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Thread: Calling any recovered EDs - I need som help with binge-fast-binge cycle page 2

  1. #11
    VacillateWildly's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    If you have binged 4 times this week how are you still so skinny? Do you starve yourself to make up for the binges? If you are underweight your body might be signaling for you to binge because it thinks you are starving. You might want to try to increase your daily calories and see if that helps.
    I think I'm so skinny because I's genuinely lean. I'm far from underweight though. I don'y starve myself at all and I have eaten well 99% of the time. Missing breakfast is my way of compensating for the binge. I skipped it today. I definiely don't want to increase my calories, I might need to eat more meat though and more fat. If I put on weight I'll suffer mentally even more.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackieKessler View Post
    I'm a former bulimic. Got that under control years ago, but my weight (and health) were not good for a long time (overweight; not healthy). Last summer, I found MDA and went primal in August, kept with it until the end of November, then hit the wall. Went back to SAD. Tried to rein it in once January rolled around, but then major work-related stress happened, and then something in my personal life completely derailed beginning at the end of February, keeping the tension at a murderous level until the end of April. Since then, I've been picking up the pieces. I've been dabbling with returning to primal since May, and even started the Whole 30 at the start of June.

    And here's where it ties into your thread.

    For the first two weeks of Whole 30, I was doing OK. Low-carb flu, low energy, but I stuck with it. I purposefully didn't log my calories (I had been doing LoseIt before TPB last year), but my weight basically didn't budge. I know I was overeating, but I was overeating healthy foods, so I thought that was OK -- first I'd get healthy, then I'd rein in the calories, you know? I experimented with IF, but usually by skipping breakfast, and then I'd overeat later in the day.

    Then I had the most painful menstrual cramps I've had in years. Years. Completely floored me. On top of that were horrific mood swings -- running the gamut from depression to mania. It was exhausting. I decided to stop doing Whole 30. All of last week, I've been overeating junk food. It's like I'm either binging on healthy food (Whole 30) or binging on junk food, with a half-hearted IF in between.

    So. Tomorrow is another week. I'm going back to logging my calories on LoseIt. I know that many folks here don't advocate counting calories on TPB, but I think I need to, at least for now. When I was doing TPB last year and logging, I lost weight, felt terrific, and all in all did great -- until I did the Whole 30. I think for me, becoming super restrictive (that is, doing Whole 30, with no chocolate, no wine, and no dairy, on top of the no grains, no added sugars, few PUFAs and minimal processed food) is the worst thing I can do for my mental state. I don't know why. But it seems like the more restrictive I get, the more likely it is that I'm going to crash hard and binge. A lot. My weight's back up (I don't want to get on the scale, but I feel it in my clothes and I see it on the tape measure), and I feel lousy.

    So I'll log my food/calories, and I'll aim for 80/20 eating primally. I'm also going to aim for bike riding outside for 30 minutes daily as my slow movement -- and, with luck, I'll be joining a new CrossFit gym near me this Wednesday, so I can begin LHT. And I won't get super restrictive. I've got my fingers crossed that this will work.

    (And I also left a message with a therapist. Sigh.)

    Anyway, I don't know if this will work for me, but I'm hopeful. Maybe logging your calories/food will help you too.

    Good luck.
    Wow, same but different. Thanks for sharing that. Ironically, I followed your Whole 30 thread for a while and was so in admiration that you had the freedom around food to do that. It's so hard isn't it?

    I'm going to count calories for the next few days but acutally only to see that my macro percentages are. I think I'm not eating enough fat and this is what is making me hungry and could be leading to some of the binges. I've never been a junk food fan which I think is a saving grace, that can't be making you feel too fantastic.

    I hope the therapist rings back....Good luck too, I'll check on you for positive results. It's nice to have support.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    I have read of a few people on this forum who found their best results regarding binging by NOT doing any IF, but rather having a very large protein filled breakfast every day whether hungry or not.
    I totally see the logic in this, but eating breakfast when I'm not hungry sends my food obsession into orbit. However, I think a big protein breakfast when I am could work. As for IFing being bad. I know. I'm full of shame about it, I IF for all the wrong reasons, I am a great example of how IF can cause problems!

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    There is lots of fructose/sugar in dried fruits, and you can eat heaps of them when they are dried, it would be near impossible to eat the equivalent of a pack of dried apricots. Fructose bypasses your "filled up" signals. Try and avoid fructose/sugar things when snacking.

  5. #15
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    I had an eating disorder for a while; I was hospitalized for it last year. I had issues with binging and restricting. I went primal 6 weeks ago and I think it's a very healthy way to work at recovery from an ED. It has been helping me by reteaching my body how to know when it's actually hungry and when it's not.

    Sometimes I still struggle with the binging, but what I started doing recently that has helped so far is just completely cutting out anything sweet. Sweets have been my major binge food, and I've always been a bit of a sugar junkie. My experience has been that by (temporarily - I'm not going to do it forever!) ceasing to consume sweets altogether, I have completely obliterated my strongest cravings for them. I still want a little now and again, but I satisfy it with a small piece of fruit and then either spend time with other people so I can't binge or go somewhere where I don't have access to any binge foods.

