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Old 12-14-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Maybe I'm kind of dumb & naive, but...

Let me start by saying that I grew up in a very conservative religious home & fasting was (& still is) an important religious ritual.

I don't "get" some of the posts about DD difficulties &/or new "low" DD levels. For those who didn't grow up in fasting homes, is it truly that difficult to start fasting? Is it a physical or mental difficulty? (Since your fast is not for religious reasons, I won't ask about spiritual difficulty.) I realize that every other day fasting is different than the once or twice a week I grew up with. I've been thinking about resuming a weekly fast for spiritual reasons & that lead me to reading some of the posts in this section. Thanks for your patience & your indulgence.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dansamy View Post
Let me start by saying that I grew up in a very conservative religious home & fasting was (& still is) an important religious ritual.

I don't "get" some of the posts about DD difficulties &/or new "low" DD levels. For those who didn't grow up in fasting homes, is it truly that difficult to start fasting? Is it a physical or mental difficulty? (Since your fast is not for religious reasons, I won't ask about spiritual difficulty.) I realize that every other day fasting is different than the once or twice a week I grew up with. I've been thinking about resuming a weekly fast for spiritual reasons & that lead me to reading some of the posts in this section. Thanks for your patience & your indulgence.
I grew up in a moderately religious family, but fasting was not an aspect of their faith. Rather, my paternal grandparents transferred some of their Depression-era thinking onto their children; namely, that one was expected to finish one's plate of food at all costs. Nothing wasted. While my grandparents were not obese, two of their three children became quite heavy. Of their offspring I am the oldest...and only one other of the grandkids was obese.

Even though we were never told that hunger was an emergency, it was pretty clear that my grandparents had suffered during the 30s (and even the 40s to some degree) where food was concerned.

For me, I had been overweight for portions of my 20s when I developed IBS. Mine was very severe, and I was unable to eat much of anything for almost 7 years. I was hungry for most of that time, sometimes not eating for 2-3 days at a time. I was weak, suffered chronic dizziness, and was very malnutritioned. My lowest weight was 95 lbs, which is a BMI of 15.33.

Not eating came to mean suffering for me.

I had a lot of fear regarding DDs when I began JUDDD rotations, and I can definitely trace it back to the time when I wasn't able to eat. Learning to fast/restrict food safely is new ground, and as time goes on I am overcoming that fear.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:19 PM   #3
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Aw, you certainly aren't dumb or naive!

My parents fasted frequently (for spiritual reasons and that physical "cleansing" that hippie health nuts are so fond of ) and I was forced to fast with them. I never enjoyed it or even felt it to be meaningful. It made me feel like a freak or misfit at school...I didn't "cheat" because I was terrified of my parents' punishing me.

So, while I have experienced fasting, I often found DDs to be very difficult.

--Mental: I don't think I do a lot of eating out of boredom, but planning meals, shopping, cooking, making sure stuff in the fridge doesn't go bad does keep me from getting bored! After doing JUDDD for a while, I found I missed the creativity of cooking. Sometimes I would cook special things for my vegetarian son on DDs, just because it was fun.

Sometimes I just can't stop thinking about food, even if I'm not hungry. Thinking about what I can eat for dinner, or tomorrow, or what to bring over to my friend's house for a birthday party. I start out not necessarily wanting to eat, but eventually it escalates into feeling like I just need to eat those delicious leftovers in the fridge or the cookie I've been saving for 2 days so I can stop thinking about them and put my mind to something else!

Physical--some of the above thought patterns I described may be due to blood sugar imbalances and/or nutritional deficiencies. I feel a little embarrassed to admit that I get so obsessed with food, but I don't always feel like that. After the hurricane and our power being out for 9 days and eating the same pot of soup for days on end, I was totally fed up with food for a couple weeks even after we got power back...couldn't think of anything I wanted to buy or eat. My cravings can be very weak if I take certain supplements (l-glutamine especially) or have my blood sugar well under control.

Hunger can be very physically painful for some people.

