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01-23-2005, 11:42 AM
I have gone back and started re-reading some of the Geneen Roth books as well as Overcoming Overeating, which Amy also mentioned in her thread. I know I need, I desperately want to, lose weight and get normal-sized again, but right now, I'm fed up with counting calories, counting points, counting anything. I just want to eat like a normal person: keep food in its place, get to a healthy weight eventually and stay there and not be lurching from binge to binge to diet to binge...

Letting my body, instead of my head or emotions, lead the eating process seems like the crucial element that's always been missing from my "eating life." A simple, yet radical, concept. Much harder than it sounds for a CO'er.

So I decided to go with the intuitive eating/food on demand/eating-when-I'm-hungry, stopping-when-I'm-full, whatever you want to call it. I'm going to try it for at least a month and see how it goes.

So, would you, Amy, or anyone else who's doing--or has done-- this type of approach like to form a little support group to discuss our progress, concerns, related books, etc.? It would be great to hear from people who are "seasoned veterans" with this type of approach, as you can provide insight and encouragement that can help us newbies stay the course.

Anyone interested?

01-23-2005, 03:13 PM
I have been in recovery for ten years. I (feel like) I have legalized all foods but I still eat too much. I have a huge appetite and eat way more than my body needs. I tried these things before and they helped for awhile. Now that I am further along I want to do it again. I ordered both books last week and I am ready to jump in with both feet.

01-23-2005, 05:37 PM
DIETS DONT WORK!! Over and over again I had to learn that, and you probably will too. Food plans? Not that either... It doesnt matter if your eating a balanced diet on them, your not listening to what your body needs or when it needs feul. Nothing besides listening to your body will work. Diets or food plans are just another way of filling up are brain because we have nothing else worthwhile in our lives to focus on. You will still be thinking about food all the time, and if you do that, you will never reach your full potential to be the marvelous beautiful orignial person we are all meant to show to the world. Only by improving our outside lives to how we want them to be and loving ourselves are we ever going to overcome this. Its difficult, and hey, your never going to be perfect no matter what you eat or weigh because there is no such thing of being perfect. I hope this helps. Post your thoughts, I dont have a lot of time right now, so get back to me. Adios!

love, sandra

01-23-2005, 07:12 PM
:hugon S :hugoff

From what you posted, I am afraid you might not have a good experience with this approach.

You are still full of diet mentality... and will try this approach for a while (to see if you lose weight, right?), a month or so you say, and see where you are then.

You can't do it that way.

You can't hold diet mentality (I know I need, I desperately want to, lose weight and get normal-sized again,) in the back of your head just in case this plan doesn't work.

I've been doing it since the summer and I finally feel secure in it.

You sound, in other words, like you are talking the right talk, but aren't willing to "walk the walk"... so to speak. Does that all make sense?

You have to want to do it, sure, but you can't impose your own conditions on the process.

You most likely WILL gain a little bit of weight in the beginning. Are you prepared for that?

I'd love to have a thread on this eating aspect.


01-23-2005, 09:44 PM
I was wondering if anyone has done what my therapist is having me do now. She's having me eat three meals a day without over eating. Has anyone else done this? Has it worked for anyone?
I'm liking it and am fairly successful. I overate today for the first time in two weeks. And I haven't binged in almost two months :cheesy
But I'm wondering if this is a temporary solution to my problem. Any advice?

01-24-2005, 01:00 AM
This is what I want!

I think I am a compulsive overeater at least part of the time...i binge/diet/binge/diet etc. This is after what I think was anorexia for a while, so I figure that at least now I am eating something. So far, though, I have always managed to lose back what I have gained again, so that I stay at a "good" weight. However, now I keep thinking of myself as fat and am constantly worried about "tipping over" in either direction (back to anorexia or completely to compulsive overeating, which is what made me heavy before I was anorexic). All I want is to be able to eat normally and not have to go through the cycle anymore...a day in which I just didn't think about food would be bliss!

I think the three meals a day approach might work. My mom says whenever she starts to feel like her clothes are tight she just increases "nutritional density" (e.g. eats healthier foods) for a while until they don't feel tight anymore. I think a bad habit I've gotten into now is counting calories all the time instead of thinking about how good something is for me and then trying to feel when I am full so I can stop.

I don't want to go through this cycle anymore. Maybe if I try to not think about food and just eat healthy things whenever I am hungry tomorrow, you can too! We can work on thinking differently together.

01-24-2005, 11:08 AM
:hugon Rosey :hugoff it sounds like what your T is having you do is find your last bite threshold. This is an important step in recovery. But, if you haven't laid the food foundation before that... you might find yourself rebelling against what you might think is a diet??? I don't know.. what other work have you done with your T about food? Personally, my T and I never talked of food. Also... do you get two-three snacks a day?

:hugon Jellikat :hugoff I think you might really get a lot out of "Overcoming Overeating". You can check it out at amazon.com

01-24-2005, 01:24 PM
Thanks for all your questions and comments.

Jennifer, yes, I still want to lose weight and I think this approach WILL get me where I want to be physically and emotionally. I realize the "experts" say you can't use this process successfully expecting to lose weight. I humbly disagree. Maybe it's my nature; I always feel compelled to test theories for myself.

In the past, when I've eaten according to my stomach hunger, I've lost a small amount of weight before ignoring my hunger signals as I launched into the next binge to fill up that gaping emotional hole. Given that my weight is now (again) in the morbidly obese category, I think it quite realistic that my weight WILL drop now that I am letting my body lead my eating instead of my head or some arbitrary, external "plan." I'm TIRED OF living in the DIET DICTATORSHIP that tells me what, when & how much--telling me that I cannot trust my own body.

While dieting--counting points or calories--always helped me lose weight, it also failed me in that it was an EXTERNAL mechanism, not my body leading the process. I was either under the control of this mechanism--and ravenous-- or on a perpetual binge--and overeating so much I never got hungry. Either way, I was ignoring my body's signals.

I've been doing this for a little over a week now. I'm noticing things such as:

*the alarm goes off in my head sometimes: Eat! Eat now! But when I "check in" with my stomach, I realize I'm physically NOT hungry. I just acknowledge that it's anxiety, then shift my thoughts to something else. I know where it's coming from and am making plans to address those emotional needs in more satisfying ways. It puts me at the threshold of a doorway I feel a little scare to walk through. I feel a sense of loss at this moment when thinking about life w/o binging. It would be so much easier right now just to binge and hide from those fears. :challenge

*I get full much more quickly than I would have thought. In the past I have just dismissed this "enoughness" signal and polished off whatever was in front of me. The last-supper mentality is pretty strong: the feeling I'd better consume all I can now because it may be my last chance (goes back to my mom saying that to me). I remind myself that more food is going to be there when I need it, I can eat again as soon as I'm *physically hungry for it*.

This was a little difficult on the nights when I cooked nice dinners. After spending all that time putting it together, I felt a little "cheated" to get full really quickly. The inner child was throwing a tantrum of "this isn't fair! After all that work I don't get to eat as much as my head wants?" A couple of times I ate a few bites more after the satiety bell went off, but did not keep eating & eating until it was all gone. Last nite, I was put out because my husband, as he often does, heaped his plate a second time with way more than he could ever eat, then quickly trashed it all, when I was telling the inner brat it was okay to stop eating because I could have more for today's lunch. I was so pissed at him! :mad

Next time, I'm going to set a portion aside for my next meal BEFOREHAND if I think I'm going to want it again later. He'll be respectful and won't eat it if I tell him in advance. And I'll be able to reassure my head that there truly will be more available later when I'm hungry for it. Could I be turning into a leftover eater? That's an interesting change.

*Just as I get full sooner, I also get hungry again sooner. I've brought some snacks to work with me, as Roth advises, so I will have it available if/when I'm hungry, as opposed to starvation according to "by the clock" or "by the calorie-count" eating. I was really hungry an hour and a half ago and had to go through this battle with the old Diet Dictator scolding me, you can't eat now--it'll be lunchtime in ******** minutes!. The rules state you must wait until the clock strikes twelve! I learned this growing up: eat according to the clock, not according to when you're hungry. My parents still eat that way.

But I decided to let my hunger dictate the process, and if I ate a little snack and then wasn't hungry precisely at noon, I'd push my next feed (lunchtime) back as far as I needed. Luckily, I'm able to have this flexibility. And surprise! my stomach is actually gnawing at me again **** hours later.

*I haven't weighed myself. I don't know when I will. I know that people who've successfully kept weight off (people in the National Weight Control Registry) typically weight themselves regularly. I know that when I AVOID the scale, it's because I am in binge mode and in denial, ashamed to face the fact I'm overeating and gaining weight. I will have to rethink my relationship to the scale and decide how I'm going to use it as a tool, instead of as a measure of my self-worth.

*I feel much more positive about my body these past few days, even though some things are still uncomfortably difficult at this size. I feel empowered because I know that I am taking care of my own needs, trusting *myself* instead of handing my life and body over to some DIET DICTATOR. I feel that my psyche and my body are calling a truce in the FOOD WAR.

Sorry this is so long it turned into a blog!

01-24-2005, 01:56 PM
Hey, S! I was just wondering if you are in therapy as well? I know that is what helped me tremendously.

I have some "issues" with some of the things you said above... and just want to remind you that the plan in overcoming overeating isn't only about eating only when hungry. But since you said that you need to test theories, I'll step back and let you test this one: I realize the "experts" say you can't use this process successfully expecting to lose weight. I humbly disagree.

Here is the most important question: Do you accept your body *right now* as it is today, regardless of its size?

Claire, J
01-24-2005, 02:10 PM
I went through painful anorexia for ariound two years but have recently been overeating daily to extremes, its just like i can,t stop and deep inside i don't want to stop. Its all the "bad" foods that i binge on like chocolate and buscuits, all the things i've been restricting for many years. I just can't seem to stop when i start and can go on stuffing my face for hours. I have put on so much weight in the last month that i'm so scared. I don't really want to put on more weight but just don't know how to stop. I've lost all control that i had with the anorexia! Any tips? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

01-24-2005, 02:20 PM
:hugon Claire :hugoff A good book I like to recommend (in addition to Overcoming Overeating) is "How much does your Soul weigh?" By Dorrie McCubbrey. She had anaorexia, bulimia and COE. I found it to be very inspirational and helpful.

Also, are you seeing a therapist? The issue seems to be that you haven't dealt with the feelings you are trying to avoid by engaging in ED behaviors... you have simply switched one ED out for the other. Forgive yourself.. it happens. Get back to the basics of trying to figure out and acknowledge what is stressing you out.. what you are trying to avoid....

Remember, EDs are really life disorders, as Megavictory says. EDs aren't really about food. They are about how we use food to avoid problems.

:challenge What problems are you trying to avoid?

:ican :ican :ican :ican :ican :ican

01-25-2005, 12:02 AM
Thanks Jennifer for replying.
My Therpist and I have talked a lot about food and a lot about other issues as well. In the begenning she had me free all foods. I felt like I was on a binge for months. then we went to three meals. then to no overeating. It doesn't feel like a diet to me. It's the first time in my adult life that i'm not restricting any food. I gained a lot of weight doing it and am trying my hardest to be ok with it and know that it's part of recovery. I don't exactly what you mean when you say laying the food foundation. Would you mind elaborating?
Thanks a lot!!!

01-25-2005, 10:37 AM
Claire J - How well I know that feeling of cramming food in and feeling unable to stop!

One of the things I find helpful is something Geneen Roth recommended in one of her books (can't recall which one, sorry) about eating more consciously to help you get at WHY you're doing it. She said while you're eating think about what it is you want the food/the binge to do. Calm you down? Numb you out? Absorb your anger?

You don't have to try to control the binge, just let it happen, but try to keep your brain working while you're doing it instead of "spacing out" so you can get at the feelings BEHIND the binge. I've found sometimes that it's helped me "lessen the damage"--I slow down, eat less, because I'm mentally present.

Just a thought...

01-25-2005, 12:04 PM
Great thread idea!!! I've also subscribed to the yahoo group I found on the Overcoming Overeating website, but as it's not as strictly monitored there and isn't focused per se on disordered eating, I'm not sure if it will be useful or something I'd recommend yet.

I've just started the intuitive eating process and I think I can honestly say that this is the single biggest leap of faith I've ever made in my entire life. It's also the single scariest thing i've ever done in my life - scarier than leaving my husband, living on my own in NYC, or being unemployed with two babies, all of which I've experienced in the last year. Basically, the premise is that in order to free yourself from the diet/binge cycle, you need to free yourself of it entirely - as in giving up any ideas of 'saving' yourself with a diet if you decide that you don't like what's happening to your body. And in conjunction with that, you need to learn to accept and love your body (love some parts, accept others works just fine) at WHATEVER SIZE IT IS NOW. Talk about horror movie time. But I have enormous faith in this process. I've been engaged in ED recovery actively for two years now, and I've seen many people have success with this and read about even more. And from what I've heard, those two simple concepts that I've just described are absolutely key to success.

Personally, I'm really struggling with the idea of gaining weight, which everyone inevitably does when they start to legalize food. It's hard to see this happen and not start restricting. I take deep breaths, focus on working on accepting myself and my body no matter what size it is, and keep doing the legal work. I have faith in the process. I really hope that my faith is not misguided! I will look forward to sharing what happens with everyone, if you're interested, keeping in mind that everyone's journey is personal and unique to them.

Jennifer, are you sure that you aren't a PhD in psychology? You constantly amaze me with the things you come up with! I've never heard of the last bite threshold - very very interesting! I'm also amazed at how many feelings I am able to get in touch with and really work through when I'm not focusing on my problems with food. I have really grown so much emotionally since I was able to put my disordered and distorted thinking in its rightful place in my life.

01-25-2005, 12:16 PM
Oh, :hugon Amy :hugoff! I am so pleased! You're taking that leap of faith that is soo needed!

Girl, I've had my own issues lately, so I'm not about to claim any kind of prescience.... look at my posts on the self-esteem board and in greenangels post on the relationships board.

And, thanks for reiterating that the most important part of overcoming overeating is to accept yourself and your body as you are today. The authors say the plan will not work if you try and turn it into a diet, and there is even a section about the dangers of celebrating weight loss.

Personally, I've had to re-read last night (in When Women Stop hating their Bodies) the section on fears of being thin.

On, and the last bite threshold, I believe, is from "Intuitive Eating". I can't claim that one.

:hugon Rosey :hugoff the "food foundation" I mentioned was giving yourself unconditonal permission to eat. I personally believe this has to be done before moving on to an "Intuitive Eating" type approach.. and I see you have worked on that already. good!

:hugon S :hugoff There is a post on the COE board called "Eating with your brain on".. it is really a good thread. You might want to search the archives for it since that is what you are doing right now.

01-25-2005, 12:17 PM

I paused to think awhile on your question because I wanted to give you a thoughtful, honest answer and not purely a defensive retort.


I know there's far more to overcoming an eating discorder than HOW I eat. I've read a ton of books and articles on it, did therapy and tried different medications for it, and have a lot of insight into the whys behind my behaviors.

Re: therapy, I'm considering switching health plans this year (can only do it during employer's open enrollment period) to a plan that has an ED specialist. My current one does not have an ED specialist, nor do they want to give me a referral to one. They think any ol' MH person can tackle an ED. I've already seen the people they have, and I'd disagree.

Do I accept my body as it is? Today, I can say I do. A month ago, I would have said NO WAY. I was marching to the tune of "I hate myself! I hate myself!" refusing to buy clothes that fit because I didn't want to acknowledge my relentless binge-ing was catching up with me. I was haunting my favorite WW's site on the Web, watiching "The Biggest Loser" and Dr. Phil's diet programs hoping desperately they would motivate me to diet again.

But I decided, no more diets. I want to eat like a "normal", non-ED person, break out of the food prison, shake off the shame and guilt and yes, let my body determine for itself what size it wants to be. Dusted off my ED books and started reading (hence the hunger-based eating, recommended by more than one of these authorities).

I bought some clothes that FIT and are comfortable, acknowledging, this is the size I am now. It would be best for me if it's not permanent, but if it is, well, then it is.

But acceptance doesn't mean that I PREFER to STAY this size. The harsh reality is, my body is clamoring for my attention, saying that it's hurting from the weight I'm carrying: the fibromyalgia is flaring again (sometimes it's painful just to get up and walk), I'm having migraines several days a week again (which dissipated GREATLY when I wasn't morbidly obese and was exercising regularly), I'm fatigued beyond reasonm I get winded just tying my shoes or climbing one flight of stairs, my blood pressure sometimes skyrockets.

Sad but true: Sometimes when my shoe comes untied or I drop something on the floor, I look down and debate whether it's worth the physical struggle of bending over. At this weight, I am physically uncomfortable and limited in what I can do; it hampers my efforts to exercise; it's multiplying my risk factors for heart disease and cancer, which are rampant in my family anyway.

I don't want to be THIN or a certain clothing size, my goals when dieting. I want to be comfortable, even if by the charts I'm "overweight". I want to be healthy, capable of doing activities, even things like tying a shoe or walking up stairs, without an enormous struggle. I want to lose weight as an act of caring for my self, not as a punishment for my eating "sins" or a dictate that I must be a particular clothing size. That's a profound change of heart for me.

Although eating in response to hunger instead of "by the numbers" is not a panacea for my ED, I am hoping that in learning to eat this way I am working on both the ED and my weight. There is emotional work to be done, I know that; I confront that little by little each day, when I struggle with an impulse to eat that has nothing to do with stomach hunger and everything to do with anxiety or boredom or whatever the trigger is at that moment. I am thinking about how I can nourish my spirit--activities, friends--in ways that don't involve food.

I've been on the hamster wheel of dieting for more than ******** years. I feel like I am finally at the crossroads that Roth vividly describes as her turning point in Breaking Free, when she burns her diet stuff, legalizes all foods and eats chocolate chip cookies and dough for several days because that's the only food that was "singing" to her.

The diet mentality still rattles its cage: This a.m. I ate a small package of cookies for breakfast, even tho the Diet Dictator in the back of my head was saying cookies aren't an appropriate, healthy breakfast. I was hungry. They were the only thing in the kitchen "singing" to me. So I ate them, and I was satisfied. For a second I thought about going on a compulsive binge because I disobeyed the dictator, and because I was tired and didn't want to go to my boring job. But I worked through that and started my day feeling physically and mentally okay, instead of overstuffed and drugged, ashamed and angry. Now it's almost lunchtime and I'm hungry again. It feels pretty good, actually.

The past few days that I've been eating this way, my depression has lifted. I'm actually feeling positive about myself. There'll be struggles ahead, I know that, and lots of work to do on the emotional front. But I can only tackle a bit at a time, and this is the bit I have chosen to address now. It's ONE step.

01-25-2005, 12:27 PM
:hugon S :hugoff O.K. I admit I was worried with what I saw as a drive to lose weight. But I can see you have done a bunch of work on it, and you are aware as well... so those are all good!

Just remember, as they say in the book, if you start to celebrate weight loss (and it is very easy to.. I find every now and again I slip)... to bring yourself back into the present and examine whether you truly accept all sizes as equal and yourself as you are today.

I totally hear you on the fact that you would prefer not to be the size you are today. I can relate. But I must say, over the months that I have been doing OO, and given the fact that I wasn't even sure my metabolism was still working after all the damage I must have done it.... I do honestly accept myself where I am today, and if I stay this size forever, then so be it.

I have learned so much, and I'm so much happier at this large size than when I was a size eight. To address weight loss: as I said I have been doing this for months and I would guess (since I don't weigh any more)... that I gained about six or so pounds by doing the OO "unconditional permission to eat" part, and I've lost those six and maybe four-five more.

So I want to remind everyone to be as realistic about this approach as possible. Not everyone is going to lose weight as a result of handling your feelings. Years of abuse to our bodies may have very well damaged them to the point of where weight loss is not possible. That is something we need to accept might happen.

I'm personally glad it is going slowly with me because I have to adjust to my new self (sense of self) and I think if there was quick or large weight loss along with it... I'd probably flip out and not be able to handle it all.

There is a quote in WWSHTB that I read last night.. something like: if you could handle being a certain about thinner than you are today, you'd already be that thin. Interesting.

I feel like I am going through a total re-birth of myself. It is absolutely terrifying.

Slow and steady.... even keel..... I want to be sure I can recognize myself at each point along the way.


01-25-2005, 12:34 PM
Oh, one other thing - and a huge step for me. Yesterday, I finally threw out ALL of my weight watchers materials. My cookbooks, my membership card, all the little handouts - I used to keep them around, 'just in case'. Out in the garbage yesterday. I even threw out all of my other diet books, my calorie counter, everything. Scary scary scary!

I admit, when I first started recovery, I would not have been able to approach it at all unless I had seen in one book that I read that reaching your body's normal weight was one of the goals of recovery. Now BEFORE anyone starts jumping on me and hitting me over the head with recovery books, I'm not disputing what Jennifer has said about the dangers of weight loss as a goal. I absolutely believe that trying to lose weight does not fit in with this recovery process. Notice I used the words 'body's normal weight'. The authors are very clear that everyone's normal weight is different and that people are often surprised that it may be lighter, heavier, or even close to the same as they were when they started. I'm prepared to accept my body at whatever weight it decides is normal. It's hard for me to believe, though, that if my body is as smart as they say it is, that it would accept a normal weight that would be unhealthy for it!

01-25-2005, 12:46 PM
:yay Thank you for your insights and sharing your experience. I'm so glad you that you're on a path that's working for you. Gives me hope that ED is not a life sentence!

I am telling myself to be patient and let my body decide what size it wants to be. Not WW's. Not the Body Mass Index Chart. My body itself. The weight will do what it will; right now, I'm going to concentrate on tuning in to my body's signals and feeding it accordingly. And face with the ED demons as they come.

01-26-2005, 12:48 PM
Every day I seem to have a new thought or realization about this process. For instance, last night, I realized that I've successfully legalized some foods, but still need to continue legalizing others. There are some foods that I no longer need to keep around in large quantities because I now feel reassured that I can have them whenever I want them. So, for instance, I can keep only one pint of ice cream in the freezer, because I don't feel the urge to eat the entire thing as soon as I've brought it home. I've had enough of it around in the last week that it's now 'legal' in my mind. I don't have to worry about running out of it or that I'll deprive myself of it again. It's there and I can have it whenever I want it. The same with some other foods. There's several foods that I've deprived myself of for so long that it will likely take longer to get to that point. So, I continue to stock up, and let myself eat as much of them as I need to, whether from stomach hunger or mouth hunger - I don't distinguish yet. After seeing what happened with the ice cream, I have faith that when my mind realizes that I can have these foods whenever I want to, I won't have to have so much of it in my house and I won't need to eat so much of it. If you had told me that this would have actually happened to me, it would have been difficult to believe. And it took a huge leap of faith to actually allow myself to eat the quantities of these previously forbidden foods that I needed to feel that they were ok to eat whenever I wanted to (legalize them).

When it comes to truly legalizing foods, an especially important aspect for me is that there is no timetable. I have the rest of my life if I need it, because I will never go on a diet or deprive myself of these foods again.

What is truly amazing to me - and I mean absolutely astounding - is that binges as I knew them have ceased to occur in my life. I no longer shovel in one food after another until I feel ill. And a side effect is that I am hearing the 'EDNA' voices less and less. I don't have as much to beat myself up about. I don't have to force myself to restrict my eating, so that voice is starting to quiet down. I don't have to hate my body for its size, so that voice is quieting down. I still hear them on occasion, but they are quieter, less insistent, and I know what to say to them now!

Now, I've been in recovery two years, so would this process have worked so quickly if I hadn't been so prepared to give up diets and accept myself no matter what size my body is? I don't know for sure, but I suspect that it wouldn't be this easy. Possible, yes. I'd started this process before, but my husband was very opposed to my overeating and very unhappy with my body and so it was difficult at that time to feel comfortable with what I was doing. More time has passed, I've had a lot of counseling, and I have more self-esteem and self-worth now. I'm much more secure and capable of accepting and even loving myself regardless of my size. Comments from my stbx-husband no longer affect me the way that they used to, and I no longer blame myself or my size for his infidelities.

So, those are my thoughts today.

01-27-2005, 11:26 PM
Terrific post, I've enjoyed reading what everyone's had to say.

:hugonClaire:hugoff Hang in there, fishy. I went through a rough period too. Whoever suggested a therapist was bang-on, at least I could've really used one during that point of my life. I would really recommend Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating by Geneen Roth. Keep on swimming:bowl

:hugon S :hugoff
I don't want to be THIN or a certain clothing size, my goals when dieting. I want to be comfortable, even if by the charts I'm "overweight". I want to be healthy, capable of doing activities, even things like tying a shoe or walking up stairs, without an enormous struggle. I want to lose weight as an act of caring for my self, not as a punishment for my eating "sins" or a dictate that I must be a particular clothing size. That's a profound change of heart for me.
That was really well said.

Whoever said :hugonJennifer:hugoff ought to have a PHD in psych...that made me smile and I agree :cheesy It really shines through that you've come a *long* way in recovery.

I could keep on gushing warm and fuzzy comments but I'll offer my two cents instead. More like a question.

Is it really possible to legalize all types of food? I once attended an OA meeting and looked over a bit of their material. Comparing the two different philosophies -that is, of Geneen Roth and OA- it seems really confusing that paths towards recovery could be so incredibly different. On one hand you're supposed to make a list of forbidden foods and never give into them like an alcoholic abstaining from alcohol and on the other hand, you've got Geneen Roth saying, go ahead, eat that cake! (I wonder what advice she would offer the alchoholic, I really am curious :grin) So I'm a little confused.

:trigger mentions (dun dun duh...) CARBs :muhaha. Mentions certain foods in order to explain myself.
I would much rather live by Roth's philosophy but there are certain foods that I find deliciously addictive and these are mostly carbs. As an athlete, my body certainly needs carbs (I was once billed as the "Official Anti-Atkins girl" :muhaha). But when given the choice between cookies or something a little more sensible and grown-up like toast or what-have-you, I go for the cookies. I swear that Murphy forgot to include in his set of laws, that cookies will invariably get gobbled up at my house. That's just the way it is. So in my circumstances, it seems wiser to have healthier food sitting around my house. I like healthy choices -not that cookies aren't "healthy" - but what I'm saying is, I don't think legalising works miracles in every single instance....though I hope that I'm wrong.

Like Jennifer and other have mentioned, recovery often requires therapy to deal with what's really bugging us and/or affecting our thoughts. However, in the case of the cookies (Megan vs. Oatmeal, to be precise :winky) I'm not sure there's a deep underlying issue. I just really like cookies especially after a workout and having them around isn't helping me make sensible choices.

I don't know where I'm going with this but I just wanted to point out that, yowzers, its really really hard to let yourself eat whatever you want. Sometimes I'm convinced that there's actually a little todler controlling my brain, making my food decisions. I guess enlightenment's never easy.

So one last question to throw into the mix: should legalization be an all or nothing process or is it more helpful to gradually re-introduce "forbidden" foods? Food for thought:winky

(I feel goo:wackyfy tonight:cheesy)

:love megan

01-28-2005, 10:43 AM
:hugon Megan :hugoff

:trigger (specific foods-- in fact, this whole post is about food... but with the purpose of showing how this process works)...

I have found for me.. that I didn't just go out and buy the whole grocery, lol! I started by buying the things I really wanted but never allowed myself to have.... the all time forbidden foods. For me, this was candy-- all kinds. I ate and ate and ate.. and ate a bunch at one sitting... and ate some here and there.. and I went out and bought three more when I ate them all.. and I ate and ate and ate the candy. Now... I don't crave candy any more. Seriously.

:trigger (cookies...)

Then I moved on to slice and bake cookies. Another all time forbidden food. And my kids were in heaven because we had cookies several times a day, every day. So then we ate and ate and ate and ate cookies. The DH was going crazy because he gained some weight because he was eating the cookies too. My whole family was on a backlash of eating because I never allowed any of it in the house. So we ate and ate and ate cookies. I've been having a roll of slice and bake cookies in my fridge for over a week now, and no one has asked for me to make them. Seriously. I haven't opened it because I just don't want them right now. If I find I do want them, I'll make some. But I don't want them right now, and I can always have them when I want.

Then I moved on to happy childhood foods.. this phase actually lasted the longest of them all.... foods my parents used to get for us if they were going out to dinner, or foods they would fix if we were having company over... Chick in a biskit crackers and spray cheese from a can... divine! lol. I bought three cans... and went through them all... NOT in a binge, mine you.. but giving myself permission to have them if I wanted them. Truthfully, that cheese is kind of gross... but what it represented to me was delicious. Now I've disconnected the food from my childhood and I found out I really don't like spray cheese in a can. I mean, it is o.k., but not something I care to have.

Then I moved on to chips/crackers/just total junk meals... like big sandwiches with loads of deli meat and mayo and stuff like that... pizzas... loaded pizzas... now I'm sick of pizzas. But I can have one if I ever want one again.

You know, like Geneen Roth says, after a while you just get sick of the stuff. I mean, once you disconnect your emotions from eating, and they become a separate process... then it is just a matter of time for your rational brain to realize that consuming foods just to consume them... just isn't much fun. Once you can wrap you head around the fact that you can have these foods when you want them, and you can always have them at a later date... when you can understand that there are no more diets, and when you can prove this to yourself by allowing youself to eat foods.. well, you just don't need to have them any more.

Food has successfully become just food.

My pantry is *filled* to the brim with play foods. I wasn't really still doing the plan of buy three of everything... I just hadn't realized that no one is eating the stuff!

So, I can say first hand that the Geneen Roth idea does indeed work, if you can truly believe that you'll never restrict again.

Oh, BTW, I used to think you could compare an alcoholic to a "food addict", but I don't believe for one second any more that they are the same thing.

I do not believe food is addictive. I believe the feelings food can invoke are addictive... the small amount of avoidance of the problems is addictive... and the brief seronotin increase feels good, sure... but I don't believe food is in any way addictive in the way that alcohol is.

That is part of the reason why I don't like the OA approach. How am I supposed to free myself from food when I have to carry around good/bad food lists? doesn't that keep me in the mindset that food is the problem rather than the problems are the problem.

I can say from my experience, especially now that I have been recovered for a while, that food was never my problem. This is so clear to me now. I was using food to avoid my problems. I wasn't addicted to food like I thought I was... I was in a swirl of chaos that the ED brings.

Food is not a problem in my life any more.


01-28-2005, 10:57 AM
:hugon Megan :wacky :hugoff

As far as I'm concerned, and I would be very interested to see what others have to say about this, legalization is an all or nothing process.

I'm not going to address one important point here because that's not what this thread is about, but I'll start another post regarding it, because I think it would make a really interesting discussion point. The main difference between OA and intuitive eating ala 'Overcoming Overeating' and Geneen Roth is that OA equates overeating with alcoholism and OO and Geneen Roth do not. I doubt that Geneen Roth would recommend that an alcoholic legalize booze - but perhaps we should send her an email and ask her and end this doubt once and for all (seriously, you're not the only person who has said this on the boards before).

The premise behind intuitive eating is that the fantasy of a diet and a thin body being the solution to all of our problems is akin to people fantasizing about how their life would be instantly 'fixed' if they won the lottery. There's nothing wrong with money, per se, but we all know that it's not the solution to all of our problems. Giving up the fantasy of the diet requires allowing ourselves to a) never diet again and b) giving up dividing foods into categories of good and bad. That is where legalization comes in.

I personally do not believe there is such a thing as food addiction. I think the obsession with particular foods actually comes from depriving yourself of them, and this is another basic understanding of intuitive eating. So according to the intuitive eating approach, if you find yourself craving oatmeal cookies, you should allow yourself to eat oatmeal cookies. Telling yourself that they are bad and not letting yourself eat them is the surest way to think about them constantly and eventually binge on oatmeal cookies.

It is a very scary thing to do, but I can assure you that if you allow yourself to believe that a cookie is the same as an orange, eventually you will want to eat both, not just cookies when you binge and an orange because it is good for you.

I know that you enjoy Geneen Roth, and I've read several of her books as well. I didn't truly grasp the principals behind intuitive eating, however, until I'd read the book 'Overcoming Overeating', whose authors Geneen references many times in her books.

Just to let you know, I was too doubtful and frightened to try this approach for real until just the last month. I've been in recovery for two years and was still trying to control my food. I think that it takes an enormous leap of faith (and perhaps a touch of desperation :winky ) to make this approach work as it is intended. I also suggest that before you even think about legalizing foods, that you figure out if you have truly bought into the two truths that are essential to making this approach work.

They are:

:lubdub You will NEVER go on a diet again.

:lubdub You will love yourself and accept yourself REGARDLESS of what size your body is.

:hugon Megan :hugoff I hope that I have answered your question!

01-28-2005, 11:11 AM
:hugon Amy :hugoff it is funny that you mentioned oranges, because I was at the grocery store yesterday and the navel oranges were soooo fragrant, that I just had to buy them. The smelled sooo good. Just to smell them was such a sensual experience. I don't think I have ever appreciated an orange like that before.

And :hugon Megan :hugoff In my post, I think I forgot to address (or maybe I didn't get it until Amy's post here...), that, no, I don't think you can do this approach unless you are willing to free all the food groups... including the carbs.

01-28-2005, 11:36 AM
:hairy :hairy :hairy So I am jumping for joy today because I can't remember a time in my life when I felt so incredibly good about myself. :hairy :hairy :hairy

I feel as though all of the work that I've been doing towards recovery for the last two years is paying off.

I am feeling (dare I say it?) closer to being recoverED that I have ever felt before.

My kitchen is full of foods that I've been too afraid to eat for many years. I feel safe with them there now.

I haven't been on a scale in two weeks. I have no idea what I weigh. I don't need to know.

I eat breakfast and lunch at the cafeteria in my office. Before I go in, I ask myself what I want to eat. Usually, I have no idea what specific food I want to eat, so I'll generalize by quality. Since it's winter, and freezing cold here in the city, just about every meal I want to eat something hot, substantial and filling. Yesterday for breakfast, I wanted something sweet. For lunch, I wanted something savory. For dinner, I didn't care what it was as long as it was hot, filling, and fast, so I had some yummy leftovers. I've been so pleased and comfortable from my meals, that I haven't needed to binge. Sure, I've been upset, I've had uncomfortable feelings - with my stbx-husband, our disputes and our court dates, there's been something upsetting happen every single day. But with a happy belly, when something upsetting happens, I either don't think of food to comfort myself or I do, and I think, but I don't need to eat this time. I'm happy with what I've eaten.

This morning, I asked myself what I wanted for breakfast and I was absolutely stunned when my body told me that what it really wanted was fruit. I tell you this because when I first started, I was worried that I would be eating sweets and my other legalized foods and nothing else for the rest of my life. Tomorrow or even later today I might want some of those things and I will have them. I now have confidence that when my body needs fruit or vegetables, it will ask for them too!

Can you tell that I'm excited by how things are going?

The best part? My obsessive thoughts of food, dieting, my body, the putdowns, EDNA, it's all quieting down. There are increasing periods of time where they are gone entirely. I can't believe it. I'm so happy.

I had mentioned in another post that there were some girls making fun of me the other day (for what I was eating). Today I had an opportunity to chat with one of them. We'll be working together on a project. You know what? She's really not that bad. She's diet and body obsessed, but that's her problem to work through, not mine. I think she's actually a really nice and interesting person. I can talk to her and still feel good about myself, and know that I'm a really interesting and nice person, too. I've started getting involved in hobbies again. I'm starting to dive into a social life again. I'm doing really well at work again. These things have been building for a while - they are a result of all the work I've been doing for two years, not the intuitive eating plan. It's nice to see everything start to come together.

Today I feel really good about myself, my life, and the direction that I am heading.

Oops, my stomach is rumbling. I'm going to go get lunch. Lunch without EDNA, bad body thoughts, guilt, deprivation, or deeper meanings. It's just lunch. It's just food. After lunch, when the food is gone, my life with continue and I will feel good about myself for reasons other than what I ate and what my tummy looks like. I feel free!! :hairy :hairy :hairy

01-28-2005, 11:40 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff

I think it is funny that we must have posted around the same time, and we both mentioned some of the exact same things!

I also think it is funny that I went through legalizing in just about the same order that you did (including the slice and bakes). And yes, my kids (and their nanny) are having a wonderful time with legalizing, too!

About the :hugon oranges :hugoff , I once read an interview with one of Claude Monet's daughters. They asked her what Monet's inspiration was, and she said something to the effect of 'When my father ate an apple, he ate an apple.' She went on further to explain that when her father did something, he became completely engrossed in it. When he ate an apple, he looked at it and really saw all of the colors. When he ate the apple, he smelled its aroma. When he ate an apple, he really tasted it. Buddhists call this being mindful. In several of his essays, Thich Nhat Hanh says, 'When I drink my tea, I drink my tea,' which means that when he is drinking his tea, he isn't thinking about work or what he's wearing or who won last night's game. He's thinking about his tea and enjoying its warmth and its aroma and its taste. That is why if you go to a buddhist retreat center, or even sometimes a yoga retreat center, they encourage silent meals. You have no choice but to concentrate on your food. Interesting, no?

