Archive for the ‘How I told my husband I was a compulsive overeater’ Category

How I Told My Husband I was a Compulsive Overeater, Final

Here is the final part of the letter, part III, that I gave to my husband close to two years ago, when I realized I was a compulsive overeater and food addict.

I do not eat in order to live, I live to eat. I think about food all the time, what I’m going to eat and how long until I can eat it. What I’ve learned is that there has to be a reason why I compulsively overeat and I need to find out what the reason (or reasons) is. I am apparently eating to fill up a void or emptiness in myself, something I feel like I’m lacking in myself or in my life. It may be some kind of insecurity, I’m not sure. I do know that I have to figure out what it is so I can get a hold of it instead of letting it keep a hold of me.

I hope that admitting this to myself and to you will be a positive thing for me. I recently ordered a book by overeaters anonymous so I can maybe help myself that way and get myself started in the right direction. Maybe I will eventually need to go to speak with someone. So at this point, you probably have a couple of things going through your mind. The first is probably, geez, what kind of whacko am I married to? Hopefully the second thing that is going through your mind is – what can I do to help her? This one I can assist you with. Going forward, would you please stop bringing treats home for me? I totally recognize that you are being thoughtful bringing home something you know that I will enjoy and I appreciate that. However, I hope you now understand that treats are often a problem for me. I’m sure that with your love and support, I can conquer this.

Thanks for reading this. I love you.

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How I Told My Husband I was a Compulsive Overeater, Part II

Here is a continuation, part 2, of the letter I gave to my husband upon discovering that I was a compulsive overeater close to two years ago.

I do eat because I’m hungry. In fact, as you may know, I don’t like feeling hungry. But there are many times that hunger has nothing to do with it. I eat because I love how the sweets, doughy, or sometimes salty, foods taste. I become out of control and have a single-minded purpose of eating more even though I’m not hungry and may already be full. I just can’t seem to stop myself.

I’ve tried to explain to you that once I start eating junk, something in my brain switches on and I go into an eating frenzy. When I overeat, I feel disgusted with myself afterwards and vow to stop, but each day, each hour, each minute is a challenge. Some days I am successful at eating sensibly and at the end of the night I feel like I’ve accomplished a little victory. Other days, the “switch” flicks on and I’m out of control. I try not to let you or the kids see me when I’m in the middle of a frenzy because it’s disgusting and embarrassing.

While during those few golden years I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, I had great willpower, was really on-point with my eating and I was comfortable with my body. That willpower has since left me for the most part. I overeat when I’m stressed; I overeat when I’m restless and don’t know what to do with myself. I overeat when there is a lot of deserts available to me, such as at a function or party. I’d rather eat sweets than talk to people sometimes. Ok, it’s more than sometimes. In cases like those, my main focus, even while I’m speaking with someone, is – when can I go back to the desert table?

In any situation where I am compulsively overeating, in my head I keep saying to myself – stop, you’ve had enough! I eat another one. And then it goes to – ok, this is the last one, and I eat another one. Then it’s – ok, THIS is the last one, and I eat another one. Then it’s – ok, this is REALLY the last one, and I eat another one. This usually goes on until I feel physically ill and/or physically uncomfortable, and sometimes I still don’t stop even though my body is clearing telling me I’ve had enough.

I will post the final part of the letter within the next few days.

How I Told My Husband I Was a Compulsive Overeater, Part I

I’m not quite sure where to begin.  I didn’t know I was a compulsive overeater until close to two years ago.  I thought all the sweets (among other things) that I filled my face with were merely due to a sweet tooth and a love of doughy, sugary food items.  I didn’t realize that I was in fact binging or had a food addiction.   When this realization hit me at the end of 2007, I poured out my heart to my husband in a letter.   It was a huge catharsis for me.  I cried off and on for days.   Here is the beginning of the letter.  I thought it would be a good way to start this blog.  As I don’t want to bore everyone with a manifesto, I will publish the rest of the letter over the next few days.  Here goes:

Hi Honey, I need to share something with you, about me, which I have recently admitted to myself.  This is not easy for me, to admit that I have a problem, a weakness, which I can’t seem to get control of. 

 You and I have casually mentioned in the past that I have food issues.  If I had to guess, I would say that you think my food issue is about my counting calories and weighing food.  (I have come to learn that in actuality, my counting calories is a good tool that successful dieters use, but that is not the point here.) When I went to see the chiropractor about my lower back/knee a few months ago, I gave him the readers digest version of my weight issues, how I have gained 10-12 pounds over the past couple of years, etc.  You’d think someone who worked out four days a week like me would not be gaining weight but I told him briefly that I have eating issues.  The doctor said to me – you do know that you need to get some help for those issues, don’t you?  I of course yes-yes’d him but knew I wouldn’t follow through because well, I didn’t really have a problem, I could handle it.

 Well, apparently I can’t.  I’m not sure what sparked my realization, but after doing some research I have come to grips with a sad fact about myself.   I am a compulsive overeater. It’s something that I’ve done for most of my life except for the few years between having our daughter and when our son was a toddler, when I was losing weight and eating sensibly.  I have a problem and I need help.  I can’t seem to help myself anymore, both literally and figuratively.   I know when you think of someone who compulsively overeats you picture someone who spends their day in the drive-thru line at fast food restaurants and weighs over 300 pounds.  As my on-line research has indicated, that is not always the case.