For nearly a year nw i've been chewing and spitting uncontrollably - I'm constantly thinking about food, becuase I've been on a massively calorie controlled regime for about 18 months now and have developed what I suppose is an eating disorder (I can't bring myself to eat 'normally' - indeed, I don'tthink I know what eating normally is anymore) and about a year ago I discovered the wonder of chewing and spitting but it got completely out of control and I do it practically every day. I've literally spent hours at a time in the kitchen when no one is at home, cramming things into my mouth and chewing and spitting them out, mainly toast, cereal and chocolate bars, but I've been known to go to supermarkets and look for the fattest and most unhealthy food there just to chew and spit. I don't know how to stop it - inevitably I end up eating loads of the food as well and I'm so miserable, I don't know what to do. I dread evenings and weekends because they're the times I'm not at work obviously and I'm terrified I'll lose control and go to the kitchen. Has anyone got any advice, or just empathy? I'd love to know if anyone has been through this - just to talk about it wouldbe good becuase I'm so ashamed of this I haven't told anyone.
I used to do that to. How i stopped myself was start exercising when I get the urge or find something that you enjoy like sweets,salty foods, or whatever and find something that is low calorie. Like I like sweet stuff so i buy jello only 60 cal. per cup. Just take it day by day. i know you can do it. It took me like a month to finally stop that habit. Its a slow process don't be surprised if it takes you longer then a day. take care of yourself.
I do this too and believe me, I know how terrible of an addiction it is. I have tried to stop for so long that I have completly given up. I have been doing it for 15 years (ashamed to admit) and have tried therapy and medications. Nothing seems to help. There does seem to be periods where it is not as bad (maybe only 4 times a week instead of every single day) but those are few. It is something that I fight hard every single day to only lose at the end of the day. I know what you mean about being scared of being alone, that's when I lose all willpower. For me it's late at night after everyone is in bed, I seriously just can't help it. The worst part is, I look forward to it at the same time just so I can have that release I guess. If you find anything that helps you let me know. I'm willing to try anything (although I feel like I have seriously tried everything.
It's so good to talk to people who've been through / are going through the same thing! Obviously it;s not good that any of us are doing it...! Jen, I know exactly what you mean - I look forward to it as well, and I sometimes purposely stay up till everyone's gone to bed just so I can lock myself in the kitchen and do it. I did it this morning - got up, had my healthy breakfast of porridge and herbal tea, then as there was no one about, got some bread and just started scooping out jam from the jar with it and spitting it out. THen I did it with a bowl of cereal (the caramelised crunchy oat kind, obviously too many calories for me to actually eat properly) and then a couple of biscuits that were lying around. I was so annoyed with myself becuase I don't normally do it in the mornings and it's such a rubbish start to the day. It's like I lose control - I tell myself I'll only do it with that biscuit with my cup of tea, but it's like something snaps inside of me and I go into a trance and am on autopilot, just raging round the kitchen grabbing at stuff. I dread to think what I'm doing to my teeth, and my tongue feels sore and horrible most of the time becuase of all the sugar. It's such a terrible thing to get into becuase you can eat all the things you restrict yourself from eating and you dojn't put on the weight - but of course you do still injest calories. I really, really wish I'd never hit on the idea!
It has ruined my teeth, in fact I think I have had 5 root canals and even more caps because my teeth will just break, I'm pretty sure it's from the c/s. Somehow not even that will stop me. I seem to almost deny that that is the cause and just ignore it. And then I do think it keeps weight on me, just a few pounds, but still, I would think that would be my biggest motivater.
Are you dieting? Becuase the reason I started was obviously because I was on such a restrictiv diet that I forbade myself all the foods I wanted, and am still doing that now which is why I've become so obsessed with c/s. I thikn I'll only begin to stop c/s when I stop restricting my diet so much, but then of course that's a whole other ball game...
That is how my whole ed started, is with dieting which turned into anorexia for a couple of years and then c/s. I do try to eat normal which in my mind is very restrictive and then of course I totally lose control. Part of me I think rebels against myself. I hate being so controlled by food that I try to be as normal as I can which leads me to binge. Just even eating one unsafe food sets me off. I can't get away from the black and white thinking, that's what gets me. Plus, I think what sends me into c/s is knowing what I would allow myself to eat for the rest of the day and it's not enough and it's not what I really want. I usually eat well up until dinner time. I'm afraid that if I actually ate whatever I wanted til I was full and satisfied everyday then I would gain a ton of weight. The only time that I ever do well with my eating and lose weight is when I am on vacation, then I have no choice. It is so freeing I can't even tell you. Funny thing is, I always lose weight on vacation. I know, so you think why don't you just eat like that at home. Believe me, I come home planning to but it never happens, c/s is way too temping I give in every single time. And then, I am the type of person that if I have been doing well and exercising and whatever and I weigh myself and the numbers haven't moved then I'm devestated cuz I feel I put so much effort into not c/s'ing that I feel I should at least get the reward of losing weight (which I used to but not anymore) that my next few days are completely ruined with eating. I give up for a few days and then I decide to try once again to eat normal only to fail. It is such a horrible cycle that totally runs and disrupts my life and moods. It's so sad that this is such a big part of my life and thoughts at the age I am. I have 3 kids and so much more of my time and energy could be spent enjoying them and the moment.
