Desperately Depressed and Need to Overcome Food Addiction

Hi everyone,

I have always been overweight. I've never lacked confidence, or felt too bad about it. I've always been, "I am who I am". Until now.

I'm 32, a size 28 female, and I have a partner who has just managed to turn his whole life around from a drug addiction to now losing weight. He loves me dearly, and hasn't put any pressure on me to change, but I want what he's got.

We both work really hard and are good people. From him getting his drugs help, it made me realise I have exactly the same problem but with food.

I am sitting here crying as I type as I am so scared of feeling too hungry, and the withdrawal symptoms it's awful.

I don't know what to do, but I need to lose weight as I am just getting worse.

Is there anyone out there that can relate to how I feel and what did you do?

People telling me I am lazy and need to eat less and exercise more won't work. I need specific help in overcoming my addictions. Currently what gives me that dopamine buzz are carbs and sweet things. I can potentially cut down easily on the sweet stuff, but the carbs are a huge issue.

Any help and advice greatly appreciated.

Thank you xxx

21 Replies

  • Hello. Please don't cry. Many of us have had or are going through long weight loss journeys and know how it feels. You will get lots of support from the friendly people here.

    Why do t you look at the nhs 12 week plan, plan some healthy meals then go shopping for the food that will help you start your journey.

  • Hi Littlemadam,

    This time last year about was a size 30 - 32, I am now a small 24, sometimes a 22.

    I have been overweight all my life and thought there was simply no point trying to lose weight as I was so big - but you have to start somewhere.

    I began by cutting out chocolate biscuits and walking 20 minutes a day - within about 6 weeks of starting this I weighed myself for the first time in years and properly started trying to lose weight. I've lost over 4 stone so far.

    I have found educating myself and making small gradual changes has worked for me. I try to eat similar things I did before but reduced portion size and cut down on a few things. It was really helpful breaking down the calories in the meals I eat so I could work out which ones were ok and which ones weren't. There is no point in trying to live on salad if you know you'll give up after 2 days.

    Hunger is an issue and you need to find ways to cope such as lots of water, diet coke, sugar free jellies and of course fruit.

    I have genuinely found this nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. Take your time and just try to lose 1 - 2 lb a week. Every loss is to be celebrated.

    This is a fab site for support and motivation - there are several success stories here.

    Good luck, if I can do it anyone can :)

  • Thank you SO much. You sound just like me and I cried again reading what you've accomplished, that is amazing! This is it too, I know I can't do it all at once, and with the way I am it does need to be gradual.

    I feel so much relief hearing your story, and knowing that it can be done even the size I am. If I get to a size 20 in 2 years that would make me so happy.

    I need to cut out and down on the crap. One thing I am annoyed at myself for is the ignorance I had with mayo. I have cut down on that hugely already. I was getting into a good habit before I had a work trip to Florida, the exercise was amazing that I had to do, but the food being free all the time meant when I was back into a bad habit.

    I am ready to start again, especially as I now know it worked for you. Small changes I can manage no problem. I am scared to weigh myself tbh. I dont want to know what I weigh, and I don't want my OH to know either, but if you think that helped you? I think I need to know if I have lost a pound I suppose. It's just terrifying.

    Thank you so much, just knowing I don't have to "diet" and it will slowly come off is a god send xxx

  • Hi again,

    The weighing yourself is a difficult one - I was scared for weeks and then when I finally plucked up the courage the battery was flat in my scales! By the time I was brave enough again my weight was 24st 7lb. I suspect I had lost some weight by then so I missed out of the first week (usual) big loss which so many people find encouraging.

    I would say just get on the scales and accept it for what it is. No one needs to know what you weigh (it is up to you if you share it here - I did eventually) and even if you are a stone or two more than you thought you are the size you are so being a bit heavier makes so difference on the outside - it that makes sense. My OH still doesn't know what I weigh but he does know what I have lost.

    There really is no point getting upset when you do brave the scales as this won't help (I know that is easier said than done), making the decision to tackle it is what counts.

    Obviously with xmas coming it is a difficult time but you can still make a few changes and then set to work properly in the New Year. I originally set myself a goal to lose 3 stone in a year - I have done about 4st 9lb in 10 months. Some weeks I lose 3 - 4 lb but others I lose nothing, I think I have averaged at about 1.5 a week. Yes it is slow but looking back to February I never thought I'd be able to lose so much.

