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Binge Eating

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Elissa View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 13 2003 at 11:44am
We began discussing the bad feelings some people have after eating or overeating. I mentioned that I have the propensity to binge, and how troubling that can be.

I was wondering for any binge eaters out there, what does it take for you to stop the cycle? I know for me, a binge day tends to lead to another binge day and then another and another...it's a viscious cycle. But if I have one good day, it's easy for me to keep building on that and stop the cycle. I was bingeing a little bit on fruit since I've been home from work for over a week. Yesterday I was out of the house all day, and that's all it took for me to get back on track. Now it feels like it never happened and I don't have the urge to do it anymore.

So what methods to people use to stop dangerous eating patterns, or binges?

Elissa
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Stinka View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stinka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 14 2003 at 10:13am
Hey, hey.

Okay, here's my tips to not binge eating, and it works pretty well.

1) My triggers to binge eating is that I can still taste the food I just ate in my mouth, and for some reason, I still go onto eat more. It's weird, yeah, but that's what it is. I usually drink a lot of water after, or before, I eat. That way, I feel full, and there's less of a chance that I'll binge eat when I'm already bloated.

2) Just simply avoid the kitchen, and any food that's left out for you to pick at. Go to your room, go watch tv, go on a walk. Keep yourself occupied.

3) Don't ignore your cravings. Chances are when you've binged, your body wanted something. If you have a craving, satisfy it in small amounts. If you ignore it, you're more likely to snap, and eat a whole tub of ice cream rather than just have a cone.

4) Give yourself a nice time interval after you've eaten. Say, five, ten mintues. Let the food go down, and wait and see if you're still full. If you're not, then don't eat anymore. If you are, then continue eating slowly, or until you feel like you're full.

Hope that helps!

~Stinka
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Orc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2003 at 5:58am
I have read somewhere that it takes the brain 20 minutes before it knows that there is food in your body!
What I do is, after I eat and I know that I have had enough but my brain is telling otherwise; I have a go at the popcorn that I make at home without the butter or salt (I have a popcorn machine). It is light, full of fiber and it tastes good and above all, it satisfies you with fewer calories.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2003 at 11:19am
Has anyone been part of any of the 12 step programs designed around binge issues? If so, did you find that they helped or not?

Cora
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karen Shelton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2003 at 1:28pm
Hi,

I was active in Overeaters Anonymous and worked the program for years. I still follow the 12 steps for all aspects of my life although my current addiction of choice is work. :-).

While OA is not a diet club in any way, it does help you figure out who you are and what drives your food choices and behaviors. I found it a very worthwhile experience. Throughout my life I have had periods that included extreme starving, binging and other unhealthy exercise & eating behaviors. Since my time at OA many years ago I have not repeated those destructive eating or body abuse patterns. Its not easy to be in a 12 step if you really work it because it opens up all your family of origin "stuff" and exposes the demons in your life. But if you do make the effort and find your true self it offers you a more enriched life and often helps soothe the nastiest of personal deamons. :-)

Best wishes,
Karen
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Elissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2003 at 9:41pm
I was also active in OA for a number of years, and it really changed my life. I too delved very deeply into the root causes of and influences on my eating behaviors. Some of that was very painful, but it was very helpful. OA helped me to identify certain personality traits that were holding me back, things I didn't like about myself, and gave me tools to use to change these things. All of this in turn helped me to stop overeating. Unfortunately, I did return to overeating after leaving the program but my symptoms have become progressively lighter over the years.

I still carry with me, and apply, most of the things I learned in the program in my daily life. I think the most important thing I learned in the program was this: in conflicts with others, I learned to look at how I have been at fault or how I contributed to causing or carrying on the conflict. I learned not to blame others, but to take responsibility for my own dissatisfaction with people, places and things. This certainly has nothing to do with eating and dieting, but in the program people believe that it's all connected. When I'm living as a good, honest, compassionate person, I'm a lot less likely to overeat.

For more information, check out http://www.overeatersanonymous.com/

Elissa
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Deep In Food Hell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Deep In Food Hell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2003 at 9:04pm
Dear Karen & Elissa,

Thank you so much for your honesty. I have been alternately starving and purging and overeating for years. Only one or two of my closest friends know and even my boyfriend doesn't know. I stop for awhile but then it gets so much worse.

Did either of you also purge? You said you starved and did the binge food thing. If you don't mind sharing I would appreciate any help.

Deep

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote demodoll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2003 at 8:29am
Dear Deep,
It sounds as though you have an eating disorder that could really affect your health. I have a 17 year old daughter who binges and purges and we have been trying to help her for the past two years. I have never been up against something as baffling and heartbreaking as this and there is no easy answer for fixing it. I see it as an addiction, and unless you are totally committed to stopping and really want to stop, and are willing to work at it almost minute by minute it is very difficult to stop. It is very complex and hard for people on the outside to understand. I feel terribly guilty because as a mother I think I must have done something to my daughter to make her feel so badly about herself that she has to do this. At this point she is totally denying that she has a problem and we are at a standstill. She is seeing a therapist but right now they aren't progressing.