    I'm not sure if sweets are your issue, but if they are (and it sounds like they are), get some Gymnema sylvestre capsules. I got mine at GNC. Gymnema sylvestre is a safe herb that is known as "sugar destroyer" in its native India. Chewing the leaves makes it so that you cannot taste sugar for about two hours, and emptying one of the capsules on your tongue and keeping it in your mouth for a minute or two will do the same thing. I used this last night before going to my aunt and uncle's place for dinner, as I know they usually have ice cream for dessert. I did try a tiny bite of mint ice cream just to make sure the stuff was still working - it wasn't sweet at all. Just minty and creamy.

    I will warn you that Gymnema is very, very bitter, and that taking it whole within the capsule will not produce the same results as putting the powder directly in your mouth. However, you can wash the stuff down with as much water as you want after a minute or so - it won't ruin the sugar-blocking effect.

    Something that has also helped me is L-glutamine. It's an amino acid that your body can use like glucose, which helps to cut the carb cravings while your body adjusts to using fewer carbs and burning fat instead. It also comes in capsules.

    Those are my tips for tackling the biological urge aspect of the cycle... hopefully you are working on the emotional part with your therapist. ED cycles are hard to break out of, but the important thing is that you recognize that it's a problem and are seeking help.

    Best of luck! Feel free to PM me if you have questions or just want to chat or something.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfexionist View Post
    Sometimes I still struggle with the binging, but what I started doing recently that has helped so far is just completely cutting out anything sweet. Sweets have been my major binge food, and I've always been a bit of a sugar junkie. My experience has been that by (temporarily - I'm not going to do it forever!) ceasing to consume sweets altogether, I have completely obliterated my strongest cravings for them. .
    Thanks Pefexionist - really helpful to hear from someone who actually has an ED

    Sweets are generally not my problem, I don't even like them that much, but sugar is a problem. I actually have cut it out completely but the binge will often take me there. I have had 'primal' binges with no sugar involved (but the dried fruit of course is the nearest primal thing). I think I even need to stop eating all fruit for a while and see how I go, even the sugar in a grapefruit of banana seems to trigger me. Now it's mid-winter here I'm a bit off fruit anyway. How much do you eat? Does it trigger you do you think?

    I won't try the GNC yet, I really don't crave sugar. I just use it in binges sometimes, but my binges can be anything from nuts to big bowls of porridge.

    Thanks for passing by. I hope things work out for you as well. I know eating primally is the best way forward for me, no other way will work for me now and I don't want to try. I feel safe eating like this, I'm just struggling with the mental side of this disease.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiesue View Post
    There is lots of fructose/sugar in dried fruits, and you can eat heaps of them when they are dried, it would be near impossible to eat the equivalent of a pack of dried apricots. Fructose bypasses your "filled up" signals. Try and avoid fructose/sugar things when snacking.
    Not a problem here! I need to avoid snacking on anything.

  8. #18
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    I probably don't qualify to respond here I'm sure as I don't have anorexia or bulemia but I've battled night binges for many years. Uncontrollable ones where I eat things I don't usually even LIKE going from fridge to cupboard to fridge and going from sweet to salty to sweet again. Terrible. So although I'm one of the many non-ED sufferers giving advice, the desperation and bitter shame I've felt might give me an inkling as to what EDers go through.

    Primal helps but I've finally made an N-1 discovery. For the first time in weeks the senseless and urgent need to binge came back. I cried a little a little, called a friend to distract me, and my husband went out to get me seltzer (my new crutch). Looking back at the prior few weeks, I realized I'd eaten too few calories for too long And skipped supplements off and on for days. One or both triggered it.

    So how might this apply to you? Probably doesn't. You probably have something more complex driving you and perhaps it's some sort of chemical imbalance or misfiring in your neural pathways. But perhaps there are supplements you might want to research. This is obviously taxing on you emotionally. I'm sure you've been trying to figure out what's causing these binges - if it's your body or brain wanting the opioid effect of food then low dose naltrexone cuts those receptors and has helped some people with EDs. Or, perhaps, you are missing a key nutrient your body is unable to absorb properly. I know that a small study found NAC (n-acetylcysteine) helpful with OCD and autism and they were doing a small trial with bulemics...but I don't know the outcome. I recently read that a tryptophan deficiency can cause obsessions and food binges (something about seratonin levels, I can't remember the details).

    Before people come on this thread yelling at me for suggesting some supplement might be the answer, I'm merely making this suggestion since you are currently eating good food and sometimes that's not always enough. It just might be something lacking you can take that can help you function properly and feel a little in control. Not forever, just temporary. It's tough being your own private eye trying to figure out what's wrong, but it can help to channel your focus on figuring out what might help. This is a very vague, I know, but it's worth thinking about. If you're deficient in something that's easily and safely supplemented it can be life changing.

    I still avoid my kitchen after 8pm even if the dishes weren't done, but I'm feeling so much better now.
    Last edited by KerryK; 06-25-2012 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Typing on a dang phone

  9. #19
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    As a lifelong secret binge-eater, what i found most helpful was to:

    1) change my internal commentary loop.
    2) Stop using blame and shame with anything that had to do with food.

