to experiment, to tweak, to remain flexible. If what I’m learning in those 3 books doesn’t help me, I may even have to accept that I have to cut out sugar, wheat, flour forever. Back to the food addiction model. I don’t want that. I don’t want to live the rest of my life trying to avoid certain foods and giving them power. If Brain Over Binge had been available 30 years ago, I think it would have been quite easy for me to stop binge eating. But I am worried that my own neural pathways have had all these years to get into this pattern and I sometimes have a fear that I’ll not be able to change that……I read the book in August last year. It made total sense and I started to do as Hansen suggest immediately, but something didn’t quite click for me long-term. I did manage to do 9 days binge free which is the longest time for many years. I knew that Kathryn had binged once (twice?) after she read the book from the library, so I hoped that I would be the same. But for some reason I continued to binge then forgot about the book and have been bingeing on an almost daily basis since last autumn…I remembered the book recently and did a search on it, and it led me to this website, so I’m glad to be here.

    Something that is very important for me is the diet/binge/diet cycle. I have never been able to stick to a diet. Unlike many, I haven’t lost 30/50/100 pounds and then regained. I simply CANNOT stick to a diet for more than a few days. I did lose about 17 pounds doing WW several years ago. I was miserable the whole time. It took me 3 months to lose it and of course I regained plus more. So my lack of ability to stick to a diet for any longer than about 4/5 days proves to me that there is a MASSIVE connection for me between dieting and binge eating. ….And that means I can’t diet. I just can’t do it. And this is very difficult for me to accept because I need to lose weight. I’m not talking about an excess 10 pounds here. I am 70 pounds overweight. I am slowly killing myself, and I have no quality of life. It’s very challenging to not fall into the diet trap over and over. In fact that’s what I have done, over and over. I go on a diet, it lasts for three, four, five days, then I start to binge and that seems to continue for months. Then I decide I have to diet again..and so it goes….

    No more dieting.

    So today I have a plan – I know what I’m going to be eating today. Having a structure like this is something that has worked in the past, to get out of chaotic eating and a clear start and finish to meal times etc.

    I have to stop. Today I have to start seriously working on this.

    I don’t know if anyone will be reading this journal, but if you are , please do say hello and feedback/suggestions/advice/retelling your own story is welcome. I am open minded about this process. The only thing that I won’t consider doing is dieting – counting calories/points, eating only grapefruit steak and eggs, cabbage soup, slim fast, blah blah. I’ve tried all of that and everything else too. It makes my binge habit worse.

    #91777

    tobebingefree
    Participant

    hey nulth! i was completely absorbed by your post, thank you for sharing your story. sorry you have had to battle this alone for such a long time. i definitely think your head is in the right place! you have a “whatever it takes” attitude and i think this will serve you well.

    i do feel that, at 70 lbs overweight, the weight should come down when you stop binging. (bingeing?? i always say binging! haha) if you don’t mind me saying, that amount over is quite hard to maintain if you are eating normally. as you say, this is not a high consideration right now, and your priority is to stop binging. but i think the weight will drop off the further you get with this.

    for a very long time, i thought i could continue to diet (lose the last few pounds) while i tried to stop my binge eating habit. it really doesn’t work. i don’t know how many times i got over-confident, started dieting, and the cycle started all over again. i will NEVER diet again. it’s just not worth it.

    anyway, just to say you have my support :) xxx

    #91778

    yogaG
    Participant

    Nulth

    I am so inspired by your courage to tackle this.

    I know that you know that you can do it, and it is very clear what you want to accomplish.

    For starting to structure your food, try to keep it as simple for yourself as possible. If you try to remember a bunch of complicated rules, it’s easy to burn out.

    My rules are these:

    I only eat while sitting at a table (not on the couch, in bed, standing up, walking, driving, while I’m cooking)

    I eat green vegetables with every meal. This may sound unpleasant for breakfast, but I’ve found that eating fresh veg at every meal makes me less weighed down than if I just load up on other stuff. My energy levels are higher. It takes some adjustment to eat carrots, broccoli, and kale with breakfast, but I’ve really enjoyed the change (ps, this is not ALL I eat for breakfast, I also eat eggs/ fish/ meat/ fruit etc.)

