eating himself to death

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  • I was in the supermarket the other day doing the usual shop for the family. Had an assortment of fruit and veg, meat cheese etc as well as all those household things that you need. In the check out line in front of me was a person that would have weighed in excess of 200 kgs (450 pounds). He couldn’t stand unaided and was using the trolley as a walking frame. So what did he have in his trolley. An assortment of chocolate biscuits, sugary breakfast cereal and two large packets of chocolate frogs. While waiting to be served at the check out he reached over and grabbed another two chocolate bars. Eating his way into an early grave. So why am I telling this story. Up until very recently I really didn’t know what a healthy diet was. I did some research, stumbled across 5:2 and off I went and haven’t look back ever since. So what is it that prevents people from achieving success? Is it a head in the sand mentality that says nothing bad will happen to me? Is it just too hard to eat healthy? Is (excess) food an addiction as strong as any drug addiction? Boredom? What is stopping people from achieving success? Any replies most welcome. Trying to get my head around it.

    I was trying to answer the same question. And the list of answers is very long. 🙁

    16 feelings that Emotional Eaters most often confuse with physical hunger.

    Causes of False Hunger

    Causes of Compulsive Overeating

    whoosh, that’s for those links. Will have a good read.

    All of the above and more.

    maybe he was purchasing them for someone else and had to take drugs with an obesity side effect and as caring for his thin mum who has a sweet tooth, or hosting a kids party…i am glad you are so pleased with your own choices, and feeling better now, but you have no right to judge.

    i would have felt nothing but compassion. poor guy.

    but you don’t know his story… judge not lest YE be judged.

    very sad post 🙁

    OMG i just read it again ” I did some research, stumbled across 5:2 and off I went and haven’t look back ever since. So what is it that prevents people from achieving success? Is it a head in the sand mentality that says nothing bad will happen to me? Is it just too hard to eat healthy? Is (excess) food an addiction as strong as any drug addiction? Boredom? What is stopping people from achieving success?”

    off you went… and whereas that large guy in your eyes isn’t achieving success, which you mention twice, YOU are. i am a woman who will politely stand up for others. this post is disgraceful. in so many ways. this might get me thrown off here, because i am telling it as it is, especially if you are a big wig on here, but i just cant stick the looking down your nose at a sick man attitude. you didnt stop to think did you.

    it just makes me cry.

    I think you are misunderstanding where I am coming from. I don’t think Im denigrating the person and I wasn’t looking down at him, Im just wanting to understand the situation. My situation is very simple. I didn’t know what healthy was. I decided to change things up. I read, armed myself with information, found 5:2 and then changed what I needed to change. My situation is simple. Obviously other people’s circumstances aren’t as simple so Im trying to understand what prevents others from achieving success. It is the psychological aspects which I do not understand. Understanding the mechanics of weight loss is the easy part. Im trying to understand the psychological/emotional side.

    all you gotta do is read up, google, read about prada willy syndrome, and then realize it could be 500000 factors none of which are understood yet. ”eating himself to death”… as if its his fault somehow, that he is doing it knowingly! and how you yourself determine/define ”achieving success’. perhaps he is a huge success spiritually, or in other ways. in your eyes you are that ‘success’ ,ergo he is ‘failed’. (just the words success and fail are outrageous in this instance) that is a given, from your post. your writing made me weep for humanity. how we judge so fast… think about YOUR diet, not his diet. i am a humanitarian and i cannot do anything but wince when i think about you looking at that guy thinking he hasn’t achieved. and you wondering why… i am sure you are nice, but if you re read your post, it will make you, as it made us, here, shudder. i am sorry but there it is. google ”why are some people not able to achieve success with their weight as I DID and never looked back” but don’t press ‘i’m feeling lucky’. i can see that you have difficulty understanding emotions, and thats not fixable but god forbid you should be judged harshly. i don’t think you’d take to it. did you know some babies are born morbidly obese…i am not happy from all of this. i think its put me off the forum.

    and what about the emotional/ psychological side before you realized the way to perfect health and slenderness?


    You say “do not judge”, but this is exactly what you are doing regarding bigbooty.

    I quote you again “but you don’t know his story…”. I do not see his post as judgemental. In my view, he just honestly does not understand why obese, sick people “eat themself to death”. Like my husband not understanding me binge eat when I’m stressed, like me not understanding my sister eating every day for 2 persons, and so on.

