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Dealing with binging/overeating/recognizing satiety signals

This got really long, I hope you guys can get through it!

I had written this introductory blog about my weight loss history, my current journey, where I hope to be in the future, and my current accomplishments.

One of my current accomplishments is that it is now February 5th and I have not binged since October 14th 2010. Someone asked how I managed to do that.

Food addict, compulsive overeater, binge eater, yeah, I'm all of those.


I have no doubt that this will always and forever be something I struggle with. I was reassured of that fact this week. I did not do any binging, although I can't say I wouldn't have had I had  more food at my disposal.

At the end of the day I had most of my days calories left at dinner so since I had so many, and so did my bf, I asked if he wanted to go to mad mex. (local cal-mex restaurant). I'm going to lay out just what led to me being in a 'binge' frame of mind.

  • I had eaten too little during the day and let myself get way too hungry. 

So, honestly I've come to terms with hunger. I can feel hungry for a good long time before I start to get weird. I have realized that I should not eat at all if I'm emotional because I can't be trusted. I also realized feeling hungry for a bit won't kill me. So denying myself food when I'm feeling emo took time but it made me realize that hunger is not ast big and scary as it used to be. 

While this is great, it doesn't mean sometimes my eyes aren't bigger than my stomach. Well, that night when  I was so hungry, I made my second mistake:
  • I gave myself permission to eat the entire portion and how full I was - was not a factor.

That night I ordered what I always do. Tofu tacos with waffle fries on the side. This is the only fried thing I ever eat anymore and I try and eat it only once a week as a treat. The meal comes with 3 tofu tacos and what I guess is about a medium size 'chik-fil-a' type waffle fries. I normally eat 2 tacos and a little less than half the fries cuz that is usually when I'm full. I try to listen really hard to my 'full signals.' which has gotten easier over time. (When I first started I would just eat half of something whether I felt full or not until I could feel fullness)

On that night though, I was thinking I was so hungry I'd just eat all of it. I had the cals to spare, no big deal right? Wrong.

  • I had the idea in my head that I didn't want to 'waste' my cals since 'd be heading to bed after we got back from dinner.
I have tried so hard to stop thinking in the terms of 'wasting'. I have gotten comfortable with leaving half a plate of food. I try and separate myself from the idea that if I don't eat all of something that I'm wasting food or money. I have 'wasted' money on fad diets and dieting drugs and schemes. Not eating when I'm no longer hungry is not a waste. I try and do the same with my calories. If I have a few left over at the end of the night and I'm not hungry, or I don't have time to eat, it's not a waste. 
  • I not only ignored my 'full' signal, I bashed it into submission as it fought for control.
I ate the tacos and a few fries. I had maybe half my fries left, and I took a deep breath. You know the one, that means,"I'm pleasantly full, but not stuffed." If you have problems recognizing your full signal, which I did for a long time, pay attention to that breath. It's a deep heavy sigh. That is when I am done, (normally).

Not only did I sigh and ignore it, but I was paranoid that my bf knew I was full and would tell me to stop eating, (we're diet buddies), so I said, "wow, I'm tired." as if the sigh was just a half yawn. I reached for a fry and I was literally arguing in my head. 

"you're going to eat to the point of uncomfortable. Just stop."
"but I have the calories left!"
"Remember how you hate the sick feeling you get from overeating."
"but it's soooo tasty."

So, yeah, I definitely made some mistakes. A lot of little things all added up to make me eat the rest of those fries that I didn't need. 

In regards to food addiction though, let me just say, I normally don't eat fried food (it's a trigger, and now that I've gone overboard I'm taking a break and not going out to eat at all for at least a month). So when we were about to leave the restaurant, I didn't want to leave. I told joey, "I feel kind of stoned." it was a weird sensation. It was pleasant and warm and slow. It didn't last too long, but I quickly realized I'd overdone it in more ways than one. 

At the point of this meal in particular, I hadn't binged or overeaten unhealthy food for over 3 months and the full force of dopamine and all that good addiction juice being released in my brain in response was unleashed. 

I quickly realized I didn't want to feel like that ever again. It would be so easy to regain 45 lbs because that fuzzy warm feeling was so nice. 

That is not the life I really want. That is not the food I really want. 

This is the food I want when my addiction is not controlling me:


I can't really abstain from food, but I can definitely abstain from triggery, fatty food with little to no nutritional value. 

I hope that this deconstruction of my ridiculous experience with eating beyond satiety can help someone out there.

How do you deal with things like emotional eating, binge urges, hunger and satiety signals? Leave a comment below!





Comments

  1. Wow, I enjoyed reading your post. I know binges, intimately unfortunately. I like this sentence - "I not only ignored my 'full' signal, I bashed it into submission as it fought for control." I'm glad you quickly realized that you didn't want to feel like "this" again. You did very well indeed. PS - Tofu tacos - never heard of them, but they sound good.

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  2. Thanks so much. I felt like even though it was very long and ranty, I have a bit more to say about binging and more specifically emotional eating that I'll post about next if you want to follow to check it out later.

