Emotional Eaters and Being at Peace with Food - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 03-29-2012, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a quote from Veggiemommy in the oroginal thread:

 

 

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I have seen some other threads relating this but I was wanting to start a fresh thread and BEG that people that respond steer clear of talking about diets or weighing themselves etc. as I was hoping to have a thread where those of us wanting to be at peace with food can come and exchange ideas/tips/revelations and encourage each other. There are plenty of other diet type threads if you prefer to go that route but I KNOW that there is a way to get/be healthy and have a healthy relationship with food rather than obsessing about it and trying the latest diets etc. but it IS a lot of work (as mainly it is NOT about the food--but about the other things in your life that need work and you are likely just using food to calm yourself or to stuff down your emotions) and it is definitely not a fast fix but I think it will be SO worth it in the long run.
 

 

 

I would love to see this kind of discussion started again.

 

I know for me, I have emotional and mental issues with food. Not just eating when I am feeling particularly emotionally vulnerable, but also using food as something for me so that in the midst of everything else I do (work 40 hrs a week, commute, 4 kids, partner, house renos etc) I have something thats a constant. Plus for me, I am dealing with a recently diagnosed mental health issue - and food is a great control tool, its something I can always control: good or bad.

 

I know there must be other people here on MDC who are struggling with the same sorts of issues and Id love to have a discussion about it - share with eachother, and maybe learn a thing or too!


Lindsay: DS#1 (06/06) DD#1 (09/07) DS#2 (10/08) DD#2 (06/09). AND A BABY DUE NOVEMBER 2013

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#2 of 55 Old 04-01-2012, 03:26 PM
 
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I haven't read any of the old thread...but I am very interested in this discussion.

 

I have struggled with my weight my whole life.  I really recommend the book Mindful Eating.  It was recommended to me by my therapist.  It gave me the confidence to stop dieting in 2009.

 

Unfortunately, I don't know how great of of contributor I would be to this thread.  Over the last six months my weight has really skyrocketed and am now at my very heaviest...:(  I definitely have not made any peace with food over the last 3 years.

 

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#3 of 55 Old 04-01-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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this is exactly the kind of discussion i've been looking for!

 

I second the Mindful Eating recommendation. Great book, by Jan Chozen Bays. I'm going to start re-reading it tonight!

 

I've had my fair share of food issues (joined my mom on fad diets since i was a pre-teen and then dealt with full blown eating disorder from ages 18-21) but the entire year before i got pregnant up until my son was born (4 months ago) i had a very peaceful, no-stress, healthy and happy relationship with food.

 

Recently though...it's that darned baby weight. I gained 40+ pounds while pregnant and last I checked a few days ago I'm still 10 pounds away from my pre-preg weight. I didn't think i'd care as much as I do because, like my husband has told me many times, I'm not a girl anymore! I'm a woman who's sustaining the life of a child. So of course I need a bit more meat on my bones. but...lately i find myself obsessing over losing those ten pounds, and then as a result i end up overeating and stressing about what i'm eating. vicious cycle. if i wasn't as stressed about losing weight, i probably wouldn't overeat and then i'd eventually lose a few more pounds. but i can't seem to relax and just listen to my inner hunger!

 

I have a theory: when i get into "diet/weight loss" mode I automatically start thinking of every day as my "last chance" to eat cake/chocolate/extra dinner/more food than I need etc. I'm constantly thinking "ok, i'll start tomorrow". So here I am on a sunday night, totally satisfied from dinner and NOT HUNGRY but i eat a few random snacks strictly because tomorrow i'm going to start being really good with my eating. so i better get it in now! before it's too late!

 

anyone else have this issue? how can i get it into my head that i don't live in a "feast or famine" time and that moderation is the key - not a weekend of terrible eating followed by a week of salads...

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#4 of 55 Old 04-02-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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I am dieting, but I'll leave all of that talk for another thread.  One of my overall goals for the next few years is to make some real strides at making peace with my body and food.  It's a big goal, and it really seems impossible right now.

