Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fixing Emotional Eating


I'm on day 5 of my cleanse and so far I am feeling pretty much the same as before. No "symptoms", no headache or digestive issues, nothing weird going on. Absolutely no effect at all. The only thing even remotely different is that this morning I had no appetite and still don't. I am not nauseous or anything, I just don't feel like eating, so I had a protein shake instead. That works fine! It is a ten day cleanse so I will finish it up and see if anything is different. I did have a couple of comments and emails worrying that this was a "diet" but I want to assure you it is not. It is just herbs (Parasite Pro) that are noted for their anti-parasitic, cleansing properties. They're supposed to kill off anything bad you have living in your gut. Like I said before, I'm skeptical, but my friend had such great results I figured I'd give it a try. There is no change in eating involved. I just eat my pizza and ice cream and take a couple pills and everything is normal.

On Sunday I was back down 2 pounds to 250 again... just normal fluctuation from hormones, salt, foods eaten, etc. I have become non-reactive to the scale and it is such a good feeling! I did not have any difference in emotions when I was up 2 pounds to 252 or when I was down 2 pounds. It's all the same, I have no excitement or disappointment about the numbers. If I weighed tomorrow and saw 247 it would be no different than seeing 253. I don't "hope" I lose weight and I am not worried about gaining. Isn't that a wonderful freedom?

My eating is feeling natural and not disordered. There is no anxiety about it. If I want to make vegetable soup, I do that. If I feel like having a frozen eggroll, that's okay too! I have, over the past few weeks, STOPPED myself from even thinking about calories, protein, fat, carbs etc because my anxiety would rise when I got into that mindset. But now that things are calm, I am making calm decisions to make choices that are what I consider good for my health. For example I have started to lower my carb load in a way that does not feel restrictive to me (choosing root vegetables instead of grains, or choosing lower GI fruits, or picking healthier natural meats over things like processed sausage or deli meats). I am making these choices slowly and carefully and if I were to start feeling stressed I would just stop. I am training myself to have NO stress about food, diet, and weight. That is the most important thing to me!

This is something I have actually been working on for a year or so. Last winter I had decided to work on lowering my emotions around eating, and on NOT dieting. But it was hard, and I couldn't seem to REALLY believe I could be free from the diet mentality. I also was still stuck in that deep inner fear of being fat (forever) or fatter (than I have ever been) and deep down I believed that the ONLY way I would ever get to the weight I wanted to be was by some kind of diet or restriction. It was a step in the right direction (trying to calm down the ED about food) but I didn't go deep enough. It led me here, though, and this feels different than anything else I have ever done. I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive of me doing this, even though you might not understand it fully. I welcome questions. I don't have any written instructions for this; it's not like the Whole 30 or AIP where everything is written out for you and you follow X rules to get Y result. There is no mapped out course to recover from disordered eating alone. I am kind of winging it, but I have a lot of experience and knowledge about what has NOT worked and what MAY work and I am going with my gut, too, in a way. The bottom line is I refuse to be owned and driven by a number on the scale and by what everyone else thinks I "should" eat/do. It's my life and I am shaping it into what I want it to be. It may not be as fast with results on a scale as with other methods, but it is getting me results that others cannot see...permanent, meaningful, and healthy results.

9 comments:

LHA said...

I am following your posts with great interest. This is an idea that has been touched on or incorporated in some way in books I have read about weight loss and healthy eating. It also goes along with what my nutritionist has always told me: severe restriction usually leads to weight gain. I have a question about "addiction" to sugar or carbs. In thinking back over what you have written about in the last year, I seem to remember that you were having a similar feeling about food a few months ago, and you felt totally capable of eating a piece of cake or a cookie without fear of it triggering a binge. Then, at some point you were feeling the old cravings coming back and I think you were thinking that it was possibly due to overdoing the loose attitude toward refined carbs and sugar. Are you now feeling like it is possible to go on as you are, not restricting any food, and not be bothered by cravings any more? I'm asking because this is a piece of my own puzzle that I haven't fully perfected yet. I have read other blogs and books that make a pretty strong case for "sugar and carb addiction" being a real thing, and avoiding sugars and processed carbs for life is called for in order to keep eating under control much like an alcoholic would have to avoid alcohol. It is described as more of a chemical reaction than a psychological issue in some things I have read. It's a tangled subject with lots of different opinions out there! Good luck to you on your journey, and thanks for posting your experiences.