    And I think that bigbooty’s intention to understand “why” and start such a sensitive discussion must be apreciated, not judged the way you do. By forcing us to think deeply and give an honest answer to his question, we all have something to gain. Maybe more sincerity and awareness is what everybody needs not to eat himself to death anymore. Your speech about bigbooty not being “politically correct” does not help anyone. The ‘fat, sick and nearly dead’ need to wake up (myself included), not more understanding and excuses. I see bigbooty more humanitarian than you, on this matter. Important is to speak openly to see / find the root of the problem. This is helping people. Keeping the mouth shut to not hurt somebody’s feelings, on long term does not help anyone. On the contrary.

    No doubt there are individuals whose weight issues have a medical cause, but they will form a relatively small proportion of the obesity epidemic.

    I know three men who I would say are probably eating themselves to death. All are successful business and family men in their 60s with no medical conditions other than being overweight and type 2 diabetic (one has already had both feet amputated). They all seem to perceive excess food and alcohol as part and parcel of their success (conspicuous consumption), and are not prepared to curtail overeating or drinking habits. They are all intelligent, but they keep fiddling while Rome burns.

    What excuse can you make for their behaviour?

    Why, I don’t think Im big noting my success? There are lots of forum members that have lost weight and hang around spurring others one. If I had my way and I had a magic wand I would want everyone to be achieve their weight loss/health goals. I mean that is the main reason this forum exists. Im not passing any other judgement as to whether an individual is successful in any other pursuits. “Eating himself to death” was an observation on my part. Did I apportion blame on the individual’s situation? I don’t think I did? Or if I did it wasn’t my intent.

    OK peace. I wish you success on your weight loss journey. By all means tap into the knowledge base that is here.

    yah, peace to you. i was just saying my thoughts. and that should be ok on a board with intelligent sentient people. nobody needed to jump onto this thread and make it a big thing. bigbotty and i were simply talking!
    being judgemental is one thing. interfering and being judgmental an trying to start a witch hunt is another

    i am new and i have opinions. like bigbotty does.

    ah its a MAN! that explains the way of speaking. more practical. direct.

    gotcha ! x

    can i just say- you sound like a nightmare. interfering (you even did here) and holier than thou not to mention just a trouble maker. dont post where i post.
    bigbotty is fine.
    i like the honesty.
    why dont you TELL your husband and sister how fat they are and tell them what to do about it. thats what you should do if your post expresses your rue concerns for their lives. good luck wth that 😉

    All are successful business and family men in their 60s with no medical conditions other than being overweight and type 2 diabetic (one has already had both feet amputated).

    1. how do you KNOW they are free of health problems including mental????? dont JUDGE

    2. i would have said missing two et was a fairly sizeable problem, wouldnt you??? that he is in this lamentable state, it may be entirely not his fault. are you happy now?

    you are all so judgmental just cos you think you have found the way. how i YOU get fat?

    michael would NOT be impressed by this horrible thread to judgemental converts who will probably put it all back on again cos they too have issues which is what got THM over weight to start with.

    everyone loves a with hunt so target me i dont care. i will stand up for the judged and bullied.

    thinking you know whats in people bedside tables, drugs wise, thinking you know everything about ”friends” or ”people you know” is ridiculous. yet you judge judge judge.

    just min your own waistlines and businesses.

    let them alone. or dont. stop them in their tracks and tell them everything you know and that you care so much you want to help them. and watch the responses.

    one of you seem to understand PEOPLE. we are complex. we are multi faceted. we are all in need to help. we all need love. compassion. understanding. a bit of leeway. the benefit of the doubt.

    i spoke my truth. i said it lovingly in a gentle voice. and i wish you all peace.

    oops i apologise. bigBOOTY not bigbotty.
    my mistake.
    is this an american site then?
    what does it mean?

    Dear me Why, Adaline is right, you are the one judging people here! And you think you’re a humanitarian?!

    Do you think I haven’t had conversations with these three friends of mine. That’s the reason I know they have no other health problems! And even being told about 5:2, the 8 week BSD, and the possibility of reversing T2, not one of them is interested in making dietary changes to lose weight or improve their health. That’s their choice, although as a friend it’s hard to stand by and watch.

    And who are you to say what Michael Mosley would or would not be impressed with?

    my god! you ARE a nightmare, lol. i was so right.


    Have you ever heard the saying ‘People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’? 🙂

    OMG a classic!

