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RichW

"Comfort Eating"/Self-Sabotage

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Well that's my relationship with food in a nutshell. I'm not sure if I fall into any ED category but in a way I think it'd be an odd kind of comfort if I did, that there's a recognised name for whatever I'm doing and there's helpful advice out there in dealing with it. 

As far as food goes, I've made the same mistakes more times than I could ever care to count. My brain associates junk food with comfort but at the same time I think my eating is a form of self-sabotage. I'll binge and I'll feel sick. I know the drill, time and time again. I'll gain weight, I'll feel disgusting but that's a comfort in its own way too to reaffirm your own feelings. I don't even know if I'm in the right section, I feel like I kind of understand why I binge eat but at the same time I wish I had the mental resolve to stop myself. Maybe I'd feel better about myself if I took more care of my diet and overall health, who knows. My weight has been all over the place for the past decade. At my healthiest weight I've felt like an impostor, as if wanting to be healthier is a superficial or insincere thing, as if it's something I don't deserve. When I'm bigger, that's just me knowing my place. I want to get over this and stop the destructive binge eating, I really do. I'm fully aware of the damage I'm doing myself, I just don't know how to stop.

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I'm in the same boat. I gave up booze a year ago but I continue to eat crap at night when I get home from work. I've put on 30-lbs over the past 4 years.  I shove food (usually dessert-style goodies) down my gullet and watch old movies every night.

I'm not sure how to stop either. Besides "just stopping". I pulled that off with booze but food seems even harder.

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Food is much harder because we have to eat every day.  I keep down to normal weight because I'm afraid of everyone I know.  I always have to keep in well enough shape to disappear from my life at all times.  That's the only reason I stay healthy so I can be healthy enough to go on the run at any time.

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Greetings from another emotional eater/self-soother. I eat all my feelings: sadness, anger, anxiety, shame, emptiness .... and then wonder why they come back magnified manyfold. I feel at this point like I am literally going to eat, worry, and self-loathe myself into the grave. It's hard to be poisoning oneself with something that is necessary for life. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:49 PM, fairylights said:

Greetings from another emotional eater/self-soother. I eat all my feelings: sadness, anger, anxiety, shame, emptiness .... and then wonder why they come back magnified manyfold. I feel at this point like I am literally going to eat, worry, and self-loathe myself into the grave. It's hard to be poisoning oneself with something that is necessary for life. 

Exactly. I'm stuffing a scone in my mouth as I type this & getting crumbs in the keyboard. Hahaha.

I eat all of my feelings too. And then worry about all of the eating I just did.

I have a Ph.D in self-loathing.

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If you "mess up" don't feel bad about it or the cycle continues.  I refuse to feel bad about it ever again.  Life is short.  We're trying to make ourselves feel better in an awful evil world.  We're not doing anything wrong.

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On 4/12/2019 at 10:37 AM, JD4010 said:

Exactly. I'm stuffing a scone in my mouth as I type this & getting crumbs in the keyboard. Hahaha.

I eat all of my feelings too. And then worry about all of the eating I just did.

I have a Ph.D in self-loathing.

So relatable, lol.

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I still give into binges sometimes, but practice really does help. They say it takes 30 days to break a bad habit. In the beginning, I was constantly having to literally put stuff down, throw it back, put it back on the store shelf, hide it in the kitchen...here's something that works for me. I read somewhere that a food craving only lasts for about 30 minutes. So if I'm craving something I look at the clock and tell myself I can have it if I still want it by the time the clock runs out. But once I've made it that far, I put more time on the clock. And more. And eventually the craving does pass, usually before that. And if it doesn't? Well then I really wanted it. And I made myself wait for it, and I know I don't have to give into my cravings right away every time, that I can use some self control. You can also do the "three bite rule". Let yourself have three bites of whatever, and then throw it out/mess it up so you can't have more.

You also have to find something else to do to distract yourself. Like playing online games (works for me, maybe there's another hobby you prefer). The more you practice healthy habits the easier it gets and the higher your self esteem gets. Hope this helps.

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I don't purposely go into binges anymore.  There's sometimes I feel it's out of my control.  I'm halfway through a Garfield type eating binge before I realize what I've done.  I do much better at this point.  I have found the main thing I have to keep out of this house is a loaf of bread.  There is no worse thing for me to have in this house.  I can't remember the last time I got a loaf of bread.  Once I get the loaf of bread the snacks aren't far behind.  I've even been able to keep klondike bars out of the house.

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Feel, feel, feel!! Almost described my relationship with food to a T. I binge and I binge and I binge and I feel horrible afterwards and want to make myself throw up (I don't tho, I'm not bulimic) but I just keep going, every morning I wake up telling myself that this is the day ill stop but all day ill be thinking about the food, then ill buy it after work and thats me done. Ive come to giving up, I've tried so many times, for short periods of time ive been able to stop and able to stay at a healthy weight but I always start again for some reason or another. Always. The binge beast has dug her claws in deep and is apparently never going away. 

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Ah yes, binge eating to solve everything: loneliness, depression, hunger, sadness, etc. I relate too much. I've had problems with overeating for comfort since I was 12. Then the comfort turns to pain but the eating doesn't stop until I'm at the point of nearly losing what I just ate. Sometimes eating is comforting, but sometimes it almost becomes a form of unintentional (or intentional) self harm. I broke the cycle once for almost a year and a half out of pure fear of the control that food had over me. But the past two months I've been putting on weight again. Hoping I can remind myself that this food isn't my happiness. And neither is whatever I weigh, no matter it is.

I do want to encourage you to at least be somewhat healthy, not for the sake of weight but for energy and overall mood. It's hard to get/stay motivated, but I felt at my best when I exercised a little a few days a week and cooked fairly healthy meals.

I hope you can discover what helps you stop. I don't recommend the way I did since it was very destructive and did not come out of a good frame of mind. I also wish everyone who's here before and after me the best of luck too.

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It's comforting to read your experiences, your stories every one of them is familiar and resonates with me. As if we all attended the same school of shame. We've all tried many different techniques, discipline, avoidance. 

Lately I've been attempting to adopt the simple idea of eating without another activity: when eating, eat. Don't also watch television, don't also read my phone, don't play a game, don't also try to process complex emotions. And it's really hard not to have that accompanying activity, I'm not sure why that is. 

 

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