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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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