binge eating

Q & A Friday- I’ve Stopped Binge Eating but I Haven’t Lost Weight- Help!

Q & A FridayToday’s question comes to us from Pamela in New Jersey.  This is a super common and difficult question that comes quite often in ED recovery. 

Question –

Hi Leora,

I have an ED therapist and ED nutritionist and I’ve been seeing them for over a year. I’m also in a weekly ED recovery group.

I think I’m doing good with recovery but I’m not losing weight. I think it’s because I’m still eating to take the edge off. Not in a binge sort of way but in a starting point sort of way. I’ve been paying more attention to using the hunger scale recently and that’s improving. Not losing anything since starting a serious recovery program is very discouraging. I’m no small fry, I’m over 300 pounds. I have very low energy and still sleep quite a bit which makes sense considering my body is very large. Everyone in recovery says it’s not about the weight. It’s about healing the behaviors and the weight I suppose will come off eventually. I’ve found a lot of peace but it’s not easy being so large.

When I bring up weight loss to my ED nutritionist she say’s that should be on the back burner for now. However even after all the progress and peace I am discouraged and down mood wise. My poor body has endured much with the BED. I’m getting up there in years now (55yo) and it’s not getting easier carrying the extra weight. I understand the goal isn’t to “lose” weight but to find more normalized behaviors around food and resolve the need for emotional eating.

But i am tired, I am feeling low and today I’m discouraged. I’ve done a good job not making about the weight over almost the past two years and weight wise I’ve let go of 10 pounds or so. When do I let it go of the big excess weight. I know you cant tell me but there must be a way to combine releasing extra weight with recovery even if it is some form of a “diet”. There has got to be a way to gain physical health and normalized eating together. I have no illusion of being super small, I think I have a very real thought of what my body is comfortable size/weight wise. But when I bring it up I am told that losing weight cant be the focus. But that doesn’t change that it’s just to hard and humiliating carrying this extra 150 pounds. Yes Humiliating at times when I cant sit at a table at a restaurant for example, or cant sit on someone’s couch bc it wont hold me. I’m in pain emotionally and physically over this weight issue and I need someone with some direction other than put it on the back burner.

I’m asking you bc whenever I read what you have to say you make sense.

Any thoughts? Thank you Leora,

Answer-

Your question is such a good one.  As long as I have been working in Eating Disorder Recovery, this conundrum has come up on an almost daily basis. People either start to gain weight in their recovery and it’s very upsetting for them, or they find that they have been not bingeing, not purging, no restricting, and not dieting — but they have not lost any weight. They then become extremely discouraged and also very angry.

The anger is usually directed at recovery or at their recovery team. They wonder why they’ve wasted all this time not on a diet when they could have been on a diet and lost weight rather than what they’re doing right now. 

My friend Sheira, who is a well known eating disorder therapist often says, “when you focus on weight loss, you make a pact with the devil.”  As an Eating Disorder Therapist, when you promise anyone that you will help them lose weight or you focus on weight loss with them, you begin corroborating with the societal message that got them into their Eating Disorder to begin with.  The very first thing we need to do with someone who is recovering from an eating disorder is to help them take their focus off of food and weight and the scale and diets and weight loss and help them to refocus on their mental and physical health.  Dieting and the pursuit of weight loss does not equal health. The problem is that we have been told that it does– not only does weight loss equal health, it also equals beauty and it equals our worth in the world. I remember an interview many, many years back with Duff (she was one of the first MTV Vee-Jays). She was a model and model thin– and then she became ill. While going through multiple chemotherapy treatments she became really skinny, sick skinny– and people started complimenting her on her weight loss and saying things like, “whatever you’re doing- keep it up! You look great!” She was appalled. She was already super thin and then she was sick. Skinny culture is not about health.  This is why we don’t focus on weight loss in ED recovery. We focus on health. And sometimes health means weight gain while focusing on mental health recovery. 

This is a super common argument that occurs when the Eating Disorder Community gets into a room with the Obesity Awareness community. When we go to Eating Disorders conferences, there are always inevitably lots of folks from the Obesity recovery community. The obesity researchers look at weight loss while the ED recovery community feels that the goal of weight loss most often ends in an eating disorder for the ED population, so treat the eating disorder and weight will come to its natural place. The belief is that concentrating on weight loss will bring you back to a place of obsessing on the scale,  feeling like a failure and then reverting to eating disorder ways. In ED recovery, we want to treat your brain first and help you to find a place of peace. We believe that your healthy body will come concurrently with a healthy mind. 

This argument however does not really fly when people feel that their weight is negatively impacting their lives. People tend to interject society’s negative connotations of their weight with their own feelings about how wrong they are and feel in the world. The answer is to address the problem that you’re dealing with, not the weight. For instance– pre-diabetes. The recommendations for reversing  pre-diabetes includes eating healthy food and exercising 30 minutes a day.  Exercise does not have to be pejorative or punishing or painful. It can be a walk with your kiddos around the neighborhood, it can be swimming, it can be a yoga video, it can be jumping on a trampoline. Pre-diabetes is having an elevated blood glucose level and can be helped by exercise because when you utilize your muscles they will pull glucose out of your blood for energy and stamina.  And healthy eating doesn’t have to be a diet determined by someone outside of you. Healthy eating includes eating lots of whole unprocessed foods when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re body is satisfied and allowing yourself to eat foods for enjoyment (like ice cream!) in a non-bingeing and loving way.

Having no energy is something that you can work on as well.  People of all shapes and sizes (especially women) feel that they have no energy. Ways to increase your energy again include getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, exercising and eating for both health and enjoyment.   If you are able to eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied and incorporate loving, healthy movement into your daily routine– your body WILL come to its healthy weight without you focusing on weight loss as the goal. Try to shift your focus instead on personal health and inner peace. 

According to Deb Burgard of The Association for Size Diversity and Health,  (The Health at Every Size movement) “…advocates eating in a manner that balances individual nutritional needs with hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure. We also enthusiastically support individually appropriate, enjoyable, life enhancing physical activity rather than exercise for the purpose of weight loss. A “normal weight” is the weight at which a person’s body settles as s/he moves towards a more fulfilling, meaningful lifestyle that includes being physically active and consuming nutritious foods. Not all people are currently at their most “healthy weight.” Movement towards a more balanced life will facilitate the achievement of a “healthy weight.” “

When my clients ask about weight loss, we try to look and see what they think weight loss will offer them. Often answers vary from things like: Losing weight will give me:  more friends, more confidence, more energy, more love, the ability to go out and do things that I’ve been missing, I can wear whatever I want… The truth is, you can reverse engineer this. Don’t think about losing weight as the antidote to the issues. When you look to treat each issue individually, you wind up finding the benefits that you think weight loss will give you. Chasing the almighty number on the scale– for someone who has been in that rat race for a number of years, will only keep them in it.  Chase true health instead. 