    I could easily get fixated on a certain food - say, an entire container of frosting - and wouldn't be able to stop obsessing over it until I had consumed so much (usually the whole container) that I was sick and wanting to throw up. Then I'd compensate for this by eating turkey breast and lettuce for a couple of days to 'pay my penance'. For this reason, I never left the range of 120-125lbs, so no one would ever suspect there was ever anything weird going on with me and food.

    To change my internal commentary loop, I had to reprogram my brain. For me, this was something like:

    See Entenmann's cake in supermarket. Start obsessing over eating the whole thing. Brain goes on loop, saying, 'that looks really good. It will taste so amazing, and you can eat as much as you want, no one will know, c'mon, it will feel so good to be eating that, you can make up for it later, you really want it...' and repeat, even after I've left the store without buying it and have gone home. The loop keeps repeating until I HAVE to go back out and buy the damn cake, because I can't think about anything else all night, or the next day, until I gorge on that cake and get sick. Once the loop starts, it's all over.

    However, if I could start a brand-new loop before my autopilot one kicked in, I'd be okay. This was really difficult at first, and what I'd do would be to walk down the desert isle repeating something short and easy like 'this stuff is gross.' or 'this will make me vomit'. In the beginning, i'd only let myself walk down these isle if i was with my husband, or someone I knew, so that I wouldn't actually be tempted to buy anything. After practicing this MANY times, it was then possible for me to switch to this new loop when I felt the old one startiing to kick in.

    The shame/blame thing I found to be critical in perpetuating bingeing. If I did have a 'relapse', feeling guilty and using my food choices to attack my personal character was a guarantee that I'd be bingeing again, because it was an instant, fleeting way to momentarily feel better. For me, it was CRITICAL to focus my comments on the physical effects of my actions and why I shouldn't do it again. So instead of bingeing and then wallowing in shame, guilt, despair and thinking of myself as a horribly weak person, I'd instead think things like, 'I thought that would make me feel better, but it didn't. In fact, I feel sick to my stomache, and this is the feeling I want to remember the next time I'm tempted to binge again.'

    Also, I found it helpful to change patterns that led to bingeing behavior. For example, I had certain stores or places where I could get really sinfully tasty unhealthy food. Just walking down a certain street or driving a certain route would be enough to trigger my autopilot into going through that loop that convinced me I needed to eat an entire dozen doughnuts before I even saw the place that sold the doughnuts. Just doing little things like taking a different route was enough to help prevent that anticipation of the stimulus from triggering my loop that would lead me to buying those doughnuts that I didn't even want to begin with. Same thing with evening snacking - this was problematic for me, so I made sure i had a very satiating protein heavy dinner. Once I was done eating, when the urge to snack popped up, I'd say, 'I'd usually want a snack right now, but today I don't. in fact, instead of watching tv in the living room like I usually do, I think I'll go read in the park, or my bedroom.' The specifics aren't important, but breaking the routine that leads to the pattern you want to break is.

    Also, certain foods are an instant binge trigger for me. i CAN NOT eat them in moderation, and I find it easier to avoid them altogether than to have a small amount, because as soon as I have a bite, my mind begins that damn loop that won't let go until I eat the whole package. For these few remaining items that are problematic (dried fruit!) I stay away, but I have to be careful with my internal commentary so that I don't turn it into something forbidden that heightens my desire for it. So, for example, I never say, 'I can't have that.' Instead I'll say, 'Yeah, I bet that would taste good, but I know that if I start eating those figs, I'll end up eating the whole package and I'll feel really sick, so I'd rather not.' Then I spend some time remembering the last time I binged on figs, and how sick I felt afterward - I let that be the thought I focus on, not the desire part.
    Last edited by BestBetter; 06-25-2012 at 06:37 AM.

  10. #20
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    That was quite possibly the longest post I ever wrote. If you haven't fallen asleep yet, I've got one more thing to add, which I thought of after re-reading Kerry's post.

    Kerry - I think you are spot on about the supplements. Of course EDs are more complicated than just needing some supplements, but having deficiencies/imbalances can have a huge impact.

    For example, my desire to binge is often triggered when I'm stressed or depressed. When I'm feeling good about myself, and happy in general, I don't want to binge and moderation is MUCH easier.

    During a particularly low point, I said to my husband, 'I just kind of feel like my brain is not producing/releasing any dopamine. Nothing is fun or pleasurable.' His first comment was, 'I bet you've got a dopamine deficiency. Let's figure out how to fix it.'

    We did tons of research, and I started taking two amino acid supplements - phenylalanine and tyrosine. Phenylalanine gets converted into tyrosine in the body, and tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine. There's evidence that taking both can be beneficial. Within 2 days of starting this supplementation, my depression and my increased desire to binge disappeared. I felt more 'even' and overall happier.

    I now understand what an integral role neurotransmitters play, in addition to mineral and vitamin levels. Years of eating in a really unbalanced way can really put the brain at a disadvantage by not having enough good raw material to function the way it should. Sometimes healthy eating just isn't enough to correct that imbalance.
    Last edited by BestBetter; 06-25-2012 at 07:00 AM.

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