Saturday, February 21, 2015

An ED Counselor Chimes In

This week, I had an interesting appointment with Cloe. She already had a lot of background on me and my past, the issues that bother me, and my dieting/weight history. This visit I really poured out a lot of my deep feelings about food and asked how to implement her recommendations.

She's always told me to

1. Normalize food. Eat what you desire BUT stay with single portions and avoid going back to binge eating behaviors. For example, if you want some chips with your lunch, go to a convenience store and buy a single serving bag and have it. If you really want a candy bar, go ahead and have it. ONE candy bar. She told me I need to get past my 'fears' of certain foods and of losing control, and not think of any food as bad or off limits.

2. Don't diet. Don't start up with the measuring, calorie counting, food obsession. Restriction can be very triggering. Relax and get your mind off dieting.

I have tried to implement this but with some hesitations. My doctor told me to do an elimination diet, and told me wheat and dairy in particular could be problematic. How can I normalize food if eating one bag of chips or candy bar makes me feel obsessed for the next one? How can I *not* count calories or restrict in some way if I don't want to keep gaining weight? I decided to tackle these topics again with her and be very clear about what I am afraid of and get clearer feedback about what to do.

I really put it all out there and told her how I feel and what I am doing. I explained in more detail why I am doing AIP and what exactly it looks like. I told her I think it is essential that I do lose some weight for my health... to bring down my blood pressure, take weight off my joints, make life easier to live, prevent issues with diabetes or heart disease. I asked her how I can do AIP, how I can lose weight, without the restriction triggering overeating, cravings, and eventual weight regain.

Cloe said to me, "Listen, be realistic. You can't go through your life NEVER having ANY of those foods. Can you really think you will NEVER have a piece of candy again? NEVER have cheese again? NEVER have any kind of chips or pasta or the foods you have eaten your entire life, ever again? It's not realistic. It's just not. So why torture yourself?"

I really am afraid of this. In my mind, even if I stick with AIP 100%, get through reintroductions, and maybe have a short list of foods I know are not healthy for me, I am going to end up regaining. In my own mind, I feel that even if I exercise and eat low enough calories and lose 100 pounds again, I am not going to be able to sustain it and will gain the weight back. I mean, I did it. I worked so hard, I lost the weight. And as determined as I was, as healed as I felt, I gained it back. I was not *able* to NEVER eat candy again, NEVER eat chips or lasagna or pizza again. And I honestly cannot see myself avoiding ALL those foods forever. Not because I want ice cream more than health, but because something in me wants, or needs, to not be so restricted that I cannot ever, not ever at all, have one slice of (even gluten free) pizza or a baked potato or a bowl of chili with corn bread. I *want* to be one of those people who give up all the carbs and sugar and everything. I just am not. I can cut back, I can have one of those foods on occasion, but you put "Never" in there and I really struggle.

Cloe told me that she really thinks a diet like AIP is a bad, bad idea for me. Far too restrictive. She said if I pick a diet or lifestyle of Paleo or some other plan that restricts entire categories of food, I am *going* to fall apart and go back to old habits eventually. Every time. She does think I should finish the elimination diet but start immediately adding foods back in (3 days apart which is the minimum recommended) to get some variety back. She highly recommended that when I finish the reintroductions I adopt a different approach to eating.

Before, she seemed to be telling me that weight was NOT important right now. I should be focusing on normalizing my relationship with food and getting out of a diet mentality. But she did acknowledge, this visit, that perhaps losing weight is something I can and should work on for health reasons. She changed her recommendations based on our very heartfelt and open discussion.

She said if I am going to succeed with losing weight AND healing my issues with food, I *must* choose a plan that includes all foods EXCEPT the ones my doctor tells me not to eat for medical reasons (which could be wheat or dairy, if they are affecting my health, and any other foods I find I am sensitive to through AIP), She told me I need to work through this and be able to eat normal foods in normal amounts. (I think somewhere in there I am going to have to exclude things that trigger me to overeat, although she didn't say that). She recommended picking between two options: Weight Watchers, or (free online calorie and exercise counting program). She said although they are still diet programs, I can work on keeping my diet mindset in a specific time and place. I told her I was worried I would get obsessed with counting points or calories and figuring them up, but she said I can train myself to DO that (at appropriate times, maybe 3 times a day) and then 'leave it in the program.' In other words, add the points or calories to the tracker and then leave it and not think about it anymore. I have to admit I am hesitant. But I will look over the two options and pick one to try when I am done with AIP.