What do you think? Does it makes sense? 

For further reading on the topic,  go to: 

National Eating Disorder Association Thoughts on The Health at Every Size Approach 

Health at Every Size Approach 

Health at Every Size Book 

 

I hope that this response was helpful for you. Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating? 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. Are you interested in online therapy or coaching to deal with your eating disorder? Please contact me to discuss getting started. 

21 NON Weight Loss Benefits of Exercise

21 Amazing NON WEIGHT LOSS Benefits of ExerciseAs mental health professionals, one of the things that we are always encouraged to prescribe our clients is exercise.  Exercise is fantastic! 

However, as a professional treating eating disorders, discussing exercise tends to be tricky…  my clients tend to feel shame over not exercising enough, the belief that they have to exercise every single day to lose weight, or they fall into overexercising or compulsive exercising to deal with anxiety or shame. 

Exercise is great! But it won’t help you lose weight. Although it’s always been considered the golden standard of weight loss (eat less and exercise more) the more recent studies show that exercise is an ineffective weight loss strategy.  

However, there are a million benefits to exercise that are not weight loss related. 

21 AMAZING NON WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS OF EXERCISE: 

  1. Increases your libido and gives you the stamina to enjoy and have sex more
  2. It is a natural anti-depressant because it increases serotonin production and decreases depression
  3. It reduces your risk of diabetes by pulling sugar (glucose) out of your blood stream
  4. Exercise helps you to manage anxiety
  5. Reduces your risk of heart disease
  6. Makes you stronger
  7. Increases Your Lifespan
  8. Boosts HDL cholesterol 
  9. Increases Your Energy
  10. Helps You Sleep deeper and decreases insomnia
  11. It gives you a break in the day and much needed “me time”
  12. It decreases symptoms of PMS including cramps, mood swings and bloating
  13. It sharpens your mind
  14. It gets you high on endorphins (feel good chemicals in your brain)
  15. Reduces breast cancer risk
  16. It increases your positive body image 
  17. It decreases your risk of Osteoporosis 
  18. It increases blood flow and sweating which detoxifies you and in turn give you glowing gorgeous skin
  19. It decreases risk of Alzheimer’s. 
  20. It decreases stress and increases your overall sense of peacefulness
  21. Decreases binge eating episodes  which can often be a symptom of stress, anxiety, depression, boredom, panic, and overstimulation (all things that exercise decreases). 

How to start? Don’t think of it as something you have to do, or you should do– think of it as something that you get to do and something that will help you just feel better. It doesn’t have to be every day, and it doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. You don’t have to be training for a marathon, you can do a different form of exercise every single day or every few days to get these benefits. You can jump on a trampoline, go swimming, climb trees, go for a hike (either urban or on a trail), jump rope, do yoga, go out dancing or dance alone in your room, go for a walk with a friend, watch a Netflix while you walk or jog on the treadmill– just do something that is fun, try to move your body — movement is amazing medicine your soul, your body and your mind. 

Thunder Thighs and Other “Problem Areas”

*PHOTO CREDITS TO MODELS FLUVIA LACERA AND TARA LYNN
Summer style guideMany years ago, when my cousin had her first baby, her husband, as he held this gorgeous nine month old baby, squeezed on of her plump little thighs and said, “I can already see that this is going to be a problem area for her, we’re going to have to watch that…” (don’t worry,  my cousin divorced him). 

Problem area. I asked him what he meant by “problem area,” he said, “her thighs are fat, and they’re going to be a sticking point for her…” All the women in my family have thighs that are thick, strong, and sturdy. Including his wife. And he said it was a problem. SHE WAS AN INFANT!!!!! I have been thinking about this moment 15 years ago for days now. Because I know how these eating disorders get started. A baby girl is born perfect and her dad, her mom, society, a boyfriend, a teacher, whomever, says she has a “problem spot.” And then, she sees what she was born with, what is naturally in her DNA as a problem. And she diets. She starves, she gets sick, she binges, maybe she purges, takes laxatives, maybe she runs miles and miles and miles and miles and miles to make that “problem” go away. And she blames herself when it doesn’t. She blames herself for having no willpower, she blames herself for not exercising enough, for eating too many carbs, for the birthday cake she ate at her best friend’s birthday party. 

 

Like most every woman in my family, I was born with “problem” thighs. I knew they were a problem because my mother had the same thighs and she did everything under the sun to make them go away. Her mother also believed that she had the same problem. I know that because after my mother died, I found this book upon her stacks of books. It was published in 1952, when my mother was 4 years old and my grandmother was about 30.  This deceptive book was created to make women believe that the size of their thighs was their fault. IMG_3051

 

Here, let me cite the first sentence of the intro for you: “The woman with shapely legs and attractive curves is more likely to get ahead socially, in business and in love. Heavy legs, regardless of other attractions are a handicap that is hard to overcome….”   So here we begin, if you have thin thighs, you will get ahead in life but with thicker thighs,  your life will (and should) suck. If you have body image issues, don’t blame yourself this myth has been perpetuated by misogynists for years.  Now, let me continue with this brilliant piece of literary master… “Hollywood legs, for which some of the screen stars are famous, attract a large audience. Many movie actresses take systematic exercises to develop shapely limbs because they realize that the beauty of their legs may make the difference between success and failure…”  If you have thin thighs you can become famous! And most movie stars make sure to exercise their legs because genetically, this does not come naturally– you are responsible for the DNA you were born with. images

Here’s an interview with Marilyn Monroe where she says “I never really gave much thought to my body, I just tried to make sure I was eating enough… I never bothered with exercise, but now I exercise for about 10 minutes each morning…” Genetics. Marilyn had no hours at the gym trying to tame her body into submission– it just was what it was. Now, let me continue with our fine piece of literature… “We may also mention tennis legs, meaning that shapely limbs of the women who compete at Forest Hills every year for the championship of the United States. Many of these contestants have become famous for the beauty of their legs…”  Finally- a statement I can get behind– with our very own 2016 Wimbledon Champ. Though, somehow I have a feeling that the author of this book was not picturing our gorgeous Serena Williams when he wrote those words. bikini-babes-blunders-serena-williams