Lyn said...

LHA~

interesting thoughts and good question! Well, I know some people believe they must completely stay away from all sugar and/or grains to stay "food sober" so that must be true for some people. Maybe it has to do with your individual body's insulin reaction to eating those things. I know I feel ill if I eat a high carb, low protein breakfast and I have blood sugar swings if my carbs are too high. But I also know I have felt a calm about food *even when* I was eating some grains or sugar. So for me I would say there is a certain level of those foods that I CAN enjoy without triggering physical cravings, but once I eat a higher amount it causes some of those old symptoms. I can eat a scoop of ice cream and feel fine, but if I eat 2 scoops in a waffle cone forget it, I start getting cravings. I know that and I have gotten to a point I no longer *want* to eat a cone, or two scoops, or a big piece of cake because I don't like how I feel afterwards. Right now I do have a donut or a cookie here and there. I don't feel triggered by it. It's like there is a "carb threshold" and if I stay under it I feel fine. I have always been able to eat a piece or two of dark chocolate with no issues. There is definitely a lot to learn on this subject... I'm still figuring it out!



Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is how you can still be "open" to WLS, when that necessitates many more restrictions than you have done in the past. And they last a lifetime.

Lyn said...

Anon~

because if I am *unable* to heal my emotional eating issues and if I get to a weight that is uncomfortable and causing health issues, I will have to do what is necessary to save my life.

Anonymous said...

Just realize that WLS won't necessarily save your life or even improve it much. As I wrote in a post a while back, I had gastric sleeve surgery and only lost weight for about 6 months, didn't get anywhere near where I wanted/needed to be and have now gained most of it back due to emotional eating issues and grazing. I am a medical transcriptionist by profession and I have typed many, many reports of people who have had gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedures who are in the hospital for various issues - they are NOT healthy - still have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney failure, respiratory problems, etc. Surgery only works, as the poster said above, if you are totally adherent to life-long strict restrictions on what and how you eat - it seems like that would be the opposite of what you are working on now. I know for me as soon as my stomach healed and I was freed from the restrictions required immediately post surgery, I wanted to resort to my prior foods and behaviors with a vengeance. Plus I have almost daily intestinal cramps and rely heavily on digestive enzymes. I am watching what you are doing with great interest, as I think that type of thing is the only way I will ever get healthy/and or lose weight. Even the strictly physical part of the surgery that most people are so happy about, such as getting full fast and not being hungry, have not been the case for me. I hope what you are doing now works for you and you don't ever resort to surgery.
Lori

Lori said...

I've always thought about how to stop putting so much emphasis on food. What I can and can't have, weighing myself constantly..... How refreshing to read that you are trying this. I will be reading with much interest :)

Amy said...

Ugh! The diet mentality has held so many of us hostage, stolen what should have been happy moments in life and replaced them with self-doubt, self-loathing, starvation, restriction, and feelings that no female is a good person if she doesn't look like either a fitness model or a supermodel, and if she does we hate her because she has "everything". Women treat each other poorly when we should be standing together to say we are no longer going to let anyone else define our worth or how much joy we ought to have or not have in life based on the size of jeans we wear.

MaryFran said...

I'm struggling with the 'diet mentality' and the humdrum never ending routine of it!!! I get dissatisfied and then give in and eat...but then get dissatisfied with my weight. Such a vicious cycle!!!

Tina said...

I am very happy to hear you are doing better. I have followed your journey for some years now (been reading since the pre-Medifast days, don't remember when I started exactly) but this is my first time commenting. I can really empathise with your food issues. I too suffer from binge eating and just an overall compulsion to eat unhealthy foods. It is good to hear that you are finding some peace with it. I don't believe in cleanses but I hope yours brings you the results you have hoped for. One never knows.