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AVRT to cope with emotional binge eating

Old 07-22-2013, 10:30 AM
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Hey my lovely, missed you. Thought for one awful minute I was going to have to look at this eating lark on my own!! Today I've sat at my desk and eaten a bar of chocolate, 2 pieces of cake and half a box of biscuits....seriously and you think you've got problems!

Now I'm home and feeling too sick for dinner....and so is the pattern of my weirdness around food. Another day I might eat all fruit until 8 pm then crave sugar and literally turn out the cupboards until I find something sweet.

I spent time over the weekend looking at the TAPS model that GT suggested, and my beast has gone loopy. I have literally been going crazy for sugar as today's intake proves. Wednesday. That is the day for my Big Plan and my beast is well and truly kicking off about it. Also....thoughts of smoking and drinking are creeping back too!

Right, now, how to make time for yourself without it involving anything to do with self-improvement or involving eating....go watch a film (something funny), read a book (NOT self-help!), go for a walk in the countryside or along a beach (not sure of your location so forgive me if it isn't possible), meet up with some friends, have your nails done, buy something girly. For me, being silly always involves singing along to very loud music whilst doing the housework. Always fun cos it embarrasses the kids too. Laughing with friends is always a good antidote to life's stresses. Whatever you like...do it more and often. Life should be enjoyed not endured my friend xxx
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:03 AM
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I have found this "relaxing" time really challenging also.

I think it is because the "doing nothing" usually ramps up a lot of negative self-talk of should etc.

I do better if I have a plan in place for something fun, but not about self-improvement.

I needed to make a list for myself of what I enjoy that would not be self-improvement (cause I usually can't come up with it in the moment).

I also have learned that "beating" myself up for not being able to do something makes me feel worse and triggers me into a negative cycle again, so even if I struggle I try not to beat myself up around it. I am MUCH better at this relaxing thing then I was.

I also want to share in my ESH that eating issues don't just get fixed overnight. I don't say that to discourage you, but the challenge in eating issues is balance....many other addictive behaviors there is an all or nothing part to it that can't happen in food. I am not trying to discount how hard it is to work on other addictive processes...just that for me food had a different component. I write that to normalize the two steps forward and back that I hear you writing about....

For me it has been about small changes that I can sustain in the long run.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:05 AM
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Hi, Jeni!

No way you are going to look at this eating lark on your own - I'm here!

Just got my nail today - so red girlish) Did I tell you that my boxing trainer asked me out?))) I was gobsmacked.

Thanks for the ideas! My problem with reading and watching moovie is that I always automatically start to analyze it from a writer's point of view. Crazy, yeah?

Thank you, my pal. I am smiling now. Feeling so much better!

See you tomorrow!
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:15 AM
  # 264 (permalink)  
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Liferecovery - thank you so much for your post!

Exactly, I've just realized that I should plan my fun and relaxing time as much as I plan all other activities.

I realize that eating habits are not changing overnight, and it's long run and long-term goal. And mostly I am ok with that. It's just ... I'm freaking out because it's such a self-sabotage. Anyway, I should be easier on myself..

Thank you)
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:15 AM
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Your boxing trainer asked you out?! Wow, no you did not tell me that! Cool. So...did you say yes? That would be another distraction to stop you being so serious about everything. Lol.

And don't worry about being crazy....you and me both.

LifeRecovery...I hear what you're saying, and yes I'm an all or nothing kind of girl which is why my eating is all over the place. I didn't mention I can go days without eating anything at all. Sophisticated self-harm...that's my therapists verdict on it. You know I'm really determined when I set my mind to it, and I think the AVRT method will work for me. But I am getting all set for Wednesday when my plan will be written down and put into motion.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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I love the sophisticated self-harm. I am very good at that statement...and I couch it as doing something good for myself.

Very very weird.

I did not struggle with an eating disorder that could be "DSMV IV" quantified....I spent a lot of time ruminating on how my eating disorder was not "bad" enough to warrent help.

The things I do to distract myself from feeling are almost always sophisticated self-harm....I am so good I even sike myself out.

I am so grateful for recovery options....cause it was all better then what I was doing previously.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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I know very little about eating disorders, and I don't believe I qualify as having one. Not now. As a teenager I deliberately starved myself and lost a lot of weight. This I saw as gaining control over an environment in which I had none. The school authorities noticed first (not my parents!), and when my Dad found out he was angry with me. I don't really know why but it was not a great time. I don't know if I was even officially anorexic and my memories of that time are a bit blurred. I left home at 18, and went to college and ended up in a few long term but quite abusive relationships. Drinking then became my poison.

