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Old 06-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #271
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Just reading over the last few pages again, it is becoming pretty obvious that there are 2 different underlying reasons for carbohydrate addictive/dependant behaviour. Physical or emotional/psychological.

I guess as with any other physical addiction, for those people who are physically addicted and can remain strong by completely cutting “bad carbs” out of their lives, the real challenge is staying clean during those periods when life gets a bit rocky. And this is most definitely doable.

For those people whose addiction to “bad carbs” is an emotional/ psychological one, I think that (for me at least) that this is probably a learned behaviour, probably going back to my childhood when “bad carbs” were used as rewards or treats and were the mainstay of many family gatherings. So when I am troubled emotionally/psychologically I use “treaty carbohydrates” to soothe myself, trying to get back to that warm fuzzy times. And maybe addiction isn’t even the right word. Maybe compulsion is a better description.

But no matter whether the addiction/compulsion is physical or a type of learned behaviour, either one if uncontrolled can cause all of us here to break out into a full scale binge. And again by reading over the last few pages, it seems that most posters agree that the best way to control our binging behaviour is by sticking to a plan.

So I guess that firstly what we each have to do in order to beat our binging behaviour is work out whether we are physically or emotionally driven.

For those whose addiction is a physical one, I agree that taking just one bite will more than likely put you straight back on the road to hell. But take heart....there are, for example, many heroin addicts, alcoholics etc who have beaten their addictions forever.

For those of us whose compulsion/addiction is probably as a result of learned behaviour, then we have two choices, either we follow the same rules of the physically addicted, which by necessity are incredibly rigid or we allow ourselves a little more flexibility and try to “unlearn” the behaviour. At first glance having choices sounds great but in reality, using personal discretion is just as difficult as following an externally proscribed set of rules.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:59 PM   #272
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Whenever I try to fast (for spiritual reasons) the urge to binge is just about more than I can take...A few months ago my husband started a fast...and just knowing HE was fasting (not expecting me to at all) that made me DIVE into a binge...

It's hard to know whether my causes are physical or mental...or somewhere in between. And then there's that old HORMONAL stuff going on for us women...gee ...it's hard to get a break!
bummy, I like your lists...that realization is very self-empowering.

I try to ask myself, "Does chicken or beef sound good to me?" If the answer is yes, I'm probably hungry...if the answer is no, I'm probably just craving and need to get my mind on something else.

Have any of you been successful with JUDDD? I love that group, they are so friendly and helpful and have such good successes...but I can't do JUDDD...it sends me into a downward spiral...I wonder if that's just not a good plan for those who are prone to binging...or maybe it works for some.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:03 PM   #273
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Welcome, Bummys (Elena). I like your question and will give it some thought.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:10 PM   #274
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Here is another something I came across in reading on food addiction and the phenomenon of craving. It talked about the difference between

--a normal eater who is overweight where the problem is physical and will power is sufficient to correct; diet, exercise, support system are all that is needed;
vs
--an emotional eater with an eating disorder where the problem is physical and emotional and moderation along with expressing feelings is sufficient to correct; needs diet, exercise, support system, and devloping skills to express feelings and resolving past traumas;
vs
--a food addict with a chemical dependency where the problem is physical, emotional and spiritual - abnormal response to food with physical craving, mental obsession and self-will run riot as the result. Surendering i.e. deep acceptance is needed to resolve including Abstinance from binge foods; rigorous honesty about thoughts and feelings and a disciplined spiritual approach.