    ”Do you think I haven’t had conversations with these three friends of mine. That’s the reason I know they have no other health problems”

    did YOU think those conversations would force them to change their lives? that shows a mind numbing lack of intelligence. is that how to get the job done… especially with your demeanour

    did YOU think they are going to tell a ”friend” all their personal issues… most people wouldnt want to.

    crikey, well done on HAVING three friends. haha. sorry. but you’re just the worst kind of convert . you are doing a dis service to the 5:2 ! you would turn me RIGHT off it. preachy people are the worst

    and never you mind who i am. your nose is always in someone elses business isnt it.
    lets just say, it wont ever come out who i am, but what this thread has done is given me my first section!

    enjoy. onto next thread.

    you’re weird. freaking me out now. bye.

    Are you OK Why? You come across as quite an angry person.

    Back to the original question on this post, talking for myself, it was emotional. Eating filled an emotional void and the wrong kind of foods gave me pleasure and it turned into a bit of a vicious cycle. I won’t hesitate to say I was also lazy, despite knowing what healthy diet is and what I should do, I didn’t do it.
    The change, or at least the want to change, needs to come from within. Until then, the message falls on deaf ears, and, may in fact have the opposite effect.
    Congratulations on your success, bigbooty 😊

    Hi Bay,

    You can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink. Yes indeed the need for change must come from within. My situation was very simple. Up until I did some research I simply didn’t know what a healthy eating habit was. Once I knew it, I implemented it. My situation was easy. For lots of other people the situation is a lot more complicated and I really struggle to understand that side of things. If people want to know how I achieved my success Im happy to tell them how I did it. If it works for them, fantastic. The physiology side of things I understand. The psychology side of things I wont even pretend to say I know anything about that.

    Good luck I hope it works for you.

    Hi Bigbooty,
    The trouble is sugar and refined carbs are highly addictive!
    We haven’t got our heads round what this means as yet. There are too many people, businesses and governments with vested interests in people consuming large quantities of the stuff. There a panic in the market every time Coka Cola drops a notch on the stock market.
    How do you begin to educate people? Do you tax it? Big brands are slow to bring in non- sugar ranges of food. How else do you get it to taste nice?

    There is research on food addiction, showing that addiction to flour (breads, crackers, etc.) and sugar is as bad as addiction to cocaine. About two-thirds of the population is susceptible to food addiction, and that’s correlated with the two-thirds of people who are overweight or obese. It’s been shown that there’s a gene (D2 I think it’s called) that is related to addiction. Obese adults have the D2 gene, same as alcoholics and drug addicts.

    I have been struggling to stay on the 5:2 diet for the last year since seeing Michael Moseley’s documentaries

    3 months at the last attempt – the longest I have ever stayed on any diet – I’m a 58 year old male

    Even after feeling I had FINALLY found a doable system to lose weight I have still not been able to stay on it

    I have decided the reason I stop and start is an addictive personality and self-destructive tendencies which are very hard to identify let alone overcome

    won’t stop me trying (I’m eating myself to death since I stopped drinking heavily)but I feel the psychological/emotional issues are just as strong as the desire to lose weight and recently I’ve started to consider the fact that I will just have to resign to being fat and dying early

    (sorry for the downer post!)

    I wonder if you’re like me because there was definitely an addictive component to the way I used to eat. I found limiting my calories on my fast days very difficult. That was working against me so I started completely fasting. Now I only allow myself water or, if necessary, some warm broth on my FDs. I also do my FDs back to back to really clean out my system and reset my metabolism.

    Then, on my food days, I stick to sensible foods (salad, simple grilled protein, plain vegetables prepared with natural butter or oils). BUT I have enough to really feel full. In my case, that’s a really large volume of salad and veggies and a generous portion of protein (usually grilled salmon or well-braised pork belly).

    I don’t eat breakfast. Starting my day by eating just ginned up my appetite and the rest of the day I’d always be trying to keep up with or defeat my appetite. When I don’t eat breakfast, I begin my day feeling satisfied and don’t get hungry until lunchtime.

    I drink lots of water (in the form of unsweetened ice tea) all day. I don’t drink sodas (either sugar- or artificially sweetened). And I don’t eat any starchy carbs whether from veggies like potatoes or winter squash or from grains of any kind.

