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    CLAIREINPARIS   52,679
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Fighting the beast – a new stage

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hi, my name is Claire and I suffer from an eating disorder.

This blog is my story. It is an honest picture of what my problem is and how I have been fighting it these last 2 years, when everything else failed. It isn’t a criticism against anybody who does things differently.

One week ago, I finally made the decision to completely stop tracking what I eat. It is a new stage in my fight. I’ll come back to that decision later...

I suffer from BED (Binge Eating Disorder). According to Wikipedia, in the US, BED “is prevalent in up to 30% of those seeking weight loss treatment”.

BED involves extreme overeating in a short time, again and again, week after week (if you think you might suffer from it, have a look at the Wikipedia page above, I found the definition really helpful).

If you have followed my blogs or looked at my page this last year or so, you might have read that I haven’t had a single binge since January 2012, after a major breakthrough with my therapist...

That is still true, I haven’t had a binge as I used to for over a year. It is joy, it is progress. It is huge!

Yet, I still suffer from BED. The ‘beast’, the disorder, is evolving, taking other forms, as I am fighting it with some success. But my mind and body are still mixed up. My BED didn’t appear suddenly, it has been created by 30 years of attempts at controlling my weight one way or another. And it has only started to get better when I looked at my mind (through psychoanalytical therapy) rather than my body...

After I understood (January 2012) why during binges I mostly ate things that I hated...

... I understood (July 2012) why I kept overeating even though the binges had stopped. That was a very important step as well.

After this July breakthrough, I really tasted the sweet taste of freedom for the first time in decades: I was naturally, easily, eating ‘normally’. I stopped eating when I had had enough, it seemed so easy I couldn’t believe it! It lasted almost 3 months and I lost 13lbs!

I think what happened next was that I went back to controlling rather than enjoying my food (and also forgetting the big discovery of the ‘2 Claires’ mentioned in my July’s blog). I wanted more weight loss rather than more pleasure in what I was eating. As soon as the ‘controlling’ was back, as soon as, consciously or not, I felt the pressure again, the freedom was lost and I started eating more, of things I didn’t even enjoy much! I stopped losing weight. And gained back, little by little, the 13lbs I had lost.

This is where I was a few days ago. Back at the same weight I was in July 2012. I was in despair. As I was trying to analyse what had happened, I wrote down:
“I suffer from an eating disorder.”
It FINALLY reached my brain... Would you tell an anorexic person: “Eat more, you can do it!”? Of course you wouldn’t. He/she is sick. It won’t help. So why am I telling myself: “Eat less, eat this, not that, you can do it...”? Control control control... I have to LET GO.

So, a week ago, I decided to completely stop tracking what I eat. Now I actually try and apply the 3 principles that I applied without realising when I lost the 13lbs:
- to only eat when I am hungry
- to always only eat the foods I really want to eat
- and to stop eating when I am not hungry anymore.

Last year, STRIVER57 sent me a link to an article in the New York Times about mindful eating which I enjoyed very much. It is here if you want to have a look:

I had heard about mindful eating before, but didn’t think I could ever manage it. When I read the NY Times article, I realised again how much I thought it was THE solution for me... but I was too scared, I wasn’t ready to take the risk. Now I want to stop the controlling which is ruining my relationship with food, and I believe I can. I need to stop feeding my eating disorder! The 3 principles I follow are inspired by the mindful-eating ones.

In a week, I lost almost 3 pounds. I weighed myself last Saturday, and again this morning. Now I’ll go back to only weighing myself the 1st of each month. I am in no hurry, I just want to become freer, much more than to lose weight.

If you have made it so far, THANK YOU! It isn’t easy to share so openly about these things, they are complicated and take time to explain. But I do hope that my story can help someone who reads this blog.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CATNCAG 10/21/2013 1:03PM

    Thanks for sharing Claire that was very brave! It should help though knowing that u r inspiring others! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSCUS 4/24/2013 1:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MANILUS 3/29/2013 11:21PM

    I used to suffer from this myself, but dealing with the issues in my mind helped as you said. Congrats on taking control, keep up the hard work!

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JUSGETTENBY42 3/20/2013 2:00PM


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CHERIRIDDELL 3/14/2013 2:49AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. It made me focus and I tend to eat when I am losing control in other areas ,since I have a spinal injury I felt out of control with other things I enjoyed and perhaps like you I should let go of the obsessive tracking and enjoy food..Thank you for opening my eyes!

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LJCANNON 3/11/2013 7:56PM

    emoticon This was a wonderful Window into your Life. Thank You for having the Courage to share it. So much of the Information about Binge Eating is New to me. I have heard a lot of Positive Response about "Mindful Eating" and I am glad that it is helping you Tame The Beast!