It sort of explains why and when someone may be able to use moderation as the workable solution and someone else may need abstinence.
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:16 PM   #275
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sorry everyone,
just reread my last post. Sounded like I was preaching. YUK!
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:05 PM   #276
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Great list, Elena. A book that was very helpful to me when stopping drinking (the first time!), was Alan Carr's book, can't remember the name right now. It really helped some people on the alcohol support forum I was on but not others. It worked for me because a big point was for the reader (me) to admit that there are no advantages to drinking for me. It's hard to go there, but I did. The only advantage on my left on the list immediate hit and then I understood how it was really not a benefit. So there were NO benefits from drinking. Eating/binging is a bit different but I was really struck by the similarities with your list.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #277
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Nice distinctions, Mary. The emotional vs. physical distinction bothers me a bit because I really believe that emotions and our physiology are really not that separable. I think that they are all part of our whole package. If it works better to treat is a one or the other, great though. For me I like to consider that they are two sides of the same coin.
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #278
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This is such a good discussion and I'm so grateful we are able to be open and honest and TALK ABOUT IT. I feel like I've been largely "in the closet" not really able to be fully open about my problems with addiction - most recently food.

Becky - I too have tried JUDDD and IF very briefly. It sounds like my experience may have been similar to yours. The periods of restriction on those plans triggered binges. Initially the over eating would be on the "up" days or eating windows, but very quickly I ended up over eating all the time. I think what I am learning is that I have to be very, very careful with feelings of restriction. I still haven't fully cracked the code of what WILL work for me long term, but I pretty quickly realized that the various forms of IF really don't work for me. The best I have been able to stick with for any length of time seems to be 3 meals + 1 optional snack.

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking that should be part of my plan for now. 3 meals + 1 optional snack. It's like that snack is my pacifier for now. Hanging on to an apron string or something! I wonder if my teenage anorexia wired my brain to fear hunger????? Seriously.

rubi I did not think you were preaching - just expressing your opinions which is what we are all doing - actually having a good discussion on such a *taboo* topic!! YAY for us! I thought your ideas were very thought provoking. It made me really think about the physical v. emotional aspects of my addiction. I think my problem has both of those qualities. The physical side of addiction is powerfully obvious when I eat certain foods. Regardless of my emotional state (it could be anything) if I start on chocolate peanut butter fudge, I will not stop until it's gone. Period.

I can also think of situations where my drive for food starts with emotions. In particular, if I am feeling stressed or frustrated, I want to eat. In a book titled "The Heart of Addiction" the author talks about addictive behaviors (of any type - substances or process type addictions such as gambling) being a response to perceived powerlessness. In other words, feeling trapped motivates a person to find something they CAN choose to do, and a rebellious choice to engage in these behaviors is our strange way of taking control. I'm probably not paraphrasing this too well. It's an interesting book and so much of it is ringing true for me as I read it.

Well, Now I think I'm babbling. Thank you for listening!! Please keep sharing.

Still BF & LC today and grateful.

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Old 06-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #279
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It is so nice to be involved in the discussion. I agree, being open and honest is so important and this is really a "safe zone" for me.

I agree Rubi...I didn't think you were preaching.

It is true that emotions DEFINITELY play a role in my binge eating/compulsive eating. I am also more likely to eat when I'm stressed, frustrated, bored, etc. But, I've been really thinking about it lately (I've had some major stress removed from me) and it seems almost as if it is more physical than emotional. But addictive behaviors start somewhere and I don't think they start as a physical response but as a desire to get away from our "perceived powerlessness".

I looked at that list that I wrote on a previous post and I thought to myself if those were the pros & cons of anything or anyone in my life besides food...it would have been long gone. But my food problem has been around for as many years as I can remember and I'm 41.

Thank you for welcoming me to the group.

I'm confident that I'll remain binge free today!
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:57 AM   #280
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Rubi I didn't think you were preaching . Trying to make sense of this sometimes requires talking out loud!
I think my binge issues are twofold. I can be triggered by emotions- especially loneliness or feeling tired. Once I give into that, the physical nature of my addition takes over. I have had to white knuckle my way thru some emotions over the past 150+ days in order to avoid the domino effect.
I have found yoga to be very helpful... It has saved me from myself a number of times
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:44 AM   #281
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Yoga and meditation were recommended by my doctor when I went through an extremely stressful time a few years back. I do transdental meditation occasionally. But even though I knew how to "meditate", I lacked discipline, so I took up yoga. I continued going to the classes until the teacher closed the service for personal reasons and it was the dead of winter. Once I stop something, it is hard to get motivated again. I do know I did work up quite a sweat at the Gold's gym yoga class and recognized there were even some people older than me (65) at the class in better condition than me. Me thinks I will go back.

