Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thoughts on Eating Junk and Being Good or Bad

I've been thinking about my last post and comments, and wanted to share a bit more about how I feel about eating the way I have been lately. I shared that "On a bad (not healthy for me) day, I had a pancake, an egg, and bacon for breakfast with orange juice, a burger and fries for lunch, and a bean/cheese burrito with sour cream for dinner. Snacks were iced coffees with cream, a donut, some M&Ms, and a bowl of Doritos." I got a couple of emails and comments that scolded me for eating such things, which made me pause to think, why do some people see this as some kind of naughty behavior like a child with their hand in the cookie jar? Is *not* eating Doritos something that makes a person morally superior?

Well, I *did* call it a bad day. I didn't mean "bad" in the sense of sinful, evil, or shameful. I don't believe eating *any* food, even junk food, is a moral issue. I don't think going "off your diet" in a moment of weakness makes you a bad/evil person. (I am not on a diet, obviously...) What I meant by a "bad day" and what I tried to clarify by putting "not healthy for me" in parenthesis, is that some days I eat in a way that makes my body FEEL bad or become less healthy. For every person there are different "bad" foods FOR THEM. Maybe for you, shrimp is a good, healthy food. For me, it is a bad food because I am allergic and it will kill me. For some people, whole grain bread is a wonderful, healthy choice while for others who need to eat gluten free, it is a bad one. This isn't a moral thing. It's a health one. Mental and physical. I don't feel well and my body is not its healthiest when I eat a lot of carbs, especially sugar.

So another comment told me I did not eat anything healthy on my "bad" day, and that made me do a double take at my post because I don't remember having a total junk day. I do try to eat healthy things every day. Let's examine the foods I listed for my bad day:

Breakfast: a pancake, an egg, and bacon for breakfast with orange juice
Lunch: a burger and fries for lunch
Dinner: a bean/cheese burrito with sour cream.
Snacks: iced coffees with cream, a donut, some M&Ms, and a bowl of Doritos

Interestingly, a lot of these things would also be eaten on a "good" day. What made it bad was the inflammatory, higher carb choices.

Eggs and bacon are a usual breakfast choice. Good protein. But instead of a piece of fruit, I had juice. And I added a high carb pancake. (Yes, one small pancake, not a stack of pancakes).
The burger was composed of lean, grass fed beef (a healthy choice for me) but having it on a bun instead of on a plate also increased my carbs. Baked white potato fries are not a usual choice for me either; I'd have felt better with a few sweet potato fries and some green vegetables.
As for a burrito, I don't eat beans very often (carbs) but they are still a nutritious food. Cheese is also something I eat on "good" days, and so is a spoon of sour cream as a condiment. So what made this one unhealthy for me was the tortilla. What is lacking here is vegetables.
Obviously the snacks are where I went totally south, except for the coffee and cream which I have daily (no sugar).

Did I eat the donut because I had given up and was just eating whatever I wanted for the day? No. I ate the donut because someone offered it, it looked good, and I felt like it.

Did I eat the M&M's because I was on a binge run to the store, craving candy pellets? No. I ate them out of boredom, waiting for one of my kids for an hour in a parking lot by a 7-11.

Did I eat the bowl of Doritos in shame and craving? No, I just felt like having them. They taste good and my son had bought some so I put a serving in a bowl and ate them.

To me, it makes a big difference whether I am feeling out of control and running to the store for food and eating it all, or am I just eating stuff in smaller amounts because at the moment it seems like it would taste yummy and I am not really in diet mode and honestly don't give too much of a darn whether or not I am eating healthy. I dunno, I guess I am in a place some days of just focusing on other things, not weight loss, or carbs, or "omg I better not eat this chip, I better eat celery."

Really, today I was shopping and bought a chocolate bar with almonds. Why? I wasn't really craving it. It wasn't in my brain or calling to me. It is just nice to have it. It changes my emotions when I eat it. It makes me feel so cared for and nurtured and happy and calm. Is that nuts? I don't think it is. I've battled against those feelings (trying to get them from other places than food) but somehow going back to the chocolate bar is like a hug from an old friend. It's my safe place.

