Food as a treat or reward

Discussion in 'Slimming World' started by -Tally-, 15 January 2011 Social URL.

  1. -Tally-

    -Tally- Silver Member

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    Speaking with my therapist this week we were talking about how throughout my life food has always been a treat or a reward.

    For example as a kid I'd get 50p to go to the corner shop for sweets if I'd been good...or when my grandparents came to visit they would bring a big bag full of goodies...namely multipacks of crisps and chocolate, I would take them all up to my bedroom and unconsciously eat a lot whilst reading or watching tv.

    As I got older this reward/treat thing followed me...so my binge each evening would be a treat for having done a lot of housework or being busy in work or having a stressful row with the teenage daughter. A takeaway once a week became a treat for myself and my boyfriend, or some crisps and chocolate, fizzy pop and a good film...even a meal out. All thought of as treats and rewards, something good. But they're not something good really are they?

    Really food is just fuel for the body. I find it strange that I treat it as a reward whilst the likes of my Mum or brother...even my sister in law aren't bothered about food at all. They can appreciate that something tastes nice but would never use food as a reward or treat, never think about food unless they're hungry, don't plan what they want, spend a lot of time thinking about food etc. If I mention to my Mum how fit something was that I've had she's more than likely reply "it's just food, don't see what the fuss is about".

    I'm thinking that in the past, soon as I've gone on a diet I feed deprived because I can't have my "treats" or my "rewards". Now I know on Slimming World that I can have these things but I find that I don't want to reward myself with food any more. I don't see it as a treat really, I see it as an addiction that has ruled my life for too long and so my brain is a little muddled, because yes it feels good to eat these things but I feel like I need to retrain my brain in to thinking about other things, rewarding myself in different ways so that I don't carry on relying on food to make me feel better.

    Can anyone relate to my ramblings?
     
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  3. mod-karen79

    mod-karen79 rainbows holiday buddy :)

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    i can relate 100% with this.

    i see my relationship with food as that of an addict. i wish the NHS would treat it as an addiction and offer adequate support in this way.

    i work in addiction (with teenagers that have drug & alcohol issues) and since i've been doing this job it has highlighted to myself the significance of my addiction. this is a good thing as i am now able to take a different approach to SW. a drug 'addict' can learn to live without drugs, but a food addict still has too eat to live!
     
  4. -Tally-

    -Tally- Silver Member

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    Yeah I know what you mean. I don't feel like I'm addicted to ALL foods though...for me it's crisps and white bread but more so crisps. I can't just have one packet...if there are packets in the house then I can't rest till I've eaten them...it sounds weird but it's true, so when doing SW I go without because if I have one it will lead to me giving up the plan again.

    The NHS has been quite good with me so far. The GP's aren't really at all helpful...one gave me a photocopied sheet of good and bad foods to eat, like I had no idea about nutrition. But once you get referred to weight management they're a lot more understanding.

    I spent a lot of time helping my bf with his addiction whilst ignoring my own. Madness.
     
  5. custardlipstick

    custardlipstick Addicted to Cheese

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    I can understand this fully too. From childhood our treat would be on chocolate, then 2 for lunch and 2 after, then we ended up with a icecream tub full of chocolates for us to use and treat ourselves to when ever we wanted. I was incouraged to eat them! This didnt help as I never feel full, unlike my sister who would eat one and stop. My parents would laugh when they would find my room full of wrappers but I definately do think it is an addiction. There is now a whole cupboard but i dont live there anymore.

    For the last year I went back to treating myself, how i put the weight back on, i felt bad - treat, i survived a week - treat, i passed an observation - treat and it continued and continued!! Over the new year I read a book called "an idiots diet" or something like that and there is a page describing exactly what you have just said and it made me re-think everything!! if i find the book ill msg you the bit, it made me really really think and its helped me loose this week instead of maintain. Hope you find the time to look after yourself and treat yourself in overways, pandora bracklets are good :) x
     
  6. julesm

    julesm Slimming World

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    .....
     