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, here is a real gem- the intro of the book, where the author describes in a factual way how we should view women with heavy legs…  “Women with heavy legs are not to be admired… In the minds of many men, such limbs are associated with the peasant type and are commonly called ‘piano legs.’ The woman with heavy, clumsy legs makes little impression on the opposite sex. One need only mention the popularity of certain movie stars who are famous for their beautiful legs. In fact, some of them have traveled to Europe and Korea as part of the war effort to keep up the morale of our troops… yet we see so many women with stout (heavy limbs) everywhere we go: on the street, at parties, in the theatre and in church. Some of them have beautiful faces, but their over-sized legs make them look clumsy. If they would only realize what they are losing in life, these women would gladly take the exercises described in this book for slenderizing heavy legs…”  There’s much more, but I won’t bore you with it. He then goes on to discuss his amazing credentials as a Physical Therapist and a man who appreciates thin thighs. Again, this was 1952.    

IMG_3052

So let’s see, what does he do here? He first tells women that it’s better to have thin thighs because if you do, you get to be virtuous and entertain troops and do something valuable with your life. He then goes on to say that he doesn’t quite understand why if it’s so easy to have thin thighs, then why do most women go around thick legged. Surely it’s their fault for being lazy and slovenly and not doing the (bizarre and unnatural exercises) described in his book, he then goes on to describe that men will not care for a woman with thick thighs. Though I’m sure our friend Sir Mix-A-Lot would disagree with Sir Henry Milchenstein (the bright box who authored this book).  So, although our society has changed a lot in the last 65 years since this stupid book was published– these messages, though not spoken out loud and with such candor still permeate the collective unconscious. But most of us cannot look this way, yet we are made to believe that not only can we, we should and it’s our responsibility to go out and make it happen. 

It seems that my Mom had her moments somewhere between the ages of 4 or 5 years old where she told Milchenstein to go screw himself as seen in these pictures… IMG_3054IMG_3053

Unfortunately, these horrific messages became strong starting with whatever possessed Milchenstein to write this piece of crapola then down  to my grandmother and to larger society and then down to my mother. She struggled and struggled and struggled with her own thighs, doing every exercise that she could to slim them down. She really felt that she had a problem — she felt that she had a problem and she told me that I too had the problem. The inherited curse.   So I tried and I tried and I tried to make them go away. I went days, weeks, months without eating. I ran 10, 20 miles at a time several days a week, I lifted weights, I stopped lifting weights, I ate no carbs or sugar ever. I ate no meat, chicken, fish, eggs, or dairy ever, I went on juice fasts, I went on master cleanser fasts, I wrapped my thighs in seaweed, I sat in saunas, I sat in steam rooms, I did leg lifts every day from the time I was 9 years old. In fact, I owned the book Thin Thighs in 30 Days as a 3rd grader. It was my bible. I did the exercises faithfully in hopes that my “problem” would go away. I was so ashamed of myself. Why couldn’t I beat this? Why couldn’t I have legs like other girls in my school? It eluded me and so I tried harder and harder and harder. I tried as hard as I could to get thin thighs. To rid myself of saddle bags and jeans that fit loose in the waist but tight in the legs. I was built like, like, like… like a woman! 

The truth of the matter is, I have never had thin thighs. Even at an anorexic weight, even when I was running marathons, even when I wasn’t menstruating. My body isn’t a problem and my thighs are not a problem. But I was taught to believe they were and I was at fault.

And most of you were probably taught to believe the same thing. How normal is the cultural discourse about “problem areas.” And if you have bought into this belief–  it’s not your fault. We all fall for it. We all believe we have “problem areas.” But a problem area is a cyst on your ovary, a tumor on your breast, a splinter under your fingernail. Yet the collectively accepted conversation is that we have “problem areas” that aren’t actual problems. Now that is a FUCKING PROBLEM! 

When I was at the most recent International Eating Disorder Conference (ICED 2016), there was a lot of discussion on body image. I sat with several body image experts and I asked them how they helped women deal with body image issues and how they helped them to change their mindset. Many of the answers I got were similar, “In someone with poor body image, you cannot change it, it’s the message of the culture they grew up in and live in. It’s too late. The only thing we can do is help them heal from their eating disorders, and help to empower the next generation of women to accept and love their bodies. Though  we cannot save those who already hate their bodies,  we can empower them to change the status quo and work to help change the cultural discourse around the tyranny of thin.”

Maybe this is true.

But I accept that answer as much as I accept the answer that once you have an eating disorder you will always have an eating disorder and that it’s unchangeable. I have seen so, so, so many women recover 100% from their eating disorders and I’ve seen them go on to lead full lives without the tyranny of diets and weight loss and purging and bingeing beckoning at them.  But  best of all,  I have seen women make the decision to let go of the thoughts that keep them there. So many of those thoughts are, “you have to be different, you are not enough.”

But I have a little truth for you– and that is: Who you are right now in this very moment is enough. You are enough. You might not think that you’re perfect. You might not think that your body is beautiful, you might think that you have “problem areas” and lots of “flaws,” and that’s okay. If you can take one moment, one second each day to think to yourself, “who I am is enough,” and maybe make that second last a little longer each day. And let yourself feel it, you might start to believe it soon.

I will never have thin thighs. I can read every book, do every exercise, go on every diet, lose my period, vomit everything I eat, and my thighs will never be thin. And I can blame it on myself, for not being enough, not doing enough for doing everything wrong. I can do that. And I have done that. I’ve done a lot of that. But I am done. That is not a life that I want for myself.

That is a life that I do not want for YOU.

That is a life that I don’t want for any woman or any young girl or boy or young man or anyone growing up right now believing that they are not enough. 

I want you to know that you are enough. I want you to know that the way you are shaped and built is not your fault and it’s NOT BAD! YOU ARE NOT A PROBLEM. You are a human. And your DNA is what created you. You are enough. And you have so much to live for and so much to do in the world that has nothing to do with the size of your thighs (or belly or arms or tush)… You are not flawed. The world is flawed. Your body did not fail you, society failed you. You did not mess up, the social norm messed up.