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  3. This is really interesting. It is amazing how many emotions food can actually trigger in our brain. The whole, "I deserve this" or "I've been really good,so.." or "it's been a bad day" mentality can just get so dangerous.
    For me, it was growing up with a single mom, who, kept food on the table, but, not a lot of junk food and treats, because we just couldn't afford it. So, as a teenager, when I would go to friends houses, or get a little money of my own, I would eat like I was some sort of food criminal, just shoving handfuls of shit into my mouth, which also continued into early adulthood, when I felt the independence of buying my own food,
    It's dangerous, and, I had to realize in the end that I didn't even like half of that stuff, it was just what it signified to me. It stood for the kids who had money, and could afford this stuff, and for this whole independence factor of being an adult and saying to myself, "now I can eat whatever I want."
    A few things that helped me were, making sure that I didn't have any junk around. If you have to put your coat and shoes on and drive out at 10:30 at night to get junk food, it gives you time to put it into perspective more.
    Also, really learning to cook. Now, I just look at a lot of the shitty food I used to eat, and, think about how I could make it myself, and improve on it, or make it healthier.
    I also found a new vice. When I used to get all stressed out and emotional, I would instantly think, "This was such a bad day, I need a treat" which would be like a whole huge bag of m&ms or something. But, it never made me feel better. So now, it's gonna sound lame, but it's The Golden Girls. One of my fondest childhood memories is watching that show with my mom, so, when I get really upset, or depressed, I march straight into the bedroom, and turn it on (dvd boxset). Calms me down before dinner, so I don't start shoving food into my mouth.
    It's such a struggle, and, you are doing a great job so far of stepping outside of yourself, and trying to talk to your brain logically. But, feeling that way that you did after you had that food, and recognizing that feeling, is also such a great step. It mean's that both you, and your body are realizing that is not that way you should feel after you eat. It's harder to pinpoint that feeling, when that's how you feel after every meal.

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  4. I think we all know that experience! You communicate it so well in words.

    I have to admit, even though I haven't binged in ages, my brain got all tingly and excited at the thought of tofu tacos....yum!

    Looking forward to part 2. :)

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  5. I went out the other right with the intention to binge. I ate half the food on my plate and felt stuffed. Was it the same kind of binge I would have gone on a year ago,NO. But I felt stuffed and warm and fuzzy. If I did that just a few too many times I would be in big trouble.

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  6. What an informative post. I'm new to your blog and will definitely be coming back because I'm a binge eater and food addict. I've only admitted that to myself in the last few days when the scale crept over 200 pounds for the first time in my life! I'm so glad I've found you here. I'm still in the stage of downing 3 donuts and mindlessly munching a half-bag of potato chips. Your post has given me hope. Thank you!

    Jackie
    www.midlifemyway.blogspot.com

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  7. great post. I have this problem, too and I did it to myself just today and felt super guilty immediately. I was at Panera bread eating the same 1/2 salad and hald turkey sandwich I get. I was full, but I hadn't finished ALL of my food (which I am used to doing), so I just kept on going, even though I was immediately starting to feel sick. Ugh.

    I think one of the contributing factors is that I grew up really poor (like getting food from the foodbank poor) so anytime I had food I just shoveled it all into my mouth as fast as I could, and I ALWAYS ate everything that was on my plate, whether I was hungry or not.

    I think that type of conditioning made it so I have never really known when I'm full and when to stop. Which was never a problem until I got older, wasn't as active, and my metabolism slowed down. Up until recently, the only "full" feeling I had ever really understood was being overstuffed and sick.

    So now I'm working on learning when to stop, even if I feel guilty for not cleaning my plate. And I KNOW that sigh, and that same damn inner monologue argument!

    Thanks for the post!!!

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  8. I read books by Geneen Roth..amazing author! I've learned an incredible amount about emotional eating through many of her books!

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  9. Thank you for this post, I am a new reader and fairly new vegan/plant eater since August 2011. I am flabbergasted at how I see myself in this post. I "binge" but am not terribly overweight, 5' and 145 lbs. My binging reason is I have an all or nothing attitude. I will eat the whole bag of chips because it's one bag of chips. I can't eat half because I haven't finished it, I have to eat it all...or I will not eat all day, then I eat anything and everything in sight because I am hungry. So I need to decide to portion my food out, one bag of chips becomes 5 little baggies of chips...I am able to eat one full baggie of chips.... and recently put rice in 1 cup containers in the freezer so I don't have to "eat the whole thing because it's there..."
    I never admitted I was a binge eater until I read this post, because I am not extremely overweight like the rest of my family. Most are over 200lbs, some over 250lbs... I erroneously thought: If I don't get as "big" as them, I am doing just fine...

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  10. Did you go paleo? Still plant based? Again, curious.....

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    Replies
    1. I did not go paleo, I know nothing of that. I am no longer plant based, though when I fill my plate at meals it is half veggie, a quarter starch and a quarter protein (meat or meat substitute). If you read my more recent posts you can see what's going on.

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