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Secret Eating vs. Willpower

ketoandweimketoandweim Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
I remember being 10 years old scraping dimes together to be able to "buy" chocolate bars that I was selling as a fundraiser and eating them all in my room. Stopping and getting an entire fast food meal (or 2) and eating it in the car before getting home to enjoy another entire meal. I always thought the yo-yo came from lack of willpower but realizing that the problem might be more the eating in secret. Just coming clean about the "dirty secret" has helped me see what I have been doing for 30 years and I feel like I finally see the problem. The question is: "Is secret eating a form of food addiction? Or just a lack of willpower?
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  • ketoandweimketoandweim Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    Can I pick neither?

    When we're doing something we shouldn't do, we tend to hide it and lie about it. Having an affair? Stealing? Spending money you don't really have on new clothes? It doesn't have to be an addiction like drugs or gambling for a person to want to keep it secret. You *know* that you'd be scolded by your parents for eating those chocolate bars, or that your SO would judge you for eating a second (and third) meal, so you hide it. You develop a pattern of eating in secret, perhaps even a compulsion, but I wouldn't call it an addiction.

    Now, as to willpower... I don't think the questions is "Is eating in secret a willpower problem," but "Is overeating in general a willpower problem?" Maybe it is because you just really really like to eat. Or maybe it's your coping method for trauma (also maybe why you eat in secret, so you don't have to admit the trauma). Or maybe you're depressed and all that food temporarily helps. Or maybe it's something else entirely. I don't know the answer to that. But I think that you going from overeating in secret to coming out in the open with it is saying "I have this problem, I need to deal with it, I'm not going to hide it anymore."

    I can 100% hear my Mother in the back of my head now to the 10 year old me that I "should not be eating that, you don't need that, there are vegetables in the fridge" so I think there is a lot of validity to that thought!
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 445 Member Member Posts: 445 Member
    Or maybe it's your coping method for trauma (also maybe why you eat in secret, so you don't have to admit the trauma).

    I think that is very insightful. I was thinking that, paradoxically, maybe this is a way for a child to assert control in her life--making a decision about what food to eat and when, especially if it is counter to what the adults in the room approve.

    Although, there are probably as many reasons for secret eating as there are people who engage in it.

  • ketoandweimketoandweim Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    TBH I have no clue as to the original question but just want to express how comforting it was to find a space in the world where I could openly admit I had this issue so I didn't feel so abnormal.

    I agree. I never knew it wasn’t just me until a few months ago! ❤️

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