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-   -   I don't know what to do (http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=462551)

Jandy01 Fri, Sep-12-14 18:46

I don't know what to do
 
I am feeling so lost right now. I have been on this emotional roller coaster for a while now due to life circumstances and I can't get off. My eating is definitely affected by it. I just can't seem to find the inner strength to stop eating the foods I know are harming me. I am reading and reading and reading...and I just feel like doing what I know I need to do is too hard to commit to right now, yet I know that if I get my eating habits under control that will help with the stress and negative emotions that I am dealing with. For me, weight loss (while absolutely a desire) is not the number one objective. I just need to stop binge eating and stressing and worrying. I want to feel good. I want to be energetic and optimistic. I want to be in control of my eating habits and emotions. After reading many sites and testimonials etc I know that a low-carb diet can help me yet I just don't know how to commit to it.

Has anyone been here before? What did you do?

bworthey Fri, Sep-12-14 18:59

Don't know that I can give you a "how to". I can say I've been there, I've been up and down on eating like I should/shouldn't, felt the guilt and probably everything you're feeling right now. The only thing I've done differently this time is I've made my mind up that there'll be no turning back, no mess ups, no slip ups. I have to do it this time. I do not plan to eat off my plan and so far for 10 months I've stuck with it. If, IF, I slip up I will not let it carry over to the next meal. I start back on plan immediately.

I'm sure that's no help really. Just know I've been there. I'm there often. Grab some bacon and low carb on!

KDH Fri, Sep-12-14 19:56

I try really hard to focus on some future date. Let's say right now I was trying to cope with an issue and was about to eat the left side of the menu at ihop. I would think about Christmas. It's a couplefew months away, I'll be in a lot of social situations and have to make some choices now.
-Look good and wear my favorite outfits, or be bloated and wear that one black dress a lot?
-Feel good, have lots of energy and enjoy myself, or be drained and poop out early?
-Have clear glowing skin and shiny hair, or break out and be brittle?
-Look good in pictures, or hide every time a camera is around?
Because either way, Christmas IS coming. It will come and go before I know it, and I WILL be facing either one of those options in every case. How much do I want to regret sabotaging myself?

And then, to show my restraint I buy shoes. :D

Bonbon41 Fri, Sep-12-14 23:02

Jandy,

I have been in that place, and it's a difficult and dark one - so sending big cyber hugs to you. And well done on reaching out for help - when I've fallen into that place I'm often so stuck I can't reach out to others. That's a very good self-caring move and a good sign that you are getting back on track.

It's such a personal thing so what's worked for me may not work for you, but I'd like to offer it up in case it may be of use.

What's worked:
- deciding to be as loving and kind and understanding to myself as possible
- trying to take a pause before eating emotionally. Try to be still and sit with yourself. Ask what it is you really need that you are trying to soothe by eating. Try and address that. If you don't know, just take a walk and tell yourself that after the walk, if you still need to eat, you will. But try to eat in a loving, nourishing way. Try to eat slowly. Afterward do not turn on yourself. Be especially kind - you need to stay on your own side
- start exploring other things that soothe you besides food. Try them out. Could be holing up in your bed with trashy mags and a face mask, taking a bath, meeting a good friend for a chat, playing a musical instrument...try old ones that have helped, try new ones too.
- when you are ready, start to look at the life issues that are causing the stress eating. Maybe they are too big to solve, maybe not. If they seem to big to solve, think of how you can make living with them easier. Maybe you can start doing tiny doable steps to improving things. Just doing something small can sometimes shift something big.
- make a plan for healthy eating but be gentle and don't 'force' it. As soon as you tell yourself, that's it I will never do A again, I will only do B....well it's a recipe for disaster for many of us. When it comes to food, willpower isn't enough and we tend to rebel when we try to rigidly force ourselves into things before we are ready. Do try to eat nourishing, yummy, healthy things. Eat them slowly and with love.

- talk to loved ones. The more you can open up to friends, the less alone you will feel and the more loved and safe you will feel. When you feel loved and safe, overeating is not needed so much

What hasn't worked:
- turning on myself, hating myself, desperately trying to force myself into a new plan before I'm emotionally there
- hiding out alone, not asking for help
- under eating to compensate for the overeating

Gosh this list could go on forever, so I'll just stop there and send you lots of wishes that you are back on track really soon. I am pulling for you Jandy :)

Seejay Fri, Sep-12-14 23:15

I did it by redoing one meal at a time. Making sure I thought more about getting the good stuff in, than about the bad stuff. because I always binged after not eating enough at the right times beforehand.

Like, first I had a good breakfast. every day until it was a habit. Then, I added a good lunch. Every single day until it was a habit. Then, I added dinner, ditto. After all that I knew how to feed myself all day every day. And since i wasn't starving, the binges went away.

Oh and I ignored the bad times while I was rebuilding. Like if I was working on adding lunch and I had a bad afternoon and dinner, oh well, learn from that and make sure my lunches are so good I'm not hungry all afternoon.

it was pretty fun that way and not stressful compared to trying to be perfect all day every day starting on day 1. I was missing too many skills, and my body was too unbalanced, to pull that one off, I can tell you.