When I expressed my fears about losing control and going back to binge eating, she said "Look. You have to tighten your discipline. You HAVE it. You could not do something as strict as AIP or Medifast without self discipline! You would still be binge eating if you didn't have discipline. You have to work on strengthening it and having even MORE discipline so that if you do choose to have a piece of candy you tell yourself, 'I will have this piece of candy, and NO, I cannot have 10 more!" It is a very hard thing but she thinks I am capable and can do this. So I will try. Not being so restricted and knowing I can plan to have another piece of candy tomorrow if I want to can help with this.

We talked about how I still self-medicate with food sometimes (stressed? have some chocolate!) and how I tend to sub food thoughts for other, more uncomfortable thoughts (worry about the kids, worry about finances, feeling overwhelmed sometimes) because thinking about food, dieting, and weight loss is a lot easier to handle and not as emotional. That is one of the reasons why she wants me to normalize food (now in the context of a calorie-restricted program, while allowing almost any foods I would like to eat).

So that's how the visit went, and I am nervous about implementing her suggestions but I am going to try. I am doing reintroductions now, 3-4 days apart. It'll take me a month or more to add things back in and hopefully by then I will be ready to try something new.


Lori said...

I am glad you are seeing her and sharing your conversations with us. I feel like I could have said the same things that you said. I am afraid to eat certain foods because it is a slippery slope from one serving to all of it for me.

At the same time, if I cut out a food group, like carbs, that is all I want.

I feel like I am attending the sessions with you. I'm going to try and normalize food too.

LHA said...

Lyn, this is exactly the type of discussion I have had with my wonderful nutritionist many times. It is the crux of my weight problem and my eating fixations, all rolled up into one. I have observed from other people who struggle with weight and food issues (even those who do not appear to be overweight) this very same struggle with having food that is off limits forever, or labeling food "bad" or "good" or even "EVIL".

I do not have a definitive answer. I, too, have lost weight on very restrictive diets and gained it all back after even as long as two years of maintenance once I broke down and ate a little bit of the forbidden foods. I can see from my own experience that this is never going to work for me, just as you can see that saying you can NEVER have certain foods isn't realistic for you.

What I have determined to do this time around is to not beat myself up over eating any one thing. I generally avoid sugar and very high carb foods because of the cravings they start, but since I know for sure (having been down the road repeatedly) that making certain foods off limits only makes me more likely to go on a binge at some point I do not say NEVER to any food. I also recognize that if I eat a piece of birthday cake at a party that I am going to have to work hard the next couple of days to beat the urge to eat more. For me, knowing that I can have some foods that I love on rare occasions is helping me not overeat them when I am in a situation where I know they will be offered. Neither do I feel I have to eat those foods just because they are offered to me, and I try to pick and choose the times when I eat them. In other words, I try to be the one in control of my eating, not a certain food controlling me.
This has made my weight loss slower perhaps, but also made me a little more comfortable with the process and I hope less likely to overeat and regain in the long run.

I totally agree with you also that one can get obsessed with counting, tracking and recording and I know for sure that those things make me overeat because I think of nothing but food all day. I wish you luck with whatever plan you try, and applaud your efforts to not give up and seek help on this journey.

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad Cloe is not counseling alcoholics.

Lyn said...


I have thought about how this fits with the whole "food addiction" thing that I've been reading about. I don't even know. I feel like I have tried so many things and even when something "worked" for weight loss I have always gained it back. So maybe she's right.

Joanna said...

