ANGSWANSON's Recent Blog Entries

It is difficult to say...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am unable to identify my feelings today. I tried and tried and got nothing. Of course I could have lied. During my Eating Disorder support group there were women from rich to poor, older to younger. Each of us had different disorders, One has bulemic, one was anarexic and like me binge eating. It was shocking to me that every one had the same sysmptom and how we dealt with it was the same.

We hide the food,
We spend money we don't have.
We eat until we are sick.
We don't feel completely in control when it is happen.

Itvery hard to change something so ingrained into your mind. It is the single most difficult thing I have done.

It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.
James Gordon, M.D.

We rationalize to ourself to get support.
and many other things.

I felt as if I was with sisters. The other helpful thing is that we made 2 short term goals. Mine was to eat three meals a day (still working on that one) and the other was to down load some relaxation and guided imagary. It is very helpful if needing to go to sleep.

I am getting tired again. It is really late.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRYPHYNSMAMA 8/13/2009 7:47AM

    I know this is hard, especially when you're physically exhausted and mentally conflicted. But you CAN be healthy and you DESERVE to have a healthy body. Keep blogging your thoughts, journaling can be a big help - its awesome that you're part of a support group! Keep up the good work!

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    sounds like you are doing something very healthy for you to help yourself. I'm proud of you. keep up the good work you can dothis.

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Short Term Fix for a Long Term Problem

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I am realizing that the momentary feeling of bliss does not fix the long term misery I feel. It feels so good when I am eating three breakfast burritos in the parking lot of Jack in the Box. Yet when I am done I feel ashamed, guilty, and overwhelming sense of lack of control. I tell myself that I am weak, disgusting, and that I won’t do it again, but I do over and over. Desperation hits and I want to make up for going overboard so I don’t eat anything else that day. Often I reason with myself that “I haven’t had anything to eat all day so it is okay” even when I know it isn’t.

It sounds like the problem is food but it is far from it. Masking my feelings, holding them down inside, I feel nothing but the craving for whatever food of the moment is. The regrets, insecurities and fear that I have are separate from the food. The food is just a short term fix to the years of been a dysfunctional human being.

I am transfixed on eating to avoid the pain. Yet I know the pain is always there but for a flitting moment pure joy. It is similar to being high. According to the Addiction and (
nition-of-addiction.htmi), the medical definition of addiction is to meet seven criteria as illustrated by answering the follow questions:

1. Tolerance. Has your use of eating gotten worse over time?
2. Withdrawal. When you stop overeating, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal? Have you had any of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting?
3. Difficulty controlling your use. Do you sometimes eat more than you would like? Do you stop after a eating a healthy amount usually, or does eating lead to more eating?
4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to eat even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
5. Putting off or neglecting activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of you would rather eat?
6. Spending significant time or emotional energy. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining food, eating, concealing food, planning to get food, or recovering from your eating physically? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about food? Have you ever concealed or minimized your eating? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your eating? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your eating?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you meet the medical definition of addiction. I answered yes to 95% these questions yet it is hard for me to say I am an addict. I have NEVER used illegal drugs, I appropriately use prescription drugs and I rarely drink alcohol. Let’s be honest the food I choose tastes awesome; I probably wouldn’t eat it if it didn’t taste good. It is so hard to come to the realization, that something that makes you feel so good, even though intellectually you know that it is bad. It is maddening!

I know that it is physically harming my body. My joints and legs hurt all the time, my feet and ankles swell due to the pressure of my weight, I can’t tie my shoes, and I find it hard to breath. I think that is the realization that my eating habits were out of control. I knew I was hurting but I continued to eat even though I knew it was bad. It is a spiraling effect. The worse I feel , the more I eat and the worse I feel. It is overwhelming and I feel hopeless. How do you fix something that is so ingrained in your mind such as feelings? Is it possible to change your feelings and behavior by exploring them and owning them? I think it is. I truly believe that once you understand yourself and come to terms with the lament, shame and insecurities that shape you , you can rise above it and move forward. Lee J. Colan in his book 7 Defining Moments said it well when he wrote, “Since we fear most that which is unknown to us, defining moments of change occur when we choose to know our fear”.

So what is my plan for overcoming this problem? Mark Twain said that “One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect”. Work on identifying my feelings, expressing my feelings and coming to terms with those feelings is a big part of recovering and changing. I can’t afford to go to a treatment center. I can talk though and I will begin a eating disorder therapy group. I am journaling my thoughts in this blog. I am participating in individual therapy with a Licensed Medical Social Worker who specializes in eating disorders. I am reading books on the subject and participating in forums.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    it seems you have hit the nail on the head here. Back a few months ago, I started really feeling feelings coming out of nowhere especially about my past. I cannot afford to get counseling or therapy, so I started exploring my past to see when I first started to emotional eat. with me it started when I was four. I used emotional eating as a coping mechanism as a child to not feel my feelings. Verbal and mental abuse were plentiful especially with a dad that taught me how to emotionally eat. It was a survival thing for me. After figuring out where it started and when and why, then I was able to start remembering the past and situations and events that triggered many feelings. After dealing with these feelings and writing about them and getting them out, I was able to start forgiving. I started to forgive myself for abusing myself in such a way but I was able to forgive my mother for the abuse and I was able to forgive my father for not protecting me like he should have. After starting to forgive, it was easier to start to love myself and realize that I used emotional eating to shove down any type of feelings especially big ones. Now, I am able to feel my feelings and then I let them go and move on. It can be done. You can start to manage emotional eating. I don't think we ever fully recover from it, but I think that we can manage it day to day, situation to situation. It is being able to deal with the emotions instead of shoving them down.
It seems like you know what you have to do. Good luck. Alethea

