Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)

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lambie

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I can't think of a better way to title the thread, and I'm not sure this is the appropriate place for it.  If I've messed up, would the admins please move it?

I am a newbie, and though I've introduced myself, I haven't posted much yet.  Even so, I'm hoping that the group might be able to help me with this.

I have only been diagnosed with PTSD for a few years, but I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't have the symptoms.  My only method of coping with both the original trauma (chronic terrorizing from my FOO starting as a toddler) and the EFs that came later, has been food.  Or at least, it is the only one I knew about.  I was overweight as a child, and I have struggled desperately to break this cycle, but though I've gained and lost, I always gained more for every time I lost, and I've ended up at close to 300 lbs.  Health issues are a terrifying prospect to me, they trigger me because I have been shamed and mocked all my life for my weight, and I have been convinced I was going to be "punished" for it, even though I couldn't seem to stop doing the one thing that would fix it.

Over the last few years, I developed intermittent heart palpitations.  I had them checked once, and was told they were nothing.  They've gotten a little worse, and I have just gotten up the courage to have them checked again.  I got the results today, and found out that while I don't have an acute emergency (I'm not in heart failure) I am on the cusp of pulmonary hypertension, which can eventually lead to right-side heart failure and death if it isn't stopped. 

My doc told me that at this point, she wasn't even going to prescribe medication (I don't seem to need it).  She is sending me for a sleep study -- obesity-related sleep apnea could be causing this -- and that if that isn't it, then she told me I just need to lose weight, and have it checked in a year.  I've done a little internet research, and found that obesity and HP are correlated, and I've seen at least three studies that say losing the weight will usually solve the problem, unless it has been going on so long that there is artery damage.  I don't think that's the case, since my numbers are just barely over normal right now, but I am terrified nonetheless.

I'm not afraid that I can't lose the weight, I think I am sufficiently motivated to do it -- I may spend a lot of uncomfortable evenings rocking and stimming my way through EFs, but I won't eat my way out of them.  I'm afraid because my triggered self is telling me that this will turn out like my trauma -- there will be no hope, no help, no respite, no mercy.  That is, I will do my best to control the situation, and lose the weight (well, a good amount of it, anyway) and it won't help.  I will be re-checked and the disease will have gotten worse anyway, and there will be nothing anyone can do. 

I have a wonderful therapist, and I will see her tomorrow morning, but I am wondering if anyone else has this sort of challenge with a medical issue, and if you might have any strategies for me.

I appreciate everything that the folks on this board have posted about their own lives and challenges - reading about other people's challenges helps immensely, because I know I'm not alone.  Thank you.

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tired

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 07:56:17 PM »
the only way out is to measure success by your actions not the outcome.  eventually we are all going to get sick and die so you can argue that nothing anyone does matters. i mean why bother doing anything.  find a meaning in the process, in the weight loss, that is not related to curing your heart disease.  it's the right thing to do because ____  or it will make me feel better no matter what because _____.  there are many reasons you can come up with besides the heart issue. if you don't want to and you have no reason to do it, you won't, so you have to have a reason.  it won't be worth the risk. 

every time i make a decision to stop binge eating i have to compensate for it by hurting myself some other way.  if i eat chicken (healthy) i have to eat cheese (not healthy). some days i eat neither  to make life easier.   i can't allow myself too many good habits.  the more i change for the better the stronger the backlash to make myself sicker so i have to plan ahead for that. i choose a few unhealthy things to take up that will even the score.

it's stupid.  i struggle with eating all the time.  i am having broth now but it seems to be a little fatty and has tomato sauce in it so maybe as punishment my mind will make me have an all out binge.  maybe i'll try to fool myself into just having chicken and i'll call it healthy but chewing by itself triggers an all day binge. 

anyway that's all.  i get palpitations just from eating so much at once (I assume... i looked it up and i think that's what is happening). 

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lambie

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 02:06:54 AM »
Tired, thanks so much for the reply.  And I think your advice on letting go of the outcome is a good idea.  I have to do this because it's worth doing for the sake of doing it.  I am sending good thoughts re: your struggle with the bingeing.  Food has been my comfort mechanism, but in a way I used it to hurt myself too, I think.  It was my comfort, but it made me an object of derision and ridicule, and yet I couldn't stop, because I just hurt too bad.   :hug: to you, if that's okay. 

(Palpitations can happen for any variety of reasons, many completely benign, mine just happened to be a signal of something being really wrong.  Dont stress out over yours).