I know that isn't a great mindset to have and will get me fatter if I keep letting myself slide into that comfortable place. I have written about it *a lot* on this blog and I *know* this is a habit that will not serve me in the long run. But yet I am there, again, and not feeling very motivated to change it.

I do find joy and comfort in other things, other people in my life. It's not that chocolate is my only thing. It's that it is a very long, long standing thing that I know I can get any time, any place, and it ALWAYS has the desired effect.

I wish there was a pill that made me feel like chocolate does. I would be skinny then...

Anyway, I wrote this to let you know I am aware of what I am doing and where I'm at. I don't know *why* I landed here and I'm not even sure how or if I am going to break out and get some weight off. It is a mental state, one that is comfortable and happy and familiar even while physically it is miserable with the joint pain and other unpleasant effects of junk and high sugar and gaining weight. It is a limbo of sorts, but in my limbo room there are two doors out: one to the binge cycle and morbid obesity, and the other to the controlled healthy eating and exercise, because I can't stay in limbo forever.

Thanks for listening. I am happy... happy with my chocolate... but there is that nagging little voice telling me it is all an illusion.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but a single pancake and what, 9 chips in a serving won't make your pants so snug that you are scared to get on a scale for two weeks. This sounds like rationalizing a problem people are seeing, but you are not.

Lyn said...


Actually, it will, over time. An extra 700+ calories a day, a couple days a week and who knows how many carbs in not just a pancake and bowl of chips, but also the M&M's and donut makes a huge difference. I definitely see the problem, as I stated in the post. Maybe you can read it to the end with an open mind instead of being quick to judge.

Anonymous said... are, ostensibly, in the pursuit of better health. And have been for the decade you've been blogging...

Yet you repeatedly and consistently choose to eat large quantities of foods that destroy health. Please don't tell me you're eating tiny portions or a bite of this and a nibble of that...the proof is in front of you and all of us: You have regained 60 of the 100 lost pounds and have now stagnated for over a year in the 225-240 range, which is at least 80 pounds more than a woman your height should weigh.

The rationalizing, the food-centered life you live, the obsession with food, the viewing donuts and Doritos as something you need to have to be happy in life (even in whatever you consider small portions) regularly...that is not how someone whose goal is improved health/weight loss lives and eats. You consistently make eating and behavior choices that directly oppose your alleged goal, and your honest readers can see this. Of course, you have your cadre of cheerleaders, all of whom are overweight and food-obsessed, who reinforce your thoughts that you "need" those comfort/junk/kiddish foods and insist that it is just fine to eat whatever you want whenever you want.

You insist there is no morality to food but if you believe in a higher being/Creator or even just plain old science/evolution, you DO have a moral obligation to take care of your body, miraculous machine that it is, and the only one you will ever have, to the best of your ability, which you do not. I recall posts where you justify your junk food choices by saying "at least I don't drink/smoke/take drugs/engage in promiscuity" you label all those behaviors with morality, but not your own overwhelmingly obvious dependence on food...why is this?

Be honest with yourself and your readers. Yeah, it's hard. Yeah, the truth hurts. But lying to yourself for years on end hurts a lot more. I know you won't publish this, but I hope you'll think about it.

Lyn said...


Wow. Not sure what else to say.

Lyn said...

Wait. I thought of something else to say.

If you actually cared about my health and wished me well, you would have emailed me to share your concerns and thoughts in a non-judgmental, kind manner and have a private discussion with me. What is the point of posting this criticism and condescending diatribe "anonymously" in the comments? Really, was there something you wanted to get out of it?