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DEBIDORIGHT 7/2/2009 12:03PM

    Best wishes for your journey. I've also found that having an "attitude of gratitude" is so helpful...Always think about the things you are thankful for. You will succeed ! (((HUGS)))

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good for you

i think you're way ahead of some of us

i've been thinking about a therapist, cuz even after almost 18 months, i'm struggling hard again

will look forward to hear how you're doing

and, any good books, please let us know!

best of luck to you

i admire your bravery!!

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Starting the recovery of a binge eating disorder

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It was Albert Einstein you said "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." I have been a member of SP for some time but I didn't have much sucess because I kept sabatoging myself. Thinking "if I don't eat lunch and dinner I can overeat my favorite foods". I might even overeat something healthy but I would eat and eat and eat it. I was feeling out of control and overwhelmed then I came across something on the internet, the tell tale signs of an eating disorder. It was shocking to me. I have been overeating for 20 years and I never really looked at why and what triggers it. I could identify with every symptom. So I went to the doctor who referred me to a therapist who referred me to group therapy. I found there are alot of resources and treatments and it is totally realistic to overcome and change eating habits but probably not without hard work and determination.

Almost everyone overeats occasionally. But if you have a binge eating disorder, you'll consistently have some or all of the following symptoms:

- Fear of not being able to control eating, and while eating, not being able to stop.
Isolation. Fear of eating around and with others.
- Chronic dieting on a variety of popular diet plans.
- Holding the belief that life will be better if they can lose weight.
- Hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed) to eat at a later time.
- Vague or secretive eating patterns.
- Self-defeating statements after food consumption.
- Blames failure in social and professional community on weight.
- Holding the belief that food is their only friend.
- Frequently out of breath after relatively light activities.
- Excessive sweating and shortness of breath.
- High blood pressure and/or cholesterol.
- Leg and joint pain.
- Weight gain.
- Decreased mobility due to weight gain.
- Loss of sexual desire or promiscuous relations.
- Mood swings. Depression. Fatigue.
- Insomnia. Poor Sleeping Habits.

It's a behavioral disorder marked by episodes of uncontrollable eating. If you have binge eating disorder(BED), you consume unusually large amounts of food at a time--often but not always in secret and until you're uncomfortably full. This eating disorder is similar to bulimia, but people with BED don't try to compensate for their binges by purging the food; that is, they don't try to get rid of it through vomiting or taking laxatives. You may feel overwhelmed by shame and embarrassment about both your weight (whether you're overweight or not) and how you eat. Most people with BED are overweight or obese, but the disorder also appears in people of normal weight.

A national survey recently found that 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men suffer from binge eating disorder at some point in their lives. It's also estimated that between 10 and 15 percent of people trying to lose weight on their own or following commercial weight-loss programs have the disorder. Binge eaters tend to be older than people with anorexia and bulimia, and slightly more women than men suffer from binge eating disorder.

So in the next blogs I write I will discuss the information I have learned and journal my experience in individual and group therapy as well as other treatments I research. I don't want to say that everyone who is obese has an eating disorder because that is incorrect. I just think that the it is hugely unreported as to the amount of people that have an eating disorder and that those people can be any age, not just younger people.

I do know that you can pass your eating habits to your children as you are their most important and influentencial role model. My daughter's age 21, 18, and 11 all have symptoms of binge eating. My oldest daughter is in treatment for bulimia. So thus my motivation to change the way I approach emotions and food is to pass on those habits to my girls.

My goal is to raise awareness about binge eating disorders... emphasizing always that eating disorders are NOT about food and weight; They are just the symptoms of something deeper going on, inside. If you suffer from binge eating disorder you are not alone, and that complete recovery is possible. The more you know, the more you are equipped yourself with the tools of change. If you have any eating disorder, you can find help. You can recover. And you deserve to do both.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I admire your honesty and courage to let others know about your disorder. And yes you are so right when it comes to our children and the influence we have over them. I found myself last summer with my 5 year old telling me she had a fat belly and that she didn't want me to start eating "her snacks" because in her own words "you will eat them all mommy". And she cried. that was it for me. I haven't looked back since. Even now that I'm pregnant, I am taking better care of myself, not eating for "2" and I'm exercising 5x a week. I am keeping my weight gain to a minimum but I know that when it is over, I will be able to lose the weight that I gain and get back on track to getting towards my goals. I think your blogs will help a lot of people.

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