Lyn, I went to an eating/support group for a really long time...normalize food, eat when you're hungry, stop when you're not, normalize food, there are no forbidden foods, etc,etc,etc. I learned nothing at all. I suffered from breaking that "eat when you're hungry, stop when you're not". I indulged in all the things I had denied myself. Over the year and a half I did it, I probably gained 20-30 pounds. It wasn't fun because I knew I wasn't eating healthily. Granted, there have been many times I gained at a faster rate and besides, I really like chocolate covered peanuts, but it did not help me overcome my eating addiction. I think that structure is important for me. I have been gluten free for probably two years. I gained weight but I got most of the junk out of my diet. I gained because of substituting corn flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, etc. Nonetheless, I really stopped being attracted to cake, cookies, pretzels, bread, pizza. It took several years. Then I was ready to restrict without going nuts. I needed to take out sugar and most dairy but it wasn't that hard because I had built up to it. My calories are based on my basal metabolic rate, rather than an overly restrictive arbitrary calorie number. My doctor thinks eating too few calories is often the culprit in obsessive eating. I eat 1560 calories a day or less. I started at 1700-1800 and lost slowly and steadily. I don't eat grains but I am not sure I agree with that restriction. So while I am probably not gluten intolerant, restricting gluten has been my ticket to normalizing. It just didn't help me lose weight. I think you AIP diet is a really good building block but you need to fill yourself up and allow yourself to eat more volume. The egg restriction would be totally against my doctor's advice. She thinks that when hungry, you should grab a hard boiled egg or raw almonds (not AIP I'm sure.). Anyway, I just wanted to share because I have binge eaten for many, many years and it took a long time to lose my food obsession.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have been sceptical of things Cloe has said to you in the past (or at least the way you've framed them) but I agree with her 100% here. It's not that weight loss is not important but it is not as important as dealing with your food issues ... because sustainable weight loss hinges on dealing with those issues.

What you've found is that the mechanics of weight loss and losing 100lbs is one thing but the sustainability aspect is a completely different story and that's the part where you need to sort out your relationship with food to make it work long-term. I'm the anon who questioned the amount of AIP snacks you made yourself and I'm here to tell you — you can maintain a healthy weight (I weigh 130lbs) and have the odd cookie or piece of lasagne or whatever. That's why I really want to stress that the reason I flagged up all the baking you did is not because I think a healthy relationship with food looks like never, ever eating treats or snacks (I had cinnamon cookies today!) but it also doesn't look like having snacks every single day or 'needing' treats or snacks to get through the day/deal with emotional problems. What Cloe's suggesting is very similar to the way I look after my health, and I think it's a sensible thing for you to work towards.

Lyn said...

Thank you Joanna and Anon for the insights.

I have never been able to do the "just have one cookie" thing myself, but I've also not been able to do the "never have a cookie again" thing. She seems to think the former approach is a lot more likely to work for me if I keep working at it... that it would be more likely I could learn to have just one/eat anything in moderation than it would be for me to say "never again." Both are hard for me.

I'm doing a lot of thinking about how this is going to work. I don't want to eat all my calories or points or whatever in junk. (Well okay, I want to! But I know it's not healthy). So I need to figure out a way to eat, maybe, lower carb, high produce, good protein *most* of the time but allow a small amount of 'junk' or whatever. I think if I could eat really healthy most days, exercise, and then one or two meals a week have something I really want (at a potluck or a restaurant or with friends) that might work. Maybe if I get off this diet roller coaster I will stop having so many thoughts and cravings about food.

Joanna said...

I totally agree, Lyn. I am not prepared nor do I think it is necessary to never have a cookie again. But I do think that I needed to change my body chemistry rather than just my brain. I stopped eating gluten because I was achy, but I don't think I am gluten intolerant. I had eating on my mind from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. The reason I didn't lose weight like everyone else (it seems) does when being GF is that I replaced the cookies with ice cream and tortilla chips, etc. As long as I could have fattening food I was okay. I didn't weigh myself but my clothes got tighter and tighter. Then when I took out sugar, it wasn't that hard because some of my big trigger foods were out of my head. I will have sugar when the time seems right. Let me just tell you one thing. My daughter and her husband are coming over tomorrow night and I bought them cupcakes at the cupcake store. Now the weather is terrible and I think that the cupcakes will be future landfill because the roads are impassable, but not eating them does not bother me in the slightest. Since I have many years of experience knowing that this is impossible for me to be around some very fancy cupcakes and it is not now, I do know that I have changed some blood sugar thing that caused me to go crazy. I truly believe that binge eating has to do with blood sugars and stress hormones.It was my drug of choice but it is gone. Took a long time and I am not saying it is easy. My doctor thinks that while I am not pre-diabetic, my blood sugars were quite variable. Now that they are kept stable, life is much easier. This is just me but I see myself in you.

