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Eating and Food Issues

Specific emotional or mental health problems, like anxiety, depression, insomnia, confidence etc. Along with bodily health, exercise, nutrition.
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london bloke
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by london bloke » 23 Nov 2010 01:15

I am bumping this because we have a new member who was asking about eating issues. From memory, our new member has 1 year sober, which is bloody great.

For me, I love to eat. It's manageable, but I know i use food as a treat, and can be a bit compulsive about it. So, I am keeping an eye on it. In my 3 sober months I have not lost much weight, because I stepped up my calories a bit. A little thought in my head says I have swapped alcohol for chocolate. It's not true, but it has me thinking ' What do I need to improve in my life so that alcohol, choc, food, are just take it or leave it?'
Alcohol = Anxiety: I have suffered for years.
Sobriety = Freedom: I have tasted freedom, and I want it more.

Indigo
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Indigo » 23 Nov 2010 12:41

Hey there, thanks for bumping this up!! Thanks again for the encouragement on the 1 year sober thing :-) It's certainly been one heck of a journey.. I just really wish I could get over my eating disorder now.

My ED started when I was about 13 and over the years it came and went, but I never really thought much of it. I would eat and if Ijust felt uncomfortable with having what I had just eaten inside me, I'd bring it up again. Big deal I thought!! I eventually realised I had a problem about 6 or 7 years ago and tried to get help, but found that it was so expensive to get private help, so I gave up on that. Then my drinking started getting progressively worse. I was very heavy into the whole party scene and I dealt with my "downers" and feelings of guilt by getting drunk again. This happened over and over again and I was eventually hiding bottles of booze in various drawers and cupboards and taking gulps when I could. I was always drunk and making a fool of myself and ruining many of my relationships. I decided I wanted to try and cut down my drinking, but every day I would find some excuse to buy a bottle of wine / vodka - bad day, good day, celebration, mid week, etc etc. I soon realised I couldn't actually stop. I started getting seriously depressed and my drinking got even worse. I'd wake up in the morning with a hangover from the night before and take a huge gulp of vodka or wine to override the hangover. I'd then pour vodka into a juice bottle and take it to work with me to sip on all day. Then I'd come home and buy yet another bottle and start again. I had a ruitine of which shops I would go to on which day so that I could spread it out and they wouldn't get suspicious. I even often bought other stuff along with the booze, such as a set of martini glasses or something so that it looked like I was buying someone a present! It was so bad.

Then one night I was lying in bed and I thought I was going to die. My heart was racing and I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. At that stage, my marriage was a shambles, I'd lost most of my friends, I couldn't do my job and I hated myself more than anything. That was rock bottom for me. I went to my GP and asked for help. He sent me to an alcohol clinic where I did a detox programme and they put me on these pills (which I'm still taking a year later by the way...) and I've been sober since! I do still crave alcohol a lot, but I have come to terms with the fact that I can't ever drink again.

Now, the eating thing ... (hey this is going to be a book by the time I'm done. Just loving getting it all out!!) When my drinking was bad, my bulimia was fine. I still had the odd bulimic session, but it wasn't too bad. As soon as I stopped drinking, my bulimia surfaced again. I now can't go a single day without it and this too, feels like it's killing me. The thing is, I know that I have just replaced the alcohol with the bulimia, because when I'm binging and purging it gives me the same sense of oblivion to the world around me. And when I crave a binge it's the same feeling I get when I crave a drink.

I've pretty much realised that there are some deep issues there that need to be resolved. As I mentioned before, I am on a waiting list for CBT which should help with the mental and emotional side of things, but it just seems to be taking forever. I am absolutely petrified that if I try and beat the bulimia that I'll turn to alcohol again. At the moment I'm not sure how I would cope without one or the other!! It really scares me...

Anyways, I'm so sorry I've taken up so much forum space, it just feels so good to let it all out.

It would be great to know if there is anyone out there who is / has once battled with both an ED and alcoholism. It's always good to know you're not alone :)

To anyone who may be reading this, I wish you hope and joy and patience!

Big hugs <:)>

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london bloke
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by london bloke » 23 Nov 2010 13:36

Indigo wrote:

Anyways, I'm so sorry I've taken up so much forum space, it just feels so good to let it all out.