01-28-2005, 12:21 PM
Oh, :hugon Amy :hugoff I am so happy for you! You sound like you are pulling it all together!

BTW, I love your quote... so true, so true.

And I have satellite TV, so I get the NY and LA local news.. and sometimes I actually watch the news because it is so different than what is going on down here (one time, the lead in news story was Baskin and Robbins has a new summer flavor... lol.. but that's really nice to say... no murders, etc)... anyhoo,, you all have so much going on right now.. with the subway fire, the temps... dang nine degrees this morning??... and the other fires.. the one explosion in New Jersey the other day (I think it was NJ)...

But I digressed.... there are so many parts to this process that I have discussed before in other posts... but have forgotten.. and I'm glad to see you are mentioning them.. like asking yourself what it is you really want to eat.. and then allowing yourself to eat it. The first time my body asked for a salad, I was so thrilled!!!! And what I am craving right now are crisp, cut up veggies with ranch dressing on them.. beautiful red peppers... and those kinds of things! Colored veggies!

And also I do think it is very imporant (and I didn't mean to gloss over this).. was when I say I ate and ate and ate... what I did was sit down, allow myself to just eat. I ignored the phone, turned off the TV... didn't sit in front of the computer... I sat down and allowed myself a portion of what I wanted and then I ate it while fully appreciating the tastes, textures, flavors.. and if I wanted more, I fixed another portion. So I totally slowed down the whole process.

And I haven't weighed myself in months. I do have the urge right now to weigh, but I know it is because I am curious about the weight loss. Mostly, it is because I feel so good right now. But I had to stop and ask myself what my motivation for weighing is.. and if I would be disappointed if I saw a number I wasn't expecting... and the answer is... yes, it would be to celebrate weight loss and a number I wasn't expecting might be triggering, so as a result, I won't weigh until I can appreciate whatever number the scale shows. And truthfully, I don't need to know how much I weigh. Why would I need to know this? The number is completely irrelevant to my life. I'm happy. I feel good. I look good. I have beautiful clothes that fit well. How much I weigh just doesn't fit into the equation.


01-28-2005, 12:34 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff thank you! I feel so good!

I think what you mentioned about slowing down the process is really important. The first food I legalized was ice cream. Typically, when I was binging, I would sit down in front of the TV and eat from the carton. When I was legalizing, I would actually scoop a serving into a bowl and put toppings, etc on it. I'd eat it like I had when I was a little girl, before the ED started. When I eat cookies, I take a serving, put it on a plate. If I want to, I go back for more - another serving, served in a bowl or on a plate. I don't remember reading this in a book.

What it really was, I guess, was that this was how I wanted to eat now.

When you are constantly seesawing between binging and deprivation, it somehow seems sacriligious to eat forbidden foods in a civilized way. Now that they weren't forbidden anymore, I was going to civilize my eating process! There was no longer any reason to hide - from anyone else or from myself.

My biggest hurdle right now, now that things are starting to go well, is to allow myself to gradually step away from my ED, the recovery process, etc. That is to say, I need to allow myself to live my life more and think about recovery and my ED less. :sfishy Amy :sfishy posted about making sure that you don't replace your ED compulsion with a recovery/SF compulsion. I'm starting to try to make an effort to put the OO book down more. I'm trying to visit the board once or twice a day (not doing so well today!). I'm doing it slowly, because I've only started to feel so good about where I'm going, but I am making an effort to do it.

01-28-2005, 02:50 PM
You know, I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day and I found two more weight watchers weigh in books! I'm still finding this shit around here!

I know what Amy meant about starting to venture outside the bowl. I have been on here a lot lately, though I think it is mostly because some more issues were coming to the surface. I pretty much can live my life these days.. in fact, aside from this thread... actually talking about it... I don't even have to think any more about my eating habits.... what I'm going to eat, how much of it, etc. I guess the intuitive process has taken over.

And I credit that to the "leap of faith" we keep talking about.

01-28-2005, 04:38 PM
Amy and Jennifer:

It's reassuring to hear about your experiences and keep reinforcing that this is the path out, and not just another detour on the E/D Highway thru Hell.

Did you find when you began this that the negative voices seem louder or that you're just more aware of them? I'm suddenly noticing all this negative chatter in my head and all these "food rules" that have been dictating my life and keeping me mired in self-doubt and self-loathing.

:trigger specific foods mentioned
For example, yesterday I was hungry between between breakfast and lunch, spied a box of turtles someone had left on the breakroom table for general consumption. My first thought was, I want one. I asked myself, and yes, I was hungry. But I ended up in this ********-minute tug-of-war with the "diet dictator" in my head, who was telling me that my natural impulse to eat something I wanted when I was hungry was all wrong!

"you shouldn't eat those. you're too fat already"
"It's not mealtime, you should wait until lunch and eat something healthy instead of empty calories."
"Don't let anybody else see you eating that. They'll think you're too fat already and don't deserve it"

That's some of the things I was "hearing."

Yes, I did eat one finally. I told myself turtles were now legal, that it was okay to eat one, that since they were legal and would always be available it was OKAY to eat one without a second thought, without pummeling myself with guilt and then embarking on a binge to drown out the guilty feeling for breaking a rule.

This morning, junk was again the only food "singing" to me when I was hungry when I got up. So I ate a small bag of peanut M&Ms. When I was almost finished the dictator started in, saying You shouldn't have eaten that! It's not healthy, blah, blah, blah And my immediate emotional reaction was a twinge of guilt. And my immediate mental response to that guilty feeling was, well, I can't stand this guilty feeling, so I'll drown it out with more food.

But I stopped in my tracks, got myself centered about everything being legal, it was okay to eat because I was hungry, kicked the guilt to the curb and worked thru the negativity without diving headfirst into the kitchen for more food when I wasn't even hungry anymore.

However, until that instant, I never stopped and NOTICED this guilt-reaction over breaking a "food rule" and how it triggers my binge-ing! I would just immediately dive into MORE FOOD, and MORE FOOD every time that feeling threatened to surface.

It is amazing to realize how much these rules and negative feelings have been controlling my life and perpetuating my feeling unworthy.

I'm also noticing that:

- because I'm honoring my self by allowing MY BODY to control the eating process, I am feeling more positive about myself in general and find it more natural to speak my mind, stand up for myself etc. When I continually distrust my body's signals, I mire myself in self-doubt and contempt. I censor myself in every other part of my life too. When I treat my spirit and body with respect, I feel like I am worthy of respect. I'm thinking "un-me" thoughts like, Hey, I'm an okay person; I deserve XXX.

-I'm slowing down and enjoying my food more, instead of desperately trying to cram it in so fast I can't even taste it. My mind is centered on what I'm eating while I'm eating it instead of thinking about what can I eat NEXT?

-It feels so freeing to not be bound by my "diet/eating" rules. It's what do I WANT? What do I NEED? Not should I? Am I ALLOWED?

But it's a little scary too. The negative voices whisper that this eating according to stomach hunger thing is just a gimmick, it will never work, I need to just go on a binge or go on a diet. Those voices are trying to keep me chained to those e/d behaviors (where it's safe and familiar, even if it's torment), but I'm countering those with reassuring, positive thoughts: this is the only way out, this is the way "normal" people eat, my weight is not THE problem and a diet won't solve it, no more diets ever ever ever.

01-28-2005, 07:44 PM
:stars shihtzuxtwo :stars

Regarding the Diet Dictator voice getting louder, I totally know what you mean. Because I'm just starting on the intuitive eating path, I figure the ED voices are feeling threatened & as a result, going for a last-ditch effort to keep me in the ED cycle.

I'm going to stay optimistic & assume the voices will die down as I progress & learn to trust myself.

Take care. :bug

01-31-2005, 10:15 AM
:hugon shihtzuxtwo :hugoff I know what you mean! I am more aware than ever of the ED voices (there is a fishy here who calls hers EDNA, and I liked it so much that I call it EDNA, too). I am aware of the negative voice, but I don't think that it is increasing, actually I find that mine is decreasing. I think at first, it was simply the new awareness and the fact that I was letting myself eat foods that used to be on my 'bad' list that made it seem like the voice was increasing. The voice had always been there, I was just used to treating it like a constant in my life.

These days when the negative voices start, it is much easier to quiet them down. Last night, I was thinking about my divorce and my in-laws and all of a sudden I felt fat. And rather than going down that path of flagellation and negative body thoughts, my first response was to say to myself, wow. Look how fast my mind responded to my feeling sad and angry by moving instantly to bad body thoughts. That was the first time I was really able to observe a bad body thought for what it was and really not let it make me feel bad.

I was reading all of the challenges that you've met while legalizing food and I think you are doing great!

Legalizing food was the hardest part for me. All weekend long, I was battling bad body thoughts and urges to weigh and diet. I had a really emotional weekend with my ex, and that was what was driving my urges. What I'm feeling positive about is that I recognized that all of it was being driven by my feelings and the situation I was in. I did allow myself to eat from mouth hunger several times on Saturday. Saturday night, I did some reading and some journaling and was able to recognize that I am doing the best I can and by Sunday I was not feeling urges to eat from mouth hunger as much as the previous day and so far this morning, I haven't been feeling urges to eat from mouth hunger.

I've moved on from simply legalizing food and letting myself eat what I want to trying to make an effort to eat from stomach hunger (whatever I want). It's not that I am forcing myself not to eat from mouth hunger, when I feel it very strongly, I do eat. It's that I'm focusing more on feeding myself when I am hungry and also focusing on my emotions separately (from my divorce, etc) and the mouth hunger urges are showing up less often. I have been finding that when I really listen to what I want to eat when I'm hungry and then let myself eat it and enjoy it, and do this often throughout the day, the mouth hunger starts to disappear. My feelings haven't gone away, but since I'm fed and happy with what I've been allowing myself to eat, it's easier to deal with them without instantly thinking of food.

Rather than being one big mess in my head, my eating habits and my emotional life are starting to separate themselves. I've been spending quite a bit of time trying care for myself emotionally and spiritually and focusing on my fears as a parent and my grief and anger over my divorce. I've been reading a lot of spiritual literature (from different spiritual philosophies), journaling a lot, reaching out and starting to connect with my new community and continuing to connect with my friends, and I've really been focusing on making my home a pleasant environment to live in (thanks flylady!). I think all of these things are contributing to what I am experiencing now. I don't think it's simply because I am following a new eating approach, as miraculous as it has been for me. It has been a journey of one tiny baby step at a time. Sometimes recovery was about waiting for my efforts to pay off, rather than finding the next thing that I could try. I read in one of my books that especially for Americans (and westerners in general, I would assume) it is hard to accept that sometimes not doing anything is really the best approach. One of my biggest problems is beating myself up when I do not see the results of my actions immediately, and I start to look for the next strategy, what more I could be doing. Very rarely do I think that I should perhaps just do less or continue to do what I'm doing and just wait to see.

I bring this up, because according to the authors, it is consistency with this approach that is the key to success. Every time you take care of yourself and feed yourself from stomach hunger, you are putting another marble in the bucket of security in your mind. You are creating and then reinforcing the notion that you are capable and willing to take care of yourself. So, you may not feel secure and successful immediately, but the longer you do it and the more 'marbles' you put in your bucket, the better you will feel.

My favorite part about this is that you are re-parenting yourself. As a mother myself, I make an effort to do those things for my children that were not done for me. And now, I have a chance to do those things for me, too! It is a wonderful feeling to be treated the way that you always wanted to be. I think I could get used to this.

:hugon Vision :hugoff good luck! :love :gimmehug :love

01-31-2005, 12:04 PM
I am a newby to the Intuitive Eating approach and this has been the BEST thread. The "seasoned veterans" have really made some great points and have given us newbies some hope for the future (or even the next ten minutes!). Legalizing my foods is going to be a challenge but that is what I'm working on now. Thanks for the words of encouragement! :yay

02-03-2005, 06:24 PM
I try to use the Geneen Roth guidelines (you aren't supposed to call them rules b/c that is too restrictive). I do fairly well with allowing myself to eat what food I want and not have a list of bad foods. my biggest issue right now is that I eat when I am distracted. I love to eat while reading or eat while surfing the net. I'd rather run back to my desk at lunch and eat in front of my computer than sit in the cafeteria with perfectly nice people. When I am distracted I don't hear the teeny tiny voice inside that says "I'm satisfied". Believe it or not I have heard this voice a couple times. usual I think"what already? We've only had a small portion"
Tomorrow I am going to eat with other people at lunch. I think I will try to do this once a week. It will be easier tomorrow b/c we are having a departmental luncheon so everyone will be eating at the same time and it won't seem so scary.

I love this thread and would like to continue ddiscussing Geneen Roth. Maybe starting a yahoogroup (or something like that) to go through her Why Weight book which is a series of writing exercises. I'd be willing to set this up and we could restrict membership.

02-03-2005, 08:58 PM
I haven't read that book (only read "When food is love"; are the exercises are too extensive to list here? I'm game for anything, but I kind of think it would be good to keep it here too, as people who arent' here yet can still benefit from the discussion later on when they find themselves at this point.

Maybe we can do a once a week thread on Geneen Roth exercises... or an exercise in the OO books as well....???

Anyhoo... a yahoo group is good as well....

02-03-2005, 09:08 PM
I would be interested in a yahoo group. At the moment I feel like I've fallen off the bandwagon but that only because I've put on a tiny bit of weight and thats supposed to come with intuitive eating right? But count me in. I'd never even heard of that workbook. Is it useful?
:love megan

02-03-2005, 10:50 PM
Hey folks! I am so glad I found this thread! I'm relatively new to this website, and I can't tell you how much reading the postings in this thread have meant to me! I feel absolutely ELATED and INSPIRED!!! Please, if you do set up another internet vehicle to discuss Intuitive Eating exercises, etc., please let me know about it. I'm not terribly internet savvy, so I might need some guidance on how to locate, log on, etc.

Anyway, just wanted to thank all of you for your wise and refreshing counsel. The only thing I might add to this, and I realize I may be the only person who needs to do this, but after so many years of making myself numb instead acknowledging/living with my feelings, I'm now writing them down in screaming capital letters in order to force me to feel them "out loud." In just a week it's had a tremendous effect in curbing my nighttime binging habit.

I'm hoping that if I contine naming/feeling my feelings, and follow the Intuitive Eating you've all described, I have a great chance of learning, finally, how to tame this beast! :hairy

02-03-2005, 11:31 PM
Thank you all for your amazing stories and wisdom. I would really like to work through these same issues! I have pretty much legalized all foods right now in my life, but i cannot put a stop to the dictator in my head saying that's bad, you're doing it wrong, you're going to get fatter and fatter and......Then I zone out and eat way too much and it's all pretty much a self fulfilling prophesy. You are all very inspiring and I thank you all for your strength! I am continually amazed that so many people have my same issues when I've been thinking I'm the only one who thinks these crazy thoughts and can't control herself. I agree, the eating is just as symptom of my underlying insecurities and fears. So definitely count me in on continuing this thread and such! I have so so so much to learn from you all! I cannot express my gratitude to this website or all EDs enough. :muhaha :igotit :sarcasm :happy :shy :touched :phil


02-04-2005, 07:46 AM
We can definately try doing some of the Why Weight exercises here. Why Weight is a Geneen Roth Workbook to help you deal with the emotions behind eating issues. Of course I didn't bring it to work today so I don't have a good exercise to start with.
It's so nice to know there are others out there who are feeling like I do! This web forum is just great for that!

02-04-2005, 10:28 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff Why Weight? is an entire book full of exercises.

:hugon Megastris :hugoff One of the greatest things about the bowl is that in sharing our steps toward recovery, we help others. Rather than setting up a Yahoo group, why don't we start a Why Weight? thread? Personally, I also find the SF bulletin boards much easier to use than yahoo groups, and I really like the moderation of the board. It feels like a much safer place to share here than in any other group on-line I've ever been in.

I used this book at the beginning of my recovery and found that some of the insights it gave me were helpful.

I also suggest the exercises at www.coping.org. They are not ED focused, but since a lot of issues are family and self-esteem based, they helped me recognize the issues behind my ED most effectively. I wrote down my answers to the questions and took them to my therapist to discuss them. I think that having that structure brought a lot of issues to my therapist's attention that she might not have even thought to ask about.

So, how is everyone doing?

:hugon Megan :hugoff I was just reading a section in Overcoming Overeating that I thought might be useful to you (as I promised to find the binging section in Geneen Roth's book). On page one hundred twenty-six, the authors start to talk about what you should do when you want to eat from mouth hunger and also what you should do when you binge.

:hugon lablover :hugoff I'm glad to see you on this board! How are you doing?

:hugon daisylion :hugoff I had trouble with that negative voice in my head, too. It took a lot of urging from other :fishy to learn how to be gentle and kind to myself. I hope that you stick around!

:hugon joyseeker :hugoff I commend you for journaling your feelings, that is indeed a great way to get in touch with yourself! The 'screaming capital letters' that you are using to curb your nighttime binges sounds a bit harsh to me, almost like you are using your 'inner diet dictator' to punish yourself a bit. One of the hardest things for ED sufferers to understand at first is that binging itself isn't the enemy. In fact, it is how we make ourselves feel better and some people even come to view it as a gentle nudge to take care of ourselves when it happens.

For myself, I had been having a rough time recently. I actually had to really fight against an urge to weigh myself last night and this morning - thankfully I managed to get through it. I haven't quite been able to bring myself to throw out the scale, which would be the best thing for me, and definitely is in my plans. So far, I've gotten on it once since starting intuitive eating, when I first started really panicking about eating what I wanted to. My current difficulties have more to do with letting myself get out of touch with my feelings and a lack of sleep from my kids keeping me up at night than with the eating strategy. I continue to ride the rollercoaster of emotions post-separation from my husband, and being single again and facing loneliness and doubt about finding someone else (especially issues about being overweight and dating) are leading my mind to jump from fear to fat. The other night I actually recognized that this was happening, and I was a little stunned to see the ED distorted thinking at work! I was lying awake thinking about how my ex-in-laws were saying horrible things about me and I could feel my stomach starting to feel immense and my next thought was 'OMG, I'm so fat!'. While this was happening, I felt a little like an impartial observer, because I could see that it was the difficult feelings from imagining my in-laws that were making my brain focus on my body. It was one of those Aha! moments for me.

I continue to legalize food and be gentle with myself and I'm starting to focus on feeding myself from stomach hunger as often as possible! I'm always surprised at how good food tastes and how happy eating makes me when I'm hungry. It's a completely different feeling than from my years of binging, when food made me miserable and I don't remember how anything tasted.

02-04-2005, 10:49 AM
Amy and Jennifer:

It's reassuring to hear about your experiences and keep reinforcing that this is the path out, and not just another detour on the E/D Highway thru Hell.

Did you find when you began this that the negative voices seem louder or that you're just more aware of them? I'm suddenly noticing all this negative chatter in my head and all these "food rules" that have been dictating my life and keeping me mired in self-doubt and self-loathing.

Sorry, I missed this!! To be truthful, it is hard to remember because I've been eating this way for months now. I don't believe I had those thoughts.... BUT it was because I was so sick and tired of dieting that I was so relieved and grateful to be able to eat this way that I just never looked back. I'd have to go back to my posts when I first joined last May (?) to be sure though...

See, when I started therapy, I didn't know I had an ED (this was just about a year ago)... and my T immediately picked up on the control/dieting issues and encouraged me to stop dieting... and I was so thanful to have "an authority" tell me to stop dieting that I gladly did it. Now... I do remember thinking I would re-start a diet at a later date, and I just figured I'd work on myself a while and THEN get back to dieting.

But then I went on vacation last April with my friend who is recovering from bulimia.. and she picked up on all my ED thought patterns and she's the one who kindly and lovingly pointed out that she thought I might have an ED. I remember the one thing I kept saying to her was: I want to lose weight.. I know I have to lose weight, but I'm so sick of dieting and all the negativity that I do to myself while dieting that I just don't know what to do or where to turn. I have to lose weight, but I'm sick of dieting. *bing*

Do you ever feel that divine intervention happened to change the course of your life? Or perhaps it is the simple concept of when you are ready to learn, the teacher appears? My friend lives in way up North and I live way down South... and we were able to get together and go to "the grand hotel" in Point Clear, Alabama for a girls' only vacation....

She recommended "Overcoming Overeating" (which she had recommended months before and I never bought...) and "Intuitive Eating"...and those books, especially OO... started my whole path to recovery.

So I'd have to say the reason I didn't have much "diet dictator" going on is that by the time I discovered my ED, I was so done with dieting that I was able to shut any thoughts down almost immediately. I told EDNA to shut the f*ck up, you're fired and I'm promoting my body to the command position.

I decided that since all the BED/COE recovery books all say the same thing... that they must know what they are talking about.. and all the way I thought did was give me an ED... so I just took that leap of faith and decided to just trust these books and I threw myself into the process....

And so here I am... not perfect by any means... but the happiest I've been in my entire life!


02-04-2005, 11:23 AM
Amy: Sorry you're having such a rough time, altho it sounds like you're making wonderful progress in getting to the feelings behind those "fat" thoughts.

I've been struggling this week with feelings of worthiness in relation to eating in public.

For example, two days ago, late in the afternoon, I was sitting at my desk feeling really hungry and it occurred to me that the one thing that would hit the spot was chocolate chip cookies. Well, having none with me and no change for the junk-food machine, I just decided to tough it out for a few hours until I got home.

Well, a short time later, a coworker came in my office with a tin of, you guessed it, c/c cookies and offered me one. And without batting an eye, my immediate response was, Oh, no, thanks.

And she assumed I was dieting (again, still, perpetually), apologized and moved on.

And, I sat there pondering my behavior: Why did I turn them down? When c/c cookies are now legal, when they were the ONLY thing I was hungry for? It was just a knee-jerk response: No, thanks.

Yesterday, at a meeting, same thing happened. I declined w/o missing a beat. Then I sat there and obsessed about the damn things thru-out the entire meeting, thinking, go ahead, reach out and eat one. No, DON'T. You're too fat! Do it! Don't you dare!
everyone will think you're a disgusting pig. So I didn't.

Because I felt like I didn't DESERVE one, hungry or not. The dictator was saying: You don't need that. You're too fat already. People will be disgusted and think, what a freaking hog, she is, eating cookies like that. Shame, shame, shame. And the inner child was pleading, but I'm hungry! Cookies are okay! Take care of me!

I remember being shamed by my mother one day for eating some cookies after school. Her sour disapproving look, interrupting me while I was trying to talk to her about something significant in my kid-world that day: "You don't need that!" she snapped, not even listening to what I was trying to tell her between bites. And shamed and humiliated, I pushed the cookies away. I didn't deserve cookies and I didn't deserve her time and attention to listen to me. Fucking bitch. So I learned to sneak food to avoid the disapproving looks, then my own evil dictator moved into my head and pummeled me with rage and shame for every "stolen" bite.

A normal person would have just eaten the goddamn cookies at work, enjoyed them, and gone on with life. I feel I have some "moral obligation" to pretend I'm dieting, even when I'm not, otherwise people will be disgusted with me because they'll think I'm just a fat hog wallowing in my slovenliness and am not trying to do something about it. (Yes, my parents fucked me up by pounding into me the "what will people think?" standard of behavior).

For every cookie I've passed up in public, I've devoured boxes and bags in a frenzy ALONE. Cramming them in so fast I can't taste them and never feeling satisfied because they can't plug up that hole in my soul where self-love, self-care should be. The self-esteem that would have enabled me to joyously accept my coworker's offered cookie with Oh, what a coincidence! I was just craving these! Thanks so much!

I feel depressed, defeated. I skipped the cookies in public then came home and went on an all-out binge that's continuing today. Last nite I felt so low I was having self-harm thoughts. Nothing I acted on but the urge was so strong. I wish I could hug that inner child and tell her, I'm so sorry I did that. That was mean to ignore your needs and treat you like you don't matter. I love you, i love you, and you really DO matter.

I have a job interview this week for a job that would be a godsend (financially, emotionally, professionally). And the e/d voice is saying, You're fat. You're a nut case. They'll take one look at you and never hire a stupid, obese slob like you. Don't tell anybody you're interviewing so it won't be a public humiliation when they pass you over (another of mom's admonitions from childhood: Don't try, you'll only fail, so don't be disappointed when you do fail--THANKS, BITCH!l).

I'm afraid of getting the job; terrified more that I'll NOT get the job and be stuck in my present tedious little, low-paying job until I end up in a straitjacket. I feel like I don't *deserve* an interesting, rewarding job, even tho I'm well qualified for this one.


02-04-2005, 12:21 PM
:hugon S :hugoff I see so much progress in your post! Growth is painful, and my biggest steps always happened after my deepest pains.

Your relationship with your mother sounds like mine... and I have used the "f" word many a time about her here at SF. lol... When I look more deeply, what I see with my mom is a horribly depressed woman who had so many of her own problems, also while spinning in her own ED, that she simply had no resources to parent. What they did, how the behaved and what they said was wrong, wrong, wrong. I do not discount that. My mother WAS a bad mother. But she does love me, and I do believe she tried her best.... even though it came out all wrong... and I do believe she is sorry about all of that now.... and none of us can go back and change it... but we can heal that inner hurting child by taking care of her now.

We can become our own caretakers.

And I feel as if you are me writing about eating in public. Oh, hon, I *never* as a rule ate in front of anyone. I never wanted anyone to see me eat anything "bad" and I only allowed other people to see me eat limited amounts of "good" food. That way I felt I would curb the horrible thoughts and loathing they surely would have felt for me had they seen me eat.

And that is sad, because what I didn't realize at the time (and I applaud you for realizing that).. is they probably would have never thought about it. It was just a projection of what I felt for myself.

I loathed other fat people. Especially people bigger than I was.. it was as if I feared their fat would rub off of me. So I naturally assumed other people would feel the same about me. But the most important part of the equation that I was missing was.... I had twisted ED thought patterns that other people didn't have. And in a way, it was sort of arrogant of *me* to think other people were consumed with my eating patterns... lol....

God, I'm so glad I have been able to free myself from my self-imprisoned hell.

Just some thoughts that came up reading your post... I'm still amazed at how I have forgotten about these thougts... more aspects of my ED that I haven't processed yet...

:ican :ican :ican :ican

02-04-2005, 12:31 PM
Dear S. - Regarding your upcoming interview -Oh my God, I know that feeling! How could anyone hire rolly-polly me as the conductor of their orchestra or choir? They'll surely want a tall, elegant person who looks the part: controlled, beautiful, attractive; not short, squishy me! I had one such interview to get the college position I now hold, and I was competing with six other people who were all professionally thin! We were all called to audition in front of the orchestra on the same night - ******** minutes each - and I knew I was sunk if I let the Dictator take charge of my brain.

What I knew, internally, was that I had more experience and skill than the rest. That was the only thing I had going for me when I walked into that audition - just the knowledge that I was better qualified. So I decided to just roll in, have a good time, show them what I could do, laugh, make great music, and roll out. It must have worked cause I got the job!

I share this just to encourage you to put yourself, all of yourself without shame, out there and show people what a great asset you'd be for them in the position. I know this is hard, especially when your self-esteem is shaky. Learning how to trust people in authority after growing up with an authoritative mother who obviously had her own baggage, is a difficult thing. But assuming they will treat you with the same disregard your mother did is unfair to them and is setting yourself up for defeat. They're looking for someone who's qualified to do the work, not someone who fits a particular body image. You're qualified! You can help them! They need someone exactly like YOU!

And if they offer you a chocolate chip cookie during the interview, and you'd really like to eat it, just be honest with yourself. You can even warm up the room by giving a chuckle and saying "This is one of my favorite foods in the world! How did you know? I'd love working with you!"

Janet :gimmehug

02-04-2005, 05:57 PM
Thank you, Janet and Jennifer. I appreciate your support and kind words so much! It was really cathartic to get all of that out. It had me so wrought up that I just cried and cried over it. And ate and ate. And I feel better.

My mom is/was depressed and had an unhappy childhood with distant no-so-loving parents, followed by an unfulfilling marriage, and resented me & my sibs because she chose to stay there. I don't dwell on that except when I get in touch with the E/d & inner child stuff, then the hurt erupts into anger. We have a pretty good relationship actually.

I'm going to look for the Big You, Little You book that somebody mentioned. Picturing that E/d voice and inner child as separate entities thru this has really been helpful as far as helping me in getting in touch with the thoughts and feelings.

Janet, when I'm getting ready for that interview I'm going to keep your triumph in mind.
And I am going to march in there telling myself I'm the answer to their prayers.

Have a fabulous weekend everybody! And thanks again.

02-06-2005, 01:57 PM
I took out my "Intuitive Eating" book because I've been feeling lately like I am ready to move further into "intuitive eating"... like making more healthful choices while not restricting in any way. I want to explore what foods provide me with energy and fullness and taste good and are satisfying...without the lag from foods that have little nutritional value.

Yet, I know I can have the play foods if I want them. I'm just sort of getting sick and tired of the play foods. I've also been having the desire lately to get back into cooking, which is exciting for me because I really used to enjoy cooking from scratch, but I lost that when I made food the enemy. I'm a good cook. I want to get that good feeling back of enjoying foods and feeding others and hearing all about how good the food is.... the social aspect of eating. I used to enjoy that and I want it back.

Chapter four of "intuitive Eating" describes the stages of going from chronic dieter to intuitive eater.

:bullet Hitting diet bottom: when you are ready to break out of the cycle

:bullet Exploration: learning what you like and eating without guilt. To me, this is where the principles of "Overcoming Overeating" fit in nicely. This is where you free the foods and eat without guilt or an ethical dilemma and learn to enjoy and savor what you are eating. They say to let this phase last as long as you need to.

:bullet Crystallization: where the intuitive process takes over and where you make the choices of honoring your hunger, fullness and what you want to eat without having to think about it. It just happens naturally. This is where you fully separate emotions from food. This is where I am... and I feel as if I am coming out of this stage. Some weight loss can happen here depending on a LOT of variables...

:bullet Awakening of the Intuitive Eater: This is where you can tell which foods affect your body in which ways. (doesn't that sound nice??) Too many play foods may zap your energy and not enough play foods may feel restrictive... you know you can have any food whenever you like and you know you can always have more if you want it. You can sit with your feelings and resolve them and chocolate has become the emotional equilavent of a peach. You have learned to accept and love your body.

:bullet Enjoying the pleasure: You trust your body.. you have moved to an even-keeled approach to nutritionally sound energy foods and play foods. You will be able to tell how eating and exercise affects your body, and you will move to an intuitive feeling of wanting to feel good. You won't buy into the diet industry or societial messages that say one body type is better than another, and you will have made peace with food, your body and exercise. You will be living in the middle and not with the extremes.

I dont' intend for people to compare what stages they might be in, etc... only that I found this helpful to see that this way of eating is a process... a well thought out process of going backwards, so to speak, to a time when this way of eating and exercising might have been a natural thing.. until our own personal situations took of out of this lovely little cocoon of living and thrust us into a world of distrusting our bodies, misusing food and avoiding our natural emotional responses to life.


02-07-2005, 01:48 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff

Thank you for posting those stages. I've been feeling stuck between exploration and crystalization, and I didn't even realize that there were stages beyond that! As I'm a bookaholic anyway, I'm definitely going to have to read that book. I've also been wanting to read Preventing Childhood Eating Problems by Hirschmann and Munter, but haven't been able to find it in the stores, so maybe I'll just order them on-line.

I alternate between feeling fantastic about myself and how I am doing and accepting my body to wondering if I'm going to be fat forever. I know, I know, I know. I have to say that even in the most Pollyannaish of us recovering :fishy sometimes the F word (and I don't mean Fernando, which is my other F word) rears it's head. :confused I refuse to say ugly head, because I'm not supposed to hate my fat, just accept it for now. I've been repeating this sentence that I read in Overcoming Overeating over and over and over again this last week. 'Yes, I would like to be smaller, but I'm not going to let my body size keep me from enjoying my life now.'

It's been really difficult to accept my body while I'm also trying to recover from my husband's betrayal and move on with my life, which at some point I hope includes dating and sex.

I've been so tempted to get on the scale, but I haven't. I've been tempted to diet (gosh darn the TV people who are advertising seven hundred different ways to lose weight this week) but I haven't. I've eaten a WHOLE lot from mouth hunger, but I didn't beat myself up about it (too much) and realized a lot of times that food is just food. I think that's why I feel so bad right now, actually. I've separated food from my emotions and the emotions are starting to run their course.

I think that there are people who think that this sort of eating is taking the easy way out - we get to eat as much of what food we want when we want to and in the process, rather than improving our bodies, we accept ourselves the way that we are. At least, that is the sort of attitude that I've faced when I've tried to explain what I am doing to people not already familiar with the technique. Let me be the first to stand up and say that this is not easy! At least at the moment, I am not finding it easy. I am really struggling to continue legalizing food and to eat whatever I want and to accept my body as it is now and NOT give in to the constant bombardment of dieting media and thin bodies everywhere.

I don't think anyone should ever get the idea that they are not successful if they struggle. I think I'm partly saying this as a reminder to myself, but it's true. Right now, I'm really struggling with moving forward with this approach, but I have seen it work for others and I made a committment to following it through. So I will NOT get on the scale or choose diet foods or restrict!!!! I'm going to continue to keep food in its place and not get it confused with my feelings, which are giving me a really really hard time this week.

02-07-2005, 02:10 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff

I totally get how you feel. I did get on the scale. I was able to believe that whatever the number.. I wasn't going to judge. I was just curious. Now... I'll freely admit that there was a range of numbers that I was *hoping* to see... la la la..., but I felt I wasn't going to beat myself up.

And what was so stupid-- stupid about weighing... not "stupid me"... was that weighing told me nothing. Huh. I think I finally got it in my head that the scale is solely a dieting tool... and has no part in my life now.

What happened was I saw a number.. The number wasn't near the number I had hoped to see. But since I haven't dieted in over a year... and since I haven't weighed in months... the number told me NOTHING other than the realization that I feel soooo good at this number that is higher than numbers that I felt "like a fat hog" when I was stuck in diet mentality.

So that was weird. I mean... I just don't need to weigh. But it did show me that numbers are completely irrelevant to my life. I guess two percent of me is disappointed.... and I have been trying to process that out... but really the nintey-eight percent of me is amazed that I feel so light and my clothes feel so good that I can't comprehend what negative connotations this number would have represented to me last year.

Last year, I would have like to have laid down and died had I seen this number. But now... a year later... I just feel so happy and contented and I'm actively living my life and I have made numbers irrelevant.

It is kinda funny to me that I even felt the need to weigh. I think I am done with it now. It is kind of like expecting to eat an apple but instead you taste steak... one isn't related to the other. I've disconnected myself from the dieting world that I almost felt like a space alien looking at this stupid piece of metal with this digital readout and wondering why people put so much self worth on it.

My clothes are loose. The number doesn't really reflect that. So am I to trust myself and my body and KNOW that I feel good and my clothes are loose, or do I believe this machine that last year would tell me I didn't deserve to live at this weight?

Ya know... seems so strange now.

Meanwhile, I've been looking over cook books and taking inventory of my spices and I've been making a menu for the week and then I just did a grocery list. I'm not as overwhelmed as I thought I would be. Cheese. I seem to be drawn to recipes using cheese... which was one of my all-time forbidden..no no foods... lol.

Oh, and I think the childhood ED bookis out of print? But you might still be able to get it at amazon...

And, I agree with you, Amy... this process is hard at times.. but mostly I have found it an exercise in patience. When dieting...we want to lose ten pounds in a week.. yeah, that'll solve everything... but this process of not just recovery, but intuitive eating... just has sooo many side journeys that it just takes a while. I think that is what has felt so unnatural to me...and strange that I chose unnatural since it is really how the natural course of our eating should be. But, obviously, since I've been eating disordered for like twenty-seven years it makes sense to know that what should seem natural seems rather unnatural.

So once again we are back to the process over progress. Trying to undo twenty-seven years of twisted thinking patterns is going to take a little bit. That's fine with me... I have made such leaps and bounds in a year that I get excited about what will happen this year!


02-07-2005, 04:22 PM
ya know... after all of this talk about honoring hunger, etc.. I realize that I am ravenously starving right now.... I haven't eaten anything but an orange since eight am. I was so preoccupied with everyone (kids are off for Mardi Gras holidays plus they are sick....) else BUT me, that I realize that I missed all my body's hunger signals, and now it's starving! How sad! And to think this used to be a way of life.... I feel sad that I missed out on feeding my body when it first asked for it.

Well... I'm going to get something to eat now...

02-08-2005, 11:48 AM
I've just finished reading Overcoming Overeating, and have been legalizing foods all month - what a wonderful feeling. I've felt real hunger for the first time in fifteen years! How incredibly exciting!

