(This is a REALLY long post. Grab a coffee and settle down for the evening!)
Right. After being a complete emotional cripple for the last few days, I decided that there just MUST be some logic to it all.
When you consider that people have walked the earth for thousands of years without being obese; that obesity as a disease is relatively new in about the last 50 years or so, and the internet has been going for at least 20, then someone somewhere must have the information I need.
I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like before the internet, even given the fact that I have only had it for 10 years this January. What on earth did we do before? How did we find out information? Whatever those skills were, I don't remember them and haven't needed them since I had the internet.
I cannot begin to imagine how thios planet would be had the library in Alexandria not burnt down taking with it, to a vast extent, the whole intelligent worlds information. Thank goodness the internet cannot 'burn down'.
But it can feel like it when you are searching for things with no end to the information, but it not being the thing you want/need. You can start to think of yourself as unique to this problem you are facing when you return 1,285,935,959,280 google results for "food addiction", when what you want needs to be much faster and easier to solve.
I went to slimming world on Monday as you know. I spent the rest of the day looking up counseling services for drug addicts, alcoholics etc trying to find some strategies to stop me overeating. I read a pfd file on alcoholism which was really great. I could completely relate it to my food addiction and it got me to thinking about cutting out all the foods I crave and staying off them.
I can easily cut out the foods I want/crave/need/must have for about a week, but after that.. forget it! I still needed a strategy to help me cope in the long term. the article about alcoholism talked about peers and family and support at groups, and obviously the lovely people who wrote back did suggest just that... over-eaters anonymous and the like.
But this is me... right? I am not good at just telling people "I am a fuck up" face to face, and this is the only place where I do admit an awful lot of things I never would because I am semi anonymous. This IS my group therapy, if you will. I started to think of another possible solution.
do you remember than I had NLP suggestion back in the summer with that wierd woman who spoke in a really odd Yorkshire accent and whistled through her bad fitting false teeth at me (Beryl Reid's clone!) about avoiding "the hard cheeses and the fatty foods, the greasy foods" etc that I DON'T eat a lot of and I considered her a quack and the therapy a load of shite?
Well, years ago I had analytical hypnotherapy for a few horrible issues back when I was at college. This was the thing I needed as it really helped me. So I decided to have a look into it further. The NHS provide hypnotherapy on prescription in some cases, not that I was going to go to the doctor, but I thought I might try and find a therapist that worked with the NHS and privately. An NHS practitioner would have to hold certain qualifications and be, well... good!
I found three women who I felt good about. Their photo's were nice. One I didn't call because on her website she said how you needed to be careful about fakes and charlatans and you need to make sure that they have the right qualifications bla bla and that she did have these particular ones she was talking about... which, I don't know... makes me kind of think that SHE is a fake. I don't know why, but someone who tries to put me off other people for one reason or another must have an agenda... cant really explain it, but that's kind of how I felt.
So I rang the other two. One still hasnt got back to me, but Rachel did and she looked nice, my age, and her voice was nice and I felt at home. I think I couldnt take that other NLP lady seriously because she had a neckercheif, was fat, looked and spoke like Thora Hurd or Beryl Reid and her voice just totally grated each time her teeth whistled. *Shudders* I couldnt concentrate and she hadnt listened to me as she tried to put me off foods that I dont eat... kind of pointless really.
So I have an appointment - 45 minutes FREE consult on Friday. That's more professional I think. Then if I want to go ahead, I can book a session at a later date. I like that idea.
In the evening after I got back from work, I still had some wine and some chocolate and some prawn cocktail and some pickle with my dinner and DH and I tried to find out the things that I wanted to eat the most.
It is sauce. Any kind of sauce at all.
My Mum once said "Its better for me to have 2 teaspoons of sugar in my tea, than it is to give up sugar and find myself eating a packet of biscuits or cake every day". I completely understand this, and this could be my downfall. She tried to give up sugar in tea, but found it elsewhere and instead of eating 30 extra calories each cup of tea when was having tea and a slice of cake so about 300 calories. She put ON weight by giving up sugar in tea.
You cannot have sauce on its own. You cant sit down to a dish of pickle. I looked at the pig out foods I bought on Sunday, and I bought prawns - because I love the cocktail sauce! I brought smoked salmon - because I love the dill sauce. I bought Doritos - because I love the tray of dips.
I buy curry and suck the chicken or prawns and spit them out on occasion simply to eat the sauce!!!!
What new madness is this????
I think of the times I have had a few slices of cheese so that I can eat salad cream. Made mashed potato so I can eat daddy sauce (brown sauce) or pickle. Then I think of the times that the cheese/cracker/mash/Doritos is finished and I pour a little more sauce on my plate and lick it off my finger. A particular favorite of mine when I do that is sweet chili dipping sauce.
Ok, there are a few exceptions. I love chocolate minstrels and biscuits and other things, but biscuits feature much less in binges. Minstrels feature quite a bit. Doritos feature a lot as so all kinds of sauce with something. I order at least 2 or 3 curry's a week for example and when we have a Chinese, I order 2 POTS of sweet and sour sauce and pour it over a carton of seaweed and then all over some Singapore noodles or chili beef.
Ok, so I need to eliminate the following in my diet:
sweet chili dipping sauce
balsamic vinegar and olive oil
dips - salsa etc
When DH & I were considering this list I said "maybe I will find I have to stop other things too. I might find I am starting to have gravy with everything etc..."
Yesterday I began to wonder if there were any foods that food addicts clearly need to abstain from - a NO GO list if you like. I found a lot of info but the main things that cropped up were
CHEESE, MEAT, SUGAR, MILK, CHOCOLATE and often foods containing E621.