And I was way too gone to pull off the white-knuckle thing yet again, hanging on for dear life to a rigid plan, hoping to feel better soon while feeling terrible as I was failing every day. But when all I had to do was one meal at a time, that was do-able and successful and pleasant, and I slowly felt better too.

I honestly don't binge any more. I still have fat to lose but there's nowhere near the angst and no more starve/binge.

bkloots Sat, Sep-13-14 06:48

You've done well to reach out here. Reading...reading...reading. That shows a growing sense of purpose. As for advice, I appreciate what Bonbon has to say, especially about not hating yourself.

In decades of yo-yo dieting of one kind or another, I've experienced long periods of time when I just couldn't get back to the dietary (and weight) control that's necessary for me. Yet there comes a "magic moment" when Yes! I find the way and the will. If I could bottle this magic, I'd make a fortune. Yet I believe in it, and think you can have it, too.

By way of suggestions:
--I hate not knowing whether I'll be able to wear the clothes I have for the next season. Not fitting into my favorite warm coat is a big incentive right now.
--I need a simple plan. Very simple. Atkins induction (and incremental additions) does it well. You get to add not subtract! Delicious flavors (can you say butter?)
--I hang out here.

Best wishes.

WereBear Sat, Sep-13-14 07:52

In addition to the great advice given here, remember that junk food has so little nutrition that the constant EAT signal is real. But we won't turn off the EAT signal with junk.

Get a few days of real eating in and everything is easier to cope with.

It's starts with your next meal.

CallmeAnn Sat, Sep-13-14 07:56

When I have been determined to get back to eating right even though my control isn't there yet, I would think of one thing that is on plan that is a comfort food for me. For me, that means easy to fix, cheap to buy and easy to have on hand. It also should be very low to 0 carbs. Then I eat a lot of that until the residual of the bad stuff is out of my system. It could be pork rinds for those who like them, or it has been nuts and diet soda for me, but only if snacking is my current issue. If it's meals that are giving me trouble, my go-to is eggs. Yours might be bacon although that isn't cheap. Whatever it is that you like, branch out from there once you get yourself off of the worst of the carbs and move to full but simple meals. Also work on whatever real life problems are stressing you out at the same time. Good luck and don't quit coming here for encouragement. If we didn't hit it on the head yet, give us more guidance as to what you are dealing with, motivation-wise. I had decided that I needed to quit eating wheat and had been doing well but starting in the spring of 2012, I went back to fast food and quit caring about the wheat, eating all the bread I wanted, ignoring the weight it brought with it too. Then, on the first weekend of November, the chickens came home to roost. It turns out, wheat can suppress your thyroid and low thyroid can put fluid on your heart. We don't know for sure, buy my internist at the time was convinced that that landed me in the hospital and within a month I was Life Flighted to the hospital for emergency surgery. My point is that your health should be your priority and carbs can make you very sick. Take care of yourself.

Bonbon41 Sat, Sep-13-14 08:08

Good one Werebear. Yes, high enough levels of fructose inhibit the hormone leptin. This hormone is responsible for signalling to your brain that you are full and don't need more food. This will drive you to keep eating. There is an industry based on making food more addictive and they certainly know this. I believe this is why high fructose corn syrup is pile-driven into most forms of junk (and lots of supposedly "health" food too).

I've often felt during an overeating spree that it can gain it's own momentum. So that even after I'm emotionally ready to stop, I'm driven to keep going by a force outside my emotions. I'm guessing this may have been my hormones.

You will be driven to eat if your leptin is inhibited by too much sugar. Also too much sugar drives your insulin up,then it plummets. At this point, you are hormonally driven to eat in order to raise insulin levels and so the cycle continues. Just being aware of all this can be helpful I think.

I'm also intrigued by Seejays method. This sounds like it could be really effective. If you promise to get in 3 good enjoyable and healthful meals a day, no matter what, this would really help I think.

Best of luck :)

SunnyDinCA Sat, Sep-13-14 08:17

My suggestion for you would be, to find something physical to do that you totally enjoy, to help lower your stresses. High stress or boredom, in my case, are triggers for alot of people. Try to get that under control and eating properly will come second handedly. Go for a brisk walk at your favorite time of day, beginners yoga is amazing (it has been a blessing for me) for stress relief. Do you enjoy swimming? Swim a few lazy laps...Biking? Hiking? Find something that you love to do and don't mind doing it and just do it. Some stresses that life hands us are unavoidable. Being unhealthy, that stress, well, we CAN do something about that, and its a good stress to start working on eliminating.

khrussva Sat, Sep-13-14 10:07

I was a binge eater. When I was eating the regular junky American diet, certain foods would set me off on a binge. It wasn't an everyday thing -- but often enough to add to my weight problem. On past LC diet fails, cheating would set me off on huge binges. Not having the sugary junk for a long period of time, and then having some would set off a crave monster that I could not resist.