I also did the recommended initial steps - threw out the scale (what a TERRIFIC feeling THAT was!), cleaned out my closet, and did the mirror work. As I've been going through the month I've noticed that sometimes I'm feeling sad - as if the overeating was a very long best friend that I'm breaking off a relationship with. It's almost like I no longer know how to identify myself. I know, there are so many other (positive) things that identify who I am, but that sadness still remains. I never expected this to be a part of the feelings I'd newly discover!

I've also been coming across a problem I'm wondering if anyone else out there has experienced. I'm a Type I diabetic - totally insulin dependent since early childhood (many, MANY years!). If there are any others out there with insulin dependency, do you find sometimes you can't distinquish between when you're genuinely hungry, and when a low blood sugar level demands you eat? I find myself questioning all the time whether I'm really hungry or whether it's the insulin talking to me. Just wondering if anyone else has faced this dilemma.


02-08-2005, 01:38 PM
:hugon Janet :hugoff I'm so glad that you are experiencing the freedom of legalizing foods and from the tyranny of diets! I think it is pretty common to feel some sadness when you let go of something that has taken up so much of your time when you let go of overeating. I'm going to bump up a thread that Scille had written last year about figuring out what to do with all this free time!

With the feelings of hunger and diabetes.. I do not have diabetes, but I do occasionally have low blood sugar which makes me feel shaky and light-headed. I treat this feeling just as I would a stomach hunger feeling - my body is telling me that I need food, so I eat. With this feeling, though, I don't usually ask my body what it wants to eat, I eat the food that I know will make the feeling go away, like a glass of fruit juice. I don't know if that's the right way to handle it, that's just the way I've handled it.

:hugon Jennifer :hugoff I can't wait until I get to the point where the numbers are disconnected with how I feel about myself. I do agree with you about this process being an exercise in patience. Sometimes, I think we can be overly anxious for results and with this process, being consistent and constant with allowing yourself to eat any food your body is asking for and feeding yourself when your body is hungry demonstrates even greater results the longer you do it. Waiting for the changes to happen can be difficult when you are used to blocking out your results a la the dieting chart (which I'm sure we've all made - aka if we lose two pounds a week, by Christmas I'll weigh xxx). With this, you can't say, well if I legalize all foods and feed my stomach hunger five times today, by Easter I'll be eating totally from stomach hunger and I'll start losing weight and by July ****th, my Ed will be completely gone! The authors of OO are very clear that there really is no timetable, that everyone experiences the process differently.

For myself, I always have some sort of idea of perfection in my head, and it is very frustrating to me when I don't see the results I expect on MY timetable. What I need to remind myself (on a regular basis with most things I do) is that my bodies timetable and my brain's timetable might be completely different from the artificial one that I've created for myself. It's the same thing as if I was expecting my one year old daughter to be completely potty-trained by eighteen months. Sure, other kids have done it, but her body might not be developed enough and her mind might not be able to grasp the concept, and if I push her to meet this deadline that I've determined is best for her, I'll actually hurt her more than I'll help her to meet this milestone in her life.

Right now, I'm focusing a lot on accepting my body as it is now. It is not an easy concept to embrace, not after so many years of beating myself up for not being able to maintain what I considered to be the ideal thin body. I think being comfortable ENOUGH with your body right now to live your life is one of the most important parts of this process. One thing that has really helped me with this is to realize that my children adore me no matter what my body looks like. And having several friends (female and male) who have demonstrated that they care about me regardless of my size makes it so much easier too.

02-08-2005, 01:54 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff Thanks for getting back to me so quickly about the blood sugar lows. What you describe is how I've been treating it. I think you're right - to keep in mind that there's a distinct difference between genuine hunger, and treating, as if it were a separate medical necessity, the low blood sugar events. It's the act of keeping them separated in my mind that makes the most sense. Thanks for the suggestion! :bounce

Also - you mentioned the thread on "filling up all that time" by Scille - I'm so new to this website that I'm not sure where to look for it. Any hints you can give me for navigating through all the information to find that thread would be greatly appreciated!

I've really enjoyed and learned so much from reading yours and Jennifer's postings. It seems like the two of you are always there for each other, understanding and experiencing the same level of comprehension about recovery issues. Just thought I'd mention how grateful I am for being permitted to peak into and learn from your journeys.


02-08-2005, 04:32 PM
:hugonAmy:hugoff After hunting a little I found the thread you bumped up for me. Thanks again! -Janet

02-09-2005, 01:42 PM
Wow, talk about a slow day on the boards. Must be that beautiful weather out there - all the fishies are outside playing!

Actually, I know that the title of my post sounds pretty bad, but I'm not sure that it is. A lot of things happened today and I am worried that I've done something wrong.

OK, so after a really bad start to the week, I've been feeling awesome. I've been eating mainly from stomach hunger (althrough, truthfully, I don't keep track, I just notice when I eat from mouth hunger and try to figure out what's wrong and if there's another way I can deal with my feelings). Yesterday I noticed that I had a ton of food in my kitchen that ordinarily I would have been binging on, but that I've completely ignored. I had one serving of an old binge food last night, with no desire for more, and felt so good about myself.

I've been tossing around an idea about opening my own business, and I've been feeling really positive about that.

Then this morning, I got an email that said some of my pictures that I'd sent to snapfish.com had been published to my on-line albums. So, I went in to look at them, and in the midst of my albums of my adorable children and the holidays, there is a series of pictures that must have come from some long-forgotten roll of film from the summer right before I got pregnant with my first child. There I was, incredibly gorgeous, just beautiful. Do you know what I remember about that summer? I hated myself - I was happy that I was wearing 'skinny' clothes, but all I could think about was the fat that I still had left. I'm sure that I had my head in a toilet bowl on occasion. I had no idea how beautiful I was. I was in NYC, had few friends, no social life except my running club, did nothing but sit in my apartment and smoke and eat - I was so depressed.

I can't believe that I looked like that and I was so miserable. I CANNOT BELIEVE that I looked that beautiful and I thought the best that I could do was Fernando!!!

The thing is, I am so much happier and confident about myself now. I have an identity, I have a healthy social life, I have peace and happiness in my life (sometimes ;). I love myself now - I take better care of myself than I did then. Yes, I'm heavy, but I no longer smoke, I rarely drink, I'm just a world away from where I was.

It's beautiful outside today in NYC. I was inspired by the spring-like weather to have a spring-like salad for lunch. It was delicious, and I didn't feel like I was on a diet at all. I was also inspired by my good feelings to go down to the gym and walk/run on the treadmill, and I even lifted some weights in the male-dominated free weight room. Those were old habits of mine that I actually did used to enjoy, and I felt inspired by the weather, and a little by the picture.

After all of this, I felt fear.

It felt too much like I'd been triggered by that picture into exercising and eating a salad. But it doesn't feel like that is true. but it seems too convenient. Yes, I wish I could look like that again - this time, I would really ENJOY it! But, I would never ever ever give up my precious recovery in order to do it. So, that is what I'm struggling with now. I don't want to slide backwards, but the Fear that I might have been triggered is actually triggering me into wanting to eat.

Any ideas? I think, but am not certain, that this would be similar to the fear of being thin, which I don't know much about.

02-09-2005, 02:02 PM
:hugon amy :hugoff This particularly struck me: There I was, incredibly gorgeous, just beautiful. Do you know what I remember about that summer? I hated myself I too only wish I realized how beautiful I was (I know I'm beautiful now...) "back then" when I was beautiful but stuck in the "if only I was...." trap.

I don't know what to tell you... maybe don't exercise tomorrow or don't exercise as long...you know.. maybe a less defined form of exercise.. walk an extra block to work... so that you can measure if you truly want to move your body or if you feel compelled to have a hard work out???


02-09-2005, 02:11 PM
I just got back from the grocery and I spent three hundred eighty five dollars on food! LMAO :hairy :hairy :hairy :hairy

I took the grocery list with me so that I can make the recipes that I had picked out... and mostly I was short on the basics of home cooking, like spices (which we all know can get expensive right there).

I'm not really going to mention the foods specifically.. only to say that by the time I was done at super wal-mart, my basket had a mountain on top of it with items rolling off... I walked out with two baskets!! :muhaha

Sure, some people looked amazed at the basket, but I am used to shopping for about two weeks worth of groceries at a time.. so I was very confident and was actually hoping someone would make a comment or ask a question so that I could respond that I was going back to home cooking for my family!!! :winky :winky

This was my "fuck you" to the diet world. I bought a variety of foods... all food groups... fresh items... no processed gunk.... I didn't read labels and I'm cooking for taste and pleasure!!!! Howwda like that?!

In thinking about all of this, I think some part of my now-defunct bingeing was the basic starve-yourself-all-day-and-don't-have-carbs-etc so by the time night came.. there was absolutely no pleasure, satisfaction or fufillment in regards to eating. I miss good foods. NOT JUNK. Good foods.

I am so thrilled to be entering this phase... cooking with all food groups for pleasure!!!

:lubdub :lubdub

02-09-2005, 02:12 PM
:hugonAmy:hugoff Just read your last post. I think you've done a wonderful job of analyzing your predicament. I also think that, much as we'd all like to believe that one day there will be no more triggers in our lives, it's probably never going to be quite that easy. Instead, I'd like to think that we may always have a couple triggers, like your fear of being triggered, but with the trust in yourself that you've developed through your recovery tools, you now can do just what you've done: look calmly over the situation, figure out what flipped the trigger, feel the attendant emotions, and let it go. My guess is that if you responded to your trigger with wanting to eat, since you've done your exploration work, you won't go on an all-out binge that you'll beat yourself up over. Food is legal now, right?

I, too, like to exercise. It makes my body feel great. It makes me happy. I like to feel my muscles working. I don't do it to loose weight, like I used to. Now I do it to feel my body breathe and work and joy in the wonder of movement. We get so paranoid sometimes - analyzing every single thought...we're soooo hard on ourselves!

I don't live too far from NYC, and I went for a great walk on this unusually warm early February day, and it felt great to be outside, moving, content in my larger body. Don't know if this helps, but I just thought I'd share my thoughts.


02-09-2005, 02:32 PM
So, dear fishies, Iíve done more thinking about what happened today, and I think I feel ok about it. I realize that if I had seen the same picture a month or two ago, or a year ago, I would have been wildly triggered into setting up a diet plan and a strenuous exercise plan and I would be feeling so bad about how I look now. I donít feel any of that.

While I went to the gym and worked out, I also did something extremely unusual for me. I undressed and dressed in the common locker room instead of hiding in a toilet stall. I didnít hide my body. Iíve done this twice now Ė once last week and once this week Ė and I donít think I would have had the courage to do this if I was feeling bad and triggered about my body. I actually felt really confident. My feeling is why should I hide my body because it doesnít meet societyís ideal? Perhaps more people will accept my body type if they become accustomed to seeing one Ė borne with confidence and strength. I donít mind being a trail-blazer in the locker room! J Yes, I got some Ďlooksí from girls closer to that ideal, but strangely enough not all of them seemed to be derogatory. I actually got more friendly smiles from women at the mirror doing their hair and makeup than ever before Ė substantially more.

Yes, I worked out, but I wasnít punishing myself or holding myself to an artificial standard. Before I went to the gym, I read an excerpt from the website of John ďthe PenguinĒ Bingham, the legendary couch-potato turned marathoner. Anyone can run, you just need to take it at your own pace. So, I walked and I ran when I felt like I could, and when I got bored, I stopped. I didnít write down how far Iíd run, or how long. I didnít look, I donít care. After I worked out, I undressed outside the shower stall and THEN got in. This doesnít seem to be the action of a women who has been triggered by a picture of a skinny her.

The salad was delicious. It was just what I wanted, and I had them put in the ingredients that I wanted, not what I thought I should eat. It was crunchy and fresh, which was exactly what Iíd been craving. Thirty minutes after I ate it, I was hungry again, and I ate again. My snack didnít fill me up, so I ate a little more. Again, I donít think these are the actions of a triggered woman.

I think my fear, though, is real and is something that I need to work through. I donít want to feel like Iíve gone back to my old lifestyle every time I exercise or eat a Ďhealthy/dietí food. If Iím feeling triggered by that, imagine what would happen if I actually lost weight? Tonight, Iím going to read the section in the book on the fear of losing weight and see if I can figure out what is happening.

02-09-2005, 02:39 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff Wow! That's a lot of money honey! :supergrin Of course, you have kids, so we all know how the grocery bill can get.

I think it's great that you are taking pleasure in cooking again. I've actually done something similar, although I hesitated to mention it on the board. I joined a cooking club in my neighborhood. I wanted a way to meet some neighbors and my sister saw a post for the club on one of her cooking sites on-line. I love to cook and I felt very comfortable at our last meeting. It was nice to be able to enjoy food for once and not have to worry about the calories or fat grams. Mostly, I really enjoyed the company and hearing stories of the neighborhood and of different places to shop and the kids activities and such. I also joined a playgroup as part of my foray into the neighborhood - so this isn't my only thing! I'm finally reaching out to my community and meeting people, which is something I never did when I was with Fernando. I feel great! :hairy

02-09-2005, 09:54 PM
There's one more idea I want to throw into the mix. I'm curious, how do :fishyies with allergies or medical/religious dietary restrictions (e.g diabetes, kosher, etc) deal with intuitive "I'll have whatever I want" eating?

Right now I'm being tested for celiac disease (gluten/wheat allergy) and in the meanwhile, I'm supposed to avoid everything that contains wheat or even traces of gluten :wacky. All I could think today was, wow, buttery toast would be great...in fact anything with bread would be terrific. Of course when I got home, I simply *couldn't* help myself from eating/binging on cereal (a no-no food, for the time being and quite possibly, indefinately).

A lot of people don't understand what its like being physically *unable* to avoid a certain food or foods (as someone who has an ED) even if the result is being sick afterwards. It's that manic "I want it!" feeling, a sort of anxiety. If it was as easy as avoiding food that made us feel ill, binging would be much easier to cure.

I'm in sort of a catch-********. I'd love to legalize everything but being quasi-vegan and now on gluten free diet :wacky I'm not sure what's left to legalize... except chocolate. I figured that one out quickly :muhaha. I'm curious to know what others fishies think...

:love megan

02-11-2005, 11:04 AM
Ok, ok, so the fear of thinness and dieting has definitely triggered me quite a bit. It's not that I'm binging - I'm not. I'm just not paying as much attention to eating what my body really wants as I was before. The dieting thoughts are back - well, I'm not sure that they ever left.

Sometimes, it is exhausting to take care of myself!

My big pants are starting to feel tight and I'm panicking. Somewhere deep in my mind, a little fat thought is festering.

I think what I really need right now is to get centered and get in touch with my feelings again. I haven't journaled in a week - the feelings about my ex are sometimes so painful that I cut myself off from them and I stop journaling for a while. I don't know if that's healthy, it's just what I do. I'm going to try to take a yoga class today. And this weekend, I'm looking forward to my spa appointments! I've scheduled a hot rocks massage on Saturday and a haircut and highlights on Sunday. Woohoo! Time for myself - time to relax. And I'll be at my parents house with the kids, so my son will get to play with his beloved kitties and grandfather, and someone else can cook!

I don't feel like I'm off-track. How can I possibly be off track? I'm still here, I'm still trying, every day is a new learning experience. The lesson that I don't have to be perfect is something that I'm still sometimes learning the hard way, but I don't have to learn that perfectly either! :supergrin

How are the other :fishy doing?

02-11-2005, 03:00 PM

That's an excellent question that I've wondered about as well. For me though, I know part of my wondering if I can do intuitive eating with a restricted diet is a way for me to worm out of doing it. But the other part feels like a totally legit issue. I've been vegan for four years (because of ethical, environmental and health issues) and wouldn't dream of eating animal products again. Yet, there is part of my psyche that sees being vegan as "restrictive" since I have had a diet mentality for so long. I hope it's something that "comes out in the wash" of working with intuitive eating. Meanwhile, I crave fast food burgers and other foods that the majority of me just doesn't want to eat. It's frustrating and confusing. Where I'm at now is legalizing all the vegan yummies that I have restricted over the years or have used as binge foods. I'd love to hear any thoughts you or other fishies come up with!


(btw, hello to fishies . . . I took a long hiatus, but I feel ready to move forward again in my ed work!)

02-20-2005, 02:28 PM
well, I think it has finally happened. I'm sick of food. Not that sick of food feeling when you've overstuffed yourself and swear off food... no...

I get no emotional benefit from eating.

I enjoy food, yes. I enjoy the process of having a nice dinner with Dh or the family. Yes. I enjoy the experience of eating, yes. But I get no emotional satisfaction from food. Nothing. I couldn't even zone out on food right now if I tried.

I've been through one year's worth of holidays' binge foods. Valentines, easter, mother's day, fourth of july, halloween, christmas. I have successfully deprogrammed myself and the urge to buy a butt load of favorite easter candy and binge on them in the car. I tried one of my faves the other day... the ultimate binge secret treat.. the one I looked forward to all year... and it didn't even taste as good as I remember. In fact, it was down right adequate. lol.


I am enjoying my cooking so much. That expensive grocery trip has carried me through tomorrow's dinners, so in the end... I wound up spending less money than usual. All of this food has been pleasurable in moderate amounts. Not even one thought of bingeing on it.

I also had an appt. with my T last Wed. I want to go to her four times this year (unless something stressful popped up). I told her my only concern right now is that I was doing really well on all fronts, and then I shut everything down. Like I was cooking, cleaning, takign care of myself, gardening, drinking water, exercising-- all not compulsively.... and it was all feeling good... but then for no reason I shut everything down except the cooking.

She said not to worry and to take it slow. All change is frightening, even good change.. especially when it is so much change at one time. She said to give myself some space to find my way...

I had been worried because I wasted so much time this week just hanging out. One day I literally didn't even get dressed and I just had a peaceful day in the quiet just staring and turning my brain off. I mean, it felt good to just lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling.. but it seemed wasteful. She said it sounded to her like I was listening to my body's cues that it needed a break, and not to worry unless I do that for more than two weeks.... every now and again is fine...

So I think what may have happened is that it felt unnatural to intuitively listen to my body. I intuitively picked up on needing a break before I even thought about it. I was tired this week... and flo came today... so I guess I really did need it.

Anyway... that's what is going on with me... I've been hanging out listening to my body and waiting for me to decide if/when/how much change I can handle and at what pace... I've had a glimpse of my authentic self to be, and she's one cool chick! She is no better or worse than the woman I am right now.. she is only different.

02-20-2005, 05:01 PM
It's hard to imagine. Wonderful and incredibly scary to read your stories about giving away the control, the diet dictator, legalizing all foods, etc.

Part of me wants to say that I legalized all foods years ago. I ate anything and everything. But I realize that I did it for emotional reasons, that I hated myself for doing it, that I don't trust myself around foods, that I worry about having "enough" of a given food I want, that I'm scared to death of giving up control.

Okay, I'm not there yet and I accept that. I have a question because I know there have to be more people here than just me who deal with foods we cannot physically eat. I have diabetic gastroparesis and what that means is I can't digest certain foods. At this time, if I really want something that I know will cause a problem I usually eat it and accept that I'll pay for eating it. The child inside screams "it's not fair!"

As I was reading, I think it gives the ED part of me something to complain about ? For example, 'Oh, sure, I can legalize cookies, but I can't eat an apple without getting sick.' -- What I mean is, is this a way of 'yeah, but'ing the idea of recovery? "Yeah, recovery sounds great, BUT I have"......blah blah blah?

How do other people handle this aspect?

02-20-2005, 06:30 PM
:hugon Zaz :hugoff I checked my OO book last night, and it didn't say much about diabetes... only that you have to figure out how to incorporate the foods you can have without feeling left out with the foods you can't have. Not much to go on. You may want to check their web site http://www.overcomingovereating.com

I'll check my "Intuitive Eating" book in a bit....

02-20-2005, 06:54 PM
:hugon Zaz :hugoff
I can totally relate even though I'm not diabetic (see my above post, er, one of them:muhaha). Basically i can't eat anything with gluten or anything with dairy or meat but there are suprisingly a lot of really yummy things that you can still make.

Instead of focusing on all the "naughty" things I can't eat, I've found it useful to focus on what I like and am allowed to have (well, stuff that won't make me sicker). I'm taking a sushi making/japanese cooking course because its something I love to eat, its something my body can digest, and because it sounds *fun*. Food should be fun (enjoyable, yummy, appealing) right? I know when a doctor slaps all these dietary restrictions on you, it almost seems like he's banning all enjoyable food. It doesn't have to be so - its all in the attitude.

I'm not familiar with your type of diabetes but there are probably others in your shoes. Maybe you could surf for some recipes that you'd like to try on diabetic websites... instead of thinking about what you can't have, think about what you could have... maybe try cooking!

Jennifer, i loved your post!!!!
I can't say that food has no emotional value for me because it does but i'm also getting to the point where i'm not using it as a bandaid as frequently. You go girl :grin.

02-20-2005, 10:37 PM
In looking up the diabetes issue in "Intuitive Eating" (again not much luck there...), I found something that struck me as so foreign: one of the authors was talking about her son asking her questions about eating junk food and she replied to him: "I eat ninety percent of the time for my health, and ten percent of the time for play".

God, do you mean there are people out there who not only think this way, but can do it too? I just can't get over that quote. Everyone I know, including DH, has disordered eating patterns. And we always taked about it as being "weird" and stuff (the little food rituals).. but we never connected it to Eds. So hardly anyone I know would only eat play foods ten percent of the time.

But, you know, it makes sense. My very first thought was... "How boring!" But, you know, if you think about it... if you don't turn to food to cope... and you can have anything you want to eat whenever.... then WHY would anyone choose foods with little to no nurtitional value to eat all of the time? It just wouldn't make sense.

And I do find that since I have been cooking good dinners... and breakfasts... and eating light for lunch.. I don't even crave the play foods. I just like the foods with the nurtitional values. So I guess now that I have untwisted the thoughts, and then added consistent and good food, that maybe my body is "righting" itself?

It blows my mind.


Thanks :hugon Megan :hugoff

02-21-2005, 08:59 PM
This is pretty much what I am doing right now and have been for several months. It has worked really well for me, but it hasn't been easy! I have lost quite a bit of weight, but I think that it is primarily because I can't eat a lot of the foods I would "like" to eat because I am about to have gallbladder surgery.I've had several attacks in the last few months, so...the gallbladder has to go. :ugh The fear of having more attacks has kept me from eating higher fat foods, so I guess that has been a blessing in disguise. I have no idea what will happen after my surgery, but I plan to continue trying this way of eating. Focusing on weight and dieting just makes me nuts and sends me back into that old spiral and I don't want to go back to that mindset. I have to get some sort of normalcy when it comes to food. One step forward, maybe only a half step back.....I'm hoping.....


02-21-2005, 10:58 PM
I wanted to say thank you to Jennifer and red_gumboots for the information and support. I want those attitudes - seems far away at this point. Nice to know that someone has achieved it.

02-22-2005, 11:00 AM
I started reading 'When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies' this past weekend, and much of what is in that book resonated very deeply for me. I'm tired of playing this stupid weight/food game. You know what I realized this weekend? I don't want to lose weight. I really do think my body is beautiful - and I would be happy to never diet again. If it wasn't for so many people telling me that fat is ugly and I should diet and exercise and be the same size as whatever pop icon is these days, I'd be perfectly happy to wear clothes that fit, and enjoy my meals and just think I was perfectly acceptable.

I've uncovered a mountain of issues in the last few days. I saw an opportunity to start my own business, and all of a sudden, I was swamped with feelings of doubt, anxiety, and the phrase 'who do you think you are?'. It was a LONG weekend. It wasn't until I read this book, though, that I was able to put a name to some of these feelings and to deal with them. My new favorite phrase is one that they use pretty often in this book - Who says?

I journaled a lot and every time I wrote down a negative thought about myself, I followed it up with a Who says? and challenged my thinking. What I realized was that I have a lot of negative thoughts that have followed me from childhood that just don't fit with who I am now. Remember back when we were kids, things were very black and white - either right or wrong. You were either a winner or a loser. Now that I'm an adult, I'm mature enough to see that things are not so black and white. You don't have to be in first place to be a winner, hell, you don't even have to be in the competition to win. I spent the weekend 'de-bunking' my own myths.

My biggest challenge these days is learning how to live in a world where we are measured by the size of our body when I no longer am playing the game. I think I'm going to start a separate thread about this.

As for my eating, I realized that after I'd legalized some foods, they continued to have power over me. I'd diminish my supply and then the food would seem 'sparkly' again. I've learned the hard way that as soon as a food starts to sparkle, I need to go out and replenish my supply immediately. It's very easy to start to panic after the few first weeks and start to restrict the 'bad' foods again. It's like, ok, I legalized ice cream, now I can get by with only a pint in my freezer, cause now that I know I can have it any time, I shouldn't want so much of it. Right? The key word here is shouldn't. What if I do still want so much of it? I've just said that I shouldn't, and now that food is illegal again. After doing this with a bunch of foods, I realized that I'd gotten scared and had started restricting again. I went right out and bought a few more pints and stocked my freezer. Just looking at them is sometimes enough to make me feel better that they will always be there and I'm not making them 'bad' again.

Sometimes all of this listening to my body seems like a lot of hard work, and frankly, I get tired of it. This weekend I had a real serious binge for the first time in months. After it was over, I realized that it was partly due to the emotions that had been triggered by my business idea, but it was also partly due to the fact that I'd gotten 'tired' of listening to myself and had started only eating safe foods again. My body was suffering from deprivation again and it rebelled big time.

I also realized that I'd unconsciously started restricting my list of foods again because I'd started to panic about getting so far away from what was 'normal' to me. There was a nice big section in WWSHTB that deals with this and helped me to put a name to the problem. I've come to terms now with the fact that this will be a two steps forward, one step back process.

I feel better about myself than I have ever felt. :lubdub I haven't gotten away from compulsive overeating yet, but just feeling so good is such a joy and a relief. I never imagined that it would be possible to feel relief when I still weighed so much - and yet I do! My happiness isn't measured by the scale, and my joy can't fit in tiny jeans.

How are you :fishy doing? Role call anyone?

02-22-2005, 12:04 PM
Bravo~! :hugon AMY :hugoff this is totally awesome thinking!!!!! Yeah, I have really stuck with the "who says" comment! I know rationally that one day my body will find a natural set point.. and that will be fine when that happens because it will be the result of me listening to my body and having a healthy relationship with food... but right now.. .right now this may be my set point... and only time will tell if it is... and I'm fine with that. As I mentioned in another post, it took me getting to this weight to learn how to love myself, and so I love myself at this weight. Ya know? I'm fine here... I really really am. And before I would have thought that that meant giving up and giving in... and that was sooo soooo wrong! It is just one of those things that you can't "get" until you "get" it. The thoughts before were based on disordered thinking.... and really... I want to be happy, chaos free, healthy and productive and what do those things have to do with weight? Not a damn thing!


02-23-2005, 01:09 PM
I'm new here (actually, it's my first post!), and I hope you don't mind me joining in the discussion.
First I wanted to say that this thread has been very inspiring to me. I read some of Geneen's books a long time ago - I guess at a time I wasn't ready to do anything. Anyway, without going in to too much detail at this point, I have finally been going to therapy for depression, and now that that fog has lifted somewhat, it exposed my bED. I've known it's been there, I've even tried to address it from time to time (I did the OA route many years ago, but have some of the same issues with it that have been expressed in this thread), but after many failed attempts to "control" my eating, I would put my thoughts of "recovery" on the shelf again for a few more years.

Anyway, since I've been finally dealing with some underlying issues in my life, I feel ready to continue the journey again. I have an appt. with my therapist tomorrow - Since the focus was on my depression for the last few months, I really didn't talk much about my eating (except to say "I tend to binge" when asked how the depression was affecting my eating...Understatement of the year! LOL!)
The intuitive eating approach, combined with acceptance of my body the way it is, just feels right to me, actually gives me a sense of hope. I have long since thrown away my copies of Geneen's books, but I'm ordering them again, and I'm going to talk to my therapist about it tomorrow. I'm not sure what her approach to ED's are, since we've never discussed it, so if we don't mesh, maybe she can give me another referral.

I just wanted to introduce myself and thank all of you for this wonderful thread - I look forward to joining in in the future as I start to work on this again.
:hairy :hairy :hairy

02-23-2005, 02:04 PM
Welcome, Winking! :winky

We are glad to have you joining in.

Moke: That is SO exciting starting your own business. I did that last year and well understand the conflict and doubt you feel. Just read about all of the successful people who started out small, even with just a few hundred bucks, and it really makes you think, Why not? We just have to get out of our own heads sometimes and ACT!

That said, I am struggling this week. I totally lost that momentum I had a few weeks ago when I was feeling great, eating according to SH. I've been hunting a new job (my current one fuels a lot of my depression right now) and interviewed for one I thought I am an excellent candidate for given my background and education, but didn't get called back for a second interview. I've been really depressed about that this week. I wanted that job SO bad and thought I had represented myself well in the interview and in my letters. Shit! Shit! Shit! :reallymad

I'm struggling a lot with shame thoughts right now.

I got weighed at the appointment with my new primary care doc yesterday and am trying to reconcile myself with the number on the scale. I gained some since deciding to go the intuitive eating route, as Jennifer indicated might happen. The E/D voices keep hissing, Diet! Diet! Diet!

But I SO do not want to go that route, only to end up back here yet again. How many times have I done that now? It's hard to even remember. So I've been buying clothes that fit instead of trying to keep stuffing myself into things a size too small (and worrying all day about straining zippers or seams giving out and treating innocent bystanders to an embarrasing display of my shoddy undergarments). At least, I have chosen to give up punishing myself with uncomfortably tight clothing, and that's a sign of progress.

I'm thinking of going to a lecture by the motivational speaker Sark. Has anyone ever been? And I'm joining a women's discussion group led by a life coach. Need inspiration and to get some new friends IRL too.

02-26-2005, 07:55 PM
I really get the feeling about the scale at the doctor's office. It is a frustrating thing to face when you're trying to get the focus off the numbers. Have you thought of asking them if you can weigh backwards so that you don't have to see the numbers? They probably wouldn't mind at all. The temptation to know is REALLY hard to fight, but if they will agree to it, and not tell you what the number is, maybe that will help get over the numbers obssession. :yay

Btw...I'm a shih-tzu nut! Even though I have cats now because I don't have the schedule for a dog, I'm still crazy about shih-tzus! I had one growing up and one in my early adult years. They are great dogs! :yay

02-27-2005, 03:05 PM
I've been reading (rereading) the sections of "Intuitive Eating" that I didn't "get" last year.

But first I'd like to clarify the differences in my mind between "Overcoming Overeating" and "Intuitve Eating"...

OO deals with the eating disorder aspect. They teach you how to process and deal with the feelings, while allowing the food aspect to take a back seat to the emotional healing. Their rules for food basically state to allow yourself to eat what you want, when you want it without any guilt or self-loathing. They recommend you buy three of everything you love and then restock it as you eat it so that you will understand that you are never going to restrict again and that you can always have the foods you like to eat. They have a detailed plan on how to deal with freeing the foods and dealing with emotions. This book helped me untwist my thinking from the idea that everything was wrong in my life because I was fat.

IE mentions the above ideas in passing and even mentions Geneen Roth in passing. They do mention Eds and even have a chapter about different EDs, but it seems to me to be more of a book to use AFTER you have healed yourself from the ED aspect and then you are ready to learn to eat intuitively.

Having said that, there are some ways to tell if you are ready for Intuitive Eating (p. two thirty eight):

:bullet biological restoration and balance: for anorexics this means weight restoration, for bulimics and Coes/Beds, this means removing the pattern of chaotic eating from your life.

:bullet understanding that EDs aren't about weight but something deeper

:bullet ability to recognize and willingness to deal with feelings

:bullet ability to identify your wants and needs

:bullet ability to risk

And here are some various and sundry comments about "Intuitive Eating":

I'm working on a sub-section of the satisfaction factor of foods. I'm trying to identify during/after I eat things like: am I satisfied with this food? Do I feel overly full or empty? How's my energy level? Do I have any stomach distress? Do I feel energetic or sluggish after eating? How do I want to feel after eating? Did I enjoy that food?

Their motto is: if you love it, savor it, and if you don't love it, don't eat it!

They also recommend you stop weighing and throw out your scale.

One snack, one meal, one day of eating isn't going to make or break anything.. it is your pattern of eating over time that counts.

They like the term "enlightened hedonism": having a balance between information about food and the ability to receive pleasure from food.

Keep reminding yourself that by feeding your body, you are feeding your metabolism.

When you become an intuitive eater, you get in touch with your body, thoughts and feelings.


02-28-2005, 03:24 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff I agree with what you say regarding 'Overcoming Overeating' and 'Intuitive Eating'. OO is much more focused on the ED/mental aspect of overeating than IE is, even though both have postive messages regarding the eating aspect of recovery. For me, I think IE would have lent itself to more dieting behavior, had I read it earlier in my recovery.

:hugon WinkingatLife :hugoff Welcome to the :bowl and to our thread! I wish you the best of luck in your recovery.

:hugon shihtzuxtwo :hugoff I close my eyes when I get weighed and make sure to tell the nurse NOT to tell me the number. Alternatively, if I think there is no specific purpose for the weigh-in, I simply refuse to be weighed. So far my office has been very accommodating and agreeable, but if they weren't I would have found another office that would be. Interviewing is tough. The best advice that anyone ever gave me was to figure out what one talent I have that sets me apart from other candidates and to really sell myself based on that skill. For me, I decided that my talent was to take complex situations or processes and break them down into smaller, simpler parts. That sort of analysis is really my strong point, and I sold myself to employers based on that. It was a way to differentiate myself from my competition and also to help potential employers see what was really special about me. Best of luck! :clover

An update on myself and how I'm doing with the intuitive eating process (the process, not the book!): I realized this week how much I've grown in the last year. I always used to be the sort of person who would look for distraction from life in outside stimuli. Whether it was a diet book or a fitness magazine, a fashion magazine or a new fitness video, I was convinced that this was the 'push' I needed to get in shape, fix my body, and get it together. In the last month, I've given away or sold my diet books, cookbooks, fitness books, and thrown out all of my diet paraphenalia, fitness magazines, and equipment that I hadn't used since the first week I'd bought it. Last week, I went to the bookstore twice, because it used to be the kind of place where I could hang out and escape from my problems. The trouble was, I thought as I walked aimlessly around the store, looking in my usual stacks and thumbing through magazines, I no longer believe that the answer to my problems is going to be found here. I had the same thought as I walked through the grocery store and when I go downstairs to my company's cafeteria to buy my lunch. The excitement I used to feel at either following a diet plan or buying a 'forbidden' food is gone. Mealtime is boring. My free time is no longer filled by binging, because I can have whatever food I want when I want to have it. I no longer feel the excitement of following a new exercise plan or craze that's going to flatten my stomach or help me lose weight in six weeks to fit in a bikini, because I no longer exercise to lose weight. I do it because I enjoy it.

The thrill is gone.

That kind of makes me mad to tell you the truth!!! :whateva Not really mad, but mad in a laughing sort of 'I can't believe this' way.

I feel normal. Sometimes normal feels really boring. I wished for this my entire disordered life. The relief is fantastic. But now I know what they mean when they say that there is a sort of appeal to being sick. Not that I would ever EVER EVER want to go back to where I was, but I feel so different and so bored by things that used to be so exciting to me. :confused

So what do I do?

I started working on this a long time ago, back when I started recovery. I kept reading about the empty feeling that you feel once you let go of the disordered behavior. I started to try to build up my interests and my activities to combat it. Now I realize that it goes way deeper than simply filling your time. Now that I know that the answers aren't in my fantasies and my books, I am figuring out where the answers really are. The answers to my current emptiness are being found in my confidence to try new things, to take on new challenges at work, to find new places to explore with my children. The answers are being found within myself and in forcing myself to grow into a bigger and better person emotionally and spiritually. Rather than dreaming about what could be, I'm trying to focus on what I can actually attain today and tomorrow by working hard and being brave enough to take risks.

All of this might sound a little pie-in-the-sky infomercially, but I'm trying really hard to put into words what I'm going through right now. I feel like I'm a mountain climber and if I just keep focusing on the summit and pushing on, I might reach the top, but if I look down right now and or think too hard about what I'm doing, I just might get scared and let go.

I feel like each day brings me closer and closer to my goal of calling myself RecoverED rather than recovering.

Today I ate light, because I was feeling a heaviness inside of me that was bothering me. And because to me the sorts of foods that I was eating were reminding me so much of my dieting days, I had to repeat the mantra over and over to myself - 'I can eat whatever I'd like whenever I want to have it. Right now, I just want a xxx'. So far today it is working.

This weekend, I found my MH (mouth hunger) urges increased. My best friend was visiting, and even though I really enjoy her company, I figured out that I was internally panicking at the thought of having to explain why I was eating chocolate at ten in the morning, for instance. So, I wasn't listening as closely to my internal cues as I usually do and then I was feeling discomfort with eating intuitively while being observed so closely by someone else. I decided that I am close enough to her that next time I visit with her or she visits with me, I'll simply explain what I am doing so that I don't feel so uncomfortable. My automatic instinct is still to assume that I'm being judged or critiqued for what I do, regardless of who the audience is or how true it is. I'm actively working on trying to refute this habit whenever I get the chance.

