I don't know whether this is the right place for me to be but I feel like I have a problem and wondered whether anyone else is the same as me?
I am not sure how to explain it but I am obsessed with food. I should point out that I am not huge, I am a UK size 12 but I feel very unhappy with how I look. However I don't seem to be able to do anything about it. I know - the answer is to eat less and exercise more but I just can't stop eating and I don't know how to resolve it.
I don't snack. I eat 3 meals per day but those meals are often bad for me or too large. I love cheesy, creamy, fried foods. I try to avoid them wherever possible but often I indulge. I use any opportunity as an excuse to eat something unhealthy - for example if I am going shopping then I can go to the food court or if I am late home then I get a takeaway. Even though on both of these occasions there may be a healthy option I always eat something high in calories.
I always clear my plate. I can be so full that it hurts and I will still clear my plate if I possibly can. If I clear my plate and someone else has left something I will almost not be able to concentrate until it has been cleared away because I want to eat it. Sometimes, if I know the person well, I will finish their food as well.
I eat more than my husband - other couples I know serve a larger portion for the man and smaller for the woman, for us we have the same size portion but I finish his as well if he leaves some.
If I feel like I have nobody to answer to, such as if my husband is away on business, I will eat takeaway or cook high calorie foods almost every night.
I never lose my appetite. Every emotion is an excuse to eat - if I am happy then I eat, if I have something to celebrate then I want to go for a meal or get takeaway, if I am sad then I feel that I should treat myself and therefore eat.
If I want something unhealthy and deny myself then it makes me angry rather than feeling good about being strong. I feel that it is unfair that I struggle with weight whereas other people seem to be slim effortlessly. Even though I know that it is all my own fault that I am like this instead of being slim like them.
When I am eating I am happy but afterwards I feel guilty and hate myself for being so weak. I have never made myself sick and don't feel like I ever would - I almost feel like some days I am bulimic but without the vomiting!
The stupid thing is that I know exactly how to lose weight, I am clued up on which foods are good for me, I have time to exercise. I know that the only person who is responsible for my eating is me but I just can't change. I have said so many times that I am going on a diet and have failed that now I assume I will fail before I have even started.
I don't hide my eating - I am well known for having a very healthy appetite.
I just don't know what to call my 'problem' or even if it is a problem, maybe I am just greedy. But I want to change. I want to enjoy food without the obsession. I want it to no longer be a huge effort to eat healthily.
Has anyone else been like this and has managed to change? I feel like there can't be anyone else like me. Many people I know enjoy food but not like me, they can leave food on their plate when they are full, they are not constantly thinking about where their next meal is coming from and whether they have an excuse to eat out or get takeaway.
Sorry for the very long post, it is difficult to explain unless I describe everything in full.
It sounds like you try to restrict your food (as in, you think "I should eat this, I shouldn't eat that") but then inevitably fail. I say inevitably because it IS inevitable.
It's like with kids, if you tell a kid not to run on the grass then ten to one they will go and run on the grass.
If you tell yourself not to eat chocolate, or takeout, then most likely you will. Your body thinks you're depriving it, and so goes mad.
You say you never snack - I would suggest trying it. It may be partly that you are having big breaks between eating (if you're only eating three times a day then likely there are 6-8 hours between meals). This means that your body will get really low on immediate energy (generally known as blood sugar), and you will over eat at your next meal because your body is in a panic. Try eating a little something every 2-3 hours - eat a handful of nuts, some fruit, a cereal bar, some crackers and cheese.
And... and this is the most important part, eat slowly and really taste every bite of food that you put into your mouth. Really taste it, think about what you're eating, think about how it makes your body feel and enjoy it.
Another thing I would recommend is that you read the book "Intuitive Eating", I think it's by Evelyn Tribole, it totally changed my relationship with food for the better. Dieting doesn't work, but if you can learn to listen to your body and to love yourself for who you are, then you will be a far far happier person.
An eating disorder is more about your relationship with food and eating, as wellas a lack of being able to listen to and respond to your natural hunger signals.
You implied that you constantly think about where your next meal is coming from.
You say "I will almost not be able to concentrate until it (the food) has been cleared away because I want to eat it."
You say, "I am obsessed with food."
You say, "When I am eating I am happy but afterwards I feel guilty and hate myself for being so weak."
You say, "I want to enjoy food without the obsession."
And it doesn't sound as though you are eating to nurture your body, your mind is kind of running the show even when your body is screaming at you, saying that it is really full.
It's perfectly ok for you to reach out for help from a counselor or other professional that is trained in helping people with eating disorders. It's pretty normal for you to feel like you can't make a change for yourself all by yourself. There are even group therapy meetings you can probably go to, where you will meet others who feel just like you. Your feelings might not be "normal", in terms of non-disordered eating goes, but they definitely aren't unique, particularly in the world of disordered eating.
Getting guidance now will help you work through the issues at hand. Don't be shy about asking for some help.
I feel the way you described, too. I will binge in secret but with others only eat "healthy" foods. When I do have a binge, I can't stop and the effects involve terrible emotions and sometimes even purging. Many times, though I forget about my eating disorder and do as I believe a normal person would. But most of the time I end up eating until I am overly full and it sucks.
I think we need to find a way to make ourselves feel better without compulsive overeating. I just don't know how.
Last edited by Elizabeth12398; 07-10-2012 at 08:05 PM.