More Confessions Of A Nurse Who Compulsively Eats - page 2

It's the beginning of another new year, so I'm going to discuss the topic of overeating. Since masses of people across America are making new years resolutions that revolve around weight control, I... Read More

  1. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from multi10
    I learned to pay attention to my cues of hunger and respond to them. Plus, I exercise every day. It doesn't involve the gym so much. I just walk, play with my dog, nothing drastic. I have a stationary bike that I use sometimes while watching TV.
    I exercise regularly, about five days per week. I jog several miles per pay and have a stationary bike and a stairstepper machine at home. I have also had a gym membership for the past 12 years. All the exercise in the world will do no good if a person consumes more calories than his or her body needs.

    Binge eaters know how to lose weight because we've lost large amounts of weight many times during our lifetimes, only to regain it all plus more. The problem is keeping the weight off, which is difficult if you have not learned any other adaptive ways to address your emotions other than using food to comfort your emotional wounds.
  2. by   Amnesty
    Ah, binge eating. I thought I had it bad, and then I decided to rent an apartment with my sister as my roommate. I've always liked to eat food for the sheer enjoyment of eating, but she lived to eat. Literally, she would keep a couple theatre boxes of candy in her night stand and let herself eat them each morning as incentives to wake up on time. She often got up in the middle of the night and foraged for food. I used to buy those $10 big boxes of things like Air Heads and chocolate bar variety packs from Sam's Club, and I had to stop because I'd go to grab a Snickers or something out of the box a few days after buying it and find it empty with money to replace it sitting inside it :X.

    My mother is much the same way. She'd eat candy by the bags, daily, and did that for years before she finally kicked the habit and lost something like 85 lbs. just in this past year. I'm so proud of her. My sister has lost a bunch as well, as have I. Reading your story is like reading something I could've written. My family was poor, my situation was crappy, my father was alcoholic and abusive, and the highlight of my childhood was when I'd save up a dollar and could go buy a couple of candy bars at the store. As a teenager, I realized how weird I was to do that. My friends would get candy and not eat all of it maybe ever, but at least it'd take them a week or so. We went on a class day trip once, and they each brought maybe one or two things of snacks -- I brought about 10 different types of candy xP.

    It's a lifelong battle for sure. I wish more people were aware that it isn't always so easy for others to do what they do. Good luck to you guys and gals also struggling with this.
  3. by   NurseKatie08
    Thanks OP for a very relevant post at this time of new year's resolutions. I'm one of the many who have resolved to lose weight this year. I'm at my heaviest ever, which is in part the motivating factor. Early heart disease, diabetes, etc in my family are the other motivating factors. At 27 years old, I've yo-yoed with 30 lbs or so since graduating high school (when of course at a whopping 5'6' and 135 lbs I thought I was "fat") and would love to get back down to that weight. I just feel like the older I get the harder it will get to take it off, so no time like the present! I'm 48 hours in to the Slim Fast plan, which was the only thing that ever worked for me in the past, so I'm crossing my fingers for success this time! Good luck to all of us who are resolving to lose weight this year!
  4. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I fixed my binge eating issue by puking up everything that I ate.
  5. by   joanna73
    I am also a compulsive eater, presently my eating is more controlled since I have little access to the foods I love. I have what is called "exercise bulimia" for years now. Instead of vomiting, I have been known to eat huge amounts of food, then work it off for 3-4 hours. Still a disorder, and just as unhealthy. My weight tends to fluctuate between 10-15 pounds above where it should be. Not a big deal, right? Wrong. The emotional components and distorted thinking still remain. Many of us are secret eaters, who you would never guess. Commuter, I hope you find the answers you're searching for.
  6. by   TXRN2
    very interesting thread- i'm pleased that it remained friendly & supportive. switch the topic to drug & alcohol issues/struggles, & the atmosphere can often become hostile, belittling, people who have no experience with the issue. i try to always remember that we each have our own cross to bear, we each battle our own demons- & should behave accordingly & treat others as such!
  7. by   Dezy
    I used to have a problem with good too. Whenever I was board I'd want to eat. I had problems stopping once I started and I always ate too much. I struggled to stop myself and found some helpful habits. I haven't read the rest of this thread so I apologize if someone has said something similar. I work as a fitness coach and group instructor while I'm in school and I always give people this advice: don't drink your calories! If you want a sweet drink that's fine but treat it as a snack, don't use it to quench thirst! Don't bring junk food in the house!! This sseriously saved me. If you want junk don't deprive yourself of it, just don't bring it home. You'll be too tempted. Break up half of your meals. Try goi for half of it first and if your still hungry nibble away at the rest. You can slow your eating pace down this way. Eat more protein dense foods if you always feel starving, this will take long for your body to break down. Also eat more fiber, this will expand in your stomach making you also feel fuller for longer. Another huge huge one is stay current in entertaining healh guides. Eg reading runners magazines or women or men's healh mag help a log. They keep you motivated even if you don't run: and give you lots of tidbits on food ideas, how to improve and feel better. Doing this stuff helped me greatly. Learning yummy healthy food alternatives is half the battle too. I hope this helps you.
  8. by   Hygiene Queen
    I think that some folks are missing the point.
    Those who compulsively over-eat (especially nurses!) are well of aware of how they should be eating and exercising.
    The problem isn't knowing better, it's the compulsion itself.
    They can have a full stomach and still cram it in... because the fullness isn't what compels them to stop eating.
    It is a psychological issue... an addiction, a compulsion, an obsession.
    Not bringing junk food into the house is useless.
    The car will be on empty, they will have $8 in change, it will be midnight and when the unholy urge to binge rears its ugly head, they will putz into the 7 Eleven on fumes and find the dang chips, pop and chocolate and mindlessly plunk that change out on the counter!
    Focusing on healthy eating and execise habits certainly doesn't hurt, but it is not going to work very well without getting to heart of the problem... which is psychological, most likely depression and anxiety.
    Last edit by Hygiene Queen on Jan 9, '13
  9. by   CDEWannaBe
    You're right on Hygiene Queen. For those of us who struggle with compulsive overeating, it's as compelling and screwed up as any other addition.