    Oh and yes I love mayo too!

    Anyway, I hope that helps you a bit more - try to keep positive and look forward and next year you could be feeling so much better about yourself :)

  • I think everyone here understands. Weight loss is such a difficult one, after all we need food to survive unlike drugs, cigarettes, booze or whatever the addiction (although no addiction is easy to beat). It's about tailoring what you can manage and making small changes. Don't try and skin the whole cat in one go. It's a lengthy process but once you get started you will be spurred on by your successes!

    Please don't cry, everyone is here to support you.

    Definitely look at the NHS 12 week plan or even see your GP for some support too.

    Take care and good luck.

    Elsie :-) xxx

  • Concentrate on taming the hunger first. Imagine waking for breakfast, and not really feeling hungry. It can be done. I used to be unable to go three hours after a meal without feeling hungry.

    Start by eating low Gi, low fructose carbohydrates such as peas, beans (from dry), lentils, wholegrain pasta, quinoa, bulgur wheat, whole-oats, sweet corn, sweet potato, barely-ripe banana, dried (preservative-free) apricots, or whole milk. Less than 40g carbohydrate per meal may suffice.

    Have a sensible amount of non-starchy vegetables and a palm-size or less of natural protein at each meal. Make up the balance of your requirement with natural fat.

    Get used to these proportions and what they look like, and weight gain will become a thing of the past.

  • Sorry to hear you are having a tough time, realising you need to change what you are doing is a big step. If you can concentrate on healthy, 'clean' food, rather than thinking about dieting and eating less, this could be a good place to start. Don't let yourself get too hungry.

    You do not have to give up all carbs, but you need to choose the healthy high fibre ones, as much as possible. Cutting down on sugary foods is a great place to start, check the labels on any packaged food you have in the cupboard. You could do this gradually or all at once, depending on circumstances.

    For many people, planning is essential, and the 12 week plan is a good place to start. Find some exercise you enjoy as well.

    This site also gives useful advice.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you to everyone, I am amazed at how you have all taken the time to reply which is so lovely!

    I am going to make small changes and cut out the sugary foods, I am going to do this slowly but with a considerable kick start. I know cutting all out immediately will send me into withdrawal, and will not work.

    I have purchased some Slimming World books as when I did this before it does just teach you to cook "clean" food which someone above mentioned, with no real fat or sugars.

    And I will weigh myself just to see the small changes and to know that it is working.

    Oh and walking, is my thing, before Orlando I was powering round my block (in preparation for my trip), so just need to keep that going.

    Thank you again everyone, it is so hard, but knowing you are not alone makes a big difference xxx

  • Attagirl! You won't see miracles immediately. But remember that getting to where you are now also took a lengthy period of hard work and dedication - just to the wrong kind of food and the amount of it ☺

    Good luck! And don't give up. If you have a bad day and your halo slips, grit your teeth and start again.

  • Hi little madam, you bought slimming world books? Great - you have done the right thing. I do recognise and appreciate that everyone has to find their own niche, and lots of lovely people here use Nhs plan, but it wasn't cutting it for me - slimming world is - and at last I've lost 9 lbs in 5 weeks and I don't feel like I'm dieting. I've done calories all my adult life and really had grave doubts that SW wasn't just a big con. Its not - its brilliant! - good luck with your continued plan, and if you want to pm me about boring stuff like syn values etc, or hea's heb's please do so. 😊 👍

  • Taking all you have said and looking at the many very good replies you have had I would like to just give you a very brief summary of my ideas

    Cut out processed foods

    Go with the Slimming World plan, it gives you plenty to eat so you don't feel deprived and is based on eating healthy foods

    Take it slowly, you did not put on all your weight in one go so you can't expect to lose it all at once

    Keep in your mind why you are doing this and set yourself small goals

    Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day, draw a line under it and start again with a new day. Don't let one bad day turn into a bad week.

    The very best of luck, you can do this xx

  • Hi - just wanted to say, "welcome" and you can do and we'll be here to cheer you on through the good weeks and the not so good weeks. Have a feeling 2016 could be your year...!


  • I know exactly how you feel. Food (the rubbish) is addictive. This site is a good place to start, someone will always help you.