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do? Anything at all that you just never did? What would it be like to focus on that? What would it be like if you could take your focus off your “flaws” and focus on something totally arbitrary? Like I don’t know, learning how to play the saxophone (that’s totally my next venture) or writing a children’s book, or painting with acrylics, or taking a chemistry class, or learning about black holes, or collecting rocks, or doing pottery, or learning how to salsa dance, or doing nail art or blowing glass, or playing tennis, or going to medical school, or learning furniture design, or taking a martial arts class, or starting your own pet grooming business, or reading tarot cards, or learning to sail, or going to beauty school, or knitting socks, or playing guitar or starting a garden, or or, or…. anything! Anything other than spending all your time and your mind and energy thinking about what you should be doing in terms of changing your body into something that society deems acceptable. Because the truth is, according to a 1997 Body Shop ad, there are 3 billion women who don’t look like super models and only 8 who do. So find a habit that you enjoy more, that you can really go forward with, that is meaningful to you– because chasing the illusion of the perfect body will keep you in a state of sadness for as long as you stay in it. 

I love you people and I want you to love yourselves or at least try to enjoy this one life you’re given. 

10 Things Not to Say to Your Partner with Binge Eating Disorder

10 THINGS NOT TO SAY TO YOUR PARTNER WITH BINGE EATING DISORDER

Do you have a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, best friend, or roommate who has some difficult food issues? Maybe they don’t eat all day – or you never see them eat, but then a whole jar of peanut butter seems to disappear. Maybe they often tell you that they’ve just started a diet – but then you find them alone in the kitchen decimating a birthday cake. Maybe you’ve been saving a special dessert for yourself in the refrigerator and when you go to eat it, you find that it’s gone. Maybe they’ve cried to you about their issues with food. Maybe they’ve even told you that they have binge eating disorder, maybe they’ve promised that they’re done with this habit and they’re never going to do it again.

And then it happens again. And you’re so frustrated you don’t know what to do. You feel like you can’t keep anything that you want to eat in your own house, you wish they’d just stop doing this and you can’t understand why they just won’t stop. You wish they had a little self control or will power. 

 

Binge Eating Disorder is extremely complicated to understand if you’re not in it– think of it this way:  Imagine saying to a cocaine addict, “you need to never do cocaine again.” And then putting a giant pile of cocaine right under their nose. That’s what it’s like for someone with BED. Food is their drug. But food is everywhere, so the process of recovery isn’t as simple as just not doing it. It’s hard enough for cocaine addicts to recover without having people pile cocaine under their nose constantly, without seeing billboards with cocaine on it, TV commercials advertising delicious piles of all you can snort cocaine or a never ending cocaine basket, or passing cocaine stores everywhere.

Seems a little ridiculous right? But…  that’s the thing about having Binge Eating Disorder—food is your drug. And it’s impossible to separate yourself from it completely. It’s not as simple as just ending your relationship with food because you can’t just walk away from food you have to fix your relationship with it. Have you ever tried to fix a relationship? It’s hard work. It involves breakups, make ups, fights, lots of open communication, kindness, gentleness, relaxation time, and most of all EXTREME, RADICAL PATIENCE.

So when someone you care about is attempting to repair their relationship with food, they need not just patience with themselves, but they require you to be exceedingly patient with their process. It’s not your job to fix them or their issue, so you can just let go of that. But, it is important that you get your own support while your partner deals with their issue.

Here are ten things NOT TO SAY to your partner with Binge Eating Disorder

  1. Where did that gallon of ice cream go? I just bought it last night!

You know where it went. I ate it. But when you ask this question—I just feel ashamed and I hate myself.  I already feel terrible because I ate a whole gallon of ice cream. I’m so sick I can barely move today, but I’m also feeling like withering up and dying because I feel like such a failure.

  1. Have you seen your therapist lately?

When you ask me this, it throws me deep into my shame cycle and I believe that there is something wrong with me… I’m unfixable… I need help… I’m too much for you. I’m unloveable… I need professional help. I’m beyond help. 

  1. Did you eat the cake that was in refrigerator? I was saving that for later!

Yes, the cake was eaten by me. And I feel like crap. And another thing—why is it that you can keep a piece of cake in pristine condition in the refrigerator for a week? What are you saving it for? It makes no sense to me that you can have a piece of cake in the refrigerator for a week without eating it. It makes me feel like I’m a totally strange and horrible human—because I can’t do that. I can’t have tempting food just in there because it tortures me. And the fact that you’re not tempted or tortured makes me feel awful about myself.

Better question—“was the cake good?” in a kind and loving and interested voice- not in a condescending voice. You could also choose to say nothing and go get more cake for yourself and let it go. 

  1. I think you might be addicted to sugar. You should just stop eating sugar for awhile and reset your palate.

Oh how many times have I stopped? To tell you the truth I don’t eat junk food – almost never. It’s all rice cakes and carrot sticks for me. But then—out of nowhere the beast comes out and tricks me and it will ravage you for case of two year old Cadbury Cream Eggs that I can literally break my teeth on.

  1. Have you considered going on a diet?

Um… when am I not on a diet? I’m on a diet Every. Fucking. Day. Of  My. Life. And I still binge— because diets don’t work! And everyone knows that and I shouldn’t be dieting but I’m terrified not to!  I know! It makes no sense. But that’s all part of my disorder. Dieting always makes me binge but I’m afraid if I don’t diet, I’m going to binge. My mind is playing tricks on me and it’s a constant battle in my mind to figure out what the right thing to do is. So please don’t give me advice, what I need is to learn to trust my inner guidance, and when you tell me to do something else, it will make me believe that my inner guidance is wrong… and my inner guidance is where I will find my recovery. Telling me to diet makes me doubt myself and undoes all the work that I’ve done. 

  1. You just need a little self control. Just don’t binge, it’s simple.

I have so much self-control that I’m frozen with control and perfection. I’m an absolute subservient to my self control. So much so that eventually I crack and break in half and this sneaky piece jumps out of me and steals all the food when I’m not looking. It’s terrible and it feels awful.

  1. Do you know how hard this is for me to deal with?

I know- I really do, it must be incredibly hard for you. But I need you to know that this really isn’t about you. My eating disorder is not about you, it’s about me. You didn’t cause it and you can’t fix it, so please don’t frustrate yourself. I know it’s hard for you to deal with. I know. It’s hard for me too. But please don’t try to make me feel guilty in order to shame me into stopping. I have so much guilt and shame around this and it just throws me deeper into my disorder. I just need your love and understanding.

