Today I wanted to share something about how I was able to overcome Binge Eating Disorder, which truly changed my life. Binge Eating is a whole lot different than obsessive food thoughts, although a binge usually began with those thoughts for me when I was actively binge eating (which you can read plenty about in the early days of my blog, before I stopped binge eating). Over the last couple years I have not binged, but have struggled at times with the constant, nagging, obsessive intrusion of food thoughts that just *would not* go away until I gave in and ate that specific food. That is the same process that started a lot of binges in the past, but the end result was very different. I always felt *driven* to eat ALL of whatever food I was craving or obsessing over, and once it was gone I just felt like I was physically unable to STOP eating even more... so would eat huge volumes of food at once until I could not fit one more bite into my stomach, stretched to its largest capacity. But after I stopped binge eating, I found that even when driven by obsessive thoughts, I could get that food, eat one or two servings, and stop eating. That is the main difference, in my experience, between the two disorders.
Now that the obsessive "voices" have quieted and calmed because of my non-restrictive (but also moderate by choice) eating, one of the things that has happened to me is that I am able to be very satisfied with small, sometimes ridiculously tiny amounts of food. Strangely enough, I first figured this out at restaurants. I would see something on the menu that sounded good, order it, and even if it was amazingly delicious, would be satisfied and "done" after a few bites. At first this made me mad! After Medifast, my stomach had shrunk to a much smaller size and I was not even *able* to eat a huge meal anymore... but even more amazing to me was the fact that I had no desire to eat large volumes anymore. I still don't... but I would get mad at the restaurants because they "make" you buy a huge entree just to have a little bit of it! Yes, I could take it home and have it later, but I often wished they would serve mini portions so I could have a little of this and a little of that. One solution I found was that many restaurants have a menu for Seniors which is a bit cheaper and has much smaller portions. I am obviously not a senior citizen but every time I have asked, I have been allowed to order from the Seniors menu. In a few cases I have even been allowed to order from the Kids' menu, which has even smaller portions! I love this! I have also taken to splitting some foods with people I am dining with (trading, say, a little of their appetizer for most of my dessert).
At home, it's easy. I really enjoy variety. I cook several things have just have a little bit of each. At potlucks and parties, even better! I can have a full plate of food (just ONE plate... that is plenty) and have lots of things if my portions are tiny. I like to have larger portions of the healthiest items like meats and vegetables, and then very small portions of anything else I'd like. I find I am quite content with one bite of sweet potatoes, one cracker, one little cheese cube, etc. Really some of my portions look kind of silly to other people (as someone commented earlier, why would anyone eat a third of a Clementine? They are already tiny!) but it is enough and I am satisfied. I know that if I decide to eat some chips I am happy with 2 or 3 of them. If I really really want cheesecake I am great with 2 bites of the filling, no crust. I can literally put 2 tablespoons of au gratin potatoes on my plate and feel happy with that amount. I no longer want to eat the WHOLE package of food or a giant bowl of anything. I would much rather just have a taste! And that is a completely different, and much healthier mindset from both the binge eating of the distant past and the obsessive eating of more recent times. The DRIVE to eat is gone, and replaced my a calmness even about the foods that look exceptionally tasty to me. I know I can have them, and a little is enough.
Try tiny portions. You might be shocked at how little you can be satisfied with! You can always go back for more!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
Escape from Obesity by Lyn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
All material contained in this blog, including written posts and photographs, is protected by U.S. copyright law. If you would like to reproduce a post or part of a post online, you may do so on a non-commercial site as long as you attribute the material to myself, "Lyn of Escape from Obesity," and include a link to my blog. Any commercial use of these materials is prohibited. If you have questions, please contact me via email.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Which basically means, if you shop through my amazon links, I earn a small commission. Thanks!