Not sure if this is normal - overeater without triggers, no self control

Discussion in 'Strugglers and Restarters' started by struggling_struggler, 30 December 2008 Social URL.

  1. struggling_struggler

    struggling_struggler New Member

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    I'll explain my situation as briefly as possible.

    As a teen I ballooned to a size 22, and in my 20s stayed there. I slimmed to a size 12, but it was extreme - no chocolate, cake, candy, soda, no alcohol, I basically lived off tiny amounts of salad, fruit, brown bread. It was not sustainable diet, definitely far under the minimum calories, and I stopped as I was becoming obsessed with reducing food intake. Example: eating 1 slice of brown bread and some sardines in one day, only with water (that's it until the next evening meal, I'd lie and say I'd had a big lunch etc).

    I'm back to a size 18. My former method of weight loss was not healthy, but my attitude to food is not a healthy one right now. If left to my own devices, I overeat bad food. Example: I can easily eat 4 or 5 chocolate bars and half hour later still go looking for more. At mealtimes I'm not the healthiest for sure but I don't eat fast food, I don't enjoy soda any more, I actually love vegetables and fruit and my "meals" are generally pretty ok.

    I don't want to end up on a stream of diet plans, like my mother who has been a size 20-something for her adult life, I tried this year to get to grips with my issues with food properly. So I bought Paul McKenna's book with its CD (you know, eat less, only when hungry, take time to enjoy, and stop when full).

    The thing is I had two major issues with the system - firstly I can't eat when I want at work (so I have an unwanted breakfast so I don't end up hungry at 11am, breaking one of the rules first thing!). Secondly, I have a large family with lots of events, leaving half my meal at a restaurant is definitely frowned upon from a money AND an etiquette position... if I order a plate of food that I do want like steak (McKenna's rule) I end up eating it all no matter what the portion (breaking McKenna's rule) unless I order a salad (which my family would be ok with but which I just don't have the willpower to order when they are eating lasagne, and which breaks McKenna's "order what you want" rule anyway, gah!!). So McKenna worked for a few weeks but in the end I couldn't do it.

    Issues: 1) I don't have that trigger switch that slim people seem to have which says "I can't handle a 5th bar of chocolate", and it's nothing to do with hunger. 2) I don't have the willpower to order healthy items in restaurants amongst average diners or skip the starter/dessert. 3) I don't see any triggers that make me overeat - I'm in a great office-based job, I love my partner, no money issues, we have a nice flat, I have very little worries, I am happy and fulfilled in life with the exception of my weight, I don't go to the fridge when I'm upset or bored - I go regardless of my mood, and crave sugary things each evening regardless of other stuff in life! I also enjoy a glass or two of wine in the evening, and I know it is full of sugar too.

    So I don't know what else to do. I've tried the extreme food reduction thing, I've tried "just eat what I want and be happy" thing, I've tried the "buy a diet book in an attempt to do it sustainably" thing, now what?

    Things I've thought of to help are removing all sweet things from the house. I eat "ok" at work and "ok" at evening meal, it's afterwards whilst reading or watching TV that I really fancy sweet things. But is it fair to deny everyone else in the house this food? They've been supportive in the past, cutting out a whole chunk of food and biscuits, but must I live in a house without self control, limiting others, forever?

    I guess what I'm wondering is if someone like me ever develops any self-control when it comes to food, away from the two extremes of my past food of "eat nearly nothing" or "eat nearly everything". And... how!!

    Well done for reading this mess if anyone's made it this far - I am desperately unhappy with my weight right now, I FEEL tight in my clothes, I feel unfit and I feel like a real failure :(
     
    Last edited: 30 December 2008
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  3. cah-ching

    cah-ching Gold Member

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    :hug99:I think we all know how you feel. The first step (ableit a cliche) is that you acknowledge your failings and flaws.

    Stcik around, there is nothing like hearing about the experiences of others who have the same problem but have gotten through it. x
     
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  4. totty

    totty Personal Trainer

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    you said yourself, your happy...and thats a start :flirt2:

    have you ever considered joining a gym, or going for a walk everyday? if you love to eat ..and you love to drink (sounds familiar :whistle:) why dont you try and reduce your calorie intake by exercise?
     
  5. struggling_struggler

    struggling_struggler New Member

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    Thank you both for the replies.

