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Old 11-03-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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leegaya HB User
Help, Chew and Spit while studying

Hi. I am in crisis mode right now, freaking out. All advice is appreciated.
Here is the main point:
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO:
-stop chew and spit
-BREAK THE HABIT OF EATING/CHEWING WHILE STUDYING

I have always had a bad habit of eating while studying. It seems to be the ONLY thing that helps me focus. I've been doing it in one form or another for about four years now, and I desperately need to stop. Here's why:

I have struggled with eating disorders since I was about 16, at which point I was about 5-10 lbs. overweight. At first I tried dieting, which didnt really work, and then bingeing and purgeing, which is when the "bingeing" part really started.(and also as a result of dieting). I was only able to overcome bulimia when I developed enough "discipline" to not overeat, but this quickly led to anorexia. That period lasted about six months until I was hospitalized. Since then, I have been going through "recovery". But its not quite that simple...

Even when I was anorexic, I always ate while studying, though usually just celery, and essentially nothing else when I wasn't studying. Obviously this has been a habit for a while. Even during recovery, when I was eating very large meals, I still associated food with studying. The work and the stress got harder throughout my senior year of high school, which led me to binge regularly, though on very low-calorie foods, preventing me from gaining a lot of weight (until I ran out and had to resort to unhealthier foods). This whole cycle, (especially the thought of eating so many calories and being out of control) brings me more stress, making it harder for me to focus and makign me want to binge more.
Then in high school I discovered chew and spit. While this seemed to be a perfect solution to the problem (no weight gain, no overeating, no throwing up), it has quickly occupied my life. I spend all my time hoarding vegetables to binge or to cookies from the dining hall to chew and spit. I am now in college and find myself not making friends because I "save all my calories" for when I'm studying and dont eat meals with them. I have even developed a way to hoard cookies from the dining hall and chew and spit in the library. This has strengthened this association between food and studying even more. In addition to tricking my mind into thinking that I'm eating, it has become the only way that I can cope with the stress and boredom during studying.

Here's the thing. I haven't wanted to lose weight since I was hospitalized. MY BIGGEST FEAR IS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL, and this fear has only gotten WORSE because of this strengthened food/studying association.

Recently, I have lost too much weight, and I have a weigh-in soon, which means I need to get my weight back up. I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for me to learn to eat "normally" and make friends in the process. But the habit is so hard to kick. And every time I don't let myself chew and spit I end up having huge binges and feeling out of control, and also not getting any work done because of all the stress and anxiety of bingeing. Its an awful cycle.

And if things aren't complicated enough already, I have also just started a relationship with a boy, who only knows me at my current weight (which is more than five pounds under where I need to be). I'm afraid that his opinion of me will change if I gain weight too quickly.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO:
-stop chew and spit
-BREAK THE HABIT OF EATING/CHEWING WHILE STUDYING

The second one is obviously the bigger concern. It seems to underly most of my other problems. I just wish I could eat only when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I'm willing to gain weight, as long as it means developing a BALANCEd and HEALTHY lifestyle, getting rid of this association, and GETTING MY WORK DONE so I don't have THAT stress as well.

Again, I'm panicking big time. I feel stressed, anxious, lonely, and my self esteem is at its lowest. Any advice, as soon as possible, would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

 
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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Re: Help, Chew and Spit while studying

Hello leegaya and welcome.

It appears that throughout your times of disordered eating,one method was being substituted for another.

This would be best explored with a therapist that specializes in eating disorders.
Please realize that it may also mean the consideration of implementing medication into your daily regimen,to help control the impulsive behaviors.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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