Here is what I know so far. Paxil (the antidepressant) is helpful in at least reducing the need to binge and purge. It controls the impulsive behavior somewhat. Second, it is almost impossible to completely recover from an eating disorder and you need to have a support group you can rely on 24/7. Third, the need to do this is so profound and complex that you need the help of a professional who specializes in eating disorders to work with you. Fourth, unless the person wants to stop they won't no matter what kinds of interventions are tried. Because many people are somewhat successful in controlling their weight this way and like how they look as a result, they will not be persuaded to stop no matter what. You have to desperately feel that you have a problem and be willing to reach out for help and do the hard work to get to the bottom of the problems. It is extremely painful.

If you haven't sought professional help please, please do so quickly. There are several organizations on the internet who can point you to experienced professionals in your area. If you can't afford that, try OA. They are a big help too. There is nothing about the way your body looks that is worth losing your health and even your life over.

And please don't think I am judging or preaching to you. I know you must be in a great deal of pain. Just believe me, there are other ways to deal with it that in the end will make your life so much better. There are no easy answers but dedication and determination will see you through to the other side of this. Don't stop looking for help until you find the right solution for you. You can't do this alone and there are lots of people out there who can and will help you if you give them an opportunity.

I think you may be wrong about how many people know or suspect that you are binging and purging. The behavior becomes obvious to those who are around you pretty quickly. They may just be afraid to confront you about it. It is a very scary thing to be up against as a parent or significant other and sometimes it is easier to just ignore it. If you open up to your boyfriend or your parents, you may find that they knew and just didn't know how to help you. Asking for help is the first and hardest step toward recovery.

Good luck. Stay on the board and let us know how you are doing. Asking here for information is a great step forward. Keep on looking.
"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal
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Elissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2003 at 10:50am
Deepinfoodhell,

Welcome to the board. Although I have never been a purger, I do know how painful it is to be unable to stop overeating, to eat to the point of sickness and to be caught in a cycle where you can't stop. It is a nightmare.
And as demodoll said, it is quite baffling to ourselves and our loved ones.

I agree with demodoll that seeking a professional who is experienced in eating disorders is definitely needed. I worked with a great therapist who helped me tremendously. The 12 step OA program together with the therapist really helped. OA is not just for fat people who want to lose weight, it is a place for anyone who desires to stop the horrors of overeating.

I have been close with several bulimic girls who went to eating rehabs. Basically you go inpatient for 4-6 weeks. What is wonderful about it is that you are in a controlled environment, so you *will* stop bingeing and purging. That takes a lot of the pressure off of you, leaving you free to work on getting better. When you go home you are armed with a whole set of tools that will help you live happily and normally.

Do not give up hope, I know many people who were in your shoes who got better. You will too if you are willing to take the steps necessary to recovery. Confide in your mom or best friend, or husband or whomever can help you get the professional help you need. This WILL stop if you take some steps.

Best of luck, lots of love and PLEASE do let us know how you are doing. Also feel free to email me, elissap@optonline.net if you need a sympathetic ear or help finding resources.

Elissa
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wheeler View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wheeler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2003 at 6:23pm
Demodoll;
Please, please do not blame yourself for you daughter's eating disorder. Sure upbringing has something to do with addiction but I believe that other things like deaths or painful situations, genetics, and school environments have more to do with it. I've been struggling with an eating disorder since I was 13 (I'm 16 now) and my mom has been nothing but wonderful and willing to help me, whatever it takes. There is only so much that you can do and to me it sounds like you're very well informed and very willing to be there for your daughter. I've known girls that have eating issues and they have everything that could ever possibly be given to them (loving family, wealth, friends, good grades and looks), yet somehow they started a vicious cycle of self destruction and they simply can not stop. I'm sorry for writting such a terribly depressing post. I just wanted to say that I hope you don't blame yourself for your daughter's disorder. I wish you the best and if you ever want to talk to someone that's in your daughters shoes or you have a question that a therapist can't answer etc, please also feel free to email me at emgem@surfy.net.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tina m Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 14 2003 at 11:18pm
The only time I ever did binge eating was when I used to smoke marijuana. I would get the munchies and eat like a pig!

I'm lucky I guess, I've never been overweight and never felt like I had to binge eat or purge or starve myself or any of that.

To be honest I don't understand all of that. Just eat healthy food in moderation. That fills you up and it tastes good so why eat unhealthy when you can eat healthy?


