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  1. #1

    How do I get control

    I would be very grateful for any advice/help on controling binge eating. I have had bulimia since I was about 15. I have been painfully thin to overweight and my weight yoyos all the time.

    I was recently on the Atkins diet and that helped me get a little bit of control, but its oh so boring.

    I have noticed my eating binges are linked to when I feel upset, afraid or depressed. I panic afterwards about how fat I will become and get really afraid if I cant get rid of it all. I think I may just be able to control the purging (although I havent really tried) but I cant control the need to binge out.

    Are there any practical ways to stop myself over eating like this?


  2. #2

    How do I get control

    Quote Originally Posted by mollyK
    have noticed my eating binges are linked to when I feel upset, afraid or depressed.
    This is the key. Binging is satisfying some emotional need, not a physical one... reassuring you, comforting or consoling you, unwinding, stress/anxiety reduction, relieving depression, getting rid of anger, relieving boredom or loneliness, or perhaps it's about controlling a world around you that seems out of control... Look at what it is that eating is helping you to "stuff away" or avoid, and then find other ways to deal with those feelings, and you will be well on the way to a "cure".

    I was recently on the Atkins diet and that helped me get a little bit of control, but its oh so boring.
    In my opinion, it's also unhealthy and self-defeating, although I know there are people who will disagree. Atkins will help you to lose initially but you will plateau and over the long term it is no better than any other diet in terms of weight loss and probably not as healthy as other ways.

    My own bias about dieting is that most diets are doomed to failure over the long term because they deprive you of eating what you want to eat. So typically people lose weight and then get to the point where they feel happy about the weight they have lost and reward themselves by eating those things they havem't been able to eat over the course of the diet. This perpetuates a loss-gain-loss-gain cycle and is horrendous in terms of its effect on self-esteem.

    What works better for some people is the Weight Watchers approach, where in essence you learn about the costs of each food -- eat what you want but in smaller quantities and eting something that is high caloric means you need to reduce the amounts of other things to compensate.

    But even that isn't very good for binge eating because it doesn't directly address the emotional factors...

    A good therapist who is experienced in treating eating disorders can be invaluable.

  3. #3

    How do I get control

    Hi David

    Thank you for your reply. I have tried to 'catch hold' of the thoughts prior to binging out. I seem to be at the fridge in a panic kind of mentality before I have got hold of what need it is meeting. I did feel there was a lot of fear and a bit like a small child running to a parent, I am running to food! Sometimes I throw it all up and do the same again an hour later. I feel really guilty and ashamed after but the prospect of gaining weight is even worse.

    I am seeing a therapist at the moment, but she is working on other issues that seemed to be more important and we havent touched on this yet - but I think its all inter-linked.

    Think maybe I will have a pen and paper and write down whats going on just before

  4. #4

    How do I get control

    I am seeing a therapist at the moment, but she is working on other issues that seemed to be more important and we havent touched on this yet - but I think its all inter-linked.
    I do too. I assume the therapist is aware of your problem with food though?

  5. #5

    How do I get control

    I believe that the probleme is not really the eating disorder and that your therapist is trying to work that out so after you will realise maybe that you do not need to controle your eating habits cause you will have regained the control on the real reason you developped an e-d but well that my opinion I am no dr or anything but my therapist works the same way and I asked him why and that is what he told me I hope it is of use to you
    yours trulyl
    Life is all a perception. Do you see what I see? ...
    The more I fade away, the more they want me to stay...

  6. #6

    How do I get control

    I don't know if anyone will agree w/ this or not but I think obviously knowing reasons behind binge eating will help you control it a lot more... but meanwhile and if per se you know you're upset (as an ex) but really really feel like you have to binge, try to distract yourself from that excaxt thought. get away from food, the kitchen, and get around people that way you're more or less keeping yourself from bingeing at that moment. start being really involved in something like a chore etc. or get out of the house for some fresh air. try some light exercise like walking. and if you have to binge if it helps at all try to "binge" on something more or less fruits, veggies. hopefully this helps. it's insightful if you can get in the habit of writing down your feelings/emotions just b/f you feel like you have to binge (as you said). you could show that to your therapist too.

  7. #7

    How do I get control

    I agree copmpletly with you casue it is very logic what you are saying if you are in a stressful situation leave it go somewere else to think things over and get calme to regain control over the situation nd to not have to control what you eat
    luv always
    Life is all a perception. Do you see what I see? ...
    The more I fade away, the more they want me to stay...

  8. #8

    How do I get control

    Hi and thanks for your reply

    I can of course see the logic of what you are saying. I have had this problem for a very long time - years! I have tried every practical approach ever invented to try and get some control over this. I cannot distract myself, or "binge on healthy food" If I could gain control over what I am eating, I think I would not find it necessary to binge. Its like a moment of complete madness. Just before I am about to binge, its like a total over-powering despair. I go to the kitchen and cram food in - any food as if I would die if I didnt. I eat it really fast and a lot of it - it tends to be carbohydrates and sweet things - maybe because they are to hand.

    I have tried to be calm and use distrations, really I have. Even to go out, but I just end up with the same binging/purging behaviour later on in the evening. It is not a time I can utilise rational thinking, no matter how I try. Afterwards when I have got rid of it all, I feel terrible, I really hate myself for loosing it and vow I wont let it happen again (I am actually a very logical and rational person outside of these episodes).

    I suppose what I am saying is, I cannot implement rational approaches to something that is so irrational and uncontrollable (or thats how it feels)

  9. #9

    How do I get control

    Hi David

    I just read your post with interest and I share your views about diets. I think they actually make you become obsessed with food.

    I did at one point try the Atkins diet however, and contrary to a lot of traditionally held opinions about this, it is not all fat and red meat. I actually ate a lot of salads, berry fruit, nuts and vegetables on this, as well as chicken and fish. Anyway, I did oddly notice that by restricting carbohydrates, i also managed to control bulimic episodes considerably more than I do normally. For some reason I wasnt constantly hungry.

    I sometimes wonder if there is a biological element to eating disorders that are traditionally believed to be purely emotionally linked.

    even though I am now at a normal weight. I am constantly hungry. I could always eat. I am aware of the emotional links with food having done much reading in an attempt to heal my own problems, I have noticed a strong correlation to when I am upset and unable to deal with things and binging/purging, but at the same time I did not have this constant craving and binging episodes nearly as often when I reduced my carbohydrate intake - making me wonder if this was related to a physical problem too

  10. #10

    How do I get control

    Early humans (before it became easy to process grain) ate roughly the same percentage of fats, proteins, and carbs as the Atkins diet. That's why I think the Atkins diet/lifestyle makes sense for some people.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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