  1. Okay—listen, I’m going to help you… just do what I tell you and eat what I tell you to and when I tell you to and it’ll be fine.

I know that you want to fix me because you love me. But it will make you crazy and it will make me feel like a failure and it will ruin our relationship. I’m not going to be able to do what you tell me to do. I have to recover on my own by helping myself. Please don’t try to fix me. It will break us both and we won’t be able to survive it. It’s not your job to fix me. Just love me and support me and be patient with me.

  1. Do you think you need to keep eating that?

Please don’t be my food police. Because what I’m likely going to do is put the food away, die of shame right now, then come back and binge on it later.

  1. Why is it taking so long for you to get over this?

Because recovery is a long process. These patterns and habits and coping mechanisms have been formed for the past (10,20,30,40,50) years… and I have to actively work to change them. I’m frustrated with myself. And when you’re frustrated with me, it’s even worse. I just need your encouragement to keep going. I need your love and support, but most of all, I need your patience.

And lastly, the worst possible offense, such a terrible thing to say that I almost forgot to mention it because I blocked it out: 

11. You don’t have an eating disorder, this is just an excuse. 

I do have an eating disorder — and when you say that it’s an excuse it just throws me into my own shame and my own doubting about whether or not this really is a disorder or not. It makes me feel like a fool.  

What to do instead:

SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT!!!

SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT!!!

 

Read and learn about Binge Eating Disorder: 

What to say:

  1. How can I support you?
  2. What do you think you need?
  3. Should we go talk to someone together? (Like a Licensed couples counselor who specializes in treating eating disorders).
  4. It’s okay if you fall down—everyone falls down, you’re human.
  5. Do you need to talk?
  6. Come on, let’s go take a walk together and look at the trees. We don’t have to talk if you don’t want to. I just want to be with you. 
  7. Are you okay? You seem stressed out—is there anything you want to talk about? How was work/school/your day…
  8. I love you no matter what. You are perfect, whole and complete and I support you. 

What to do:

Ask your partner if there are any foods that they would rather not have in the house. Try not to be resentful if they can’t have say peanut butter in the house. Again—if your partner were a recovering cocaine addict, would you have piles of cocaine on the kitchen counter? Most likely not.

Don’t engage in “fat chat” if they want to talk about how much weight they’ve gained or if they ask you if they look fat. Just say “I’m not going there.” Don’t corroborate with their eating disorder voice (ED)

Don’t make comments about their body or anyone else’s body or body weight. 

Don’t make comments about your own body, your own weight loss or your own eating. 

Go in with them to see their therapist or an Eating Disorders Anonymous meeting and learn more about the disorder. 

Don’t neglect yourself or your own needs to take care of your partner. That happens all the time– people forget about their own existence or minimize their own needs and wind up feeling resentful. Terrible for any kind of relationship. Make sure that you thinking about what you need and caring for yourself.  Check out 12 Ways to Help Your Partner With Binge Eating Disorder.

 

How Not To Binge Eat on The 4th of July

7-4-09-0There are certain holidays that I call Binge Holidays. Oh yeah, there are all the typical ones, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve… But then – there are those sneaky Binge holidays that come up to bite you in the ass.. like Memorial Day, Superbowl Sunday, Labor Day, 4th of July, Superbowl Sunday…  Those holidays where people start drinking beer and eating potato chips and hotdogs at 11am and then pass out at 8pm and wake up the next morning for work feeling disoriented, bloated, hungover and all around crappy. 

Well Monday is one of our big American Binge Holidays. So here are some tips on how NOT to binge on the 4th of July.

  1. Know that you, like every other American will be susceptible to a binge on Monday, so going into it with consciousness and an intention not to binge will help you to remember that you are holding an intention inside of you. 
  2. Try to eat like it’s a regular day. Eat your breakfast, eat your lunch and eat your dinner. If you are at a barbecue, don’t graze– make one plate for yourself and fill it up with every interesting food that you want to eat. But then you’re done after your one plate. If desert is served- the same thing, one cupcake, one slice of water melon, etc. Just give yourself what you would give yourself for a “normal meal,” rather than an eat all day holiday meal.  If you are at an all day event– each lunch at lunch time and dinner at dinner time. 
  3. Limit your alcohol intake. Binge Holidays are also Binge Drinking Holidays. And when people binge drink, they don’t eat much when they are out and about- but they do when they get home — alone and away from everyone. 
  4. Don’t restrict. Often people will use restriction to keep themselves safe, but then they go home and binge after the barbecue. 
  5. Really focus on connecting with people at the barbecue, talking to friends, etc. Look people in the eye and try to focus on them rather than the food or your beliefs about what people might be thinking of your body. 
  6. Have fun! Try not to think of it as an eating holiday, but as a social holiday.  

How do you keep yourself safe on Binge Holidays? 

Round Up of ICED 2016

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It’s been more than a week since I’ve returned from the International Academy of Eating Disorders annual conference (though returned is really a silly word as it was only 12 miles from my house this year), and I’m finally able to sit down and gather my thoughts about it. If you’ve never been, even if you’re not a clinician, I highly recommend. There is a lot of advocacy and research there and many things to learn.  Next year it’s going to be in Prague! I certainly won’t be able to go, but I was psyched to have an opportunity to go this year as it was in San Francisco. With two littles at home, big travel is hard.

There were  a few main themes ICED 2016 (International Conference of Eating Disorders) that were floating around:

Eating disorder research and treatment vs. obesity research and treatment.  Wow. There was serious, serious controversy there. This is because obesity researchers as well as state funded grants (think NIH) are still using ideas such as food restriction, caloric restriction and BMI to measure recovery. All eating disorder clinicians and researchers have evidence that all of this, dietary restriction, BMI, “weight management” and dieting all lead to disordered eating patterns. Obesity researchers believe that obesity has to be treated because it leads to heart disease, Type II diabetes, etc. But Eating Disorder researchers and clinicians (and me too!) believe that when you focus on the obesity as the health problem, you are doing a disservice to the patient – you should be focusing on health and treating the specific disease. “Treating Obesity” continually leads to failure. Obesity isn’t a disease, but heart disease is.