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BEWELL48 3/10/2013 8:44AM

Your honesty is so inspiring. I did click on the article and enjoyed its contents. I know for me life just gets too busy and complicated. I need to be in the moment, stop and smell the roses, savor the present easy to hard to do! Thank you for this reminder of mindfulness eating. Let us all continue on our journeys and find success in small nuggets that will add up to big accomplishments!
~ Claire

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CHEEKYGEEK 3/7/2013 8:27PM

    You have eloquently expressed many of my own struggles with food. Thank you.

I was pleased to see several people mention Paul McKenna. Mostly because I needed the reminder. I've been so obsessed with counting every calorie that I've forgotten to savor my food and enjoy the experience. So worried about every bite that, even though I wasn't totally denying myself, I still went crazy and binged (to the tune of a 20 pound gain in under 3 months). I want to achieve what you have--a healthy relationship with food. Eat when I'm hungry. Eat what I want. Eat mindfully. Stop eating when I'm comfortable.

I wish you the best on your continued journey. And again, thanks for addressing this issue (it's helpful to know I'm not alone).

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HAKAPES 3/4/2013 6:43AM

    I love the NYT article, thank you.
When I started on SP, I slowed down a lot my eating. Now, it got back to fast. Time to slow it down again.
Happy for your success!

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KAREN91 3/3/2013 6:56AM

    Claire, Thank you so much for this blog. I think I have your problem, the more I try to diet, lose weight, control what I eat the more I binge and gain weight. Im going to study your links and work on my mind. One of the things that I did in the past was join weight and diet groups where I gained instead of lost!!! I think your solution may work for me too. Many thanks for sharing this. emoticon emoticon

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NORASPAT 3/2/2013 2:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You did a great job describing your beast. I never thought about not tracking. I do not usually over eat IO don'e even crave I just cannot lose weight right now. I have dropped two clothes sizes.
SP keeps telling me I should eat more I am happy eating the way I do so why should I do that. I too must analyze this to see if giving up racking helps me too. HUGS Pat In Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LENIASTY 3/1/2013 9:19AM

    It must have taken great courage for you to write this blog - thank you for sharing, much of what you said was quite enlightening, helping to understand why we form certain attitudes to food.....I can feel your pain and frustration, but also your strength and determination, your joy in the new-found freedom. Given your attitude I have no doubt that you will beat the "beast"! Stay strong, you can do it!
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CRYSALLIS1 3/1/2013 8:49AM

Eventually you will win the fight with the Beast. You have won many rounds. It seems like this journey is sort of like when a person is taking a test in college. You can cram the info in and do well on the test; only to totally forget the info later. Or you can really study the subject well and be able to retain the information and use it daily for a lifetime. You are doing just that.
You are working hard and studying the problem. You are not letting it transform into another unwanted enemy.
I think I'm an equal opportunity eater. I eat to much when I celebrate, eat when I'm mad, eat when I'm stressed, eat to procrastinate, eat a lot because it tastes good
( greed), etc. I have so many beasts.
Your 3 basic rules of when to eat is right on. Even though I have allowed my journey to stall I know deep inside that I will cross the finish line as a winner.
You will cross that finish line as a Winner. emoticon emoticon Slow and steady wins the marathon. I think hiking boots is essential equipment. emoticon

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EOWYNRUSS 2/28/2013 4:57PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have long suspected that I have an actual eating disorder, because I binge every time I try to exert some control over my diet. However, I have never had it officially diagnosed. Thanks to your blog, I now have a likely diagnosis and a name for it. I do not track either. Every time I do, I binge more often. Stonecot mentioned Paul McKenna, the author of "I Can Make You Thin", who also promotes mindful eating. His books and CD's have really helped me. The other blogs you linked to also helped me make connections to my own life. Thanks again for your courage and wisdom.

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WILDASTER 2/28/2013 1:08PM

    Dear Claire, I am so happy for you. You are growing stronger as a person and I truly believe that you can do it. We all know that there are things we should eat, and not but to be free to eat the good things we like, is a treasure.

Thank you for your blog, I will look up that article, it interested me very much. You are an inspiration!

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SJKENT1 2/25/2013 5:14PM

    Control issues are so rampant everywhere and in so many of us. Thanks for your mindful blog - you are spot on!

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MARYJEANSL 2/25/2013 9:47AM

  I am sure this was a tough blog to write. I too have had an eating disorder. It is a miserable way to live. You are so brave to blog about it, and so strong to be overcoming it. Congratulations on the amazing progress you have made!

I can't help but want to ask...your English is perfect, flawless...where did you learn it? I studied French for many years, but when I finished school and started work, I forgot a great deal of it. I really regret that.

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AMANDACOETZER 2/25/2013 7:16AM


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BLUEJEAN99 2/25/2013 1:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 2/25/2013 12:15AM

    How beautifully and heartbreakingly honest and brave of you to post this. Thank you for sharing your struggles and the ways you have found success in defeating them. I read the other two blogs you linked to...amazing. I am sure you have helped many others struggling through similar difficulties by being so open.