Since trying low-carb & other WOEs, I have found that I have different types of hunger...one that I can bear for hours; I even feel peaceful (but sort of tough & awesome, lol) when I experience it. Other hunger: weak, shaking, frantic, can't think straight, OR just painfully hungry and maybe a little angry.

Emotional*--you didn't mention this, but I think it's important.
(*I don't mean emotional reasons for eating, I mean our emotions when we think we can't or shouldn't eat.) I think that if your parents punish you by withholding food or desserts, you can get very depressed over eliminating certain foods or going to bed hungry. Or if you were rewarded with ice cream, candy, etc, then you feel (maybe subconsciously) like you've been bad or something's wrong when you don't have a treat.

My parents didn't usually punish me by making me go to bed without supper, but we were vegetarians and they were extremely strict about things like white flour & sugar. I mean, I couldn't have cake at a birthday party or eat any of my Halloween or Easter candy. Maybe that sounds like a healthy & reasonable way to raise children, but in my case it was coupled with a lot of verbal abuse & punishment. And I felt like I freak around other kids. So...I don't know...I guess too much restriction makes me angry.

(I don't have to eat everything all the time...
I just have to tell myself that it's okay to have certain things occasionally.)

I've also gone through some times of poverty, when I worried about how to make the little bit of food we had last for a few more days; when I needed to use every single old can or box of food, or eat as much as possible at a friend's house (without being rude or greedy) because that was the only meal I was getting that day. Trying to skip meals when there is food in the house can make me feel...confused? angry? rebellious? I don't even know how to describe it!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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Jenny, perhaps it's a deep seated fear that food will again be scarce in the future & so deeply subconsciously, you feel the need to eat when food is available. Your fear compels you?

Thank you both for your perspectives. Jenny, your experience both with fasting for spiritual & physical reasons was particularly insightful.

I hope others will share their experiences with what their journey into fasting has been like for them & what factors have influenced their success or difficulty.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Definitely...I don't even think it's subconscious!

I was always, always, always *so* hungry when I was a child. Everybody in my family teased me incessantly about how much I could eat (or wanted to eat...sometimes they wouldn't give me more food). I could eat as much as full-grown men like my uncles when I was 7 or 8 years old. So I became very self-conscious about my appetite, and learned to sneak food & lie about how much I had eaten. I had a job when I was 8 years old, and I used to buy food and eat it before I got home. Or eat dinner at a friend's house and then go home and eat dinner again.

I was actually convinced that I had starved to death in a previous life, and that's why I was so hungry in this one!
(I had a very active imagination!
And parents who talked about stuff like reincarnation & karma all the time.)

But, look: I was SKINNY!!!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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I've been doing JUDDD for almost two weeks now, and the fasting has been very positive for me so far. The only day that I felt very panicky about my hunger was my first DD. Since then, I have not felt that fear or discomfort.

This is the first time in my life that I've fasted. Rayne mentioned her religious, depression-era grandparents, and I came from the same type of family. We never fasted or even came close to it. Food was always a major part of every event - holidays, birthdays, weddings, deaths, or even just Sunday afternoons after church. And we were always taught not to waste food. I don't want to blame my parents for all of my problems with food, but I do have to say that they did not handle my eating well when I was a child. I think they could have instilled better habits in me, especially as I became a chubby preteen. By the time I was into my late teens, I was already a food addict, and it only became worse as I got older. I am now a terrible emotional eater, but at least I can say that I am tackling some of the reasons why that happened to me.

I mentioned in another post earlier this week that JUDDD makes me feel more focused about eating. I don't feel like I am mindlessly eating like I have all my life. On my fasting days now, I occasionally feel hungry, but then I just drink water or coffee and that helps a little. I find that I enjoy the empty feeling at times. Maybe I enjoy it because it's so different than the constant bloated, full feeling I've experienced for so long.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:47 AM   #7
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Personally, although my doctor insists I am not pre-diabetic, I get physically sick if my blood glucose spikes then drops too fast. Sick as in tummy and dizzy. Sick as in pull over to the side of the road because I am about to fall asleep while driving.