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Danaus plexippus

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 07:30:41 PM »
Dear Lambie,

I eat not wisely but too well, resulting in high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other health problems most probably connected to over indulgent eating behavior. Reading this and the following thread was enough to induce me to grab a quart of Madagascar Vanilla Kefir and down it sip by sip. 

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89abc123

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 03:29:38 AM »
I'm a binge eater in my late 20s.

I think the key is eating clean completely and never eating 'bad' foods again. Bad foods trigger more binges for me, where as healthy food makes me forget about food completely.

If you watch a documentary called hungry for change it gives you tips on using affirmations. I've learnt from the Spartan life coach that using 'I am learning....' Instead of 'I am....' Is much more effective.

Spend 3 months or so repeating these in front of the mirror:

- I am learning that I am deserving and capable of change

- I am learning that discomfort is healthy and comfort is dangerous

- I am learning that every person including myself is deserving of healthy food and healthy habits

- I am learning to accept and love myself as I am today

Good luck!

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Danaus plexippus

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 11:28:34 AM »
Dear 89abc123,

Interesting. I'll give it a try. I love positive affirmations. After my husband died, I lived on cheese and crackers, apples, Prosecco and chocolate for ten months. The only thing I turned the stove on for was to make a cup of tea. When home grown tomatoes ripened I added tomato sandwiches to my diet till they ran out. My sister-in-law introduced me to Trader Joe's and I started getting stuff I could stick in a microwave. Eventually I discovered the overpriced salad bar at Whole Foods. It wasn't till my doc enrolled me in a dietary surveillance program that I started to actually cook again.

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featherfalling

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 12:14:01 PM »
I started reading "Breaking free from Emotional Eating" by Geneen Roth, which was recommended by Pete Walker.  It's a good book.  I don't know if it's been helpful so far for losing weight (haven't finished it, keep getting triggered and am having a really rough time life-wise so I don't have too much energy to spend on that right now), but it is helpful for feeling a bit better about my relationship with food, at least.  I haven't been feeling the need to hoard food as much, and I'm not thinking about food 24/7.  Still think about it a lot, and get cravings, and binge, but it's a process. 

One of the things she recommends, putting away all distractions while you're eating - not watching anything, or reading anything, or anything like that, is really difficult for me.  I find myself kinda anxious about it.  About...I'm not sure what.  Being bored? Not doing anything? Thinking about what I'm eating?  In any case, that's the part I'm struggling with most right now.

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89abc123

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2016, 01:35:41 PM »
Oh great I'll check out that book!

Another great doco is fat, sick and nearly dead 1 and 2.

Another big key point to remember is that the main feelings connected to emotional eating are emptiness, loneliness and boredom. It's important to identify the feeling and then choose how you respond to that feeling. Easier said than done, trust me I know!

It's an ongoing battle for me. I do great then lapse. As long as you are on the right track 80% of the time I think that's great.

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Danaus plexippus

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2016, 02:24:07 PM »
My group T is trying to teach us Mindful eating. She gives us each one raisin. We are supposed to hold it, feel the weight of it, notice the texture, color, smell, silently acknowledge any associations that pop up in our minds (no talking please). Then we are instructed to put the raisin in our mouths, but not chew. We are instructed to experience it with our tongues, how does it feel, taste, can we still smell it. Then we are instructed to chew it once and see how the experience changes. After additional chewing we are instructed to swallow and experience how our mouth feels, can we still taste the raisin? This exercise is anxiety provoking to some. I find myself losing interest after a while. Maybe that's the point.

I eat more slowly with company and faster when I'm alone. I eat less when I'm anxious and more when I'm tired. Sometimes when I'm having difficulty getting to sleep, a bowl of Kefir helps me nod off. I usually play music throughout the day and choose not to turn it off when I eat. I realize the music is a distraction, but I'm lonely since my husband died.

At a mindful eating seminar one of the participants felt the need to confess to the whole group that he had pigged down an entire bag of cookies. The group leaders explained "It's not about the cookie, it's never about the cookie." Then we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring our feelings.

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Sweetsixty

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Re: Overeating + resulting health problem = trigger (trigger warning)
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 09:36:24 AM »
I've had a lot of similar issues so I just wanted to add in two things:
One please be careful your not blaming your weight/diet for other health issues. My GP did that to me for years and it turned out I had MS.
Two, please google Health At Every Size (HAES) written by Linda Bacon. Yes an unfortunate name but it explains how weight and fat per se are not an issue it's unhealthy lives that cause issues. Stressing someone over their weight is more detrimental than them being overweight. There is some really interesting stuff out there on this research.