    If I’m going to work/school, I pack the food I’m going eat the night before. I don’t ever have enough time to pack lunch in the morning, so if I don’t pack it the night before, I will end up forgetting to do it right, or buying something that makes me feel yucky during the day. Planning for when I’m out of the house has really helped me.

    Those are my 3 structure tips, I hope they help you!

    You are very courageous!

    G

    #91779

    SJ
    Participant

    Nulth – thank-you for writing this.

    I am in my early twenties and already feel like I have lost so much time – to thinking about food, fighting binge urges, feeling guilty for giving in to binge urges, feeling frustrated and pathetic…being so overwhelmed by all of this that I get depressed and don’t want to be around my loved ones. I don’t want this for myself anymore. I have come a long way to overcoming all of it, but am still challenged by it in certain circumstances, and my confidence is still a little shaky. Reading this made me realise, I need to keep going, I need to deal with this, now, for good.

    I wish you the very best in your journey – you sound like a wonderful person who deserves a life free of this horrible disorder. You sound very determined and intelligent, you will be able to do this.

    One thing that did stand out to me and make me worry though was that you said “Today I have a plan – I know what I’m going to be eating today.” I know you said it has worked for you in the past, but for me, I don’t know how many times I have had a meal plan for the day, but have gotten hungry or eaten something at some point during the day outside of the plan, and it has just made me panic and feel like such a failure and triggered binge urges. I find that if I set out to eat whenever I am hungry each day, it is much easier to be relaxed and intuitive. I find that I end up eating quite healthily most of the time, but some days I crave certain things more than others, and some days I’m just hungrier than others. When I know it’s okay to respond to all of this by eating what I need and want, I don’t have a reason to panic and feel guilty and binge urges aren’t triggered. This is just me though – each to their own!

    Best of luck :-)

    #91780

    SJ
    Participant

    Nulth – thank-you for writing this.

    I am in my early twenties and already feel like I have lost so much time – to thinking about food, fighting binge urges, feeling guilty for giving in to binge urges, feeling frustrated and pathetic…being so overwhelmed by all of this that I get depressed and don’t want to be around my loved ones. I don’t want this for myself anymore. I have come a long way to overcoming all of it, but am still challenged by it in certain circumstances, and my confidence is still a little shaky. Reading this made me realise, I need to keep going, I need to deal with this, now, for good.

    I wish you the very best in your journey – you sound like a wonderful person who deserves a life free of this horrible disorder. You sound very determined and intelligent, you will be able to do this.

    One thing that did stand out to me and make me worry though was that you said “Today I have a plan – I know what I’m going to be eating today.” I know you said it has worked for you in the past, but for me, I don’t know how many times I have had a meal plan for the day, but have gotten hungry or eaten something at some point during the day outside of the plan, and it has just made me panic and feel like such a failure and triggered binge urges. I find that if I set out to eat whenever I am hungry each day, it is much easier to be relaxed and intuitive. I find that I end up eating quite healthily most of the time, but some days I crave certain things more than others, and some days I’m just hungrier than others. When I know it’s okay to respond to all of this by eating what I need and want, I don’t have a reason to panic and feel guilty and binge urges aren’t triggered. This is just me though – each to their own!

    Best of luck :-)

    #91781

    Nulth
    Participant

    Interesting couple of days.

    I was fine until yesterday evening when I had really strong cravings. I don’t know about anyone else but I know there are certain times when I’m most likely to binge. For me it’s in the afternoon. So cravings on a Sunday evening were really unusual. I have to admit that the only thing that stopped me from going on a binge was that I live in a rural area and on Sunday evening the nearest open shop is a long drive from here.

    Delaying a binge doesn’t work for me – my head just says ‘not to worry we’ll binge tomorrow and do it bigger than we would have today’. (that’s the Brain Over Binge animal brain talking!). This morning I felt fine, in control, all good. Then this afternoon found myself buying binge foods. I haven’t binged, although I did overeat at lunch time.

    I mentioned that I have a wheat intolerance (it’s not an allergy), and so I’ve been trying to avoid it. Well, guess what? I usually binge on chocolate but today the foods I bought are all wheat based, bread and biscuits…so I think I may have to un-restrict it. Or maybe just have a little each day. This is crazy, I know it’s not good for me.