But like I said, I don't have that problem so I can't understand what some people are going through with it.
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Elissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2003 at 4:45am
Tina,

Eating disorders are a type of mental illness. There is no rhyme or reason to them.

I wish it was as simple as "just eat normally". It's kind of like telling an alcoholic "just drink normally. Why get rip roaring drunk and destroy your life when you can just drink moderately and have a nice time?". The behavior is compulsive and can't be simply arrested.

Most of the world has trouble understanding eating disordered behavior, not just you.

Elissa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Giles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2003 at 12:27pm
Tina and Elissa:

One problem that folks with an eating disorder have that other addicted people don't is that they can't just quit. Go to AA and stop drinking completely (but many of them smoke like fiends), similarly with drugs. But people with eating disorders still have to eat. This makes it far more insidious.
Giles
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Elissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2003 at 4:53pm
Indeed, Giles. Normal eating is like asking an alcoholic to have three drinks a day and not get out of control.

Food is never an issue for me until I start eating. I am fine until then. But sometimes when I start eating I simply cannot stop. I suddenly feel overwhelmed by a compulsion to keep eating. Thank god I am in control of it these days. But some days are a real struggle. For those who are lucky enough not to know, I can't even begin to tell you what a nightmare it is to not be able to stop eating when you want to, especially when you are eating past the point of sickness. It is horrifying.

Thank you for making that excellent point, Giles.

Elissa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote demodoll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2003 at 12:11pm
Wheeler,
Thanks for your kind words but I think as a mom I will always place some blame for my daughter's eating disorder on myself. It is just so hard to deal with. I always felt like I could handle most of the stuff that teenagers do having been sort of wild myself but this is not something I ever expected. Drugs, unwanted pregnancy, that stuff I could deal with but this is so insidious. I guess she just won't get over it until she is ready. We have her on Paxil which seems to curb the impulse a lot but I know she still purges occasionally. I don't want to follow her to the bathroom every time she eats but what else can you do???

I think you are right though. Society plays a huge part in all this. She actually told me she tried it after seeing a show about bulemia on TV. I guess they discussed "techniques" or something and she was going to a swimming party and that solved her "tummy problem." She was in a horrible accident and spent a lot of time in a wheel chair. After she was walking again it got really bad for awhile. She is better now but an angry person in general. She is very beautiful but like most of us she can't see it herself. She does realize it to a degree though because she gets a LOT of attention and perks due to how she looks. At least her weight is normal and she is working out again but I know that doesn't mean a whole lot in the world of bulemia. Many people who do that are normal or even overweight.

I hope things will even out for her. The accident was the turning point toward full blown bulemia but she is doing better. I wish there was something else I can do but then I have my own body issues, especially as I age. That is very, very hard.

I could go on and on. Thanks for all the support out there.
"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal
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Elissa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2003 at 9:25pm
Demo,

It must have been so difficult for you and the entire family, first the accident and then the recovery period and onset of the eating disorder. I'm so sorry you had to experience that.

I have known many eating disordered women, including my own mother, cousin, and many friends. When it onsets during the teen years, it does tend to get better as the young woman matures. I hope things just keep getting even better for her and for you.

Elissa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote demodoll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2003 at 5:30pm
I hope that holds true for my daughter. She did tell me the other day that piercing the tongue apparently stops all purging behavior immediately. She has been angling for that for quite some time but I find it frightening to see one of those studs sparkling around in someone's mouth. I am sure she'll do it on her 18th birthday if she hasn't already though. Her friends all have pierced tongues that they hide from their parents..... Sigh.
"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Elissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2003 at 5:38pm
They gross me out, but then I used to put unclean safety pins right through my ear piercings (circa 1980) and I suppose that was pretty gross, too.

Is it Karen Shelton whose sig line says "that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger?" I'm not a parent YET but I have the feeling that one will come in handy....someday.

It sounds like the two of you are close. Some day she'll be grown with a daughter of her own and you guys will be even closer.

Elissa
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitney_brett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2003 at 9:10pm
i feel like i've finally gotten my binge eating under control somewhat. it helps me to plan ahead---i know this isnt always practical but if i plan out exactly what i'm going to eat for the day and i make sure that it's enough i find that i don't need to binge. I'm very much a person that appreciates order and i do very well in a structured setting, so if i plan out exactly what i'm going to eat and when for a couple days, i get used to the amount of food and type of food that i'm eating and no longer feel the urge to binge. Whew that was a long sentence...hope it made sense.

demodoll...i hope your daughter is doing well, i'll pray for you and your family. I'm 17 and i too have watched movies about bulimia and tried to purge, but thank goodness i was never successful. i wonder what it is about those movies that triggers in a teenager's mind that purging is okay to do...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reggia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 21 2003 at 10:44pm
whoops, double post
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