Wanting to garner some thoughts on something i have been struggling with for years. I have a compulsive 10pm fruit salad and yoghurt compulsion that i cannot seem to break up from. Been recovered weight wise for almost a year and do ok with lunch and some food during the day but still find myself obsessing over my fruit bowl and night time eating. Since recovery i wake up in the night and eat. Its a habit now i am fully aware of and know that i am physically hungry at this time but cant figure out how to stop. Even if eat all my calories during the day i still compulsively want my fruit and that stops me from filling up during the day to allow for this. Being weight restored i eat about three times what i used to but checked in after lunch yesterday and realised i still never feel "full". At the end of every meal i still have that depression feeling that 'damn my food is over'. This is a bit of ramble but i would love to hear any experiences with night time eating and rituals that you had to break. I do recognise it is now some weird form of habit and comfort for me that i desperately need to break. I do follow Stephanie Buttermore and love the whole 'all in' thing but sadly cannot admit to being this free yet - i wish i could be but just cannot and an even though i eat a lot now and have gained weight truthfully i am still too painfully aware of everything i eat.
Any thoughts or opinions would be so appreciated!
There is no binge eating monster without restriction. Restriction is what creates that feeling of wanting to eat and eat and never stop. How you stop restricting is up to you. Some people do it all at once, eat totally freely, gain whatever they gain, and then let their weight settle as their appetite tapers off. That's perfectly valid and I've done it that way. Recovering from anorexia, it was the way to go for me. Of course, I gradually started restricting again and ended up in a restrict/binge/overexercise pattern that went on for years. The second time, I came out of restriction more gradually, easing up on my rules, allowing for more flexibility, learning to honor hunger and fullness, and building trust in my body. That takes longer but is also effective if you keep pushing the boundaries toward total freedom and don't settle for some kind of pseudo recovery where you're eating a little more but with the same fearful diet mentality.
Thankyou Swigg - you have no idea how much you help me and what your logic means to me. So logical and yet seemingly so unattainable for me. I really need to eat without abandon and honestly dream of sitting down and just eating as much and whatever i want to. Honestly that is my dream but then i worry i will turn into a binge eating monster! Which is how i feel when i am eating all the things at night. Face Palm, i realise i am ridiculous.
It sounds like you want your fruit salad and yogurt because you're hungry. And then you eat it, which is the correct course of action when hungry. Also, you seem to enjoy this and look forward to it. I'm not seeing any problem here except that you seem to be deliberately shortchanging yourself on food during the day. If you don't want to be hungry at night, eating plenty during the day is an effective solution. Restricting during the day does the opposite, making night time eating feel urgent.
Every healthy body has a "compulsion" to get the nutrients it needs. That's what keeps us alive and all. It's biology, not a moral weakness, not some random habit. Trying to deliberately eat less during the day to somehow compensate for eating fruit and yogurt only ensures that you're going to reeeeeallly want that freaking yogurt. If you made it unconditional (you can always have your fruit and yogurt bowl whenever you want it and regardless of what else or how much you've eaten that day), then you might hit 10pm and never even think about it.
Most of us, myself included, have done this backward. We want to stop thinking about food so much, be less hungry, be more casual about it. Then we think and act in very restrictive ways all day long and wonder why we still feel crazy and obsessed. Eat enough first. Be kind to yourself first. Act as though you trust your body, even if it's still a work in progress. Focus on genuine satisfaction at each meal. Then all the food thoughts, cravings, and weird rituals begin to fall away. There is no eradicating them by force when hungry.