For a while I was saying the rosary as a meditation, the same prayer over and over, it is what my mom and MIL used to use. Even writing my food down each day, weighing and measuring my food day in and day out at every meal are forms of meditation. Now I do it as part of my ritual.

I would like to find that creative expression but discipline is my biggest stumbling block. How does one discipline oneself to do something daily? I tell myself I don't have a creative bone in my body. (Need to change the self-talk). The only two things I have done are gardening sporadically (usually forget to water the plants) and watercoloring (from art therapy classes I took as a treatment for anxiety).

I suppose I like to write, and the reason why my posts ramble on. I write every day. Mmmm. Could writing here and elsewhere be my form of meditation that I use to have an alternate activity to release stress?
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:35 AM   #282
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I've done yoga in the past, but I struggle with finding a good teacher and working it into my schedule. One of my stressors is having too many scheduled demands! The sweeping meditation is one that I like, the concept that ordinary everday practices can be meditative. There is also a buddhist walking meditation. Would like to say I do that . . . it's yet to be implemented, but the concept is a good one, work with what we have.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #283
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Thanks everyone.
MaryMary, looks like you & I posted pretty much the same thing at the same time.

In the late 60’s I had a friend who became a heroin addict (even then I knew I was week so I never ever experimented with drugs) and I knew that her heroin cravings were biological/physiological. After a couple of false starts, my friend did beat her addiction, and now has 3 normal, well-adjusted healthy children.

Before I made that “rave” yesterday, I actually googled carb addiction trying to understand more about the physiological reasons.

Pages and pages of stuff about carb addiction but pretty much all of them trying to flog a book or vitamin/mineral supplement.

The only thing that I could find (that I considered valid) was this
(from the American heart association)

What causes carbohydrate and other food cravings?
We don't really know enough about all the factors that cause specific food cravings. More research is needed to help understand appetite. Many studies suggest that a decrease in blood sugar stimulates hunger. This might help explain a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, which are a quick energy source.
Other studies suggest that the "mind-mood-food connection" may be explained by decreases in the brain chemical serotonin (sair-oh-TO'nin). Serotonin helps you feel less pain, anxiety and stress, so it improves mood by increasing relaxation. Some experts think that people who crave carbohydrates have low serotonin levels. Others caution that these cravings may just be a learned response.
What is "carbohydrate craving" or "carbohydrate addiction?"
These terms are used in a theory about the relationship between carbohydrate, insulin and appetite. (The body uses the hormone insulin to convert sugar, starch and other foods into energy.) We know that eating carbohydrates raises insulin, which then lowers blood sugar. This causes a desire (or craving) for more food and, in some people, carbohydrates.
Some people advocate severely reducing carbohydrate intake to reduce the insulin response and cravings. Others suggest that choosing carbohydrate-containing foods with a lower glycemic (gli-SE'mik) index also can lower insulin response and appetite. There isn’t enough research in this area for us to know what’s right. Also, individual responses may vary considerably.


So maybe, carbohydrate addiction is a bit like my friend’s heroin addiction.
Obviously, she wasn’t addicted when she took her first hit but overtime her body actually needed the drug for it to function normally. Back then I also knew people who only ever used heroin on the weekends. Clearly, they weren’t addicts because they would not have been able to do that. I lost touch with them but I sometimes wonder whether they did become addicted (and it just took them much longer to get there)

Or maybe they managed it like I manage my drinking. When I took control over that, I was not an alcoholic but I knew if I continued to carry on drinking the way I was that I would probably become one. So I took control before that happened and I am able to drink in moderation.

And maybe, the confusion between being physically or emotionally addicted to carbohydrates is dependent on how far along the pathway one is.

My personality is so addictive that I am in danger of becoming addicted to this forum. So, I’m going to stay away for a while.