    Last edited: 8 March 2011
  7. custardlipstick

    custardlipstick Addicted to Cheese

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    Thats such a sad but motivating story. When I was 14 my friend was diagnosed as annorexic and at the time I was following her lead! That was the only time in my life I felt in control like you said.

    I'm so glad SW has give you the control you needed to try and beat your food demons. I know it is hard, but at least now the food itself is not something you need to worry about. I like the sw say "eat these foods - loose weight!" Soon your head will follow :)
     
  8. -Tally-

    -Tally- Silver Member

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    Jules...I can relate also. Not with the being sick or starvation but the childhood thing...

    My Dad was an "eat everything on your plate" guy...even if it was something I didn't like and I'd be baulking whilst chewing, crying my eyes out...I'd still be made to finish, even if I had to sit there for hours. I've never liked meat or fish, ever and I was forced to eat it, the plate had to be empty. Then when I got older my Mum would tell me I couldn't have certain things because it was bad for me so I rebelled against that and used to sneak food up to my room for binges later on.

    It's great that Slimming World has helped you gain some control over your eating disorder. I feel like I have some control back again now, just that in itself feels great because it's an immediate confidence booster, just knowing you're doing something about it.

    My treats at the moment are new books and beads...plus I just bought a PS3 with Move to help me exercise a bit more but in a fun way.
     
  9. teecee46

    teecee46 Full Member

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    Jules, I understand your story completely!
    I too have struggled with a weight problem for over 20 years, though not in the usual way. When my second son was born I had severe postnatal depression and developed an eating disorder. At one point I was in hospital where they discovered that I weighed under 5½ stone (not much more than I'd like to lose now!)
    To cut the long story short, as I recovered, so eventually did my weight (it was a long, hard struggle to learn to eat properly again!) but instead of remaining at a healthy weight it just kept piling on! I tried every diet that I could think of and although I would have lost a few pounds, the weight loss always halted and I grew despondent. I think my body thought "OMG, she's starving herself again" and went into survival mode!
    I have been a past WW member (twice!) but found the measuring and points etc. so restrictive and tedious. I always went to bed hungry! I'm not a snacker, chocolate & sweets are not one of my vices, I knew the theory of healthy eating and thought for the most part I was following it pretty well but I needed help!
    I joined SW 18 weeks ago and have lost 2½ stone so far! I think that the reason that it has worked for me is the fact that I have never felt hungry at any stage (so my body doesnt even know that I'm on a "diet"), there are no forbidden foods (a great psychological trick!) you fill up on what SW call free foods (good healthy stuff) and you use alternative methods to cooking with oils and fats and using creamy sauces & dressings - definitely what helped me! It's not a diet, it's how we probably all should be eating anyway!
    I use Extra Easy as that was what was explained to me when I joined though our consultant is happy to discuss any of the plans.
    Sorry to have been so long winded with my reply but I'm so pleased that I have finally found something that works. I've a bit to go to my target (to be in a healthy weight range for my "lack of" height!) but I am confident that I will do it!
     
  10. Sparky67

    Sparky67 Full Member

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    I absolutely agree that eating can be an addiction for some people.

    When you see the programmes of massively overweight people in hospitals that are still eating themselves to death, while a lot of people can tut and wonder why they don't get a grip, I can sooooo understand how you could get to that posotion.

    I am having therapy on the NHS for compulsive overeating - one of the first things they said was no dieting, but after continuing to gain weight I did start on SW, but I find this is so unlike any other diet I have ever done, I can live with it. On most diets you feel restricted because you are limited (by points, or calories etc), but with SW you're not, therefore the brain doesn't feel deprived and want to counter by eating.

    I have come to the conclusion that I will always have issues with my weight and the best I can hope for is to come to a way of living with it long term.
     