    Sounds rigorous but, in truth, it frees me from the constant cravings for food that were running my life and wrecking my body. I couldn’t move more than a block. I wasn’t even comfortable sitting down because there was so much belly compressed into my lap. But when I eliminate the foods that were addictive to me the insane cravings disappeared. Over time my appetites normalized and I *enjoy* the food I eat now and I feel satisfied by it. And, best of all, I’ve dropped 5 jeans sizes in a year and can spend an hour 5 times a week on cardio equipment. I do the treadmill at an incline (rather than jogging) and the recumbent bike because they don’t stress the joints I wrecked by years of the abuse of excess weight.

    I hope there’s something helpful there that you’ll want to try. You don’t have to do them all at once. Just try a few things. Try other things that will occur to you. The important thing is not to give up when your life can be soooooo much better than it is now. When you find a couple things that work for you, you’ll start to see that. And then you’ll *want* to try and add more until you get to the combination that’s right for you.

    Good luck. I’m pulling for you!

    Hello Graham58, Your post resonates with me! I’ve been living the dilemma you describe. I too have deep emotional issues that have prompted me to overeat and binge for decades. Unfortunately, no amount of willpower has ever helped me with this. When I’m triggered and find myself in ‘binge-mode’ the waves of emotional turmoil and subsequent craving seem to win out over my resolve. What has helped me though is to do simply as you described, which is to do the best I can and to get back on the horse as often as possible and over and over again if need be!

    5:2 has been especially helpful for me because I feel it has helped improve my mood and brain function and I’ve gained a psychological clarity into some of the underlying causes for my bingeing and emotional overeating, were a result of years psychological abuse (childhood and then choosing a partner who emulated those behavior as an adult). Each time I reach a certain clarity, I’m aware of one binge trigger suddenly ‘evaporating’ if that makes sense. In other words, that trigger disappears because of new awareness and insight. So 5:2 has been liberating (and cheaper than therapy)! Prior to 5:2 I was rarely aware of what drove me to binge. I’d just do it unconsciously and then feel bad about it afterwards. Practicing 5:2 has allowed me the clarity to see the significance of all I’ve been through and I’ve actually begun treating myself with the respect that someone who has been through a battleground deserves. This new strength only came in increments and (and that’s where getting back on the horse over and over is helpful) I’m still prone to triggers from time to time and thus binges too, however, at least 5:2 has helped rid me of addiction to processed foods so that when I do binge I binge on much healthier fare (just too much of it)! I reached my goal weight in September and am maintaining fairly well (I’m a kilogram over goal at moment from a binge last week. I’m still a work in progress, though from where I was truly have progressed just by keeping, keeping on as best I can). I don’t know if any of this helps. We are all different and have different reasons for bingeing.


    Are you in good enough physical condition that you can ride a bike? My “happy place” is when Im on my bike. The world can be collapsing around me but when Im on my bike it doesn’t matter. The level of dopamine that gets released means Im happy for the rest of the day. You need to do something that takes you to your happy place that doesn’t compromise your health. I just plug in the ipod my favourite music and go for a walk at lunch times. Once again it takes me to my happy place.

    I’m in a very apethetic mood because of the time of year but then I have been known to feel like this in July too so how much the dark nights are adding to my apethy and depression is hard to say

    I walk with a heart monitor and music on along a straight tree covered path near my house (actually an old railway track) but although I can see it elevates my moodany excuse not to do it wins over

    such a bad track record over the years has started to come back and bite me “why bother to start? I never stick to it anyway”

    I maybe have to research information about how people break an addiction to heroin because although it sounds dramatic I think my food addiction is the same thought processes , self hatred, self-sabotage, etc.

    Like a heroin junkie who SERIOUSLY BELIEVES heroin is making his life better I feel that about food – of course INTELLECTUALLY I can understand that I’m eating myself to death but the mirage of food being Love and Pleasure are still much more powerful as emotions and that has always won out

    having said all that I’m 15 stone so I MUST have some switch off point somewhere – I feel so sorry for people worse than me who are 34 stone and heavier because their addiction is just much worse than mine

    I completely understand them tho on some level I just feel lucky that I’m not as extreme but I know I have exactly the same thought processes and emotionaL issues

    Hi Graham58, I have 10 yrs and an extra stone on you but have some similar issues. I worry about my health, so much so I went to see a clinical dietician.
    Got some great advice, read and researched old and new research on a variety of health issues and read some brilliant posters comments on this site. I also lost 23 pounds back in 2013 doing the 5:2 way of life……
    So I need to lose it again. Like you I have an addiction, mine is boredom. So when I am bored what do I do?, I eat and drink always in the evening and always at home. I recognise my addiction but like any it is difficult to break.
    The best advice I can give you? Recognise there are others like you. You are not alone but keep trying. One step at a time, small targets that are easily achievable but important to you and your health.
    Good luck.

