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Abstinence or moderation?

E

ecdysis

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Newcastle
Hey everyone!

This is my first post on this website. I hope this doesn't trigger anyone, I've just been driving myself crazy recently and desperately need to hear some other perspectives.

I have dealt with anorexia/binge eating/compulsive eating for years now. Although things are better than they used to be, they are certainly not 'normal' and seem to be getting worse the longer I ruminate on this topic. I have researched eating disorders exhaustively and have come to see how they mimic addiction; many books suggest that it is the refined sugar in foods that make them so addictive and cause cravings etc. etc. and, therefore, processed foods and sugar should be abstained from in a similar manner to which an alcoholic would completely avoid alcohol.

I have tried this method and had some luck. However, more recently I have started a relationship and suddenly I have to consider someone else's interests and desires; though abstinence may be possible on an individual level, it seems impossible to have a relationship whereby I cannot attend family dinners/restaurants/go on holidays abroad and enjoy new foods due to my abstinence from sugar. I feel as though I am going insane and the pressure is starting to build as I feel increasingly guilty about avoiding dinners at his family home and increasingly worried about the prospect of eating abroad. Moreover, this whole scenario is increasing my obsession surrounding food! I am currently completely lost and feel as though I don't know which direction to go in: should I try to ease my rules around food instead in the hope that I will become less obsessed that way, or create tighter rules so that I don't have to worry about attempting (and potentially failing) at moderation. Please help!

Surely this is a problem that someone has dealt with and can offer some advice towards?? Perhaps someone who has strictly adhered to a keto/atkins/paleo diet??

TLDR; think it is in my best interest to give up sugar and processed foods completely but not sure how to deal with dinner at friends' house/restaurant meals/eating out on holiday. Am unsure as to whether attempting moderation of certain foods would ease obsession or whether it would increase food anxiety further.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
5,083
Location
England
Hello and welcome to the forum. I have binge eating disorder. If I give up a food I enjoy it makes me miserable as I crave it more and then I end up binging. I have a chocolate on most days but try not to have many in or I will eat them all in one go. I can understand you wanting to give up sugar and if you can then that is great.

With socialising a lot does revolve around food. Is it possible to meet people for coffee in coffee shops as that is less about food? Maybe you can think of ways to socialise were food is not the focus although I do realise that is not easy.

I found CAT very helpful to address my food issues. You may like to try that too.
 
M

Mary26

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
256
Location
USA
Just thought you might find it interesting that if you were in a recovery program they would not advise you to eliminate sugar or processed food. It's about balance and appropriateness, which makes sense because if you deny yourself something you'll want it more and keep riding the roller coaster of bingeing, restricting.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
338
Location
Australia
Hey everyone!

This is my first post on this website. I hope this doesn't trigger anyone, I've just been driving myself crazy recently and desperately need to hear some other perspectives.

I have dealt with anorexia/binge eating/compulsive eating for years now. Although things are better than they used to be, they are certainly not 'normal' and seem to be getting worse the longer I ruminate on this topic. I have researched eating disorders exhaustively and have come to see how they mimic addiction; many books suggest that it is the refined sugar in foods that make them so addictive and cause cravings etc. etc. and, therefore, processed foods and sugar should be abstained from in a similar manner to which an alcoholic would completely avoid alcohol.

I have tried this method and had some luck. However, more recently I have started a relationship and suddenly I have to consider someone else's interests and desires; though abstinence may be possible on an individual level, it seems impossible to have a relationship whereby I cannot attend family dinners/restaurants/go on holidays abroad and enjoy new foods due to my abstinence from sugar. I feel as though I am going insane and the pressure is starting to build as I feel increasingly guilty about avoiding dinners at his family home and increasingly worried about the prospect of eating abroad. Moreover, this whole scenario is increasing my obsession surrounding food! I am currently completely lost and feel as though I don't know which direction to go in: should I try to ease my rules around food instead in the hope that I will become less obsessed that way, or create tighter rules so that I don't have to worry about attempting (and potentially failing) at moderation. Please help!

Surely this is a problem that someone has dealt with and can offer some advice towards?? Perhaps someone who has strictly adhered to a keto/atkins/paleo diet??

TLDR; think it is in my best interest to give up sugar and processed foods completely but not sure how to deal with dinner at friends' house/restaurant meals/eating out on holiday. Am unsure as to whether attempting moderation of certain foods would ease obsession or whether it would increase food anxiety further.
It's important to be true to yourself so you can be at peace. Don't compromise at the cost of your health. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can offer to people with eating disorders is to take a general and multi-dimensional approach to health. By that I mean your disorder may not simply be a problem of calories in and calories out/exercise/body image. But their problem may be on many fronts. A few examples could be the environment (a gas station with junk food at every turn), a personal sensitivity/addiction to a certain type of food or even how when you are invited to dinners it threatens your plan for sustainability).

The science of weight loss is well known and established. It's not that complicated. Keeping fit in a world that discourages it is another story.
 
P

Purpleplum

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
1,163
Location
nowhere
Stick to what works for you. If you believe in health (no processed food, alcohol etc...) and believe it will improve the addiction, stick with it and be confident about it.

It's usually good to be with a partner who shares your beliefs in eating no processed food, no alcohol, etc... There are many who are into health at least in my part of the world.
 
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