 

I have a very vivid memory of coming home from school one day, I must have been in 5th or maybe 6th grade.  My mother handed me a piece of pie.  How exciting.  Pie, for no reason.  We were usually on her latest health-food experiment, so pie was a real treat.  I was about halfway through the piece of pie when she told me my cat had died that day. 

Experiences similar to that were pretty typical for me as a child and as a young person.  So I think it's not unexpected that I developed food issues.

 

But I'd like to leave them behind now.  I especially do not want to pass these same issues on to my daughter.

 

 


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#5 of 55 Old 04-02-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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okay so this morning while eating breakfast i realized something: i KNOW how to be at peace with food and be a mindfull eater and blah blah blah...but motherhood makes it nearly impossible! someone tell me how i'm supposed to sit quietly for 20 minutes, with no distractions and chew my food 20 times per bite for each meal????????????????????????????????????????? since DS has been born it's more like eat as fast as you can while standing up or nursing or making dinner for husband. not trying to put the blame elsewhere for my lack of peaceful eating, but i seriously feel like this is a big reason why i've been so "off" with food lately. because i'm eating so fast and while distracted, i'm just not getting fully satisfied at each meal and so i'm constantly searching for something to satisfy my tummy/mouth.

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#6 of 55 Old 04-02-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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Oh yes.  When I worked I was lucky to get 10 minutes to eat.  At home we eat in front of the TV.  (Oh, the humanity!)

Daughter was just cleared for takeoff on big-human food, so I implemented the family dinner rule.  Husband and I, we are going to HATE IT!  But, it will be good for all of us.  Maybe sitting still while I eat and having chit-chat will result in more peace with my food too.  Here's hoping! 


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#7 of 55 Old 04-02-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear you on the food and tragic news front Mrs.Gregory! Growing up food was always a comforter. Media even tells us that as women to make us happy, or to show us one loves us, or when we are depressed that chocolate is the answer. Food is so closely linked to what is supposed to make us feel better. How is it possible to not continue that link into adulthood?

 

Im on a restriction diet now..I know I know...its bad. Im trying to restrict my calories to 1400-1500 - my girlfriend wants to try this, so I am doing it with her. Since starting my cravings for the "bad" stuff have gone through the roof. I used to have the best willpower, and lately..I just want to cheat all the freaking time.

 

 


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#8 of 55 Old 04-03-2012, 05:47 AM
 
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poiyt, The funny thing is, it didn't make me feel better.  I can still recall how it went from tasting good to being completely disgusting, and it was still in my mouth.  I knew better than to spit it out, but I didn't want to take a next bite.  My mother was urging me to eat, and I really, really, really didn't want to.  To this day there is a threshold I cross in terms of being sick, or upset, and once I'm over it, eating is out of the question.  I can't swallow.  I am convinced I'll vomit.


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#9 of 55 Old 04-03-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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I want so badly not to put food issues onto my daughter, but I know my mom didn't really want to do that either though.  And she, herself, never had any issues with weight or food...

 

Growing up she worked a lot.  When she did have a night off we would celebrate and have junk food and movies.  I have always associated happiness and comfort with junk food. 

 

And I agree being a mom makes it tough.  Not so much eating on the run, for me.  But I have problems with being home with the kids and sugar as being the one fun, enjoyable thing I can have for myself.  I know for certain I have a sugar addiction.

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#10 of 55 Old 04-03-2012, 04:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post
But I have problems with being home with the kids and sugar as being the one fun, enjoyable thing I can have for myself.


 

oh my oh my. i hear ya. after a long draining/exhausting day of taking care of an infant, i honestly  want to do nothing more than some mindless eating in front of the tv. i honestly feel like i "deserve" a big bowl of chocolate/popcorn/cereal/icecream etc.

 

just now that i'm thinking of it, here are some ideas of what else i can reward myself with after a long day:

 

  • a bath
  • a cup of tea and a book
  • a walk by myself
  • a little solo shopping trip (even if it's just for groceries)

 

any other ideas??

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#11 of 55 Old 04-04-2012, 06:18 AM
 
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Can an experienced intuitive eater tell me, are all meals to be taken quietly, at the table or without distraction?  Or just the big meal?

