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Forums / Staying well / How do you manage binge or comfort eating?

Topic: How do you manage binge or comfort eating?

13 posts, 0 answered
  1. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    6 July 2015

    Hi everyone... I've tried to look through the topics and couldn't find a thread so thought I'd start one...  I have had a very abusive childhood and life has been tough for me... how I dealt with this was emotional/binge eating.  Now as an adult, things are different for me but I still emotionally/binge eat.  As a result I am extremely overweight which is causing several other health issues...

    For instance this morning I was so anxious at going back to work that I ate enough for 4 people for breakfast.  The thought of going into work to deal with other people's problems when I am so overwhelmed with my own was too much for me this morning.  After I'd finished eating I pulled myself together and thought logically.  I'm stressed out at the moment, about many issues, and I'm not dealing with any of them.  So I called in sick, torn between feeling guilty and my feeling of being overwhelmed.  The latter won obviously... I phoned the work EAP and had a phone session and I'm seeing my GP soon.. and made myself a little list for the day of things to achieve.  Earlier though I was feeling guilty about missing work so I binged a little, but have managed to pull  myself together to come to the forums...

    I'm 34 now, and have been emotionally/binge eating for most of the years I have been alive. It seems like a viscious cycle - food was always my comfort and reassurance.

    I'm trying really hard to come up with a list to turn to instead of food...

    1. Coming to the BB forums to chat, and actually interact with others going through a similar thing.
    2. I have started a social fitness group - I organised something last weekend then couldn't actually go cos of a family thing! This weekend it's all systems go though!
    3. I want to learn how to crochet so I was thinking of joining a group for that. I've tried to learn online but it's getting nowhere.
    4. Letter writing
    5. Going for a walk even if it's for 10 minutes

    Also there's an awesome thread to "resist the urge" sorry I can't remember the name, which had some awesome strategies... but I wanted something specifically for food related issues...

  2. pipsy
    pipsy avatar
    2255 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian
    Hi M.K.  With your 'binge' eating.  Have you thought about weight watchers.  There are all sorts of 'snack' foods you can by through weight watchers that you can munch on.  I too had an abusive dysfunctional family and I 'binged' out food wise.  I also drank, alcohol abuse is also rife in my family.  I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 8 or 9 years ago, I was overweight and had other health issues.  I then suffered a minor heart attack.  All these health problems were a 'wake up' call that I listened to.  I was on injections for the diabetes.  I started exercising, dieting, it was hard, believe me.  Staying in bed was a warmer, safer alternative than getting up.  Just over a year ago I attempted suicide, thankfully, I survived.  I no longer have injections, I'm 15 kilo's lighter and I feel better in myself.  I do have in-law problems, they're toxic, but I've distanced myself from their rubbish.  My husband and I nearly separated because of his parents, but I'm stronger and just don't listen.  My husband does annoy me when he visits them, because I do feel invalidated as the argument I had with them was because of their attitude and he still sides with them on the issue.  However, I've decided if he wants to waste his time with them and their nonsense, that's his problem.  he doesn't tell me much and I don't ask.  I simply live and enjoy my life.  My depression has gone because 'I'm in charge' not IT.       
  3. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to pipsy

    Hi pipsy :) hope you're having a great afternoon.

    I've done weight watchers in the past, and I did find it quite good however I would stick to the points for the day and then in the evenings would binge or in the mornings before work etc.  The new weight watchers looks really good - I still get the weight watchers emails and love their cookbooks.

    I eat a wide range of foods and have a healthy knowledge of nutrition though - I'm someone who will make turkey mince meatballs and a sweet potato and quinoa salad, over having steak or starchy carbs like rice and potatoes etc...

    I have found the Margie Cummins Rock Bottom plan works for me with a few tweaks. I'm gluten and lactose intolerant so I modify that to meet my needs... but that's when I follow it... I don't consider myself on any sort of wagon to fall off - I just make healthy decisions with each meal.  It's more the bingeing and dealing with emotions with food that I struggle with...