Taryl said...

Lyn - my solution that worked for several years (I've been struggling lately, most of it is hormonal) was allowing several days per year where I don't count - I wet whatever I want, in whatever quantities I want. It's not ideal, but as long as I stick to the boundary and don't let it creep before those days or after it scratched for mental itch of 'never' having something again, without sabotaging my health.

Sun said...

Hi Lyn! I have read many weight loss blogs, but I keep coming back to yours, and yours only. Yours is written very well. I've given up on anything that I can't sustain, because quite honestly, it's just plain torture. I've been seeing a personal trainer to help with my weight issues. This works well for me because food is in context of a healthy life style. Food is not front & center, but part of the solution. I think of him as a life coach more than a personal trainer - but exercise is the vehicle we use. We talk a lot about goal setting, discipline, and staying the course. Now, this is always with respect to exercise, but the idea of using this for food is never lost on on me - but not the focus. Now,I have not lost any weight - ( nor gained) but I know I am building a solid foundation to lose weight. One of these days, this will all click, and I will just want to eat less and make better choices. I believe everything starts in your head. Once you take control of your mind, your body will follow. One more observation I would like to share. Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest woman in America can't lose weight. She has access to best personal chefs, best nutritionist, best personal trainers and doctors, and still can't lose weight. The day she figures out how to lose weight & keep it off, is the day we all lose weight. Until then, be good to yourself - be selfish! But think about what that means. Does it mean to reward yourself with a cupcake? What does being good to yourself really look like? Lyn, my best to you, and keep up the good fight :)

CatherineMarie said...

I agree with Cloe. Most people do NOT give everything up forever and ever, actually, that is a myth. Even weightlifters/athletes/etc have times when they eat more/eat less. And, as I have said before, you are on your way to being able to eat "normally". There was a point, maybe a year ago, where you had bought all the stuff for a binge, then took a bite, didn't like the flavor, tossed it. I think some of it you left out for the kids...

I do better when I incorporate an occasional treat. And with kids, you are lucky, you can make a batch of treats, have one, leave the rest out for the kids...

For me, I do have some kind of gluten intolerance or celiac. And the best thing I have done for myself is making my own breads/pancakes/etc, controlling what is in them. The things I've had to avoid are the "good deals" or multipacks. The "bite-size" chocolate bars... Go for the treats when you know they are something special. The homemade cake, etc.

You are doing better than you realize. I know everyone is different, but I am glad you are listening to Cloe. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

An interview with Russel Brand really changed how I view my relationship w food...

He's been clean from heroin and alcohol for 10 years, but the last time he thought about doing heroin was yesterday.

I realized that processed junk food is like my heroin. I simply can not do it in moderation. There is no "normalizing" of the object by making it less forbidden or using in moderation...I simply crave it more and more and more. I in no way mean to trivialize drug abuse by saying that an Oreo and injecting heroin have the same abuse potential (because that's a ridiculous comparison), but for me, the temptation and cycle of addiction is similar enough that I'm comfortable with the comparison.

And more than that, I realized that I feel guilty any time I even crave junk food. When the little voice in my head says, "well maybe I can just have *1* cup of ice cream", I then start berating myself internally. I realized I thought I would some day "rise above" the need to crave sugar and it was somehow a moral failing that I'm still using it as a crutch. But you know what? Russel Brand thought about doing heroin yesterday. And didn't. The cravings are not something I should feel guilty for- it is unlikely they will ever completely go away (and isn't that a difficult realization to come to terms with!!!). But it's my actions that are the most important. So instead of eating junk food in moderation, I'm trying to reflect on what thought process triggered my desire to seek solace in junk food (whether it's a deadline at work or stressful phone call with a family member) and accept that it's ok to have cravings- sugar is delicious and addictive and we are biologically programmed to like it!!! But then accepting that it's actually harmful for me to eat it and I won't take that action.