    Hi Graham, sorry to hear you’re struggling.

    Addiction is a word often used quite lightly, but is a very serious, chronic condition. Addicts are people who find it difficult to deal with life – they tend to be by nature depressed, anxious, ill at ease. This means they seek out substances and behaviours that change the way they think – by using whatever their drug of choice is, they are really self-medicating.

    Repeated use of drugs/behaviours lead to addiction – simply the body becomes dependent on a chemical. If the chemical is no longer administered they feel bad – withdrawal. And that’s when an addict is really in trouble – whatever they were using no longer makes them feel good, they need it just to approximate feeling normal. That’s a miserable state to be in and nobody would choose to be there. Our current obesity epidemic would certainly suggest there’s something addictive about some foods – why else would you eat so much you severely impact your health and quality of life ?

    Recovery from addiction is a simple but very difficult thing to do. The first step is to understand what’s happening and realise that whatever you’re using to medicate you is not the answer, and that if you carry on using it, will become a serious problem. If there are certain trigger foods (normally sugar and refined carbohydrates) you need to stop eating them. They aren’t a “treat” or an escape from life, they’re just sugary junk that gives you a brief “hit”. The second and much harder step is to look at yourself and why you behave like you do. What is it that causes you to behave like this ? It’s also helpful to identify alternative coping mechanisms – rather than heading for food, what else could you do to make yourself feel better ? Exercise, talking to someone, a hobby….

    Sorry if this sounds a bit preachy, it’s just that I am an addict. I know what it’s like and (luckily) I found the answer above.

    Hello everyone,

    Graham59- I can really relate. I am feeling stuff from binging and so down and out and numb….
    I have been trying to do this fasting for the last month or so and I keep falling down. I just finished my binge of food…I do well and then for some reason after about second week, it falls apart. This has been happening for the last several months. I am really trying to control my sense of shame and self anger and defeat and it is really difficult.
    Rob in Recovery, I understand everything intellectually, I have been to FA, OEA, AA and all of that. I have done countless research on why processed foods and sugars act the way they do and yet, I can’t seem to get a handle of sustaining my abstinence. Low Carb/High Fat with fasting has helped to curb my appetite but I can’t seem to get a handle of my sleep. I do really well but then I start having trouble sleeping and lack of sleep and running around for the kids creates the ripe environment for binging to begin… the vicious cycle starts. 🙁

    Sometimes, I just want to scream from the top of my lungs!!! I am an intelligent, funny, optimistic, earnest and diligent person. I have much discipline in many areas of my life and yet I cannot seem to just get over this hump… I feel like I am out in the ocean trying to break through the barrier of the wave… if I can just figure out how to ride out the big wave that keeps me tethered to the land of the addiction… I can be free, free to the ocean…where the possibilities are endless.

    I am going to exercise class tonight and then I will start my fast again… the things is, I just have to keep trying…

    If it helps to know it, I had a very long period of trying to get back on my Intermittent Fasting program once I had blown it. It was basically the entire Summer. And I re-gained 20 pounds.

    I was lucky in that I had succeeded from Christmas to some time in April. I knew I *could* do it if I got my head right. And I knew how much better I felt in every respect when I fasted and ate sensibly. I just couldn’t get past those insane cravings that take over your whole life. Yes, I am a food addict too!

    I would do a couple fast days. I would string together a good week. Even 2 good weeks. And then I’d give in to something again. I struggled from April through September. But, happily, I finally got my determination screwed up and did it by the beginning of October!

    My message is DON’T STOP TRYING. It won’t matter how many times you’ve failed once you’re successful. And, once you’re successful at it, you’ll feel sooooo much better physically and mentally that you’ll be invested in it. It’s worth the effort you put into it just to be rid of the insatiable cravings that drive you to eat when your stomach is already full and stressed to have to accommodate even more food!

