Saturday, April 30, 2016

The switch is off for binge eating for me- 5th year , #1 tool abstaining from sugars and grains for the WIN

My binge eating switch is OFF! On that one day, May 3 2011, I got off the sugar and grain train almost 5 years ago.

My legal drug- sugars and grains, yet my top addictive substances. My #1 root trigger for  the disease of obesity.

I'm fortunate to have ID'ed my major root causes. Anything with multiple roots is going to be a long, tough corrective action process.

There are multiple root causes of obesity, I can only speak for my own. Top of the top tool, and I have to use all five of my top tools everyday. I don't even get an hour off, a 50th birthday off. And that's okay.

My theory is simple: If I go back to my old habits that are obesity root causes, then I will be obese. I choose not to go back. The moment I decided to hop off the yo-yo dieting cycle is the moment I became responsible for my outcomes, accepting of foods addictive properties for me, clear thinking, with obesity management being top priority in what I could control in my life.

I can't control my given genetics. I can control what I choose to put into my body. I became a survivor, not a victim- even at my top weight. Poor me, I can't eat frosting any more... once I realized that nobody cared but me, I could get to the real work.

# 1 Top Tool:  Abstaining from sugars, grains, and starchy "S" foods and emulsifiers keeps my binge switch  OFF.  

Yeah, that easy, and that hard. Easy concept, harder to implement in a moderate, junk filled, hyper-platable eating world.

Sugars, all grains, guar gum, xnatham gum all trigger binge eating for me. Should I wait until science catches up to tell me emulsifiers can be binge triggers for me? All we have is a mouse study right now. 

No way!  Abstaining from trigger foods for the WIN!!!!! You couldn't pay me to go back to moderating. The feeling and life of food sobriety is priceless. 

What is working now:

1. Abstaining from grains, sugars, starchy foods, and emulsifiers.
2. Quick course correction if I get exposed to something that flips the binge eating switch, inadvertently. With guar gum in many processed foods, eating out or at others homes is more likely to trigger me than not, so I approach those exposure risks carefully.
3. Surrounding myself with other abstainers for support.

What did not work in the past

1. Moderating WW (think WW packaged foods)  and Paleo junk foods (think Lara Bars and anything with lots of dried fruit- sugar-is-sugar-is-sugar). Those things are high carb, high sugar , those things were my addictive drug like substance. Guar Gum, Xanthan gum are used widely. Check labels.

2. Thinking I could do a calories in calories out or points counting or a Paleo/Primal 80/20 rule and be food sober. No, nope, no dice. The 70's and 80's called and wanted their obesity science back.. LOL. It worked when I was in my 20's and early 30's but I did not have great health markers and I constantly fought binge urges and well, I binged a lot.

3. Expecting that moderate eaters would think my abstaining methods would be awesome. Nope, no, it's better to surround yourself with abstainers if you are one. Turns out I'm stronger in my own tribe that out there in the moderation support systems.

For my readers, what do you do to keep your binge eating under control and the disease of obesity in remission? If you moderate, that's okay. But 40% of us cannot. There's great wisdom in abstaining from your personal trigger foods, and knowing if you are in the 40%. There's equally great stuff in the 60%.

It's past time for the 40% stories to be told, IMO.

I am the 40%. Abstaining makes my life, post morbid obesity easier. It's both easy and hard to think outside the traditional box or bag.


  1. Congratulations! I just found your site recently and am enjoying looking around. You have done a marvelous job of showing the ins and outs of sticking to a way of eating/living that enables you to be healthy and content. I am just touching my toe in the low carb water. I am not obese, but miserable with the weight I need to lose. Worst, I am miserable with the addiction I have to certain foods ( starches). I don't like being controlled by food. I am a caregiver to a son whose illness takes so much out of us that it is very easy for me to want to reward myself or use food as a way of coping. The nice thing is that when I stop eating a good number of triggers, my desire for this stuff wanes. The crazy thing that really shows how deep the problem is is that even when I don't desire the foods I want to desire them. If I have had a stressful day and everyone has gone to bed - I want to snack. When there is no appetite for it I eat the foods anyway. If I do this enough, the desire comes back, of course, But the problem goes deeper than food.

    Anyhow, you are an absolute encouragement. Thank you for sharing all this.

  2. Joanie, thank you!!! The room in my head (after a few years of kicking out addictive thoughts and living with the disease in remission) is awesome. I can dig deeper into work, my photography, and relationships with others. Plus, I've got to say, even with an 8 pound re-gain in menopause- I have low visceral fat- and that really impacts my blood glucose, the way my clothes fit, how I feel, etc.

    Good luck on experimenting with Low Carb. It's been life saver in many different ways. Just not having to sink a bunch of my money into type 2 diabetes. It's wonderful!!!

    The longer you are away from the addictive properties, the less pull and thoughts and more replacement with other habits. I'll always have an urge to binge during stress, but I've built in a buffer zone so that the delay has me turning to different habits. Take care.

  3. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom, Karen. I have vastly changed my diet as a result of following blogs like yours. While I still struggle a bit with removing sugar completely from my diet, grains is a no brainer for me now. The freedom of not having to spend hours in the gym because I make better food choices (and don't moderate)is wonderful. I see a lot of women, in particular, who try to moderate, and frankly, I am not impressed with the majority of their results.

    And by the way, I LOVE using broccoli slaw as a type of noodle base! I learned that from you! I don't miss pasta at all now.

  4. excellent. i am also a binge eater. and like any addict... i am not someone who can eat moderately of certain foods. its all the way. my drug if choice is bread and things pastry. alcohol often leads me down the path of grains....