I was very worried DDs would trigger that. They didn't.

Culturally, I think many of us live in a world where being hungry is a very bad thing. Just look at the number of pills, supplements, and special foods that - supposedly - allow you to eat whatever/whenever/however much you want and still lose. ... Except it doesn't.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:35 AM   #8
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I never fasted for any reason growing up although I came from the old three meals a day family and ice cream snack at night.
I did not find the DD's to be a prpblem for me ever but I am hard headed and was determined. I have fasted as an adult just to see if I could do it. tHE LONGEST WAS 7 DAYS. After a three days hunger is not there so that was really not that hard. Every other day is harder.
But it is the UD's that are my nemesis. DD's are actually easy for me.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:08 AM   #9
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I'm Jewish so fasted 1 time per year. Not often, but I was not scared of DDs and have not been troubled by them. I enjoy DDs very much. I fast until 9:30pm most DD and have a snack that is under 150 calories to take my evening medication which should be taken with food. That being said... Since on JUDDD I have done 3 zero calorie days, but only because when bedtime snack rolled around I felt sick and just went to sleep. Normally it is very difficult for me to fall asleep if I am starving.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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Before starting low-carb, I was extremely prone to hypoglycemia. I had to eat every two hours, all day long, constantly trying to balance my blood sugar with the right combinations of food. For me, hunger was an emergency. I once passed out from it. And even if I didn't let it get that far, I'd feel awful all day. Thankfully, low carb has healed me. But yes, fasting can be scary. (i was supposed to do religious fasting but hadn't for years due to this. I'm thrilled to be able to again!)
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:34 AM   #11
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I have fasted countless times for spiritual reasons. It's fairly easy to fast. I once did it 10 days in a row! It's the 400-500 calorie DDs with higher carbs that's the killer. Carbs fuel the appetite.

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:02 AM   #12
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I agree with a lot of people. DD's are really easy for me. It's the UD's that give me trouble. I either eat too much because I feel like I can, or I have trouble eating enough because I feel so bloated! I am getting used to the feeling of an empty stomach, and it is a very peaceful feeling

I also had parents that had little to no food growing up, so they made us eat every last bit of food on our plates, and if we didn't we were punished! I think this started my food/weight problems as well...
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:35 AM   #13
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Actually I'm Greek Orthodox and I fast for lent every year. I fast for 40 days straight and sometimes longer depending on the lenten season. I fast all meat and dairy products. It's not the fasting that's tough for me or the deprivation. It's the lack of calories. Caloric fasting and religious fasting, IMO, are two very different things. DD days are tough because its hard to get used to low calories when you've never had that experience. Religious fasting doesn't hold you to a particular caloric guideline. So, whether or not I eat 500-800 or more calories a day when I'm fasting for my spiritual health or not isn't something that's conscience. DD's are a conscious choice for me to eat low calories. They are completely different.

Just my two cents.

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Old 12-15-2012, 09:00 AM   #14
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I'm Jewish, so the thought of not eating for a day never scared me since a fast is part of my religious upbringing at least once a year. But one of my sisters is Orthodox Jewish, and she fasts many many times throughout the year, and when I told her about JUDDD she didn't think she could do it. Different strokes I guess?

Personally, not eating is fine by me, but I had eating disorder tendencies when I was in college and was always in the cycle of not eating/bingeing. Emotionally I'm not in that place anymore, but I guess the idea of not eating isn't so foreign to me that it worried me? But I am a diabetic, and hypoglycemia is a really serious problem for some people, so I can understand that concern.

I hope people who ARE having tough DD's don't feel like there's something wrong with them. All of our bodies are different. I was re-reading one of Steph's old weekly entries where she talks about the physical pain associated with hunger for some people, and how others don't experience that. It's true, our bodies are incredibly unique when it comes to our reactions to food.