I'm glad people are out and talking about this, because people rarely do, making it incredibly shameful (even more shameful then anorexia or bulimia, which, as sad as it sounds, has in a way been glamorized). I had an eating disorder for two years, and it quickly became very serious, with a combination of anorexia, bulimia, and c/s. I totally understand where you are coming from. I'd go to the grocery store and spend tons of money getting the delicious, fattening foods I never allowed myself to eat, only to stand in front of the trash can for hours, and c/s all of it. I've been in recovery for a year now, and I'm pretty sure I conquered most of my demons (though it's hard at times). I used to come to the boards a lot, just to read posts, but I haven't been back in a long time. I saw your post, and I felt like I had to reply, because c/s is such a lonely aspect of eating disorders that nobody wants to talk about. Since going into recovery, I've talked a little about my anorexia and bulimia, but I have never admitted to c/s, because it just sounds so bizarre and disgusting, especially since most people have never even heard of it.
I have a feeling that you are still restricting what you eat, is that correct? Even for all the replies that say they try to eat normally, I'll bet "normal" is still pretty restricting. I'll tell you right now that you can't conquer c/s while trying to lose weight. It's pretty ironic, because the reason why we start in the first place is because we are trying to lose weight, and we think this is such an easy answer, to chew food and spit it out, circumventing the calories while still getting the taste. It does not work. I'm sure you all know this by now, but no matter how much you try to not swallow, you still end up swallowing a lot. The only reason you are doing this is because you are hungry, or at least, hungry for food that you restrict yourself from. If you want to conquer c/s, you have to conquer your other eating disorders, too. I've tried so many times to stop in the past, but never succeeded, because in the back of my mind, I still wanted to lose weight, so I try to eat very very healthy, not allowing myself any "bad" foods, only to end up staying up half the night chewing and spitting out those "bad" foods.
So I did end up recovering, which is a fight, and I know my way will definitely not work for everyone, but I can only offer you my perspective based on what I've been through. I finally came to terms with how much my eating disorder was destroying my life, my relationships, and my future. It was such a waste of time, because 80% of my time and energy went towards something so incredibly shallow and futile. I also read articles in how eating disorders my lead to brain atrophy, which is pretty much your brain wasting away. I've always prized my mind (both creativity and intelligence), even as I hated my body, I couldn't let it die. So I finally gathered to strength to fight it. I've tried so many times in the past to fight it, but I've always still kind of wanted to lose weight. But this time, I decided to not care whether I gained weight or not. I would just eat what I want, even if I considered it "bad" (which wasn't even that bad in the first place; it was like cereals, breads, chocolate...not even that awful). And I would feel full, for once in my life, so there was no need to c/s. Sure, I ended up gaining some weight. But after a few months, and getting my eating under control, and being able to feel full and gauge how much I really needed, my weight has stabilized. After a year, I now weigh about the same, maybe even a little less, as I was during my c/s stage, but I'm not miserable, starving, or torturing myself. I eat what I want, when I want, which, when not controlled by an eating disorder, doesn't mean I want to eat all the time and think about food every second. I eat normally, with 3 meals a day, plus snacks. Ironic, isn't it? I wasn't underweight during my c/s stage, because I was accidentally taking in so many calories anyway. So I'm telling you, once again, that you can't conquer c/s if you're still afraid to gain weight and still restricting. I haven't c/s or even had the urge to since the day I started allowing myself to eat (and I mean really eat, not eat vegetables and plain chicken everyday).
For those of you who said you actually lose weight when on vacation, it's probably because you allow yourself to indulge, for once, and therefore don't feel the urge to c/s. And because you're walking around a lot as well, I guess. But really, I know the eating disorder mind, and I've said this before and I'll say it again, don't think about losing weight when trying to fight it! It will be impossible! Don't be afraid to gain weight. I used to be afraid that my metabolism was so screwed up, that if I ate normally, I'd blow up. NOT TRUE. Your body will stabilize.