    Don't be too hard on yourself Commuter. Getting recovery from any kind of addiction is rarely straight forward. But I have known people who have succeeded. Hope to be one of them someday.

    A book that has helped me is "Binge No More" by Joyce Nash Binge No More: Your Guide to Overcoming Disordered Eating with Other: Joyce D. Nash: 9781572241749: Books

    And if you're a Christian, the book "Love to Eat, Hate to Eat" by Elyse Fitzpatrick is awesome. It addresses overeating as an emotional, behavioral and spiritual issue. Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits: Elyse Fitzpatrick: 9780736914383: Books
  10. by   multi10
    Commuter, I admire your courage and honesty. You help other people with your posts.

    You pinpointed your return to your former eating habits to May of last year. Did something trigger this? (It's a rhetorical question.) It sounds like you were on a track that was working for you and got derailed by some person or some thing. I know I'm treading on thin ice here because I'm not a therapist.

    My Dad was perfectly happy gaining weight over the years, until his doctor told him, "You have to lose weight." He resisted. His doctor, a family friend, then told my mom, "He has to lose weight." I was a kid. Our meal-times at home changed. My dad was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the world of diets. It was not his idea in the first place.

    I respect everything you've said in this "More Confessions" article. Dogs aren't for everyone, and fad diets aren't the answer, although one may work for a particular person. I only suggest that it may be possible that you're being hard on yourself. Unlike other addictions/compulsions, you can't quit eating altogether.

    If you're happy eating what you eat, try not to let others, or the American TV/movie culture, make you feel bad. I suspect that you are alot healthier and more fit than you give yourself credit for.

    I went to a wedding in Fiji and the men there (and they are amazing) love voluptous women. The women there are so beautiful and bountiful and full of love. No self-consciousness whatsoever. And no shame. I know, I know, we're not in Fiji. But the obsession with the perfect weight in this culture sets us up for never being perfect enough. We should be kinder to ourselves.
  11. by   enchantmentdis
    I quit smoking around the holidays; and when our census went up, AND when things were at their worst--stress at home, stress at work; and with very little sleep due to money woes . It was a very brutal take to quit an awful habit. It worked, cold turkey, but i did not gain weight. Being a nurse, it was easy to figure out how not to gain weight during the holidays: remember that you actually cannot eat everything you see. Becoming a better housekeeper will assist in weight loss attempts. Be the one who cooks the fabulous meal;, for staying on your feet will help tremendously. Live with lazy-arse peeps who want to sit, read, and be on facebook. I also sit, read, and am on facebook, just not all day everyday. Eat more protein, more fibre, more low sugar veggies. Limit salt viciously. It actually worked. I still can have cookies, cheesecake, etc....just not EVERY day. Instead of coffee with loads of creamer and sugar, it is coffee with a spoonful of each. When at work in my car all day, racing to see patients, it is a half sandwich for lunch, almonds for snacks, lots of water, cheese sticks for snacks, carrots for snacks, any snacks that are made with whole grains, full fat yogurt--coconut greek kind. If i eat in a restaurant, the remainder i have for lunch the next day in my car. I have avoided fast food joints for months now and have saved tons of cash. It will take an eternity to lose 70 pounds. That is alright. I am alive, no longer smoke, my thyroid levels have improved, i won't have to take anti-cholesterols or anti-hypertensives, and i am fitting again in clothes that i saved in boxes in the closet. Wheeee! Someone jubilantly proclaimed that i would gain weight, eat more, and be unhappy if i quit smoking. That person is now crying. They did not know that some individuals do best under a hostile environment.
    Last edit by enchantmentdis on Jan 9, '13 : Reason: because
  12. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from multi10
    You pinpointed your return to your former eating habits to May of last year. Did something trigger this? (It's a rhetorical question.) It sounds like you were on a track that was working for you and got derailed by some person or some thing. I know I'm treading on thin ice here because I'm not a therapist.
    I usually weigh myself once a month, at the beginning of the month. I lose weight very slowly ever since becoming hypothyroid more than seven years ago, so it makes not much sense to weigh myself more frequently than once monthly.

    Anyhow, I became disgusted and frustrated at myself at the beginning of May when I weighed myself and had lost no weight since the last weigh-in 30 days previously. I had been consistently eating 1500 calories per day and engaging in strenuous exercise five days per week. I was upset that I did not even lose half a pound per week. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

    I dealt with my frustration by slipping back into my old eating habits. It was supposed to be temporary, perhaps a week or so, but it snowballed and I was never able to get back on track.
  13. by   multi10
    Commuter, I understand. Back in May, it's possible that you didn't lose pounds on the scale because you gained muscle by exercising so much. Muscle weighs more than fat. One way to tell if you're getting fit is the way your clothes fit.

    Maybe your body needed a rest from the strenuous exercise 5 days a week. You're already back on track.