Well, that's it for me. I'm afraid I rambled on a little much!

We're getting hit with a nice snowstorm here, maybe I'll go home before I get stuck at the office! :supergrin

02-28-2005, 03:28 PM
:trigger -- bit of food talk

I've been flirting with intuitive eating/on demand feeding since last fall, but it was too frightening to dive head first into! Well, this past weekend I made my first shopping trip based on what I REALLY wanted to eat. Wow, that was an experience. First off, I bought all the varieties of chocolate I ever dreamed of! And I'm having breakfast for dinner this week! I have this combination of feeling really giddy and almost triggered and also this freeing happy feeling. My "little me" is all smiles, though of course not yet trusting that I truly can eat what I want, when I want. The grocery trip made me see how often I tell myself I'm not allowed to have certain things--I can't be trusted. And that I'm only allowed to have one "treat" in the house at a time. So I bought lots of treats. And I'll buy more later this week. :supergrin

I also finally admitted to myself that all my recent "healthy eating" attempts were really diets. Restricting is restricting, period. I'm still scared about gaining weight though and I have a lot of work to do around that. Any suggestions on staying with the recovery process during this period?

I'm working hard at identifying my feelings when I'm hungry and where they are coming from. I've started to notice that I don't want to eat when I'm IN a crisis, but I get so hungry when I'm feeling okay again. I think I use food more as a comforter than a punisher, something I hadn't quite realized before. Amazing the things I learn when I tune in . . .

02-28-2005, 04:54 PM
:hugon amy :hugoff It is so nice to see someone else who knows the empty feeling..... But I'm going to tell you the same thing my T told me last session... enjoy the empty. I don't like the empty. It feels.... strange.... unnatural.... well, empty. But I guess we have to fully feel all stages of this... and so I am allowing myself to feel the emptiness without judgement. I'm not depressed. It is just nothing to think about empty.

I did some shopping today and while out I realized that I wasn't hungry and wasn't full. I felt "empty". I felt a little satisfied, and truthfully I was probably edging toward hunger, but at the moment I realized the empty feeling, I wasn't physically hungry. And that feeling made me uncomfortable. I had to reassure myself that it was o.k. to not be physically full. I think I used to stuff myself in order to be forced to feel... feel something, anything... to feel full. And every now and again the feeling of not being full makes me anxious.

All in all it lasted just a few seconds... but it illustrated to me that I'm having an issue with the emptiness. I guess I'm just not used to it. I'm actually not thinking much about the things I can do, because I don't want to overwhelm myself... or go out with a bug up my butt and start things that I never finish.... so I guess I see the merit of what my T said... and I'm trying to accept the emptiness and find little things during the day to do that don't make me feel overwhelmed.

I guess this is a transition time.... learning where my boundaries are with learning what I like and don't like to do?

I guess I've been so conditioned to "do something" that it just feels wasteful to not have to think about something every minute of every day.

But in reality, the last twenty plus years have been so chaotic for me that it really is nice to just not think sometimes.

And, yeah, I get what you mean about the let-down.. I guess the emptiness is sort of anti-climatic because I'm not doing all the fantasy things I thought I'd be doing when I was rid of my ED. But the fantasy activities are like the fantasy weight... it was all about anticipating how I'd *FEEL* about myself when I did these "fantasy" things. And truthfully I can say that I do feel how I thought I'd feel... I just don't have to be doing anything exciting or ambitious. So I guess that sort of stumped me as well.

And I should add that it is a peaceful empty feeling, really... once I let go of the judgements about it. It is the same old, same old... I imposed "rules" on the empty feeling... like I "should" be doing something, like I "should" have something to show for my day... and when I take away my self-imposed judgements, what I see is I like the empty. I get to experience the moments in my day. I get to be fully present in my happiness. And that's cool.

:hugon turtle :hugoff How I got through knowing I'd probably gain some weight is that I took a leap of faith in the process. All the books mention it and all the books say it is temporary, so I just decided I wanted recovery more than I wanted to stay the same and I just sort of held my nose and jumped in the deep end! And I don't know how much I gained... as I think some of it was simply stopping trying to punish myself by wearing tight clothes. I think I may have been this size all along, only I had refused to buy this size before. So I think I probably gained less than I originally thought. And I must say that actually fitting in my clothes was a wonderful surprise. Clothes don't have to be ugly and tight because I weigh a certain amount. How 'bout that? Who knew?

And I think it is terribly ironic that I had to get to this size before I learned to love myself. What a lesson that is....


02-28-2005, 08:07 PM
I have re-read OO recently and I think I "have" it. I am trying to eat from stomach hunger and I do that sometimes. I still eat a lot from mouth hunger but it is less. The main difference is that I am observing it and not berating myself. I feel so much calmer. The ED part of me wants to hop on the scale and see what's going on. I won't do that but the itch is still there. I haven't loaded up with food because I really don't know what I want. I live in a big city so it isn't that hard to find what I want to eat. I don't eat much sugar but that is because I have a problem with insulin resistance. I don't crave it as much either. My doctor has given me supplements which have helped a lot too. He suggested a "whole-foods" diet. I would love to do it but I am not quite ready. I do my best.

03-01-2005, 10:51 AM
:hugon Jenny :hugoff Good luck with it! I know it has got to be harder with the insulin resistance... so I would guess the key focus can be to not berate yourself if you eat something your ED voice decided you "shouldn't have".

The scale. The scale. The scale. Yeah, I know. The fucking scale. But here's the thing: at first, I was triggered by what the scale said. I made a point to talk with my Dr. about weighing, and she agreed not to. And then I was able to view the number with no judgements... sort of like mirror work: yup, that's how much I weight (no judgements). But then, something else happened.... I realized the scale told me nothing. I had given up dieting. I had given up my fantasy number. I don't eat or not eat depending on what the scale says. The scale doesn't in any way keep me in check or have any relevance to my life.

I think when you truly give up diet mentality, then the scale is totally useless. I mean... so what about the number. What does the number mean? I'm not comparing it any more to the fantasy number. I'm not comparing it to some weight chart. I'm not comparing it to anything. So what is the point of weighing? when you can give up diet mentality totally, then there is absolutely no use to weighing because the number by itself with no judgements means nothing.

If you can give up having the number mean something in your life, then weighing is totally pointless and is ONLY a tool of the dieting world.

I know it takes time to get to that point. And you have to give up stuff to get there. You have to give up the self-imposed idea that the number means something to you.

I actually still have the scale in the house. I had put it away for a while in the closet... hard to get to. Now it has been sitting in the den under a table for months now... and it is just collecting dust. I don't know why I haven't thrown it away yet. I think it is because *my mother* gave it to me as a gift one year (and to think that never occurred to me that it was sick)... and I know DH likes to weight. So I think I may put it in his workroom in the garage and that way if he wants it, he can use it...

I've rambled......


03-01-2005, 02:59 PM
I have been reading this thread (I printed it out and took it home last night), and I regret that I only have a few minutes right now to post something, because this thread is so rich with inspiration & information! :gimmehug:bowl:gimmehug

I will hopefully have more time to write more in depth on this thread next week. In the meantime, though, I have a question. Is it considered intuitive eating if you substitute foods for the foods you *really* want, as long as you know what it is you really, really want? Case in point: I'm on a very, very strict budget right now, and got hungry about an hour ago. I had Food X with me here at work. I was not in the mood for Food X, but for Food Y. I very clearly identified Food Y, but I just can't go using vending machines, as every penny really counts right now for me. So I ate Food X before my blood sugar dropped any further, and I feel quite satisfied. Did I do myself an intuitive eating disservice? Or is it possible to be equally as satisfied by Food X as Food Y, since I was very open and honest with myself about deserving Food Y and that I absolutely would've purchased it and enjoyed every bite if I had the $$$ to spare right now.

Okay, I hope that's not too confusing!!! Glancing back over it, it looks like an Algebra problem! :muhaha Thanks for any insight on this question!

03-01-2005, 04:34 PM
:hugon Dandy :hugoff They do say in Intuitive Eating that at some point you might be satisfied with a lower fat/similar item than the one you really want. I do think it is all about choices and knowing you can have Food Y if you really want it.

For instance :trigger (specific food) they say you may be able to be totally satisfied with say a handful of chocolate covered raisns instead of chocolate molten lava cake (I made that one up lol) if you were craving chocolate.

I'd say if you find you are "eating around" food Y... like you find food X didn't really satisfy you the way you thought it would and then you eat everything else because you are looking for the satisfaction that only food Y can bring, or if you find you are obsessing about food Y, then I'd say you inadvertently created a problem where the simple solution is to eat food Y.

Perhaps you can do something like save some pennies in your desk for the times (if any) where you have to have Food Y and only food Y can do. Or is it possible to buy Food Y at the grocery and carry it in your food bad, and it would be cheaper that way?

But I think if food X did indeed satisfy you and you aren't obsessing about food Y, then you did just fine!


03-02-2005, 12:43 AM

Iíve been really inspired by this discussion. This is my first post so I hope Iím doing it right.

Thereís really nothing in life as good as food. For about the past six months, Iíve bought a :trigger Pepperidge Farm coconut cake each day and eaten the entire thing, and I donít stop there. Itís great because the cakes cost less than $two each, so I can also buy one for my daughter. The last time I weighed, which was so long ago I canít remember, I was morbidly obese by societies standards. But Iím not going to feel bad anymore. Iím wondering though, what is the ďrecoveryĒ? Now that I accept how I am, what am I recovering from? ÖIím happy being what they call fat, and Iím doing what I love to doÖ My doctor says I'm diabetic now, but I'm not sure there's a connection between eating a lot of cake and diabetes, so ÖÖ is this the end? Am I recovered now?

Thank you,


Let them eat :love cake :love -- Marie Antoinette

03-02-2005, 09:41 AM
:hugon Dandy :hugoff

There is a section in When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies about how to eat intuitively when you are on a budget. From what I gathered is that if you can find a satisfying replacement to the food that you really want, and also are able to truthfully say to yourself that you would buy and eat food Y if you could, then that is ok. On the other hand, a lot of women use financial constraints as a way to avoid buying the foods that they really want, and turn it into a budget 'diet'. If you really find that you can't do it right now, then I think what you did is fine.

:hugon Lunaki :hugoff

I'm glad that you posted in the bowl. An eating disorder is not about eating too many sweets or being over or underweight, so while I commend you for being happy with yourself just as you are, I'm wondering what has led you to think that you have an eating disorder? Do you identify with any other of the symptoms that are posted on the Something Fishy website? Eating disorders are primarily about using food and an obsession with your body weight as a coping mechanism. I encourage you to read the pages on symptoms on the rest of the site.

03-02-2005, 10:59 AM
Thanks :hugonAmy & Jennifer:hugoff for your responses.

Or is it possible to buy Food Y at the grocery and carry it in your food bad, and it would be cheaper that way?

Yes, it definitely is. I can't get to the grocery until this weekend, but I plan to stock up on anything and everything I think I may want! Unfortunately, until then I feel like Old Mother Hubbard! My food bag is filled with weird odds and ends, and I'm half living off of a giftcard to a coffee shop that I had forgotten was in my wallet. :wacky:muhaha

But, I will go into the grocery store with an open mind toward Food X, Food Y and every food in between.


On the other hand, a lot of women use financial constraints as a way to avoid buying the foods that they really want, and turn it into a budget 'diet'.

As of right now, I'm not doing this, but it's definitely something I could see myself sliding into if I'm not careful. I definitely have an ED bent for turning recovery behaviors into restrictive behaviors. Thanks for the headsup! :winky

WWSHTB is next on my reading list, but I'm going to go home tonight and look up the info you mentioned. Sounds helpful for my current situation!!


On a very positive note, I was able to get dressed this morning and look at myself and honestly, truly, compliment myself and my body. Why? Because I feel strong and secure from taking such good care of myself these past few days. I'd forgotten what a rush it is to "reparent" myself and give myself and my body every non-food kindness and consideration it deserves!!

03-03-2005, 11:06 AM
An interesting passage from ĎWhen Women Hate Their Bodiesí that really stuck in my mind because I think we all struggle with this conceptÖ (page one hundred-seventy seven)

People often notice that when they are able to stop eating as soon as they have had enough, they begin to lose weight. As soon as they make this connection, many people try to hasten the weight loss process by unconsciously turning their new ability to stop eating when they have had enough into a diet.

We all know what happens when we go on diets. As soon ďIíve had enough and I want to stop eatingĒ turns into ďIíve had enough and I should stop eating,Ē any bona fide compulsive eater will feel compelled to rebelÖand eat, and eat, and eat. Even if a compulsive eater does not turn stopping when she has had enough into a diet, she will sabotage her progress as a demand feeder if she gets too invested in weight loss.

Can you recognize this pattern in your own efforts to recover? I certainly can. For a long time, I still measured my worth by the size of my body, and so I was too invested in a need to be thin to recover. I still couldnít really accept my body at a larger size.

Even as I type this, I wonder if I can truly and honestly say that I could live with my body at the size it is now for the rest of my life. I guess I answer this question by saying that Iím enjoying my life now at this size, so why wouldnít I be able to? I mean, right now at this moment, I donít really have any other option than to live at my current size. There isnít a magic wand or potion that will change this overnight or over the weekend (regardless of what the diet ads will tell you).

Do I really want to tell myself right now that thereís something so wrong with me that I donít deserve to live and to be happy?

I can say honestly that there was a point in my life Ė several years Ė when this statement would have been true. I doubt if the people in my life believed that. I look at pictures of myself from that time and remember how full of despair I was, and I see a young women, of average size and looks, who really had nothing at all wrong with her, and I wonder why I couldnít see that then?

I look at pictures of myself now, and even though the years have added pounds and my face is rounder, I look at myself and I see myself having fun, enjoying life. I actually look happy. I am happy. I would have hated these pictures years ago because of how large I felt I looked (Iím really not that large, but I always feel like Iím much larger than I am), but now I have them posted in my cubicle at work because they remind me of happy times and I am a happy person, no matter what my weight is.

I still have moments when I regret that Iím not the tiny petite ballet dancer that I wanted to be, it is hard to live in our world today and not feel the occasional pull to be thin. It helps that right now, I donít have my stbx-husband telling me every day that I should be thinner. In fact, I donít have anyone in my life right now who thinks I should be smaller. I posted a while ago that I couldnít get any farther in my recovery and it was very frustrating to me. Fishies wiser than me posted that there must still be something bothering me. I couldnít ignore my marital problems any longer, and frankly, I wasnít really surprised to find out that losing the husband was the key to getting healthier. It just seemed easier not to do it. I know now that it was harder to live with him than it is to live without him, it was just fear of change and of the unknown that kept me from facing our problems sooner.

I guess my own answer to this question is that for right now, Iím satisfied. Would I like to be smaller? Yes and (strangely enough) No. I still have work to do on my own recovery, but Iím satisfied with where I am and who I am right now. I can always change as I grow. I will change as I grow Ė itís inevitable.

03-03-2005, 11:32 AM
:hugon Amy :hugoff I just had a thought... you know, I'd LIKE to be at my natural weight (which I perceive to be thinner), but I don't think I "SHOULD" be thinner. I wonder if that is a bad thought? or if it is just a realistic thought. I think movement and my knees for instance would feel better if I was thinner, but nothing is terribly wrong right now and so I dont' tell myself that I SHOULD be thinner. My clothes look good... I really think I look really good RIGHT NOW. And like you said, I'm happy. I'm really happy right now, which is something I never had when I was thinner. I was never happy and contented... I was always looking for happiness in the future... looking for some unspecified thing that was going to be the magical bullet cure. If I was thinner, surely that would happen.

So when I was thinner, I wasn't happier... I wasn't calmer... my problems didnt' go away, in fact I created problems to stay in the chaos and I couldn't even see that.... I wasn't contented... I wasn't that feeling I thought I'd be if I were thinner. I was an unhappy ball of mess. (no judgements I was what I was).

I think it is yet another thing you don't get until you get it. Thin doesn't automatically equal happines, and thin doesn't even automatically equal health, and thin doesn't automatically equal relief.

I have no guarantee that my knees will feel better if I am thin. They don't hurt every day anyway, so for all I know it is unrelated to my weight anyway. I can get up and down on the floor and it isn't a big deal in my life... so that's not really a problem anyway.

I think I'd like to be at my natural weight because I think that's where my body would like to be. Realistically, I *am* carrying added extra weight because of the ED and I would like my body to go to where it would like to be now that I don't have that added stress.

So I guess I expect I will lose weight, and I'd like for that to happen, but I'm going to do NOTHING to try and control that timetable. I have faith that I just have to step back and see if it happens or not.

So I guess I'm saying that I do want to get to my natural weight, which I think will be thinner, but I have no expectations about when and how that should happen.

I fear that is diet mentality, but I'm not sure it is. I certainly don't want to be rationalizing something that is disordered. So I guess I do feel a little unsure about this topic.


03-03-2005, 12:41 PM
Sometimes I read what I have written and I sound so much like my mother that I want to erase it all and crawl into a hole. I think I have a tendency to sound a little preachy when I'm just really excited to share what I've learned. :wacky


Sometimes, I get hungry and go through the whole process of figuring out exactly what I want and getting it. Then I sit down to eat and by that time it's taken so long that I don't feel the hungry feelings anymore. I was hungry only a few minutes ago. I know I was. My body must still need food. By now, it's gotten used to being ignored, so the hungry feelings go away pretty quickly.

Do I still eat? My instinct is to say yes, because when I started I was hungry. But if I'm not feeling the rumblings in my stomach or the empty feeling anymore, how will I know when to stop?

I still am feeling panic when I stop eating. I haven't yet embraced my emptiness! :sarcasm And I've realized that I really still like to feel full - a holdover from my binging days when I'd feel so full that I'd feel sick. I don't like to feel that full - just full enough that I feel ... substantial, warm, fulfilled, loved. Hmm. Those adjectives just came out of nowhere, but they say to me that feeling full = feeling loved and safe. I usually get the feeling that I've had enough long before I feel this full - but still have the urge to keep eating so that I can feel that safe, warm feeling again. I know that it's not going to go away overnight, and I keep reminding myself that when I get hungry again, I will eat again. I think it's taking my body and my mind a while to realize that I really mean it.

I like when they say that every time you feed your hunger you are putting a deposit in the bank of recovery, or something to that effect.

:hugon Jennifer :hugoff Your opinions regarding weight seem pretty healthy to me. I especially like what you said here:

Thin doesn't automatically equal happines, and thin doesn't even automatically equal health, and thin doesn't automatically equal relief.

Especially the health part. I see a lot of people on these boards talking about how they feel so unhealthy because they are overweight or they fear if they gain weight they'll be unhealthy, and I wonder why they think that being thin will automatically bestow perfect health on them? I know just as many thin women who have battled cancer as fat women. I know that the studies say that obesity multiplies your risk, but so do many other factors that have nothing to do with size. Being large is not necessarily a death sentence, and being thin isn't necessarily going to save your life. To me, when people say that they want to lose weight so that they can be healthy, they are rationalizing their disordered behaviors.

There are a lot of ways that we can rationalize our obsession with thinness. If you can't think of any on your own, there are plenty to be found in magazines, on the news, and in the stores, that's for sure.

You know what's funny? One side of my family (my father's side) is pretty large. They are of swedish descent and they are big women. Big boned, big framed, big everything. The other side of my family (my mother's side) is extremely petite. Guess which side has more health problems? On the petite side of my family, there is asthma, eczema, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, depression, high blood pressure (and low), and more joint replacements than you can count on one hand. On the large side of my family, so far the only known health problem has been my eighty-five year old grandmother's heart attack, which she rebounded from in record time. Now, that's just my family, everyone else's is different. But I'm fortunate enough to be able to look at my family and see that being thin isn't necessarily going to give me great health. In fact, I'm pretty lucky that I seem to have inherited the great constitution of these big women, and I know that I'm lucky. My poor sister, who is petite, seems to have inherited all of the poor health of my mother's side, so I'm aware that it was luck through genetics.

Not sure where I was going with this. Oh, yes, just trying to make the point that thin doesn't necessarily equal healthy and large doesn't necessarily equal sick.

When I was bulimic, I had to learn to accept the feeling of food in my stomach. I wonder if I used some of the same techniques that I used then if it would help me learn to accept feeling more empty? lol I'm laughing because now it seems like I learned to like food in my stomach a little too well.

03-03-2005, 01:14 PM
Thanks :hugon Amy :hugoff . You know, when I think back to when I was thin, I had a stomach ulcer from the stress. And, yes, there are PLENTY of thin people in my family who have chronic illnesses and many overweight ones who are perfectly healthy. In the midst of my ED, my OBGYN used to tell me that I was perfectly healthy and I could never accept that "because I was fat." Fat can't equal healthy, right? But here was this doctor who TOLD me I was perfectly healthy, a picture perfect patient and yet I couldn't believe it. How sad!!! My Dh's grandmother was thin as a rail and she had chronic health issues.. including two heart attacks and things like chronic hypertension and kidney failure.

When I went to my doc a few months ago, she did blood work because she knew of the ED. Not only was everything fine... all the numbers were great! My tryglicerides were outstanding, my chlosterol was one seventy (lower than it was when I was thin... go figure), my blood sugar was fine (don't know the number.. but no where near a problem)...

So I guess I am walking proof that not thin can equal healthy. Haa haa haa... That was fun to read back... something I never could believe before... I believe now... I *AM* healthy right now as I am today!

and, yeah, I totally agree (barring a medical diagnosis) that when people say they want to lose weight in order to "be healthy" that that is really diet mentality in disguise. What does that mean anyway... "be healthy"... that is so vague... it is like an automatic response... we need to "be healthy". It is like chasing the illusion of how we think we're going to feel "if only we were thin enough"... it is one of those things that doesn't really mean anything....


03-04-2005, 09:24 AM
And you know, thinking back to when I was thin, I did go to an orthopod for a knee injury.

In the book "Intuitive Eating" they say that *if* you give yourself unconditional permission to eat, and you truly believe that you don't like it, you won't eat it and if you love it, you will savor it, then you WILL get to a point where you are eating ninety percent for your health and ten percent for play. It just takes some time.

I am working on small, gentle challenges for myself. Like drinking more water. I allow myself to have sodas if I want them, but I truly do like water with lemon, and I do find that I feel better over the day when I drink less sodas and more water... but if I ever find I dont' want the water, then I'm not going to drink it or drink it so much.

I'm still working on honoring my hunger because I still find every now and again (usually when I can't figure out what I want to eat because my food supply is down), I find I deliberately ignore my body' hunger signals. I did this yesterday to the point when I felt nauseated and overly hungry. We're going out of town this weekend, and so I didnt' want to go to the grocery for some reason.. and thus I couldnt find anything really satisfying here, and I know I didn't want fast food/take out. So I just sat around waiting for the magical food fairy to come by and bestow something really good on me. LOL.

So to be more specific... I'm eating whatever sounds good to me when I'm hungry and I'm allowing my body to direct me. Right now, I'm so done with cheese. lol. I made a lot of recipes with cheese, and aside from being "blocked" now, I noticed I felt bloated after eating these dishes and all I really want today is a really really good salad. A big salad. A yummy salad.

Intuitive Eating is working... it just takes time.... patience.. once again PATIENCE. :yay

03-04-2005, 10:09 AM
I posted on another thread that it was actually disappointing to me that when I really listened to what my body wanted to eat, it almost always requested something other than the sweets that I thought it would want to eat. In fact, I found that my mouth hunger increased at first because I was eating so many healthy foods when I was hungry and I felt like I was on a diet.

I try hard not to focus on things like drinking lots of water because to me that's an a/b dieting trick I used to fill myself up so I didn't get hungry. But I have found that I ignore my thirst just like I used to ignore my hunger and I have to take care of both.

So, I've been following this approach for a few weeks now, and I'm started to get more comfortable with it. I would estimate that I eat more often from stomach hunger than from mouth hunger although I don't really keep track because I find that feeds into my old 'diet' programming. I was really tempted to weigh this morning (I still can't bring myself to actually throw out my scale, even though I don't use it) - but I didn't.

What has been the most unsettling to me is how little food my body actually seems to need every day. I read this in the books and it's really true that it does bother you. The biggest struggle has been figuring out what I do with all this free time when I don't want to eat! That and facing the fear of stopping when I'm no longer hungry. For so many years my life has centered around food and eating, and now the time I spend on food is shrinking substantially and that is unsettling to me.

03-04-2005, 10:42 AM
Oh, yeah, I know that feeling of uneasyness.

What's weird is that the more water I drink, the thirstier I become. I seem to remember that is a sign of dehydration?

I always overdo things. Like I'd drink ten glasses of water a day for a week, and then get so sick of water that I'd binge on sodas. I know I like water, and I know my body prefers water.. so I'm trying to find the balance of drinking water and not overdoing it. I'm not even counting how many glasses or anything like that. I, too, can still slip back into dieting tricks in a snap.

And, yes! I do find that when I'm munchy for snacks, it usually stems from a lack of adequate FOOD during the day. This has been very very apparent to me this week. I notice that when I have three good meals a day... complete meals... that I almost never eat play foods. It is on the days that I skimp on the real food that I find I am munchy... especially munchy at night.

Wow! Look at that! I'm listening to my body. I can HEAR what my body is saying. God, that blows my mind.


03-04-2005, 12:18 PM
I too am finding more time in my day to do things (or just be) now that I'm trying to eat only when I'm hungry. It's been amazing to me to see how much time I actually devoted to the act of eating or thinking about what I was going to eat, planning whole vacations on restaurants to be visited.

My mind has even opened up more. I'm finding more time to read and appreciate things more since my mind isn't as cluttered with thoughts of food constantly. It's an awesome feeling.

Just a simple post.

03-04-2005, 01:42 PM
F*&^ing hell. I just wrote maybe the longest post I have ever written and it felt really good, and totally just got erased. :mad

Okay, let me try again, and be more careful. :ohboy

I have been to the point of having that free time onhand and I have found that I really sabotage myself by having very high expectations of how to fill it. With food, I know how to fill my free time, I know what I am capable of. Without food, the possibilities are endless, and that's very frightening. I impose high, high expectations, like I must be doing something very productive at all times, if food=downtime, then I guess that means no more downtime. I must be learning, creating, doing, doing, doing. It's no wonder when I reach that point, I go running back to food. I know I need to have better coping mechanisms in place for when I get to that point again. Thanks for bringing up the free time issue, because until I wrote this, I was unaware that that was what I was doing. I just knew I would get to that point in recovery and time would seem to stop, and then I'd beat myself for running back to food, and then the whole cycle started over again. This is eye-opening information for me.

I also want to talk about legalization. I've read about OO and legalization on these boards so many times, but am only now reading OO for the first time. I just finished reading the part about the trip to the grocery, and I am filled with terror. My heart was racing, and I actually had to set the book down and walk away. While the *idea* of filling a cart full of chips and candy makes me giddy, the thought of actually *doing* it fills me with absolute terror. Why? What does it mean??

A) I'll have to finally explain to DH in great detail what an ED is and that I have one and that in order to overcome it I must spend our grocery budget on junk food. And no, I can't guarantee that it'll work, or how long it'll take if it does work, but I can guarantee with certainty that I'll gain a ton of weight from doing it.

B) That I'll have to actually sit in a houseful of Doritos, and eat my way through them, and replace them with more Doritos, and then eat my way through those.

C) I WILL gain weight. ED is screaming right now. You WILL get fat, you WILL get fat.

D) That when I am through with the legalizing process, my source of comfort will have been depleted, and then what will I run to when I feel uncomfortable, stressed, sad, angry, lonesome, etc. I need better coping mechanisms, and I need to implement them FAST.

I know that my rebellion over this idea is a red flag that it may very well be the *most important* of my recovery. I am just feeling very disheartened right now, because I thought I was farther along, and now I find I'm still very much mired in "good food/bad food" thinking.

I don't stock up on groceries very often, because if they're there, I'll eat them. When I do stock up, it's usually on "meat & potatos" type things for DH for suppers. I just eat along with whatever he makes, and even if it doesn't *satisfy* me, and isn't what I really want, at least there's nothing else in the house I can run to and binge on. :ugh

I'm really sad right now to realize how far I have yet to go. And right now, I feel so far from making that trip to the grocery store.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

03-04-2005, 01:55 PM
Dandy~yes, I can understand completely! What you are describing~this idea of buying up all these foods that have been the enemy and surrounding yourself with them~seemed to me to be a surefire step to certain disaster and I was sure it meant that I would gain a thousand pounds and die fat and alone! To me, It was just giving up and.......... becoming my mother........oh god, not that!!
For me, I can only take that step when I feel I have NO OTHER choice. Which means that I have come to terms with the fact that no diet, no tricks will ever work for me. Diets and all that may work for other people, but not for me. They didn't when I was nine years old on my first diet and they don't now that I am forty-two.
It may be a harse reality~this giving up on dieting and restricting~but if I am honest with myself, I have no other sane choice.

03-04-2005, 02:07 PM
To me, It was just giving up and.......... becoming my mother........oh god, not that!!

Oh my God, :hugonKarin:hugoff. I didn't even realize until I read this that it's exactly the thought rattling around the back of my head. I've watched my mother battle with food all her life, restricting and dieting, and finally just letting it all go. I visit her house now, stocked with junk food, and watch her give herself shots for her diabetes and then turn around and binge on candy bars, and it's the last thing I want my for my life.

no diet, no tricks will ever work for me. Diets and all that may work for other people, but not for me. They didn't when I was nine years old on my first diet and they don't now that I am forty-two.

This quote helps me to realize that my mom's house is stocked up on junk precisely because she is still buying into the same diet mentality she was buying into when she put me on my first diet in elementary school. If my house is full of junk food, it'll be because I'm making a conscious choice to try to find my out of the diet mentality. And that stage will not last forever...I hope. :ugh

Thanks so much for your response!

03-06-2005, 12:19 AM
Hi everyone.

Please forgive the long post, but I'm finally at this thread!! In fact, I have been devouring it and the OO book all weekend and journalling my responses and understandings. I haven't got past the first page of the thread!! There is so much here! And I am still only at page eighty-nine of the book. So, I know I have a lot of catching up to do.

Please forgive me, if I talk about something that has already been mentioned. I had wanted to read through all of the thread before I posted, but I know it will take a while and I am confused about something.

I havenít restricted foods. I havenít been a compulsive dieter. I have never been able to resist the cravings to actually go on a diet. (Aside from three goes at WW over the last twenty years). But Iíve realised that I still had a diet mentality. ďI will be much happier if I could go on a diet and lose weightĒ ďIím eating far too much of this food or that foodĒ ďThese foods are bad for me, these foods are good for meĒ. You get the drift!! So, whilst I didnít go on a diet per say, I still wished for it. I still wished to eat well, so I could lose weight. I still fantasised about not OE, so I could lose weight and be happy. Ah, the ED thinking, that I am now changing!

I would never keep certain foods in the house, because they were my trigger foods. If they were in the house, I would eat them. Instead when I craved them, I would go down to the shops and buy them. I now have three of each of them in my cupboards. The first step along the path!

Has anyone else been in this position? And what have you done about it?

:flower I havenít restricted these foods Ė other than not having them in the house Ė and trying not to give in to the cravings.
:flower I know that it is essential to legalize them in my mind Ė so I no longer see them as bad foods.
:flower I need to allow myself the freedom to eat them when I want and stop feeling guilty about eating them.
:flower I also need to become conscious of why I am eating them rather than go numb during the hand to mouth action.

So, Iím not sure how to approach it. Its not like I am suddenly allowing myself to have these foods, because I have been eating them for years and years already. The difference is they are now in the house, will be constantly restocked and I want to follow the IE path.

There is also one other issue. My body cannot cope with OE anymore. As soon as I eat too much, I end up with anxiety symptoms. I know this is my body telling me it is time to stop this behaviour and work things out. (I've been given a clean bill of health once before about these symptoms, but am planning to get rechecked by my doctor since it has been over a year since I last had them) So, I am often left with having OE, but still craving, but with the inability to be able to satisfy it because of anxiety. I, of course, have tried other methods to deal with this issue - to deal with the feelings behind the cravings, but at the moment, nothing else takes the place of food. So, I wake up in the morning, still with the cravings. And the cycle goes on. As you can imagine, this leaves me struggling to know how to put into action the Intuitive Eating.

This, plus the fact that I have rarely seriously gone on a diet plan, leaves me somewhat confused about what to do.

I'm still reading the book and this thread. And I am currently looking for a therapist who can help me as well. But, until then.....................

Can anyone help me out????


03-06-2005, 10:26 PM
Well, its been over twenty four hours since I introduced all my "naughty" foods into the cupboard. Its not very long in some ways, but in other ways it has been a really long time!!

I already feel a progression forward since my last post and don't seemed confused by what was confusing me yesterday. I feel like I am finding the right starting place for my personal situation. What feels different is that I am not having any problems legalising these foods. I have to consistently tell myself, that its legal to have them, but I seem to be accepting that with not too many problems. Maybe because I haven't been a compulsive dieter, as in going on diet plans all the time, this is a little easier for me. I'm not beginning with a big eating phase, because I've been doing that for months. I'm just trying to learn to live with these foods around me and assess what my real needs are, now that I have constant access to the foods of my escapism. I'm not sure. I know its still early days.

While I was preparing dinner last night, I opened up the pantry cupboard to get some ingredients. And I found myself just looking at the food that I bought. The three portions of each of the three binge foods!! I just stood in front of them looking at them with such joy. ďLook at all those foods in there!!!Ē It was such a pleasure. And then I found myself saying ďI donít feel like those today, but I might feel like those a bit later on!Ē And I was a little giddy!! I read somewhere in the OO book, that that can be one of the emotions you feel first up.

What I am doing is pulling myself up all the time when I think of eating them. I'm questioning myself constantly about whether I really want them. Assessing the stomach hunger or mouth hunger or emotional hunger. What I am feeling? Do I need nurturing?

I'm also finding my thoughts are totally obsessed with those foods. Even if I don't want to eat them, I can't stop thinking about the fact that they are in my cupboard. So, the questioning of myself has been going on for twenty four hours. Including when I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep for thinking of them!! Do I want to eat them? No. Do I want to eat them? No. And on and on and on. Is this normal to start off with??

The strangest thing was no anxiety at the end of the day. Perhaps my anxiety has been caused completely by a deep sense of guilt at what I was eating. A sense of utter failure that I couldn't continue with the WW program. And that I had fallen back to these behaviours yet again. I guess only time will tell with that as well.

Thanks for this thread. I'm onto the second page now and into the hundred's page numbers in the OO book.


03-07-2005, 01:19 AM
I have been to the point of having that free time onhand and I have found that I really sabotage myself by having very high expectations of how to fill it. With food, I know how to fill my free time, I know what I am capable of. Without food, the possibilities are endless, and that's very frightening. I impose high, high expectations, like I must be doing something very productive at all times, if food=downtime, then I guess that means no more downtime. I must be learning, creating, doing, doing, doing. It's no wonder when I reach that point, I go running back to food. I know I need to have better coping mechanisms in place for when I get to that point again. Thanks for bringing up the free time issue, because until I wrote this, I was unaware that that was what I was doing. I just knew I would get to that point in recovery and time would seem to stop, and then I'd beat myself for running back to food, and then the whole cycle started over again. This is eye-opening information for me.

Dandy, thank you for writing that--the whole post was really good, but this I need to tack up on my wall or something. Ever since grade ****, I've felt horrible wasting time. I finally got to the point in high school where I could spend time on me and not have it be wasted time. But when I just sit and do stuff, I disassociate SO BAD...I feel like my life is being swallowed by The Neverending Story's The Nothing...all of the creative juices I used to have are gone, the wonder, the joy, the love...it's replaced with dissociation, distraction, and food, all the time. And using food as a...procrastination/break kind of thing didn't make me feel bad, 'cause a girl's gotta eat, right? Until I read your post, I hadn't really grasped that I was doing that. The Nothing just came up, today, too. I've been thinking about this a lot (because I'm procrastinating from coursework, how's that for messed up?) because I'm trying to know--I mean REALLY know--if I'm ready to try recovering, again. Not because some book or something suddenly inspired me to, because I don't think I can keep efforts going when they're like that, I always did my diets that way. I don't know what does work for adequate motivation...but right now, I really feel as if I can't because I derailed myself once, already. I tried recovering a couple of years ago and then just forgot about it...got too busy.

