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BelAnna

Distorted thinking about food and eating

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I've put on more than four stone in the last 18 months and gone from a size 10 to having an obese BMI and a size 16/18. 

I have been on a diet since I was 10 even though I have been slim for several periods of time over the years and was a skinny 10-20 year old.

The thing I'm struggling with most though is that I'm having really strange thoughts about eating and my weight. It's as though I self harm by binge eating on huge quantities of food. Also sometimes I step on the scales and think 'Oh dear I'm X stone 12, oh well I better put on another 2lbs and make it to the next stone up and see how that feels'. These are such strange thoughts and I feel completely out of control! I do keep starting diets and then giving up but then there are times when I think 'I will just try to put on as much weight as possible'.

This also relates to my OCD in that I will eat a set 'number' of foods sometimes. Also the thoughts are intrusive and the binge-eating is a compulsion, although I wouldn't class them as OCD.

Can anyone advise what I should do?

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Figure out what is behind the binge eating. You do it for a reason. What is that?

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Hi BelAnna

I can relate. I went through months of binge eating last year. I put on about a stone in weight. Like you, I was careful to count exactly how many of each item I scoffed. And, again like you, I only stopped once I reached a ‘round (no pun intended!) number on the scales. I’ve since lost the weight and largely steer clear of ‘treats’ now.

14 hours ago, BelAnna said:

I have been on a diet since I was 10

Your issues surrounding food are clearly complex and enduring. I’m not an expert on eating disorders, but I have read that professional intervention can work wonders.

I do believe that our predilection to binge eating and OCD are related. I’m sorry that I don’t have a solution to offer you.

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9 hours ago, PolarBear said:

Figure out what is behind the binge eating. You do it for a reason. What is that?

 

1 hour ago, OceanDweller said:

Hi BelAnna

I can relate. I went through months of binge eating last year. I put on about a stone in weight. Like you, I was careful to count exactly how many of each item I scoffed. And, again like you, I only stopped once I reached a ‘round (no pun intended!) number on the scales. I’ve since lost the weight and largely steer clear of ‘treats’ now.

Your issues surrounding food are clearly complex and enduring. I’m not an expert on eating disorders, but I have read that professional intervention can work wonders.

I do believe that our predilection to binge eating and OCD are related. I’m sorry that I don’t have a solution to offer you.

Thanks so much for your replies Polarbear and OceanDweller,

I think that there are quite a few reasons that I binge eat: the first is that my life feels very empty and pointless and eating makes me feel better;  the second is sort of a self-harm or self-sabotage thing where I'm hurting myself and ruining my future by eating (I do not understand this) and the third is purely a drive/compulsion to eat (possibly driven by lack of serotonin). 

 Ocean, do you now avoid binge-triggering foods altogether? I sometimes think that i need to do that but then sometimes feeling deprived of treats for a few days triggers an even bigger binge (I find it difficult to go for three days without binge eating). 

I definitely do have enduring food-weight issues- I was actually underweight when I started worrying about my weight and even 18 months ago I had a healthy BMI. Weirdly my weight perception is inaccurate in the opposite way to someone with anorexia at the moment because I am obese but cannot properly appreciate that fact! 

I should probably discuss my issues with my Psychologist but I don't want to side-track my OCD treatment and discussing food and weight with a Psychologist when overweight feels a bit wrong!

Edited by BelAnna

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8 minutes ago, BelAnna said:

I should probably discuss my issues with my Psychologist but I don't want to side-track my OCD treatment and discussing food and weight with a Psychologist when overweight feels a bit wrong!

I think your psychologist would like to know all of the big stuff going on in your mind/behaviour. This is an obsessive behaviour with compulsions so definitely explain it. It may hold a key to understanding yourself and your OCD that you can't see on your own. 

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Hi Belanna,

I can sympathise, I have issues around my weight and have done since childhood. I probably was on my first diet or at least became very overweight in my early teens.I have been on and off diets since then, I am 39 now.

I feel when I binge eat it is almost like a compulsion, I eat almost blindly and on autopilot until I feel full I can't say I actually enjoy the binges. I have also had stages of bringing up the food again as I start to panic I will put on weight. Which I know would be classified as bulimia.  The bringing it back up is quite rare, but I am also aware this is a very unhealthy habit.

I have often felt there is a link between OCD and this binging. While I don't always want to round up to an even number or stone on the scales I do sometimes engage in magic numbers, such as eating things in 3's if I am picking at food. 

I tend to find I eat more when anxious  be that through OCD or stresses brought on by life in general. I am guessing that I am comfort eating to some extent too.  I think I also see food as a treat such as a takeaway or crisps etc so feel I am depriving myself if I don't eat them. 

I think I do have an unhealthy relationship with food, Also I have a physical job, and I will go out my way to do extra steps so I can try and justify my food intake when I get home. I like to try and get to 15,000 steps every day at work, which I can sometimes do but I am pushing myself hard to do this to an 'obsessional' level. This leaves me too tired really and I feel run down a lot of the time as I don't let my body rest enough.

I am trying to get a grip on this, but its not always easy. 

I think speaking to your psychologist is the way to go. Maybe they can suggest an intervention that could help.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BelAnna said:

Ocean, do you now avoid binge-triggering foods altogether?

Pretty much. My attitude to alcohol, drugs and chocolate bars has always been ‘why stop at one?!’. It’s safer for me to avoid anything that could be used to fill the hole in my soul.

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