Next off we discussed ADVOCACY a whole lot. People often think of eating disorders as a white woman’s disease, but the truth is that EDs hit not just white women, but women AND MEN across all races. In fact, Latina women have a higher incidence of eating disorders than white women. But most people of color or folks who aren’t cisgender tend to shy away from treatment – for many reasons. It’s not accessible (affordable), it’s not relatable- treatment is geared toward one gender and one race, and it’s stigmatized and unsupported by family and community. For instance, many years ago I had a client who, despite the fact that she had a horrific case of bulimia, her family would not support her treatment because they said it was a “white women’s disease.” She did come in for treatment and got great support from our treatment center and the treatment community but not from her family or her own community. This is not an uncommon situation. The fact that she came in for treatment is really fantastic, but most people don’t.  The conference spoke a lot about getting it out there that EDs strike everyone everywhere and nobody should be ashamed to try and get help. And, as a community of ED professionals- we have to provide more help in different and more accessible ways. So lots to do there. And a note, if you are a human being who is not a white woman and you are suffering from an ED- please do reach out (you can even reply to this post) and I’ll point you in the right direction for treatment- thanks to this conference I have some really great resources now.

I met some of my heros of Eating Disorders, like Deb Burgard – and I was really seriously starstruck and took a selfie with her- it was more exciting to me than meeting say Johnny Depp (but honestly that would excite me too).  If you don’t know about Deb, please click her name above and check out her work. She is a brilliant Psychologist, speaker and advocate for size diversity and Health at Every Size.  I also got to meet Lizabeth Wesely-Casella from Bingebehavior.com – (have you read that blog? It’s awesome). And that was really exciting as well. Such amazing people do this work – it’s good work, and it’s hard work. 

Body Positivity – A lot of people ask me why as a a clinician treating Eating Disorders I advocate for Health at Every Size and why it’s important. The answer is easy- almost every eating disorder started with a diet. If we can eradicate people being told that they are not good enough and they need to diet, we can deeply change the internalized messages that dieting is the only way out – we then allow people to live in bodies that were meant for them. Those bodies might be big or they might be small- but what we want them to focus on is their true health. True health isn’t about getting on a scale to measure your health. It’s about giving your body what it needs- good healthy food and good healthy movement (where you can), but of course movement and exercise can be difficult for those in larger bodies because of the social stigma. So it’s all very challenging and there needs to be a lot more kindness and acceptance out there.  And the obesity paradox actually says that people in the “overweight” BMI category live longer and are healthier. So there you go. There’s no good science around these debates yet.

Body Image – The body image part was interesting. I talked to a lot of different experts on it. The consensus is really that body image is deeply ingrained and that we should be working on prevention more than anything else. The body project is a good example of that kind of early intervention.

I went to a ton of neuropsych panels that were fascinating, but I’ll metabolize them into a different and accessible post soon enough.

Eating disorders are notoriously difficult to both treat and understand, but people are working really hard to make it happen and to find help for those suffering. Fortunately many people have gotten to the other side of their EDs and recovery is possible. If you need help, please reach out, you can reply to this post, email me directly or go directly to NEDA or call 800-931-2237.

When Somebody Promises You Weight Loss, They’re Totally Lying

(Trigger warning- weight, BMI and numbers discussed here)

When someone over the Internet promises  you that they can help you lose weight, click away. Click FAR, FAR AWAY! 

There is not one person who can guarantee you weight loss. Do you know why? Because they don’t know you and they’ve never seen you and they have no idea what is going on with your body. 

Here’s the thing- I’m putting this blog post right out there to the billions of people in the world who might happen to read it. But what if I were to guarantee that I could help you lose weight?  Or what if I told you the opposite, that there was no possible way you’d ever be able to lose weight? What if I told you I had all the answers? If I told you any of these things,  I’d be wrong.  

But then, why would I do that? Why would I possibly tell you that I had all the answers to your weight loss woes? What would make me think that I could promise or even guarantee you weight loss?  

Well, perhaps I’d lost weight and I thought I could help you too, or maybe I’d read a lot about weight loss and I thought I was an expert -except for the fact there are no actual experts on weight loss, if there were, well then we wouldn’t all be out there spending millions looking to lose weight, it’s all very mysterious.  The real truth is,  I don’t know what you weigh, I don’t know what you’ve tried but most of all  I don’t know what your body wants to be like.   So I can’t promise you weight loss (I mean, not that I’d even want to, I think you’re perfect Love!)

Let me give you some concrete examples here: 

 

Example 1: Kristi & Alison

Kristi is a client of mine who desperately wants to lose weight but also can’t seem to stop obsessing about food. She eats an egg and an apple for breakfast, a small green salad with some chicken for lunch and broiled salmon fillet with green beans for dinner and maybe a small glass of red wine. She can’t seem to get her weight under 145 pounds. She’s 5’2″ and according to the (very flawed) BMI – she’s considered “overweight.”  Every day for years- Kristi has been eating basically the same thing. She’s petrified of cheese, she won’t touch bread and she spends at least an hour a day at the gym. She really wants to lose 20 pounds.  She’s met with multiple trainers and weight loss gurus who explain to her what she’s doing wrong, “you need less carbs! you need more kettle bells!”  Sometimes eats just steak and water for  like 2 weeks straight. She loses maybe 1/2 pound but pretty much stays right around the same weight, she blames herself. She feels guilty, she feels ashamed, she feels like she’s doing something wrong.  Kristi’s best friend Alison eats a bowl of  honey nut cheerios every morning for breakfast. Later she’ll have a latte and a cookie, lunch is usually a burrito or some Pad Thai or whatever is easy takeout around her office and dinner is pizza or pasta or nachos or whatever. Allison exercises once in a blue moon, but it’s really not her jam. Allison also weighs 145 pounds, but she’s 5’7.” Which puts her BMI in the “normal” range. Kristi wonders why she has to work her ass off to be “slightly chubby” (her words not mine) while Allison does virtually nothing to stay at a weight that feels comfortable to her.  

What happened here? Let’s dissect this. Kristi’s body type was and always has been more curvy. The truth of the matter is that Kristi could probably eat the same way as Allison and her weight would not change dramatically. Kristi’s extremely healthy body wants to be 5’2″ and 145 pounds. I say extremely healthy because LOOK THERE,  look at what her miraculous body did for her- her metabolism slowed waaaayyyyy down so that she would maintain the weight that is healthy for her.  Now Alison’s body is also most likely at the weight that is healthy for her and so despite the fact that nary a green vegetable passes her lips (really get that girl some broccoli) she still maintains a weight that is “socially desirable.”

