Kikiaob

What are your coping mechanisms for fighting the addict within?

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I am so disappointed in myself.  My scale says that I am doing well; I am on a very slow but steady losing pace now (about 1 pound a week) but I feel like a fraud and the slow down has been all my undoing.  I will eat and keep eating even though I am feeling uncomfortable and full.  I will graze food in between meals.  I am still always thinking about food and it is all head hunger.  I know I am not hungry!  I know that I don't want to eat food, but I just do it anyway.  This addict inside me is still craving food for no reason!  There is an OA meeting near my house on Thursdays that I am starting next week because I realize I need help.  In the meantime, I would love to hear what coping mechanisms you use to help you not eat that extra bite or to just stay away from bad food.

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I don't have any advice to offer, but I wanted to applaud you on taking a very difficult first step. You made a very smart decision, and I have no doubt that will help you succeed long term

Good luck!

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Please do not beat yourself up about this. In life, IMO, one of the hardest things to give up is remorse/ regret.

As a fat person, I beat myself up on a regular basis: why can't I lose weight? I am weak, undeserving, pond scum, etc.

Recogniging and admitting a weakness is the first step in changing that behavior. One of the hardest things to do is to love ourselves as we are. When we screw up, we tend to magnify that one screw up way out of proportion. That phenom happens to must of us. One of the most important things I learned in therapy was to pick myself up, dust myself off, figure out a solution and move forward. Regret and remorse keep us stuck in a negative place. Regret and remorse prevent us from enjoying the good things and people in our lives.

My advice is to own the mistake, come up with a plan to fix the problem and move forward.

if the first plan doesn't work, come up with another plan and try it out. The point is that when you are actively working on solutions you are moving forward. 

Energy wasted on regret and remorse is energy wasted that could be used toward something much more positive

this process is sometimes referred to as reflective learning. Learning from mistakes and then using that knowledge learned to keep moving ahead without beating yourself up .

best...

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As someone who has regained 40lbs the second year post-op;  here is what I do to help "nip it in the butt".

I measure everything.  And what I measure, that is how much food I get.  It doesn't matter if I'm stuffed after eating that mount or if I feel like I could/want to eat more -  the measured portion is all I get.   I have even started to individually bag up 1oz portions of cheese to prevent myself from just "handful grab n go".  

If, within my measured portion, I am starting to get to the full point instead of just trying to cram it all in because "its there and it was measured anyway", I try and leave 3 bites left of the meal.... one bite for each dog.  This way I am still stopping at a point I am pleasantly full in the sleeve without pushing it further cause there is no need to other then fact of simply wanting to finish it.   If whatever measured meal I'm eating doesn't get me to this point of stopping, I finish it and the dogs get no treats.  Its about 50/50 whether I finish or stop;  just depends on what I'm eating/how dense it all is.

All trigger/high temptation foods are barred from the house.  If my BF wants candy or chips - then he can buy them during the day and eat them at work.  There are just some things I can't have in the house right now.  Perhaps some day this will change, but for the time being, its how it has to be.  Remove as much temptation as you can cause if it isn't there then you can't eat it.  BF loves pizza - I do not deny him this but to also keep myself in check (cause pizza is by far my favorite thing) I only buy pizzas (or make)  that have things on them I won't eat (I hate onions, pineapple etc) ...thus, I don't touch the pizza.  He's a happy camper and I can very easily stay away from my favorite food because it is topped with things I despise.

Plan - plan plan plan plan plan.  I plan out my 3 meals for the day as I'm sitting about watching tv at the end of the day.  Once my 3 meals are picked (usually based on "hmm what is oldest in the fridge and needs to be eaten") and plug them into MFP, I look at how much protein that nets me for the day and adjust my snacks (which I allow for at least 2 of) to get me to the macros I need.  Am I super low on protein based on the 3 meals I chose?  Then need a high protein snack like a shake or jerky.  Am I good on protein?  Then I can have some 'funner' things like pork rinds & homemade dip or edamame or fruit smoothie.  Planning also encompasses for leaving the house - if I'm going to a relatives for the weekend, I bring a cooler that has hard boiled eggs, yogurt and cheese with - so I am never left without proper options for either meals or snacking.  Don't allow for the unknown and the "oh well, I have nothing better to eat" moments; be prepared.

I chew a lot of gum.  Keep my mouth busy;  sometimes this helps, it doesn't always but sometimes is better then never.  I will also drink a whole bunch of water at once... fill the sleeve up. Its a temporary 'fix' but sometimes you just need that 5 min distraction to get you passed the craving.  I also chew gum when preparing meals or packing his lunch -  mouth has gum in it, don't want to stick food in it too!  A spoonful of peanut butter is very often a 'planned' snack in my day - often while I'm making his lunches I will do the PB then cause it keeps my mouth nice and distracted with the gooey yummy stuff.