For example, should I be aiming to eat breakfast at the table as well as lunch and dinner?

 

This seems so... lazy to me.  I grew up eating while doing something else except at dinner.  Sitting down for breakfast is just...  odd to me.  Shouldn't I be paying bills?  Or at least watching the news???

 

 


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#12 of 55 Old 04-04-2012, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do the same Mrs Gregory. I only sit for dinner. But I plan out my meals and snacks before hand. For breakfast I try to eat what I have planned for breakfast (a low calorie thing as thats what Im trying right now), and I always stop and savour the first bite, but after that its a rush to get myself and my kids fed and up and then I have to leave for work. I eat my lunch while I work, as well as snacks. But..they are all pre planned so I am not mindlessly eating while doing those things yk? I think its okay to eat on the go - it is the type of society most of us live in - but we have to make sure it is with intent and purpose.


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#13 of 55 Old 04-04-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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I recommended the wrong book!  I meant to recommend Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch.  that is the one recommended by my therapist.  I guess I should check out Mindful Eating too...:)

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#14 of 55 Old 04-04-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post

I recommended the wrong book!  I meant to recommend Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch.  that is the one recommended by my therapist.  I guess I should check out Mindful Eating too...:)



i've read both and they're both good. Mindful eating has a cd with meditation exercises on it which i reeeeeally liked.

 

i think the idea is to eat undistracted as often as you can (as i sit here typing while eating lunch!). but as poiyt said, we live in a society where that's nearly impossible. so just your best. for me, even if i'm doing something else during a meal, i try to stop once in a while, take a break and then have another "first" bite.

 

 

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#15 of 55 Old 04-04-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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I have this issue too, and I beleive that motherhood makes it SO much harder to be aware of yourself. I bought 4 different books on emotional eating from amazon last year (I read the reviews to see which ones might be best suited to me). I really liked 3 of the four books (all by different authors). The one I refer to and still re-read when I am way off balence is "But I Deserve this Chocolate" by susan albers. I think I really needed the content of some of the other books because they went deeper into the roots of emotional eating and such, but this book is a book of 50 excuses and how to derail them, so it is great for ongoing reference for bad days. If I can find the other books, I will post the titles as well, but we are mid-move and I am not sure where they are at the moment.

 

The other thing I find helpful when I get a "craving" is to drink some water and ask myself if this is true hunger, or if I am trying to fill a void or an emotional empty spot with food. This helps me decide what to do. I also read in prevention magazine about the 3 bite rule - I like to use this rule. Basically, I can have any food I want, nothing is off limits. But for foods that are unhealthy, I stick to 3 bites - they are slow, lingering, deliberate, consentrating bites and that makes the 3 bites as satisfying as eating a much larger amount.


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#16 of 55 Old 04-05-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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barefootmama - love the 3 bite rule!!! that is a useful, realistic, do-able tool i can use. thanks for sharing!

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#17 of 55 Old 04-05-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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sure!  Thats what I thought when I read about it.  I hate calorie counting, point counting, measuring of any kind.  The more tedious the system, the more trapped I feel and the more I "rebel" against the system and tend towards emotional eating and binging - yuck!  Plus, I have two little ladies to keep me busy, I don't need extra things to monitor.  I find the 3 bite rule very liberating, but also effective. I am trying to loose weight without actually dieting.  Infact, getting of the dieting/gaining cycle is one of my primary goals.  I am trying to find out what a real healthy weight is if I stick to mostly healthy eating, and stay active, without getting crazy about it and burning myself out. 


Married to the love of my life partners.gif (career navy), and Mama to 2 amazing little ladies - K~ (03/2009)blahblah.gif and M~ (01/2011)biggrinbounce.gif always to wish I had gotten to know our little ones lost angel1.gif angel1.gif angel1.gif   Reconfiguring my career track and working hard to keep my sanity through it all . . .

 

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#18 of 55 Old 04-07-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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I am a recovering binge eater. I have very recently made peace with where I am at. It has been one of my more difficult things to deal with in my life.

http://www.amazon.com/Ways-Soothe-Yourself-Without-Food/dp/1572246766/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333840310&sr=1-12 this book has been helpful to me.