  4. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to pipsy
    Just wanted to say, pipsy you have been through quite a lot.  I'm glad that you weren't successful in ending your life - you seem like a warm and lovely person and the world would have missed you! Well done on the weight loss and the improved lease on life. :)
  5. Indra
    Indra avatar
    180 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian

    Hi Miss Kerri,

    I can definitely relate to your post. I have constantly yo-yoed with weight and it's true in the fact that it does relate with emotion. Food can be the comfort thing when you are down, but the quick binge does end up making you feel guilty for doing so. 

    Food addiction is like any. Small things like throwing away all the rubbish food from cupboards, shop after you have eaten and maybe just staying away from the aisles of temptation!! 

    It's great that you have started a list of things - that's a positive. Now comes the willpower part! Exercise is a great key and a walk in the fresh air will do you wonders. Perhaps stick to a routine and commit to around the same time everyday. 

    Don't be too hard on yourself if you fall from time to time - just start a clean slate the next day. Soon it will become a good habit that you get into. I sometimes think the weight loss groups put you under too much pressure - slow and steady wins the race!!

    Keep strong and let us know how you are going!



  6. arialgk
    arialgk avatar
    26 posts
    6 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian


    I have similar experienc. I am 40 now and still struggle. I have found that as I've gotten older that I am more aware of eating healthy. Most importantly that I am aware of when I am doing this.

    It sounds as if you are aware of when doing and when. This is great to hear. That is the first hurdle I think. Also sounds like you are doing thought challenging. 

    Have you heard of (a former of though challenging. Found it very helpful, espically as to why I was binge eating. Got to the main negative thought that was the driving force behind the action.


    Ex -why am I Bing eating

    "What does this mean about me" 

    then challenge the though.

    How true is the thought? 

    Is it a true though or one that I have said so may times that it feels/has become true?

    Is this thoughthelpful?

    What else might explain this though? 

    Is there another way to look at this thought? 

    Are my judgements based on feelings rather than fact? 



    "What is the worst thing that could happen" 

     Write down the core fear then next to it put down the % chance of it actually happening.

    Mindspot in case you are interested.

    These 2 exercises work really good. This is just a rough Guide. If helpfully to you you could google it.

    I learned this technique through an online course I did through the mindspot. Mental health support.I found it to be very educational and helpful. 

    Have you considered a mindfulness class, meditation or even yoga. The mindfulness was recommended as a former of helping to deal with my anxiety. 

    I hope thatyour week is  better. Good for you to having a job even while suffering. It sounds hard but shows determination in you to live your life.

    This is encouraging to me. 

    Wishing you all the best.





    1 person found this helpful
  7. Narniakid
    Valued Contributor
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    Narniakid avatar
    348 posts
    7 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian

    Hey MissKerri and welcome to BB!

    It's good to hear that you've already got a list of strategies, so definitely keep those up, and well done on making an appointment with you GP. I would suggest keeping a food diary - it's not only helpful to monitor how much you eat, also what you eat. It will really put things in perspective for you, and your GP will be able to spot patterns and habits that you can break.

    I also suggest grocery shopping with a strict list/budget so you don't pick up tempting items on the way - online shopping is a good way to do this.  Find something that you can do when you're feeling an urge to comfort eat - whether it's pulling out your phone and playing a game, doing a couple of minutes on the treadmill, or just having a glass of milk to fill that void - you need an alternative, a distraction.

    Keep up that positive attitude - you can beat this!


  8. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    8 July 2015 in reply to Indra

    Thanks Indra :) Yep food addiction is horrible (as is any other addiction). I have learned to only go shopping with a list. When I go without the list I come back with junk!

    arialgk: Thanks for the challenging thought down arrows - I liked this. Next time I find myself in the middle or at the end of a binge I will do this exercise. Very helpful! :) Hope you have an awesome day.

    Hi Crystal aka Narniakid (what a cool nickname!) - an alternative/distraction is exactly what I need. I've come up with a list of things that I'd like to achieve... sort of like a hobby bucket list...