    Be kind to yourselves. Beating yourself up really doesn’t contribute anything. Get all your resources on your side — your family and friends, your environment and, mostly, yourself. Then get busy to distract yourself from cravings. Take a long drive on a road without restaurants and a lot of advertising. Clean out a closet. Get an engrossing book. Go take some nature photographs. Anything that keeps your mind and body occupied. But, above all, DON’T GIVE UP no matter how many restarts it takes!!!

    in the past my weight loss has gained momentum as I see the benefits but these days I can’t seem to ever get to that point because I have only ever put in back on again 3 months later because in my heart of hearts I know the underlying issues have not been resolved

    Also I’ve read it’s bad for your body to yo-yo so I’ve opted to keep my weight at around 15 stone

    but my brother had a stroke last year sdespite being as fit as a fiddle and 4 years younger than me

    my doctor has said the heart disease and stroke in my family on both sides mean I’m a heart attack waiting to happen

    and STILL I don’t lose weight!

    “my doctor has said the heart disease and stroke in my family on both sides mean I’m a heart attack waiting to happen

    and STILL I don’t lose weight!”

    OK, Grahmam, so *what* are you doing today to make a healthy change?

    Pick ONE thing. Do it for 24 hours. Set a timer at 1 hour intervals and get up and move around your house for 5 minutes each hour. Or don’t eat starchy carbs for one day. Or have one sugar-free day.

    It won’t help to feed the idea that you can’t change or be successful. You need to pare your goal down to one thing you can make a healthy habit and then add one more in another week or two.

    Everyone here wants to help but it’s up to YOU to get started. Please write back what you will do for the rest of the day.

    Hi Graham,

    Change can be quite uncomfortable. And to make intentional change we need a powerful reason to help navigate through the various inevitable pains and discomforts. Not just any reason will do. It needs to be a reason that really has meaning for us personally in this moment. Our diverse and changing personal motivations are part of the beauty of being human, and is part of what separates us from lifeless but logically programmable machines and computers.

    It sounds like what your doctor has said doesn’t currently inspire you. So that’s not your reason right now. And that is OK.

    Maybe consider not making any change right now. That is always a legitimate option, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If that’s what currently fits then there is no need to beat yourself up with any shoulds and shouldn’ts. Maybe sit with that and see how you feel about it. How would you feel about that, in this moment, in your heart of hearts?

    Hi Graham,

    I cant begin to understand the psychology of your problem (hence me starting this thread) but I have been exposed to friends and family around me that have had addictive personality traits. Generally theses traits manifest themselves in many different ways, but the addictive activity is the manifestation of an underlying “ill at ease” sensation. What is causing your ill at ease sensation I cant even begin to comprehend. I would tend to suggest that simply asking forum members for eating advice is really way beyond what is possible in addressing your needs. See someone that is professionally trained in this area for advice.

    From an eating viewpoint what needs to be done is pretty straight forward. The forum is full of good advice on what to eat, how much to eat, and strategies on how to do it. But from what you have said, your issues go way beyond this. Do nothing and you know what the result will be. So you need to do something to change that. Please seek appropriate medical advice. Good luck with it all Graham.

    That is an interesting connection you’ve made between addiction and the “ill at ease” sensation, bigbooty. Part of the benefit I’ve noticed in fasting is a significantly increased comfort with that hunger sensation.

    Your suggestion of seeking some professional help when stuck in a deep rut, like Graham seems to believe he is, does seem wise.

    I have done a lot of therapy over the years which is where my level of self-awareness comes from to get me to the point where I can identify clearly where I’m at

    I don’t think it’s inappropriate to be having this conversation on this site though

    most people if they are honest are eating for the same reasons as me- sometimes dieting for the same reasons because it’s a project that distracts them from the deeper more painful things – a lot of people think they are miserable because they are fat and when they are thin all their esteem problems will melt away

    that’s why I’m not looking for dieting advice – I bet we all could write our own books about calories, carbs, cardio, food combining and now the 5.2!

    For me exploring other hurdles and self sabotage is just as important as food advice – the two go hand in hand

    Not a problem Graham. Just not sure the forum is equipped to offer sound advice. Do you know what is causing your “ill at ease” feeling?


    I have my own theory about addiction. All addictive behaviour has one root cause which is this “ill at ease” sensation. The way the ill at ease sensation plays out is just an activity which blocks or suppresses that feeling. So it youre an alcoholic, foodaholic, gambler, drug addict, nymphomaniac etc., its all the same thing. Its an activity that masks the same underlying problem. I have had discussions with “professionals” and they tend to think my theory has merit.

    For my it was a simple case of not knowing what a healthy diet was. Real simple for me. Did some research found out the food pyramid was a complete farce based on poor science dating back to the 60/70s. Change my diet and now Im at my goal weight. For those that use food to mask another ill, man that must be real hard to deal with.