Also, I hope you find peace and learn to be kinder and less judgmental. It can't be fun to be like that...

ok, that's all I can think of.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn - I was actually going to comment on your last post and say "I cannot tell which is the good day or the bad day since you didn't mention portion sizes." I know my own breakfasts, when I have pancakes and eggs it could be fewer calories than a breakfast with cereal. And I wanted to say I didn't really approve of your "healthy" lunch where it was basically just greens & all your calories coming from cheese & ranch dressing. But I just decided to bite my tongue since I didn't know the exact amounts and I didn't want to be a preachy know-it-all.
This time though I want to chime in on your comment "I decided to focus on other things, not weight loss" - the KEY, to weight loss or maintenance, is being able to "multi-task" - to keep focus on all the important things like job, family, church, home, etc. - while at the same time keeping on track with a sensible and sustainable eating regimen. That is why some people have a lot of success with "set it and forget it" - like that rotisserie infomercial - with packed lunches for the week, eating the same quick frozen entree or sandwich at work, etc. A lot of times it seems like you have a lot of good enthusiasm and creativity with healthy eating but you almost take it too far in that when the creativity evaporates (tired, busy, etc.), you don't have that healthy baseline to fall back on.

Gina said...

Aaaaargggghhhh! All I want to say is I love you. You are frickin awesome!!! And, "fuggetaboutit." Mucho blessings!

Lyn said...


That's true. I have to think about that, good point.


Thanks! You made me smile :)

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I've been following you for years off and on, at least 7. I've lost track. Have you ever considered changing the name and focus of your blog? It seems like you enjoy blogging and online friendships but do not enjoy the grind of weight loss and maintenance. That's not a criticism by any means. A lot of bloggers seem to be in the same place or get there eventually. Some have chosen to change direction and they seem happier to me. Anyway, just a thought. Cheers.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, I feel so terrible about the awful comments you are getting. How easy it is to be blunt and outright rude and cruel from behind a screen. I think whatever challenges you have had or are having it is incredibly brave to continue to blog honestly about all this. You are far from alone. You CAN do this- proof: you've done it before. There's no gimmick, no quick & dirty way. The anonymous comment above is rich- "moral obligation," wow indeed. I have been following your journey for a long time; just as long, I have been working to lose weight. I finally succeeded but only by cutting out sugar (almost) entirely. I enjoy a treat here and there, but overall, moderation doesn't work for me. Certain foods are binge triggers and I've acknowledged that. Stepping away from them has basically torched my cravings and enabled me to finally lose the weight I'd been hanging on to for too long. Since last summer I have lost nearly 80 pounds. Typing this makes me teary. Too many times I thought maybe I'll just always be overweight. I had to start thinking in a different way in order to change. Not about weight loss or pants size..not about a time frame or calorie counts. I had to become the person I wanted to be. It starts with believing in you. Know YOU can do this.

Lyn said...

Anon (Rita)~

I thought about it, but when I don't find any benefit or joy in this blog I think I'll just hang it up. This blog is meant to be a chronicle of me trying to lose weight, so that's what I come and write about for the most part. As long as I have this struggle in my eating, there will be thoughts to share about it. I'm actually pretty happy, and not all that frustrated, but wanted to share openly how I am feeling and my thoughts about my eating and weight at this moment. Thanks for the suggestion though.


Thank you for the encouraging comment and for sharing your story. It's inspiring! I appreciate it. I won't give up.

Maureen said...

I have followed you for a while...i love reading about your journey. Love that some days good, some days bad! Thats how hard it is to lose weight....flat out hard for some of us. Keep plugging along. Who wants to get out of this life without ever having chocolate!!!

Can't believe people think they can criticize and be rude. Delete them. Keep going! We are all cheering you on and everyone in this hard uphill battle!!

Roxanne said...

I cannot say I exactly agree with some of the menu you ate on your snacks/meals, but I am not in the position to reprimand you that it's wrong all the way. We do have our own moments where we crave for chocolates, burgers, and fries. I'd say it's okay to give in to your cravings sometimes but do remind yourself to eat healthy foods as much as possible. Being healthy for me means it is a balance of eating healthy foods, exercise, and of course being able to enjoy your favorite foods (known as cheat days) occasionally. You should enjoy your own lifestyle without depriving yourself.

Anonymous said...

Is eating a moral issue? Well, yes. You have an ethical obligation to avoid placing unnecessary burdens on your family, friends and the healthcare system. The same can be said for smokers.

