Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top Ten Foods To Always Have in The House

In recovering from an eating disorder, I believe that it’s crucial to have a list of foods that are healthy, nourishing, easy, and non-triggering to always have on hand. These of course are an individual choice. You need to think about what foods for you are non-binge foods, are healthy, you could make a meal of if you needed to. And just make sure that these are always on hand.

 

 

These are my top ten:

1.)Apples
2.)Avocados
3.)Eggs
4.)Frozen grilled fully cooked chicken breasts or chicken strips (I like these)
5.)Raw Nuts (I like almonds and cashews)
6.)Sweet potatos
7.)Cans of Tuna and Salmon
8.)Bags of organic frozen vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, etc.)
9.)Condiments, (ie: miso paste, broth, salsa, butter, mayo, mustard)
10.)Seaweed

Of course I like to have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in the house as well as other types of foods, but these are my staples, these are things that I make sure I don’t run out of. What are your non-binge staple foods? A great thing to do is make your top ten list in order to figure out what kinds of safe foods you’ll always have in the house. This is another way to keep your house a safe binge free place. It helps to avoid those nights when you’re hungry and too tired to cook, so you wind up ordering something in that is potentially triggering.

Friday Q & A- People are always obsessing over what I'm eating. What do I do?

Question: Submitted via email by Katie in Chicago, IL

I feel like everyone I work with is constantly scrutinizing my food. They notice what I eat (or don’t eat) for lunch, they notice if I take a cookie at work or don’t take a cookie. And god forbid I should indulge in some of the office goodies, people will say things like, “whoah, she’s eating. Katie’s eating a cookie!”  or if someone brings cake in they’ll say something like, “I’d offer you but I know you’d say no anyway.” Working in advertising sales,  a big part of my job is being very social, going to parties, lunches, dinners, conferences, etc, so I am constantly around food. How can I get people to stop talking looking at me eat and stop making comments about what I’m eating?

Hi Katie,

That’s really frustrating. First off, you can’t make anyone stop watching you eat or stop making comments. However, you are completely within your right to respond when people make comments about what you’re eating. You can always say something like, “it makes me uncomfortable when people comment on my food, I’d rather you didn’t.” And if you’re not comfortable with that, you can always turn it around, like if someone says, “I can’t believe you’re eating that”, you can always say “I can’t believe you’re eating that!”

People are  very quick to notice other people’s food and eating habits so when you feel uncomfortable, even the most innocuous comments can feel very biting or harsh.

It’s really distressing for people with eating issues when someone else notices their food. Eating disorders thrive in the dark and when someone notices your food or your eating, it shines a light on it. You feel exposed. And, unfortunately, when you become uncomfortable, it’s more fodder for people to make comments.

You certainly don’t have to make justifications for what you are choosing to eat or what you are choosing not to eat.

Here are some ways to answer certain common statements/questions that people make.

Q-Are you really going to eat all that?

A- Maybe

Q-Is that all you’re eating for lunch

A-For right now.

Q-Why don’t you ever indulge in the goodies we have here? You’re too good.

A-I’m not interested in sweets

Q- Do you always eat so healthy?

A-I try to eat mostly healthy, but of course sometimes I don’t.

Q-If you only eat vegetables, why aren’t you super slim?

A-How much time do you spend scrutinizing my food? I’m really uncomfortable with that.

Q-Do you ever eat?

A- Of course I do.

Q- What do you eat?

A- Whatever I’m hungry for

Q-How do you eat so much and stay so slim?

A-I eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m satisfied. I just eat what my body wants, no more no less.

 

You certainly don’t have to justify your food choices to anyone. We are curious by nature. And for the most part, people are probably not trying to upset you, but are genuinely curious. If you look around, you will notice that you are probably not the only person who they are questioning about food. And if you think about it, anyone who is obsessed with your food probably has their own issues with food.

 

The Office Christmas Party, Social Anxiety, Food, Stress, and Binge Eating

In the last post, I talked about the holidays, but here I want to focus specifically on the office Holiday Party. This can be particularly triggering for many people. And for many people who suffer from binge eating and social anxiety, the holiday party is an anxiety provoking nightmare. And when you suffer from binge eating disorder, these parties might be the perfect recipe for a binge. Even if you don’t binge during the party, the buildup and stress about the party might cause you to binge either before or after the party. Here are some tips to help these parties go smoothly and to help you avoid a binge.