It would be great to know if there is anyone out there who is / has once battled with both an ED and alcoholism. It's always good to know you're not alone :)

To anyone who may be reading this, I wish you hope and joy and patience!

Big hugs <:)>

Hi Indigo,

The forum is all about 'letting it out'. Read around-you'll see that the benefits of BE are that you can say anything and ask anything. Nobody judges. Again, welcome, and thanks for your post.
Alcohol = Anxiety: I have suffered for years.
Sobriety = Freedom: I have tasted freedom, and I want it more.

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by freedom1 » 23 Nov 2010 13:43

Indigo

if you have the money, there are lots of private CBT therapists (or others who specialise in eating disorders)who would see you straight away. Being on a waiting list for months doesn't sound good to me.

I was bulemic in my 20s but somehow grew out of it...i do understand the feeling though. For me it was about eating to cram down painful feelings of loss (at the time, my father, who died when i was 18). i've used alcohol to do that (cope with grief and loss) more recently.. but seem finally to be able to cope without all these dreaded drugs or behaviors..

Carol
"Let me respectfully remind you,
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each of us should strive to awaken. . .
. . . awaken,
Take heed. Do not squander your life."

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Enfin » 04 Jan 2011 07:04

Hi everyone, I'm new.

I was so glad to find this forum, perhaps finally I might be understood !

I have always been of normal weight for my height, never had body image issues, ate regularly and healthy, until a culmination of very stressful events (death of parents, divorce, life-threatening illnesses of my children - all at the same time !). Obviously this is when my drinking spiralled out of control, but it's also when I basically stopped eating.

That was 7 years ago but I'm still living very unhealthily. Basically the idea of putting food in my mouth disgusts me. Even if my stomach is rumbling louder than a truck, I can't bring myself to eat. About the 3rd day without food I have to eat one small sandwich so I don't fall over in a complete heap, the rest of my calories come from wine. What the hell happened to me ?

So here I am trying to get my drinking under control, I know they're linked because when I feel hungry I automatically reach for a glass of wine - specifically to drown out the hunger. I went shopping this week just for myself (kids are on holidays with their dad) I bought yummy healthy things (I don't have a sweet tooth) but they're still sitting in the fridge untouched. I'm consciously moderating my wine intake, but feeling hungry is a real trigger to want to drink.

How can I overcome my rejection of food ? Even without drinking I still don't want to eat. It sucks.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by maryanne » 04 Jan 2011 11:06

Hi Enfin

Have you been to the doctor?

You food aversion will have a great deal to do with your stomach now having shrunk after eating so little for such a long time.

The drinking may have caused this but the food aversion is now a separate problem and I think you should see a dietician and possibly a psychologist about it.

You will need to build up your food intake very slowly because your stomach has shrunk. At the moment when you are trying eat your stomach is reacting because it's not used to it and because it's not big enough.

It's a bit like weaning a baby, if you try to give a baby too much solid food (or even too much liquid) we Mums all know what happens. Your stomach is doing more or less the same thing just now.

You will also be very low on all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to get healthy again. So you may need to start with a prescription diet (a bit like a baby starts with formula milk).

I would definitely see the doctor about this. If you can get your body healthy in every other way then you are much more likely to be able to beat the demon drink. You need all your strength for this.

Please see your doctor and ask to see a dietician and a psychologist about the food aversion. Remember to tell your doctor how all of this started. Make sure he/she understands how desperately you want to deal with this.

Hope this has been helful.

Good luck. <:)>

Enfin
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Enfin » 05 Jan 2011 04:30

Thanks for your reply,
Yes I've planned to see my GP because I'm in desperate need to change my bipolar meds, but have been putting it off for a long time. All my nutritional defiencies will show up in the blood tests needed, I know he'll suggest multi-vitamins, especially vit B, but I swallow so many tablets for the bp each day, I can't face another one.
Last time I brought it up he just said stop drinking and you'll eat again. It didn't work that way for me because all my issues are inter-related and feed off each other.
Some time ago I joined an eating disorder site but I felt out of place because they were all teenage girls.
I accept that it's time I saw a pysch again, I abandonned my visits 3 yrs ago because I was sick and tired of dredging up the past, it only made me feel worse. I've opened up all my "closets", acknowledged the pain and have let it go, no need to revisit. This time I will make the rules of what I want to discuss and what I don't and keep it about my current situation.
I'm in the process of moderating my alcohol consumption (it's too dangerous for me to just go cold turkey) and have made some progress on the eating front. Yesterday I had half a banana for breakfast and I noticed it helped stave of the craving for wine for some time. I had one of those nutritional milk drinks for dinner and woke up feeling more energetic. (If I'm being too detailed here and am at risk of trigerring someone please tell me - I've only just joined). Today I bought myself some lamb cutlets for dinner - incredibly expensive - but I deserve it. I've decided that I'm going to put myself in a routine, set my alarm, and eat whether I feel like it or not. Even if it's just one bite, I think more structure in my day will help me get back on track. I've got to try...
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by freedom1 » 05 Jan 2011 05:19