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Old 12-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #15
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Actually I'm Greek Orthodox and I fast for lent every year. I fast for 40 days straight and sometimes longer depending on the lenten season. I fast all meat and dairy products.... Religious fasting doesn't hold you to a particular caloric guideline.
I don't mean this disrespectfully in any way, but when I think of "fasting", I consider that not eating anything at all. Just drinking water, unless a liquid fast (clear broth, black unsweetened tea & coffee), juice fast or something else is specified. Some spiritual fasts that I have heard of include not even drinking water for a certain amount of time (sunrise to sundown, for example).

Not eating meat or dairy...well, there are many vegans (and poor people) in the world who do that every day of their lives. By saying "religious fasting doesn't hold you to a particular caloric guideline", it sounds like you can eat as much as you want of other foods? I don't know if that's what's generally understood as a "fast" when we're talking about comparing the challenge of DDs. I assume a "fast" means a zero-calorie day (or other period of time).

So, y'all who are talking about spiritual fasting, can you specify what that means to you?
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:47 AM   #16
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So, y'all who are talking about spiritual fasting, can you specify what that means to you?
You are right. I agree. When doing a fast, in a Biblical/spiritual sense, fasting means taking in no calories whatsoever. Easy peasy, really. "Fasting', taking in 500 calories, isn't really fasting. That's hard work!
When Christ fasted in the wilderness for 40 days, he wasn't taking in any calories. Not that a 40 day fast is easy peasy, by any means. 40 days would be tough, obviously!

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #17
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I didn't think you were being disrespectful, in any way. I just think that different religions consider different things to be fasting. My experience with fasting has been to withhold certain types of food and for me to was very tough during that fast because of my love of meat and dairy. LOL. I'm not a happy camper during lent, trust me.

DD's are different. I don't think of them as fasting. It's a day that I can't go over 500-600 cal. That's huge for me because I've never had to consciously make that decision. It's definitely an adjustment.

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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I've been taught that religious/spiritual fasting is fasting from something that takes a lot of your time and attention to be able to devote yourself fully to prayer. For example, you can fast from watching TV, or internet. But I have also done fasting from food in the past to devote myself to prayer, and that adds another level of discipline for sure! You can fast from a lot of things!
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #19
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I never fasted or went without eating all day (or even under "normal" calories) before now. I may have done it without thinking sometimes in my 20s when I was "partying" lol. I grew up in the three-meal-a-day type of household too, and was urged to clean my plate, although definitely not forced. As I got older, later teens, 20s, my mother would comment on any amount of weight I gained, and I began to realize that she was obsessed with being thin. I had never really noticed it before and I had never had a problem with my weight...anyway, that's a bit off the subject...this WOE is very new for me and something I'd always considered impossible (for me), so it's taken some adjustment. I did have the physical pain from hunger at first and it was extremely uncomfortable, but I have recently begun to enjoy DD's and the feeling of emptiness is sometimes welcome.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #20
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So, y'all who are talking about spiritual fasting, can you specify what that means to you?
What I meant by spiritual fasting in the OP is what you are referring to Jenny. Abstinence from caloric intake. Water, or at the most broth, only. Usually done from sundown of one day to sundown of the next. (I have known people who do it from midnight to midnight, but if I tried that I wouldn't be going to bed until after 1am and breaking the fast at 00:01!)

For those with experience with both caloric restriction fasting and water/broth fasting, is CR more difficult than H2O/broth only?

