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How do I stop food from ruling my life?

Hello. I've just discovered peertrainer after an awful day (went to the shops - nothing fitted - got called fat by a group of youths...).
My problem is that I know how to lose weight (I have lost -and put back- about 300lbs in various diets in the past, and I'm only 29). But when I am on a diet, food still rules my life. Instead of eating it all the time, I think about not eating it all the time, which is why I always give up. Various doctors, nutritionists and psychologists have not helped.
Has anybody been there? Thanks for your help and support.

Mon. Nov 1, 3:16pm

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Welcome to Peertrainer.

Have you figured out why you're eating too much? What is it in your life you need that you're trying to satisfy with too much food?

Do you love yourself enough, and value who you are enough to put in the rewarding, hard work to create a life of health and balance?

Do you have good structure in your life with grocery shopping, meal planning, calorie counting, choosing nutritious food, instead of food devoid of nutritional value?

Are you challenging your body with lots of exercise that makes you sweat and feel terrific?

Journal about all this and see what you come up with. You know how to lose the weight, now figure out why you aren't allowing yourself to keep it off.

Monday, November 01, 2010, 3:53 PM

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Thank you for your kind answer.
I know how to devise a healthy eating plan. In fact I already cook everything from scratch and use very little or no fat. I love my husband and kids too much to feed them junk, but it seems I don't love myself enough not to ruin my looks and my health...
I cannot exercise a lot because I'm a stay-at-home mother with a toddler and a baby who demand constant attention. I walk to the shop with a stroller - that's a 3-mile round trip 2 or 3 times a week.
I'll try to come and write about it instead of eating.
Thanks again.

Monday, November 01, 2010, 4:06 PM

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Food has stopped ruling my life since I went low carb. Most here will argue against it, so I won't go in to details.

But I don't count calories, or fat, or carbs, or protein. I don't log what I eat. And I've stopped thinking about food all the time, stopped the mindless eating, and actually stopped the boredom I was having in my kitchen...

It's a great feeling, and my shrinking waist also makes me feel great...

Monday, November 01, 2010, 6:23 PM

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I won't do low carb (I want balance) but I do eat far less processed sugar these days. That helps a lot with avoiding cravings. However I can also binge on anything, even low carb and steak used to be one of my binge foods. It's more than just food, it's also feelings.

Maybe take the word and action of "diet" out of your mentality. That always sets me up to fail since "dieting" is almost always about deprivation. Why do you think you're obsessed with food? Are you too hungry? Are you giving your body enough of what it needs to thrive? Are you unhappy about something in your life? Is food your comfort?

Monday, November 01, 2010, 7:13 PM

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You can and you are exercising. During this time of your life you may have to redefine what a workout is (i.e., it may not be that solo hour to yourself), but you can definitely fit in exercise, whether it's in small chunks or taking walks every day with both kids - not just when you go to the store. It's good for you, it's good for them. Not caring for yourself doesn't win you any awards and you're actually a better mom when you take the time for yourself.

Where there is a will there is a way; it's very easy to come up with what I call the Yeahbuts. with any given suggestion there's a quick - Yeah, but _____ (fill in with any number of excuses.) When my little ones were that little I would wake up at 5 am to get in my workout. I came to absolutely love that time b/c it was MY time. I was caring for no one but myself. No one was drooling on me. I wasn't cooking for anyone. I wasn't picking up after anyone, etc. It was MY time, with MY music, and MY workout. I loved it. And it was a great way to kick off demanding days.

And food sounds like your escape. Eating soothes the tired soul, only it doesn't. It's an escape from the hectic nature of being home with two small kids, only it isn't! It's a way to wind down after a long day, yet it does nothing to re-energize, nourish, or replenish.

Monday, November 01, 2010, 8:47 PM

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Welcome to PEERtrainer! Great advice so far.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 10:27 AM

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Make something else the focus of your life. Experiences could potentially make you happy. Creating something where you are contributing to society, whether it is a business or volunteering, can give you this feeling you crave that you matter.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 11:05 AM

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Low carb is more balanced than Eat to Live.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 1:43 PM

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HI, I've been there too, and am there now myself as a matter of fact, so this post will be a good pep talk for myself, and hopefully will help you a little too.

I've given this a lot of thought, and despite fighting it myself, what I've basically come to accept is that food is always going to have a large part in my life.

I have so many diets it's ridiculous, and even when I'm "not dieting" I'm usually dieting in some form or another-or even worse eating "whatever I want" and still feeling awful because I know better and feel guilty for indulging in whatever it is I'm eating.

So either I eat it (it being whatever the temptation is at the time) and I feel like crap, or I don't eat it and feel like crap.

At the end of the day I think that just acceptance of this reality is what is going to be the most beneficial to you. Food isn't like any other addiction. Although difficult it IS possible to abstain from alcohol, drugs, porn-whatever. It is not possible to function without food.

So that's the bad news.

The good news, is that I do believe (like Jackie & Joshua say) and have experienced that good habits build on each other, and that although I'm not ever going to stop being tempted by many foods out there-it does get easier over time to make better decisions.

Also-WHAT specifically are you thinking about food all the time? Why or what you can't have? What you should be eating? How frequently you're eating?