Cheese - Now, I like cheese quite a lot, but I don't have it that much in everyday (non binge) eating. I might have a few grams grated on something, but seeing as I used to love it grated on beans on toast - which I cant eat anymore with the band - or on a jacket potato - again not that often I have that - I don't eat as much as I have in the past. The only exception to this is when I have a few slices in the evening with SAUCE which has been quite common as a binge food.
Meat - well I really cant tolerate too much meat with the band, so that's limited and I have never been a big crazy fan. I could easily be vegetarian in fact and never eat meat again. Its not something I hate or love. Its just... meat.
Milk - Hmmm. I drink a lot of milk I think. I have milk in coffee and I have maybe 6 cups or more every day. I know people talk about coffee having side effects etc, and I am probably addicted but hey - coffee dont make you fat so I dont give a shit. Milk however, has a lot of empty calories at about 70 cals each cup. Its a lot of calories to use because of a drink. I dont use milk in any other way. I dont drink it as a straight drink or stuff like that. I dont think this forms part of my addiction to food, but it is in chocolate and I do have a lot of coffee... So I had to weigh it up. do I drink coffee for the coffee or the milk. well I know its for the coffee because if there is no milk in the house I still drink coffee black. So think that's put the milk issue to rest.
Sugar - Well, maybe this forms the addiction. There must be a lot of sugar in all those sauces... and chocolate certainly has a lot of sugar, but I don't add sugar to things. Being brutally honest, I think If i was addicted to sugar I would add it to coffee, tea and porridge and cereal if I have it, want cakes and biscuits and sugary foods like sweets etc a lot of the time, and this is NOT what I do or want. I cut out sugar in tea when I was 12 because I hated it, and I cut sugar in coffee about 6 years ago because if wasn't refreshing me. If someone gives me sugar by mistake (rare) I cant actually drink it as it tastes weird. I do like biscuits and cakes, who doesn't! But I don't crave them, need them or dream about them. Looking at the sauces, some don't contain sugar at all, and on most its quite a long way down the ingredients list.
So I was starting to get rather disheartened. I was not going to find anything to help me and seemingly no one had the same problem with condiments. (ha ha! A condiment complex!)
The last on the list of addictive foods, kind of like a side issue for some people it would seem was E621. I had no idea what it was. Its Mono Sodium Glutamate or MSG. I have head of it. I thought it was a salt or a nutrient or something.
Its got a recent researgnce and is called Umammi in Japanese which translates as flavouring. I was intrigued.
Well just have a look at www.msgtruth.org for MUCH more info.
40% increase in appetite
Inability to lose weight even when half starving yourself
Added to the food chain since 1940 in greater quantities - parallel with obesity rising
Its in EVERY SAUCE. Its in ALL TAKEAWAY FOODS Its in CHOCOLATE its even sprayed onto our crops, in practically every frozen, packaged, canned and processed foodstuff on earth.
Its even in skimmed milk.
Obviously you need to do some serious research on this subject because most people sensitive to MSG have proper real medical reactions like shaking, palpitations, headache, vomiting etc. I don't get any of this but every single food I crave and love is high in this shit. Its name is covered up and disguised so sometimes there is more than one ingredient in the item you are eating that has MSG in the ingredient!
I was interested to see Bouillon cubes (oxo and stock cubes) and packet soups, tinned soups, prepared meals, tinned tuna and other things I also eat very regularly that have MSG in.
I am sure there are a lot of additives out there, and they are all "safe" for the majority of consumers, but some people are sensitive to certain things. When I consider that I have tried to lose weight time and time and time again and then more something is FAT FREE, or REDUCED FAT or DIET or VITAMIN ENRICHED the more MSG in has in it. If you remove the fat, you take away flavour so they must put it back in in some way.
MSG used to be made from seaweed. Its now mainly manufactured from GENETICALLY MODIFIED BACTERIA.
Ok, I spent the day looking into this yesterday and all evening after I got home from work. I KNOW that this is my problem. I just know it is. I read the articles about Bees leaving hives near fields sprayed with Auxigro (MSG) and about the "Food addiction you never knew you had" which just makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER.
I finally found out the common denominator of my binge foods, and I can avoid them.
Randomly, if I take a benadryl and red bull each day I can stave off the effects of any miniscule amounts of MSG I ingest by accident. Benadryl combats the histamine release from MSG and red Bull contains Taurine - Taurine is blocked out of production by high MSG doses. Taurine is required for efficent fat absorption & solubilization. Studies also showed that dietary taurine supplementation help renal disease - & I have problems with my kidneys right now don't I!!!!
For me, this is such an amazing breakthrough and by reading through the pages of many website I can see that a lot of my health problems are probably being exacerbated by this stuff.
I am going to try to eliminate MSG from my food by sticking to the following detox plan for a week and then gently return to normal and try to keep msg at low levels and see what happens.
I think that eliminating MSG and having Hypnotherapy to help my emotional state and cravings could be what I need. Its bizarre that I should be able to eat so much food and put on only a pound and then be good and lose nothing. From the studies of MSG on rats, that is just what happens to some susceptible individuals.
You just get fatter and fatter and crave foods containing it more and more. Its what makes me eat on past the stop signal. Its what makes me eat when I don't want to. Its keeping me fat.
Hey, I don't know if this really is the key to all my worries. It really does seem a bit too easy and unbelievable to be that simple. All I know is this stuff rang serious alarm bells when I read it through and all I could do was sit here feeling angry that this could be the reason why so many people are obese these days.
If food tastes good, then you buy more. Why don't the governments ban cigarettes or alcohol even though they damage peoples world? If they don't ban those, then they aren't going to stop a bit of GM bacteria that's "completely safe" to eat from being added to your tomato ketchup.
Oh, did I tell you they also put it in vaccines..?
Watch this space.