    In the meantime I have been doing lots of reading of these forums, in particular I've come across a post which gives 4 articles on emotional eating (I can't find it right now, have bookmarked on my laptop). The second of this four has a bit on food addiction, and some poster (beginning with a K?) replies some very helpful things to do with routine.

    Anyway, I've tried to respond to some of the questions in the article I read, and to the issues that poster raise, and I realise now that most often at night it CAN be considered ROUTINE that I will go and eat. Not hungry (I knew that), not emotional trauma or boredom (I knew that), but just "we have a dessert or a snack around 8pm" and then it led on from there. (Because if I'm eating a Mars bar at 8pm without even being hungry the same (lack of) motivation can let me justify a 2nd or 3rd.

    Taking a step back and looking at my eating patterns has helped me a bit. There was also a nice thread which someone did a little bullet list about how to beat cravings and things - drink a glass of water, don't have stuff in the house (I'll start doing that again), but also brushing my teeth a half hour after my evening meal.. I used that some time ago to loose all the weight but I'd forgotten... I get a bit ill when I think of a nice minty breath being mixed with chocolate, so maybe I can use this feeling of not wanting to have that horrid taste mix to my advantage (just not to extreme like last time, I mean after a healthy-portion of decent food).

    One last thing re: the exercise you mentioned, I do have a half hour for lunch every day but there is just so little motivation to go and do it.. I could go for a walk but it's all busy roads, no nice parks near here... one thing I saw mentioned was to advertise at my work place's mailing list for a Diet Buddy? You know to go do some exercise a few times a week? Is that something anyone here has done? I have a friend who is on WW who tries to be motivational but it's hard just across email.. I think if I had someone to chat to about this IN PERSON rather than a partner who doesn't understand (but tries to) might help.

    But I don't know how it would be received at my workplace social mailing list (it's the place where people sell tickets and furniture and email jokes to people). But then I guess at this time of year there might be a few other folk in the same position as me!
     
  6. totty

    totty Personal Trainer

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    how about i chase you with my rubber chicken!! :copon: rofl :8855:

    just go out and do it hun, you will feel so much better for it, 30 mins walk everyday will do you the world of good :flowers:
     
  7. struggling_struggler

    struggling_struggler New Member

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    OK I'll give it a go.

    My work even have shower facilities if people want to go for runs and stuff at lunch. I don't really have any excuse but laziness! :)

    I've always thought that running could be good fun but there was an incident at school years ago where I was teased for "running funny" that made me really self-concious, when I was at college I used to be 5 minutes away from a swimming pool which was really good to go to, used to go twice a week.

    WIll try the lunchtime walking!

    *puts on determined face*

    I've also made a little spreadsheet to track my progress, but only space for weekly weighing at most.

    I'll let you know how i get on. maybe this time in six months i'll post back here saying i've got a diet buddy after all and enjoy my lunchtime efforts!!
     
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  8. clarri

    clarri Gold Member

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    Hi,
    Right, first things first, Im going to be harsh, (and Im not a harsh person :eek:) but you, like so many of us, make a lot of excuses why you still overeat, why you cant exercise, why you cant stop etc. I too do it. I cant walk cause I have kids, its boring, its raining.......... the truth about walking for exercise is that you shouldnt require a scenic walk, just put your mp3 player on and walk. If you like the scenic walk, do this at the weekends. There is a great cognitive behaviour book that says that everytime you eat that choccy bar, you are giving in to your weakness muscle, but when you resist, you are strengthening your resistance muscle, and the stronger that gets the more you will be able to resist.
    I find that I work well counting ww points, with a bit of book thing too. I dont go to meetings, I just count. I need to be able to keep account, and keeping a food diary is very useful. Maybe you arent eating enough either. then you zombie out with a sugar crash and go seeking it. You need to get rid of it, out of your house. Anything that you cant handle you cant have around, simple as. for me it is butter believe it or not. I CANNOT have it in the house. I have sometimes bought it for cooking and ended up in an uncontrollable binge.
    It may be worth your while keeping a food diary for a week. There is a diary section on here, and if you keep it for a week, totally honestly, other members can look at it and tell you where you are going wrong, and right!!
    I hope I havent sounded patronising, I really feel for you, if you are ever totally bored, skim through my diary!! I am eternally looking, but think I am getting there after 20 years!!!! lol.
    Big hug, and keep at it, as the others have said, acknowledging it is the first step.
    xx
     
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  9. Isis

    Isis Ancient Egypt Nut!