I honestly believe you have an eating disorder, manifested in an emotional and almost... erotic? relationship with food. If you won't seek help for you, please seek help for the sake of your daugher. She shouldn't have to spend her teens taking care of two ailing parents.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, nothing I said is condescending, rude, or untrue. Again, I have responded to your comment several times, but you won't publish it. As I said, the truth hurts. Refusing to acknowledge the truth hurts more. You will be at this impasse until you do the work and live in truth. Go right ahead and delete this but don't forget it. Your food addiction is self destructive and much more deeply seated than a simple "well, I really like donuts!"

16 blessings'mom said...

Hi Lyn, I'm one of the cadre of cheerleaders here, overweight and food obsessed, agreeing that chocolate does indeed make one happy. I decided to have an "I don't care day" yesterday, graduation party for my daughter. I worked so hard on the party, and decided to just enjoy the food and not condemn myself for it. Cupcakes baked from scratch (I usually make them for events and just admire them without even a taste!), and Swedish Fish. Yes, the candy ones. It was one evening of Not Caring, and today, back to the No Sugar, low carb, high-ish fat lifestyle. I tell myself it gets my metabolism going, ha. I totally and completely understand your struggles, you are not alone, and no one who hasn't lost a large amount of weight will ever understand how hard it is to maintain, let alone lose more. I CAN enjoy life without partaking of foods I love, but sometimes it's nice to just be "normal", and eat what I want to eat without letting myself obsess about it. Don't stop blogging, no matter what, I find you so encouraging. Life has to be lived, it's not just all about, "someday when I'm skinny..."

Thank you for sharing, and for your honesty,

Anonymous said...

"I wish there was a pill that made me feel like chocolate does. I would be skinny then..." No, you would be a prescription drug addict.

The stark truth (spoken by someone who lost over 100 pounds on Medifast and has kept it off for 3 years so far) - is that you cannot have every food you want, not even a little of every food you want, if you want to succeed at weight loss and maintenance.

You speak of being basically in a good place right now. Maybe the best option for you is to accept yourself as you are and focus on all the other aspects of your life you are happy with. I think that's the only viable option if you are not willing to give up any of your unhealthy favorites.

And the pushback you got on the Doritos (and I have to say, I appreciate your honesty but I am pretty much always shocked whenever you list what you eat, and that includes many of the "healthy" choices) - is because many adults, especially those of us who struggle with our weight and have had to learn to understand what it is we are putting in our mouths, are not tempted *at all* by tortilla chips drenched in a powdered concoction of chemicals scientifically crafted to make us want to eat more and more. Why not some plain tortilla chips and fresh salsa, for instance? How do you square nutritionally bankrupt Dortitos with your grass-fed beef/farmer's market produce kick? Eating them is not a moral failure, no, but it is a judgment failure that hurts you physically.

I originally came to you for the Medifast meal hacks, enjoyed your style of writing and your frankness, and happily subscribed to your blog. But I have become dismayed at seeing your lack of progress over the years and that your blog has devolved to a "what not to do" to lose weight and keep it off.

I don't want to hurt your feelings but sometimes we all need a reality check.

Anonymous said...

There sort of IS a pill that may make you feel like chocolate does... an antidepressant. I relate to that, because I have depression, and when I got onto a good antidepressant--even though it usually has the side effect of weight gain--my cravings have drastically reduced. Of course, I also exercise like a fiend; exercise is that 'magic pill' as well, improving mood and energy. The book "Spark" goes into this effect. Swimming may be your best option, but exercise is vitally important to a stable mood for most human beings. Nothing to do with weight loss, though it MAY help--just mood.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about your last post. I totally get the struggle as so many of your readers have said, we get it! Its not unique, so many struggle with thyroid, aging, blood sugar and food. That said, I have had to realize for ME that some foods are like alcohol to an alcoholic, if I avoid them then I am ok, if I don't its a familiar path. The thing I want to say is this: sometimes a trigger doesn't happen RIGHT AWAY! It can be a week or a few days, so you might think that you are in the clear to have a bite here and there, but soon, WHAM!
The other thing is what my grandma used to say:
Nothing changes til something changes.
Good Luck.