03-07-2005, 01:51 AM
Well, apparently the legalized food trip I did earlier this week was a tester. Today, I can say I REALLY did it. Oh my freaking gosh (prettied up for public consumption :cheesy )!!! It was a struggle not to dissociate through most of the shopping. But I actually bought what I wanted, and multiples for the things that really got my attention. I spent obnoxious amounts of money, but I get such a sense of comfort looking in my fridge and cabinets. It was odd though, this evening. I got a bit of something that sounded good, but didn't eat much of it--wasn't too appealing. I then went and stood in front of the open cabinets. I was dismayed to find that I wasn't hungry and didn't really want to eat anything, and I had just bought all this food. It made me feel restless and unsure, like I needed to eat from habit. I've also been feeling sheer terror. The bad messages have turned up the volume and increase their frequency. I knew it would happen, but it takes a lot of effort to deal with them. Some of the voices are so soft and seductive (oh, and "reasonable"!) that I find myself listening and I have to tear myself away.

I want so badly for someone to tell me that there is a safe feeling on the other side of this. I KNOW I have to do this, it's just that I'm scared. I've never not restricted. I literally have no memory of not being obsessed with food, eating and my body. That makes me so, so sad, that I am thirty and so much of my life, my energy, has gone to trying to get away from myself. I think I need to mourn and I need to reassure the little girl inside that she actually knows what she wants and that what she wants is okay.

Deep in it,


03-07-2005, 07:52 AM
:hugon Annie :hugoff You're doing well! Yes, I know that giddy feeling... for me, I think the overwhelmign feeling was utter relief! Before I discovered my ED I kept thinking "there has to be a better way" and "I know I want to lose weight, but I just can't handle another diet" etc... so I was to the point where legalizing was completely easy because, on the direction of my T, by the time I discovered my ED, I hadn't restricted in a few months. I guess I kinda worked in baby steps, so by the time I read OO, I was ready to do something radically different! when I legalized... I was giddy with relief!

:hugon creatress :hugoff I used to be like that as well, and with recovery and therapy and my Tai chi classes, along with the book "Peace is Every Step", I have been able to use spare time (especially this weekend while traveling!) to just close my eyes and exist in the moment. I have a thread in the archives about my Reiki sessions... and my first Reiki session I asked for peace and that was my first experience with turning off my brain and learning how to just peacefully exist within myself.

And a good way to look at the plan in OO is to think: what has restricting, etc, done for you? Ya know? I think we get to the point where NOTHING we were doing was working... so that means time to change, right? The idea of legalizing food was radical to me... buy three of everything?? Say what??!! But I was so done with dieting that I was ready to try something "risky" to me.

:hugon Olive :hugoff I found it very interesting your mention of disassociating at the grocery store. Gosh, that's really powerful. I think that's how I used to get through it too. And I also used to just get comfort looking in the cabinet. It is just amazing, when you've restricted for so long, to see all of that food.

:hugon Karin :hugoff and :hugon Dandy :hugoff I totally relate to the fear that giving yourself unconditional permission to eat will equal giving up on oneself. But, the difference is... you're also going to be working on loving yourself and accepting yourself and building self-esteem and treating yourself well and so you arent' giving up on yourself! Feeding yourself is simply another extension of caring for yourself well! Our moms, at least mine, doesn't accept herself... so when you think "Oh, I'll become my mother...." my question is.... does your mother accept and love herself and care for herself well? There is a difference there.


This thread is about food, yes... but I also wanted to mention for completion that during this time of feeding ourselves, we do still need to be doing things like: mirror work to help with body acceptance, therapy to work out the kinks, acknowledging, accepting, understanding and resolving our feelings that drive us to use food as a coping skill.

The food is only one part of it. But dont' worry if some parts of OO don't quite apply to you right now. I find that I still have to go back and ready parts that are NOW relevant to me, whereas the first time I ready it almost a year ago, some parts just didnt' seem to apply (like the chapter on "this fantasies".. last year=no sense... this year... totally helpful.)


03-07-2005, 08:43 AM
Hi :hugonAnnie:hugoff

I'm just trying to learn to live with these foods around me and assess what my real needs are, now that I have constant access to the foods of my escapism.

This is what I'm most afraid of in legalizing. To hear you actually in the process of doing it really helps me! And :yay to you for all your hard work on recovery!! I can also totally relate to the waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the foods that are available. I do it a fair amount, and that's without my binge foods even being in the house! You've also helped me to remember that I am "allowed" to legalize a food or two at a time, which will help me budget-wise a bunch! Thanks for your posts!! :bounce


I've been thinking about this a lot (because I'm procrastinating from coursework

This has been one of my favorite reasons to eat since high school. I just want you to know that I can totally relate, and I don't think it's messed up. It's something that provides an outlet when I don't feel like studying. It's easy, and helps me feel substantial, like I won't float away, while providing something to do with my hands. It feels *busy*. And sometimes when I'm doing coursework, I don't feel busy, I begin to feel distracted and like I need a break. I guess I must label that need *bad* or I wouldn't turn to the food. Hmmmm...I'm on spring break right now, and planning to catch up on a lot of coursework over this time, perhaps I can work at allowing myself frequent food-free breaks to refresh...

I really feel as if I can't because I derailed myself once, already. I tried recovering a couple of years ago and then just forgot about it...got too busy.

I've been here, too! I guess you could say I've been in recovery on and off for about four years. Sometimes I get too busy and seem to forget about it, or convince myself that I'm all better, and just avoid it. Eventually, though, I reach a point where I realize that the reason I've dropped recovery is because it felt too challenging at that moment. I try to be kind to myself and remember that I did what I knew how to do to provide comfort for myself. And if that meant engaging in ED behaviors for a few months, at least I have enough of a recovery base to know that when I feel I'm in a better place psychologically to tackle recovery full-on again, I know where to go, what to read, I know a lot of what to do. I guess I'm trying to say don't beat yourself up if you feel you're not giving recovery one hundred per cent. You're giving what you can by posting here, and maybe right now in your life, that's plenty. It was more than enough in my life two months ago to just pick up and read a chapter of Geneen Roth once a week. It was all I was able to give to my recovery effort, and I beat myself up terribly about it, but as I said, I'm working really hard now to be proud of whatever effort I'm able to expend. Anyway, sorry to ramble on and on, I just really relate to what you wrote!!

Wow, :hugonOlive:hugoff, what a powerful post. This sent chills down my spine:
I think I need to mourn and I need to reassure the little girl inside that she actually knows what she wants and that what she wants is okay


so when you think "Oh, I'll become my mother...." my question is.... does your mother accept and love herself and care for herself well? There is a difference there.

AMEN. This is a thought I will work hard to keep in the forefront of my mind as I begin legalization.

but I also wanted to mention for completion that during this time of feeding ourselves, we do still need to be doing things

Good point. It's easy for me to make it all about the food, because the food is what it's been about my entire life.


I just want to say thank you to :hugoneveryone:hugoff who has contributed to this thread. It is a huuuuuuuuuuuuge help for me to read about everyone's experiences with intuitive eating/demand feeding.

:yay :yay :yay

03-07-2005, 11:12 AM
Dandy and Jennifer--

Thanks for the personal comments--they always really make me think and pay attention. ;-) Hope you two are doing great today.

03-07-2005, 12:42 PM
Justed wanted to pop and share a few thoughts. I've enjoyed reading along with this thread.

First of all, I am really "guilty" of engaging in boredom eating too. When I'm productive and really into my coursework, friends, etc. I'm less likely to overeat. The thought of it just doesn't come up as much. My recovery really seems to slip up when i'm procrastinating and I'm not quite sure how to deal with this. Lists and organization help with keeping focus/getting motivated but sometimes, its just easier to give in and eat - thereby disassociating from any frustration surrounding my work.

Second. I was sitting on the bus this morning thinking about how much time i spend thinking about food. I realized I have to break away from the habit of analysing everything i eat... it doesn't really matter what i ate- its just food. Yet I give so much power to these thoughts and it totally sucks away at my time not to mention self-confidence if I eat something less than "healthy" in a large amount. This week I'm working on simply not thinking about food...redirecting my thoughts when my mind wanders over to the idea of nibbling when I'm not physically hungry. Its hard!

Last of all. For newbies, let me say, you will slip up during the process of legalization! Lately I've been feeling like I've been eating way too much and the urge to give up and restrict has been there lately too. Don't follow that voice! Its wrong!!! It will only keep you in the yo-yoing cycle. If you've overdone it, give your body a break - be gentle with it and don't force more food on yourself as a punishment. But likewise, don't force yourself on a diet or restrict your intake of food. Trust in this process, trust your body, and just BELIEVE that eventually you won't want to eat anymore of Food X or Food Y. As you say :hugon Moke :hugoff, the "sparkle" will where off. I'm by no means an expert but I just wanted to reaffirm this point for other :fishyies but also for myself.

:love megan

03-07-2005, 01:20 PM
I'm in yet another week-long training course, so don't have much time to read or respond to posts.

:hugon Annie :hugoff I was reading your second post and something jumped out at me. If you are still obsessing about these foods, there is something not quite right. You do not have to eat them only if you are feeing stomach hunger for them. I suspect that you have mouth hunger for them (which is the obsessing), but you are still imposing 'rules' on when you may have them. That is why they are still 'sparkling' so much for you. Another thing is that you mentioned you had three portions of them in your cabinet. Perhaps the quantity you have bought is not enough to reassure you that you will never let yourself run out.

What happens when people have problems with legalizing food is that what they are really telling themselves is that they will 'try' it and if it doesn't work, they'll go back to how things were before. Or, they try to put rigid rules around it, because they are afraid of gaining weight, and it becomes so much like a diet that their body rebels. The approach won't work this way. You really have to let go of rules and good/bad and let your body eat.

When you first start legalizing foods, you will eat a LOT from mouth hunger. You should let yourself. You shouldn't focus on stomach hunger vs. mouth hunger right away - you need to let yourself eat and get comfortable with the fact that you can really eat whatever you want right now. Enjoy eating again. It is scary, I know, but if you've truly legalized foods, you will stop eventually, because you'll know that you can eat them again WHENEVER YOU WANT. :hugon Annie :hugoff You say that you keep asking yourself if you want these foods, but your body says no. Part of you is saying YES YES YES, as evidenced by the fact that you keep thinking about them, so what is keeping you from eating them?

:hugon Olive :hugoff Speaking to the little girl inside you is a great idea. Part of this approach is developing your Inner Caretaker. I view myself as both mother and child sometimes - it's my job to take care of my needs, just like I take care of the needs of my own children. That includes the need to be nourished as well as the need to feel sad and be reassured, to be scared and be comforted, to be happy and be supported, and most of all the need to be needy and be loved.

Wish I could write more. Looking forward to reading more later!

03-07-2005, 01:50 PM
OOOh, good catch, :hugon Amy :hugoff ... yes, there is probably the sparkle there because :hugon Annie :hugoff needs to :digdeep and see what is still a little off.

Mouth hunger is just as important as stomach hunger, especially in the beginning. If you are obsessing about a food, then you might need to have a portion to a) satisfy the obsession and b) prove to yourself that you have given yourself unconditional permission to eat.


03-08-2005, 04:12 AM
Thank you :hugon Jennifer, Moke, Dandy :hugoff for your responses! I really appreciated reading them! :grin

I was really thankful for all the points you brought up. They were all things that I wanted some brainstorming over and some input from :fishys who have been through the process.

I think I understand now why my new cupboard foods were sparkling for me so much and I was obsessing about them so much.

Well for starters - how exciting to have them in my cupboard!! How could I not be constantly thinking of them. It had only been twenty four hours at that point. I am still thinking about them a lot, but I feel that some of the obsession has faded.

And the reason they were so exciting in my cupboard -
My mother always had food in the cupboard - biscuits etc that she had baked and the ingredients for her recipes. But it was all illegal for me to eat. It was either for visitors, or for Dad. She strongly disapproved of me eating them. Not that she would always directly say anything, there was a lot of quiet disapproval - a look, a small comment......... I could give you a lot of other stories, but I'm sure you all get the general idea. Come to think of it, I think she didn't really like Dad eating them either.

The other thing with my Mum was that I also wasn't allowed to feel any negative emotions. Wasn't allowed to express anger or be upset etc etc.
So, not only wasn't allowed to feel these emotions but I also wasn't allowed access to the one thing I had turned to to help comfort me from all of these emotions. What a difficult spot to be in.

As I said before, I never kept my binge foods in the house, I would go out for them. So, having them in the cupboard brought out all these feelings and thoughts and memories and understandings. Its been quite amazing!

Just realising this is helping me change the way I am viewing it all. But, it has only been three days for me, doing IE. So, I'm still learning about the new way of looking and thinking about food. I know that its going to take a while and I have lots of things that still need to be changed in the way I look at eating. I have lots of questions about things but I think this is enough for one post!! :grin

Moke - I was driving home tonight and felt a sense of desperation at not having enough of each item in my cupboard. One lot was almost gone - and I stocked up with even more than I had before. Another lot I had hardly touched, but I had to get more of it anyway. I felt better once they were in my cupboard!! :yay

Jennifer - I have been having a portion of things when I think of it and just don't know what to think. I find that eating that portion, in a calm, accepting way, has helped me work out whats going on better. Know I understand the Mum thing, I'm glad I was. It was exactly the right thing to be doing!

Dandy - Glad I could help! I didn't obsess so much last night about the food in the cupboard. Now that it is there all the time for me, and I'm moving through these first days of giddiness!! Fill your cupboards with your favourites, Dandy, so you can really do the IE, and I am sure that will change for you as well. The obsessing will stop when it is freely available. I can feel it happening!!

Much love to you all. And thank you!!! :bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug


03-08-2005, 08:50 AM
As I said before, I never kept my binge foods in the house, I would go out for them. So, having them in the cupboard brought out all these feelings and thoughts and memories and understandings. Its been quite amazing!

That IS amazing! Insight.... just having the food in the house gave you insight. Awesome!

03-10-2005, 08:35 AM
Hi Everyone!
Just a little update on me. I first posted a week or so ago that I was at a point with my ED that I was ready to try recovery again, and that I truly felt intuitive/demand eating was the way to go. I ordered OO and a few of Geneen's books and have been devouring (pardon the pun :-) ) them ever since. I love this thread!!! So often as questions or issues come up as I'm trying to grasp everything, someone posts their insights that really help.

Anyway, I'm taking it slow and easy - I know this is going to be a long process for me. I have started the legalization process, and like a previous poster said (I think it was Jennifer) I was at such a point with diets and restricting, that legalization was a relief! Definitely scary at times, but there is a sense of peace underlying it that I hope to see more of.

I have a question for you guys...What was your experience with mirror work like? This is proving to be so hard for me because I really only have been living from the "neck up" for so long. I'm so programmed not to look at myself - the self-loathing voice starts up. But I'm trying a little every day. I was just curious how this went or is going for those working on it.

I also talked to my therapist about this approach. She is only a little bit familiar with it, but I think she'll still be helpful as I try to work on all those "Fat thoughts".

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences on this thread - it's a real lifeline to those of us just starting out.

:winky :winky :winky :winky

03-10-2005, 12:04 PM
:hugon WAL :hugoff

I wrote a post on mirror work.. it might be on the COE board. You might want to search my posts (it was a while ago)... or try searching "mirror work" or "body dysmorphia disorder" or "BDD".

The key is to keep the mirror work slowly and dont' push yourself. DO body part by body part if you have to. If you find any judgements entering your mind, shut the process down and try again the next day.

The goal is to be able to look at your body and say "look, that' me!" without any judgements.

And remember, you might not be able to love your body right now.. so you're really working on accepting your body at first.

Good luck!

03-10-2005, 02:23 PM
I have a question for you guys...What was your experience with mirror work like? This is proving to be so hard for me because I really only have been living from the "neck up" for so long. I'm so programmed not to look at myself - the self-loathing voice starts up. But I'm trying a little every day. I was just curious how this went or is going for those working on it.

I find that I can only handle a couple minutes at a time right now. Some days more, some less. I always start with the parts I love :supergrin , to kind of ground me in a positive space, and then I go from there. Sometimes I repeat statements to myself that my partner has said to me that help me see my body in a more loving way. Lately, I've taken to holding my belly, since I have put SO much negativity towards it. I also tell the parts that I have tended to hate that I am sorry that I haven't been able to love them, but that I'm working on it.

I agree with Jennifer too--if strong negative stuff starts coming up, stop the mirror work, remind yourself that you are trying to accept your body, and try again later. It does get easier!


03-11-2005, 08:31 AM
I wanted to cross-reference some posts on meal plans for when this thread gets buried in the archives and someone comes by later on.

I'm not suggesting or advocating meal plans right now.. only that it is an interesting dicsussion about Intuitive Eating and meal plans and how they are different...and whether a meal plan is a diet when the goal is to lose weight... also how some view recovery as the emotional and mental recovery first and then the physical recovery (weight restoration to the body's natural set point) second.

The names of the threads are:

"nutritionists/meal plans/weight loss"
"ok fishies"
"Back to the weight issue"

03-11-2005, 08:43 PM
Hi All,

I am up to the last page of this thread in my back - reading of it. And I have progressed further still in the OO book.

I have really appreciated the knowledge that people have passed on with their posts.
I couldn't possibly go through the whole thread for everyones posts that I have had gone WOW and copied and pasted into my journal. So a big thank you to everyone!! :gimmehug :gimmehug I have found a much greater understanding of things by reading this as well as the OO book, than I would have found by just the book. I feel that I have found a much better individual path for me.

:hugon Jennifer :hugoff :hugon Moke :hugoff............
Your posts in particular have been very helpful. Particularly when you have passed on quotes from the OO and IE book and told how you have incorporated these things into your lives. Thank you. :gimmehug :gimmehug :supergrin

Right now, I feel that I don't know what I am following OO, IE, this thread. But it doesn't matter. I am following my instinct. Being taken along the path that I am guided along. Hearing the things that I am meant to hear at the right time. And I will keep learning and keep evolving. And as my recovery progresses, I am sure my methods will also change and progress accordingly.

So, :gimmehug everyone! Thank you for sharing your own journeys.


03-14-2005, 01:42 AM
:hugon Annie :hugoff Here's how I tend to break it down... random thoughts...:

:bullet the "Overcoming Overeating" and Geneen Roth approaches are virtually identical.

:bullet freeing the foods, buying more than you can possibly eat, giving yourself unconditional permission to eat the foods you buy are absolutely necessary steps in order to disconnect emotions from food.

:bullet After disconnecting emotions from food, then you gradually move to reconnecting with your body's natural hunger and fullness signals.

:bullet After a individual amount of time in the OO approach, and when recovery on mental and emotional aspects are firmly planted, then the principles of "Intuitive Eating" make more sense.

:bullet Intuitive eating is for after mental and emotional recovery because it deals in more detail with nutrition and exercise while still providing for on-going challenges of why we eat, how much we eat and keeping mindful of the choices we have with food. This book can be triggering or overwhelming to someone just starting out.

:bullet while you are working on all the food issues, you are also: being nice to yourself after any binges, doing mirror work, freeing yourself from your "fantasy number", developing boundaries, going to therapy (hopefully!), becoming your own caretaker. These things take time! Go slowly and don't push yourself! Take it one issue at a time.

I have been doing the OO method for... uuum.....eleven months now and I'm just starting to feel like I want to really move more into the mindfulness of intuitive eating.

More tomorrow... I'm so sleepy!


03-14-2005, 03:49 AM
Thanks for that Jennifer!

I borrowed IE and WWSHTB from the library this week. Did you know IE is out of print now?? But I have an out of print place I can inquire at and there is always Ebay!

So, I will be interested to see how the process falls into place for me.

Just out of curiosity - had you done much therapy before you discovered you had an ED?


03-14-2005, 08:28 AM
:hugon Annie :hugoff I believe the out of print edition is the older edition... check the copyright date... I think the newer one was published in two thousand three. I don't know the difference betweent the two editions. I guess you could check Amazon.com to see if you can tell the difference. Let us know what you find out!

Just out of curiosity - had you done much therapy before you discovered you had an ED? Well, a good amount. I started therapy in February and discovered the ED at the end of April. I had been going every week or two in the beginning... so I had been to at least six and probably more like ten sessions before I figured it out. My T told me on the first day that eating issues represent control issues and control issues aren't about food. So we never talked about food... we always talked about the issues in my life and we started to, early on, trace those issues back to things in my childhood that were unresolved. Same thing after I discovered the ED... I told her about OO and how I figured out I had an ED and we still never talked about food!

She had figured I was a victim of past trauma because she said I was showing signs of post tramautic stress disorder. That was definitely ED related... I've seen all over the boards here people talking of PTSD.


03-14-2005, 11:27 AM
:hugon Annie :hugoff There is a new edition, which I bought recently at the bookstore myself.

I was reading an article in Shape magazine recently where I saw some principles of Intuitive Eating relayed. They had an article on reader 'transformation' weekends where they sent two readers to the Canyon Ranch spa in Tucson, Arizona. Among the principles taught to the readers were:

- Not putting foods into good/bad categories. One of the readers was very strict with her diet and kept setting herself up for binges because she never allowed herself to eat certain types of food. Then when she'd give in and eat those foods, she'd end up having a binge and beating herself up for it. The advice she was given was to stop making food bad - if she allowed herself to have a cookie now and then, she would be less likely to crave them so badly and then have a binge once she gave in. She always knew she would allow herself to have more cookies another time - they were no longer 'forbidden'.
- Not measuring yourself by such strict guidelines of eating. The other reader had been on WW for several months. The recommendation given to her was that she should listen more to what her body needed than to external recommendations about how many 'points' she should eat. So, she was working on eating when her body was hungry and stopping when she felt about eighty percent full.

Then there was another article, part of a series on one woman's one year weight loss journey. This month was on how she thought of food as love, because her family often used good food to celebrate or to show care for each other. She is doing a lot of work with a therapist on separating food from feelings.

Frankly, I was surprised to see so many things relating to my recovery in a fitness-minded magazine. It did make me feel reassured to see that some of these techniques that I've been learning following the intuitive eating approach are being recommended as main-stream solutions to people struggling with their weight. With the recent discussions on the board about food plans and weight loss, I've been struggling with how this approach fit into my life if I still wanted to lose weight. After a lot of thought, I think it still has and always will have a big place in my recovery. What I've taken away from the food plan discussions most of all is that a lot of fishies who use food plans also have an element of intuitive eating in them. I think that getting away from my diet mentality is really important in my recovery and giving controlling what I eat for a time is absolutely essential for me to stop associating food with struggling and suffering and misery.

I really hope that there is still interest in this thread and that we don't swing from one extreme to the other on the board. I was a bit surprised to see that so much emphasis was starting to be placed on this way of eating, quite frankly, and I know that all these methods are useful reading to everyone, even if it's to give them something to think about.

What I really hope is that people will not be scared off this thread because they aren't following it exactly how it is described in the books. All discussions and questions are always welcomed. The more thought that is given to options the better off we'll all be. Questions are always welcomed. And please, none of us are experts nor do we profess ourselves to be. We're all recovering and learning together here. We can only share our opinions and what we have learned for ourselves - they may not always be right! :winky

03-14-2005, 06:28 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff I'd be surprised about the articles in the health magazine as well. Maybe people are starting to "get it"???


I wanted to update about how well I did on my weekend trip to Chicago!!! In looking back at the foods I are and didn't eat, I am really proud of my choices! I just didn't go crazy and engage in vacation eating. We had a mini bar in the room and it was filled with junk and all of that... and I mean it just didn't tempt me. I could have had it, of course, but I not only didnt' want it, I didn't even think about.

There is a clear pattern in my eating where if one night I ate more higher fat foods, the next day I chose more vegetables. One night I drank l water with dinner because I was feeling thirsty and dehydrated from the plane, and then the next day I had some tea.

Also, if I bought something and it wasn;t what I wanted... I either threw it away because I didn't savor it, or if no other foods were available and I was physically hungry, I ate it until I was just filled and then threw it away.

I left food on my plate every meal because my last bite threshold seemed to be at one half to three-fourths of the whatever it was I was eating.

I also walked a bunch. My Tai Chi Chih classes are really paying off! It felt great to walk..... just really good to breathe in and out and make good contact with the earth with postive thoughts (a Buddhist thing)... I left good and positive imprints of myself on the streets of Chicago!

And, really, for me... walking by myself in a strange city plenty of blocks to go shopping is unreal! :yay yeah for me! That's a risk for me. Just last summer I couldn't cope with walking around a big city I knew because I was sure people were going to make comments to me about my weight.

I was so thrilled to be walking so confidently that I felt like Mary Tyler Moore... I wanted to throw my hat in the air and spin around!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, I also learned that drinking a large tea at seven at night is *not a good idea* lol.

And then we went to dinner at a place known for their special type of dessert, I ate mindfully knowing that I did want to savor the dessert... and so I finished dinner slightly on the hunger side and then ate with my heart's content the really really good dessert. I definitely savored it! And I didn't even finish it either. I was full and satisfied and I knew I could have more if I wanted. I just didn't need to.

So all in all, this was a lesson learned about my transition from the "overcoming overeating" approach into the "Intuitive Eating" approach.

I still have work to do regarding more mindful choices and less play foods... but I'm not pusing it. I have faith that my intuition will kick in and I will be more mindful to make choices that respect my body while still tasting good and with a high satisfaction factor.

(BTW, "peace is every step" is about mindfulness and mindful meditation in case anyone wants to learn more about it....)


03-15-2005, 09:39 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff Wow! You did GREAT!

I left good and positive imprints of myself on the streets of Chicago! I LOVE this!

I can definitely relate to how good you felt walking down the streets of Chicago. I've noticed that my confidence has absolutely sky-rocketed since I started accepting myself. I feel so good most of the time that I feel like I could fly.

I admit, the recent conversations on meal plans have gotten me thinking. I'm still wary of using this approach for myself, but I have started re-focusing on adding as many fruits and vegetables to my diet as I can. I keep my food bag, with the foods that I normally crave, with me at all times, so if I get hungry or decide that I want to eat, I have options.

I've noticed that the mere thought of eating on a food plan has increased my mouth hunger substantially - especially for my previously 'forbidden' foods.

Things have been going really well at work lately, and this has had a noticeable effect on my mood, my self-esteem and confidence, and my eating. I've been in training a lot this month and while it was useful for teaching me new things about how to do my job, what it really taught me was that I already know a LOT about how to do my job right. I feel a lot more confident when I interact with people now. I'm not as bored or uncertain, and I don't sit here and think about food all day.

03-15-2005, 10:09 AM
I've given this a lot of thought, and I'm going to take a brief break from the fish bowl. Things are going really well for me. I feel wonderful. I'm back in therapy.

The recent posts on meal plans and weight loss have really thrown me for a loop. I posted about how I felt in the thread 'OK Fishies'. I've spent so long thinking about weight loss and this was one place where I felt completely safe not thinking about that. That has changed recently. While I may be ready for that at a later point, right now it's impeding my recovery.

So I'll be taking a short break from the bowl. I want to hold on to how good I feel for as long as I can. I wish you all the best of luck, and I'll be back at some point, I'm sure. Feel free to e-mail me.

03-15-2005, 10:33 AM
The recent posts on meal plans and weight loss have really thrown me for a loop. I posted about how I felt in the thread 'OK Fishies'. I've spent so long thinking about weight loss and this was one place where I felt completely safe not thinking about that. That has changed recently. While I may be ready for that at a later point, right now it's impeding my recovery.

I KNOW exactly how you feel and I have also thought about taking a break from the bowl.

I also felt very safe not talking about weight and losing it and nutrition and foods and now all of a sudden I feel the urge to diet.. or at least to be thinking that I should be dieting and that's just not mentally healthy for me.

I'm going to go read the other post.... just wanted to let you know I hear you and that I've had the same reaction to things....


03-15-2005, 11:09 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff I am glad that I am not the only one feeling this. What has come to mind recently has been the members community of some of the weight loss sites that I've belonged to. I feel like I might as well be there. I'm having a lot of difficulty with this because I love the bowl and I LOVE the fishies here. Everyone has always been so so supportive of me and I've never felt better anywhere. The last few days, though, the bowl has felt less accepting. I actually feel like I've done something wrong because I was advising people on my opinions of intuitive eating. Never in a million years would I want anyone to feel like their opinion didn't count if it was different from mine, and yet what I've heard loud and clear is that people felt intimidated to add their own opinion because some of us were expressing ones that were different than theirs on the board.

I guess now I'm the one that feels intimidated. I almost feel like there are now two 'teams' on the board with an associated winner and loser, and that's just ridiculous. But that's the feeling that I'm getting. Part of that is feeling like my opinions aren't welcome. I've never ever excluded anyone from expressing their opinion anywhere on anything. I have to say, I'm really angry that I feel like I'm not welcome to post what I like anywhere I want to. This is my community too. I guess I don't feel welcome right now.

The last few days I've been really unhappy here and that's not a feeling that I ever expected to feel. So I'm exercising my option to leave.

03-15-2005, 11:21 AM
Wow, :hugon Amy :hugoff I think I just had a breakthrough over on the "ok fishies" thread... and since we seem to be feeling just about the same things... I would like for you to read it and see hwo you react to what I said....

:gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug

03-15-2005, 11:27 AM
Moke and Jennifer -

Do you feel "threatened" by the discussion of food plans?

I know I felt threatened by the discussion of OO.

I knew it wasn't for me instinctively.

You know food plans aren't for you instinctively.

It's okay.

We are still here for each other emotionally.

And regardless of our eating methods, there's still plenty of feelings to talk out.

:great big fishie hugs

03-15-2005, 11:37 AM
I'd sort of like to keep this discussion off of this thread.. keep it on topic of IE so to speak... I have a long post on the o.k. fishies thread. I feel unaccepted, not really threatened. No rejection... but let's put the food plan stuff on the food plan thread... I don't want others who come later to feel unaccepted by the sudden talk of food plans and weight loss.


03-15-2005, 11:53 AM
:hugon Amy and Jennifer :hugoff,

Thank you for posting. I have been feeling really down on myself recently after reading the food plan thread. I am very intimidated and I guess I just feel like I don't fit in. Both of your posts have always inspired me, so I do not feel as marginalized as I have the past few days. That's all. I'm not good at conflict. Even when it is not-real-life-internet-time. Thanks y'all!

Love, Kate

03-15-2005, 12:06 PM
I like red_gumboots post on inclusion. That may be a good place to discuss this.

:hugon watercolor :hugoff No, I don't feel threatened. I actually find the discussions useful. I agree with Jennifer, let's move this discussion elsewhere.

:hugon Kate :hugoff Thank you. I was starting to feel very alone. I'm terrible at conflict too - hate it hate it hate it. Maybe that's why I want to leave? It's easier to run away (or pretend that it's not happening) than it is to speak up.

03-15-2005, 02:59 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff What is your e-mail address? I've seen it before, but can't seem to find it now.

03-15-2005, 04:04 PM
multiplemomthree@yahoo.com (use the numeral.. don't spell out the number)...

Going to the nut now......

03-15-2005, 07:35 PM
I'm back.. a very good and totally unanxious visit to the nut!

Just to reiterate something I said on a different post... the Nut checked over my food log and said she didn't see anything glaring in it that needs to be addressed. So I've been doing OO since May oh-four and am just moving in to the IE concepts of nutrition and I've... on my own... been moving forward in the nutrition department. I have already mastered a significant amount of what she had planned to talk with me about.

So I'm really pleased with the concepts of OO and IE. Right now, this is where I need to be! And it is good to have that reassurance!


03-15-2005, 08:30 PM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff
Glad your appt. went so well!

When the rest/majority/whatnot of you all are ready, I'd like to talk more about nutrition within the IE method (no food plans). It is about choices within the "giving yourself unconditonal permission to eat" principle.

This is something I would :love to talk about, though perhaps it would be better to start a new thread. This is the way I've been eating for awhile. Sometimes I felt confused by the IE thread because there are parts of IE that conflict with my own *intuition*. For example, I think its okay to eat cookies if you want but you should probably eat them after a healthy meal. Personally, I'm not comfortable with the-eat-ANYTHING-you-want model because I almost always end up feeling like crap afterwards, physically and mentally.

Rousseau talks about positive and negative liberty. One example of neg liberty: ďIím free to go out and get drunk [or eat only twinkies for breakfast, lunch and dinner]Öits my choice." But its not really freedom because you're still a slave to that behaviour (when you act on compulsive behviours you're not really free). Achieving positive liberty is difficult; e.g. giving up smoking or in this case, recovering from an eating disorder. Rousseau's conception of positive liberty is similar to Plato's idea of the rational soul, i.e. making rational decisions based on self-knowledge. I know that my body feels a lot beter when I eat a reasonable amount of vegetables every day. I know I feel better when I'm well-hydrated.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I *want* to make healthy decisions. I want to be free (free to choose what I eat and when) but also free from making unhealthy decisions regarding negative behaviours (i'm talking about OE, binging and B/P). I like having a but of guidance -but not so much that it would be a formal food plan. I think this is what you're getting at Jennifer. Eating what you want and when you want but also excercising good judgement (based on sound nutritional advice) - and then having fun foods! This is what *I feel* most comfortable with and *for me*, it doesnt feel like I'm following a diet. I feel that this is the best way to take care of myself.

Not that IE is wrong or bad, its just that the SUM of ideas espoused by Geneen Roth don't fit the mindspace I'm in right now. Its okay to pick and choose, take some ideas, leave the others...

:love megan

03-15-2005, 08:46 PM
One more pt: even Geneen Roth suggests that we need protein, even if you're going to eat whatever you want. There's an entire chapter on it in "When You Eat at the Refridgerator, Pull up a Chair" (Chap ********). There are physiological reasons why someone might be craving sweets, e.g not having enough protein in your diet. She also acknowledges that "diets" can be okay. There are many reasons for going on a diet, i.e. medical reasons like diabetes, celiac disease, whatever. You can still eat intuitively and be on a "diet." It doesn't have to be one or the other. A diet simply refers to a regulated selection of foods.

03-15-2005, 08:46 PM
OOPS, I just went and re-edited the post... so that quote isn't there any more lol.

." But its not really freedom because you're still a slave to that behaviour (when you act on compulsive behviours you're not really free). The beauty of the OO approach is that while freeing the foods while working with a T on the emotional aspect, I have freed myself! The bingeing is gone. The emotional eating is virtually non existent (every now and again I might mindlessly start to eat, but I have always been able to catch myself and stop.. This rarely happens, but I'd be lying if I said it never happens).

But, yeah, after some time.. there does seem to be a void with the OO/Roth methods.. like "o.k. I've eaten all of the twinkies I've ever wanted.. and now I don't overeat or binge because I've dealt with the real problems in therapy.. so now what."

At first I used to think IE and OO are the same, and they have some of the same principles... but I do see a natural progression from the ideas in OO to the ideas in IE. Nutritionally speaking, vitamins and minerals and all of that good stuff are what the body needs and craves and it usually isn't in twinkies. This is why IE calls the chapter on nutrition "gentle nutrition." But the most important point in the chapter is to still give yourself unconditional permission to eat.

But won't I still eat twinkies? No. Really, once emotions and food are disconnected.. you KNOW you can have twinkies, but you also realize you feel better when you eat nutritionally wholesome foods.

That's where I am with sodas. Sodas are my snack food. But I also have realized over time... *because* I allowed myself to have them... that I feel sluggish afterwards. And I really dont' like that feeling.

So the move to IE from OO and the move within IE to gentle nutrition has been slow and requires patience... but I see now that it is working. I would guess that the idea of eating intuitively is the ultimate step.. perhaps after working in some concepts of gentle nutrition.

For a while there I was feeling sort of stuck.. but I get where this is going now... there does need to be a movement, only when one is truly ready, from freeing all the foods to thinking more (being mindful) of how those foods affect the body.

In fact, that's what I told the nut today. Before now, I have never been able to make the connection between what I eat and how it makes me feel because I have always had an abusive relationship with food. Now that I have a compassionate, gentle and unemotional relationship with food, I am now able to tap into how foods make me feel.

So I can see that I am gradually working toward making wholesome choices because I want to and because those foods make me feel good.

And that makes me excited because I'm really seeing that this is going to stay with me the rest of my life!


03-16-2005, 10:28 AM
Crap, I just erased my ENTIRE reply!!!! Why is there no undo button on the web browser like there is in windows? :confused

Ok, so I'll try to reconstruct it, but I'm not sure I'll remember it all.

I remember in Geneen's book she talks about choosing to eat foods based on how they'll make her feel. She prefers to feel light after she eats, so she eats and chooses foods accordingly. However, sometimes she feels differently, and she chooses foods based on those feelings, and that is ok, too. I also remember in the OO book the authors talk about choosing foods based on how they'll make you feel. They seemed to be of the opinion that this was an advanced technique (and it's also the point at which you'll start to lose weight) and I tend to agree with them. I'm just starting to think about this, but I'm not quite sure that I'm ready. I LOVE fresh foods - veggies, fruits, the whole kit and caboodle - but I still associate them too closely with restrictive behavior, so I am still working on losing those associations.