  11. mod-karen79

    mod-karen79 rainbows holiday buddy :)

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    can totally empathise with these people. if i lost it completely i can see how i would end up in this state.....was halfway there already to be honest! my boyfriend finds it hard to understand as he eats like a pig and fluctuates between 11 and 11 and a half stone!

    how did you get the therapy? i'm quite open to therapies and find them very helpful, so interested in knowing my options. :)
     
  12. lare73

    lare73 Full Member

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    i think there is a link with some eating disorders in younger years and obesity in adulthood, would be interesting to find out.
    i was bulimic as a tennager, due to controlling parents and food, as i grew i would be ridiculed for the few pounds i gained, i learnt to hide food and binge, i starved myself for 3-4 days then binge again. this relationship with food was wrong, when i lft home i had control and didnt know what to do with it, i abused it, i overate, binged but dropped the starvation, i have had an overweight issue for 17 years now, i am typical live to eat not eat to live, so after many many many fad diets which have left me heavier than i started, i joined sw in dec, so far so good, i still need to loose the obsession with food, like whats for dinner, when eating breakfast, its been such a way a life i need to break the damaging cycle.
    when i was bulimic everyone wanted to help me, now im fat noones interested unless to poke fun or put me down funny old world x
     
  13. julesm

    julesm Slimming World

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    I feel totally the same as you. I'm really inspired by your story, that you have managed to recover from your weight problems. I agree that Slimming World is super easy to stick to compared to anything I have ever tried before, it's such a "foodie friendly" plan but for people like us who feel best when we are used to controlling what we eat it's perfect as, for me, I am happiest mentally when I am following some sort of 'rules'... I find if my head is in the right place and I am sticking to some sort of diet, I just feel amazing - so much happier, so much more confident, I feel thinner in my head even if I'm not! So it's perfect for me.

    This is why my boyfriend is getting a bit fed up of me putting my knife and fork down during meals and exclaiming "I LOVE Slimming World!!! Sorry just had to say that!!!" haha. He has been very supportive though, he is probably the only "outsider" not from my family who knows how bad my mum is, but he is also very good at explaining to me why she does the things she does (she is a still quite a nightmare, not about eating but about trying to control everyone!) because I just get cross with her!

    Totally agree that your childhood eating experiences affect how you eat when you grow up. From what everyone has said on here it seems true. It would be interesting to know other peoples' childhood food memories.

    My housemate who I lived with in Spain was super mental about what she ate - wouldn't so much as touch anything except fish, veg, fruit, coffee and alcohol. I noticed suddenly her diet became super strict and I thought it was because her boyfriend was coming to visit. But right before her boyf came her parents came to visit first and as soon as her parents left her diet relaxed massively.

    One night after a night out she told me she had started to make herself sick and said she was telling me so I would stop her from doing it. Well she was surprised of course when I told her my whole tale (no one would expect a curvy girl like me to have an eating disorder!) and she confessed that it was all down to her mum. Her mum and older sisters were all super skinny but when she was born she was naturally chubbier like her dad so her mum put her on a diet - all through her childhood her mum would do things like give her sisters kit kats and give her raisins instead.

    Now I am completely determined that if I ever have a daughter (or just children in fact!!) she can be as chubby or skinny as she likes (as long as I know they are healthy) and I am not going to make anyone in my house feel stressed about their weight. As long as everyone is eating healthily that will be fine by me, we will all eat exactly the same things as a family (not like my family where we had two versions of everything in the fridge - one for me and one for my brother) and even if I am watching my own waistline I will never mention the 'D' word or allow my kids to see me obsessing over food. I am really looking forward to involving my kids in the cooking too (I started cooking with my dad when I was about 7 and now I adore cooking) so they know about good food and ingredients.

    I think as a whole my family had a healthy attitude to food, we all ate together, we visited McDonald's maybe 2 or 3 times a year rather than a week like some of my friends, we always had skimmed milk, brown bread, home cooked meals, not many treats around. I just wish my mum had seen that we were a healthy household compared to most and she didn't need to try and control me so much and that some kids just do have a bit of puppy fat. Or she could at least have been a bit more subtle! The sad thing is since joining SW I still find myself looking forward to her saying I have lost weight when I see her... Stupid really.

    Just wanted to say thanks everyone for all your advice and support. Sorry The Missus, I feel like I kind of hijacked your post a bit... But you have all been great, so glad this is such a friendly place where you can trust people and just share things! I feel really good about it, so thanks :)
     
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