Pick one battle at a time.  Are you eating crappy things in addition to having an issue with grazing?  If so - work on one of those things now and worry about the other later.  For me I was eating utter crap and grazing a lot...  so I worked on eating better first.  I rid the house of things as mentioned above and so if I choose to eat 'out of turn' then at least it is on good things... protein, veggie or fruit....these are my only options in the house.  Once I feel like my head is back in the game fully in regards to food choices - then I can work on the grazing issues.   I have since getting back on track I am much more at peace with the grazing.....which is much better then it was but not wholly 'fixed'.  I find more peace with it because I'm actually choosing good and 'proper' things.  Hot tea or coffee also helps me a lot of the time when I get an urge to hit the fridge..... I have no idea why but the hot fluid helps in this regard or least helps long enough for it to actually be the correct time to get something to eat.

The main thing though is - you just have to get your head to accept this new, healthy way is the way it HAS to be.  And there is no answer for how to do that.  I had to be almost 3 years post op and gain 40lbs back for my head to finally snap to attention.  A couple things I will very frequently remind myself is:  I HAVE done this....I CAN do this again.  And also how there are times where I may not feel like taking a shower, but if I don't want to be a smelly nelly at work, I NEED to do it.....   eating and this healthy lifestyle is really the same thing.  I HAVE to do it whether I want to and whether I feel like it at any given moment.   As I said, it took me almost 3 years post surgery to finally accept and come to terms with all this.

You can read a more indepth look into my 'derail' in this thread if you'd like:  http://www.thinnertimesforum.com/topic/107343-the-reasons-and-the-confessions/#comment-1215464

 

 

 

Edited by Jolls

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A none too flattering picture at your heaviest stuck on a piece of card with something along the lines of "do you really want to go there again?" written on it can help - stick it on the fridge, pantry (or wherever) and that should stop you in your tracks.

Edited by cinwa

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I also applaud you for recognizing the problem and doing something about it.  Eating just to eat is the hardest thing to overcome for me.  Multiple times a day I'll walk by my fridge and have to fight the urge to open it up just to check out what's there, when nothing has changed in the last 30 minutes.  Keep at it, you can do this, work on one thing at a time like Jolls suggested, that will give you achievable goals, and don't beat yourself up as SpunkyCat reminds you.  

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my therapist preached the necessity of impulse control. what seems to work best for me is taking a split second to think about what  the consequences of my decision to eat would be. like "If I stop for taco bell I will get x,y, or z and physically feel like crap after eating it. if I go enough times I will gain weight and feel like crap mentally. it's not worth it." the "it's not worth it." mantra usually gets repeated until I drive past taco bell.  

It was starting to work before the surgery, and it's working pretty well for me since then too.

i never thought i'd say it, but it sucks that it's not still uncomfortable to eat anymore. I mean, sure if I overeat now it's uncomfortable, but that's recent. previously everything I ate wasn't really comfortable... so it was easier to say "no, i most assuredly do not want that"

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I remind myself I already know what XX tastes like.

I do something that engages me mentally and physically - go for a walk or a workout. Read a book. I don't try to distract myself by watching TV. Eating while watching TV is something I used to do so the TV can be a green light to my brain to eat. 

I come to TT.

I drink water or make tea. 

I remind myself that cravings only last for a few minutes and I try to white knuckle it through those few minutes.

 

Glad you are going to try OA. 

 

 

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Book- yes book helped me to stop "snacking". Only for me it always ended with binging rather than snacking. That was before my surgery when my stomach had a lot of space. Now- it helps me with snacking between my planned meals/ planned snacks. The book is titled "Brain over binge" by Kathryn Hansen. There are plenty of people on you tube talking about it if you want a short version. Good luck!

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I look at my fat "before" pictures.   They are my #1 motivation.

If I want to graze or snack I fill a 32oz bottle with water and drink that instead.  By the time I'm done I either don't want to snack or its time to eat anyways.  Or I distract myself with housework.  I completely gutted and cleaned out my garage for the first time in 12 years!

i have broken down in the store before and bought something "bad" (chips, cookie, yesterday it was muddy buddy chex mix).  I have a handful or two and then immediately crush it and throw it away.  My head hunger gets a little satisfaction but the rest of the bag isn't around to tempt me.  I found giving in a tiny bit was easier than obsessing for days.

 If I pop even one pound over my bounce range (usually due to carbs over the holidays or vacation) I go back to my preop liquid diet for a couple days.  That sheds the extra pounds, shuts down the carb cravings and gets my head back in the game.  It's empowering and a great motivator.  Gives me back my control.

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The only thing I can add to what everyone else has said is please please please take all this advice and do whatever you can to get this in check within your first year.  Ask Jolls, me, or I guess anyone who's over 2 years post-op.  Once the one-year or so mark passes, your honeymoon and easy weight-loss even with stumbling goes away.  It goes away HARD, so keeping this up past your honeymoon phase will surely spell trouble.  Some of us have gained it all back, I can only imagine how that would feel and know what I have to do to keep it from going there.  If there isn't an OA meeting for a couple days go to an AA, NA, or even Alanon meeting.  Any twelve step meeting has the same core principals and can get you through the day!  Good luck! 

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