Sunday, 16 December 2012

Liking Food Too Much or Something Deeper?

This week for Losing Weight:

So this week was interesting. I first want to thank all of you who reached out to me and commented on my posts last week or my Facebook link with your support. It honestly means the world to me :)I feel that there is a need for clarity here, I need to get something off my chest seeing as there has been some well-meaning comments that show me that there is still a lack of understanding of my situation. A friend of mine (very close friend) read my post and told me that they are worried about me, oh heck so am I lol that is why I am doing this, but it makes me feel bad that I worry others, I know that due to some health complications I have had with this weight gain, that my husband is worried he will wake to me lying beside him dead of a heart attack or stroke. It really sucks. And I want to get better so that I can stop causing worry and anguish in the lives of people who love and care for me. But how? Well my close friend said this to me: "Losing weight is easy. Exercise + eating right + water + rest = weight loss. The problem is psychological and until you deal with that I don't think anything will work... I think you can do it. I think you just have to figure out why you like food so much."

I agree with all of that. Except for the statement that I need to figure out why I like food so much. It is not so simple and that is what I am trying to explain to everyone who actually cares enough to listen. If it is as simple as exercise + eating right + water + rest, I would be well on my way to losing weight and a healthier lifestyle. Do you think that I enjoy eating the junk and crap that I eat? That I enjoy the nasty feeling afterwards? Or when it makes me sick to my stomach? The only times I feel good about eating psychologically and physically is when I eat a healthy light meal. Trust me! Even chocolate doesn't have its magical hold on me anymore, (except when its the monthlies, totally NEED chocolate during that time lol). But it is not as simple as figuring out why I like food so much. There are two things I want to discuss about this statement:

1. It hurts. I spent this past week figuring out if it hurt because it was true or if it hurt because it wasn't. This is in no way pointed towards the person who said it, they are not the only ones who have said this to me, they are just the most recent person to say it, and I know they meant well, so this is just between me and that statement. It hurts because it is not true, it is only a symptom of a much more complex issue. And it hurts because I know that this is how people see me, as a person who just loves food to the point that I don't care about what it does to me. It says that I have an obsession with food and eating brings me pleasure. This is not the case. I feel like a statement like this takes away from the personal anguish and actual depression that eating like this gives me. I hate looking at pictures of myself, and I hate looking at myself in the mirror, because I don't recognize the person there. This is not brought on by me liking food so much. It is a thousand miles deeper than that. And I wish that people would stop trying to use logic to show me how easy it would be for me to get out of this highly emotional mess. But that is what this blog is for :p lol to try and express exactly what is going through my mind about this. 

2. I have an eating disorder. It is called Binge Eating Disorder. I have been diagnosed by a professional with this disorder. Here is what Paychology Today says about the symptoms of this 

binge-eating disorder is marked by recurrent episodes of extreme overeating not accompanied by compensatory behavior, so those with the disorder are usually overweight to obese. 

Symptoms include: • eating much more rapidly than normal
 • eating until feeling uncomfortably full
 • eating large amounts of food even when not hungry
 • eating alone because of shame or embarrassment over eating behaviour
 • binge-eating occurs at least two days a week for six months or more.

They say that disorders like this are linked to depression and anxiety. Hence this blogs sister focus, finding tranquility. I would like to acknowledge at this point that my husband is the only thing standing between me and a lot of binges that would have happened if he were not around. At times the need to not disappoint him is greater than the need to binge. But a lot of times more than not, the need to binge is greater. Also I should state that there were days this semester that I got to go home from school earlier than him, and at those times, 9 times out of 10 I binged. And I may have lied about it after or just not mentioned it to him. This only adds to that rotten feeling of being an utter failure. Moving on. 

On its causes Psychology Today states this:

Biology is a factor: Appetite control and the regulation of food intake is very complex, with many hormones in the brain and the body contributing to signals of hunger and satiety.Culture is thought to play a significant role, as women, especially, are pressured to fit an ideal of beauty that is increasingly defined by the sole criterion of body weight. 

(this is something I am actually not totally affected by, I don't want a model thin body, I just want a healthy body, my husband finds this one sexy - who knows why lol - so any weight loss on that account would just be a bonus. But I do want to acknowledge that my weight has caused a lot of discrimination as well as acts of actual prejudice towards me, and it is then that I feel the pressure to lose weight come from society and not my own need for a healthy lifestyle) 

Families contribute, too; parents who emphasize looks and/or dieting or criticize their children's bodies are more likely to raise a child who develops an eating disorder. 

(this is something that was prevalent in my pre-teen and teenage years unfortunately, punishment in the form of exercise probably contributed as well).

Other circumstances figure in, too; the conditions can be triggered by stress, social difficulty, loneliness, depression and other unpleasant emotions, or dieting itself.

This disorder is just being recognized as a separate and unique disorder like anorexia and bulimia. How does it compare to just general overeating?

I found an article explaining just that, you can read the full article here, or continue to read if you would like my take on certain the important part of the article.