My eating habits have never been what you'd call normal, and I've had periods of starving myself as an adult but never to the extent where I made myself ill like I did at 13.

To be honest, the way I eat now, it's weird, but it isn't likely to kill me. It's a little worse since I gave up smoking admittedly, but sometimes I wonder if it is worth tackling at all. I don't want to become obsessed with it.

And there's a hell of a lot going on in my life that is bloody good. Am I talking myself out of this????
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:37 AM
  # 268 (permalink)  
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Jeni26-

My bias. Eating disorders don't have to be diagnosable by DSMV IV to cause a lot of damage. I make the analogy about the difference between a hurricane and a tropical storm....both can be destructive though typically a hurricane provides more life threatening concern in the immediate moment. Regardless of where mine fell on the spectrum I was miserable, isolating, numbing out my emotions with food (or with not eating), unable to connect with others etc. I suspect I would have gotten to a diagnosible ED if I had not gotten help....it was just where I was headed and my only choosen path of self-destruction.

I have had plenty of items to work through on my recovery....and it takes time. As long as I was not ONLY taking backward steps I counted it as moving forward.

I go to a number of Open AA meetings (especially one that is a woman's only group) and am amazed at the strength of people's recovery....but also hear that now that their sobriety is in place all the other concerns of life starting to pop up (one being their relationship with food).

I am amazed at you, midnight and bloss for the recovery you have under your belt. You will know IF and when it is the right time to cross this hurdle. I hope though that regardless of your choice that it DOES NOT detract from the recovery you already have in place.

There is a new book out by Jenni Schaefer (who I love) called Almost Anorexic. I can't wait to read it because I suspect it will speak to me in that quasi unknown land of sophisticated self-harm that does not "fall" into any category.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:58 AM
  # 269 (permalink)  
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Hi, pals. Have somewhat low blood pressure today, so feel absolutely deprived of energy. But - I don't give up thought the Beast was "offering" me some of ITS favorite food to boost my energy. I think I am going to call it an early night and have some decent sleep.

Jeni - No, I didn't accept an offer to go out. I think my seriousness got in the way. But, actually, maybe the guy is just not my type) But I was pleased anyway since it's been ages and ages since I was asked out)

Liferecovery - I agree that there is a find line between diagnosed and non-diagnosed disorder. I think that my nutrition hardly falls into some category, but it bothers me, and that's important. And you got it right about using food to numb feeling. And I don't want to numb feelings any more, I want to deal with my issues and get closer to goals other than hiding behind mindless eating. Actually I see analogy here with drinking - before I quit I also considering my wine habit kind of "normal" because a lot of people do it. But now I can see how far far away from normal was it. And it's the same here.

I don't think it will detract me from sobriety. At least I don't feel like this)

Bloss - how are you doing, my friend?

See you tomorrow pals.

Again - I am so grateful you are with me on this journey!
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:00 AM
  # 270 (permalink)  
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I've been thinking a lot about what you both say, and I'm pretty certain I do not eat to numb feelings, or for any emotional reasons really. I think I'm just wired wrongly. You know as alcoholics we say our off switch is broken, and we can't just have 1 drink without going on to get drunk. Well that is completely true of me. Absolutely no argument. I know I can never drink again. I couldn't and will never be able to moderate.

With smoking, I can just have 1. I mean I won't sit and chain smoke, but again I will quickly become addicted again, so that within a few days I will be back to my pack a day routine. Off switch broken.

But with eating, it's different, it's like the switch gets stuck. Sometimes it is stuck on 'on', and I will eat too much of something. Something that's bad for me obviously...I'm never gonna get addicted to lettuce lol. When I'm like this, I eat compulsively, I search for sugar, I will go out and buy it if I need to late at night. Addictive behaviour. Similar to what I'd do if I ran out of booze or cigs. But then, for no reason, no emotional connection, this pattern changes. I will eat normally (well for me anyway), or otherwise I will forget to eat at all for days and the switch gets stuck on 'off'.

Weird doesn't even come close. But I honestly can't link these patterns to feelings of self-sabotage, lack of self-esteem or anything. I have always been the same. In so many ways, I'm more confident and happy than I ever have been. Life throws stuff at me the way it does us all, but I'm not depressed, overly anxious or struggling any more than anyone else.

So I haven't got an eating disorder. I don't fancy another label as my therapist has hung quite a few round my neck recently and I've got enough weighing me down to cope with anyway at the moment. But I am still going to address this. Big Plan just being considered.