Take care of yourself, you're doing great, and thanks again!

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JOANNHUNT 2/24/2013 11:13PM

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LADYVOLSFAN1954 2/24/2013 10:46PM

    Claire, thank you for sharing a very personal challenge with us. Thank you for the links also. They have helped me. You see I'm a binge eater too and I eat mindlessly all the time. That's why I've struggled so much the past six months. Now you have inspired me to learn more and control the "beast" within me. Thank you. Sending you love & hugs,

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JAMER123 2/24/2013 10:23PM

    emoticon Claire on your focus to change!
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DW33412 2/24/2013 9:33PM


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HEARTS116 2/24/2013 9:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KSNANA2 2/24/2013 9:27PM

    I haven't had a problem with binges since I found out I had allergies to eggs which were triggering it. But now I eat mindlessly and fast. I inhale my food always in a hurry to get to the next project. The article you mentioned really made me stop and think. I am printing it off so I can reread it several times until it sinks in. Thank you! And I hope you find answers that work for you as well.

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ROCKYCPA 2/24/2013 9:18PM

    Thank you for sharing your story and good luck on your journey!

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SUSIEMT 2/24/2013 8:31PM

    I am very proud of you for your courage to address these issues in such a public forum. God Bless you dear. Keep up the great work!

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LISALGB 2/24/2013 8:24PM

    Oh, Claire, how courageous of you to share so openly. You really are on your way to complete freedom. I am so happy for you for all the progress you have made. You have my total support as you move forward in this journey.
Blessings to you, my lovely, brave friend!!

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TATTER3 2/24/2013 8:11PM

    Really good information. I appreciate this. I have an eating disorder...I just don't know where to start or how to stop it. Just keep Sparkin'!!

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ALIHIKES 2/24/2013 7:34PM

    Thank you for sharing this very moving and very personal blog. Like you, I tend to overeat and binge. For me it is triggered by emotion. The tips on mindful eating were very useful, also the basics: Eat what you are really desire. Eat only as much as your need. And stop when you are full. Wow, that is a great mantra!

Also thank you for your kind and supportive comments on my blog. I appreciate your friendship so much! It must have been very scary when your job was changed, I am so glad you got another position and were able to keep your apartment. emoticon

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LUNABYRD 2/24/2013 7:12PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. It proves that everyone has something they are fighting and trying to win. Good luck on your journey! emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 2/24/2013 6:36PM

  emoticon so much for sharing your disorder with us. It took a lot of courage and I admire you for doing it. I am sure that the information will help all of us in some way. Even though we all do this journey in different ways, it is wonderful to learn about what others are going through to expand our understanding.

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SHOAPIE 2/24/2013 6:20PM


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CICELY360 2/24/2013 5:38PM

  good blog

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ALIDOSHA 2/24/2013 5:02PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SANDYLH1 2/24/2013 4:56PM


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DOODIE59 2/24/2013 4:21PM

    Congratulations, on seeing the way to free yourself from the ties that bind you, that prevent you from celebrating your true self. You are on your way -- hurray!

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REDGALE 2/24/2013 3:48PM

    The bells of recognition are going crazy in my own head! Your comments about controlling your food really ring true for me, also, as well as identifying childhood food issues I must address.

Your blogs have HAVE made a difference! Thank you for sharing your struggles!

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NEWCHINELO 2/24/2013 3:24PM

    You will make it because SP community is right by your side . . . Very courageous!

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LINDAKAY228 2/24/2013 3:01PM

    Thank you so much for being so open about your struggles and sharing your story. I'm so happy that you are finding what works for you again. That's awesome. And I really need to try your principles.
Have a great day!

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CHRISBEM 2/24/2013 1:29PM

    I like the idea of mindful eating

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GRIZ1GIRL 2/24/2013 1:14PM

    You're doing great--understanding your personal issues & tackling them one-by-one! Way to go! Keep up the great work!

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WALLINMW 2/24/2013 1:08PM

  Stay motivated!

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JIMATK 2/24/2013 12:50PM

    Hang in there Claire - you're worth it!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 2/24/2013 12:45PM

    emoticon on your progress. I wish you continued luck.

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DIANNEMT 2/24/2013 12:10PM

    So glad you are figuring this out!! It is HUGE to understand this!! Great!

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NEWMOM20121 2/24/2013 11:31AM

    Great blog. Find what works for you

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WORKNPROGRESS49 2/24/2013 10:49AM

    emoticon for your very personal/inspirational blog. Also emoticon for sharing these websites. This will truly help me to focus on the 3 principles that you shared, because I am a binge eater. I am so thankful that I came across your blog post this morning; I really needed to read it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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