Thanks for reading- I just had a lot of thoughts on this subject, lol! I love your updates- keep us posted on how AIP and your diet develops!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn,

For 15 years, I've known that I have a food sensitivity to wheat. Not the gluten specifically. But the actual grain wheat. It would cause skin rashes, bloating, and intense cravings. When the Wheat Belly book came around, I learned a few additional things that strengthened my will to stay away from it yet not feel deprived. (The GMO factor, the extreme rise in blood sugar, the "opiate" effect of wheat.) I have to reset my mind to feel that I'm making a good choice for me, not that I "can't" have it or I am depriving myself of something good. If it causes a negative reaction in your body, it's not good. I choose to not eat a random cookie, because I value my body and don't want patches of eczema, water retention, and a craving that takes over.
Not everyone reacts the same to every food. And certain food for certain people create both a physical and psychological "high" that is pretty hellish to battle. Some people make less natural painkillers or are less responsive to the ones we do make. We use our "high" from certain foods to help us deal with stress. I've found a couple supplements that help balance the painkiller response-- the amino acid DLPA, and the herb california poppy. DLPA I especially like because it also helps with focus, and helps me think less about food. May be worth looking into for you.
I can say from experience that once you've kind of altered your brain and body from years of bingeing, that you may not be a "normie" who can just have one cookie once a week and chill. Know your triggers, and choose to avoid from a "good" place, not a place filled with resentment and deprivation. I can potentially have one cookie and fight my way back to normalcy within a couple days, but it is a fight. If I want something sweet, I will choose something that I don't have to battle. Also, it can cause a sense of panic to think-- "I can NEVER have this or NEVER eat sugar for the rest of my life!"-- I go day by day, and think through my choices on an "is it worth it" scale. I have my overeating days, but they are not every day. Best of luck to you! If you know on an instinctive level that Cloe's advice is not what will work best for you, then listen to your instinct. I have made the mistake of ignoring my instinct and following the (expensive) advice of professionals and it made my health worse! For example, at one time in my life I was eating very "clean" or whatever it would be called in the late 1990s. No sugar, no wheat, no dairy, mostly organic, nothing processed, eat whenever I was hungry, stop when I was full. I made an appointment with a professional to address some other issues and she said to eat every three hours and add protein bars and Panda licorice candy in (which has wheat/sugar) and guess what, within days I was bingeing on freaking Atkins bars.

Winner at a Losing Game said...

I think there is a lot of merit in normalizing food. Think about dogs and their eating. If you allow an animal to free Fred from birth, they will do just that. They eat when hungry and stop when full. Their weight is normalized. If you only feed that same animal once or twice a day, what do they do? They eat it faster than a speeding bullet and are always looking for food. I know you are not a dog, but we are in the andmal kingdom. I see a correlation to the example. Normalize food and you might not be on the hunt for your next morsel.

Diana said...

You may want to try reducing food reward/palatability in your diet. This has absolutely worked for me and allowed me to continue eating a very clean, healthy diet with no lapses, binges, etc. for over eight months now. I eat healthy food that I enjoy, but do not touch any of the unhealthy foods I used to LOVE.

Obesity scientists are now starting to recognize that the biggest factor in driving obesity is not any specific food group (i.e. fats, carbs, etc), but rather is the palatability of the food and more importantly, the extent to which it stimulates the pleasure/reward circuitry in the brain. The more a particular kind of food creates excessively intense stimulation of the reward circuits in our brain, the more total calories we tend to eat, and the fatter we get. Most scientists in the field of obesity research now recognize that this is the single biggest factor driving the obesity epidemic.

LovelyDreams said...

I know my therapist would agree with yours. She and I are working on the things that make me binge/emotionally overeat in the first place, and on other strategies for dealing with them. She does think it's "normal" to eat treats, and one thing she keeps hammering through my head is that pretty much everyone engages in emotional eating, albeit to a much lesser degree than myself. Ice cream to celebrate or comfort, etc. While I take it too far (my words, she would say I'm doing the best I can in the moment), it's kind of nice to know that I'm not completely abnormal, some sort of broken-beyond-repair eating creature as opposed to a normal person in "survival mode".