Hope you feel better soon MB x

Hi to Bloss x
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:02 PM
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Hello to all,
I am doing alright, still sober, which is always a plus. The eating, well, I'm just taking it daily. Some days, I am strong and it is not an issue. Others, not so much. As has been shared here, I am affirming my self worth and not "putting myself" down. I have a tendency to say really "mean" things to myself. I would never say the words to another person who was suffering. So, I have decided to treat "Bloss" as I would another, with kindness. I am less likely to use food as a "tool" to reduce my anxiety or suppress feelings, if I employ this logic. It is a definite pattern with me, if I am not drinking alcohol, I am eating oddly, overly and not helpfully to my well-being. But, I am going to stop bashing myself over and over, if I do not attain perfection. I'm not even sure what I visualize perfection as looking like. Reading everyone's posts helps me not feel alone. I find such encouragement in everyone's story. Have a strong, happy and kind (to yourself) week.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:48 PM
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Just a quick note, and I am curious about this only. I hope I don't say it wrong.

Food overall has been my "only" coping mechanisim. I mean this as both a good and bad thing. Currently today I don't struggle with alcohol, or tobacco use or other substances. It has always been food. That is not to say that I won't struggle, but I have been fortunate to not struggle up until this moment. I also struggle with and it is a part of my eating disorder codependency.

I wonder if just like my poor coping is highly focused on food if part of what I am calling my eating disorder you all are looking at, examining, and correcting in your recovery in other areas of your lives. I did not get that opportunity.

Jeni26 work with a therapist can be so hard. My recovery with my therapist has been like an elastic band....I often feel so stretched in my recovery, and how hard it is, and how much I am having thrown on me. Then it all snaps, releases, and I look back and wonder how I have grown so much.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:55 AM
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LifeRecovery... I believe my addiction(s) were just a symptom of other issues. Giving up drinking meant that I was able at last to look at what the real problems were. Drinking clouded everything for me.

My therapy sessions are not about my addictions. She knows about my drinking, and that I've given up smoking. I've talked about my eating, but it really isn't that relevant.

I needed help to sort out the chaos inside my head now that I'm not self-medicating and it honestly is the hardest thing I've ever done. Giving up drinking and smoking was a doddle compared to opening up to another person!

But I really am determined once I get past the procrastination stage....

So I have tackled the drinking and smoking, I'm looking at the eating...but the real work for me comes in fixing myself. It's learning about who I am, why I react in the way I do to things, and learning new and healthy ways of managing stress. I look on this as the biggest gift I can give myself, and if I focus on the positives and the things I do well, I can move forward and never slip back.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:24 PM
  # 274 (permalink)  
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Therapy, the best gift I have ever paid for myself.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:05 AM
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Okey dokey....back to the original thread discussion. Sorry I completely gate crashed your party here MB with my smoking quit and general ramblings on life which probably make no sense to anyone but me! Lol.

AVRT and taming the feast beast. Now I've had to modify some stuff here because I'm not a compulsive over-eater, I'm either stuffing my face with rubbish or I'm eating nothing at all. There are no particular triggers to either, emotional or otherwise, but it's unhealthy and I am committed to living my life physically, mentally and spiritually as well as I can because that's what I've worked hard to achieve and what I deserve. Why does the 'what I deserve' statement still make me cringe? There is definitely still an issue with me not feeling I deserve this. Anyway....

TAPS. TIME. AMOUNT. PLACE. STUFF. Each can be worked on separately or in combination. A plan can be worked on until it becomes solid and then added to/amended. I like this very much. The thing with rushing headlong into making big changes is that it doesn't last with me. All or nothing. It's all then it's nothing....

So to start...I'm working on the TIME. I will eat 3 meals a day. Breakfast lunch and dinner. That will ensure I eat ONLY at those times (no sitting at my desk in the office with a big bag of sweets!), and it also ensures that I eat regularly and prevents me from entering starvation mode (no going days without eating anything at all) . Plus I'm going to work on the STUFF. No cakes. No biscuits. Not ever.

This is my first draft. I will eat regularly every day and I will not eat cake or biscuits. These are facts and they cannot be changed or altered until I am ready to look at my plan again. My beast has no voice or choice in this. And this is just the first step. Ok.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:14 PM
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Hi, pals)

I've been all whimpering and wining today, in feeling low, toying with my blue mood. The Beast tried to impose on me staying at home with a pack of chocolate-coated marshmallow, watching a movie, feeling sorry for myself and sighing about my past, my future and my miserable (?) present moment.