So this is the big problem – when someone promises you weight loss, there is just no guarantee that your body will comply. Your body might also need more calories than someone else’s body or more carbs so when you dramatically reduce these things– what happens? You binge- you don’t want to binge- you just. cant. not.  Your body really needs more because you were meant to be who you are. 

Example 2: Stacy & Lori

My friends Stacy and Lori are identical twins. Real identical, not that Olsen Twin fraternal twin business, these girls used to be ONE ZYGOTE. Anyway, Stacy does Tae Kwon Do three days a week, she’s a second degree black belt and she can do like 500 push ups in a minute. She bikes all over San Francisco and has two kids that she pushes up and down those hills in a double stroller. She’s vegan too, did I mention that?  Her sister Lori is different. She’s not a vegan, and she lives in the suburbs, so the most strength training she gets is lifting her kiddos up into their SUV. There’s no bike, there’s no pushing strollers up hills for her- she shleps her kids around town in a Honda Pilot, they go to pizza parties (Lori eats pizza).   So the verdict? What are Stacy and Lori’s bodies like?   

They are exactly the same.

They share clothes. They go shopping together and one tries something on for the other and then turns around so she can see how her butt would look in it. Their bodies are EXACTLY the same, because they have the same DNA. And Stacy is always exercising and fills up on mung beans and raw foods.  Lori is never exercising and eats a lot less restrictively. But they look the same. 

Summer Inannen recently wrote a post on Refinery 29 about how Paleo basically stole her life.     And that’s really the thing,  Someone can tell you that they have all the answers to your woes, that they can help you lose weight, that they can help you be naturally thin, that their answer is the best answer, that the food they are telling you to eat will give you tons of health, vitality, energy, help you lose weight, feel amazing and look years younger.   But really, the answer is in your DNA.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat well. You should try to eat well. You should eat lots of yummy, high density nutrient foods that your body wants and that feel good in your body. But only you know what that is. So eat, see what feels good in your body. Give your body lots of love and respect.

Don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re not doing it right or that you’re not doing enough. Anyone who tells you that has no idea about what your body needs. It’s not that I think people have nefarious intentions or that they even believe that they’re lying to you- but case after case has proven that even the most famous, highest ranking, highest paid, smartest weight loss guru can’t force your body into submission and make it lose weight if it’s where it wants to be and it’s healthy. You know what I’m saying, right Oprah? 

Your body knows what it wants to be and it will tell you what it wants and what it needs. Listen to it, focus on feeling good and feeling healthy rather than changing the way it looks.  So go now, eat, be strong, be happy, be kind to you. 

Related Articles: If I Can’t Diet, How Can I Lose Weight? 

How to Stop Worrying about What People Think of Your Body


Chocolate CakeHave you been in that place before – that place where you have a wedding, or a reunion,  or a birthday party, or any big event coming up and the first thing that comes up for you is, “Okay, I’ve got about 72 days to lose about 20 pounds. I can do that… cakewalk…” but then things become rough. 72 days becomes 60 days, becomes 40 days, becomes 2 weeks. The big diets come out- the no carb, no fat, big visits to the hairdresser, the esthetician, maybe the dermatologist for a shot of Botox, anything…  everything! You’re feeling stressed out, the most important thing is that YOU LOOK GOOD. And you worry, “but what will people think? what will they think of me when they see how much weight I’ve put on? What will they think when they see my wrinkles? What will they think? I just have to look perfect this time…” 

When you want to know how to stop caring what other people are thinking about you- just remember that what people are most likely thinking is, “I wonder what she’s thinking about me? I hope she’s thinking that I look good, Maybe she notices the weight I put on, maybe she notices my new wrinkles, maybe she…” And it stops you, and it stops everyone around you from going forward and having fun, and living your life for the few months before that event. 

So when you start to get caught up in, “I have to LOOK GOOD,” remember that looking good is not looking different. You can still do lots of awesome self care rituals without going on lots of diets or trying to lose weight. You can still buy a dress that you love, find makeup that you feel great in if that’s your thing, and get your hair done in a way that feels awesome. But try really hard not to get caught up in the lose weight before the event trap. 

What would you do if you were only focused on doing things that made you feel really, really good about yourself and in your body? What would you do? Stop and think about it for awhile… I’ll wait.

 

 

What kinds of things would you do for yourself if you had no worries about losing weight or worrying about what people would think about you or your size?  What kinds of things would you do if you just wanted to make yourself feel awesome without worrying about others?

Would you, go to yoga class? Go hot tubbing? Go swimming? Go dancing? Take guitar lessons? Take Karate? Become a Real Estate agent?  

The superfluous energy that we all spend worrying about what other people think of us keeps us away from our passion, and when we are truly engaged in our passion, when we are really, truly, enjoying our life- well then who cares what anyone else thinks- it doesn’t matter. So your focus, rather than being on what others think of you should be on what you think about yourself and what brings you joy. I mean, after all, you only get your time here for a certain amount of time- enjoy it.  

It’s difficult because we’ve been taught that others opinions are a metric of our worth- but if everyone worries like that- then what’s the point? Life would be so boring if we all sat in a room wondering what everyone else was thinking about us– no one would have anything to talk about.

 

So here are a few quick tips to help you stop worrying about what other people are thinking and reclaim your life:

Hello (1)Remember that other people’s thoughts are none of your business. What people are thinking about who you are is rarely the objective truth, they can only see you through their own lens of experience. So you can be as saintly as Mother Teresa, but if you look like the mean girl that someone went to high school with, she might have some pretty skewed ideas of who you are. And that really doesn’t matter. 

Accept that you cannot control what other people think of you. Trying to lose weight is an attempt to control other people’s perception of who you are based on what you look like. Remember that you have no power to control other’s thoughts as no one has the power to control your thoughts. 

Remember that most people aren’t sitting around thinking about you. Sad but true. We are all pretty self absorbed, I mean we have to be to survive, right? The truth is, most people will have merely a passing thought about you, and it might be one thought out of the 50,000 thoughts that each person has per day. 

Focus on your personal values. Think about what is important to you. Is it honesty? Integrity? Kindness? Intelligence? Being well read? Doing volunteer work? Think about what your true values truly are and refocus on those things- once you do, and you feel strong in your convictions as to who you are as a person, then other people’s beliefs (and beliefs are subjective) are really arbitrary.