Lyn said...

Anon (wow, there are so many of you. How to keep you all straight? Maybe some of you can start posting as your actual selves?)~

You have no need to worry about any of my children. No one will "spend their teenage years" taking care of their parents. Not sure where that even came from. But anyway, if healthy eating is a moral obligation in the sense that you say, then so is regular exercise, eating enough leafy greens, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, taking vitamins and all the other things people do to take care of themselves. I have seen people say before that anyone who is overweight at all or who drinks soda or who does any number of things that do not lead to ideal health = burdens on society and look at them with scorn. I don't take that approach (speaking of how I look at others). I know that people are not perfect and make mistakes, we all have our issues and do things that are not the greatest for our health or safety (I have friends who skydive, rock climb, or white water raft and those things are inherently dangerous. They may lead to an injury, so are they immoral activities that could lead their families, friends, and society to have to care for them?) Everyone has something in their life that they could change to be safer or healthier. It doesn't make them selfish or bad. Eating disorder? Well of course, read my blog!

Anon that thinks they are not condescending~

You set yourself up on a superior moral ground to judge me, not just my eating but my honesty. You also insult the people who read and know how to be kind in how they speak to me. I have published your comments but since you keep suggesting deleting them, I think that is a good idea. You really don't need a voice on my blog anymore.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, I see eating a small bowl of chips as a great step forward, especially when you have a history of binging. I believe many people simply lack experience with binging, and cannot imagine how easily a bowl of chips might snowball into an entire bags of chips plus a gallon of ice cream. Where others see failure I see balance. You indulged, but you stopped far short of binging. Progress!

Thank you for writing so openly. That is one of the many reasons I enjoy reading your blog.

Lyn said...

16 blessings' mom (Della)~

Thanks! So happy to hear you had a wonderful time with family and friends. I agree food is, and can be, part of that without ruining our health. I think I have just had way too many "I don't care" days where I eat whatever is on the menu without much thought... and not on special occasions. I need to cut those back to a lot less often, and then I know I will feel better and get back to losing weight and not stressing about food. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation! :)


That's awesome that you have kept the weight off for 3 years, congratulations! It is always nice to see someone change their life and succeed at maintenance. If you have a blog I would love to read it.

Very cool that you don't like Doritos, too. There are a lot of junk foods I don't care for (thankfully) but every once in awhile a bowl of Doritos tastes good to me. I do like plain chips with salsa and avocado. Less chemicals for sure but also high in carbs. My main "crunchy snack" in summer is cucumber slices dipped in something: Ranch, hummus (again I watch the carbs) or tuna salad.


I feel for you. When I was on antidepressants though, I wanted to eat more and more. Not sure why but I gained a heck of a lot of weight on antidepressants (tried several). Exercise... you got it on that one! I definitely do feel great and want less junk after I bike or walk or swim. Thanks for the reminder to get moving. :)

Lyn said...

Anon/mixed feelings~

That's all very true. The junk seems to be cumulative. I seem to do ok having a small indulgence here and there, maybe one serving 2-3 times a week (I did fine with this last summer and fall and lost weight) but when it gets to be daily, it does multiply and turn into too much.

Last Anon~

Thank you. When you come from a place where a bag of Doritos had NO chance of seeing the light of a new day, one bowl is a pretty big accomplishment in a sense! Back when I started this blog, I would never have believed I could eat one serving of chips or one cookie and go one my way... not finishing off the rest or turning it into a binge. I really am happy I have gotten to this place, but I do get worried that the binge eating could come back if I don't watch it.

I know I feel better OFF the junk, but also that restricting too heavily leads to obsession and failure. I am working on finding that healthy balance.

Anonymous said...

Don't let it get you down, Lyn. You are one of the only weight loss bloggers who has kept blogging through thick and thin, literally. I enjoy your blog as it is a true look into the weight loss and regain cycle and what it feels like to go through that. Other bloggers quit writing about it when they regain; yours is a unique blog of long-term weight and eating disorder struggles. Thank you for letting us in.