    Good luck with it Graham, “illegitimi non carborundum”.

    Graham, I agree with everything you said in your most recent post. I feel that many of those who repeatedly binge or overeat, do so in part because there is underlying emotional pain that is difficult to feel, experience and face. I know that to be true for me. Many blame the food industry for their addictions. I feel I’ve experienced physical addiction, though for me there is usually an emotional component beyond the physical addiction. I know this because I can find myself bingeing on all kinds of healthy food including kale salad, macadamia nuts, coconut butter all while not caring a hoot for processed or sweet stuff.

    I agree that shedding weight does not equal recovery. Not for me at least. In fact, if anything, since reaching goal weight maintenance, I’m even more aware of my emotional triggers and sensitivities. However, like I said above, because 5:2 cleared a lot of my brain fog, I have a clarity I didn’t have before that has enabled me to get to the bottom of some of the issues in record time. I was in various types of therapy for 10 years, both individual and group work. Some of the insight into my own past abuse since practicing 5:2 has been worth years of therapy! In other words, I’ve cleared stuff I didn’t even get close to touching over that decade of therapy.

    Graham, if you’ve been in therapy you are probably familiar with the concept of rationalization. It goes something like this: being chronically obese is a toxic brew of bad choices, genetics, deep seated trauma, metabolic disorder and a certain degree of addictive agents in food. Therefore, I don’t need to resist my urges to indulge in disabling negative thoughts or food cravings since they won’t address my larger problem. Sound remotely familiar?

    It’s perfectly true that things like bad choices, genetics, deep seated trauma, metabolic disorders and the addictive ingredients in processed foods all contribute to chronic obesity. It’s perfectly true that the solution is a long hard slog nibbling away at EACH of them. It’s also perfectly true that it begins with a single step. And, blessedly, it’s true that EACH single step will result in SOME improvement that compounds on OTHER improvements to begin to produce a feeling of success.

    It isn’t that I don’t understand where you are and how overwhelmed you can feel. I was chronically overweight from the age of about 6 until a few years ago well into my 60s. And I’ve been at this now for 5 years with ups and downs and at least 2 bouts of having to begin again all over. But I have taken off 50 pounds and kept it off for 2 years and I can tell you it feels GREAT even if I am still 40 pounds overweight. I can tell you that my life is less stressful because I can find clothes I can wear. I am not ducking social invitations because — even those 40 pounds overweight — I want to be seen and hear the reactions of people I haven’t seen in a long time. And day in a day out, people I don’t know are nicer to me. It’s a shame that people who don’t even know you have an attitude about heavy people that ranges from pretending you’re invisible to evidencing their judgment but it’s true. And when you move into that zone of Average-American-Overweight people smile at you. They help you if they see you having a hard time. They make casual conversation when passing time in a line or an office.

    DO NOT DISABLE yourself by creating excuses. It’s time to be KIND to yourself. To be healthier. Pick ANY GOAL and give it a week — even if it’s not engaging in disabling dismissive thoughts. Just get started. Everything will be a little easier after you overcome your present paralysis.

    lachubster I don’t think you are completely undestanding what I am saying when I talk about wanting to resolve underlying issues and feeling until I do the whole thing is just going round in circles and ruining my health in the process

    It’s true what you say small steps are better than no steps but that depends on where you are as an individual – for the time being I’m not dieting and I think I’ll start again when I get some clarity – maybe it’s a personal thing I’m not able to express in words on a website

    I don’t feel overwhelmed or paralysed though – like you I’ve done it all at least six or seven times before – lost the weight, looked good (I think people smiling at you because you are thinner must be an American thing – we are very different culturally) and then put it all back on again and more

    I’m needing something more fundamental than just new clothes to go through all that again

    Well, If I’m misunderstanding I apologize for being unhelpful. I guess you’ll know best when you’re ready and how to approach it.

    Good luck! Wishing you the best!

    As a large man I wonder if people thought the same of me, and now i know. Frankly, as you put it wanting to know his situation is none of your business. I grocery shop for my family. They do not eat the foods I eat, and they chose to eat things that would not be considered healthy. It is not up to me to impose on my spouse what she can and can’t eat. I don’t control her.

    Hi Graham,

    First, an apology because I am time limited right now, but I will get back to you if my comment is of interest to you or is relevant to you.

