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    Binge eating
    angelgreen posted:
    I have come close to my goal weight of 140 twice this year. My problem is binge eating. My diet is perfect, exercise perfect, all going along well, and then my husband has a night shift and I find myself alone in the house. I've been a binge eater all my life. This pattern comes and goes, but once it gets started, it is soooo hard to stop. I'm an addict. The idea of a binge will start forming in my head and it gains momentum until nothing short of being locked up can keep me from it. Then I wake up with a food hangover, depressed and full of remorse. It is the definition of insanity. I am now 56 and still find myself stuck in binging patterns that can last for several months. Am I just weak and despicable? Will I ever be able to stop this vicious pattern for good?
    mich721 responded:
    I really sympathize with you and appreciate your honesty! Sounds like you've struggled most of your life. I am in my early 50's and am close to my goal weight of 135 (again). I know that remorseful feeling of binge guilt you describe,but I don't suffer as severe addiction as in your case (I consider myself fortunate). However, losing weight and keeping it off in the 50's is harder to do than any other age. What I am trying now, are these key factors:( I know you already do these things,but sometimes I get lax.) So here is what I do:1. Along with water I drink green tea. 2.Read labels and get 25 gr of fiber per day. 3.Cut back on meat and substitute for salmon and tuna.4. Mostly eat fruits and veggies. 5 When I feel a desperate need to binge, I eat a bag of popcorn ( a whole grain and has fiber). Good Luck!!
    scar_amber responded:
    I'm 18, just finished my first year of college. I lost about 20 pounds during the school year going from 140 to 120 with working out and starting to pay attention to my diet. However, I definiitely have gotten to the point of being way too obsessive over my weight. I have gained 10 pounds since i have been home from binge eating.. I'll wait til my family goes to bed and then everything in sight is eaten until i can't eat anymore. i've tried so many times to 'start fresh' with watching my calories, but every night it's the same. i eat waaaay too much. I'm with you, I feel like I can't break out of the cycle.
    angelgreen replied to mich721's response:
    Thanks for your kind reply.
    angelgreen replied to scar_amber's response:
    I have battled with this since childhood. I turned to food when I didn't get the love I needed in a difficult family situation. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I thought I was some kind of freak, and it escalated in college. I took some time off from school and started going to OA. It isn't a "cure," but it gave me the realization that I wasn't alone for the first time in my life. It released me from the terrible shame and secrecy, and I had people to talk to. I was fortunate to find a great group of people who were more spiritually oriented in the program, rather than "food focused." No discussion of dieting or food was allowed. I strongly recommend that you check out some groups NOW, while your binging pattern is still young. If nothing else, it may provide you with the precious gift of self-forgiveness and the ability to move on regardless of binges. the self-loathing that comes with this illness (if you want to call it that) only sets you up for the next binge. Also, I find that giving myself permission to eat lots of healthy food, rather than "dieting" per se, takes away the craving. I've gone years without binging-- I mean the secret, planned intake of enormous quantities of food-- however, I will probably always be vulnerable to this addiction. It's important to stop before the pattern becomes deep. More important to love yourself no matter what. Thank you so much for responding to my own plea for help. Saying these words to you, helps me so much to remember what I've learned, and you have helped me more than you know! Write me back if you like. I'm with you, too.
    scar_amber replied to angelgreen's response:
    Thank YOU so much for responding to me! When I first started to think I had a problem with food I got into a huge slump. Every night I would wonder what was wrong with me why I couldn't stop eating. I still think that but I am trying to be more forgiving of myself. That's all thanks to people like you! If I hadn't started researching this feeling of not being able to control my eating, it helped SO much to see that other people were going through the same thing. I'm trying to be patient and reverse these patterns. I don't want to struggle with this.. I want a normal relationship with food. How did you go about finding the groups that you had joined? Again, thank you sooo much
    angelgreen replied to scar_amber's response:
    You can google overeaters anonymous and look for meetings in your area. Just check a few out. You will know when the fit is right. There are so many wonderful people in the program who will understand completely what you're going through. For me, I couldn't be with a group that had a very rigid mindset around food and what they call abstinence. Abstinence means different things to different people in the program. For me it simply means abstinence from compulsively overeating. In my case, that was always a binge, so it was pretty clear cut. I think it's important to go to lots of meetings at first, to use the spiritual and human connection to grow and understand yourself better, Draw on the strength of the group and a sponsor for a while, until you have broken your binging pattern for at a year or so. Then use the tools you've learned and go back to meetings if you run into trouble. It is a very physical addition- carbs and sugar. It sets up a cycle of craving. Breaking your isolation and taking advantage of the opportunities for spriritual growth can start you on a new path. Many people find themselves in these programs if they are wide open and listen. They move on to make a difference in the world. In any kind of addiction, the odds are bad, but ignore that. They are the only odds we've got and fortunately food is not as dangerous as drugs or alcohol. However, often one addiction connects to another. I digress. The point is you can always go back to meetings when you're having trouble again and get yourself back on track. Exercise, for me, is one key to success, along with service. Doing for others. I am so glad that you wrote because I needed to hear my own words of advice and take heed. Food can make you forget what you have learned. I do know how I can help myself. Thanks to you ! Write me any time. It helps me, too.

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