Anonymous said...

Ooooookay. Okay.

Here's my background. Restrictive eating disorder (anorexia athletica). Low weight in the double digits. In recovery for about 3 years now.

I've always noted how large a part anxiety seemed to play in your eating habits, Lyn. Anxiety plays is the basis of most of the REDS (restrictive eating disorder spectrum), so I can relate. So when you talk about accepting a donut in a sort of "hey that sounds good," very placid kind of way, I see improvement. Not having a monumental internal struggle, not obsessing over whether the donut is "worth it," not beating yourself up afterwards. That's normal eating. Doesn't matter how much you weigh or your clothing size.

I had to learn that in recovery. A normal-weight, non-dieting (non-disordered) adult eats when hungry (and high emotion can prompt hunger/appetite) and doesn't think much of it. Sometimes they want a donut, sometimes they don't. All of the mental gymnastics are unnecessary and the unhealthiest part of it. That very stress can create a stronger desire to eat than just letting go and rolling with it.

The whole food lifestyle with tracking and counting and avoiding is an extremely artificial way of managing one's weight. It's basically the equivalent of chopping off a couple limbs and going "hey look, I lost weight!" That's why I find the kind of contemplative but largely non-reactive tone of this post to be GREAT. It's so much more akin to now the "normal" people who I see referenced so often in these comments eat. So is liking and enjoying food. It should be cultivated, not eliminated or fixed. I say, major props to you for managing to get there despite the prevalence of thin-xiety in our culture.

And the anons that claim they're not being judgmental or condescending..... really? The very language of statements like "I don't agree with your food choices" implicitly makes a moral issue out of it. What's there to agree with? Their approval is a non-issue. They're under no obligation to read what you write, and they definitely have no say in what you do. If they feel offended by your thoughts or choices, they can deal with that on their own time.

Lyn, I think you're doing great. It may sound odd but I'm being honest. You're allowed to seek enjoyment or comfort from your food. Normal-weight people do that all the time. I think the "secret" to how you were slowly losing before is just... less stress? Maybe it's the return to blogging or other life events, but I'd caution against having too many feelings about feelings about your food. That's a quick way to increased anxiety and leads nowhere good.

Keep doing you.


Anonymous said...

Lyn, as someone who has lost 100 lbs and maintained it eating the foods I like in moderation. I have to tell you...I get it. Certain foods are comforting. Others you'll have occasional cravings for over the years. One of the many keys to losing and keeping the weight off is losing as much of that emotional attachment to food as possible. Honestly, you sound like you need a therapist. A good one who specializes in eating disorders. One who will challenge you and push you out of your comfort zone to help you figure out ways to remove all that emotional attachment to food and find other things that are more fulfilling. That statement about chocolate feeling like a hug. That's disordered thinking whether you know it or not. Please take the time to go find real help. You're not going to permanently beat this if you don't get the mental stuff settled. Now that I've detached from food, I can go months without thinking of junk at all because it doesn't mean anything special anymore. Doritos are about as interesting as a sweet potato except now I concretely feel how gross my body feels when I eat the Doritos so I"m more likely to pick the sweet potatoes. I also think that getting that mental health side of things settled will help you to get to a point where you don't swing back and forth between extremes. I wish you luck.

Lyn said...

hey thanks Zoe, that was a helpful comment and I appreciate it! I think stress does have a lot to do with it, even just stress about food. I know I can't go back to counting calories and weighing all my food again. That certainly does increase anxiety. Take care.

Lyn said...

last Anon~

I've worked with several therapists and haven't felt like I had a great fit with any of them. I do have a question for you if you don't mind. I'd like your perspective on this.