Well done enfin.. sounds like you are taking the right baby steps.

Admitting to yourself that its a real issue you need to tackle is of course the first step, and you have done that. Getting support.. well you have come here, which is great, and as you say there are other places. perosnlly i'd seize everything thats possible..

Careful of the "yes, buts".. I can't do this because...... "he'll give me more pills".. "it will only be teenage girls"....or.... (substitute what you like here)...

Its your life we are talking about. You are here once. (well maybe you'll be reincarnated as someone else, but there is no certainty about that one!). If you have to take more pills, chat with teenagers, stand on you head and whistle.... just think about what freedom you will have once you have cracked it.

A suggestion... every time you say "I can't do this, because...", try rewording it to "I choose not to do this at the moment because...." and then try "If i did do this, what would be the worst that could happen? It helps to think about the latter on a scale of 1-10 ..... with 10 being death, destruction of the world, nuclear holocaust... and 1 being a stubbed toe, or something similar. How awful are the things you'd rather not do, on your own personal scale? How do they compare to the worst that could happen? If you did do them, or didnt do them.. what could be the worst outcome?

well.. hope this little ramble may be of some use..



much strength to you.
"Let me respectfully remind you,
Life and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost.
Each of us should strive to awaken. . .
. . . awaken,
Take heed. Do not squander your life."

maryanne
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by maryanne » 05 Jan 2011 09:49

Hi Enfin

It's great that you've managed to eat a litle yesterday. Remember to build it up slowly.

Also that you're thinking of seeing the psychologist again. Make it clear that you want help with the food aversion. I know exactly what you mean about dredging up the past. Not everyone needs that type of therapy. I tend to want to do something proactive rather than dredge up the past.

re. the multivitamins I agree you want no more tablets, tablets tend to make me feel sick, if they do that to you they will confirm your food aversion and make it worse.

The nutritional milk drinks are much better. If you get sick of the ones your using there are lots of different one's and a state registered dietician could help you with getting those.

The doctor is wrong to say stop drinking and you'll start eating. Doctor's actually have very little training regarding nutrition so insist that you see a dietition. You need to start eating so that you have the strength to stop drinking. Your doctor needs to accept this. If he/she can't I think you should consider changing your doctor.

It's great that you realise that you deserve the expensive lamb cutlets. Eating small amounts of quality food will really help you to start enjoying your food again. Remember the butcher will cut things smaller for you, then you can eat some and freeze some for another day. It's also more expensive to buy loose fruit and veg. but you can buy it in the quantities that you're more able to eat so the cost will balance off. If you have a greengrocer that's a much a better option than the supermarket for buying small quantities of things.

It's great that you woke up feeling more energetic this morning! Keep going with your new plan and well done. I know it sounds cheesy but you're worth it! (::) ;)? <:)> :D
Enfin wrote:Thanks for your reply,
Yes I've planned to see my GP because I'm in desperate need to change my bipolar meds, but have been putting it off for a long time. All my nutritional defiencies will show up in the blood tests needed, I know he'll suggest multi-vitamins, especially vit B, but I swallow so many tablets for the bp each day, I can't face another one.
Last time I brought it up he just said stop drinking and you'll eat again. It didn't work that way for me because all my issues are inter-related and feed off each other.
Some time ago I joined an eating disorder site but I felt out of place because they were all teenage girls.
I accept that it's time I saw a pysch again, I abandonned my visits 3 yrs ago because I was sick and tired of dredging up the past, it only made me feel worse. I've opened up all my "closets", acknowledged the pain and have let it go, no need to revisit. This time I will make the rules of what I want to discuss and what I don't and keep it about my current situation.
I'm in the process of moderating my alcohol consumption (it's too dangerous for me to just go cold turkey) and have made some progress on the eating front. Yesterday I had half a banana for breakfast and I noticed it helped stave of the craving for wine for some time. I had one of those nutritional milk drinks for dinner and woke up feeling more energetic. (If I'm being too detailed here and am at risk of trigerring someone please tell me - I've only just joined). Today I bought myself some lamb cutlets for dinner - incredibly expensive - but I deserve it. I've decided that I'm going to put myself in a routine, set my alarm, and eat whether I feel like it or not. Even if it's just one bite, I think more structure in my day will help me get back on track. I've got to try...