Yanina said...


I am so glad your are seeing an ED specialist. What she says now sounds soo soo scary. And it will.. for a long time. But she is right.. keep with her. Also ask her for help to address your emotional regulation issues and ask her to work on distress tolerance.

I also found it helpful that for people like us a constant reminder of treatment is very important. Like a weekly meeting with her and a support group that has nothing to do with weight but has to do with working on emotion regulation and distress tolerance.


Sean Anderson said...

Lyn, It's a perspective thing, for sure. I understand the psychological effect of saying "never" on certain foods-- but in my experience, the elimination of refined sugar, although it was something I resisted for a very long time, turned out to be the best decision I've ever made.
It's not for everybody. I understand that, too.
I wanted to normalize my relationship with all foods, too. And I tried very well. I maintained the 275 pound loss for 1.5 years, eating everything in moderation--exercising and staying in support... But then I started slipping--and the binge episodes became more frequent... It wasn't until I accepted and embraced the idea of eliminating sugar, that things started changing for the better. The binge switch turned off.
Now, having lost 136 pounds of the 164 I regained, I know--without a doubt, my substance--like an alcoholic avoids alcoholic drinks--was/is sugar.
The difference is profound enough, where --I don't look at those foods the same. My perspective has shifted. There is no feelings of deprivation for things we truly do not desire. When I look at a candy bar--or ice cream--or cakes, or whatever...I don't see them superficially. I see them as gateways to me giving up my life and health, again. That perspective keeps me from the wanting.
Some people can normalize all foods and be perfectly okay. Some can't.
I can drink an occasional alcoholic drink without the slightest consequence--but I have friends who can't, because if they do--their entire life will be upside down in record time.
And it's hard for me to wrap my mind around when it comes to alcohol--until I place my experience with sugar into that frame---then I totally get it.
Lyn, I wish you peace and happiness along this road. I can't necessarily agree with the counselor's advice here, but I also know what works for one, may be the wrong approach for another...
My best to you, Lyn, always.

Anonymous said...

What Diana and Sean said! :)

Lyn said...

Thank you all, great comments.

I am thinking, when I finish AIP reintroductions (which don't generally include things like refined sugar) I may add "other" foods in slowly too, like a reintroduction so I can see if, say, potato salad bothers me, or if gluten free pizza bothers me, or if salad with regular dressing bothers me. When I say "bothers" I mean not just physically but emotionally or causing cravings. I would want to make this as easy as possible, not eating things that cause me to struggle. Maybe I can normalize 90% of foods but there will be a set of things I avoid because I don't want to struggle or feel "addicted."

Karen said...

I cannot moderate grains or sugars. I nearly had a heart attack trying.

I'm not broken, damaged, or weak. I'm still standing, better than I've ever been before.

Here's to finding the answers that are inside you. Intuitively, often we know what we need to do. Karen P.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried the CAD (Carbohydrate's Addict Diet)? I know people who have had great success with it (I am one of those people), and even if you lose your weight another way, it's a very good maintenance plan.

Basically, the diet allows you one RM (reward meal) where you divide your plate into three portions and eat 1/3 plate protein, 1/3 plate veggie, and 1/3 plate carb/reward food. That could be cake, bread, fruit or whatever you want it to be. If you want seconds, you can go back for seconds, but you MUST eat seconds of each type of food.

The RM lasts an hour exactly and must not go over that hour. Besides the RM meal, you eat 2 more meals that are low carb--i.e. proteins and veggies, along with low carb snacks.

A normal day might look like this:

Eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Chicken or tuna salad for lunch wrapped in Romaine lettuce.

For dinner, you might have a salad, pork chops, steamed veggies, and ice cream--or chips, if that's your poison!

I've been eating this way for a decent amount of time with great success (two years in October), and I have no cravings, no weird desire for food outside of my RM, etc. Everything is normalized. If I see doughnuts later in the evening after an RM and crave them, I say, "Hey, self--we'll add doughnuts to the RM tomorrow. No prob."