When I eat chocolate I feel relaxed, comforted, and less stressed/more happy. It's kind of a way to decompress. I understand you believe that is disordered. I'm not sure if it is or not. I think "normal" people so the same thing by sitting down with, say, a cup of hot cocoa or hot tea and a cookie and it is like "me time" to just sit, enjoy it, feel warm and relaxed by it. Do you feel like that is the same thing? Is it ever normal, in your opinion, to "use" a food or drink to relax or feel happier? I tend to think it is normal and okay (and not disordered in and of itself) but then again, I have pretty much zero example of normal de-stressing in my life (mother used massive amounts of food, father smoked, both drank at least to some degree). Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

80/20 WORKS, Lyn. Just make sure you are eating healthy foods 80% of the time and you can get away with that bowl of Doritos or candy the other 20% and still maintain your health. To lose weight you do have to go a bit lower, i.e. 90/10 but no you do NOT have to be 100%.

Kira said...

I have no criticism of you, Lyn. You are clearly making progress (not perfection), and I find you inspiring.
I hesitate to say this, because I'm not sure if it's my place, but would you consider changing your tagline? "I have to get out of this hellish nightmare" just doesn't describe where you are to me anymore. As a matter of fact, I'd say you've accomplished that!

Lyn said...


thanks! I feel so much better than I used to, that's for sure. I haven't changed much on my page because I want to remember where I started... but I totally agree with you, I've definitely accomplished that! Someday I might revamp the whole blog and change things around, we'll see!

Anonymous said...

"nagging little voice telling me it is an illusion" yes, i had that too. it's because it's brain chemicals reacting the carbs, not real happiness. it was puzzling when I moved away from EMOTIONAL EATING SHAME ROLLER COASTER to feeling more calm, sane, and normal, because my blood sugar was better....but my behaviour didn't change. i had moved way from the pit of extreme binge eating caused by the diet rollercoaster, but i was still eating more than my body wanted. then i started understanding the brain chemistry better, and realising that even though the voice in my head was very FAINT ('i'm bored, i suppose i'll buy a snack' instead of "I HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT CANDY ALL DAY AND RESISTING IT!!@*Y&#%:", it was still my brain chemistry seeking serotonin and beta endorphins.

this book and website really did it for me: ('potatoes not prozac'). it's based on healing your brain, not getting skinny, so it actually works in the long run. nothing to buy, no need to join the forums, just a book you could probably get at the local library.

Anonymous said...


You asked the question "Is it ever normal, in your opinion, to "use" a food or drink to relax or feel happier?" I think that it is absolutely "normal" in the sense that it is common, and most people do this to some extent, whether it be with food, drink, exercise, or whatever relaxes them. I think that there is a line, however, where this goes from relatively harmless behavior to something more serious. For example, many of us enjoy having some wine in the evenings to decompress, but this is taken to an unhealthy extreme in the case of alcoholics.

I can't claim to know exactly where that line is, but I think in your case it has clearly gone from relatively harmless comfort eating to a very unhealthy and potentially dangerous dependency on food as a coping mechanism. I draw that conclusion based on your weight and issues with blood sugar and blood pressure that you've documented here. If a heavy drinker started seeing an impact on their health and lifestyle because of their habit, I would say that it had become a problem. Similarly, if comfort eating is having a negative impact on your health and lifestyle, as it clearly is, then that means it is a problem.

I think you should seek therapy and know that this is nothing to be ashamed of. Many of us choose coping mechanisms that are to our detriment in the long run (I am a smoker!) but you can't stick your head in the sand and ignore this, because you deserve better than that. I know it can be tough when you're not "clicking" with your therapist, but don't be afraid to try a couple and keep an open mind. Good therapy should challenge you and be uncomfortable, probably a little scary, and most likely frustrating at times. But it can really help you.

Amy said...

Oh dear, Lyn! My vote is that you not allow any comments from anyone hiding behind the Anonymous label. I disapprove of anyone who says the disapprove of your eating! And you are 100% right, eating is not a moral issue. If being thin made people truly happy to their core, you wouldn't have any of the stabby comments here from people who must obviously have every one of the sh*ts together if they have so much judgment to pass. Blah! Rock on. You are bad from the core out and no one has the power to tell you otherwise but you.

Lyn said...

Thanks Amy, I really am trying and I appreciate your support.