I posted this in the Type 1 Diabetes section as well...

Hi everyone! I haven't been on lately, and I've actually been struggling with a few things.
I want to mention before anything that I've always had a problem with my weight. I'm 5'5" and I used to weigh a precise 112 pounds. That was before my mother passed away. Now I weigh almost 155 lbs. Alot of things changed since then. After she passed away, I've had disordered eating. I realize this is probably because not having her in my life made me turn to food. But because of my diabetes, I would always realize that me starving myself was not going to be good for my diabetes- or myself. So for a while, I stopped doing that. But then I developed a constant craving to overeat, and that turned into binging. As you can imagine, THIS IS AWFUL FOR MY DIABETES. I just get so down on myself that my blood sugars aren't great, then it makes me want to binge even more. I'm constntly obsessing over my food, and it's gotten to a point where I just can't stand this anymore. My blood sugars are so high all the time because of the excessive food (rarely below 200). Every night, I tell myself that the next day will be better. I convince myself that I won't binge anymore and I'll focus on what's truly important. I honestly don't know what is going to happen to my body if I keep this up. I'm afraid of the complications that will arise if I don't get this under control now. This is more than just vanity for me-- I believe this is psychological, and a bit physical. I want to lose weight and see my bones and have a flat stomach so badly. But I crave food compulsively and I don't know how to treat it anymore. I don't know how to cope with my feelings. I just binge to cover up everything. I don't really know what I am asking of you. Therapy is what I need, but I wanted to know if you had any other advice for me.
Please let me know, as I'm currently VERY desperate.

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So I have several thoughts.

1. I assume you have talked to your Endocrinologist. What does he have to say?

2. Why not therapy? This is obviously not about your diabetes or food. So what is it really about? It might not even be about your mom. Get some help to identify the real challenge. Then you can make a real plan.

3. Find others that are in your shoes. WeightWatchers for one is a great program. My wife is a lifetime member and works for them ( after losing 50 poounds ) and has remained inside goal for 10 years. Before you know it you can say " I have been in my weight goal for "x" years now. " The "Points Plus" program lets you eat real food and cheat and still have a day of victory.

4. No one attacks big problems all at once. Are there some small goals that you can set that will build on each other? AKA - if you can't resist a snack make yourself walk a mile ( only takes 15 minutes ) and then just cut the snack by an amount that you can live with and call that a victory. Maybe with enough small victories under your belt your goals will grow. Success breeds success.

5. Picture yourself at the finish line, not the starting line. It is sort of like stopping smoking. When I stopped I had to picture myself as a non-smoker, not as someone who was trying to quit smoking.

6. Apply a simple rule- if you can't pronounce or define any ingredient on a label, don't eat it. At least then you will be eating good crap when you have a craving that you cannot get past. Organic chips rather than chips full of additives. Etc Etc

7. Take the time. It took time to get in this mess, it will take time to get out. Be realistic about goals. Make sure they are SMART . Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Time bound.

8. Allow for a failure or two. Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Tomorrow starts fresh. It is in fact as the old saying goes " the first day of the rest of your life."

9. Remember Grandma Moses - Life is what you make it - Always has been - Always will be.

Good luck and god bless.

I just want to tell you that I really appreciate this. I'm definitely going to look into therapy. And as for the Weight Watchers program, I don't know if I'll do that as of now... But I will check it out at another time. What I have to always remember is that moderation is key.
Thanks for replying! FYI: This is so inspirational I'm printing it out! :)

I'm not a psychologist but I have actually worked at a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. First of all, I want to tell you that I really respect you reaching out for help and advice with what's going on. That is an extremely brave thing to do, and a really good (and difficult) first step to making changes. The second thing I would say is get professional help as soon as you possibly can. I don't want to scare you or make you feel overwhelmed by saying that you should seek professional help, but I will tell you that eating disorders are complicated and not just a matter of will power and you will want to have the help of someone who knows what they are doing and have helped other people in your shoes. Please find a psychologist or social worker who specializes in treating eating disorders. Check out the National Eating Disorder Association's website for info and resources: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org Also, as someone else has said, it can be helpful to find others who are struggling with the same things, but I would suggest an eating disorders or binge eating support group and NOT Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is a good program, but they are not equipped to deal with eating disorders and I have actually seen that it can make the situation worse because it's so much about tracking what you eat and focusing on losing weight as opposed to developing a healthy relationship with food, loving your body and being healthy.

All that being said, I know that you can find the help you need and overcome this. I've seen it happen and that there is hope and help out there for you! Much love!

I absolutely agree with Erin about Weightwatchers. I know that lots of people have benefitted from their programs, but it is definitely not for people with eating disorders and does just perpetuate our obsession with dieting and weight loss, which for us is a trigger to binge.

