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Dealing with food addiction without 12 steps?


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Lostandbroken,

I've had a fair struggle with binge eating for a couple years and although I never really took a targeted treatment approach there were tons of things that heped. First, try to think about reasons that have led you to binge eat or what you get out of it there are heaps of things that direct people to binge eat for example to cope with emotions or distract yourself. For me binge eating was a way to take time, give me something to do, so that I wouldn't be so in tune with the total emptiness a lot of my life has had.

Next, try to think of ways to deal with the reason you've come up with and things to do to meet the same need. To me this was art, writing, and making friends. Once I had found other things to fill make life more fufilling and ways to express myself & my emotions food was knocked off the centerstage and placed closer to where it belonged. It doesn't help to constantly remind yourself "I will not binge" "I will not binge" "I will not binge" because this allows food to stay front and center. Remember that the problem with any addiction isn't the substance itsself but how it's taken control of and occupied our focus so a major goal in recovery is to find new things.

After that it may help to think of triggers for binge eating and how to deal with those, my triggers were being home alone, stress, depression/anxiety, toxic interactions with folks, and so on. How you face these things in the future can have a major impact on being able to recover in the long term, it's incredibly easy to fall back into old patterns trust me. I've done this more than once and enspecially with food it's something to be expected because lets face it you can't cut food totally out of your life and be healthy.

Anyway, that's just what helped here. Something else that can help is having someone to account with about avoiding binge eating who's dealing with the same thing so that you guys can support each other, if you'd like I could be this person just messange me but if not I totally understand. Also seeking counseling can help a lot enspecially to identify faulty thought patterns that are conductive to binge eating and there are tons, for example black and white thinking or seeing things as either one way or the other "I've already messed up eating two pieces of pizza I'd might as well go for the whole thing."

Hope the best mate!

~Jen

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I was trying to think of a response last night because I have suffered from this myself and it's a toughie. I have to say that what broke the cycle for me was OA. I wasn't a particularly religious person at the time, and they didn't preach---so it was a good fit.

Since then, I've just made some rules for myself. Since I can't have "just a little" of certain things, I made rules that I tell myself can't be broken.

1) No pastries, cookies, chips or other junk food is allowed into the house. If I have a craving for one of these, I buy the little 99

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I really like this book! --> "The Diet Cure" by Julia Ross

Very holistic look at the food addiction stuff (which is good bc I am such an addict) and also is written in a kind and sympathetic tone, which is so nice to come by since this stuff is a very sensitive and painful topic.

I'm in the midst of trying some of it out... I think it will help

Peace,

Amanda

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  • 2 years later...

Lostandbroken,

I've had a fair struggle with binge eating for a couple years and although I never really took a targeted treatment approach there were tons of things that heped. First, try to think about reasons that have led you to binge eat or what you get out of it there are heaps of things that direct people to binge eat for example to cope with emotions or distract yourself. For me binge eating was a way to take time, give me something to do, so that I wouldn't be so in tune with the total emptiness a lot of my life has had.

Next, try to think of ways to deal with the reason you've come up with and things to do to meet the same need. To me this was art, writing, and making friends. Once I had found other things to fill make life more fufilling and ways to express myself & my emotions food was knocked off the centerstage and placed closer to where it belonged. It doesn't help to constantly remind yourself "I will not binge" "I will not binge" "I will not binge" because this allows food to stay front and center. Remember that the problem with any addiction isn't the substance itsself but how it's taken control of and occupied our focus so a major goal in recovery is to find new things.

After that it may help to think of triggers for binge eating and how to deal with those, my triggers were being home alone, stress, depression/anxiety, toxic interactions with folks, and so on. How you face these things in the future can have a major impact on being able to recover in the long term, it's incredibly easy to fall back into old patterns trust me. I've done this more than once and enspecially with food it's something to be expected because lets face it you can't cut food totally out of your life and be healthy.

Anyway, that's just what helped here. Something else that can help is having someone to account with about avoiding binge eating who's dealing with the same thing so that you guys can support each other, if you'd like I could be this person just messange me but if not I totally understand. Also seeking counseling can help a lot enspecially to identify faulty thought patterns that are conductive to binge eating and there are tons, for example black and white thinking or seeing things as either one way or the other "I've already messed up eating two pieces of pizza I'd might as well go for the whole thing."

Hope the best mate!

~Jen

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Jen,

Just read your comment on struggling with food addiction. I struggle with food addiction also and would really like someone to email about it for support. I noticed that your comments are several years old. If you read this and are interested, how can I contact you?

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I was trying to think of a response last night because I have suffered from this myself and it's a toughie. I have to say that what broke the cycle for me was OA. I wasn't a particularly religious person at the time, and they didn't preach---so it was a good fit.

Since then, I've just made some rules for myself. Since I can't have "just a little" of certain things, I made rules that I tell myself can't be broken.

1) No pastries, cookies, chips or other junk food is allowed into the house. If I have a craving for one of these, I buy the little 99� bag of potato chips and eat it. But if I don't have bags of peanut butter cups or Oreos, I can't binge on them.

2) No fast food. I either go to a real restaurant, or prepare my food at home.

3) No sugar soda, Gatorade, lemonade or sweet tea. The only drinks I have are black coffee, water, seltzer, and skim milk (or soy milk). Oh, and one glass or wine a day. heh (For some reason, alcohol doesn't tempt me at all. Go figure).

4) No convenience foods unless they're organic/natural/good-for-you stuff. I sometimes want something quick for dinner, so I have rice mixes from Seeds for Change, and pasta mixes from Annnie's. Other than that, cooking from scratch helps me a lot. If I want a pizza, it's a helluva lot of work to make one. I don't eat pizza from the greasy/salty places.

I have no idea if this is helpful to you. If you really feel at the end of your rope, maybe try OA again? I met a lot of good-hearted people who really held out a helping hand to me when I needed it.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

olga

As a person who has struggled with bingeing all my life and who has now maintained my weight at 180 for now many years I would like to say everything Olga says is also true for me. One thing i would add is my decision long ago to create a diet that is nutritious and tasty and that contians the calories i need to maintain a weight that I CHOOSE. This has worked for me so well, but it takes a kind of compulsion because one needs computer software (free) and a plan of what you will eat.

Anyways my experience has been create a set diet for maintaining the weight you desire and say a blessing everyday-"Thanks lord for all this beautiful nutrtious and tasty food that is given me to enjoy"

Another trick is to allow yourself a binge-but you must earn your binge. So when you go below your desired weight by say 2 lbs. then give yourself a day to enjoy as much as you want of your favorite junk!

Colin

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