One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

Overeating, Cycles, & Binges

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This post is going to try to be too many things but I don’t care. I’ve been getting so many emails and comments asking about slumps and binge eating it deserves a rant. Even if it’s an illogical one.

Jennifer commented the other day…

…my cycle right now is: gain back a few pounds, get depressed, eat more, drink more out of depression, gain more, feel more hopeless, eat more/drink more out of depression, etc.
Did you ever go through this?

Oh My GOD Ummm YES!!  For years I was trapped in that cycle. I’m not even exaggerating when I say years.  The cycle started before High School and I didn’t break it until I had my son at the age of 29.

I may have broke the cycle but I still struggle with eating issues. I’m not a doctor and I was never diagnosed with a binge eating disorder but it seems pretty clear to me. I was a binge eater. According to ahealth.com most people with serious binge eating problems have:

  • Frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food.
  • Frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten.
  • Several of these behaviors or feelings:
    • Eating much more rapidly than usual.
    • Eating until uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry.
    • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten.
    • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating.

I pass this test with flying colors… flying bright fluorescent saturated colors.

Why? Why do some of us do this? I’ve asked myself that a million times and I still don’t really know the answer.  All I do know is I ate when I was sad, I ate when I was happy, I ate to celebrate and to sooth depression.  Eating just seems to fill a void for me. 

Some people call it emotional eating. I agree.  The funny this is most of the time I was eating because I was depressed about eating too much the day before.   I was eating because I didn’t like the body I was in.  It’s so illogical.

In my opinion, and experience, people who have these tendencies never really get over it.  I know I haven’t.  I still have “relapses”.  Even tonight, I “pigged out” on squash fries. That’s right, squash fries. Don’t chuckle, it true.  I was feeling down. It was just the toddler and I after work, I was lonely, overwhelmed, trying to get too many things done at one time (like usual) and so I ate.  

Notice what I ate, not pizza, not French fries, not overstuffed Italian subs, cheeseburgers, Stromboli, wings, fried chicken tender or anything else I used to binge on.  I chose to indulge my emotional eating binge on a winter squash.  Do you know how hard it is to overeat squash? 300 calories of the stuff and you are way past the point of fullness and entering the uncomfortable stomach feeling.  Believe me I know.

Now I’m not condoning this type of overeating behavior, but sometimes if you can’t change something you need to make it work.  I don’t think I’ll ever not be an emotional eater so I changed what I eat. It works for me. Sometimes food really does comfort.


Morning Scale Reading: 142
Food Points
Whole Grain Waffles 4
2 Halloween Brownie Bites 1
Large veggie chili from college cafeteria and a bad of baked chips (total estimate) 6
orange 1
Pork loin, more Delicata Steak Fries and Butternut Squash Fries then I’d like to admit and a side of broccoli 10
blue corn chips and bean dip 4
Totals 26
Daily Activity Log
25 minutes on treadmill & lower body circuit


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Discussion

There are 13 comments so far.

    Jen

    October 18, 2007

    Thanks for the honesty of your post!

    Nancy

    October 19, 2007

    I have not put much thought in that direction before, but, I too, pass that test with vivid fluorescent colors. Thank you for this insight, I will definately look into what others have had to say on the matter.

    Nancy

    Jacki

    October 19, 2007

    Thanks for this post. The timing is perfect. I was just on my WW challenge board and one of my teammates is struggling with this right now. I know that I definately fit into this catagory as well. Thanks for putting yourself out there everyday. Its very encouraging and supportive.

    Anonymous

    October 19, 2007

    Hm, my name is Jennifer, and I know I didn’t type that post, but man I could have .. word for word. It’s even worse when I have an actual depression .. then it is almost a valid excuse for me to over-eat. It is horrible and I can’t seem to stop myself. I know that no one can help me, I have to do it on my own. But I guess it helps a little to know that I am not alone in this battle.

    Aggiemomma2Boys

    October 19, 2007

    So glad you posted this….I was going thru this thought process last night as I lay in bed. I just can’t seem to get my butt in gear….I was successful with WW after I gave birth to my first son…I was exercising and lost 20lbs…and felt GREAT! My husband was so happy FOR ME…because I was happy with myself. Now, after my second son (who will be 2 yrs in December) I need to lose about 40 lbs! UGH! I NEVER thought I’d be “THAT” woman…the one who had a couple of kids and let herself go. Now I’ve got a nasty jelly belly, I’m embarrassed to wear a bathing suit and all my clothes are size 14. It’s just NOT the real me! I keep looking at the photos of my husband and I when we were dating in college (about 7 yrs ago) and I LONG to look like that again. I’m so disappointed in myself that I just continue to ‘comfort’ myself when I’m feeling down with FOOD! STUPID…makes NO sense…I know..but HOW do you stop this!?!?! Sometimes I just feel like it’s hopeless…like I’m just stuck this way….I’ll try to do WW and just can’t seem to stick to it anymore…the boys require so much of my time and energy and I’m home ALL day with them…eating is my ‘little relaxing moment’…some people have a drink or a smoke to relax, I eat a sweet! I’ll try working out and eating better and will do well for a few days and then a stressful day comes along and WHAM! I’m back to the old me. I’m sorry this post has gotten so long…I appreciate you all letting me vent. I just need someone to tell me how to do this…or how to stick to it or to encourage me or something. I hate the fact that I have to ‘think’ about everything I eat…I mean, I really don’t feel like I eat THAT much…and I don’t like measuring everything out…why can’t I just be one of those people who’s life isn’t controlled by food!?!
    It sucks feeling this way.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    Sarahsally