    All in all feeling quite positive about things.

    Thanks for your replies everyone :)

    #91782

    megu
    Participant

    Hi Nulth,

    I wanted to say hello and that I’m rooting for you. I’m really sorry you’ve had to deal with this for so long. Your determination to overcome binge eating is inspiring and I hope you stay positive. I look forward to hearing how it’s going.

    Best of luck :-)

    #91783

    jeny_28
    Participant

    Hi nulth

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m at lost for words cos I’m so inspired by what you have wrote and I’m so inspired by your determination. To be honest I was on the verge of binging just now but reading through these threads really help.

    You have my 100% support and I know with that much determination in you, you will succeede!!

    #91784

    megu
    Participant

    How’s it been going Nulth? Sending good vibes your way :-)

    #91785

    Nulth
    Participant

    Thanks megu and jeny_28.

    It’s going ok, had a doc’s appointment the other day that set me into a spin and put those ‘diety’ thoughts in my head since she wants me to lose weight. Needless to say I had a binge because once again it felt like ‘I’d better eat this now because its going to be restricted from tomorrow’.

    I’ve decided to continue with my own plan. As tobebingefree pointed out, I have a lot of weight to lose and just cutting out (or cutting down on) binge eating I will likely lose some weight, albeit slowly.

    #91786

    tobebingefree
    Participant

    yay nulth! that’s great to hear. don’t let your evil doctor pressurise you into dieting :) you know yourself better than she does! i’m behind you all the way xxx

    #91787

    megu
    Participant

    Hi Nulth,

    I’m really glad to hear you’ve decided to do things your way. I have a lot of weight to lose too and I have always felt like there are certain things I shouldn’t be eating but they have always been the things I ended up bingeing on. Since the beginning of this week, when I found this forum, the idea of not restricting foods has been completely liberating. Knowing I can eat what I like when I’m genuinely hungry is just a great feeling. In fact, I’ve found myself choosing healthy food most of the time, but even if it’s not particularly nutritious, it’s satisfying real hunger so it’s not being eaten for the sake of eating, if that makes sense.

    Good luck and I look forward to hearing how you’re getting on!

    #91788

    jacquirsw1
    Participant

    Hi Nulth

    It was really interesting to read your journal so far. You are doing things for you which is important. You will lose some of the weight as your binging comes under control but the important thing is not to worry about it because that is more likely to make you binge anyway.

    #91789

    Nulth
    Participant

    Thanks so much tobebingefree, megu and jacqui. So nice to have your support !

    I’ve decided not to restrict anything at all- because I do definitely binge on anything I ban. So for now I’m going to eat what I want. I’m not going to go mad stocking my cupboards at home with huge amounts of previously restricted food – I’ve done that before and it didn’t work for me. But I have got a small amount of chocolate and some bread – things that I have been really trying to restrict. Knowing it’s here in the house is kind of comforting, especially because it’s just a small amount. If I want the chocolate today I can have it. And I can go to the shop for more tomorrow if I want it. I’m telling myself I can have whatever I want and that is both exciting and scary.

    I’m flexible, like I said. I’ll change and make tweaks as necessary as I go along. There’s a lot to learn and although I know my overall goal would be to be able to eat intuitively, I’m not there yet.

    #91790

    Nulth
    Participant

    Also meant to add, I’ve done a lot of observing of my eating and binges this week since I first posted.

    My biggest triggers are restricting, starting to think about dieting, talking to myself telling myself I’m fat, and oddly enough, eating itself. I eat a meal,big enough serving, and then it seems to set me into a frenzy of wanting to eat more. This happens almost instantly I finish eating…so it’s not related to drops in blood sugar or anything. I’m sure that my blood sugar is on a bit of a roller coaster due to me missing meals and the stuff I binge on, but this desire to overeat happens as soon as I finish a meal(not every meal, but most) so it’s not as if the food i’ve eaten at the meal has had enough time to mess with my glucose levels.

    Something else that triggers me is food that leaves a strong taste in my mouth after eating, for example, onions, garlic and cheese.

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