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Brain over binge, day 1 of 14

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I've started reading the book Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen

I've struggled with binge eating since I was 11 years old (I'm 42!) and I've read countless books on the subject, seen therapists, been in eating disorder groups, and on and on. This summer, I was sure I had beaten the monster, when I discovered Inside Out Weight Loss, and went for about 4 months binge free. It was incredible and I was elated.

Then life hit, cancer actually, and it all went to hell. My binging came back with a vengeance and for the past 5 months, I've struggled every day with my urges. Most days I crumble and as a result, I've gained about 20 pounds, often feel physically ill, have a horrible time sleeping, etc. Oh, and PS, I'm also working full time as a teacher, with an 8 year old daughter, and have to take care of my terminally ill husband. Clearly the binging is a real hindrance to all that.

OK, so back to the title of my blog. In two weeks, my husband has his next chemo treatment (yesterday was a doozy and we have two weeks off now). I had a bad binge yesterday when we got home from the hospital, after a really terrible time there, and of course, lamented about it all night long.

Well I woke today with the idea that I'd set a two week goal. For the next two weeks, I will live binge free, and thus remorse free (see yesterday's blog). I will attempt to use Ms Hansen's strategies of listening to my "animal mind" and realizing that the way to end binging is to stop binging by ignoring urges to binge. I'm still a bit unclear about it all, but I've got quite a few of my own tricks to put into place, so will use those as well:

Meditate when I get home from school (work)
Make herbal tea after dinner
Commit to eating seated, slowly and mindfully for all meals and snacks
Listening to IOWL podcasts
Connecting fully on Spark

And finally, I will be accountable here daily and publicly.

I want to go to our next appointment full of energy, life force, and confidence that I can take care of myself as well as I'm caring for everyone else around me.
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORKNPROGRESS49 4/6/2013 4:48PM

    Keeping you and your dear husband in my thoughts/prayers emoticon

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MJZHERE 4/5/2013 6:06PM

  I am sorry for all you are going through. It is extremely stressful being a caretaker - and very hard to take care of ourselves at the same time. Good job making a goal and plans to do what you need to for yourself so you can keep keeping on.

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MINIUM 4/4/2013 4:29PM

    It sounds wonderful! I'm here all along with you. Take care!

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    You have a lot on your mind and a lot of stress. I'm glad to hear that you have a plan for the next couple of weeks. Remember small steps lead into bigger ones. It's time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of the people you love. But remember to love yourself first. emoticon emoticon

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WILSONWR 4/3/2013 8:16PM

    Julie, my heart goes out to you. I suffer some of the same urges as you and I definitely don't always "win." Hang in there and do the best you can. That's a great idea with going public and making yourself accountable to others. That may help more than just about anything. Let me know how it goes - also let me know if you find a really good strategy that helps. Thanks.

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ADRIENALINE 4/3/2013 5:06PM

    You have my closest friendship and support. You are awesome. How do you keep all of those balls afloat?

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MISSIFISH 4/3/2013 3:06PM

    I don't have anything much to say today, except that you amaze me, and I am sending you giant hugs. I hope your husband handles this round of chemo well.

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ROSEWAND 4/3/2013 1:43PM

    Julie, I know that the kind of extreme stress, pain
and uncertainty that you are experiencing changes
your brain's neurology and chemistry. You and your
family are living through major trauma.

The feelings of lost control can be overwhelming
at such times. Our brains scramble desperately
for old solutions to bring immediate relief and
rewards. What we crave most is some sense of
control, even as these old coping skills leave us
reeling out of control.

Be loving and tender with yourself as you
would be with your precious child. Sooth
yourself with compassion for even as you falter,
you are living courageously, more courageously
than you are able to recognize right now.

Love, courage, and trust in your deepest wisdom
will carry you through this time of darkness.


Comment edited on: 4/3/2013 1:44:46 PM

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LE7_1234 4/3/2013 1:06PM

    "Clearly the binging is a real hindrance to all that. "

And clearly it's a real solution to all that...

Have you let yourself fall apart yet?

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MKELLY72 4/3/2013 11:11AM

    I needed to read this so badly! Your plan sounds like a workable one, and I think I will borrow from it as well, if you don't mind. I will have to check out that book too.
Best wishes working through all of your struggles right now.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 4/3/2013 9:32AM

    It sounds like you're learning something from it, so that's a good thing. Mow take that information and run with it. No regrets for past mistakes, just learning experiences.

I hope that your husband becomes well from this illness. Stress is never fun, but we can find new ways of coping.

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GLORIAMAJDI 4/3/2013 8:45AM

    You have so much stress in your life right now...I think that you are doing a wonderful job in these circumstances. These things happen even to those of us who don't face the challenges that you don't be so hard on yourself. You are aware and taking steps to work on it which is more than a lot of us are doing! I think that the idea of two week goals are a great idea...take small steps and remember, we are here to support you.


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KANOE10 4/3/2013 8:41AM

    I wish you well in your plan. Your life is extremely stressful and you are doing the best you can at taking care of everyone. That sounds like a very good book. Your steps when you get home are great! Hugs.


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TINAJANE76 4/3/2013 8:00AM

    Keep working at it, Julie! I know that you're frustrated with this pattern, but you've got so much more to deal with than most of us and the fact that you're staying connected and are continuing to fight for what you want is huge. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen as long as you don't give up. Your health and wellbeing is worth it and please don't ever think otherwise.

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HOPERESTORED226 4/3/2013 7:51AM

(hugs) to you and your hubby, what a terribly tough time you are going through.
I am SO HAPPY that you are reading Brain Over Binge. I have been binge free for 36 days (after 40 years of bingeing) due to its very simplistic message.

Rooting you on.

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WATERMELLEN 4/3/2013 7:46AM

    In a situation where I'm doing something that I don't "want" to be doing I often ask myself, what secondary gain am I getting from this unwanted behaviour? Is bingeing (and related "bingeing remorse") functioning as an almost necessary distraction from the unbearable and real stress you're dealing with? If this is not a helpful inquiry, please ignore me . . . of course.

Wishing you all the best with your day by day 2 week program: and all the best dealing with the primary struggle, your DH and his treatment . . .

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/3/2013 7:12AM


I can imagine that our "animal mind" would want to eat in times of stress as a way of "arming" itself with the resources in needs to survive.

You are stressed. You are in survival mode. Being "alignment" for permanent weight loss might be really difficult now, but I hope breaking it down into smaller chunks will help. Take it one day at a time.

As RIDLEYRIDER said - hang in there. Take care of yourself as best you can.


Comment edited on: 4/3/2013 7:13:55 AM

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RIDLEYRIDER 4/3/2013 7:04AM

  You are dealing with more than most people could bear. Hang in there, things will get better, eventually. emoticon

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PTHEALTH 4/3/2013 7:04AM

    I have had the problem of binge eating. But now I usually plan my meals as well as snacks ahead of time and enter them in tracker. This way I always know what snacks I am going to have today. Another thing that helped me was eating only fresh and raw foods like veggies/ fruits/ nuts for snacks. They keep you full longer and are much more healthier.

Good luck emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/3/2013 7:05:07 AM

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BLUENOSE63 4/3/2013 6:59AM

  My thoughts and prayers are with you in this tremendous time of struggle.

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