Tackling food addiction without WLS

on 10/23/15 9:08 am


My name is Melissa and it looks like the options my insurance will cover for WLS are not good ones for me and at this point, it's the specific method I want, or nothing at all.

I play a full women's contact sport and exercise 3-6 times a week, but I have uncontrollable eating and sometimes the hunger after a hard workout in insatiable. I've struggled to eat healthy which is 80% of the battle of weight loss. I can manage to lose about 10 lbs before falling off the band wagon and turn back to my old ways. I can't seem to shake my addiction to bad foods and it's not that I don't like eating healthy, don't get me wrong, but I can't stay strict with myself and one little thing throws me off for weeks. I don't know why it's such a challenge because it seems straight forward, I understand the process, and I've even seen a dietitian but I just feel like I can't win, which is why I turned to WLS.

Any suggestions, tips, words of wisdom?

on 10/29/15 11:26 pm

I say try counseling...get to the bottom of why one little thing throws you off for weeks. I did several self help books to try to find the reason for my eating. One that was very helpful was called "Body Clutter." When I got really honest with myself and realized what a perfectionist I am it finally clicked for me. All this all or nothing thinking just doesn't work. If you mess up, make your next choice a healthy one.

Good luck!!

on 10/30/15 8:35 am

Ohh! Thanks for the book recommendation. I just purchased one for my Kindle called Food Junkies which talks about food addiction and is supposed to help. I'll look into Body Clutter as well.

on 11/3/15 8:59 am

I actually know why this is happening. I am a hypnotherapist and have helped a lot of people lose weight. What this is, and a lot of other problems fall into this category as well, is that there is an emotion(s) that is force feeding you. What we all do is try and comfort and distract ourselves from feelings inside we don't like. I call it the too muches. Eating too much, drinking too much, smoking, *****graphy, shop-a-holics... When we are engaged in that activity we are successful in the short term, of comforting ourselves.

For food it all started when we were very young... it's called a pacifier. When we were having a bad day, sick, or whatever we got a cookie, a treat, they shoved a pacifier in our mouths... we learned that by putting something in our mouths we felt better. (This is where the link with food and emotions started)

I would say this to you, to find out what's going on. For a few weeks, before you eat, stop and ask yourself, how am I feeling? You will probably see a pattern here. What emotion are you trying to stuff down with food? Once you figure that out, then realize that if you ate nothing, or ate a ton of food, that emotion is still going to be waiting for you when you're done eating... SO... once you know the feeling, for example lonely,stressed, sad, whatever - then instead of eating go do something that will actually resolve that emotion. If you're lonely, go window shopping where there are people, call a friend on the phone, etc...

This is why people who have had GBS often struggle after the surgery. Sure, your stomach is now small but all of those perceptions, belief systems, and emotions are still in there. I've worked with at least 30 people who had the surgery and were really struggling.

Emotions dictate behavior every time!

Good Luck! :O)

on 11/3/15 7:41 pm - Canada

The North American diet (filled with sugars and refined carbohydrates) is literally a killer!
Ample evidence exists that ties diabetes, heart disease and cancers to the stuff that we've been jamming into our collective cake holes.
The most damning (and perhaps least documented) testament to the damage that we inflict on ourselves is the fact that "Big Sugar" is now the new "Big Tobacco" Lobby!
It is morally unconscionable.
Sad to say but (at age 66) I have to admit that I've made myself a victim of an obsession with (addiction to) sugar and complex carbs.
Thank God I am not a heavy weight any more.
I am now a comfortably fit 165 lbs but in the depth of my addiction I managed to push my weight right up to 280 lbs.
I use the word addiction because (for me) that is what it is.
I definitely used "food" (usually foods/beverages made with loads of sugar and flour) as my "drug of choice".
My situation was hopeless and I couldn't stop eating!
Now, I eat meals that are nutritious and filling. ... My meal plan contains absolutely no flour or sugar and I feel fine!
I don't like to sell my program because I believe there are lots of weight reduction plans and programs out there that work.
It is kind of like buying shoes. ... The shoes have to suit the application, have to fit and also need to feel good. ... I believe that if you find something that works, ... great!
For me the what works is FA (Food Addicts In Recovery Anonymous). ... Yes, it is a 12 step program for food addiction.
If you have any interest in finding out more, please check it out.
There are no dues, fees and no one is going to try to sell you anything.

Recovery from addiction (any addiction) is a mountain to climb, I know.

If you slip and fall, you can always just dust yourself off and keep moving up the hill. ... You will never be a failure if you have a slip. ... You can only turn yourself into a failure if you slip, decide to stop and then turn around and walk back down the hill.

Good Luck in finding your recovery!

Jim G in Vancouver BC

on 12/26/15 2:52 pm

Hi Melissa,


Thank you for sharing your experience on this form. I thought to share the understanding of binge eating disorder abbreviated BED. This is considered a food addiction in which at some moments the amount of food consumed becomes uncontrollable. It is very difficult to stop while eating and there are often feelings of shame, guilt and/or disgust after a binge. Feeling physically sick is also a part of the experience and there are no attempts to remove the food that has been consumed that displays the difference between BED and bulimia nervosa. Binge-eating episodes usually occur regularly within a two week time period for several months and can be ongoing. Binge eating behaviours is a condition and you can reach out and get help. Searching in your areas for a binge-eating disorder specialist who offers counselling can be a start to help you with your "falling off the band wagon" experiences.


Take good care,

Susanne Dorder, M.A.

Binge-eating disorder specialist

on 12/29/15 11:00 pm

Hi Melissa, I'm new too. How I got over bingeing and overeating was by working on my thinking around food first of all. It was hard but I learned to think of no food as "good" "bad" "junk" etc. it's just food. Then, and it was with some trepidation, I let myself eat those binge foods whenever I wanted and as much as I wanted. I just had to slow down and eat mindfully and try to learn when it wasn't tasting as good anymore or I was full. I kept so much candy and snacks around. At first I gained a little weight. But after a couple of months all that supposedly tempting food had lost its novelty. I still eat some "treat" food every day but in moderation and have lost 25kg this year. I felt pretty anxious about it but stuck with it because I really wanted to be able to eat normally including treats! I can't "fall off the wagon" because ther e's no wagon to fall off! :)

But if there are other emotional issues related to why you binge, you will need to work on those too. The book "Intuitive Eating" by Tribole & Resch is really good. 

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