1.)Bring a date. This doesn’t have to be a romantic date, it can be your sister or your brother or your best friend or your neighbor. Just make sure that you have someone there to support you.

2.)Before you go, try to relax, breathe, and mediate. Remember that you are not the only person at a party who is nervous.Relax and watch a good movie to take your mind off the anxiety.

3.)Make a goal to talk to 5 new people. Plan on what you’d like to talk about. Coming armed with questions is always a good move. Ask people things like: how do you know the host? what do you do? do you have travel plans for the holidays?

4.)While you’re at the party, don’t try to sample every different food. Pay more attention to the person you’re with or talking to other people.  Holiday parties can be hard because of the variety of food. There is a temptation to sample everything. Pick a couple of things to eat and sit down and eat slowly and mindfully. Remember that food is plentiful and you can always make a choice to try a new food or cook a new food that you’ve not tried before.  Don’t eat standing up and don’t lose track of what and how much you’re eating . This could lead to a binge later.

5.)Don’t drink too much alcohol. Before you go, give yourself a limit as to how many drinks you will have and be accountable for that. Often people try to combat social anxiety with alcohol and it usually backfires, causing the anxiety (and  hangover bingeing) the next day.

6.)You don’t have to stay. It’s okay to go, make an appearance, say hello to a few select people and leave.

7.)You don’t even have to go. What is the cost benefit analysis?  Will going cause more anxiety and bingeing than than staying home? Think about what needs to happen to keep you safe.

8.)Smile at ten people. Make a plan that you are going to smile or say hello to ten people. Having a goal for the party will make it less scary and it will also make you more approachable so that you can meet more people.

9.)Get help for social anxiety if it is a real problem for you. Look at some different websites that specifically deal with social anxiety in order to prepare. You can also find a support group or a therapist who deals specifically with social anxiety disorder. I have found that often social anxiety can be underneath many eating disorders.

10.)Bookend the party. Let one of your support people know that you are nervous about going and you fear you might binge. Check in with them before and after the party.

Friday Q&A– I can't stop binge eating at college and I need help.

Question– submitted by Anita via comments section

Hi, i am a twenty year old girl who has developed a binge eating habit. this is going on for about two years now and i have put on 9kilos. i feel disgusted with myself none of my clothes fit me and i can’t even concentrate on my work i am a student and have so much work to be getting on with but when i binge eat i can’t concentrate on anything. it all starts when i have something which is against my diet plan and from there onwards i will purposely eat wrong foods and my calorie intake can go up to 4000! please can you help me stop binge eating its having such a bad impact on my life i don’t even feel like stepping out of the house anymore. please can you help me get out of this

Answer:

Hi Anita,

I’m sorry, it sounds like you’re having a really rough time right now up at school. It’s truly not uncommon for an eating disorder to begin when women head off to college. It’s a stressful time and food can feel like it helps to alleviate that stress. However, of course it’s temporary.

1.) First off, it’s important for you to get the support you need. Find a therapist to discuss what’s going on with you with food, work level, stress, anxiety, and everything else. Often there are people available through student health services to talk to. You can also look here to find an eating disorder professional in the U.K.

2.)Find a peer support group so that you don’t have to go through this alone. Overeaters Anonymous has meetings all over the world.

3.)You say that you are on a diet. Cut out the diet and go toward eating healthy and being healthy. You might visit a nutritionist who can help you learn more about healthful eating.

4.)Learn how to manage your stress without food. When you feel anxious, take deep breaths, tap on parts of your body (like your chest) to relieve stress. Check out the Thymus Tap.

5.)Stop counting calories. Eat slowly and mindfully. Eat what you want when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied. Know that you will be able to eat again in a few hours when you are hungry again.

6.)Read through this blog which has many hints and tools on how to stop binge eating. Start with the first article and go on from there. I think that you will find some useful information in here.

Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy  at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location.