Compulsive eating

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by smkie, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Having a really hard time dealing with this both in understanding, and in surviving this on a low budget. I know I need to wrap my mind around the fact that it is not just a behavior, and trying not to be angry that every time I reach for something, it is already gone and having to lock up food in my own home. ANy coping tips and if you have some vibes for patience, I could use that too. Summer has only begun and I have no idea how we are going to get through to school.
     
  2. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    Ugh I'm so sorry to hear you are dealing with this. My nephew had a big problem with this. He would sneak out to the kitchen in the wee hours of the night and "steal" food and hord stuff in his room and it was a big problem. they eventually had to keep everything locked up and sometimes that didn't even work.

    I wish I had some words of advice :( Praying for patience for you
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    I wish I had some kind of wonderful, fix-it-all idea . . . :(

    Maybe it would help to keep lots of popcorn -- the old fashioned stuff that you cook on the stove?
     
  4. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    I'm of the personal belief that it's stress/anxiety related. However, I don't have any ideas on how to "fix" it.

    I get to the point where my anxiety and stress cause me to just want to eat and eat (I've been this way even when I was 100 lbs and playing soccer and working out a million hours a day....just back then it didn't hurt anything other than my mind). My biggest trick/defense is sunflower seeds (the kind in the shells). I'll buy a huge pack of David's sunflower seeds from Walmart, and then get to town. The constant hand-to-mouth action, and the action of cracking the shell apart to eat the seed, keeps me occupied. It's actually a very calming thing for me, especially since it's repetitive.

    Maybe that's worth a try?
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I'm assuming this isn't you by that post..... Could it be hormonal? I am ravenous when I'm hormonal, and nothing satisfys me.... Just a thought. Hormones can kick in very young.
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I think you're going to have to manage her like Virgo and just be hyper vigilant about locking everything up. :(
     
  7. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Dizzy might be right. I was massively hungry at that age.
     
  8. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Does she have hobbies? I find when I'm very busy I don't feel the desire to eat, when I'm not busy I eat a lot more. But I remember last summer when I spent a few weeks painting my grandparent's deck I never felt hungry even if it was a few hours past lunch, whereas if I'm just sitting around I start to feel like eating an hour or two before lunch. When I volunteered at the dog shelter I never felt a desire to eat, I never felt hungry. So perhaps something to keep her focus, or several things, would be good, especially if she can do something active, some sort of outdoor project perhaps.

    Other than that, maybe gum chewing? You can't eat when you have gum in your mouth and it keeps the mouth occupied, just choose a type that won't rot teeth. Though that could be a problem school starts up again since I assume gum isn't allowed.
     
  9. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    Wish I had tips Smkie, I've been dealing with the same problem with my daughter for 16 years. And I have not been able to find a solution. And it does get frustrating going to grab something to make dinner only to realize its not there anymore.
     
  10. Teal

    Teal ...ice road...

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    This. I will eat myself sick out of stress/anxiety if I don't find something to stop it.

    I either eat sunflower seeds (though I try to save those for emergencies, because I'll eat them until my mouth is raw) or chew gum. Gum has been my BIGGEST life saver with obsessive compulsive eating.
     
  11. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I know that getting angry about it is pointless. Yet when your the one who is suppose to be able to eat this food TOO, it's hard not to be angry. I have a lot to learn about it, and how to help her the best. We are locking stuff up for now, but I know that is only a temporary fix. It is hard for me because I am not a foodie. It is hard to understand how you can offer a variety of healthy choices, only to see them eaten in a most unhealthy way. Too much of anything is a bad thing. RIght now, it is a 20 lb issue, and I don't want to see it become a 50. I can only have about 2 days worth of food in the house at one time. I can't have anything that even resembles junk. If we get chips, it is a small bag, with a sandwhich while we are out. I could not say bring a bag home, and dole it out appropriately because the first time I blink, it will be empty. Locking food up in my home seems so wrong. I feel like the food police, and after a childhood of eating issues, mine being not liking anything, I know that my Mom's forcing me to eat the way she did, only made it worse. How do you tell someone you love so much to please stop, please stop before you hurt your health as well as your ability to run and play. She is still a child, so I feel the weight and eating habits are under my responsibilities to set on a good course and it's so not going that way. IF I wasn't the food police, I don't know what would happen, and that scares me. I can't change the compulsion, I try to understand that it is like other ocd behaviors, and it will take loads of effort and time but if she doesn't care a bit, how is that going to happen? I tell her when I go in to the grocery store I see a bizillion things I want to eat too, but I know I can't, just because it's there doesn't mean it's right for everyone. WE have the Y, we have the park, we have physical things to redirect to. 50 percent of our issues are wrapped around food. She wants to be a cook, a pastry chef, which I think is a very obtainable goal, and would love to encourage it, but, not if it means seriously damaging your body long term. I am hoping that every other day or more at the y will help in some way. I am just clueless, and really weary of the struggle and the idea of this is just beginning.
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Is she involved with counseling? This may be an ideal question for them... I wish I knew.

