Success for Bingers Too?

Moxie42
Moxie42 Posts: 1,400 Member
I love the Success Stories board because it helps me feel like my goals are possible and it helps me visualize this success (since I can't even imagine anymore what I would look like at a healthy weight). If other people can succeed, I can too, right? Yet it still feels impossible. I'm finally starting to see that maybe I have an actual issue with binge eating that goes beyond a simple of lack of motivation or self-control, a problem that has only been getting worse.

So...I'm hoping to hear success stories (and maybe see some pics too) from other MFPers who have (or had) binging issues. How did you break the cycle? What do you do when you feel a binge coming on?

Thanks in advance :smile:
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Replies

  • xBabyLlamaDrama
    xBabyLlamaDrama Posts: 53 Member
    "Habits are easy to form and hard to break."

    It's tough because of the love of food. Take a picture of yourself with your shirt off (or similar) and put it by the places (pantry, fridge, etc) to remind you why you need to use your willpower and say no.
  • sarahat10
    sarahat10 Posts: 22 Member
    I used to binge (that's a lie I still do) but I don't hate myself for having a hiccup anymore I wake up the next day and just start over. Getting through a need to binge I honestly compare it to quitting smoking. You know if you eat the entire quart of ice cream it will be awesome for the ten or twenty minutes so just gotta breath through the want. I have had success by not following macros or any special diet just staying within my calorie range and knowing my triggers like I binge at night so I save atleast 500 calories for a snack and try to fill up on veggies. Another thing that helps is logging binge, if you have made up your mind to eat the entire family bag of Doritos log it. Make it so you can reflect on when and why you are binging. This is of course what worked for me.
  • Barbs2222
    Barbs2222 Posts: 433 Member
    I like to feel full at least once a day. So I'm intermittent fasting. 18:6. Some people call it a controlled binge and give me a hard time. I don't care. I'm happy and keeping it real. It works for me. 1200 calories is not a lot to work with. I went into maintenance for the summer and mfp gave me like 1650. Still, even that hardly feels like a whole meal to me but it is what it is, so I stuck to it. Admittedly I need to up the veggies. I'm trying.
  • Couchpotato39
    Couchpotato39 Posts: 691 Member
    I have found that I have certain trigger foods that encourage binging. I have learned to avoid those foods. It helps. It took me a really long time to understand that there were just certain things I couldn't handle in moderation. I have only really had 1 binge in the past 7 months so this has worked for me. Good luck to you in your journey!
  • breelizrob
    breelizrob Posts: 2 Member
    I did a whole pantry and fridge clean out. If they arent in the house its a lot easier to move past the desire to binge. If i really want a chocolate or some of my other binge foods i have to walk to the shop to get it but by the time i get there i feel so amazing from my walk i decide i dont need it. But there are definitely still days where i decide who cares still. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time
  • usmcmp
    usmcmp Posts: 21,220 Member
    I was a binge eater. The first step was to stop restriction. I was allowed to eat anything I wanted, but tried to keep it to about 200 calories in the beginning. Second was to set my calories to lose 1 pound per week. Having more calories helped. For a while I kept my trigger foods out of the house, but I've been able to get over that.
  • melimomTARDIS
    melimomTARDIS Posts: 1,941 Member
    i log my binges, with brutal honesty. then i start over the next day.
  • Train4Foodz
    Train4Foodz Posts: 4,298 Member
    usmcmp wrote: »
    I was a binge eater. The first step was to stop restriction. I was allowed to eat anything I wanted, but tried to keep it to about 200 calories in the beginning. Second was to set my calories to lose 1 pound per week. Having more calories helped. For a while I kept my trigger foods out of the house, but I've been able to get over that.

    +1 This is what I did.

    Aiming for major restriction is a sure way to go around in circles. Set yourself a nice steady goal and try to go easy on yourself.

    Remember, you're human and humans all have off days.. We all slip from time to time, it's how we get back up and what we learn from each time that defines our future path!

    Keep consistent, want it enough and you'll get there!!
  • HostageCat
    HostageCat Posts: 469 Member
    I had a lot of trouble with binging when i started almost 2 years ago at 217lbs (now 150lbs), at 1st I had to keep busy, then drink water when i felt i needed something when i didn't, after about 3 months i hardly ever struggled with it. It takes time to overcome, one of the most imported things to do is to keep going no matter what. whether you binge one snack or for 3 days, you get back up, do the best you can do and keep going! if i gave up when i fall off the wagon i would probably weigh more then when I started. and remember the start is the hardest, it get's better, just keep pushing for it.
  • SdashS
    SdashS Posts: 2 Member
    I'm too early on in my path to call myself a "success" yet, but I can say I have been feeling very mentally strong doing a low carb/high fat way of eating. My binges have always been very heavily carb/sugar related, and when the need hit, not having it in the house or telling myself I didn't really want it would not stop me- I've been known to walk several blocks each way telling myself the whole way I would hate myself for doing it and still buying massive amounts of food and eating until I felt sick.