I know how hard and shameful c/s is, and I hope we can continue discussion about this, to help all the people hiding. I think a lot of people think they are the only person in the world who does it, and therefore never admit to it, which is dangerous.
The Following User Says Thank You to calgirl1987 For This Useful Post: leegaya (11-03-2012)
Oh yeah, I just remember exactly what I was thinking all those times I tried to stop c/s, only to fail. I thought, "if only I could stop c/s, while continuing to eat the way I normally do on an ideal day, I will definitely lose weight". NO NO NO! That is totally wrong. The reason why you want to c/s and fall into the habit in the first place, is because your normal diet is not enough and too restricting. You can't just continue on your normal, restricting, or "healthy" diet, as people with eating disorders like to call it, and think out of shear will, you will be able to stop c/s. No. You need to just allow yourself to eat.
Thanks Calgirl, you are totally right. I do have those exact same thoughts you described. I do think if I ate "my" normal diet (which to anyone else is totally abnormally and incredibly limiting) and didn't c/s then I would totally lose weight. Well, it actually has in the past but I was miserable and I just don't have that kind of willpower anymore. You're right about the wanting to lose weight part too, in fact that's my reason for anything I do or don't do, is to lose weight. I am CONSTANTLY trying to lose weight and if I do then I am constantly trying to not gain it back. I feel it's a lose lose situation where I am battling no matter what. One thing I don't like about even losing a couple of pounds is that becomes my new low reference number to compare to. I wish I'd never lost so much weight years and years ago when I developed anorexia because now I know that my body can get that low and I know what it looks like. Before I lost alot of weight, I looked great had a high self esteem and no obsession with food, weight or exercise what so ever. Now I'm obsessed, miserable with a terribly low self esteem and social anxiety. I am always so worried about what people are thinking about me and being judged, I used to never care. I know nobody does care what I weigh or look like but I just can't help. The unecessary stress I put myself through is just plain stupid and sad.
I just can't seem to break this cycle of thinking. Even today I woke up with a new diet and exercise plan. I seriously can't stand it. I've already had thoughts about not being able to keep this up cuz it's just plain hard and miserable. But I'm miserable if I c/s too. I know I swallow more than I want to know when I do this but I "don't" know for sure and I think that's the only thing keeping me doing it. At the same time, not knowing is what causes me the most stress cuz I like to be in total control and count every calorie, that's me on a good "ideal" healthy day, what a joyful way to live. Anyway, thankyou for your input. I know I really need to accept my body the way it is right now and not be constantly trying to change it (losing weight) before I can get over this. I know that dieting is the worst thing for me yet I seem to start a new one everyday. Any ideas on how to get past the contant need to lose weight to try and eat normal would be helpful. Has anyone tried any kind of medication that helped? It's nice to know I'm not alone in this because that is exactly what I feel, isolated and alone.
Calgirl and Jen, it is so, so good to hear your experiences, I can't tell you. As you said calgirl, it's a very lonely aspect of eating disorders and doesn't get much attention at all, which is why it feels so disgusting and shameful. What you've both said rings so true - it is so impossible to stop whilst trying to lose weight, because it's like the saying 'you want what you can't have'. The more you restrict yourself the more you want something. Bodies probab;y go into starvation mode after a period of heavily restrictive dieting, which is why I feel so out of control when I'm c/s, becuse I've given my body that opportunity to eat what it hasn'#t had in months and mnths, and it gets so desperate for it that I lose control.
The thing is, I want to go to the doctor about it, but what do I say? It's such a difficult thing to talk about, and it's not like tey can do anything anyway. There'll be no magic pill that'll make me not want to do it, it's not down to a physical ailment as such - it's all psychological, which is the hardest type of condition to cure. And about the vacation thing and losing weight - I'm actually visiting America for 5 weeks in two weeks time and am terrified of putting on so much weight becuase of the food Ill be eating - I don't know how to eat healthily in theStates , I 've got this vision of constantly eating pizza, burgers, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, everything that's going to make me balloon - but I might surprise myself, becaue I won't be c/s. I'm going with my best friebnd and we'll be sharing a room every night so there's no way I cn do it then because I'd be too ashamed and too scared of her catching me - and besides, perhaps because Ill be eating differnt food, food that I've restricted myself from, I might not actually put on too much. But isn't it awful to be slightly dreading this amazing holiday travelling round west America becasue I'm so worried abut putting on weight? I put on weight so easily now because my body is so used to a restricted diet that when I do eat substantially it obviously grabs it and stores it up and doesn't let it go.
But I've waffled too long. I'm just so thankful to have people to talk to finally about this. At least we know we're not the only ones.
Calgirl, you're big message was incredibly inspiring, thank you so much. I'm so pleased you're well now and I admire you very much