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    Hi :)

    You're clearly self aware about your own eating behaviour and patterns. You're acknowledging you are stuck for a path to follow but motivated to make a plan.

    In my opinion you've already won a big part of the battle so congratulations and I look forward to getting to know you better.

    Lacey x :)
     
  10. Katycakes

    Katycakes Stubborn tortoise

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    Hey Strugglin', lots of us know where you are coming from. By posting here you're looking for answers and you will find them... be brave and stick around. I am doing Cambridge Diet SS which takes food out of the equation, and that has been a great opportunity for me to look at my issues with overeating. I thought it'd be the hardest thing in the world to stick to but it's not - maybe it's psychological but as the weight drops off you get more and more motivated. And I feel very focused and energetic which is the opposite of how I felt before.
    You need to think about how important this is to you... if it's as important as you're telling us, you need to make it priority number one and make everything else fit around it. Make time for that walk, order the steak, leave some of your dinner... don't be afraid to stand up to your family and let them see you need to do this for YOU. They will understand!
    Good luck... we're here for you.
    xx
     
  11. trisha

    trisha likes to post

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    Im also doing cambridge and its working for me, although I have been picking a bit since Christmas, I'm still losing albeit slowly.

    A couple of years ago I read a book that was free with slimming magazine called Only fat people skip breakfast, by Lee Janogly, its not really a diet book, but gets you to look and what you eat and why and basically advises reducing carbs but not doing Atkins, just eating healthy foods and "good" carbs, it kind of trains you to kick the sugar habit. She advises you eat every 3-4 hours even if its only an apple, I followed her guidelines and did lose weight, but over 2 years some of the weight crept back on which is why I'm doind cd at the moment .There is also a book out from GMTV by Nicki Waterman which seems to be similar and its only £1.00, at adsa
     
    Last edited: 6 January 2009
  12. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    I've only just seen this, and wondering if you are still about?

    I'll answer anyway :D

    Keep a small bag of almonds on you at all times. It's a fantastic natural appetite suppressant. Wherever I go, my almonds come with me :D

    Miss one of the other courses, or ask someone if they want to share with you. I like those combo things where everyone tucks in. I'm happy to have much less than others, and nobody notices.

    No, I couldn't do McKenna either, but the ideas are good.

    But...you don't need willpower. Definitely not. If you rely on willpower you will find it very difficult.

    If you remind yourself what you really want (that starter or to succeed on the diet), then chosing what you want wont require willpower. Just got to keep reminding yourself why you're doing it.

    No I didn't either. Feeling bloated with food was a sensation other people had. I could just keep on eating the day long.

    See above about willpower ;)

    You may be a compulsive eater rather than a emotional eater, though most compulsive eaters can eat for emotional reason too, but often they just eat. There's another thread on here about compulsive eating...oh and emotional eating. Worth a look at them both.

    It's difficult I know. It wasn't something I felt prepared to do. It was my problem, not theirs and besides, none of the others had food issues. They could be trusted with these things around. I had to learn to control myself rather than control the food.

    I have. I've dealt with it. 'How' is a big topic though! Start with deciding what you really want, because if you don't know why you want to lose weight, you'll find it really hard to do it.

    Hope that helps. The work still needs doing, but I remember it being so hard to know where to start!

    Please let us know how you're doing :)
     
  13. Silence

    Silence Bouncing back

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    I used to be exactly like you... I would eat healthily throughout the day and then just binge out during the evening. I had no fullness trigger... I used to be able to eat and eat and eat and eat...until I reached 21 stone and decided that I really really needed to do something. I've tried various diets over the years and none have worked as well for me as a healthy diet, a bit of exercise, no bingeing in the evening... I made small changes to my habits and daily lifestyle and that made a big difference.

    Well done on taking the first steps in acknowledging your problem. Good luck with your journey. Stick around on Minis... there's loads of support and encouragement and it proves a worthy distraction during the evening :p

    ~Silence~
     
  14. Georgiestar

    Georgiestar Silver Member

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    I used to overeat, you just have to cut down a bit each day until its the right amount of food, but not to an extreem, i have been there too, where i used to eat fruit for lunch and breakfast, it could have got worse but i stopped myself and noticed that cutting down to nothing didnt make much difference anyway, but it would in the end but cutting down too much is unhealthy too, just remember to eat 3 meals a day and a few snacks and if you can control the treats have them but not cutting them out alltogether.. unless you cant but that wouldnt be solveing the problem.
     
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