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Bela » 05 Jan 2011 12:58

Enfin,

I don't have any thing better to offer than what others are suggesting. I did pick up this, though:
all my issues are inter-related and feed off each other.
This is a view I fully understand, and I think is largely true, at least for me and you. But I've moved a bit from thinking they all have to be fixed at once (and of course they never have been nor likely never will be), to just starting somewhere in the system. You can start anywhere! And sounds you have. Smaller meals and less alcohol. Those baby steps as described by others will make changes in the system. Take it easy. Let yourself adjust slowly to these positive small changes. <:)>
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Beverley » 05 Jan 2011 20:56

I am getting so fed up with food that I feel like I would like to be on a desert island with just water.

I am an extreme person I think. In my early twenties I was bulimic like Carol but got ill and with 2 young children just had to eat properly again. I also thought I was fat when I was a 5' 7" size 10 when a size 10 really was a size 10. Crazy.

I am really in despair as to how to stop this munching to capacity and about to watch a programme on Britains fatest man. Hoping it will launch me into reality. I am not enormous but my family (inlcuding OH) are all terribly weight and size conscious it drives me mad.

Bev x
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by hamster » 06 Jan 2011 06:50

Indigo wrote: Now, the eating thing ... (hey this is going to be a book by the time I'm done. Just loving getting it all out!!) When my drinking was bad, my bulimia was fine. I still had the odd bulimic session, but it wasn't too bad. As soon as I stopped drinking, my bulimia surfaced again. I now can't go a single day without it and this too, feels like it's killing me. The thing is, I know that I have just replaced the alcohol with the bulimia, because when I'm binging and purging it gives me the same sense of oblivion to the world around me. And when I crave a binge it's the same feeling I get when I crave a drink.
Enfin wrote:Basically the idea of putting food in my mouth disgusts me. Even if my stomach is rumbling louder than a truck, I can't bring myself to eat. About the 3rd day without food I have to eat one small sandwich so I don't fall over in a complete heap, the rest of my calories come from wine. What the hell happened to me ?

So here I am trying to get my drinking under control, I know they're linked because
Hi Indigo and Enfin <:)> <:)>

had to quote both because I have been (as with most people with eating disorders) on two sides of the same coin. An anorexic, like you Enfin (please dont think I am labeling you - anorexia mearly means not eating) and then I discovered bulimia which I though was a great comprimise :shock: . Both are linked and both often need specialist help to sort out. I saw a fab fab physcologist many years ago. she has since published books and Im really proud to have known her. She sorted me out quite honestly. In six weeks!! or thereabouts. The therapy is hard and painful. As indigo rightly said - we enter into this abnormal eating to swallow down painful feelings - no hiding from them forever but as someone else said ' whats the worst that can happen'?? Enfin <:)> - I know how awful re-visiting those memories are but unless we do it there is no freedom from them and they could kill us quite frankly. We build those memories up into monsters we cannot face and it makes us want to run away (I was the same - never did my 'homework' on time). I lived with a monster within that I believed was who I really was.

I was good then for many years (about fifteen) until I started drinking. But the bulimia never came back and I dont starve myself (by starving Imean a satsuma for breakfast, lunch and dinner). I still have the mind of a person with an eating disorder - my thinking isnt quite back to normal and I comfort eat for England (though I do manage my weight ina fashion). I dont worry about my body the way I did and get so muchmore out of life. God I remember being 7 stone and would not leave the house when my weight reached 7 1/2 stone. I would never go swimming if I was over 7 stone. what a waste of supposedly the best years of my life.

so there is hope - But Enfin - You need help with this sooner rather than later. Urgently. By not eating and only drinking you are putting your body under the most awful strain and it wont hold up long term. Please phone your phyciatrist soon for that appointment.

