I was reading an article on another blog, something about lasers stopping you eating, a very strange article – anyway it touched on overeating and encouraging people to seek help for something called a Binge Eating Disorder. Now I know there are some people caught up in serious issues with food and eating and sometimes it relates to emotional eating, boredom, self esteem issues and a whole host of other stuff of which I know nothing about, so I am not even going to attempt to write about something of which I have no knowledge.
However in my past experience with weight loss and food, I was an over eater; from having two or three pieces of toast rather than one, always seconds of food and dessert even if I was full, right through to sneaking the second and third donut and eating the whole packet of biscuits, feeling over full and sick and promising myself that I would be ‘good’ starting Monday. Whatever that meant.
The cycle would repeat over and over while I was steadily becoming more and more overweight feeling gross, sick and tired from the strain under which I was putting my poor body. Not happy Jan!
Then add to that the emotional turmoil of seeing everyone else out there seemingly having it all under control, eating like a normal person, not to mention the slim body images everywhere that you wish you could emulate. As well as every smart aleck saying how easy it was supposed to be ‘ just eat less and exercise more, it’s all about willpower and discipline. It’s not rocket science you know.’ Sure thing. All it did was made me feel worse. It was not a very pleasant rat maze to be in, I can assure you.
Now back to the over eating part. When I was in my awareness phase and was noticing how certain foods made me feel, there emerged a bunch of foods that I couldn’t stop eating, thinking about eating, planning to eat, working out how I was going to get more and would always eat these foods until I was sick, rather than just until I was pleasantly full. Some of these were coffee, sugar and man-made carbs like bread, biscuits, pastries, cake, etc
I discovered that this is what triggered my overeating response. Nothing more than this. It wasn’t some emotional or psychological issue or lack of discipline, willpower or laziness. It wasn’t some complicated, mysterious reason that I needed to go to therapy to work it all out.
IT WAS JUST THE FOOD I WAS EATING.
And yes I did shout this on purpose. Everyone tries to make it far more dramatic and more complicated than it needs to be.
And how did I know this? Because other foods didn’t do this, once I didn’t eat these foods any more, the problem disappeared.
Do you know what a relief it was to find this out? Finally an answer to something that plagued me for years; it wasn’t me just being a freak after all. No diet book, article or anything that I have seen ever approaches it from this angle. They always warn you to not exclude anything from your diet and just to balance it with a bit of everything. But this doesn’t work for me, it kept me in misery for years. Thanks a lot!
Not that this means you can’t have sweet things or cake forever. It’s just a matter of finding the ingredients and recipes that have the same amazing taste, but you can have one, feel satisfied and not have to eat the whole tray.
For me these are my Chocolate Tweets made with organic maple syrup, Orange Cake made with organic maple syrup and ground almonds instead of flour. It’s like a miracle has happened! You just don’t know how amazing it is to be free of all the nonsense, eat like a normal person and be the weight you want to be. Just bliss.
And this process will be different for everyone. I gave a friend a taste test of my peanut butter balls and she said “oh no, I would want to eat about 10 more of those.” Where as for me, one of them and I am done.
So it may take a little tweaking for you to find the right sweetener and the right level of sweetness that doesn’t have the ‘eat it all’ effect. I know for me both sugar and honey make me crazy, where as stevia and organic maple syrup are fine.
At my day job one day, there was left over cheese cake from a recent birthday and normally I refuse the offer of any at all however this time, it was the end of the day and I was heading off to some event where I knew I wasn’t going to have food for a while and I was hungry and hadn’t brought enough of my own stash to last the day. So I, against my better judgment, ate a slice and went off to the event.
I had the normal physical reaction of an immediate headache from the sugar and soon after feeling irritable and really tired. But that was that and didn’t think any more about it.
Then a few days after, we had another birthday and another cheesecake – seems to be the most popular type in this office. And for the first time in years I was tempted to have a piece during the birthday celebrations. The desire shocked me a bit as I hadn’t felt that way for years. Since I shut the door in my mind on all sugary foods and eat only my own treats, there had been no temptation at all to go back to the out of control and overweight days. So in this instance, I ignored the urge mainly because I didn’t want the flack from my co-workers carrying on about me eating sugar when I was the health nut of the office. So I let it pass.
However what happened next freaked me out.
There were left overs of that cake again in the fridge and so every time I passed the fridge during the day, I was thinking about how I could have a piece of that cake. Even at the end of the day again, I was checking to make sure there wasn’t anyone around me and I nearly ate it. Then I stopped and thought, “OMG! This is the behaviour from the past that I had when sugar used to rule my life. I don’t want to go there again.”
So I didn’t eat it and poured myself a big cup of tea instead and drove home just bewildered at how quickly it can all come flooding back; just from one piece of cake a few days before and opening the door just a tiny bit in my head to allow it. I was relieved though that now I am aware of this stuff, I could recognise it super fast before it did any damage ie: oops 10kgs ((22lbs) overweight again and needing a major overhaul to get it back on track.
So, Binge Eating Disorder…? Not really, even though the symptom of overeating was the same even including the sneaking of food sometimes. It was more like a Wrong Food Disorder if you want to call it anything, which completely stopped when I stopped eating that food.
Why don’t they tell you this stuff????? Would have saved me years of misery. But now I am telling you, so does this ring any bells for you?