In another thread, SFishy replied to a question that I had by comparing my struggles with how she dealt with compulsive exercising. She had to lose the associations that she had attached to exercise - all the powers she had given it to fix her life - before she could exercise for health and enjoyment. And I definitely see how that relates to my struggles to 'legalize' food. I'm working on unattaching all of the powers that I've given food - to make my life wonderful and happy - by treating food as the source of energy that it is rather than something forbidden or good. I'm freeing myself from my slavery to food.

:hugon Megan :hugoff I encourage you to take what you need from these ideas and use what works for you. By no means should you feel like you have to take it or leave it. And I hope that you'll share with the thread how you've decided to apply them and how they are working for you!

The other day, I was in the greatest store of ALL time - Century ********. It's an outlet for designer cast-offs - truly amazing. You can thumb through Pucci dresses and Prada purses - it's the closest I've felt to God while shopping. Ok, so that's an exaggeration - but I do feel closer to the writers of Vogue there! :supergrin I saw this beautiful tank top with this spray of tiny flowers and beads embroidered to the top. It was so beautiful. It was also the tiniest thing I've ever seen and it cost two hundred dollars (hey, it was marked down from six hundred - it was a deal!). So, I didn't buy it, but I've been thinking about it. The other day, I opened Lucky magazine and saw a similar tank top for a MUCH lower price. My first thought was that I should get it for my little sister for her birthday. She's tiny - it will look good on her. Then I thought - wait a minute - I want this top!! So, I can't wear tank tops on their own - but I can wear it under a jacket and look amazing. This was a breakthrough for me. Usually, I see clothing that I LOVE and think of who it would look good on (and they are always smaller than me) and get it for them. It's like I'm giving my happiness to the people who REALLY deserve it. Now, I'm thinking that I deserve to have this little piece of shopping happiness. I'm going to go to Macy's to see if I can find it. Woohoo! I love my body and I want to wear clothes that reflect how I feel. I've always worn clothes that reflect how I feel - but usually I feel bad. Now I want to show the world how much I love myself.

03-16-2005, 10:41 AM
Oops! Century Twenty-one.

I also forgot this other part of my reply. There is a difference between the OO and IE approach (as described in the books by the same title). I didn't feel like I was quite ready for the IE approach after I'd read the book, so I've put it aside until I've legalized food further.

03-16-2005, 02:38 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff I know about century twenty one and I've never been to New York! LOL. When I come, we're going there, k?

I've been doing OO for almost a year and I guess about a month or so ago I started really connecting in my head what I eat and how it makes me feel. I started ED tendencies around age eight I guess. So this has been something I have NEVER been able to do.

I'm probably repeating myself, but these are things I feel passionate about: PATIENCE to anyone who feels sad because they cant' connect that yet. I do think it is something you figure out in the advanced stages of OO and like I said on another thread.. once that is mastered, people will either choose a food plan or start the IE nutrition aspects (which the whole title is: Honoring your health: gentle nutrition).

The IE chapter is just one chapter long, no food lists, no meal plans... which has stumped me over and over again... cause then the book ends... and I couldn't figure out why there wasn't more guidance. But what they do is talk about the food groups and what each does for the body and then they let you work it out. In the introduction to the chapter, they say their clients always come in and say "when's the food fest going to be over", cause they think living this way is too good to be true.

I guess the whole point is: when you free the foods, and when you go to therapy and work out the true problems, and when you learn from eating twenty brownies three days in a row that that not only doesnt' solve anything, it makes you feel bad... and since you've started eating asparagus because asparagus and brownies are equal in your mind... at some point you're really going to say: hey, when I eat brownies and coke, I feel like shit, and when I eat asparagus I feel good. And then a lightbulb's going to click and you're going to think... you know, maybe I can save the brownies for another day (cause I can always have them) and instead maybe I will eat some steamed broccoli with butter because that's going to make me feel so much better.

Reminder: it's taken me almost a year to get here.

Like I said in another post, your body, when you take the emotional aspect of food away, WANTS vitamins and minerals... things that probably aren't in twinkies.

But you can always have the twinkies. And you can always eat birthday cake because it is a special occassion and you aren't hungry. You can still eat for reasons other than hunger: pleasure, socially, because it looks good, special occassions... etc. No one is ever going to take that away.

But our bodies were made to consume wholesome foods. And if you listen to it, it will ask for that. And I know that might sound overwhelming to people who are just starting out... and I know even for people who have been doing it a while... it's going to sound overwhelming.... but you have to learn to walk before you learn to run... and doing OO is the necessary step of walking, and then IE is the next step of running.

You can't get to the end before you go through the beginning and the middle.

I told the nutritionist that I'm just dipping my toe in the deep end and I'm making no commitments about jumping in. She said that's fine.. don't push yourself, but also don't let fear of the water keep you from going in anyway. Sometimes when you know you are ready and you know you have the ability to swim.. sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump in!


03-16-2005, 03:13 PM
Amy -

Wow. If we had a store like that around here, I'd just direct-deposit every paycheck with them! :muhaha

Isn't it delicious when you give yourself permission to buy something you really like? When you shut off those voices that say "you shouldn't wear that because..."

I was lusting after a couple of pairs of summer-ish designer capri pants on E-bay (New with tags - and cheap!) and "The voice of Authority" kicked in and said, you can't wear patterns like that at your size. It'll just make your ass look bigger. And I felt ashamed of my body, ashamed of my eating, just shame shame shame.

And later I remembered what I've been reading in When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies and answered The Voice with: Yeah, who says? Who says I can't wear patterns like that?
I love those pants. I think they're cool, and I'm tired of wearing "camouflage" -- i.e., dark, plain colors that are supposed to give the "illusion" I weigh less than I do -- instead of cute, fun clothes that attract attention and say, Here I am, world!

So I bought those capri pants! It sounds like such a simple thing, but it was just so empowering and freeing to defy that sense of shame and that "rule" about what I "should" wear and make a decision based on my own preferences. Okay, I'm still feeling some trepidation about actually WEARING them, but I hope I can make that dissipate and continue treating myself with respect.

P.S. Joan and Melissa Rivers, if you see me out and make any snide remarks, you can kiss my ass, you snarky bitches. My body deserves to wear fun stuff too. :muhaha

03-16-2005, 04:38 PM
Yes, :hugon Amy! :hugoff I had to run and take a shower and then pick up the kids from school, so I forgot to say: you go girl about the shirt! You go get it for yourself! I have also noticed that my tastes are breaking out of my "safe mode". I'm going for more flirty styles, wheras I used to stick with more conservative styles. I'm getting more into fashion and colors and I'm just more willing to try on things I normally wouldn't think of trying on.


:hugon S :hugoff I agree with you there about the Rivers' bitches. They flaunt their twisted thinking and its a shame because they are watched by so many people. They can kiss my ass also! :bounce


03-16-2005, 06:29 PM
:hugon shihtzuxtwo :hugoff I laughed so hard that I spit coffee all over my computer monitor. So, Thanks! lol

I love that phrase 'Who says?' and I use it all the time. I am starting to wear brighter colors and clothing that fits in a more sexy, yet flattering, way. It is not always easy to wear them, believe me, because people do look at you. At least, I've noticed that a lot more people look at me when I wear bright colors. I bought a tank and wrap sweater in turquoise and have been wearing them to work lately. I can't believe how many male co-workers come to visit me to talk when I wear that sweater. It's a little unnerving. Yes, it shows a little cleavage, but nothing indecent (i'd like to think that I'm a pretty conservative dresser). I wear clothes like this when I'm feeling awesome about myself. I still wear my old dark baggy clothes on days when I don't feel so confident. I'd like every day to be a bright color day someday!

I subscribe to Women's Wear Daily and the other day they had a bit about a plus-size line that's doing a show at Lord & Taylor called Abby Z. It's supposed to be a line aimed at professional women around ******** and is priced from about one hundred to three fifty. Sounds like it's worth checking out (at least if it's on sale!). I am really craving some of those cute little blazers that everyone is wearing and I really want a pair of white pants to wear in the summer. Can't seem to find those blazers in plus-sizes. And I also want one of the hippie-chic tank tops - the kind with the empire waist and beading on the bodice. It would look great with my white pants and some cool sandals! Ok, so this is the most I've ever thought about fashion and myself with the body I have - ever. I always think about what I'd wear if I was thinner, and I don't want to wait anymore.

03-16-2005, 07:32 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff I'll bet with those wrap sweaters with your new bras... You're looking hot! I wear my gals proud and high now with my new bras (Lane Bryant cacique sexy somethings...)... whoda thunk getting a new bra would make such a difference?!

03-17-2005, 10:34 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff Yes. LOVE the new bras. I got mine from the Avenue. Love the colors. You know what is really funny? I got all this new lingerie - it fits, it's in bright colors, it's sexy - and I undress in the locker room at the gym instead of in the bathroom stalls because I feel so proud of myself. LOL.

I posted something about OO that I was having problems with and I wanted to share it here to see what you thought. I've been legalizing food, and as I allowed myself to eat some of my favorite binge foods I realized that I don't really like them. So I stopped eating them. And I panicked, because now I'm not eating these foods - it feels like I've unlegalized them, but it's just because I don't like them!

Also, when I listen to my body, it tells me almost everytime that it wants healthy fresh foods, lots of veggies and fruits. I keep panicking, because it feels like I'll never get to eat my former 'treats' ever again if I listen to my body.

I feel like my body has moved faster than my brain has in this process. Any suggestions?

03-17-2005, 11:08 AM
Ooooh! All this talk of lingerie! You guys have got me wanting new lingerie!

Or maybe I should omit the "new" -- the under-stuff I wear now is pretty sad: saggy, baggy drawers and "utilitarian", heavy-duty bras that look like something "grandma" would wear.

Yes, I think some pretty panties and bras would give me a real boost (no pun intended). :winky

Have you guys gone thru the process of getting rid of the clothes that don't fit? I have so much stuff that I will likely never wear again and keep thinking of selling it all on Ebay (some stuff has never been worn) but I find myself balking.

A part of me wants to cling to the dream that I will be slim again and wear it one day. Obviously, I have work to do in accepting myself as I am now.

"That Voice" gives me a nudge once or twice a day saying "Diet!" and I have to talk myself in off the ledge: "No more diets! I want to work on the ED instead and let my weight take care of itself." :sad

03-17-2005, 11:34 AM
:hugon shihtzuxtwo :hugoff Yes, I've gone through the process of weeding out clothes that don't fit. Some of them are in boxes in my parents basement and some of them went directly to the salvation army.

lol I love that I have options, even though I am the size up top that used to relegate one to 'grandma bras'. I have a two-toned pink one, a lavendar one, among others! :)

I'm actually going to open up another post. I'm really struggling with the dieting thoughts.

03-17-2005, 12:52 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff I have found for me there is a specific food that I used to crave, binge on, etc and I figured out I really don't like this food. But, yet I still eat it sometimes. The times are getting less and less and I suspect one day it just won't be an issue with my any more. I really dont' like this food. It tastes like nothing... with salt.

I think it is just part of the process.. and since you feel anxious that you don't eat it any more, you might need to include it every now and again so that it doesnt' feel restricted.

I would guess it is one of those things that will work itself out over time? Also, maybe with the fruits and veggies.. maybe add some topping or something to not have it seem "diety"?

Also, perhaps just acknowledging the fear and reassuring yourself that you can have anything you want might be enough to calm the fear?

:hugon S :hugoff Not only did I give to Goodwill the things that didn't fit, I also got rid of any colors and styles that I thought don't make me look my best. I had some off colors in there.. things not right for my complection. I'm restocking my closet in bits and pieces right now.


03-17-2005, 03:25 PM
Now here's something new that I have noticed over the last week or so....

When I eat to the end of my fullness point, I feel sick. Now.... this is *not* the kind of "oh god I stuffed myself raw and now I'm going to puke..."

It is more like I have identified the last bite threshold.. that's where I'm feeling just satisfied and if I end there I feel just slightly wanting... just slightly.. but after I finish eating, I feel satisfied. Sort of like letting my mind catch up to my body (or would it be vice versa.. btu you get the point...)

After that, there's the full and satisfied point. This is when I eat probably one or two bites over the last bite threshold... and I'm fine.. just feel better when I stop at the last bite threshold.

And then there's the indulge taste/mouth hunger to the end of the fullness point It is hard to explain.. cause it isn't overeating really... it is just what I would identify as the final step of fullness... like one or two bites more and you've ignored your fullness signals. This is sort of the last stop.. no gas for twenty-five miles part, if that makes sense. I consider it for me to be still honoring fullness.. just the last point before overindulging past fullness.

And I *do not* like that feeling. It leaves me feeling just "eck". Like last night we had something that looked and smelled really appetizing, and I stopped when full... but too close to the end of being full. I like to stop with feeling lightly full. So I guess I'll call this "full full".

I don't like full full.

And I think it is absolutely amazing that I can figure this stuff out! Totally amazing. Surprising. Neat.


03-17-2005, 04:05 PM
:hugon Moke :hugoff

Your issues with the legalising of food that you don't like anymore.................

I can so relate. Its different to what I am going through at the moment, but similiar. I still like the food, I still want to eat it. But, on the other hand, I SO DON"T want to eat it because of what its doing to my body. I've been feeling absolutely horrendous the last few days. And also really concerned about whether I am really legalising this food. However, I do feel that I am and trust in the process and trust that time will tell.

Jen's answer was good. I'm still going to eat this food. I'm still going to have it in the cupboard. I'm just going to wait until I feel better. At the moment, I also have it in small portion bite sizes. And every now and then, I will eat one of those. Its helping me to still work on legalising it and accepting that I can eat it and also to satisfy my desire for it, while also taking care of my body to the best of my ability.

On those other occassions when I can't even have that bite size - I have other means of helping me.
:hairy Sitting with, accepting and trying to access all the emotions around eating it.
:hairy Chewing on a tablet that my naturopath gave me which may be giving me what my body craves from this food.
:hairy Using a rescue remedy for moments of anxiety.
:hairy And occasionally choosing another food. This I am finding really interesting. Because I am often finding that other food much more enjoyable. Because not only does it taste good, but I am really happy with how it feels entering my body. It contrasts so much in how food x feels in my body that it is really pushing forward the concept of what my body naturally wants.

The other thing this issue is doing for me, is making me work on the emotional side much more intensely. Which is probably why I am having such a shitty week!!! :zoinks :muhaha

Anyway, I know it is a different situation for you, but it still is problems over legalising. And it was good to share!!! Because if anything I said helps you to work out your issue, then thats great. Because hearing about yours issues - (and there have been several posts of yours that I have really learnt from and related to in the past few days) - has really helped me to find my way through this difficult time.

Much love,

03-17-2005, 04:09 PM
Oh and Jen!

I loved your descriptions of fullness!

I remember working on that several years ago when I was eating out a lot with my past boyfriend. I was always eating too much of the yummy restaurant food. So, I taught myself to stop much sooner. And I always made sure there was food left on my plate - this was a revelation in itself. I am allowed to leave food on my plate! Wow!! And I always left the restaurant feeling a hell of lot better!


03-17-2005, 04:19 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff Thanks for the ideas! Leaving food on your plate is really hard. I often find myself finishing the entire portion that I've served myself (or that someone else served me) whether I'm hungry or not. I feel so uncomfortable leaving food just sitting there.

It's funny, I didn't realize that I was facing so many issues! Well, I guess I knew I was. I'm in a crappy mood from how I'm feeling about my weight, so everything just seems BIGGER and more overwhelmnig today.

03-17-2005, 04:26 PM
:hugon Moke:hugoff

I gotta go ready for work now. But wanted to give you a great big hug! :gimmehug :gimmehug

Lots of love,

03-17-2005, 05:11 PM
I found some links!!! I know we've mentioned overcomingovereating.com so here are some links of interest: (thanks Lablover and Amy for the reminders):

OO and diabetes:


Hope that helps... :spinny

Oh, and :hugon S :hugoff Or maybe I should omit the "new" -- the under-stuff I wear now is pretty sad: saggy, baggy drawers and "utilitarian", heavy-duty bras that look like something "grandma" would wear.

Let me tell you.. you'd be surprised at the positive outlook you might get with some new drawers. lol. And bras. I say go for it! Lane Bryant is good and so is The Avenue (they look like the same store to me...)

03-17-2005, 05:25 PM
I feel so much better now that I've dealt with that whole fear of losing weight. Whew! Well, not that it's done and over with, but it's not in my head making me feel crazy and upset. It was like noise that was keeping me from hearing anything my body was telling me. Plus, I've been binging like crazy.

Tonight, I'm going to go home and wait for my stomach to talk to me. Right after I give the kids a BIG hug and tell them I love them.

:hugon Jennifer :hugoff I'm almost embarassed to admit this, but since I've been here for so long, I think I've been putting pressure on myself to keep up with you! I've just realized this, and I need to remember that you've been doing this a lot longer than I have even though you are newer to the board! I've always been an overachiever and I see that this applies to my recovery process as well! :cheesy

I always want the benefits to come here and now! With this approach, though, it's the slow and steady over time that really gives you the most benefits. You can't really rush it.

I love how I'm always learning something new!

03-17-2005, 06:19 PM
EGGADS, :hugon Amy :hugoff I will admit that I've made light speed progress in the last year, and that the NUT was really amazed at all the nutritional work I have done on my own .... but BEFORE I found my ED I: had a baby, had a husband get cancer, get unexpectedly pg with twins, get post partum depression, almost have a nrevous breakdown, thought about divorcing DH, moved to a new state and that's in seven years.

Only in the last two years has my life calmed down (and all my children have gone to full time school) for me to be able to decompensate and live from seven thirty until two twenty just for me. And it *still* took a year for me to be able to figure out something was wrong.

Hon, look at all the upheaval in your life this past year. And despite all of that, you have made tremendous progress.

I know you know it isn't a race... and I still have to remind myself that it really in the process over the progress.

I think the reason I've done so well in such little time is that I was able to get my life in order before I found my ED. So I really have lots of time to devote to recovery right now. Nothing huge is going on.. even my manic sister has been level. But you know the real test comes when life falls apart. And look at how well you have gotten through some really devestating times! And you still were able to manage your ED behaviors, get through to the real feelings and eat mindfully. Hon, that's so awesome!!!

:bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce

03-18-2005, 10:30 AM
Well after a week of non-stop binging, I'm finally feeling hungry again. I'm listening to my body again. Sometimes when we get triggered, it's not always a bad thing. Yes, I had a problem with my behaviors and I had enormous mouth hunger to cope with, but I looked into what was really bothering me and found a lot of reasons why I was feeling like I needed comfort and needed to eat. The last part of the book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies is about identifying the triggers that cause you to feel mouth hunger and figuring out how to eliminate them or your reaction to them. I did a lot of that work in my other post. I still have work to do, and I will probably still feel a lot of mouth hunger from them in the near future, but I have more confidence in myself and my progress with this process now that I'm on the other side of all of that.

You are right :hugon Jennifer :hugoff , I am trying to work through a lot of things all at once. I guess I'm juggling them pretty well, so I should take that into account when I 'rate' myself.

In my three-legged stool, I've done a lot of focusing on the mental and emotional parts of my recovery and recently had started some work on the physical aspect. Focusing on the physical recovery helped me to identify some more mental and emotional work that needs to be done. Maybe my physical leg was growing faster than the other two legs were, and I need to develop them further before I can take another step in my physical process. Maybe that's what all that wobbling was about! :)

03-18-2005, 12:30 PM
It is incredibly annoying when I'm not hungry at the usual defined meal-times. It's lunchtime now, food smells are all around. The cafeteria is only open a defined amount of time. I'm not hungry. I'm sitting here thinking, 'Ok, c'mon! Get hungry already!'

Anyone else have suggestions for what to do when you aren't hungry at mealtimes or when other people are expecting you to eat?

03-18-2005, 02:15 PM
Two sides to this reply:

One) I'm halfway through OO and I'm pretty sure that I can't do it--not because I don't have the internal fortitude to handle it, but because I don't have the money. I live on campus. My grocery budget is currently about $five per month. I can't "legalize" foods because I can't AFFORD to buy them. I know they talk about it, and it's an investment. But I don't have money to invest! Seriously! What am I supposed to do, sell my car? NOT go to Costa Rica, which has been a life-long dream for me? Humph. Ditto for buying clothes. Nothing in my closet fits me right now, but jeans are like $sixty a pair for me (Lane Bryant, how I love thee, but thou art dearly expensive). So I only eat at the cafeteria. Granted, that's not exactly what I'm craving, and if I'm going to truly feed myself what I want to eat, this isn't going to work. But I can't cook the home-cooked meals that I crave, because all I have available to me is a microwave, a blender, and a fridge. :sarcasm So I don't know if I can do this. Same for my summer job--I'm a camp counselor. There IS food available between the perscribed meal times, but it's only fruit. I don't crave fruit between meals, I crave bread. Plain wheat bread. Especially since our cook bakes all of the bread by hand...oh, I'm salivating. So I don't know if it's really possible for me to fit this wonderful plan into my life. Thoughts?

Two) I relate to the competition factor, Moke. I keep trying to convince myself that all I really want IS broccoli, that I don't have to legalize because I don't think in terms of good and bad food, that I don't have to be okay with gaining weight because my ED isn't THAT bad, so I WON'T gain weight (since that logic makes sense, and all). Getting over this hurdle is going to be hard. But it's good that OO is somewhat addressing my questions. Things I thought just applied to me are totally being talked about in the book, and that's kinda cool. :cute

03-18-2005, 04:54 PM
:hugon Moke :hugoff

So glad to hear you are over the hump. Its always so hard when they arise. But I believe they always will. However, our ability to handle them will get better and better. After all, yours only lasted a week!! Think how long it would have lasted a few years ago!!

I think you are doing a fantastic job. I can see how much pain and soul-searching has gone into your journey over the last week. I can see the evolution that you have achieved. And I am sure that there is more that hasn't been portrayed on the boards. You can't put everything down into words!!

I absolutely love the three-legged stool metaphor. :yay :supergrin
I think it really does help us to balance out our recovery. And your wobbly metaphor was very funny! And appropriate!

Even though I'm new at this point in my recovery, I've been at this for SO long. I'm gaining understandings right left and centre and my soul is demanding I look at all three aspects at once. No wonder I am so exhausted!! :ohboy

The last part of the book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies is about identifying the triggers that cause you to feel mouth hunger and figuring out how to eliminate them or your reaction to them.
Thanks for posting this. Its nice to know that something I am instinctively doing, and even started a thread on, is also written down in a book!!

Allowing ourselves to comfort our ourselves has been a big issue for me this week. And its been good to recognise what I need emotionally and give it to myself. I've had more baths this week than I have in the last six months!! :supergrin But I have also consciously eaten for comfort. And that has been healing. And has allowed me to stop much sooner than I would have if I was eaten with total numbness. MUCH sooner. Usually with eating, I finish the packet and still want more, but that hasn't happened this week. :yay

I'm also finding that I don't always understand my stomach hunger, but I do understand my stomach fullness. And that has been a MAJOR help in the last few days. Just being able to say to myself......"I'm full now. I'll stop at the moment, because I know how can eat again as soon as I feel even a little bit of hunger. And that won't be too far away" Its helping a lot with this whole process.

It can be hard at work to not eat at normal times. But who cares about everyone else at the moment. You do what you need to do for you. If that means eating at odd times, then so be it. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone else but yourself. Can you take your lunch break at a different time if you aren't hungry?

Moke, I think its a wonderful thing to remember, that it is in our most difficult moments that we gain the most understanding and the most progress. Its like decided we are sick of living at one place and shove the accelerator to the floor to quickly go to the next place! You have made it to the next place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :yay :supergrin :hairy :bounce :gimmehug :igotit :rainbow :stars :gift :flower :balloons :train :ribred

Had to give you all the celebratory smilies I could find!! :muhaha

Much love,

03-18-2005, 05:07 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff I guess the moral of the story is that it is not always bad to feel crappy!! :winky

I can't take credit for the three-legged stool, although I wish I could - it's brilliant.

Allowing ourselves to comfort our ourselves has been a big issue for me this week. And its been good to recognise what I need emotionally and give it to myself. I've had more baths this week than I have in the last six months!! But I have also consciously eaten for comfort. And that has been healing. And has allowed me to stop much sooner than I would have if I was eaten with total numbness. MUCH sooner. Usually with eating, I finish the packet and still want more, but that hasn't happened this week.

That is fantastic!!! I've read so many times that beating yourself up for binging only prolongs the binge. You make yourself feel worse and what do we do when we feel bad? We eat more! What a cycle, huh? I'm glad that you have learned to be kind and found consciously eating for comfort to be healing. I remember reading in Geneen Roth's book that when you really have to eat, you should do it with understanding and compassion for yourself. I'm pretty sure that's in all the OO books, too.

......"I'm full now. I'll stop at the moment, because I know how can eat again as soon as I feel even a little bit of hunger. And that won't be too far away"

Wow! That's more than I can do - I'm a little bit jealous. :winky That is a very healthy attitude to have and I can see how much help that would be.

You've come so far since coming back to the bowl, you should be proud of yourself!

:hugon Creatress :hugoff Doing this method on a budget is definitely more difficult, but it's not impossible. If you decide that you're better off waiting, though, if it's going to make you feel like a failure or make things worse than why don't you find something that really works for you? You don't have to work on the food right away - you could focus on the feeling part of the ED. You have a lot of options (most of us aren't used to seeing life that way, though).

There's a section in either the OO or the WWSHTB book that addresses doing this method on a budget as well. I'm glad that it's helping you to see that things that you thought were just you, are more common than you think. I got a lot of comfort from seeing that too!

03-18-2005, 06:12 PM
:hugon Creatress :hugoff I think it will be hard to do it on a budget, but not impossible. You have to eat, right, so maybe start now by choosing the thing closest to what you want when you eat. I dont' know if that will work, but it is worth a try. Also, maybe after Costa Rica you can put some money toward buying foods. So you might be able to do the OO approach, it just might take you a little longer. But remember it is process over progress, so maybe as long as you know you can have something if you want it.. that might be part of the battle won.

:hugon Annie :hugoff I'm also finding that I don't always understand my stomach hunger, but I do understand my stomach fullness. And that has been a MAJOR help in the last few days. Just being able to say to myself......"I'm full now. I'll stop at the moment, because I know how can eat again as soon as I feel even a little bit of hunger. And that won't be too far away" Its helping a lot with this whole process. I'm still learning about hunger also. Just wanted to let you know that....

:hugon Amy :hugoff I really like the three legged stool analogy as well. As for lunch, remember that in OO part of it might mean to discard the traditional notions of scheduled breakfast, lunches and dinners. Perhaps bringing food might help. Or perhaps eating less breakfast or a smaller snack might help. Of course, hunger changes day to day.. to that might not work... but I think if you are open to finding a solution, one will come.

I find this whole process to be so amazing. Like the last bite threshold. It didn't occur to me until a little while ago that since hunger waxes and wanes, so will the last bite threshold. It just so happens that today I'm not very hungry. So my last bite threshold is noticeable lower than it was, say, last week. it is funy that I didn't see before that that might happen. But as I've learned to say lately: if you don't know it, you don't know it.

:bounce :bounce :bounce

03-18-2005, 06:14 PM
Oh, I have to clarify that last bite threshold thing.... the hunger point at which I identify the last bite threashold is the same... satisfied but slightly wanting... but the amount of food is less.

geez, all of this is so new! Did that make sense?

03-18-2005, 06:54 PM
Jen :gimmehug

Yes, it makes perfect sense!

At the moment, I am not even thinking in terms of the amount of food I am eating. I wouldn't have a clue. There are just way too many other new focuses for me. Although I do make sure I serve out a portion, whatever size I feel necessary, of my previous binge foods.

:hairy How am I feeling?

:hairy Does my body need food, or does my emotions? This one I came up with yesterday. I LOVE IT!!!! Once I know the answer then I can take whatever path is necessary. But I am finding this an ALL important first question.

:hairy I need to remind myself to really enjoy and savour the food I am eating. And also always tell myself I can have more later if I want. This morning, I was having breakfast and reading the paper and suddenly realised that I was totally numb to the eating process. It was quite a revelation. I immediately stopped reading and just focused on enjoying the food.

:hairy How is it what I am eating affecting me? Does my body feel good or worse? Are my emotions being satisfied? Is there something else I could do?

:hairy Concentrating on my stomach and how it changes as I eat. There has been a few times in the last couple of days when I have been able to feel my stomach changing in its hunger needs. Gradually getting full. Thats been quite amazing too!

mmmmmmmm, this is a good list for me. I think I will need to keep adding to it. :grin

Of course, everything is always tempermental in whether its going to work in any one particular moment. But they are slowly becoming more consistent.

Love to all,

03-18-2005, 07:05 PM
Moke :gimmehug

You've come so far since coming back to the bowl, you should be proud of yourself!
Thank you. Not sure if I completely feel it yet, but I am liking my posts today. It feels as though I am, just a little bit, drawing together and consolidating some of the things from the week. And hopefully they will give me good reference points for the future.

There's no need to be jealous! :lubdub Remember I've learnt it all from you and the rest of the :bowl You've been there before and I get a feeling you're not from away from getting back there again.

And for me, its so new, that I'm not confident in its consistency. But every step forward is a good step!


03-18-2005, 08:51 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff that post (bottom pg four) was awesome! Good for you! :gimmehug

03-19-2005, 05:12 PM
:hugon Amy :hugoff and :bowl I took out OO, which I haven' read in a while (been looking at WWSHTB) and found some infor we've been talking about.

In the beginning, eating without regard to traditional meal times is crucial to re-establishing hunger signals. After that, working to time hunger in accordance to traditional meal times is an advanced thing that probably shouldn't be attempted in the beginning. (somewhere around p.one eighty three)

And here are some thoughts the authors say about the OO method and weight loss.... will put up a :trigger because this is hard to think about sometimes.... (advanced topic)

:bullet "You can't expect to lose weight until you are eating on demand nearly all of the time-- until you eat when you are hungry, eat exactly what your body wants,a nd stop eating precisely when you are full. The more exact you are about your body's food needs, the closer you will get to your natural weight." p. one ninety four

:bullet A drop in weight when the above happens and then a leveling off is natural..change needs to happen slowly so that you can come to terms with yourself at every stage.

:bullet Some people change their eating habits and the weight doesn't change. This may be because more time practicing demand feeding is necessary or you still use food to soothe enough that weight loss won't happen or you may still be eating beyond fullness or you may be eating from mouth hunger just enough to maintain the status quo. (p. one ninety seven)

:bullet Some people hold on to their weight. Being fat has a significance beyond their awareness. (and then the book goes into fat and thin fantasies).

The last one is what is going on with me the most. I fear thinness, which is ironic since I spent over twenty years yearning to be "thin enough".

When I do the thin fantasy (I've had this fantasy long before the OO book), I imagine myself in a group of people... men are attracted to me and women are my friends. I'm kind of the center of attention and we're all laughing and I'm funny. I have long wavy hair and am usually wearing jeans and a nice comfy button down shirt (which is weird because I have large breasts and those shirts dont' look good on me.. no accentuation of my bustline...) and I have on a bracelet and I just look polished.

The book says: "When compulsive eaters imagine themselves thin, they often imagine themselves on display." We have to figure out what's comfortable and uncomfortable about being on display. Do I fear jealous women? Do I fear oogling eyes from men? I don't like confrontation and I see how women are catty here in this small town... so, yes and yes to those questions. I think of things like: "Who does she think she is" and "I'm undressing you with my eyes..."

The book says: "fat ought not mean we have to hide" and :thin in and of itself means nothing."

The point of the fantasy is to help you explore your fears and might not necessarily solve anything.

For me, I was sexually harrassed when I was thinner and younger.

The book says: (p. two oh six):

:bullet remind yourself that becoming thinner doesn't mean becoming younger or childlike.

:bullet remind yourself that you can look different without having to do anything differently.

:bullet some people substitute fat for decision making. If they remain fat, they won't have to make decisons about a sex life, for instance.

:bullet Examine the significance of how you feel about the states of fattness and thinness. When you unravel this, your body will be free to return to its natural weight.

:ican :ican :ican

03-19-2005, 05:17 PM
OOPS, one more thing:

"Some people will require more time and need to learn and relearn the concepts again and again before they can incorporate them in their lives. ... you are tying to cure a problem you thought you'd have to control the rest of your life (their emphasis)... each time you eat from stomach hunger, you are taking care of yourself in a direct way.

03-19-2005, 06:04 PM
mmm. Not sure what to do now.

I don't have stomach hunger. Nor do I have mouth hunger.

I have body hunger.

I did a post in my Reasons For Why we Eat Thread. Heres a portion of it.

because of eating less junk food, my body feels......for want of a better word..........."cleaner".

And my first thought to that sensation was............ I need some junk food.

What is the deal with that?????????????????

Why don't I want to feel physically clean??? Why on earth would I prefer to feel full of toxins???? It makes no sense! Especially when I know what the toxins do to me.

Now its the next day. Its a different sensation today. All I can do is sit with it and feel it. But my body wants food. My mouth doesn't. Egads, I can't believe it! :wacky My stomach is content.

Physical addiction?? I don't know. But it is the strangest of sensations. Of need.

Any thoughts?


03-19-2005, 06:33 PM
I just realized after I left the last post that I completely ignored fat fantasies. I'm realizing that I have never allowed myself to consider what fat represents to me. It is uncomfortable to think of myself much larger than I am right now, but I'm going to do it.

Here are the parameters for fat fantasies:

:bullet imagine yourself considerable larger than you are today

:bullet visualize where you are... what is happening? What are you doing and saying?

O.K. in my fat fantasy I am sitting in the middle of my house. I have a huge presence. No one ignores me.. in fact people come to see me. I look pretty. I don't get up and walk. LOL.. this sounds silly... people are catering to my needs and all activity revolves around me. I'm entertaining and dispensing sage advice.

This is what the book says about fat fantasies: (p. one ninety eight)

:bullet Our large bodies symbolize much that we respect-- power, presence, strength, earthiness and substance.

O.k. that's weird because I didn't read that before my fantasy.

:bullet surprisingly, your feelings about being bigger may not be all bad. This can tranlate into fear of losing power and respect, etc if we become thinner. Feeling powerless can being us back to childhood feelings on an emotional level.

:bullet fat fantasies that include sitting usually reflect an unconscious desire to slow down and to be less demanding on yourself.

:bullet fat can sometimes symbolize adulthood and being in charge.

:bullet fat fantasies can include feelings of triumph... sort of the last laugh... against those people who demand you lose weight. This can happen in regard to people applauding your weight loss.

:bullet weight loss can trigger feelings of giving in to people who told you to lose weight.. especially people in authority in your past. The key is to accept yourself at every stage... both as fat and as thin so you can be sure you are losing weight as a by product of caring for yourself and not out of harshness or criticism of how you were when you were larger.

:bullet some fat fantasies include fears of being in a group of people and being embarrassed by your size... sometimes this has to do with reluctance of being in the limelight. Do you use your size as an excuse to not participate in things and to remain on the sidelines?

So to sum up the fantasies: not all fantasies of being fat are bad, and not all fantasies of being thin are good. We decide what attributes we give to fattness and thinness and we can learn to take the positives from each one. Losing weight won't change our personalities, unless we truly want to change. (That's all my summary).

:ican :ican :ican :ican

03-19-2005, 06:35 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff But my body wants food. My mouth doesn't. Egads, I can't believe it! My stomach is content. So do you think we can call this "emotional hunger"? If so, I'd try to identify what you are feeling... what do you really need? Avoidance? Comfort? What's going on? Can you identify it?

03-19-2005, 06:52 PM
mm, it doesn't feel like emotional hunger. I'm actually quite content now. It really does feel like a physical thing.

However.......... :digdeep :digdeep

oooo..... oh dear, its spiritual

Fear of becoming who I really am. Of freeing my body of restraints and accessing my soul. Heaviness of the body, keeps the soul tucked right down inside. Lightness of the body (I'm not talking weight at all) means the soul is free to emerge and move and fly. That is frightening to me.

But I think I can sit with that and dwell on it.

mm, I should say a big thanks :hugon Jen :hugoff, for helping me to probe into it, but I don't know if its what I want to feel!! :muhaha :muhaha

Love and light

03-19-2005, 06:59 PM
I just want to simplify it for myself to see... your mouth doesn't feel hunger (food looks good). Your stomach doesn't feel hunger (physically hungry), your brain doesn't want to eat (not obsessing about food) but you still... feel.... wanting? O.k. Yeah, I can see spiritual hunger... is it something is missing in your life? What is preventing you from tapping into your full potential? (is that the same as what you are saying?)

:ican :ican :ican :digdeep :digdeep :digdeep

03-19-2005, 07:08 PM
Its not spiritual hunger. If what I think it is, is right - then its not hunger at all.

Part of the reasons for my ED and weight are that I've shut down "the light" inside of me. Probably from having others stamp on it and ridicule it and be jealous of it. So, to allow myself to be that light, brings up fear.

But it is the fear of a child. Not me, the adult. As an adult, with a lot of spiritual healing, I can allow it. I can begin to accept the light within.