Good luck to everyone
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #284
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Rubi,
I absolutely agree with you! I think it is a lot like your friend's heron addiction. Over time, I'm confident that I've developed a physical addiction to carbohydrates & processed foods. These foods immediately trigger something in my head and I become this crazed person who will do anything to get to the candy, chips, cookies, etc. One bite and it's over for me.

I'm on my second day of no sugar, bread, pasta, grains and I'm felling pretty good. I'm going to try L-Glutamine & Chromium to combat my cravings. Has anyone used these?

Thanks!
Elena
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:42 PM   #285
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I've noticed that chromium does suppress my appetite.
I am doing ok without it right now. I remember reading that levels of chromium are low in the typical diet. Do you take a multi? Does it contain chromium?
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:23 AM   #286
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Have any of you given up diet drinks? I'd like to try & give up my diet cokes...but I'm concerned it might make me feel so deprived that I make up for it by binging...


Marymary, you don't use artificial sweeteners at all, right? Was that hard? Or did you never really care for them in the first place.

I really enjoy diet coke and those ICE Sparkling water drinks...and I drink a lot of water also. I just wonder if my brain & body would function better without them.
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:33 AM   #287
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Rubi,
I absolutely agree with you! I think it is a lot like your friend's heron addiction. Over time, I'm confident that I've developed a physical addiction to carbohydrates & processed foods. These foods immediately trigger something in my head and I become this crazed person who will do anything to get to the candy, chips, cookies, etc. One bite and it's over for me.

I'm on my second day of no sugar, bread, pasta, grains and I'm felling pretty good. I'm going to try L-Glutamine & Chromium to combat my cravings. Has anyone used these?

Thanks!
Elena
Wow....bummys I could have written this myself! I am such an addict that I have not been able to go over 4 days without binging...just like an alcoholic with alcohol. It is a day by day thing for me. I include myself in threads that have goals (like July 4th) and think I can do it but after about 4 days I slip. I wish there were a support group of people in my area that I could join force with.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:29 AM   #288
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sarahatl,

I've been struggling most of my life. One thing you could look into is OA. There are tons of meetings to attend...in person, over the phone or online. I've attended online meetings but I'm not a 12 stepper at all so I don't "work the steps" or anything like that. I also have a hard time committing to anything and sticking with it (meetings, sponsors, etc.).

I think for me I just need to try my best to avoid taking that first bite. It is so much easier to avoid a binge than it is to stop a binge for me. It could be months before I'm back on track.

The only times that I have had relief from food issues were the worst times of my life (i.e. divorce, family problems, job loss, etc.). I was telling my sister that it is such a shame that I look at the worst times in my life (when I had no appetite) as the best because I could effortlessly control my food intake and I was skinny. That is so messed up!!

I've got my fingers crossed that my no bread, pasta, sugar or starch policy holds up. I realize that it is up to me to say "no". It should be interesting over the weekend. Day 3 today - going strong and I don't feel like I've put huge restrictions on myself.

I wish everyone who is in our situation could have relief from the power that food has over us. I think that these boards are very helpful...it gives me a place to be connected to.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #289
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Have any of you given up diet drinks? I'd like to try & give up my diet cokes...but I'm concerned it might make me feel so deprived that I make up for it by binging...


Marymary, you don't use artificial sweeteners at all, right? Was that hard? Or did you never really care for them in the first place.

I really enjoy diet coke and those ICE Sparkling water drinks...and I drink a lot of water also. I just wonder if my brain & body would function better without them.
I don't drink diet soda but I love flavored seltzer. There are no artificial sweeteners used. Have you tried them?
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Old 06-05-2013, 07:19 PM   #290
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Becky, i don't use Nutrasweet ever, very rarely sweetnlow. I have a diet soda once in a while and onky use splenda jf I don't have any liquid stevia. So I do enjoy my greek yogurt with liquid stevia, golden flaxseed meal and pumpkin, flavorings and pumpkin pie spice.