    After the first few days of cutting dramatically down on the carbs, sugar stopped calling my name- in fact, ALL food stopped calling my name. I know it doesn't work for everybody's lifestyle, but eating foods high in fat and protein and keeping my carbs to an absolute minimum keeps me so full that I frequently get to the end of the day and see I am still well under my calorie goal without even trying to restrict my eating.

    I'll be honest, I don't know that I will live this way forever, but for right now, its working for me very comfortably and rather than saying "Can I do this the REST OF MY LIFE?" I'm taking things one day at a time and celebrating small victories along the way.

    If this resonates with you at all, I would recommend giving it a week eating along a "Keto" style food plan to see how you feel- you may find like I have that it is about more than willpower, and what amounts to a sugar addiction may be triggering these behaviors.
  • evebittheapple
    evebittheapple Posts: 4 Member
    I allow myself 200 to 300 calories of unhealthy food per day. I make it desserts or snacks that are easily measurable. I put my cheat snack in first thing so I always have those calories accounted for. I have been eating one large marshmallow cookie every day and I know it's 150 calories.
  • ARC1603
    ARC1603 Posts: 113 Member
    I've recently started reading a book called intuitive eating. It's been really helpful for me regarding binge eating etc. I'd really recommend reading it for any one struggling with binges etc.

    I'm a big advocate of not restricting. The second you tell yourself you can't or shouldn't eat something, that's when the binge can start. If you know you can have it if you want it, usually you realise you don't actually want it that much.

    For me binging is a big emotional thing. Usually there's a reason behind it and it's a matter of finding out what is really bothering me.

    You can still lose weight regardless of what your binge behaviour is like. I've lost 20 odd pounds in the last six months. It's just a matter of having less binges than 'on plan' days. This being said. I honestly don't feel any better for the weight I've lost because my binge behaviour is still there. If anything it's getting worse. Losing weight won't fix binge eating. Hence why I've started on the intuitive eating book.
  • amazinglyjae
    amazinglyjae Posts: 49 Member
    edited November 2015
    I've been binge eating for years, still do. But here are some changes:
    -I definitely don't do it as often as I did, used to binge two to three times a week, now it's once a month, if even.
    -I allow myself to eat anything I want within my calorie goal (I pay attention to macro/micro nutrients too) that way I don't get as many cravings or feel restricted. That causes stress.
    -My portion sizes are now significantly smaller, now that I log my meals. You may find you can't binge like you used to because you reach your maximum much quicker, but that's a good thing to notice, your stomach is shrinking !
    -ALWAYS truthfully and completely log all binges, you may notice a pattern and you can keep track. I binge mostly around TOM.
    -Be aware of what triggers the urge to binge, I found other ways to work through them (like breathing techniques). Sometimes it's just a strong craving !
    -And if you're like me and are sometimes only aware of what you're doing many cookies in, stop and ask yourself if it's worth it.

    For me personally, binge eating is something that is emotionally triggered. Talk your way through it and think before acting on your actions. Rationalize and ask yourself is it really worth it? Think about what you want and mentally work through it. It's a processes but I love how far I've come !
  • Moxie42
    Moxie42 Posts: 1,400 Member
    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

    I've tried banning foods because I don't trust myself around them, but then I just end up feeling "deprived" and bitter. I've tried the complete opposite too- not banning anything and just "being reasonable" but then I end up over-doing it and one little treat turns into a huge binge. And when I'm in binge-mode it's like I'm just not thinking clearly- I get what I call "a case of the F-its" and I just don't care about anything...it's always "whatever, I'll start over tomorrow" and I'll justify why I'm making an exception- but then that happens over and over again, and suddenly the number on the scale has jumped and my clothes don't fit!