Does that makes sense?


03-19-2005, 07:54 PM
Actually, :hugon Annie :hugoff It does make sense to me. I've been feeling that I am on the cusp of something... and perhaps for me, it is also accepting the light within and allowing it to come forward without the fears from childhood that I have brought with me into today. The word self-actualization comes to mind for me...


03-19-2005, 08:11 PM
I just went over my fat/thin fantasies and what really struck me is how I want to be noticed and then I'm afraid to be noticed.

Does anyone have any comments on that? I'd like to :digdeep on that one.

Maybe it had to do with childhood... I remember feeling awkward in a group of people... like I never fit it... wanting to be in the "in group" but glad I wasn't there either (cause it seemed high maintenance). Hum. You know, maybe I realized back then how f-ed up my life was. At least more than I though I did.

There's definitely something there... I just need to explore and think on it more...

:digdeep :digdeep :digdeep :digdeep

03-20-2005, 05:07 AM
Jen :gimmehug

I think that sounds fairly normal - well to my disordered head anyway! :wacky

We all want to be liked and accepted, thus the need to want to be seen.

Then come all the fears that come along with being seen. That you won't be like, that you'll be made fun of, that you'll be abused etc etc. We can all come up with our own list. So, that makes us not want to be seen to protect ourselves.

We want love and attention but past experiences have made us frightened of it.

Just my thoughts.


03-20-2005, 12:05 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff thanks! I know what my disordered head thinks: it is safe to get love and attention when I'm fat because it is true attention. It is unsafe to get attention when I'm thin because of the "oogling eyes of men". So the reason I'm holding on to the weight is because it feels unsafe right now to be thin.

And it goes right back to what you said: We want love and attention but past experiences have made us frightened of it.

Obviously it is worth me exploring this more... but I know this is from past sexual harrassments when I was younger and thin (and hated my body, though I realize today that it was a beautiful, womanly body)... so how many times do I have to go back to this before I can resolve it?

I'm frustrated. I can't push myself on this.

You know, it is like my fear of getting pregnant again. I had three kids in two years (twins) and I had post partum depression with blocks of memory loss. It was chaotic, exhausting and I lost me. But when I think about it, if I ever got pg. again (which I dont' plan to)... what is there to fear? It wouldn't be the same experience. Ya know...

So I ask myself: what is there to fear in being thin? The oogling uncle is dead. The jerks at the bar... well, they are probably still there, but I'm not. I am an adult. I can handle situations differently. I found boundaries. I know when and how to speak up for myself. I care for myself, and I love and accept my body. So nothing is the same.

This experience of being at my natural set point *won't* be the same as when I was younger.

I guess I just need some time to believe that. (and back to the self esteem board and my thread over there...)

:ican :ican :ican :digdeep :digdeep :digdeep

03-20-2005, 01:36 PM
Okay, this thread just progresses too fast for me to keep up!!! I'll have to print it off again and take it home to mull over. :hairy

But I feel the need in the meantime to post about what's been going on for me with legalization.

I decided to start:

:lookin While DH is out of town
:lookin On one or two foods at a time rather than all at once (for financial, and food storage space reasons).

I have already had to replenish my stock of one particular food, and have a freezer stocked with other "forbidden" foods.

I am doing my best to eat from mouth hunger when it hits, and as soon as I hear ED saying "you were bad", I repeat over and over to myself: Food X equals broccoli.

I've had some breakthrough moments of feeling very nurtured and cared for by myself.
:lubdub I've worked to break out of traditional meal times.
:lubdub I'm carrying food with me everywhere I go.
:lubdub I'm doing mirror work and gently caressing parts of my body I've yelled at for years.
:lubdub I'm getting up and journaling in the middle of the night when I can't sleep instead of laying in bed staring at the ceiling and going over and over situations in my head
:lubdub I'm getting better at identifying feelings
:lubdub I called my T to schedule an appointment (haven't been to her since January, but would like her help in all of this)
:lubdub I'm reawakening to my sexuality as a positive thing, rather than something to be denied or hidden :surprise :igotit

So here are my questions (I hope I can articulate them somewhat...)
:lookin What about the times where I have the mouth hunger for a food that's available in my house, but that I *know* I will physically feel like crap after eating? I guess just a few bites to satisfy the mouth hunger?
:lookin What about my health, for God's sake?? I fear I'm compromising my immune system by eating junk, just as I need to be strong to make it through the end of the semester (it's temporary, I know...temporary. BUT...still)
:lookin I still don't know what I really want!!! Now my house is full of junk to choose from, but sometimes I just want salad. But if I keep the salad stocked all the time, I'm afraid I'll feel I have to make the *right* choice and have it instead of the junk :wacky

Food X equals broccoli
Food X equals salad
Food X equals Food Y equals Food Z

It's just a frustrating process. That's not entirely fair for me to say. I feel frustrated with it right now in this moment. During the past week, however, I have also felt: nurtured, liberated, loved, and accepted. So those are the positives, I guess, of legalization...

The Becoming
03-21-2005, 04:19 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff thanks! I know what my disordered head thinks: it is safe to get love and attention when I'm fat because it is true attention. It is unsafe to get attention when I'm thin because of the "oogling eyes of men". So the reason I'm holding on to the weight is because it feels unsafe right now to be thin.

So I ask myself: what is there to fear in being thin?

Hi Jen, I find your fat fantasy fascinating (how's that for alliteration!). If I was to imagine myself much bigger than now, I see myself as silent and uncomfortable, slouched and sheepish in a room of others. My power to contribute is diminished and others do not notice me except to roll their eyes or take sideways glances as I wobble over to the savories! I realise that fat serves a need in me for invisibility. As painful as that is in reality, it means I am saved from expectations of others - I am given a 'pass' on participating in many aspects of life. I can hide the fact that I am able and creative and have skills because that won't win me any friends (according to my childhood experience and professional experience too in some ways). This is connected with the thin fantasy - where I get the approval of others - though in reality this brings other problems similar to your thin fantasy fears. If I am thin and shining (as in my fantasy) I must deal with the jealousy of other women and their poison tongues & men who see me as an object which means I cannot connect with them on any other level. Perhaps it is the field I'm in (performing arts) that this is amplified for me - when I got the job I'm in now (and I was thinner then), I did suffer the jealousy of some women in the area who had missed out. When I started to succeed, I was emotionally dumped on by a colleague who was retiring due to illness - a man I was trying to please and gain approval from. The more I succeeded the more threatening I became as his capacity to cope in the job was diminishing. I was confused and exhausted, having doubled my efforts to please only highlighting his inadequacies and evoking his resentment and jealousy. I gained two dress sizes in half a year.
My fat says, "its okay you don't need to be threatened by me, because Im round and dumpy and emotionally screwy - see I need you to affirm me so it is you who has the power".

I too see myself as charming and funny in the thin fantasy, on top of my game and shining. But when I look closely, the shine I see comes from the inside - rather than my "well-toned thighs and defined shoulders" - a comforting thought that reminds me I could shine yet despite my outward appearance. If I give myself permission to be the person I truly am without fear of rejection and jealousy from others.

Thanks for the prompt to explore this further :girly

03-22-2005, 01:09 AM
Hi Becoming :gimmehug

I found myself relating to a lot of your post. And then there was this sentence.........

Perhaps it is the field I'm in (performing arts) that this is amplified for me
I'm also in the performing arts. My ED had already begun when I was in High School, but while I was doing my music degree - it went into full overdrive and I put on a lot of weight. My performing suffered, I was put down by two key lecturers (who were also my performance examiners) and I ended up having to repeat one of my performance subjects. Which turned out to be a good thing, because I came out a much better player, but it was really difficult.

I wonder how much the performing arts side of things and the talents that we have, affected us througout our life. I look forward to hearing your further explorations.

What is your line of work?


03-22-2005, 10:06 AM
My therapist pointed this out to me yesterday and I thought it was fascinating.

She asked me how my eating had been since I figured out that I was happy about being angry with my ex.

It had been great. I'd only eaten when I was hungry. I'd eaten what my body asked for. It's been that way ever since. It's unbelieveable to actually see how ignoring my feelings and my inner self effected my eating. It wasn't a conscious push that I made to start eating by this method again or to stop binging. It just happened naturally when I stopped beating myself up.

Not only am I listening to what my body wants when I eat, but I'm also listening to it when it asks to sleep, too. It's so unfamiliar to me to feel like it is normal to listen to myself. And yet, demand feeding has become what is normal and familiar to me. I am so proud!

03-22-2005, 03:47 PM
:muhaha Ok, so I just had my very first genuine craving for crudites (that's carrot and celery sticks for those of you not familiar with the term). I was shocked - very very shocked - to identify that request from my body.

Crudites were what I once ate to keep myself from being hungry so that I could get smaller.

And yet, that is what my body wanted. Cool, crispy, moist - everything my body wanted this afternoon.


See? If you let yourself eat whatever you want, your body isn't just going to request junk food. It knows what it wants and it knows what will keep it healthy.

In fact, my body is so certain of what it wants, that it almost never asks for sweets. I was really disappointed. I plan for a sweet every day, so that I don't feel deprived. Some days I really feel like I can live without it, but it's always an option.

The Becoming
03-22-2005, 04:11 PM
Hi Becoming :gimmehug

I found myself relating to a lot of your post. And then there was this sentence.........

I wonder how much the performing arts side of things and the talents that we have, affected us througout our life. I look forward to hearing your further explorations.

What is your line of work?

Hi Annie, thanks for your response. Firstly I work in drama education but also direct and perform in community theatre. Alongside this my husband and I have a couple of bands - one covers band and an originals band. I love it all and feel it is where I am 'in my zone'.

My eating issues have been a hindrance on my performing for sure. Last year we watched a video of a gig we did and I could only watch the first song before excusing myself to the guys in the band and getting into bed to have a cry! They couldn't understand it at all but I was horrified seeing myself - and I had felt quite attractive during the gig!

Performing invites criticism and envy - both things I do not cope too well with. As a vocalist, I feel the pressure to be gorgeous and marketable - I spent a lot of time last year wrestling with this - imagining that the success of our band would be jeopardised because of the fat chick singing! I am always waiting for someone to point it out. In actuality we have received great feedback about my vocals and no one has thrown tomatoes at me! But if there was an area of my life (other than my relationship with myself) that my eating issues has affected, it would be in my performance role. At Christmas I did a show which only had a cast of four - two women, two men. It began with us in our underwear, dressing on stage and I was the biggest I have been for years. Still I did it. The fact we were playing comic roles helped. I realised that I was still me and could still do this despite my weight gain - my fat hadn't swallowed up all that I am capable of. When I put too much importance on my size, I begin to crush the life out of myself. To be fair, I have had my knock-backs. I once auditioned for an acting agent who told me I was very talented and had a great face but would never get work being the size I was at that time. It was devastating because I was in the middle of confronting my eating disorder and this was my worst fear: That despite my attempts and my obsession to change, my failure to attain slimness for any length of time WAS robbing me of the biggest joy I had discovered! I changed course and studied psychology - only to drift in and out of theatre and music.

I wrote a wish list last year for how things would be if I was "sorted", if I was living my life to the fullest. It included singing, acting, directing, writing...then I realised I was already doing all of those things! The issue I am left with is the fact that sometimes I cannot really enjoy what I am doing because of the voices in my head screaming that I am not good enough. As I mentioned in another post, it is as if I sit behind a glass and see myself achieving in all these ways but I am untouched, removed - waiting for the bomb to drop. I can't wait until I am able to smash the glass and get in there! I hope that my current round of work towards recovery will bring a new freedom to me and allow me to give myself permission to succeed in performance.

I would love to hear more of your story too - perhaps we should start a thread on this?
Thanks Annie - you are pretty much my first contact on this board - and it's nice! :cheesy

03-23-2005, 12:40 PM
:hugon The Becoming :hugoff

I was a ballet dancer for many years and am a singer as well. As a result of years of hyper-self-criticism (and very real external criticism) of my body, I have a lot of issues with body dysmorphia - where you see yourself as much larger than you actually are. I've been doing some mirror work to try to combat this and it's been working to some extent. The arts are a terrible place to be if you are sensitive about your body. In no other field that I've ever been in is it considered acceptable to be as blatantly critical - whether it's your body, your face, your voice, or your work. I hope that your recovery work will help you enjoy what you do! I'm so impressed that you performed that act on stage where you were getting dressed. Good for you!!

At the beginning of the book 'When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies' the authors spend a great deal of time addressing the question 'Who says that only thin bodies are beautiful?'. It is a question that I've tossed over and over in my own mind. You see this message everywhere, and yet, that hasn't always been our definition of physical beauty. We think it's an arbitrary thing, but I think in actuality, everyone's definition of physical beauty is much more subjective than magazines and movies would have us believe.

Enjoy your performances and remember that not everyone in the arts is thin.

03-23-2005, 01:52 PM
Moke -
I have found that true as well.
When I stop to think about what I really want to eat, it's always vegetables.

Jennifer -
I enjoyed what you quoted from WWSHTB.
One of my biggest reasons to be fat is the need I feel to TAKE UP SPACE.
I'm afraid to take up less space than I do now.
I think it's strongly related to being ignored as a child.

03-23-2005, 04:58 PM
:hugon Watercolor :hugoff I think the fat/thin fantasies revealed so much for me that I hadn't tapped into. Who would have thought that I am actively resisting something I thought I wanted so badly for twenty years. But that's exactly what I am doing. So it makes sense to me that this isn't about food (once again...)

But I'm feeling depressed right now.. even had a "feel fat" day... I'm going to take some time to be by myself right now for a little while... I'm feeling overwhelmed with recovery right now. These depressive episodes seem to be less and less and shorter and shorter.. but they do knock the wind of out my sails when it happens.

Hope that helps...

03-23-2005, 05:03 PM
:hugon watercolor :hugoff Sometimes I feel like my need to hang on to my excess weight is about not giving in to the people who have always told me that I needed to. Sometimes I feel like it's about not being ignored or being powerful. It means a lot of different things to me.

So, things have been going pretty well. I found myself eating in my sleep last night after deciding that I was going to apply for a high visibility position within my company (still in my same group). I'd walked into the kitchen, taken a big bag of candy and put it on my bedside table and was eating it while sleeping. I wanted to laugh when I woke up (my daughter started crying) a little while later and realized what I'd been doing. It was sort of like sleepwalking. Aside from that, the mouth hunger decreased substantially the day of my visit with my T and my big anger realization. I've been recognizing what I want to eat pretty well.

The worst time of day for me is actually first thing in the morning. Since I haven't been binging, I wake up ravenous. First thing in the morning, I really can't figure out what I want to eat. That's a task that's better left until later in the morning when I have a functioning brain (and some caffeine in me). I've been selecting small typical breakfast foods to tide me over until I can make a real decision, which seems to be working well, but I'm wondering if anyone has another suggestion?

I'm so tired, also. My daughter is getting her first set of molars, and she's been waking me up nightly for the last two weeks. The cumulative effect of losing an hour or two of sleep a night is starting to kill me. Of course, when I get tired, I eat. It's not even that I feel mouth hunger - it's more of a habit, and I'm so braindead that I don't even realize that I'm doing it until I start to feel either sick or full. I'd love suggestions for that one, too!

03-23-2005, 05:06 PM
:hugon Jen :hugoff

So sorry you are going through a rough patch.

It sounds like those fantasies really triggered something in you.

Take time for you.


03-24-2005, 02:54 AM
Jen :gimmehug

I've been thinking of you and your rough patch at the moment, because I am going through one myself right now.

You've been through a lot of self-evalution the last couple of weeks. You've challenged your thinking and come up with some wonderful new realisations and understandings about your recovery.

That is really tough thing to do.

I've also been doing the same thing the last few weeks. It is really tiring.
But more than anything, it turns your world around and upside down and throws you for a loop. Its a GREAT thing, but it does also leave you feeling unsettled and tired and not surprisingly, depression can come along.

What I need to do at the moment is to allow myself to drift along in the momentum that I have created. To take the pressure of myself and allow my recovery education to sink in and take hold from within.

I'm taking a back seat for a while. And what a perfect time to do it over the Easter long weekend.

I will still read through my journalling, and recap my learning. But I am not going to go out seeking new things and new understandings. It is time for rest.

Maybe you are in the same place or a similiar place.

Just wanted to put it out there in case it is helpful.



03-24-2005, 10:41 AM
I've been focusing a bit more on my MH these days and have come up with a number of questions about it. I took them to the yahoo group overcoming overeating, where they deal with this approach and only this approach. I don't usually go over there for anything other than OO related questions, though. It's not ED focused, so I find a lot of the discussions triggering. Anyhow, when I hear back, I'll post the suggestions.

In the meantime, a thought about MH. MH is not the problem, although I've been dealing with it like it is. MH is the signal that I'm having feelings that are the problem. I've been really focusing hard on trying to address the feelings once I've identified them, but the problem is that this is usually after I've felt the MH and eaten from it. It's like eating in response to MH is such an ingrained habit that I don't realize I'm doing it for days even sometimes. It's a little frustrating because I can't even use HALT if I don't recognize that I'm eating half of the time.

It feels like some of this is simply changing habits, which sounds deceptively simple. Any thoughts?

03-24-2005, 11:03 AM
:hugon Amy :hugoff

MH= mouth hunger, right? I think as long as you realize it, that's the important step. It is probably just going to take a lot of practice in dealing with it. I know that doesn't give you much to go on....

:hugon Annie :hugoff I think you are right in many ways. I think a lot of times I am so focused on moving forward that I don't listen to my body and just give myself time to really digest these things.

On top of that.. here's how it went from Sat night on: up all night with asthmatic child ->bladder infection ->yeast infection -> aunt flo -> ear infection.

One thing I have to keep reminding myself in this process is: listen to my body Not just with food and food choices, but LISTEN to when my body needs rest.

my body and mind need rest right now

so i'm going to go rest.


03-24-2005, 12:24 PM
(Fluff's Jennifer's pillow for here) Shhhhh. Go sleepies.

Moke, what a scream - sleep eating!!!

03-24-2005, 05:27 PM
Hi Moke,

I've been having a hell of a time with MH this week. Sometimes I feel like I'm going back to my recently departed way of eating. But I know that it hasn't gone back that far.

I've been into the OO Yahoo forum and read the thread on MH as well as your post.

I've been going at things so intensely, I'm wondering if I am simply tired of it and not able to think "How am I feeling".

There have also been a couple of emotions come up this week that have been very intense and very deep. So, I could be shying away from them.
Or it could simply be PMS. But I don't think so.
I think I am tired.

But more than anything I think my immediate actions on MH are this..............
MH is the signal that I'm having feelings that are the problem.
And I am too tired to deal with the problem now. Too tired from the recent intensity I have put into my recovery process.

So, this quote from the OO site.........
It always helps me more to greet MH as an old friend passing through than to judge it as an enemy to be eradicated.
...........is how I feel I need to look at it.

You've got A LOT of things going on at the moment, Moke. How can you possibly deal with them all in an OO way. I don't think it is possible atm. So, sometimes you will be able to and the other times, just realise that some intense emotions are going on. Realisation is half the effort. And if that occurs after the MH, then so be it. It will still be on the recovery path. Just remain committed to eventually being able to go back to realising it beforehand. I truly believe that will happen again.

And I betcha that you haven't gone back to the really old habits before OO.

Be kind to yourself and know that you will get through this part. We are both hugely committed to this process and we will get through all the little bumps along the way.

Much love,

03-24-2005, 05:35 PM
:hugon Annie :hugoff Your post almost made me cry (I always cry when someone says something that I really needed to hear).

Be kind to yourself and know that you will get through this part. We are both hugely committed to this process and we will get through all the little bumps along the way.

You've got A LOT of things going on at the moment, Moke. How can you possibly deal with them all in an OO way. I don't think it is possible atm. So, sometimes you will be able to and the other times, just realise that some intense emotions are going on.

you mean I don't have to be perfect all the time? I work myself so hard to attain the highest that I feel I should be achieving, and it is exhausting me. I would be one of those women who could be termed an 'overachiever' and half the time I feel like I'm still walking upright by sheer force of will. My previous T used to say that my determination was both an asset and a detriment to myself. Part of the reason that I think my marriage lasted so long was because I was so determined to make it work - I carried the relationship on my back for a long time. that might be a good subject for another thread.

You are right. Especially now, after my last thread on feeling overextended, something has to give. I can't focus all of my efforts on everything. Perhaps recognizing that the feelings are happening will be enough for now (yeah, right :ohboy ). It's certainly worth a try. Thank you for suggesting it!

03-24-2005, 05:53 PM
My first reaction to you almost crying "Oh sweetie!" :gimmehug

I am glad that it was something you needed to hear, something that will help you.

Remember the OO process isn't about achieving, its about healing. And that doesn't have any timetable.

And recognizing the feelings is a wonderful achievement and is all you need at the moment. Think back a few years. If you were in this situation you wouldn't be recognizing the feelings at all!! In fact, if it was a few years ago, you would still be carrying your relationship on your back.

So CONGRATULATE yourself for the wonderful achievements you have made already. You are already an achiever in this recovery process. Be proud of that. And hang on to that through this difficult time.

We've been crossing posts supporting each other over two threads!! Very nice.

I was exactly the same in my relationship. I was the one who made it work, I was the one doing all the compromising, I was the one who was convinced that if I just hung in there he would soon love me, that it would all work out. Foolish, but understandable under the circumstances. My need for love and companionship was very strong, that I took it any way I could. Thank god that has changed!!!


03-24-2005, 07:03 PM
:hugon watercolor :hugoff I had a good rest.. thanks for the turn down service :cheesy

:hugon Amy :hugoff :hugon Annie :hugoff

Annie said: Remember the OO process isn't about achieving, its about healing. And that doesn't have any timetable.

Exactly, and I think this is part of what has me overwhelmed. I want to be healed and I want it NOW! LOL. I'm having a temper tantrum because I*CAN'T*CONTROL*RECOVERY*.

But I know this takes time and as Amy said.. OO is a two steps forward, one step back process. O have been using food in a small way for comfort yesterday and today. Things are hectic around here (got one hanging on me right now...)... and I'm sick...a child is sick... Dh is so busy so he isn't home much...

It is only natural that at some points we are going to go back to mouth hunger. I think the key is when that happens to be open to the underlying feelings and to be open to taking time out to listen to what your body is saying... which is something I didn't do much this week.

And the fact that I ate a little from mouth hunger does NOT take away the progress I have made over the last year.

:hugon Dandy :hugoff I didn't want to forget your questions:
So here are my questions (I hope I can articulate them somewhat...)
What about the times where I have the mouth hunger for a food that's available in my house, but that I *know* I will physically feel like crap after eating? I guess just a few bites to satisfy the mouth hunger?

What about my health, for God's sake?? I fear I'm compromising my immune system by eating junk, just as I need to be strong to make it through the end of the semester (it's temporary, I know...temporary. BUT...still)

I still don't know what I really want!!! Now my house is full of junk to choose from, but sometimes I just want salad. But if I keep the salad stocked all the time, I'm afraid I'll feel I have to make the *right* choice and have it instead of the junk

O.k. Here are my answers:

:bullet I think sometimes even though we KNOW we will feel like crap, we still need to experience that feeling until you stop having the MH for that item. Yeah, it can be like banging your head against a wall, but sometimes I think we still need to go through it.

:bullet If you are a otherwise healthy person, I don't think this is going to compromise your health that much. Now, I'm not a doctor,nor claiming to be.... I think you will get wholesome foods in.. it is just a matter of time before the body starts asking for them.

:bullet. Hummm... interesting... I'd have the salad and ask myself afterwards what my satisfaction factor is. Do I feel like I'm on a diet? Am I satisfied in my head as well as with my mouth? I think you'll know if you feel restricted or that you are making this into a diet. But if you want salad, have a salad.

Hope that helps...

03-24-2005, 07:09 PM
It is only natural that at some points we are going to go back to mouth hunger. I think the key is when that happens to be open to the underlying feelings and to be open to taking time out to listen to what your body is saying... which is something I didn't do much this week.

Today, I haven't even been doing that. Just comfort eating.
Some time away is much needed. And I will aim for this over the weekend.
In the meantime, I know I am simply taking care of myself in the only way I know how. So, I don't have to beat up on myself.
I just am seeking to learn new ways to care for myself. And they will come into my life more and more often.
I am on the recovery path.


03-24-2005, 07:12 PM
In the meantime, I know I am simply taking care of myself in the only way I know how. So, I don't have to beat up on myself.
I just am seeking to learn new ways to care for myself. And they will come into my life more and more often.
I am on the recovery path.

Beautifully said, Annie. I'm so tired-- physically exhausted and achey that I dont' want to think about my feelings right now. I will later on.. probably this weekend.. but for right now I need rest and to just take care of myself.

(BTW, I had to go to the grocery today and I had a mad craving for chicken gumbo and also pineapples... LOL.. so that's what I'm having for dinner)

I'm turning my brain off for a while... no judgements, no regrets.

03-24-2005, 07:16 PM
Thats exactly how I feel too.

Gosh, its good to know its ok.
Even though I knew it was ok.
It always helps to have someone else say its ok
OKAY? :muhaha :muhaha


that was definately a sign of tired writing!! lol

03-25-2005, 12:25 PM
Wow, lots of discussion on here last night. I don't have much time, but I wanted to add a thought that I've been having on food.

Since eating (mostly) when I'm hungry (SH) and listening to what my body wants to eat, I've noticed how much better food tastes now that it's starting to take it's rightful place in my life. I feel like I am starting to enjoy my food again - and not the kind of enjoy that I've felt when I was binging on 'forbidden' foods. Not only that, but my body comes up with some of the greatest meals that I never would have thought of. It's strange to think of my body asking for food, but I don't know where else these things come from.

03-26-2005, 04:07 AM
Hi! I'm new on the boards. I just admitted flat out to myself and people close to me that I have been struggling with compulsive overeating on and off for years. Previously, I was in denial and just ashamed of myself. I'm reading Why Weight, and doing the workbook for a few days, and it is so intense. I am kind of in a bit of shock, recognizing all the reasons I was overeating. On some level I knew, but I didn't admit it to myself, and I was full of self-hatred. Suddenly, I don't hate myself or my body. I feel a very deep empathy for myself and everything I have been through and proud that I've been strong enough to keep going at all amidst all the stuff I've been going through.
Though I am SERIOUSLY overwhelmed at the issues I was avoiding. I ate a LOT today. I didn't feel a pang of guilt, though there was a very intense sadness/empathy for my self for all the abuse (often self-imposed) I've been enduring. I am mildly afraid of gaining a ton of weight, but I've decided whatever happens, it's worth not torturing myself anymore. I bought some new skirts today, because I am tired of dressing all frumpy. I am glad this forum exists.

03-27-2005, 02:50 AM
Welcome to the :bowl iamdandy

We look forward to sharing the journey with you.


03-27-2005, 03:43 PM
:hugon Hey guys/gals :hugoff

Okay, so I've barely eaten anything but high-quality chocolate this week :muhaha (because i can't seem to digest anything else, really sick lately) and y'know what, I can't stand the thought of anymore chocolate. I can really identify with one of your earlier posts :hugon Moke :hugoff about the crudites. All i want is vegetables and fresh, high-quality food, delectably seasoned and ever so lightly cooked.

I've hit the point where I don't want to just put anything in my mouth anymore. I've been munching on "junk" items occaisionally but I don't get the same sort of satisfaction as I once would have (plus it makes me feel really ill). Like i'll try some chips and after one or two, i'll realize that i just don't like the chemically taste and the texture. Grocery-store easter candy tastes waxy. I want real food. I want to cook. I'm ready for food to be a sensual experience.

I'm not sure where I am in terms of recovery. Its actually not even one of my priorities lately. I almost went to ER last night because I got so stomach-sick from a cup of herbal tea. I'm getting a little nervous actually, wondering why I'm still getting all these symptoms - but that's an entirely different subject (and yup, i'm seeing a number of specialists). At the same time, I feel kind of relaxed about food because I know that i'm eating to sustain myself. Right now, I'm not thinking about calories or about recovery or anything to do with EDs. I haven't even posted in like a week and its been a bit of a vacation, putting all this stuff to the side for awhile.

Like others have said, its a slow on-going process. When I'm a bit healthier, I'd like to get back into intuitive eating because it simply feels so good to eat exactly what you want and just enough. To be in-tune with your body's needs truly is a gift. I feel pretty lucky actually that I've struggled so much with food and other issues in my life because honestly, its opened my eyes to the way I *want* things to be. For me, recovery isn't simply not binging on easter eggs. Its about enjoying every aspect of life and being fully-present, being healthy or at least appreciating what health we do have.

I'll get off my soapbox now:winky. I just wanted to say and that I've been following along. And this is where I'm at...

Enjoy the Easter holi's everyone :love megan

03-27-2005, 05:14 PM
:hugon Red_gumboots :hugoff said: I want real food. I want to cook. I'm ready for food to be a sensual experience.

Taa daa!!! :yay :yay That's totally awesome.. to see the process in action.

For me, recovery isn't simply not binging on easter eggs. Its about enjoying every aspect of life and being fully-present, being healthy or at least appreciating what health we do have You go girl! This is faith in the process! It's the truth in action! :bounce

I hope you figure out the health issues in a timely fashion. In the meantime, enjoy being present in the moment!

:bounce :bounce :bounce

:hugon Iamdandy :hugoff Welcome to the :bowl You said: I am kind of in a bit of shock, recognizing all the reasons I was overeating. On some level I knew, but I didn't admit it to myself, and I was full of self-hatred. Suddenly, I don't hate myself or my body. I feel a very deep empathy for myself and everything I have been through and proud that I've been strong enough to keep going at all amidst all the stuff I've been going through.

This is a tremendous step in the process and I wanted to validate you for that. Good job! :gimmehug

03-28-2005, 10:28 AM
:hugon Megan :hugoff I'm glad to hear from you. Wow - you are doing great! At some point you come to realize that demand feeding has become a part of your life and it isn't a process anymore that you leave and come back to - it's just the way that you eat! That is a wonderful feeling. Enjoy your food and whatever you decide to cook for yourself! I do hope that you feel better soon - health concerns can be so frustrating.

:hugon Iamdandy :hugoff Welcome to the :bowl ! We are happy to have you here. I'm glad that you are starting to find some relief and I hope that you will find some support and ideas here to help you along in your recovery. Isn't it a nice feeling to have nice clothes that you like that fit?

So, I had an interesting weekend on all fronts. Demand feeding has become such a part of my life that I don't even think about when to eat or what to chose anymore - it just happens. The part that hasn't quite fallen into place yet is the mouth hunger. I'm not a patient person and I was feeling so good that I decided to force the issue a little bit (against any advice that I would probably give myself if I was another fishy). So, friday night and Saturday, when I felt mouth hunger, I tried to distract myself from eating (my knitting is coming along nicely :happy ) until I could figure out what was going on in my head. And I became a raving Mommy monster. By Sunday, I was back to eating when I felt mouth hunger, because I felt like one huge raw nerve (and my kids were rubbing salt on it). I didn't feel guilty for doing it, although I will admit to a pang of disappointment. But what I'm really happy about is that while I was doing this, I identified two more big things that trigger my mouth hunger that I am going to bring up to my therapist tomorrow. One is my need to be a 'perfect' mother and the other has to do with my finances. And hey, why not start a discussion thread about those? It'll give us something new to talk about. :cool

Doing this experiment helped me to see even more clearly the relationship between my overeating and my psychological state. I have to say, if I beat myself up for eating when I was feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry, I probably would have missed the lesson that I learned. I would have been too busy hating myself for eating to realize why I was eating.

Also, I'm learning how to incorporate some financial problems into my demand feeding process. As a single mom, I sometimes struggle with not having enough money to buy all of the things that I'd like (food, clothes, or anything else) so I'm learning to figure out what I want and then I look to see what I have that would be an acceptable substitute. It's not easy, and the financial worries are one of my biggest triggers.

Anyhow, that's my update. I'd asked a few questions on the Yahoo group OO thread and I'm on my way to see if there are any answers yet.

03-28-2005, 03:30 PM
hi guys! Thanks for the warm welcome!

I am a bit frightened/overwhelmed today. I was kind of a health food junkie before. I very rarely gorged on junk, but I'd have these crazy voices spinning in my head whenever I ate. Like I'd have a plate of something amazing in front of me and I'd feel sad that soon, it would be gone and adding to my body, every bite was like a little funeral for the disappearing food. Or I'd tell myself "stop eating this right now, you're done" once I felt I'd reached a reasonable point and then I'd keep eating, or push the plate away, and then get distracted and I'd look down and it's gone.

So I have been letting myself eat all kinds of stuff. I moved to NY this fall, and I hadn't had a single slice of pizza. I always said I was 'lactose intolerant' but I don't know that that's even entirely true. While it's not the most nourishing food on the planet, I think I just told myself that to wall off the option. I've eaten it for most of my meals in the past few days, loved it, didn't get sick, exactly... Though between that and tons of chocolate candy (I brought home a bucket's worth of bags of halloween esque candy SUPER forbidden--not only would I NEVER bring that stuff to the house, I have brought almost no food home for MONTHS, largely out of fear I'd suck it all down in one inhale)

Initially, every bite I took felt like I was loving and forgiving myself, but now I am starting to feel sad and sort of afraid. I eat with fear that I am spinning out of control worse than when I started this plan (though A. I still enjoy the food very very much B. I know it's only been a few days, and hopefully, this is normal?) I am trying not to feel bad about my body, I have gotten a lot chunkier just in the past couple days. I know this isn't a diet, but I am afraid when I keep going, I'm going to reach a whole new level of largeness. I am starting to feel like not going out. I definitely don't feel like exercising much, I don't want to go take a yoga class and feel the candy swishing around my organs. I am a performer, hang out with other artists almost every night, and I feel like I don't want them to see me gain all kinds of weight. I hope this doesn't sound too desperate. Now that I'm fully conscious that I've been using food to put off changing my life--I'm overwhelmed. I want to cry--I am really afraid to face my life. I don't feel like I have another option anymore. I should probably change out of my pajamas and leave the house...

03-28-2005, 04:16 PM
:hugon IamDandy :hugoff

It sounds like you are dealing with two things all at once - the initial fear of legalizing foods and the initial feelings of dealing with an ED.

When you first start to realize that you have an ED and to deal with recovering from an ED, you go through a lot of emotions. You feel sad, empty, angry, ashamed - it's like a merry-go-round of emotions.

One of the strongest emotions I've felt in my recovery is fear - fear of what my life would be without food - once I realized how much of my life revolved around food. Dealing with this emptiness is one of the challenges of recovery.

When you start legalizing food, you are going to feel some fear that now that you've let yourself eat, you will never stop. You will also feel fear that you will gain weight and never stop. This is when you need to dig down and find some faith in the process. I felt the exact same fear, and once food wasn't forbidden anymore, I did actually stop eating so much.

NY pizza is a great thing to legalize! You will get sick of it after a while, and then it will be a nice thing to have every once in a while.

03-28-2005, 04:43 PM
:gimmehug IamDandy

Moke says:
NY pizza is a great thing to legalize! You will get sick of it after a while, and then it will be a nice thing to have every once in a while.

This is so true. I'm still legalizing food and it's getting easier and easier.

:trigger (mentions specific foods)
Being in the south, I love fried foods. I have eaten so many french fries, fried chicken and tater tots! Oh my gosh! I may not ever eat another tater tot in my life but I know that if I choose to, I can. I have them in my freezer, I have the fryer ready and I can do a big ol' plate of them anytime I want (or need). I loved eating them when I did but now I know I can have them anytime and the taboo has worn off of them.

When you experience this it will be amazing! You won't believe it! Just give yourself time and patience.

03-28-2005, 06:08 PM
thanks, guys... :ohboy

I didn't make it outside yet. Kinda snapped and had a meltdown. I feel a bit better.

I'm gonna share some stuff with you guys, cuz I've been keeping a lot pent up for a REALLY long time, and I need to write and make sense of things.. maybe someone will get something from this, I hope.

My last relationship ended a couple years ago. It was bad. I felt deeply in love with him, but I was constantly hurt and in pain. I can't even start to talk all the bullsh*t I stuck around for, cuz it'd take too long, I think. I broke up with him, but it took almost a year before I could stop going back and sleeping with him and getting more and more traumatized. I couldn't eat after the breakup for a long time. I dropped weight rapidly, and felt tiny and cold all the time. He said "mmm, you're getting so skinny, you're starting to look like all the little girls you're always mad at me for lusting after." It was so gross, and I kept going back to spend time with him. I would beg him not to touch me, cuz when he did, I'd have panic attacks and start screaming, and then he'd hold me and say he was sorry and the second I was calm, he'd start trying to have sex with me again. I felt so lost and empty, I sometimes caved in. There was one night, we were "in the midst" and I remember looking at him and thinking "Wow!! Considering I am capable of having sex that makes me feel this horrific, I could be making a lot of money!" So I started selling my body here and there to old gross men, with an a couple lame one-night stands for good measure.