Bev, know what you mean about wanting to be on a desert island. I have often felt like that.

Julie
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Bela
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Bela » 06 Jan 2011 12:03

Julie, I remember before you using the phrase "swallowing our feelings" and it made so much sense to me.
Still does.

Bev, the best thing for me is treat food a lot like alcohol . . . . don't keep the crappy stuff in the house.
But it's tough to deal with that when others are around or I am working away from home. I can make poor food choices at the store on a whim, much like I used to with alcohol. But I broke the "habit" with alcohol and I must just keep focused on the food and be satisfied with small changes, which I believe I am making.
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Beverley » 06 Jan 2011 14:00

You're so right Bela. Watching the programme on Britains fattest man. His probs seemed the same as alcohol addiction. Very sad to watch but I'm glad I did.

Bev x
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Trying » 06 Jan 2011 16:32

Have you all seen the shows on hoarding?
Scary stuff.
It's an addiction, too, or some kind of compulsion.
Reminds me that I need to clear out some stuff.

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by hamster » 07 Jan 2011 04:53

Hi Bela

I wish I could get a grip on the healthy eating angle. To be fair I have been studying for the last three months so no cooking after work that doesnt entail opening a pizza :oops:

My essay is done (::) God I cant tell you how that feels. Im off up to Uni to hand it in today and then its all over for at least another three months. Perhaps I can think of changing my diet a bit.

At work - I love chips at lunch time covered in salt and vinegar. Its a comfort food. Got into some bad habits over the last three months.

time to change.

Hi Trying - would like to watch the programme on hoarding. Do you have a link?

JUlie
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Beverley » 07 Jan 2011 15:48

I would love to see the show on hoarding too as OH has OCD big time. It has made me ill over the years but I guess that was no excuse to turn to alcohol. It made me oblivious of it but what good did that do?

Bev x
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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Bela » 07 Jan 2011 18:07

I've seen it Bev. It's really kind of scary.
Makes me realize I have that potential but never crossed the line from just messy.
I do understand some of the dynamics, though.
People are trying to gain control by surround themselves with things.
Some are OCD, some have suffered a serious loss and relate to each object they possess emotionally.
Hard to make decisions.
They are generally just lovely people and you'd never guess who was the hoarder unless revealed.
Whatever works.

Cravings stop going where they aren't fed.

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by Enfin » 15 Jan 2011 13:41

Hi everyone again,

Well I made it from the "cutting down" thread to the "first 7 days" thread. Something I can barely quite believe, but here it is AF2 and I survived.
I mentioned before how all my issues seem to be inter-related and with alcohol out of the equation, I'm realising just how warped my feelings about food are.
My first thought when hunger strikes is (obviously) to have a glass of wine to stop my stomach making noises.
But I looked a bit deeper today and I realised that I also make the equation of eating making me tired, so I avoid it till just before bed. I figured out seeing as I eat so rarely, of course the blood would rush from my head to my stomach 'cause theres "work" to do, and I'd feel tired.
So I think I have to retrain myself to eat a small amount 3 x day and not overwhelm my system, then I won't mentally feel like the day is over, if I dare to eat. Does this make sense to anyone ?
I'm just trying to get inside my brain, try and repair my relationship with food, and get healthy again.
I can't help thinking that I somehow have used (lack of) food as an avoidance tool, just like alcohol
For me the act of feeding yourself myself is almost like an admission that you do care for yourself after all.
Might have to be one hurdle at a time, but there's a cumulative effect - so as my success in combating the EAF builds, so will I get back on the path for this issue.
Encouragement to you all ! Thanks for being there.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ( Nelson Mandela )

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Re: Eating and Food Issues

Post by silvergirl » 15 Jan 2011 13:55

hi enfin, yes it makes perfect sense. thanks for sharing. a huge well done to you on day two alcohol free, it sounds to me like you've got a brilliant approach, retraining your brain to view things differently. there's no quick fix but if you keep plugging away like you are doing, i think you'll be surprised at the difference you'll see relatively soon.

with best wishes to you,
sgx
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~jon kabat-zinn

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