    I'm a compulsive eater and gum helps but only so much and only if its readily available. Chewing ice helps too. Overly filling proteins and fibers may help too. For me my worse obsession is chewy sugars like jelly beans, I cannot keep those in the house unless I plan to eat them in one sitting.
     
  13. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    WE have a doctor, and a therapist, and I suppose we better be getting a nutritionist on board. I have been told it's the same thing as hoarding, only internally instead of externally. THat doens't really help me understand tho. My old boss use to tell me that any problem thoroughly understood is fairly simple, but that is what I can't get to, the understanding part. I don't know what to do with my own resentment too at the changes it makes in my own effort to store and prepare food. I am going to have to ask to have a door installed in the kitchen that can be locked, to go along with all the other things that get locked because at some point I have to sleep, or take a bath, or take the dog out. In past episodes she has made her self quite ill but that hasn't stopped it either. We do have treats, one nice one a day. There are snacks available, but in reasonable portions and she is allowed to make choices of her own at the store. There is 5 times a day when food is available, and that ought to be enough for anyone but it is still a maddening struggle.
     
  14. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    It seems the only thing that may help is a therapist that knows how to handle this type of behaviour.
     
  15. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    I was taught never to take the last of anything. Not to eat more than my fair share. Maybe that is why this goes down so wrong with me and I am having such a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it is a compulsion, not a selfish act. This is my problem and I know it, I just don't know how to get around it so it doesn't make the whole business worse. I would like to have orange juice in the morning too...it makes you cranky and that is how I feel and it isnt' fair but it isn't fair for her either. No one would do this on purpose and that sometimes makes me cry. So I started this thread hoping for some insight from anyone who might be going through the same thing and knows where I am and maybe something I haven't thought of to make it better. I was told it would take a long time of hard work. I try to keep an open mind and I ask questions because there might be something out there that would help her see or help her not act in the moment.
     
  16. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Smkie, I'm so sorry you and Hyia are having to go through all of this. (((hugs)))

    I had to read this link to get an idea of what you mean. My eating habits are a lot more like yours.

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/binge_eating_disorder.htm

    It does stress a lot of how it has to do with depression and self image issues, and that there are chemical causes. It also says that restricted diets can cause it to get worse because of the anxiety over not having access to food, so it sounds like a vicious cycle because you can't just let someone devour all the food in your house.

    Maybe Mia's idea of keeping a big bowl of sunflower seeds out for her constantly would be helpful then. Then she could be on a restricted diet, but still have something available as she overcomes the other difficulties that are at the root of it all.

    The article talks about doing other activities to increase dopamine output (because that's what the food is doing for her) so that it can gradually take the place of the food. Exercise would be fabulous for her. You say she wants to be a pastry chef? What if the two of you work together on some desserts, keep an agreed number of finished ones, and then go for a walk to deliver the rest to a neighbor or someone in need. Then she's getting the exercise, the joy of doing something she's interested in and loves, and the happiness that comes from doing service for others.
     
  17. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Romy, have I mentioned lately how much I <3 you? :)
     
  18. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    What may help is having some food accessible. I was going to suggest the same things as Romy and Renee - popcorn and sunflower seeds in their shells are relatively inexpensive, and they'll give her mouth something to do.
     

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