I said "F&&& you". Bit the bullet and dragged myself to the gym.

And guess what?

First, while I was warming up I met a pal trainer withe whom we had a nice chat and luaghed a lot. I got a kick to my mood.

Then while I was lifting my barbells one guy approached to me, started a conversation and... asked me out))))) He said "You are just bursting with positivity".

Well, not my type either, and I think little bit too old for me, but anyway, my mood improved tremeneously. The beast was crashed.

It was crashed even more when another gal approached me in the change room and asked "Are you a pro?".

I finished with weight lifting and had a great cycling workout. When I came back home I felt like another person.

I still can't understand why I feel so different? Why I feel pity for myself? Why do I think I am no good? But once I drag myself out I act differently.


And why all this doesn't seem to teach me anything? Every day I doubt myself again and fight, and fight like it never gets easier.

Ok, I've had my share of whining anyway now)


Liferecovery - I can relate to what you are saying about food. For a long time it's been my only coping mechanism as well, thought I never actually suffered from eating disorder or had any problems with my weight. But still my relations with food are very complicated. I've mentioned in one of my posts that once I literally starved as a teenageer because there was no food available. And food has been my way to reward myself, to grant myself pleasure, to cope with anxiety, etc. So it's a whole set of issues about it for me. Wine came much later into my life, and it always paired with food back in my wining days.

Now, when I sorted out wine addiction, this food issues became more obvious, I can see parallels between these two addictions. I can see that both of them hide the same things. And food is much trickier to cope with because it's very hard to draw a borderline for myself between, say, not giving up to the Beast and obsession about watching my food.

And I agree with you about therapy. I have no idea where I would be now if not for my therapist. I am so grateful for that.

Jeni - Again, my pal. You didn't gate crash this thread, you were initial inspiration for it, so I am very glad you joined it) And your "ramblings" make a lot of sense, at least for me. I can't even imagine it without you now)


"Why does the 'what I deserve' statement still make me cringe? There is definitely still an issue with me not feeling I deserve this." - EXACTLY! Tha't's how I am feeling too! And it drives me crazy. What's wrong with "deserve"?

I like your draft! Having regualar meals is a great start, I can tell you. You sound confident and no joke. I love your attitude.

I am going to write my new badass rules as well. Because once gained badass point of view is slipping from me now, and I am not going to let it happen. I like to be calm and confident. I like to act, not to fuss. I like to do my best without worrying what will other people say or think about me.

Thank you again, my friend.

Bloss - I absolutely relate to you decision to treat yourself with kindness. I am trying to do this as well. I think you can hardly visualize perfection because it's a myth. I've heard somewhere that perfectionism is an extreme form of self-destruction. And it makes sense, because chasing some illusional perfection we destroy authentic ourselves. And after this chase there's nothing left, just pain and emptiness inside. Say to yourself kind words today).

Glad to have you here, pals. You have no idea how tremendous is your support! My big hugs.

See you)
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:50 PM
  # 277 (permalink)  
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Well I kept to my plan of 3 meals and no cake or biscuits....but I totally maxed out on ice cream and I found a bag of sweets too. This is weird stuff...I just ate for no reason and I felt bad afterwards. I thought about smoking a lot too. If I was smoking I wouldn't be eating.....

I need to look at the plan again today. My beast is stronger here than I gave it credit for!!

Oh and MB-all those compliments you got yesterday? Excellent. Now you've got to start believing them...xx
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:13 PM
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Hi, pals, Quick check in from me. I am better today. Not great yet, but better.

Jeni - this Beast is a nasty one. Eat for no reason - that's it. But you are stronger, you are Badass. Just take it one step at a time. And I am here to help you with it!

My Beast somewhat whined but not loudly. The weekend is "dangerous zone" for me because I have to relax and I don't know why - it always involved food. It's like reflex and pattern - weekend - indulging in food.

And you got it right - it's hard for me to accept compliments. I always think that people are either console me or need something from me)

See you all tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:01 PM
  # 279 (permalink)  
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This eating is way tougher than I envisioned. I have definite issues here. I was so close to buying cigarettes.

I'm going to have to give myself a huge kick up the butt tomorrow.

Whoa. I didn't see this battle coming....
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:05 PM
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I've identified a few foods I have particular difficulties with, in other words if I start eating it, I will not stop until the container is empty. So embarrassing because it is odd things like mayo on bread. So, mayo is not a necessity to survive, it's out. Anyway, hang strong friends. Have a positive weekend.
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