WOW. Thank you so much. You seem so sincere and I'm deeply grateful for your response. I ='m trying to find a local therapist, but my insurance company isn't making it any easier. I felt, even before I had read what you said, that I shouldn't do the Weight Watchers program. I tend to get obsessive-- with food, of course, and numbers and calories. SO it's best that I steer clear of that now. I will most definitely check out this website. Thanks so much for your help!

Erin:

Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this issue. You are 100% correct in your answer and advice. I read this with interest because my closest D friend struggles daily with the same issue of food versus diabetes.

Thank you too, EGirl, for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to do so and to notice and admit that there is a problem. I urge you to get the help that you need, stay with it and know that we have your back. I very much admire your bravery.

Brian Wittman

I am a type 2 on insulin and about 28 yrs ago I was doing that very thing, I found out why for me it was my cells were starving for food. Oh yes I was eating but they were not getting fed because my bs was 300 to 500 and I just kept eating. I had the same thinking, tomorrow I will be better and I did lose a faher in law from a pedestrain accident at this time also. As soon as I could get my bs in control all the binge eating went away, I hope this helps do you test when you eat like this it might give some insight.

I struggle with this constantly. Food has become a way to medicate myself and it is a hard thing to break. I have been in therapy for several years due to my difficulty in managing my diabetes in a consistent way. It makes me feel weak and makes me also feel like a terrible person. I have been struggling since Halloween up until then I was doing a lot better. I have to take it a day at a time and not focus on much past that. Something is driving you to use food and it is also difficult sometimes to figure out what that is... I still don't know it is probably more than one. My therapist helps me a lot. You need a support system and a safe place to be able to vocalize it and come up with some solutions. Baby steps. This is bigger than you so ask for help if you need it. It is hard when every day seems like living the same bad day over and over again., I am not striving for perfection but would like to be able to have some semblance of consistency. You are not alone.

Lori

I'm so glad I added this forum because I've learned alot from it. Thanks for your response. It's really comforting to know that I'm not the only one struggling with this problem on Tudiabetes.

So I am just going to make one more comment about Weight Watchers. EVERYONE who works for them that you meet has had an eating disorder of some kind that they have overcome. And believe me almost everyone of them still struggles every day. You are in great company there and the beginning of the year is a great time to go becuase there are so many new people "checking it out". The energy is high and everyone is pumped up. And it is NOT dieting. That is exactly why it works. You eat the same everyday food you eat now. You just have a way of balancing what you eat to it's impact on your goals. The new points system is so easy to use you don't have to obsess. And there are fudge points every day for the "cravings". If I didn't know so many success stories who had eating disorders for so many different reasons I would not have answered a second time. And I will guarantee there are a ton of Diabetics mixed in to that group. So again - Today is the first day of the rest of your life, . And I get the therapy part too. Our healhcare system is soooooo messed up. I have heart issues to go along with my Diabetes. And have been on anti-depressants for several years. Good luck again and god bless.

Mark

I can relate. I was diagnosed with type 1 in college, was fit and well-controlled. I graduated, got a job and life was carrying on just fine. Then my parents died: mom first and dad five weeks later.

I was a mess. I took care of things from a legal perspective, but I didn't take care of myself very well. (I was applying to law school and got in around the same time.) I gained weight, moved away and shut myself off from people.

Part of it is the process. Reach out to grieving groups if that works for you. Go to therapy if that works for you. Talk to a friend if that works for you. You notice I keep adding "if that works for you". Different things are going to work for different people. I didn't take well to therapy. I did respond better to sharing with other people.

Therapy isn't necessarily the only way to go with grief.

For eating disorders, I'm not sure. However, simply because you've gained weight after losing your mother doesn't necessarily mean you have an eating disorder. It sounds like a lot of emotional eating. I'm not a professional though. That's just how it reads to me. I also indulge in emotional eating when things get stressful. I think if you tackle your emotions, the things you're trying to get away from using food, then things might get better.

Also, do simple things like getting out and taking a walk. As you progress you can get into more demanding activities. Physical exercise really does help your moods.

I'll watch this thread. Keep us posted.

Regina,
Thank you for your response. I don't like labels, and I think that people with any "eating disorder" are just struggling with an obsessive behavior related to food. So if we were getting technical, then I would say I do have an ED. I have been saying that I'm going to look into therapy, but to be completely honest, I doubt it'll happen. Mainly because of the money issue and the fact that my family isn't all that supportive. Infact, I feel very alone, and I realize that it would benefit me to reach out to others, but I don't know who. My aunt is really great and is a wonderful person, but I don't think she would understand how I'm feeling.
As for the exercise, I've discovered lately that I'm becoming less and less motivated to do it. I don't know if this is because I think it's pointless because I'm going to eat what I "burn" anyway, or for another reason. I know I need to develop a healthier attitude on it.
Again, thank you for writing to me, and I will most definitely follow this thread diligently as well.
Emelina

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