    About me: 1 parent an addict, 1 parent a narcissist, childhood abuse, childhood emotional neglect and deprivation, other abuse in childhood and attempts at abuse through my adult life, years of therapy, some bingeing but not severely so, ADHD, successful 5:2 er over 2 yrs, fell off the horse many times, kept getting back on, most successful life strategy and personal trait – I don’t give up and just keep observing my reactions, learning, changing little bits and looking for a way through.

    What helped me enormously:

    1. Info from a wise therapist once helped me a lot : 20% of our “thinking” is conscious thought, 80% is subconscious – that means the subconscious is much stronger than the conscious, and that’s why we keep doing things we don’t want to even when we “intellectually” understand differently and want to consciously do things differently. Our self concept, our world view and our view of our place in it are formed in the first 5-7 yrs of our life and the most influential people in those processes are our parents and older siblings, and sometimes the older siblings more so. We can change those subconscious beliefs but only with a big effort. Basically you have to put ina new thought that becomes bigger than the subconscious thought. I did that process he described in detail and it did change my subconscious thinking. However beating yoursekf up about getting it intellectually but not acting on it consistently is futile, because the 80% is stronger. It’s not about being weak minded it’s about our basic biology and how our brains function. Beating yourself up mentally just adds to your emotional pain.

    2. Long story short I discovered I was addicted to certain foods especially wheat. I am ADHD, and that is a difficiency of neurotransmitters in certain parts of the brain. I read an article in an ADD publication by a parent with an ADHD child who appeared to be addicted to bread, and on investigation it turned out to be something in the bread the child was intolerant to. It set up withdrawal symptoms and the addiction was the attemp to alleviate the distressing withdrawal symptoms. I also about that time chanced upon a book called “Not All in The Mind”. which outlined a theory of food addiction by a medico after many years of practice in the field – will look up his name and get back. Basically, some people are susceptible to foods which cause a delayed withdrawal symptom which translates as intense craving for that food. I followed the advice he gave and discovered 1 of these foods that resulted in withdrawal for a short period then the craving/addiction to it went.

    A dietitian at a hospital who was working with elimination dieting with ADHD kids agreed to work with me. I started on the 5 non reactive foods then known and ate nothing else for 7 days. It takes 5 days to eliminate the reactions. Also did full allergy testing, and in my situation also gastroscopy. I turned out to be allergic to some grains, intolerant to all other grains. and buckwheat which is technically a seed. I have since found I am intolerant to chia seeds also. I am gluten intolerant but not coeliac. My list of inteolerance foods is vast and includes some fruits, vegies, as well as various things and chemicals that get added to processed foods, even things like peppermint oil. This process also worked out which foods produced the “addictive” response and which didn’t.

    The important thing was that without these individual foods that caused withdrawal symptoms and the addictive response I had no compulsion to overeat or binge at all. None. It had nothing to do with my psychology or weakness of mind or anything other than biology.

    On 5:2:
    Yes I will occasionally comfort eat during times of high stress. Usually it will be a certain type of packet biscuits. I buy it, eat as much as I want at that time – but here’s the important thing, I then immediately through any left it in the garbage and put that garbage out in the big bin. Ithen go through the reaction for several days, but it’s more watered down now than it used to be years ago. On 5:2 I would get 1 day about every 3 months where I desperately wanted to eat anything. Over time I learnt it was better for me to just go with it, eat as much as I wanted but none of my reactive foods, and as low calorie low GI as I could get it. Now I haven’t had 1 of those days for about 6 months.

    Must go, this is longer than intended but hope this offers some more insights or areas for you to explore. Try not to have destructive thoughts. There is biology behind this stuff as well as other things. Yes food was a happy place for me as a child so I get it that it’s a compinent, but biology has a good place in the mix too.

    1 last tip : anything with equal quantities of fat and sugar is addictive e.g. A certain well known glazed donut and most cheesecakes.

    Keep getting back on the horse,
    Onwards and downwards,

    Hi Merryme,

    Thanks for your posting. An interesting and thought provoking read. This article explains how the addiction to sugar works. I have a similar reaction with processed carbs. Maybe because they are chains of sugars? I don’t know.

    The unhealthy process you mention that attaches sugars to proteins and fats is called glycation. It happens inside the body, most damagingly with fructose (and galactose), but also to an extent with glucose. And it happens also outside the body with cooking of things like the donuts you mentioned. Look it up to find out more.

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