    It sounds like the one thing the responses all had in common is honesty. I'm going to try to be truly honest with my food diary...it sounds obvious but my mind loves to come up with excuses for avoiding issues I don't want to deal with. I tend to not log binges, thinking "oh it's just this one time." But maybe if I actually SEE how many calories I'm consuming it will be harder to deny the problem, and if I can't deny the problem then I can't just choose to not care about it. I won't set any rules or restrictions, other than to try to stay under my cal goal, and to log everything (no matter what!)
  • oolou
    oolou Posts: 765 Member
    edited November 2015
    Barbs2222 wrote: »
    I like to feel full at least once a day. So I'm intermittent fasting. 18:6. Some people call it a controlled binge and give me a hard time. I don't care. I'm happy and keeping it real...

    This. I've found that IF helps me control the binging. Eating lots of small meals throughout the day doesn't work for me as it just 'wakes up' my stomach in the morning and then I eat too much by the end of the day. Now I eat the majority of my calories in the evening - and as evenings were my 'binge' time this works out well. I'm also just not keeping calorie dense trigger food in the house.

    Honesty with the food diary is a good step forward. Well done OP for making the decision to log everything!

  • mysteps2beauty
    mysteps2beauty Posts: 494 Member
    I allow myself 200 to 300 calories of unhealthy food per day. I make it desserts or snacks that are easily measurable. I put my cheat snack in first thing so I always have those calories accounted for. I have been eating one large marshmallow cookie every day and I know it's 150 calories.

    I am trying this for this week. Weekdays while at work, I'm very disciplined. However, the weekends are just brutal! I have all this unstructured time to myself, plus I'm purging my house of clutter, and because it's so hard, cause there is so much, plus all my other housework....well, I eat as I clean so I can mentally and emotionally deal with all the work I have to do. And I have to do this. I cannot going into 2016 with this clutter.

    I think this Saturday, I'm going to walk 3 miles in the early morning with my doggies, come home eat a sensible meal, then attack my cleaning for 2 hours. Then I will call it a day and go to the movies or something. Sunday, I will again walk in the morning, then hopefully church, then.... (crickets...)....yeah I gotta fill that void...normally I cook a good Sunday dinner with all the trimmings every Sunday, but that is not an option any more cause of the calories.....soooo.....hmm...
  • Jdominika414
    Jdominika414 Posts: 4 Member
    I didn't get it under control until I started going to counseling. I started going in January and it took several months of working with my therapist weekly for me to work through the underlying issues that were driving my binges. The biggest things I learned were that the binges were really never about the food for me, and that I had to be A LOT kinder to myself. I'm finally at a place where I can focus on a healthy lifestyle for the simple reason that it's the right thing to do for myself, not with the agenda of punishing myself into a certain number on the scale or clothing size. Funny thing is that once I let go of the demands on myself to lose weight, the has weight started falling off.
  • Moxie42
    Moxie42 Posts: 1,400 Member
    Being kind to myself is definitely the hardest part. I tend to beat myself up a lot for letting myself get out of control, and for "failing" so many times. The past few months I think I just gave up and was almost ready to just accept being overweight. But I'm so sick of feeling like crap and being self-conscious every second of every day- I couldn't accept it even if I wanted to. Now I'm trying to use "I want to feeling better" as my motivation now, rather than, like you said, reaching a certain number on the scale or fitting into a certain size. I feel better when I eat well and I feel horrible when I binge. I'm hoping that keeping it as simple as possible will help me stick with it. I'm only on day 6 but I already feel a little better in some ways (not bloated, less heart burn, no upset stomach)- so even though the scale probably hasn't moved, I feel better so that's a win! I think when I would obsess about scales and numbers and physical things like that- I never felt like I was winning because the numbers were just never good enough. Everyone is different of course but I'm hopeful that focusing on how I feel and not how I look will help :) Thanks for the input!
  • Jdominika414
    Jdominika414 Posts: 4 Member
    Wishing you great success on your journey! A book I really recommend if you're an emotional eater and beating yourself up over it is "Women, Food, and God." Don't get scared about "God" being in the title. The use of the word is more about women's relationship to food. Also, a woman named Brooke Castillo does an excellent pod cast each week, and many of them center around weight loss. Her web site is called thelifecoachschool, check out episode #18.

    One thing my therapist said to me in the beginning that I loved was to imagine walking into my garage and seeing one my car's tires flat. What would I do? Would I go about addressing the popped tire and moving on with my day, or would I pop all four tires because I was so mad about the situation? When I would binge or emotionally eat, it would often lead to a spiral of "popping all the tires" because i was so mad and frustrated at myself for failing. Now, I'm now much better at recognizing when I'm starting to binge, and can rationally and without judgment decide what I want to do next. More so than ever my answer is that I want to stop, and I do :).
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