When I started my current LC diet last February - I entered into this way of eating with a firm commitment not to cheat on off plan foods. However, I did allow myself to eat lots of low carb food -- even to the point of binging. Some of those early days were really high on the carb count -- but it was not anything that would spike my blood sugar. So even though I'd binge on LC food (like nuts, jerky, peperoni, eggs, bacon, etc.) -- it was not giving me the satisfaction I got from binging on carby junk food. So the urge to binge subsided and eventually I gained control over my appetite. My desire to eat too much went away and my portion sizes dropped pretty much automatically. For me, the key was a commitment not to cheat. It was hard at first -- but it got easier every day. Within a few months, I really started enjoying this way of eating in a way I'd never experienced before.

I hope you find your answer. Last January -- I was in a bad place, too. My eating was out of control and my health and self esteem were in the toilet. Life is much better now and I have this way of eating to thank for it.

Kristine Sat, Sep-13-14 15:24

Excellent advice offered up. :thup:

Jandy, I hear you. I've been there, too. So many of us have.

If you're comfortable, feel free to clue us in on the nature of the troubles you're going through. Financial woes, for example... we can offer up lots of money-saving tips. If you're not comfortable sharing here, make sure you have a sounding board somewhere, either people in real life or somewhere online. (I always feel better venting anonymously on forums, myself!)

I can tell you what generally works for me:

- Scaring the crap out of myself. I'm not 25 anymore. Watching older relatives go through the consequences of I'll-eat-whatever-the-heck-I-want is scary. I don't know if you have any diet-related health issues or not yet, but get scared.

- Make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to cheat. Analyze why it's that easy for you to binge, and make some serious changes. Get the crap out of the house. If you have a family, it's important to get their support. If I wanted to binge, for example, I'd have one of two choices: one is to get dressed, put on my shoes and coat, walk to the convenience store where everything's massively overpriced, and get dinged $1.50 in Interac fees to buy something! I'm such a tightwad, that's utterly abhorrent to me. So it's not happening. The other option is to spend an hour and a half in the kitchen and then have to clean up all of the dishes: my only higher-carb foods are mixes and baking ingredients. I'm lazy, so again, it's not happening.

- A corollary to that point is to know thyself. I'm impulsive, but I'm also way too lazy to come up with high-carb binge food, and that's why those tricks work for me. YMMV.

- Make it completely *awesome* to stay on plan. Treat yourself, even if you have to divert money from elsewhere in your budget. Do without something else. There's hardly anything more important than nourishing your body properly. Distract yourself with your favorite cheeses, avocados, steaks, bacon, seafood, whatever.

- Make it completely *easy* to stay on plan. Keep lots of quick and easy foods handy. When you cook, make enough for easily-reheatable leftovers.

- You're right on the money by stating that your main goal is to stop the bingeing. Forget about your weight at first. What I do if/when I've been off-plan is get back on with high-fat, very-low-carb, and forget about induction limits or anything like that. I go for ketosis myself. If it takes a giant bowl of whipped heavy cream and Splenda or a whole block of cream cheese to get you back on track, just do it. Give yourself permission to binge on those things if you have to. Priority #1 is get rid of cravings, stabilize your moods and get the carbage out of your system. The rest will happen later. First things first.

- Start now and put it all on the table. If you fail, you fail and try again, but start NOW. In my sig, there's the quote, "Every day is day one." It truly is for me. It's easy to get cocky if you have 15, 150 or even more consecutive successful days under your belt. It's really helped me to consider every day a fresh start whether I've been kicking arse on plan or not, because every day is a new day that I could easily throw it all away and it would be the beginning of a downward spiral.

Good luck and don't give up. :thup:

Just Jo Sat, Sep-13-14 16:14

Hey Jandy, I feel your pain. I'm a recovering morbidly obese carb addict with portion control and self control issues, so I understand the binge/out of control eating issues.

Everyone has offered tons of useful advice.

My favorite bit of advice given was if you're going to binge, binge on allowable foods from your LC WOE, not the toxic carbs... you'll feel better physically as well as emotionally.

My occasional binge food is pork rinds. I know I'll pay for it in the morning with the scales because of the salt content, but I don't feel hung over like I used to feel when I'd binge on those addictive, insidiously toxic, poisonous killer carbs. A couple of days of not eating them to access and the scales move back down.

I'm over here cheering you on, Jandy and I wish you :rheart: heartfelt success on your personal journey!

:rheart: Jo

Jandy01 Sat, Sep-13-14 16:24

Wow...I am so appreciative to everyone who responded to my cry. It is very hard to be in such a low place and not feel that anyone else understands. When I typed that post I was thinking of just giving up trying. I was almost....almost ready to accept that I was going to binge eat my way to 200 pounds or more.


You have all given me some very practical advice. I am seriously going to think about what everyone has said and find some starting point for getting on the right path. I just keep telling myself that I can't start another year like this. I mean 2015 is almost here and I am stuck in the same place as when 2014 started...and 2013, 2012..... I don't want to do this again. Thank you all so much for sharing! I really mean that. I really do!

Bonbon41 Sat, Sep-13-14 19:19

We are totally pulling for Jandy. So many of us have struggled and still struggle with food addiction - you are really not alone. And so many of us hit rock bottom and made our way back up. You will too.

Sending a big cyber hug your way...


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