When I have iced tea, I add the liquid stevia. I try to avoid the packets of sweetener because of the maltodextrin fillers that are used in the packaging.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:08 AM   #291
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So, here I am on day 4...no binges, no over eating. I can't believe it!
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #292
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Way to go....bummys! You sound so much like me with the fact that when I get stressed I do not eat junk! I didn't go on a total binge last night but I did have some popcorn. The weekends are what kills me.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #293
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Good going, bummys
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:54 AM   #294
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So interesting how you respond to stress, bummys. Some people eat more, and some people eat less. I am guessing that more people overeat in response to stress, but that's just a guess. Is it matter of severity? I generally eat more when it comes to the everyday garden variety of stress.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:41 AM   #295
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Bella: I cannot eat when I am stressed. My appetite is completely gone. But when I am happy or not stressed I tend to binge. My problem is I have hypoglycemia. One small bit of sugar can set me off like crazy! I can't get enough and I binge sometimes until I literally fall asleep - that is what the sugar does to me. I have had this problem ALL my life and just until about 10 years ago realized it was carbs that was doing it to me. I am on day 5 and so proud of myself!
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:18 PM   #296
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Oh well....
My home has been in turmoil because of renovations. But yesterday these 2 books re-emerged. They really helped me deal with emotional/spiritual issues.
I wanted to mention them before but couldn’t remember the proper titles.

1.Women, Food and God
By Geneen Roth
Published in U.K. by Simon & Schuster in 2010

2.A Course in Weight Loss....21 Spiritual Lessons For Surrendering Your Weight Forever
By Marianne Williamson
Published by Hay House. (in lots of countries)
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #297
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Great going Sarah, you are right to be proud!
Rubi, thanks for mentioning the books. Do you recall what you liked best about each?
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #298
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Rubi, they sound very interesting. I have read some of Geneen Roth and heard good thing of Marianne Williamson with her course of miracles. Will check these out.

What I remember with Geneen was from the probably 13-15 years ago. She said if there is a food that you binge on, you should eat it again and again until you are sick of it with the thought that if you do this you won't ever want to look at it again. I tried it and I never got sick of the things I binged on so knew that idea wouldn't work. As I got older I realized that I needed structure with the food. I was diagnosed with ADD around the age of 50, two years before I started apAtkins in 2001. I started taking medicine for it and eventually stopped when I realized it didn't help. It is around that time that I found a structured low carb approach that works for me for the food. Structure is one behavior mod that works with folks with ADD. I also use spiritual meditation, any repetitive exercise, to relax and use support groups for the emotional support. I journal and talk to others on the phone. We help each other in dealing with life's stresses and in working through them without using food as the antidote. I am working on me today in more ways than just the physical. I like helping others. At work I am lucky enough to be able to train new hires once they finish the formal training and just be there for them when they have questions. I sort of do the same thing with people in my personal life when it comes to my food. Some people help me and I help them. You all help me in more ways than you could know. I am grateful for you all.

Have a great weekend!
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #299
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Hi MaryMary, I guess I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. So I just take the bits that I read that will work for me and ignore the rest. And trying to desensitise myself by eating my way out of one of my binge foods would never work for me either!!!

Bella, I bought both of these books on the same day, when I was in deep despair about my inability to deal with my bingeing. I was just killing time in a shopping mall and wandered into the book shop, hoping to find some kind of new age affirmation book which could possibly make me feel better about myself.

Instead, I found these 2 books. It was the first time I had ever seen anything in print which acknowledged the emotional issues surrounding weight issues. And just that in itself was what caused me to buy them. It told me that other people must also struggle with emotional eating or the publishers would not have thought the books worth printing on a commercial basis. And that made me realise that I was not alone.

They helped enormously with my self esteem, because they forgave me and stopped me from feeling so bad about myself.

They taught me to be kind to myself and to practice self-forgiveness.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #300
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They taught me to be kind to myself and to practice self-forgiveness.
They definitely sound worthwhile. Gotta check it out.
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