 

Most days I find other ways to deal with my emotions, whatever they may be, but I do still binge and I have learned to make peace with it.

 

My goal right now is to be kind to myself at all times. Yes, I am making peace.

 

I wouldn't mind discussing this more.


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#19 of 55 Old 04-07-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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I am trying several different things to get my body into the shape and weight I need to be to be healthy.

 

Late night is so hard for me. The past few years have been rough emotionally and I don't want to rehash the events anymore! Once the kids are in bed and I'm finally alone, binge eating is easy to do. The memories and emotions come surging in the evenings. Either that, or I'm tired and can't fend them off as easily.  I'm struggling, now that I'm *really* making an effort, adjusting to accepting the yucky feelings. Allowing myself to feel sad, angry, lonely and just be present in those emotions.

 

I also binge when my kids are with their dad. I can usually hold off if it is just one night. I don't know how to deal with the two nights w/o eating, I get depressed. I've just signed up for a few activities at my church to do when they are at their dad's so hopefully staying busy outside the home will help.

 

The past few nights I've skipped emo eating by breathing through it.

 

 

Putting the books mentioned above on hold. Thanks.


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#20 of 55 Old 04-09-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Vermontgirl - what did you find useful about that book? I have heard reviews by other people that they thought it was condescending sounding. I dont have a lot of time to read so I like to get all the info I can before diving into a book.


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#21 of 55 Old 04-10-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post


My goal right now is to be kind to myself at all times.



I like this goal!

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#22 of 55 Old 04-19-2012, 02:20 PM
 
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hey everyone. Wanted to get this conversation started again.

 

The other day I realized that over the past couple months, I've slowly become more and more "diet minded". Counting calories, making up a new rule to follow every other day. It actually started when I did a two week elimination diet to see what I was eating that was upsetting LO's tummy. After restricting most foods for so long I kind of kept at it and before I knew it I was overeating "good" foods to compensate for my elimination of "bad" foods. Dumb! When will i realize that dieting just doesn't work??? (for me at least). The real kicker is that I've gained 4 pounds since I started going all food-nazi on myself.

 

So enough of that. For the past week I have just totally relaxed around food. I still don't eat wheat or dairy (because those are what makes LO grumpy) but everything else is ok again. I generally don't eat "junk" food and packaged foods aren't even in the house, so I'm trusting that by eating the normal, healthy way I do, my body will naturally acheive it's best weight for me right now. It's a tough truth to accept because I'd like my body to be ten pounds lighter, but i'm breastfeeding a 5 month old and being a size 2 just isn't realistic for me. nor is it healthy.

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#23 of 55 Old 04-20-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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I am wondering if anyone else has issues with sugar?  I would easily call what I have an addiction.

 

tanyato, I totally get what you mean by eating more when you feel deprived.  When I try to cut sugar out of my diet I compensate by eating other carbs and lots of fat.  But my problem is if I don't deprive myself, I will just devour all the sugar there is in the house. 

 

Over the last two years of not dieting, I have gone from around 180 to 205 pounds.  :(  I feel very stuck.

 

I am thinking of getting back with my therapist.

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#24 of 55 Old 04-21-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post

I am wondering if anyone else has issues with sugar?  I would easily call what I have an addiction.

 

i definitely have an addiction to chocolate:) i have to have some every single freaking day. i'm not even that picky about the quality, which is pathetic because let's be honest, there is some crap chocolate out there.

 

i think the sugar addiction is very very common though. there are books out there about it! in all setriousness, it really is an addiction. sugar is scary stuff. it messes with our body chemistry. i can't think of a book right now, but i'll find it online and reply later. gtg, baby's awake!!

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#25 of 55 Old 04-23-2012, 05:58 AM
 
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There is some crap chocolate out there.  I recommend refusing to eat it, and sticking to the really, really good stuff.  I'm ridiculous like that.  It's fun to keep family and friends guessing as to which chocolate is now the minimum standard chocolate. 