    Have you thought of joining a Slimming Class? I am going back to Slimming World after Christmas, you will get a lot of support. When you know you are going to be weighed once a week it does keep you on the straight and narrow. When you see the pounds falling away you will feel so much better. xx

  • Hi

    I can completely empathise with you. A year ago I was a size 22+, weighing 20 and a half st. I had been depressed and just managed to come off my antidepressants but I had some terrible eating habits. I was addicted to sugar and comfort ate all the time. I worked full time and spent my days on my feet but wasn't losing any weight.

    I'd realized that I needed to do something but didn't have the willpower October last year. I was brave and went to my doctor for help! From October to Christmas I didn't seem to be getting anywhere with my eating and I also fell over and hurt my neck in the November. I thought I was never going to get my weight under control. However somewhere between Christmas and New year's something clicked into place in my head and I started eating proper meals, healthier options and started to learn how to control my cravings and snacks. My doctor check in with me every month to help monitor how I was doing and to also chat about how things affected me. It took a lot of hard work but little by little I managed to retrain my eating habits. I learnt tricks, not to completely deny my sweet tooth and then 3 months on I started exercising gently at my local yoga class to help with my neck and back! My friends and I also organised a weekly weigh in on whatsapp to give each other support and encouragement.

    I thought I was never going to stick with this healthy eating lark but it's now almost Christmas again, almost a year since I started relearning how to eat healthier and do you know what?! I've lost just over 6 and a half st! I now wear size 14 clothes! I am still in shock at how well I've done. I've tried before but never managed to sustain it for more than a few months. This time I feel like I've really made a change for life. I still see my doctor every 6 weeks and I have received so much support and encouragement from so many people around me.

    I hope this encourages you and shows you that there is hope for you to lose weight too.

    Good luck xxx

  • LMB001,

    What a fab post! Such an inspirational story - I'm a couple stone behind you but it always helps keep me focussed reading others success stories.

    I agree with you about things clicking.

    My dream is to get to a size 14 and maybe next year I will do it :)

    Keep up the good work :)

  • That's stunning LMB001. Well done and congratulations on a massive turnaround for your health over the last year. xx

  • Well done you for joining the group and having the courage to write in asking for help. You've already started your weight loss journey in recognising you need help. I'm sure your partner will echo this. If he is losing weight already as you say, maybe you could ask him for help and do this together. You don't have to tell him your weight just compare weight loss. You can also measure yourself and note the inch loss as well as that can still go down even on weeks when you haven't lost anything. Make a chart in excel if you know how to and watch the line going down and down as your weight loss increases.

    I learned to swap foods I loved to similar less fattening foods, the Weightwatcher magazines sometimes have food swaps in them. Change to sugar free drinks and puddings. If you feel hungry all the time choose little and often meals. Have healthy sacks to hand in the fridge already prepared.

    Good luck with everything and start the new year with focus on what you want to achieve in 2016. I find if I take time to get my head into gear first I'm more likely to achieve something. If it all looks to much for you break it down into manageable goals like 5 lbs a month rather than 2 lbs a week so when you achieve those goals you can pat yourself on the back and feel good which will encourage you to carry on.

    Take care and have a very Happy Christmas and no tears except in laughter and joy.


  • Nothing further to add here as I am still quite new and learning as I go along. I have just finished the 12week plan with similar issues to you as well as the same size and, so far I have lost 2.5 stone and feel soooo much better already!

  • You might want to look at the Zoe Harcombe diet plan. Healthy eating. I found it worked really well. Be careful to eat enough fibre though! She is a nutritionist and has several videos on You Tube.

    No need to be sad here, lots of friends to encourage and support you. Eating healthy is addictive too once you get into it. I remember limiting my sugar intake and then thinking everything was way too sweet!

    If you are eating for comfort make sure you are nurturing yourself in other ways. Start a new hobby, new activity, learn something new, get to know new people, keep yourself so busy that food recedes into the background where it belongs.

    Happy Christmas! And a very good New Year to you and yours. Keep writing and keep going! Take care.

  • I told my trainer that the best way to make me fail is tell me no sweet stuff. I work 2 chocolates into my diet ( whether I eat them is another matter). You can eat what you want just portion it well lots of veg ( try roasting carrots, courgettes, tomatoes etc). The more you tell yourself you can't have it the more you crave it. I know it well.

    You can do this and probably fall afew times on the way, pick yourself up and try again.

    Good luck

  • Don't lose hope. I had eating disorder and I was obese. I was a laughing stock in front of everyone. Then I went for a food addiction therapy in Edgewood Health network, Toronto which helped me to maintain my body weight. You can also give it a try.

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