    October 19, 2007

    Ladies! First off, You are all fabulous, gorgeous individuals. I am a comfort eater too and I totally relate to all the triggers to eat, eat, eat. I agree with what Roni says about this: if your gonna do it, at least try to eat healthier things… find something that satisfies, but that hopefully doesn’t do the damage of our usual choices. Drink water too! Go for a walk! Call a friend! Journal! Breathe through the “stresser”. Everyday is a new day, so if I do “mess up”, there is always… tomorrow.
    I send love and support to each and everyone of us!

    Tiffany

    October 19, 2007

    RONI…this is why I read your site everyday. You are inspirational and real. I love all that you do!

    Tiffany

    Windsor, ON Canada

    Lily T

    October 19, 2007

    Thank you for this post.

    Angiemomma2boys – I know it can get depressing being at home all day in a house at a state of choas. I always make it a point to leave the house at least once a day. Even for a quick strollering down the street. That helps me.

    Rebecca

    October 19, 2007

    This is why I read your blog nearly every day. Sorry to say, but, Roni you really do make me realize I am not alone and the struggles we face are normal. I have maintained a 60# loss for over a year and still have to think about every morsel I put in my mouth. The sad thing is I know that I will probably always have to do this. Thanks for all you do. By you posting your insights to yourself you help others. Keep it up!

    iwanttolovemybody

    October 19, 2007

    I love reading Roni’s site and all your comments. It helps. I always have good intentions. I stay within point range, this is my first week. I make the right food choices, but i just do not feel good. I always have this fat feeling. always!. My daughter is 6 and i hate the jelly roll belly. It sickens me, I had when my husband spoons me and his hand holds it, he does not mind, but inside it is so stressfull to me. I want to be sexy, and feel sexy. and the thing is I have tops 20-25 lbs to make it there. that would probably get me into a 8-10. that would be amazing. Why is it so difficult. My problem is the exercise. If I consistently did something i would have results. Eating right won’t just make the LBS disappear, it is the combo of both. I know it, I say it everyday yet I struggle with the exercise part. I am by no means lazy, I am just always on the run, and again good intentionsof getting up at 5:30 and then I snooze:( how do you ladies do it!

    Anonymous

    October 19, 2007

    Wow, I feel like I am reading about myself. I have three kids. After my first child I didn’t bother losing all my weight because I knew I would have another. I had about 30 extra lbs on me but it didn’t matter to me. I got pregnant with my second child and had about 60 lbs to lose. I started to run and joined ww and lost about 40lbs. I was even in half marathon training which was something I never dreamed I would do. I then found out that about a year later I was pregnant again. This time, I had 80lbs to lose. I was able able the birth of this child to lose about 20 lbs but still have about 60 lbs to go. My baby turned 2 last weekend. So when I read how do you fit in exercise, I can say that I struggled terribly with this. While I was on maternity leave, I would meet up with a friend and go for a run. If you don’t run, you can walk. Now that I am back working full time I tried to get out at night but I was just too tired. I would then feel bad that I wasn’t getting out…guilt, etc, the cycle then started all over again. So, I rejoined ww four weeks ago and have almost lost 10 lbs. I have an hour at lunch so I race to the gym. I change, do a quick 30 mins of cardio, have a quick shower and then race back to the office. If I have a meeting, I reapply my makeup (which doesn’t happen often) and I eat my lunch at my desk while I am working. It works. I just found a gym close to my office. I do weights at night in front of the tv as well as crunches. It helps. It took me forever…almost a year being back to work to figure out how to fit in exercise. Don’t be hard on yourself…just get creative. How can you fit exercise in to your day? The cycle is hard to break out of. I have struggled with my first four weeks of ww…looking at myself…60 lbs to lose…it is going to take so long…but I remind myself that this is a lifestyle…this will benefit everyone. I have also set a goal for myself…I have always wanted to be a police officer…can’t do that at the weight I am in. As well, I need to be in better shape. So I am 37…I hope by 38-39, I can try out. That is what is helping me move forward with this. Do you have a goal? If not, why not create one…something to work towards…a trip, next summer…it’s tough don’t get me wrong. I know…I have been there. In fact, I am there right now.

    Bonita

    October 19, 2007

    I totally agree with you that if you are going to splurge, it should be on better, healthier options.

    Candace

    October 21, 2007

    Roni, if you’re gonna binge, then I say bring on the winter squash. Just reading about it has my mouth watering for some butternut squash fries and it’s bed time, so it’ll have to wait. Gonna have some water and shut this baby down.
    Cheers,