If I still crave donuts the next day, I add them to my RM (often, I don't want them anymore the next day!). For the first time in a long time, I feel that I relate to food in a healthy way. Before I began following CAD/CALP, I would restrict carbs, lose a bunch of weight, binge on carbs, regain all of the weight, rinse and repeat. I have realized that cutting a food group out of my life only sets me up to rebel later. Nor did I know what moderation looked like when I began. On the other side, I now understand what moderation looks like, and it comes very naturally. You may want to research CAD and see if it might be helpful to you as well.

Georgene G. said...

I appreciate the information you shared from your meeting. Thank you.

I went off of dairy 3 years ago due to inflammation problems. I end up in bad joint pain in my knee and overall joint pain.

I also went off of grains (mostly except for occasional breading) because my blood sugar was high and I was diabetic.

I have replaced the foods I used to love with low carb alternatives. I have found that I binge less when I don't eat sugar.

I can't go back to eating the way I used to or I will end up in pain and a diabetic. That helps me a lot.

You are doing great!

Michelle Himes said...

Lyn, you mentioned Weight Watchers and reluctance to start counting and weighing. WW has what they call the "simply filling" plan - with a very long list of foods that you don't have to count as long as you stick to this list. Then, you would just count points for occasionally having something outside the list - like a cookie, or a candy bar. I actually prefer the structure of the points plan, but I know several people who have done well on "simply filling". It could be an option fo you.

Kathleen said...

I cured my lifelong eating disorder following those rules. I was binging and bulimic. I also got to my goal weight effortlessly. I have followed your blog for a long time and I feel for you. You try it at least.

Anonymous said...

Agree that nutritionist seems on track, and yet isn't fleshing things out enough. The problem with normalizing foods is the constant decision making, can I have one, can I have two, can I have one of this and two of that? I have to create other rules, like eating junk after eating all my vegetables, or only eating it out of the house, or only once a week/month. I don't give up pizza or high carb versions, but that doesn't mean I can eat it every meal for a week.I think the nutrionist is missing the gray area between "never" and "only on special occasions". Make healthy eating a habit, and the idea of never is less frightening. I probably had a free brownie sometime in the last year, but my life would be fine if I never had one again. Food cravings are a construct of habit, and as proof I offer the fact that after a few months of eating lentils/rice (poor student), I missed them on vacation.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I don't know that this is the counselor for you. I too have seen an ED counselor and she approached it like an addiction. An alcoholic can't "normalize" alcohol. We can't "normalize" certain foods. Best to never have them. I still struggle with it though.

Orchid64 said...

Part of my issue with therapy has always been that people tell you to do things and they can even tell you why, but they don't tell you *how*. She said you have to get more discipline, but did she tell you how to do it? Did she tell you how to learn to eat just one cookie or just to work out a way to do it?

This is not to criticize her, but I think you need to ask her about behavioral techniques to help you take the steps to do what she thinks you should do. For instance, one of the things that I found worked was to start not at the end goal - eating one cookie - but at a far-range goal - leaving one cookie in the bag when I wanted to eat the whole thing. The very practice of leaving behind a little bit is the beginning of strengthening a muscle which helps you get more control over food. If you manage that, next time you try to leave two behind, then three, etc. You build up a resistance to eating it all. It also helps to make an event of eating something. That is, make a cup of tea to go with the cookie. Put the cookie on a tiny plate. Sit at the table with the cookie and tea and do nothing but attend to eating the cookie as slowly as possible (smell it first, take small bites, eat it slowly). After that cookie, make yourself wait 15 minutes to have another if you want one. If you really want it, eat another in the same way. I promise that, if you do this, you won't want more than two cookies.

I'm not saying that these techniques will work for you, but that she should give you some direction in various techniques to help you modify your behavior. There are layers to solving any issue. One layer is knowing why. Another is knowing how to modify behavior step-by-step. Therapists tend to do better at "why" than "how", but they need to help you with process as well as understanding. Ask her about it. She'll probably do her best to help you or recommend a behavior modification specialist to help you.