Thank you guys for being open and honest enough to talk about your bodies, your reactions and interactions to food and the mental/emotional/spiritual sides that goes hand-in-hand with it. It's definitely fascinating stuff to see/read how we are all so very different.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:17 AM   #21
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I find it difficult on DD's because I get hungry and I want to have a nice filling meal. 350 cals is doable to be able to eat what I like on UD's but it is just tolerable for me. I can fast now for 36 hours with no food but it still is not comfortable. So I think it does get somewhat easier to do with practice. Maybe after many years I will wonder how it could be difficult but right now I am still pretty aware of the hunger issue.
As a child growing up we did have religious fasts but they were sunset to sunset so I always could eat a meal on fast days they were just early one day and late in the day the next. We only did it a few times a year too so it was easier to handle for the one day and dinner always tasted fantastic afterwards.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #22
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JUDDD is a form of what they term as intermittent fasting. If we fasted in the Biblical sense, it wouldn't be the JUDDD most of us follow.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:56 PM   #23
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Isn't fasting supposed to be uncomfortable?
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:31 PM   #24
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My preferred state is definitely being well fed. Fasting is always a bit uncomfortable for me but I do love the benefits!
I assume that person asking the question must find it extremely comfortable to fast or they wouldn't wonder why it is difficult for some of us.

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Old 12-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #25
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I actually prefer the feeling of just "not hungry". I don't like the feeling of being over full, and it brings on a depressed feeling (not from emotions, just almost a physical reaction), and I don't like the "pangs" of hunger either. Thankfully, most DD's now I feel ok.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #26
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Definitely...I don't even think it's subconscious!

I was always, always, always *so* hungry when I was a child. Everybody in my family teased me incessantly about how much I could eat (or wanted to eat...sometimes they wouldn't give me more food). I could eat as much as full-grown men like my uncles when I was 7 or 8 years old. So I became very self-conscious about my appetite, and learned to sneak food & lie about how much I had eaten. I had a job when I was 8 years old, and I used to buy food and eat it before I got home. Or eat dinner at a friend's house and then go home and eat dinner again.

I was actually convinced that I had starved to death in a previous life, and that's why I was so hungry in this one!
(I had a very active imagination!
And parents who talked about stuff like reincarnation & karma all the time.)

But, look: I was SKINNY!!!
That's a gorgeous picture! (Love the way the hair is flying and you look so carefree!) I was never that slim!
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #27
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I found fasting really hard at the start. I grew up in a household that started the day with breakfast, always at lunch and NEVER went to bed without dinner. There was a period when I first moved out of home (from 17-21) where I just didn't eat breakfast ever and had a small snack for lunch then a big dinner. That was when I was at my slimest, duh huh?

After years of eating 3 (sometimes 4 ) meals a day, getting back in the fasting mental state was hard work. Whether it be a hunger pain, boredom, temptation, whatever. All these things have to be fought. After I had a big feed, I would usually just keep going till I felt stuffed and could hate myself more. I was never a big girl, but high in the healthy range and more than anything, didn't like my relationship with food and eating it.

I think we are all differant, and doing Juddd has convinced me for the second time in my life, that my body likes when I fast. Skipping meals IS ok (although my mother will never agree with this!) and eating good (and sometimes naughty) food is ok too. I love my new found relationship with food
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaofsand View Post

I mentioned in another post earlier this week that JUDDD makes me feel more focused about eating. I don't feel like I am mindlessly eating like I have all my life. On my fasting days now, I occasionally feel hungry, but then I just drink water or coffee and that helps a little. I find that I enjoy the empty feeling at times. Maybe I enjoy it because it's so different than the constant bloated, full feeling I've experienced for so long.
Wonderful post! Exactly what has transpired for me! I guess I never thought about the fact that the reason I feel so much better post-JUDDD, may have had something to do with the end of mindless snacking & stressful chowing. I feel a freedom from the sadness that I used to experience when I realized I had been overeating for no reason other than habitual stress. I knew I wasn't hungry, but I was compensating for the need to satisfy the beast.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:05 PM   #29
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I don't know what it is about that word "feed" but it brings negative connotations to me. I think of helpless animals who are reliant upon humans to "feed" them, and somehow that connotates feeding with helplessness or something. When I see something written about "after a feed", it seems almost animalistic...like a pig at a trough. I don't know why it seems so barbaric. Just wanted to vent, lol. No offense to anyone who uses that expression, by the way.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #30
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lol, I guess I refer to the fact that I am eating like a pig!
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