 

I don't know thing #1 about intuitive eating...  I'm still a work at the beginning of progress... but I think I am working on being OK with my assorted addictions.  I think at this point in my life my vices are less harmful to me than the process on working to rid myself of all of my vices, if that makes sense.  But I do want to keep those vices from becoming a problem.  I want to spend a month not counting every bite and analyzing what combination of calories and macronutrients will result in the most fat loss possible for me.

 

I am comfortable with myself, to a point.  Right now I am still in the "I am too fat." mindset, although my "I am OK, this is normal for me." point is higher than it was in the past.  I recognize that in the past I was too hard on myself.  I never think I'm being too hard on myself in the present.  Part of me wishes I had someone to entrust this to, part of me thinks I need to learn to do this on my own.

 


 


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#26 of 55 Old 04-28-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post

I am wondering if anyone else has issues with sugar?  I would easily call what I have an addiction.

 

tanyato, I totally get what you mean by eating more when you feel deprived.  When I try to cut sugar out of my diet I compensate by eating other carbs and lots of fat.  But my problem is if I don't deprive myself, I will just devour all the sugar there is in the house. 

 

 

Yes!! I definitely have huge issues with sugar. I'm feeling really frustrated with myself lately because I've been trying to cut down on how much sugar I eat, and I just can't! I tried to go a week without refined sugar and I found myself obsessing about it, and eating tons of carbs, fat, and "natural" sugars instead. I was literally eating spoonfulls of peanutbutter out of the jar.

 

I generally eat way more carbs than I'd like to ( I basically live on PB&J) and not nearly as many veggies as I should. So much of it has to do with being busy and tired....I  just grab quick fuel sources (carbs, sugar, caffeine, fat) when I feel my energy tanking, and then an hour or two later, I'm back to feeling exhausted and hungry. I'm actually relatively content with my weight and my figure, but I feel like I'm failing myself nutritionally, and creating some unhealthy eating patterns.

 

We're going to start TTC again pretty soon, so I'm hoping that will be enough motivation to get me back on track nutritionally. I had an easy, healthy pregnancy with my first (he's now 2) and I think my diet really helped. But now that I'm a mother of a very active, high needs toddler, I find I'm so exhausted and busy I don't have the time or energy to focus on eating right. 


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#27 of 55 Old 04-29-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsGregory View Post

 

I think at this point in my life my vices are less harmful to me than the process on working to rid myself of all of my vices, if that makes sense.  

 

 

yes! In school (to become a holistic nutritionist) studied a little bit about orthorexia, which is an obsession with healthy eating/clean eating, that type of thing. i truly feel that even though I KNOW soda is bad for me (and caffeinated soda is worse) it's better for me -mentally- to have a cola once a week. it's much better to have a sugar and caffeine loaded soda once a week than live on diet coke (which is what i did for about a year when i was 20...yikes). it's so nice to let go, enjoy something "bad" every once in a while and just...MOVE ON! 

 

 

 

 

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#28 of 55 Old 04-30-2012, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Im still on the counting calories thing...hoping that maybe having a challenge to live up to will make me stick to it...well after the first 5 weeks, I did lose 10lbs (the medication I am on has caused me to gain 65 in a year, YIKES!, but now nothing. I have plateued and now I am wondering what is holding me up - that maybe its mental. I think about food quite frequently, not to much the eating of it - but the taste of it, and how good it is. I have a huge problem with restricting myself because in my mind life is too short to not enjoy it, but if I give in than I wont enjoy the health of my body. Its very conflicting.


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#29 of 55 Old 05-09-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Wow. I can relate to everything you are all saying.  


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#30 of 55 Old 05-15-2012, 09:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poiyt View Post

I have a huge problem with restricting myself because in my mind life is too short to not enjoy it, but if I give in than I wont enjoy the health of my body. Its very conflicting.

gah! the balance!!! sooo hard to find. I'm right there with you. I think "indulging" is good (even healthy) to do once in a while (once a week maybe? still trying to decide) but stopping before i feel ill should be essential to the indulgence. it's when i go overboard - that's the problem.

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