If you're currently doing a meal plan or diet that is too complicated that could be part of the problem. Simplify! When I was trying to eat every 3-4 hours and plan everything ahead I had the same problem because I took it took it too literally and would watch the clock until my next meal time instead of listening to my body. AND when I was calorie counting I had the same problem as well because I would panic whenever I was eating out, stress to find out or control where we were going ahead of time just so I could find a menu online where I could see nutiritional values.

This is no way to live. However you need to-whether it be low carb or low food-simplify!

And secondly- you have to TRAIN yourself to replace your thoughts. When food pops into your head-in any way, shape or form-take a quick assesment with yourself. When was the last time you ate? If it was less than 2-3 hours before, then immediately think of something else. Shopping, work, bills, kids, a tv show you want to record-ANYTHING. It will take time, but you can do it.

That's all I have! Good luck, and whatever you do-don't give up on yourself. :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 4:50 PM

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That sounds like where I want to be. I would love to quit obsessing about food. Tell me how you have accomplished that.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 10:11 AM

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Thank you

Wow, there's been a lot of feedback, thank you very much to you all!
My diet plans are not complicated and do not involve a lot of cooking or planning. I am really trying to change my eating habits forever, not just go on a diet for a determined time.
What really annoys me is that I do know whether I am hungry or just bored / angry / stressed. And even if I really am hungry, it doesn't bother me a lot - I can stand hunger. Yet I still think about food. What I'm going to eat for the next meal. What I could eat if I stopped dieting. What treats I could allow myself if I were able to eat a single square of chocolate.
At the moment I am writing a novel, so every time I think of food I try to focus on one particular sentence and make it perfect. [I write in French - English is not my native language]. It is not enough to keep my mind off food at the moment but I hope I can "re-wire" my brain in the long run.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010, 2:00 PM

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Response to: How do I stop food from ruling my life

I hope that the person that wrote this will see my response. I don't really have any advice to give you, other than the usual stuff. But, I do want you to know that you are not alone in this journey and you are not alone in how you feel about food ruling your life.

I deal with the same battle and feel so pathetic when I have just eaten breakfast and I am already thinking about what I am going to have for lunch or dinner. It makes me feel lika a prisoner. But, I know that I have an addiction to food and have to learn to moderate my intake. I have to eat every two to three hours or I will immediately head out for fastfood because I love it.

One day at a time, one meal at a time!! Don't let food defeat you, you are worth more than that!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010, 11:01 AM

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I'm not the low carb person from above, but I eat fairly low carb because I've cut out grains, sugar and legumes. All of which cause the insulin levels to rise and all of which cause an inflamatory response in the body. I also moderate my fruit intake.

I eat lots of veggies, some protein, moderate amounts of dairy, some fruit, seeds and nuts (in moderation) and it's been working really, really well. I no longer get cravings, hunger pangs are actually from real hunger - not some blood sugar roller coaster, and my realtionship with food feels 'normal' for the first time in my life. I'm no longer obsessed with when the next time I can eat is. I don't count calories and I don't 'diet', but weight control has been effortless.

Initially this was something I was going to try for 2 weeks - it's been 9 months now and I'm never going back to letting food rule my life.

Since you've already discounted the previous poster, feel free to discount this as well, but that's how I stopped obsessing about food.

Thursday, November 04, 2010, 5:42 PM

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I'm the OP

And I'm not the one who discounted low-carb diets. It does work for me but it's very hard to stick to it with a skinny husband and two little kids.
Do you managed to fit the occasional slice of cake in your diet / lifestyle?


Friday, November 05, 2010, 5:08 AM

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I'm the original low carb poster. Occasional slice of cake? Very rarely.

That being said, I routinely have strawberries with whipped cream, blueberry coconut muffins, raspberries with chocolate mousse, cheesecake, brownies, cinnamon nut bread, chocolate hazelnut torte, peanut butter cookies, and lemon custard. So I don't often feel the need for a cake. And the fact is, I'm allergic to wheat anyways, so I've had to make my own sweets for a long time. (And I don't use Splenda or other 'artificial sweetners' or Agave Nectar. Just sugar alcohols, glycerin, and Stevia).

It may be hard to stick to at first- but believe me, now, I can go to my parent's place for dinner and watch them eat baked potatoes and bread and not be tempted at all. Food *really* doesn't control me anymore. If your family can get through 2-3 weeks of lower carb living (I'm not saying you have to do an Atkins induction), by then you might be able to make them a higher carb side and yourself a lower side carb. Arguably, you should be having a side of salad or some green veggie with your dinners anyways, and green veggies are pretty much all low carb.

And to be honest, I'm not measuring or weighing either. I notice my clothes are getting looser. And as I said, I'm not craving anything, I'm never starving, and I know my blood sugars are perfect (I come from a long line of diabetics- my mother was diabetic when she was 30, I'm 30 now with perfect sugars). I know what I am doing is making me healthy. Focusing on that- instead of counting calories or carbs or pounds or inches, is so much better. I can't 'fail' if all I'm doing is everyday eating delicious food that I know keeps me healthy. Working out is just a bonus and stress reliever.

I'm balanced. And it's a great feeling.

Friday, November 05, 2010, 12:17 PM

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Monday, March 23, 2020, 4:03 AM

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People who are fond of food and they are foodies cannot left the eating habits easily. So for this, I am using an idea to write my essay so that I can make a timetable to identify the different steps.

Sunday, August 16, 2020, 11:33 PM

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