A group of researchers conducted a new study examining a key difference between these types of eating — feeling a loss of control while eating.What exactly does a loss of control over eating look like? The researchers explained it as:"feeling 'driven' or 'compelled to eat,' feeling 'unable to stop eating once eating had started,' or feeling 'unable to prevent the episode from occurring' ” 

This is the difference between liking food too much and what I have. I have had moments when the food that I want has been denied of me and I have a freak out/panic attack. This is a completely different and harder thing to deal with in my opinion. I eat till I am sick. Heck it used to be that I ate till I was sick and then I went to the doctor saying I was sick all the time and I couldn't figure out why. That is how completely unaware of my issue I was. 

My husband just drove me home from picking up food and was talking yet again about me not having to get everything that I want on the list, as in if we go to 7/11 I pick up a pop, chocolate bar and bag of chips. He tries to encourage me to just get one out of the three, or even just two. But I don't think he realizes how much food is on my mind, how much I fixate on it and how intwined it becomes with my emotions, it goes from "liking food too much" to NEEDING it. My emotions and my choices exasperate him to no end. He doesn't want to drive me to get the food and there are times that he announces that he will not even let me get the food. But once I have fixated on the food, I will do everything in my power to get it. Either I will manipulate him into going, or I will end up having a panic attack. Lately I have been trying to avoid binging by not denying myself of what I want, just controlling the portion I buy, so instead of the big cadbury chocolate bar I always used to get, I get the smaller version. This has helped a little, but as soon as stress hits, this tiny bit of self-control goes out the window. 

Another point that has been made to me by a professional in the field, that still resonates with me, is that I use food to mask emotions, to dull them. I feel emotions so intensely that I need to eat to stop thinking about them. I use food to avoid my emotions. I don't know how to deal with them. If I get frustrated, I clench my teeth and need to hit something - the dashboard, the desk, I have even taken to clapping really hard. I don't know how to calmly explain why I am upset. I cry when I am mad or frustrated too. I feel that I need to learn how to properly handle my emotions, and that this is a big piece of me getting better.

 So eating well is not as easy for me. It is not as simple for me as it is for others, or as simple as it is for my friends who mean well but try to convince me that it is. I am dealing with depression and anxiety and food has become a huge part of that. 

My ultimate goal is to get treatment for this disorder, once I have the tools to handle that it will become (hopefully) a more simple quest to just eat healthy, exercise and lose weight :)

This past week I have been sick so it has been a matter of making sure I put myself first and get healthy, which is hard, because it is still my knee-jerk reaction to put others before me, but I forced it. I did not change my eating habits but I still lost 12 pounds from being sick, and in the past two days of me feeling better (despite the loss of my voice haha) I have gained 4 pounds back. I am currently at 359. 

My goal for this week is to get an appointment with my family doctor to get different things checked up on, like the fact that the times that I try to watch my sugar intake I end up getting hypoglycaemic... just hoping that that doesn't mean diabetes. Although I am sure I am right at the threshold. I also want him to check on my other systems and what not, to make sure that once I get started I am doing it in a healthy way that doesn't undo all my work or make me sick. This to me is the next step in this journey. The one that follows that is finding a psychologist that can help me through this disorder. 

I plan to get better here people. I don't like people worrying about me. I don't like this self-destructiveness that has taken over my life. 

Next week I will talk about why this weight loss is so important to me and all the things I want to do once I lose the weight.  So check back then, I am hoping that post will not be so depressing as this one is :p lol.

This week for Finding Tranquility:

As I said above I want to focus on finding ways to cope with anxiety and depression. 

Today I will focus on anxiety. I have a fear of: heights, balloons, clowns, spiders, loud sounds, bugs... so many I am probably forgetting some, but trust me I don't forget when I am faced with it :p LOL

But the biggest anxiety I am currently faced with is the anxiety of running a successful business, meeting all my clients requirements and needs, because I put a LOT of importance in what I do. I feel that capturing moments of people's lives is not something to take lightly. And it creates anxiety in me when a client feels I am not working fast enough for them, even though I know I am doing my best. I want to run a business but I have worried that my anxiety will get out of control if I jump in with both feet, but finally this year I have decided to dedicate whatever free time I have on developing my business. So for this reason I want to focus today on ways to cope with anxiety. 

One thing I will do is challenge my negative thoughts. I tend to get lost in the whirlwind of them. One big thing I have many negative thoughts about is my portfolio to Concordia. All I can think of is they only accept 50 students, I need to find a way to not think so negatively about my work and about the feeling I have that I will not get in. I need to get myself to a place where I think that even if I don't get in, it doesn't say anything about my worth or talent. I plan to focus on that for this week. Well that and actually sending off the darn thing as well :p LOL

The other thing I will do to try and cope with anxiety is to learn to relax with the use of breath. I am going to put into my phone an alert to remind me to stop what I am doing at a certain time every day this week, I will turn off the computer, and the lights and light a candle. I will spend 5 minutes just concentrating on breathing deeply. I will let you know next week if this has at all affected my anxiety and stress level :) here's hoping!

Thanks again everyone for reading along, like I said your support is greatly appreciated. You guys are the sweetest and nicest bunch :) Let me know what you think about what I have posted this week in the comments below :) I look forward to reading them.


  1. Very brave to be so open and honest!

  2. You will be amazed at the power of the breath. If you feel inclined, youtube some hatha yoga. It's breathing and stretching. It's mostly meditative and concentrates on getting oxygen flowing through your body, more oxygen than you have ever known at one time. <3