    1. Learn how to crochet - I have the crochet hook and yarn now (I want to make cute things as there are lots of babies around me)

    2. Make a terrarium - I have the cutest little jars to do this with, and will be getting some baby succulents this weekend

    3. Join/find/start a craft group

    4. Plan and pot a herb garden - I've got the soil already!

  9. anotherPeter
    anotherPeter avatar
    27 posts
    8 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian
    Hi MissKerri,  I too have a binge eating problem, although it is quite different from yours. In the mornings I am so stressed out about that thought of going to work that it makes me feel sick and the thought of food is just unbearable.  Neither am I able to eat lunch.  My bingeing starts when I get home, but at least it isn't snack foods.  I eat good heathy nutrious meals, just far too much of it.  My wife is usually good at helping me with that (although she cannot understand it).  unfortunately she is away at the moment so I am eating vast amounts of food of an evening.  My wife's advice is to leaventhe table before you are full, leave room for more and that feeling for more passes in about half an hour.  Usually works but not always.
  10. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    9 July 2015 in reply to anotherPeter

    Hi anotherPeter :) creative nickname!

    Your wife sounds like a supportive and understanding woman. It sounds like you miss her while she's away. Do you have a hobby to keep you busy while you have the free time? For me too much free time leads to "time fillers" such as tv, facebook scrolling accompanied by eating. This is a new realisation... hence my list of hobbies.

    What do you love to do, but never have time? Is there a project you could work on?

  11. anotherPeter
    anotherPeter avatar
    27 posts
    9 July 2015 in reply to thisaquarian
    Hi MissKerri,I have always been a workaholic and for a very long time now have been addicted to stress.  Stress is in its way like drugs and leaves me feeling elated at the end of yet another monstrous day.  Anyway because of my total absorption in work I don't even know what a hobby is.  I have started growing chili plants from seeds, I suppose it is a kind of a hobby but it takes a long time of nothing happening and just waiting.  At the moment I am off work, three weeks now.  Something to do with a new manager who is a sarcastic bully and enjoys humiliating and ridiculing his underlings. So I have suddenly found that I am no longer a highly ambitious overachiever but now more of a nervous wreck. My wife and sons are away at the moment so I currently spend the day sitting in a cold quiet room with the curtains drawn waititing for enough time to go by so I can have my one huge meal for the day and go to bed.  Booze helps the time pass but I am trying (with some success) to not go to extremes on that.  I do have a lot of projects that I could/should be working on, my wife left me a long list.  But the sedatives I am taking just leaves me feeling miserable and depressed and unable to build up the enthusiasm to even look outside the window.  I haven't even wanted to look in a mirror for two weeks now.  I am having regular panic attacks since I started taking the sedatives and think I am growing paranoid because of it.  Sorry to dump on you like this, it wasn't my intention. I really just meant to congratulate you on developing your list of hobbies and wishing you all the best.Peter
  12. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    9 July 2015 in reply to anotherPeter

    Hi Peter,

    I wish that there was something I could say to make you feel better, but I have been there.  I totally understand where you're coming from.  Sometimes you really do need to hibernate, and rest and sleep.  And be kind to yourself.  Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. 

    When you're ready you will find the strength - at the moment you seem to be putting pressure on yourself to do or be something, but I could be wrong.

    I just have to drive home, will talk to you soon.

  13. thisaquarian
    thisaquarian avatar
    53 posts
    9 July 2015 in reply to anotherPeter

    Hi Peter,

    No need to apologise - thank you for opening up and sharing your story. I remember a few years ago I was living in an awful situation in a share house. I hibernated for 3 weeks, without the other housemates seeing me.  I created an excuse for work so that I didn't have to be there. I would wait for them to leave the house before I would come out of my room. I was just a bucket of anxiety.

    No one could have told me anything to get me out of that slump.  The thought that it was unhealthy (for me) did not even enter my mind.  I was too busy protecting myself.  I am definitely not a trained professional, but having felt what I understand you're feeling right now, I totally understand.  What I learned afterwards is that it was the actual anxiety talking, not the truth.  I feared that my housemates were going to be nasty or horrible to me - not true. They were honestly concerned about me but I pretended that I was just tired all the time and surprisingly they never bothered me. I wasn't in a logical place at the time to think things through, but afterwards I could...

    So try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

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