Just Do You. Remember that people don’t like people who they are impressed by, people like people who are impressed by them, so working hard to impress people will just be more painful than it’s worth. So, just be the you who YOU like the best. 

Other people’s thoughts can’t hurt you. What if someone does have judgmental or unkind thoughts about you? Honestly, it doesn’t hurt you anymore than your thoughts about them hurt or help them. It doesn’t matter, you’ll never REALLY know what other’s think of you, so don’t worry too much about it. 

Remember that you HAVE to take risks. If you worry too much about what other people are thinking of you, you will have a lot of trouble moving forward on your path. Worrying about other people’s thoughts is paralyzing and it keeps you from moving forward. When you stop giving other people that power, you give yourself the freedom to live your life. 

 

 

Recovery is a Choice

bingeeatingtherapy.com

 

A really amazing woman shared this with me. She wrote it on her wrist to remind her that it was within her power to decide her next move. I love it.

Top Ten Stupidest Diets

TOP TEN STUPIDEST DIETSI went on my first diet roughly at age 10.  I loved dieting… it made me feel powerful, it made me feel in control and it made me feel like I was starting out fresh, like anything was possible if I could just stick to my diet. Each new diet opened a door of new possibilities. I loved to eliminate, to cleanse, to fast, to restrict, to feel pious and mighty because I could abstain like a mofo. For me, every day was lent from age 10 until my Mom died when I was  28.   My mother shared my passion for everything calorie counting and fasting and trendy food restriction and diet fads. We even did the master cleanse together in 1995- when Beyonce was a mere 14 years old. 

After my Mom died, I lost my will to diet and to restrict. It was like– I just didn’t have the desire anymore, I had different things to think about and  I didn’t want to die knowing that I never hit my goal- or that my goal was an arbitrary number on a scale. My mother had been an extreme dieter for 40 years and didn’t “hit her number” until she was dying.  Did I want to spend my life obsessing on this one thing that I couldn’t possibly achieve without illness?  And so I stopped. I stopped dieting, I stopped restricting, I stopped eating artificial sweeteners, I ate ice cream when I wanted to, bread, mashed potatoes, pasta, red meat, tacos, tortillas, fruit… all of it. Nothing was off limits. But a funny thing happened along the way…my body changed.  I stopped craving food all the time, my mind started thinking about other things, more interesting things, I began to read books that weren’t about food or nutrition,  my energy balanced out and the foods that I believed I had an addiction to, like sugar- well they lost their mystique. Food was just food. It was neutral. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was done.  And, truth be told, I lost weight. My body evened out and came to a place that I really like and feel comfortable with. 

That being said, I want to share the top ten stupidest diets that I did. DON’T DO THESE DIETS They’re stupid. 

1. Diet: This was the fruit and sushi diet. All you can eat is raw tuna or salmon and fruit. I did this for about two weeks. 

Result: I was dizzy all the time because I wasn’t getting enough protein, my blood sugar was most likely completely out of wack, I was tired and I couldn’t sleep because I was so wired from the constant fruit. And, my wallet took a huge hit -because sashimi every day? Not cheap. Oh and when I was done, the weight that I lost came back like crazy. 

 

2. Diet: The egg and cottage cheese diet. I lasted a couple of weeks on this- weirdly enough. Self explanatory. I just ate eggs and cottage cheese. 

Result: Severe constipation, no energy. My immune system took a huge hit and I got extremely sick. Like- the worst flu ever. I wound up in bed and not able to go to work for 3 weeks. And yeah, I lost weight because I couldn’t move to go eat. But when I got better and ate again, it all came back. Of course. 

 

3. DietThe raw food diet. Vegan, raw, just fruit and vegetables. I was vegan for a long, long time- and the raw food part was easy to integrate.

Result: No energy ever. I felt like I was falling over most of the time. Didn’t lose weight because I couldn’t do it long enough to refrain from bingeing. 

 

4. Diet: Food Addicts Anonymous/Grey Sheets-  Grey Sheeters and FA members will tell you that this isn’t a diet. But mostly it’s an eating disorder cloaking itself under the guise of a support group. It gives you 3 meals a day mostly consisting of vegetables and meat, and makes you weigh and measure all your food, and puts your character into question if you take a bite of anything off the plan (including a sip of tea or coffee with milk in it).See OA The Good, The Bad and the Crazy and Why Overeaters Anoymous Doesn’t Work.

Result: I dropped out because I didn’t believe that having an apple between lunch and dinner was a character flaw, my “sponsor” disagreed. Thankfully I realized how oppressive and insane this was. 

 

5. Diet: The Master Cleanse. This is the lemonade diet where you drink nothing but lemon water mixed with cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 10 days. This was trendy maybe like 10 years ago, but my Mom had been experimenting with this sh*t since the 1960’s when the original book came out. We did it together in 1995. 

Result: I passed out on day 3.  Wound up in health services. 

 

6. Diet: Atkins. You know what Atkins is. 

Result: Pooping Never. Bingeing Always. 

 

7. DietJuice Fasting. This is super popular now, but I did it in the early 90’s when I was in high school. I got my first juicer as a birthday present. It was one of those late night infomercials – a Jack La Lane Juicer.

Result: I developed a penchant for green apple, cucumber spinach juice. Still good – after all these years. But I didn’t want to clean out the juicer because I was in high school, and of course, no energy and I binged a ton after one day. Didn’t stop me from trying almost every day for like two months to stick to this. Nope. Never worked. 

 

8. Diet: Sugar busters. No sugar ever. 

Result: I’ve never been much of a sugar person. I’d almost always choose a baguette or chips or cheese over ice cream or cookies. But telling myself that I could not eat sugar ever? Well that just made me want it like crazy and then all of a sudden I believed I was a sugar addict and started bingeing on ice cream and cookies. Because I thought, “if I eat it once, I can’t stop, because I’m addicted.” But if I’m not restricting it, I can take it or leave it. Put it in front of me and I’m like, “meh.” 

 

9. Diet: Intermittent Fasting. I didn’t eat all day, until dinner time. I called it the “only dinner” dinner diet. This was before the 5:2 diet or the intermittent fasting fad. 

Result: Can you say night time binge party? I had headaches all day and woke up each morning with a food hangover

 

And… The stupidest diet I ever did…

10. Diet:  The smell food diet. Don’t eat food, just smell it. 

Result: Well this was a disaster.