Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If you are a disordered eater (especially binge eating)

I want to pose a few questions, especially for the people reading who have food issues (binge eating, in particular). I've made it pretty clear in previous posts about my binge eating that I'm not sure therapy would be the right thing for me, especially since we don't have health insurance or anything. What's the purpose of therapy for disordered eating? Does it help you identify what your food issues are, then give ideas how to deal? How are the ideas any different from thing one finds in the self-help books? What if I don't need help identifying the source of my issues? Do you ever doubt that you are, in fact, a binge eater (or bulimic/anorexic), that maybe you're just looking for an excuse? I ask that last question because sometimes I feel like I don't really have a problem, that I just need to buckle down and be good. Sometimes I get so frustrated trying not to eat everything in sight that I feel like a failure, even if I haven't touched a thing. I don't understand how, on some days I can be so certain I'm a binge eater and on other days I'm just a pig because I'm a pig. Does anyone else go through this?


Jess said...

I don't know if I mentioned in my blog but my therapist doesn't think I'm a binge eater. After I explained my 'bad eating' to her and I heard myself telling her, I tend to agree.

I'm more of a mindless/emotional eater. I eat when I'm bored, mad, happy, sad, glad...you name it. I use food to self-medicate. My mindless eating tends to get really bad when I'm depressed or stressed out. I've found that the meds they prescribed me help out tremendously and then the other part of it is just listening to my body and making good food choices as well as working out regularly.

My therapist did say that I should still read the parts of the books you sent to me that apply to me since she thought there would be some good cognitive re-training tips and I'm going to do that.

And honestly, I don't think seeing her is much different than reading self-help books. I tend to get a little ADD when I read and therapy really helps me to talk through things and get feedback from her so I know I'm on the right track.

I hope that answered your question or gave you some insight...

Becky said...

"My mindless eating tends to get really bad when I'm depressed or stressed out. "

Oh, Jess, you described me perfectly! Anger is my biggest trigger, and mindless is exactly how it feels. Not the trance-like state I've read about in binge eating books, but just sort of an "I'm going to eat this and not give a shit but beat myself up anyway" kind of way.

I know I have anger issues. I'm angry and resentful all the time. I know the things I need to do to get over it (and in the end, the eating issue) but putting words and thoughts into action is so much harder than it seems!

Thanks, Jess!

Jess said...

Yep...we're pretty much two peas in a pod. "I'm going to eat this and not give a shit but beat myself up anyway" kind of way. ---> I could have written this and Matt would agree if you asked him.

As far as the anger goes, BTDT. I honestly used to be one of the most miserable people I knew. I made mountains out of molehills, got pissed off at the stupidest things, and lived my life dwelling on things that would just make me more angry (MIL for instance). I don't know who said it but what has helped me overcome my anger is thinking of the old advice "he who angers you controls you" or something like that. Once I got that through my head, my life has been much easier.

I also look at how much worse others have it than me. I try to be more of 'the glass is half full' kind of woman now. I'm healthy, I've got a great job, my family is awesome, I've got a nice house, and I've got the best group of friends anyone could ask for. It could be so much worse.

When you think about it that way, it really puts things in perspective for you.

The real wake up call for me was seeing my oldest son model some of my behaviors. I do NOT want him growing up with the same issues that I had because I want better for him. KWIM?

Sorry for the book.

Becky said...

Holy crap, Jess. We're like twins!

Jess said...

Except your not as wordy as me. :P

Jess said...

I mean't you're...dammit! I hate it when people don't use that word right!

Scale Junkie said...

I'm trying to get my binge eating under control. Have you considered looking for free support groups for binge eating in your area? Local colleges or universities are a great place to look they often have groups led by staff psychologists.

Becky said...

That didn't even occur to me, but I will certainly check into it. Thanks for the idea!