I want to mention something. Prior to this boyfriend, I had never slept with a man. I grew up alone with my mom. Home was so unstable, men seemed alien to me, and I was nervous and full of so much self-doubt the dating thing never took off. I couldn't have friends over either, cuz mom was too scary. She was married to my dad, but one day when he was at work, and I was a young toddler, she took me and moved back to Chicago (from NY). Mom snapped under the pressure of raising me on her own, and she was emotionally abusive. A lot of her extensively long tirades revolved around money and food. Say I'd had a few glasses of the expensive cranberry juice, not just one--next thing you know, I am woken up in the middle of the night to her spitting in my face, making me clean the house, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs that I was bleeding her dry and I made her feel dead and she wished she didn't have me cuz I was cruel scheming and ungrateful, along with other interesting remarks, threats, the occasional ripping of hair and being thrown against the wall, etc.

I eventually got myself placed in foster care. This is getting too long... Anyway, I'll skip some details. Get to now. I tracked my dad down this summer, moved back to NY. I'm right across the street from him. He is and orthodox jew (I am very much Not) and rather controlling and somewhat insane. He wants me to get married ASAP and believes that women ought to be subservient to men, clean after them, etc. I told him there is nothing inherent about boobs and a vagina that makes a woman intrinsically destined to clean, he said "I pity you." RE: the He likes to say patronizing things about my mom and say that I am His, I have his name, I am like him. I've spent a lot of time with him lately, and when I do, I kinda feel like I am drowning half the time. I live in an apartment with a "friend" of his. I wanted to be in this city and dad said to move here, it's free, this 'friend' is mentally/physically ill, and dad's helped him for years in various ways--the man is 'like family...' But I don't have a real job, every attempt at "legit" work has ended with me being fired or something equivalently unsavory. I've worked as a stripper and other sorts of related sex industry stuff.

And when I eat a lot and get numb and sleep a long time and spend ********% of my waking hours online, I can sort of forget the outside world. It all kinda just hit me. Ouch. :sleepy I don't even know where to start. I figured putting it out there, writing it down could help. Thanks for listening...

03-28-2005, 11:50 PM
First of all, awww thanks guys :lubdub for the encouragement. It means a lot, especially since I can see my own progress. Its "neat" (:muhaha) to have other people know how important and v. special this is, to have made it to this point.

I'm just taking a twenty-minute "I'm-not-sure-if-I'm-hungry" break. I've never done this before; i've always gotten a little something to nibble on, "just in case." I'm also totally aware that I'm eating because of stress. I've got and enormous amount of work to do and I've been thinking all day about how i'm need to get an extension for this looming project, though my academic advising for personal/medical/compassionate reasons. I'm pretty sure I'll get it, but in the meanwhile I'm chewing my nails.

I also forgot to eat today. That never ever happens!!! so I'm a little suprised.

I think my new meds are also helping (I was recently diagnosed with hypomania, similar to bipolar). I feel a lot calmer lately (though i'm kinda missing the manic, hyper-driven periods:wacky). I woke up this morning in a cold sweat having dreamt that I was just strangled -NO idea where these nightmares are coming from- and immediately got up to get something to eat. Food was the only that could calm me down and I ended up having more sweets than I needed, but really, it was the only thing that could calm me down even after an hour of being awake and shaking that entire time. I totally knew what i was doing, i.e. relying on sugar to coax my mind, but I couldn't think of any other crutch. Sugar stopped me from hyperventilating, how crazy is that? I guess my point is that binging can serve a purpose, even if were not happy with the means to achieve the end (numbness, calm, escapism, etc.)

Maybe next time I'll try journalling. I totally hadn't thought of that...but sometimes things are too scary to put on paper, y'know? Its make what happened so much more real because by journalling, you're not ignoring or denying what happened. A recent experience of sexual ab*se comes to mind :ummm :ugh Its not something I can right about, not yet anyway...

[awkward silence]

Um yup, twenty minutes later: still not craving more food. How cool: I can recognize MH :yaya. That's a pretty big step for me, :fishys *does the happy dance*

:hugon I am dandy :hugoff
Welcome to the :bowl. You'll find many wonderful :fishys here. I'm sorry to hear that you struggled so much in your home life, living with your mom but its wonderful that you acknowledge these things, that you're able to dig into these issues.

And when I eat a lot and get numb and sleep a long time and spend ********% of my waking hours online, I can sort of forget the outside world. It all kinda just hit me. Ouch. I don't even know where to start. I figured putting it out there, writing it down could help. Thanks for listening...
:ear Sometimes its easier to focus on food than everything else going on in life isn't it, especially when life gets bumpy? It sounds like you have a lot going on in your life. I don't having anything brillantly insightful to add, I just wanted to say that we're all listening and that you're more than welcome to talk through things -personal experiences, memories, whatever. Pleased to have met you!

Moke says:
NY pizza is a great thing to legalize! You will get sick of it after a while, and then it will be a nice thing to have every once in a while.
That made me laugh:muhaha How very true!

Lablover says: I have them in my freezer, I have the fryer ready and I can do a big ol' plate of them anytime I want (or need). I loved eating them when I did but now I know I can have them anytime and the taboo has worn off of them. When you experience this it will be amazing! You won't believe it! Just give yourself time and patience.

Also very true! I poked around in my freezer full of sorbet and other goodies and then in my cuboards but everything had lost its spark. Really, it was a magical feeling. At the very moment, I've got a big bag of salty "fun-food" under my desk that I haven't touched in three days. It might even be stale, I don't know. I never thought I'd reach this point. Oh la la!

Good evening fishies. Have a great tuesday. Take a moment (maybe even right now) to do something for youself (if not now, make it a priority for later! Promise? :lubdub).

:love megan

03-29-2005, 10:16 AM
Hi! I am jumping in very late! I started to read the first page of posts but ************ posts is like a novel.... better late than never right?

Did you guys decide on where to do the Why Weight excercises? I would love to see some excercises cause i think that would really help me!

Yesterday I only ate from stomach hunger. It is amazing. I dont think I have legalized all foods yet. I mean #'s jump in my head when I am debating what to eat. I am finding it very hard to know what my body really wants- it is like I cant read it.

For me, eating only when hunger strikes is a huge step. Even though I am always in control, it is giving up my control to.... well the inner me. When you have a meal plan on paper you know when food is coming next but with stomach hunger you never quite know... You have to trust yourself and I think that is my biggest problem.. Trusting myself

03-29-2005, 10:46 AM
:hugon Carly :hugoff When you have a meal plan on paper you know when food is coming next but with stomach hunger you never quite know... You have to trust yourself and I think that is my biggest problem.. Trusting myself Yes, that is true. For years.. decades really... I blamed myself and my body for my problems. Dieting makes you distrustful of your body also... like you can't do anything on your own and so you have to follow these set rules and restrictions because your body needs to be reigned in. The ED also places blame on the body and makes the body the problem.

So it makes sense (in a twisted way) that we have a hard time trusting our bodies when to someone with no ED or body image issues, it wouldn't ever occur to them to NOT trust their body.

It gets much easier the longer you work at it. Recovery requires a leap of faith.. and trusting yourself is part of that.

As for the "Why weight" questions.. I'd love to work through some of them.. but I dont' have the book and I don't think anyone ever posted any.

YOO HOOO is there anyone out there with the book who can start one new post today with the exercise in it?

Great to see you in the process, Carly :gimmehug

03-29-2005, 12:40 PM
Thanks Jenn! I luv you, you are such a big help!
One thing I am finding hard is that I will have mouth hunger and will go trhough all my coping s teps and I will be doing okay with avoiding it and than BANG I am hungry. True hunger coming from the stomach. I am so happy cause now I have a reason to eat but It is super hard cause I have to tell myself I am full and when your mouth wants more, it is hard to stop

03-29-2005, 03:59 PM
:hugon Carly :hugoff Take baby steps when learning to eat from stomach hunger. Learning to stop when you are satisfied is the hardest thing in my opinion about the whole method. It will come when you are truly convinced that you can eat whatever you like whenever you want it.

03-29-2005, 04:24 PM
well today wasnt my day... when will my day ever come. I went out for lunch wiht my dad and had dessert. I instantly felt like a binge so what did i do when i cam home... one big fat binge! ARGH! i hate myself!

03-29-2005, 05:01 PM
:hugon Carly :hugoff Did anything about going to lunch with your dad trigger anxious feelings?

03-29-2005, 07:45 PM
I never thought of that- i dunno. I have always thought it is the falling off the healthy eating regime that send me in binge mode.. I need help!

03-29-2005, 08:13 PM
Hi all:
Just introducing myself. I have been reading this thread avidly (after work mostly) for weeks. And I have caught up!

Not sure exactly what I want to say except that I was really in the place that someone mentions:
"When you start legalizing food, you are going to feel some fear that now that you've let yourself eat, you will never stop. You will also feel fear that you will gain weight and never stop."
Catching up on this thread reminded me (again) that I am not alone and that other people have been going through the same stuff. I had just written in my journal that I am freaking out because I feel like I am just bingeing and totally out of control and won't ever stop eating or gaining! I feel like I just want to eat all the time and it seems to have rhyme or reason. Maybe I'm just in the bouce back mode from starving myself for a couple years??
Anyhow, I am so glad you are all here. Thanks to all of you.


03-30-2005, 01:25 PM
I didn't want anything yesterday but fruits and veggies. Today, my dad and brother came over and I suddenly felt like I REALLY wanted the chocolate in the cabinet. So I had a lot of it for breakfast. Fine. Dad's intense with his healthy food, and he's also pretty controlling. I have been avoiding him like mad, but he let himself into the apartment and I had a borderline anxiety attack. My brother gambles all his money away to feel like he has some life of his own. So I'm not surprised at my urge to eat some candy, and I don't feel bad about it either. Furthermore, I got cast in a role in a movie, and though I would like it if I was thinner, I am going to just relish and enjoy the part and not sweat the fact that I'll be captured this way or try and starve myself to be smaller in time. I think that's a big step. Part of what catapulted me into ED research was a fast I went on, almost killing myself, after a photographer contacted me for a modelling shoot based on pics he'd seen of me when I was a lot thinner. F*CK IT

03-30-2005, 02:00 PM
:hugon Big Cat :hugoff Welcome to the :bowl I am glad to see this thread is helping you.

:hugon Iamdandy :hugoff OOh, a role.. do you have a speaking part? I can totally understand how that whole industry feeds into self-worth issues. We had a former model on here (can't remember her name) who only ate raw foods for a year before she figured out her ED.

Well..something very interesting is going on here with me. With the destruction in my house I decided to start a little bit of work with weights (well, specifically the Bowflex we have)... like the NUT suggested.. one upper body and one lower body exercise twice a week. I hadnt' nudged myself in that direction but decided I would give it a shot.

And surprisingly to me, working my muscles felt *wonderful*. This is such a surprise because exercise for me has always been associated with bingeing/restricting and so I never had worked out with balanced nutritional reserves. So now I'm doing a little more than what I started with and I've sort of been building up. Now, I want to be sure it isn't complusive (it isn't!) and wanted to be sure it was for no other reason than it feels good..(it isn't!).. and so I can't put into words how good it felt to stretch my muscles!!!

I am reminded of a part in the book "Intuitive Eating" that talks of "gentle exercise" and they said something to the effect of: just you watch.. you may find yourself enjoying exercise in spite of yourself! LOL


03-31-2005, 12:18 PM
Yay you oh muscled Jennifer.

I need advice.

I find that I usually wait more than twenty minutes after the first evidence of stomach hunger.
It's just a little pang, I'm not really hungry, I tell myself.
Well, by the time I eat, I am feeling deprived and so don't make good decisions.
I tend to pick soothing food that slides down fast (casserole) rather than what I really want (a nice crisp salad).

So if I ate at the first sign, I would be honoring my hunger,
not feel deprived (maybe even feel luxurious about taking care of myself)
and eat what I really want.

Sounds like win win to me, huh?

03-31-2005, 01:22 PM
:hugon watercolor :hugoff

Waiting to eat when you feel physical hunger does more than push your towards food your body wasn't really asking for. It also extends the length of time that it takes your body to learn to trust that when you are hungry, you will feed it.

There is no rule that says when you feel a little pang of hunger you have to eat a full meal. Sometimes a few bites of something to settle the hunger pang is enough. It reminds me of when my children were babies. Sometimes they would drink an entire eight oz. bottle of formula and other times, they'd be happy with an ounce.

If you remember, in Overcoming Overeating, the authors talk about feeding your stomach hunger as putting money in the bank. Your mind and body have suffered from years of you depriving it on diets and it will take them a while to understand that when your body is hungry, you really will feed it. This trust is essential to this method working for you.

03-31-2005, 02:52 PM
Thanks, Moke,

That helps me see that the real issues are trust, so that

I trust my body to tell me when, what and how much to eat.

My body trusts me to feed it when, what and how much it wants.

03-31-2005, 03:33 PM
Very nicely put watercolor!

Trust comes slowly to some of us (especially me) - a little at a time, consistently, goes a long way to easing the mistrust between you and your body.

03-31-2005, 10:06 PM
hey all-i'm so glad i found you guys! i read the book intuitive eating several years ago. after meeting someone who lost tons of weight on the low carb craze i managed to abandon the intuitive thing. after struggling for ****-**** years on binge eating/dieting i picked up the intuitive book again and read it. i finally get it! **** weeks ago i stopped bingeing. i can't believe how easy it is and it's all mental. then i googled to see if there was a forum for people doing intuitive eating and voila, here you are :lubdub i was so addidcted to the low carb forums and was sad to think there was no one to share this new way of living. i feel like i'm home again!

i think it was jennifer that suggested the overcoming overeating earlier in this thread and so i went out immediately and bought the book, read it cover to cover. what a great suggestion. it's a great compliment to the intuitive eating book. i have some things still to work out but i am no longer obsessed w/food.

thanks for being here!

04-01-2005, 01:55 AM
Welcome :hugon Showgirl :hugoff


04-01-2005, 11:21 AM
Wonderful to have you with us, showgirl.

04-01-2005, 11:43 AM
Wow, there are so many posts and new :fishy here I can't keep up!!!

I just wanted to add to this thread something very simple that I just realized has a huge impact on how I feel about myself:

Drumroll please: I like small bites.

May not seem like a big thing to anyone else, but this is huge to me. I took little bites of my breakfast this morning, and lo and behold, something in my head and heart clicked and said, yes, this a way you feel cared for. By not cramming in huge mouthful after mouthful, by not swallowing so much at once, by allowing yourself the luxury of time to eat and chew thoroughly.

I like small bites. :lubdub

I never thought I'd be the type of person to say that. I do not like to scramble through my food fast and furious to consume, consume, consume. I am really proud of myself for realizing the big caretaking effect this small action has on my feelings about myself.
Just wanted to share and extend a big welcome to all the new fishies in our :bowl!! :bounce

04-01-2005, 11:54 AM
I am so glad to find a chat on this topic of binge/overeating!!! I still struggle back and forth with anorexia and binge eating but have gotten sooooooo much better with the help of the book BINGE BREAKER! STOP OUT OF CONTROL EATING AND LOSE WEIGHT by Dr. Peter M. Miller. This book is simple and easy to understand. It leads you through a plan of how to change and tells you exactly how to do it! This book really helped me to improve my self image and realize that everyone messes up but that it is normal and ok. It pinpointed and brought to my attention certain destructive behaviors that I didn't even know that I had! After reading this book, I felt like a totaly different person-- my mood improved, I am now able to concentrate on other things besides food, and I can eat sweets and binge triggering food in moderation!! Heck, I can even leave some uneaten food on my plate now! I lost **** pounds healthfully as well. As with anything though, you have to really work at this problem and treat it like it is your job to recover. I would definately recommend this book to anyone and everyone who thinks that they are beyond help! Please let me know what you think of it:)

04-02-2005, 09:37 AM
thank you for the welcomes!
dandy i like small bites too.
fastrunner, i know how you feel, it's amazing when a book or idea changes your whole way of thinking.

last night i went out to eat late due to running errands and such. falling back into diet mentality, i told myself i'll only eat half of what i order, not even taking into consideration what my hunger needs were. after every bite i kept telling myself, this is the last bite, this is the last bite until i last bited the whole meal. i am so mad at myself but here is the good news; i'm not mad because i ate all that food, i'm mad becuase i didn't listen to myself and check in to see if i was hungry. i was so focused on not cleaning my plate that i lost site of what my body needed. no fat thoughts came, just reassuring my self that at my next meal i will pay attention to hunger. that's a step in the right direction, right?

04-02-2005, 11:31 AM
i am so mad at myself but here is the good news; i'm not mad because i ate all that food, i'm mad becuase i didn't listen to myself and check in to see if i was hungry. i was so focused on not cleaning my plate that i lost site of what my body needed. no fat thoughts came, just reassuring my self that at my next meal i will pay attention to hunger. that's a step in the right direction, right?

GOOD JOB! :hugon Showgirl :hugoff

That is awesome. It can feel so powerful to know that the food isn't the problem, it's the not listening to yourself. Props to you for making this shift. :happy Keep up the awesome progress.

04-02-2005, 11:59 AM
Hello to everyone:

I am relatively new to the boards and have spent a few hours reading all the wonderful posts on this particular thread- let me just say that it is extremely uplifting to read all the personal trials, tribulations, and successes in dealing with food, emotions, and everything in between. Though my troubles with using food as an emotional band-aid are only a few years long in the making...it still feels somewhat liberating to finally acknowledge that my behaviors ARE, in fact, disordered and have a name. I have not yet been in therapy or on any type of medication...so I am unfamiliar to a point with good tactics to use while battling my demons...but the suggestions and advice voiced here have been more than helpful. It's comforting to know that in what will undoubtedly be an uphill battle, there are other people who can help you along the way. Thanks for all the words of wisdom and I look forward to reading more in the future!!

:lubdub Melissa

04-02-2005, 03:35 PM
An important step in this whole recovery thing is to realize that we are all human. Everyone is going to mess up every once in awhile, but the difference is that you just have to FORGIVE YOURSELF!! I have really been trying hard with this step, but once you put the thought into your head that it is ok to mess up, it gets easier and easier to stay on track! It sounds even more logical when you think that some people have trouble controlling how much they spend when they go shopping-- we are the same way, but only with a different area in our lives.

04-05-2005, 08:40 AM
I feel sure this has been addressed in this thread but it's been so long since I started reading all the posts that it's probably buried in pages two or three.

I have a question. I admitted my ED in January and have done LOTS of the emotional recovery stuff since then but I've been putting off the area of demand feeding until I thought I was ready. I have legalized all foods (every once in a great while I have a pang of diet mentality) and I eat from mouth and stomach hunger right now.

When do you know you're ready to start the demand feeding work where you try to really be cognitive of your eating and you eat from stomach hunger only? I don't want to set myself up for failure again. I think I'm ready to start this way of eating but I guess I'm scared to let go of my crutch. I guess I just need some words of support. :happy

Thanks for listening. :ear

04-05-2005, 09:18 AM
:hugon Lablover :hugoff

I truthfully have no idea, but I'm going for it. At some point the crutch has got to go, right?

04-05-2005, 09:28 AM
:hugon Lablover :hugoff I think the most truthful answer to that is... it is going to be on a different time table for everyone.

For me, I started therapy in Feb. oh-four and discovered the ED the last week of April oh-four and I immediately legalized all foods and started demand feeding. The stomach vs. mouth hunger is a difficult topic, I think, because I don't necessarily feel at this point in my life that eating from mouth hunger is necessarily bad. I think ALL people, even those who never had disordered tendencies and have never dieted do sometimes eat from mouth hunger.

I think the difference is: a) is it emotionally driven and b)is it being used as a coping skill? I think id the answer to either of those is yes, then perhaps then you or me or we would need to examine what the driving force behind the eating is.

And I don't think that means failure. I think that means we have developed enough awareness in our eating to tell when we need to do some emotional work as well.

To get back to your question.. I guess I have always considered legalizing food the main component of demand feeding.

I think what you were probably getting at is... at what point do we make active choices for wholesome nutrition as opposed to empty foods just because we can have them?

I'm just getting there and it has been a year. However, occassionally I still eat from mouth hunger. I don't think mouth hunger will ever entirely disappear, though I do find it is less and less frequent. For instance, I ate a little from MH when my floors were ruined... but it only lasted like two days and infrequently during those two days. Yesterday I found out my twenty-five year old friend had a stroke... (he has major health issues) and I couldn't eat from mouth hunger, and believe me I tried.

I think MH is something that is going to gradually stabilize over time, so that it will eventually get to a point where it occurrs on the same level as someone who was never eating disordered.

I also think I read somewhere that the length of time it takes corresponds with how long you have had the ED and how motivated toward recovery you are.

I hope that helps.


04-05-2005, 09:44 AM
Thanks Amy and Jennifer!

I think I'm ready to go to the next phase of my recovery and let go of that crutch.

I've always thought that I had to eat breakfast when I first got out of bed - I would head to the kitchen and fix whatever was fast and easy. This morning I got up and showered and got ready to go to work and I consciously thought to myself, "am I hungry?" and amazingly - I wasn't! I've been at work about an hour and a half and I started to feel some hunger twinges so I had a small snack. I'm fine. I'm not hungry and I'm not overeating.

All of these :idea lightbulb moments are coming at such a fast pace for me that I don't see how I can't act on them and be good to myself. I'm looking at treating myself well (intuitively eating) as a reward for all the revelations I've come to in my emotional recovery. It's true. The physical and emotional recoveries go hand in hand.

Baby steps!

04-05-2005, 10:26 AM
I think the biggest thing I have learned is that eating isn't a black/white issue either. :yay Eating from MH isnt' failure, and going X amount of days eating only form SH isn't necessarily success either.

If I think about my sister, who has never been on a diet before, is naturally slim and doesn't have disordered thoughts about food... what I have noticed throughout the years is:

:bullet she sometimes eats because food is there and it looks good

:bullet she sometimes eats because she has a scheduled dinner out, etc, and she isn't hungry but the dinner can't be changed either

:bullet she sometimes eats because it is someone's birthday, whatnot, and she feels festive and so eats a piece of cake even though she wasn't hungry for cake.

The biggest difference between her and me is that she NEVER beats herself up over it, she doesn't obsess about it, she doesn't think of herself as "feeling fat" because of it... she doesnt' think more about it and she moves on.

So I think if I'm eating only from SH for say eight days in a row, but I'm obsessing about a food that I don't allow myself to have because it is junk food, or whatnot, then all I did was turn intuitive eating into a diet.

And yet if I want a piece of junk food and I eat a piece, without bingeing and while I'm not hungry.. that's not tragic either.

So I think gradually I am finding the balance here. It isn't a matter of mouth hunger vs. stomach hunger. It is about honoring your body and health and mind and moving on from eating without making it a big deal or a major issue.

Oh, a BIG :hugon Welcome :hugoff to all the new fishies on this thread!

04-05-2005, 10:41 AM
AMEN SISTA!!! It's about honoring our bodies and being good to us, not beating ourselves up!

I tend to have obsessive/compulsive tendencies so I definitely obsess over food and I'm doing pretty well with that lately. That's definitely a recovery issue for me.

The information you shared about mouth hunger/stomach hunger makes sense. It gives me something more to think about.

04-05-2005, 01:43 PM
In light of my last post, you'd think I wouldn't have anything more to add here... lol, yeah right!

My T and I talked about how I can still use some of the principles of intuitive eating with the plan. I can still eat when I'm hungry rather than eat at defined meal times. I should still view food as food and not good or bad food. I should absolutely still not beat myself up when I eat something that wasn't on my plan. And above all, I should make sure I'm eating enough to meet my physical hunger and NOT turn the plan into a diet. I see a lot of ways I can use these ideas even with a plan.


04-05-2005, 01:47 PM
thank you for bringing this up. i wasn't clear about SH vs MH. i was thinking we weren't suppoed to be eating from MH but if we did it wasn't a bad thing. so i'm thinking that MH is ok as long as it's not driven emotionally but truly MH. my confusion came from when your SH, you usually crave something filling and hearty. when would someone crave say a piece of cake when they're SH? it seems you would only crave "play food" when your MH...no?

i too have a friend who is genetically thin and since highschool thirty some years ago, she has never obsessed about food and all the while i have been on every diet on the planet. she just intuitively eats **** or **** times a day, whenever she's hungry. she can take a bite of a candy, i'm talking the miniture kind, wrap up the rest and stick it in her purse for the next time she craves something sweet. she's very supportive when her friends or family treat themselves to "play food" as she says it's what your body is craving, so it's what your body needs.

04-05-2005, 04:27 PM
:hugon showgirl :hugoff

it seems you would only crave "play food" when your MH...no? All I can attest to is this is exactly what is going on with me. When I first freed the foods, I did eat non-traditional meals like ice cream, lol... but what I found is that my body, when I am hungry, wants a filling portion of a varitey of nutritionally dense foods. Food. Real food.

:hugon Amy :hugoff I should absolutely still not beat myself up when I eat something that wasn't on my plan. I think this is probably going to be the most important part. Think of the plan as a guide... a suggestion... and not somthing that the world will end over if you change it.

:hugon lablover :hugoff I tend to have obsessive/compulsive tendencies so I definitely obsess over food and I'm doing pretty well with that lately. That's definitely a recovery issue for me. I totally get this. I tend toward obsessiveness also, and I have learned to quiet my mind and leave things in the past. (and my Wellbutrin SR helped too!)


04-05-2005, 07:56 PM
i have another question...

when i'm eating something from MH lets say chocolate kisses, and i'm asking myself, is this what i'm hungry for? the answer is yes. so i continue to eat them and after each one the answer is still yes. then i get distracted by the phone, or something interesting on TV etc. i'll go back to the kisses and then suddenly the hunger for that particular food is gone so i stop. i'm wondering, had i not been distracted, what would have cued me in that i was done. what if i had sat there and continued to eat the whole bag? this is what scares me. after a few bites of MH food, should i go take a walk or something?

thank you so much for your replies!

04-05-2005, 08:13 PM
then suddenly the hunger for that particular food is gone so i stop. i'm wondering, had i not been distracted, what would have cued me in that i was done. what if i had sat there and continued to eat the whole bag? this is what scares me. after a few bites of MH food, should i go take a walk or something?

Well, I think the Geneen Roth idea would be to just keep eating them till a) you prove to yourself you can have them and b) you get sick of them.

I think you can slow the process down and make sure you are savoring them, eating them in view of whoever, whatever and be consciously aware of what you are doing. Don't just zone out in front of the TV, for instance, and eat them mindlessly. It is a teaching tool and that's why you need to treat it as legal.

If you are aware of everything, and know that it is mouth hunger, I think at some point it would be perfectly appropriate to ask yourself when you are done with a portion if you think you can stop.
Keep in mind you can always have more at that point or later if the answer is "no, I really need this."

A lot of times I think it is helpful to stop and know that that food is always there if you want more.

I hope that answers your question... :gimmehug

04-06-2005, 12:51 AM
Well, I think the Geneen Roth idea would be to just keep eating them till a) you prove to yourself you can have them and b) you get sick of them.

I think you can slow the process down and make sure you are savoring them, eating them in view of whoever, whatever and be consciously aware of what you are doing. Don't just zone out in front of the TV, for instance, and eat them mindlessly. It is a teaching tool and that's why you need to treat it as legal.

If you are aware of everything, and know that it is mouth hunger, I think at some point it would be perfectly appropriate to ask yourself when you are done with a portion if you think you can stop.
Keep in mind you can always have more at that point or later if the answer is "no, I really need this."

A lot of times I think it is helpful to stop and know that that food is always there if you want more.

I hope that answers your question... :gimmehug

This is the hardest part about this whole thing, to me--it's not legalizing, actually, it's turning my brain on. I don't have "good food" or "bad food." All food serves a purpose, but sometimes I give it the purpose of medicating and making me zone out. So eating with my brain on is really...important. And that's been the hardest thing for me, because I'm always too busy to eat. Eating is what I did to procrastinate, to go away from all of the work. *sigh* I have to figure out how to feel that I'm still getting a lot done without feeling that I can't have fun or I will be lazy.

04-06-2005, 02:47 AM
Hi :hugoneverybody:hugoff
I wanted to read the whole thread before jumping in but I cannot find the time to do it, so I think I'll just start by saying hallo and catch up later....

I really like the idea behind IE and I have been following it on and off for the past two years (mostly off, actually, because of a physically difficult pregnancy followed by some more struggling after the baby was born, when listening to my body's signal was just too difficult for me).
I've been back to it for a month or so now, and am looking forward to sharing the journey with all of the :fishies here ;-)

i'm wondering, had i not been distracted, what would have cued me in that i was done. what if i had sat there and continued to eat the whole bag? this is what scares me. after a few bites of MH food, should i go take a walk or something?
I second what Jennifer:love said.
In my case, I found that when I eat from MH mindfully a very small quantity of whatever food I am fancying is enough.
But, as you say, that's exactly what makes it difficult!
During "good" days I have no problems doing that, but when I am already feeling disconnected from my body and not so centered eating mindfully is sooooooooo difficult..


04-06-2005, 06:45 AM
Hi all,

I'm amazed by this because it is all new to me.

Last night I had a nice run and then thought, "what do I WANT for dinner". I had purchased some salad, chicken, blah blah blah but didn't really WANT that. So after thinking about it I ended up having carrot cake for dinner. So it was weird because normally, I would have told myself that I could have dessert IF I finish my healthy dinner and then try to stuff myself with healthy food, have dessert and keep going.

What seemed to happen to me last night, is that I just had dessert and that was what I wanted and seemed to stop before feeling pain. I'm still not ************% comfortable with the idea of having dessert for dinner, but If I think about it logically, I probably consumed about the same amount of food, just constituted of different stuff.

So this morning, I wasn't hungry for breakfast until late morning and I'm only just starting to get hungry for lunch (I didn't desire my morning snack, which I'm telling myself is okay). Now what I'm worried about is that subconsciously I'm not eating as much this morning because of my dessert dinner last night. Or... perhaps I just think about things too darned much!

Do you think this is progress? Discovery? Or denial?

T :confused

04-06-2005, 08:47 AM
:hugon Teloise :hugoff Welcome to the :bowl !

I'm still not (a hundred)% comfortable with the idea of having dessert for dinner, but If I think about it logically, I probably consumed about the same amount of food, just constituted of different stuff.

The biggest eye opener for me about this was how much I was "eating around" the foods I really wanted. Like I'd want cheesecake, but told myself I couldnt' have it, and so then I'd eat WAY too much of foods I deemed more acceptable and in the end I ate whole cheesecake because my messages to myself were so mixed.

This way, you just cut to the end and eliminate all the eating around something and you just eat the portion you wanted and the whole drama has ended.

What you will eventually figure out, and for me it was ONLY though eating non-traditional meals, is that I really do want good food... real food... for dinner. And I'm also connecting that high sugar products really make me feel bad... sluggish... so I know I can have them.. but I'm not desiring them because I don't like to feel sluggish.

But how freeing is it that I'm deciding (for no other reason than because I want to) to reduce these foods in my life!!!!! :bounce :bounce :bounce

It sure sounds like discovery to me! I tend to shy away from the word progress because I have to remind myself all the time that the process is more inportant than the progress!

04-07-2005, 02:55 PM
:bowl I sort of hesitated posting this here, but I know it is important to a lot of people and so here it goes...

My weight is taking a "downward departure".

Now, no congratualtions, please. I did weigh myself and the thing is... I think I'm really getting balanced on my recovery three-leggled stool. I'm not celebrating weight loss... I was only curious about something I guess I intuitively percieved. I've been doing my strength training, and I have to say I'm loving it. I'm not eating my eight servings of veggies a day like the nut suggested... ha ha.. but I have decided to be more aware of including more fruits and vegetables in my day (BTW, I have a nut appointment in an hour.. my second appt....) I have dramatically reduced my soda intake because I was snacking on it and it was making me fee terribly sluggish. I can have sodas if I want them, but I'm to the point where I've lost my taste for them.

What is amazing to me is that this is all happening in the middle of chaos. We have to move out two Mondays from now so that my floors can be replace.. and we're going to be in a hotel for upwards of two weeks. My friend had a stroke and is paralyzed everywhere except his right side of his face and his right arm. Dh is so busy that he is never home and in the middle of all of that, I've been able to ground myself.. roll with the punches as they say....not eat through it... and to respect that this is life.. no better or worse than anyone else. I'm really getting it.

It took a bunch of chaos for me to really appreciate and understand exactly how emotionally healthy I have become. :bounce

I physically feel really really good. My posture has improved, and that has helped my back (big boobs)... And I have noticed my clothes were slightly looser, so I got on a scale knowing that whatever number came up would be o.k. I KNOW I feel good and a scale doesn't need to validate that. I was simply curious. I probably won't get on a scale anytime soon again.. because whatever number I weigh is really irrelevant to my life, but I also realize now that weight loss is something that is going to happen at some point and it is just nice to have my intuition confirmed. I'm not shooting for any number.. I'm just going to let my body be in charge of where it wants to go.

And, as a reminder, I'd like to point out that I've been demand feeding for almost a year now. So this is definitely not something that has happened overnight, and of course I'm not unaware that this happened AFTER I added strength training. That's the one thing the Nut said... strength training was going to be important for weight restoration in a person with an ED.

PROCESS over progress.......

04-07-2005, 03:08 PM
The fringe benefit to taking care of yourself is possible weight loss! Way to go girl! :yay

Your journey has had it's share of bumps in the road, that's for sure. It's great to hear about what you're doing and the changes you've been able to make!

I'm so proud of you!!!!!!!!!

04-07-2005, 05:02 PM
:hugon Lablover :hugoff Thanks!!!


I just got back from the Nut and she thinks I'm good to fly on my own for a while, so we made an appt. for six weeks from now.. just for me to check in in case any food issues come up.

I got to thinking about what changed recently, and of course it isn't any one thing, nor do I feel like an expert on OO or anything. This is just my journey as I see it. Here's what's been falling into place:

:bullet I like food. I used to say I love food, and I do love a good dining experience, but I just don't buy into food like I used to. I sort of see "loving food" as a worthwhile experience, yes, but not something that has to happen every day or every meal because I'm really starting to see food as fuel and not as comfort. The ironic thing is.. this doesn't make me feel sad or wanting or restricted. This is something that is just happening over time. The voice inside my head says why would this make me feel sad or wanting or restricted as food doesn't do anything for us emotionally every meal, every day? I can see the beauty of a birthday meal, or a celebratory meal, and the feelings that go along with that.. but on an everyday basis... food is fuel and not an emotionally soothing blanket.

Wow. That just blew my mind.

:bullet I have been gradually able to realize, accept and release the sexual harrassment that happened earlier in my life. I see now that my fat (in part) serves to disguise my sexual being and I'm ready to move on from that. The truth is.. I realize I *am* a sensual being... I *am* a sexual being and I don't have to opt-out from this or hide it. I embrace the sexuality of my being. This doesn't make me promiscuious or "bad" or "naughty". I have come to love my curves, my breasts, my womanly body.. and I don't mind being or acting like a woman. I am a woman.

:bullet I ate creme brulee for dinner last night. It was good. I savored it. It was all I wanted for dinner. Today I am hungrier than usual. I have more creme brulee in the fridge. Blech. It was good but it did nothing for me except make me hungrier than usual. I don't need/want to have creme brulee again right now.

All of these things have come together. Some of this stuff took a year to resolve.. but you know what? It doesn't matter to me that it took a year because it resolved itself. And that's pretty cool!

:bounce :bounce :bounce

04-08-2005, 08:45 AM
:hugon Jennifer :hugoff

You inspire me to no end. The paragraph about your sensual and sexual "progress" has really got me to thinking and that's a good thing. You make so many good points and for us to hear about the end result is wonderful.

Keep us posted!

04-08-2005, 12:43 PM
yes jennifer, thank you for sharing your journey. i have only been posting a short time and i have learned so much from you already.

i have been reading emails from the yahoo OO link and someone had talked about when you first start recovery in the OO stages you should concentrate on stage one, legalizing foods and the rest would fall into place as someone was struggling with MH, SH and eating past full. i am one of those impatient people as well and was relieved to find out that you should work on it in stages. but i'm wondering how does one know when to go on to the next stage?

i think i mentioned before that i love to bake and for a long while refused to bake because i would always binge on the raw dough or batter and then the finished product uncontrollably. last night i baked and although i did not eat any of the raw batter (because it wasn't what i wanted at the time, not because i was thinking i shouldn't) when it came out of the oven i tasted it numberous times. i felt anxiety coming over me as i kept eating it. the most important thing was i didn't beat myself up over it and was able to stop eating because i knew my stomach was not hungry for that. this morning, when i was cutting up what i had baked to put the left overs away, it dawned on me why i kept eating even though i was not SH. i was dissapointed that my baking project did not turn out how i hoped. although it was still delicious i was eating out of frustration. this so confirms for me that food is not a problem or trigger, it's EMOTIONS!!

thanks you guys for listening