Anyone else Whole30-ing with an eating disorder?

4 posts in this topic

Hi fellow Whole30-ers!

I am day 13 of my 3rd or 4th Whole30 and am feeling fantastic! I originally started my Whole30's back in 2013/2014 after struggling with binge eating and gaining 12 kgs, which was completely new to me after only ever suffering from anorexia in the past (not having seriously suffered with it since 2008). And I have to say is was so successful, and greatly improved my relationship with food. I continued to eat healthy fresh food for a upwards of a year after my initial Whole30, and had no real eating disorder symptoms and was happy in myself and my own skin. But in September 2015, after a hellish 6+ months of severe mood disorder symptoms, some of which was brought on by travelling with my mother for 2 months, the anorexia returned in full revenge. The symptoms were the worst I had ever experienced since I was first diagnosed in 2001, in the sense of psychological distress. To make a long story short, I got referred to another specialist and spent 6 weeks an eating disorder inpatient program back August last year, and then another 6 weeks in October after becoming severely unwell with my mood disorder, which was further impacting on the ED. After those two admissions, I was attending a day program on Fridays whilst I returned to work as a nurse. But my eating was still all over the place, and I was yoyo-ing from restricting to bingeing to trying to maintain the meal plan I had been given. And I loathed my body more than ever. My mood was fantastic, but my eating disorder was chaotic.

At the end of a terrible year in terms of health, I celebrated my survival by finally going on my planned solo holiday to New York (I'm from Melbourne, Australia), and had a blast, despite dealing with ongoing ED symptoms and crappy ED thoughts. And when I returned home, I realised that if I wanted to keep traveling, if I wanted to be healthy and fit to do my job as a nurse, to engage in my friendships, to connect with others and have meaning and purpose to my life, I needed to FEED MY BODY and treat it lovingly. But still, the desperation to lose weight and get skinny was haunting me. I lasted maybe 1 week post return to work on my meal plan as per my dietitian, and then lied to my treatment team that I was 100% meal plan compliant and doing fabulously. I was doing everything BUT that. I had cut out all meals and lived off snacks, thinking I would lose weight, but actually still consuming more calories than if I just stuck to my meal plan. But I couldn't get out of it. Finally, I snapped. This was f-ing ridiculous. I was hungry and lethargic and had no energy to live my life outside of work. I was living off sugar, swinging through the lows and highs and then the lows again. My focus and concentration were appalling, and I lost all motivation to do stuff other than turn up to work. I was isolating myself from friends and family so that I could skip meals and not be obligated to share a meal with them. I didn't schedule brunch with friends, I didn't go round to my parents for dinner once a week. i avoided going anywhere that I would need to eat something I was trying to avoid. This included my wanting to "take a break" from ED day program. Something had to change, because I was bloated and uncomfortable all the time, I was gaining weight despite trying to lose it, knowing that snacking constantly was no way to lose weight and did the opposite.

On the 18th March, I decided I was going to jump head-first into another Whole30. If anything was going to reset my eating, this was it. That Saturday was a trial day to see if I would cope with the program. I made it through that day, but made the decision to start properly on the 19th March, and had a "last-supper" of shortbread biscuits and a cuppa tea the evening before. And now I'm on day 13 of the Whole30 and feeling FABULOUS! I can't explain how much healthier I feel! Physically and psychologically. I am feeding myself the best I have since early 2015, and I'm starting to respect and love my body for what it is and what it allows me to do - this is a first for me. I have never felt so at peace with my body and myself. I took up yoga, I eat what I want and when I want (Whole30 compliant), I don't restrict my intake, I appreciate that protein and fat satiates my appetite, and my sugar-dragon is slowly subsiding! My focus and concentration is so much better, my thinking is clearer, my mood is stable, the fog has lifted and I feel like I'm soaring above the clouds. I can't believe how amazing I feel! I am so so thankful that I stumbled across Whole30 3 years ago, and I am so pleased that I decided to do a reset again.

I am wondering if anyone else with an eating disorder has experienced what I am currently experiencing? Please share your story if you have one!

Thanks for the awesome-ness Whole30!

- Jo

Laurie likes this

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Hi Jo! 

I have been off an on with a binge - restrict cycle since 2013. My weight had gone from low to high to low over and over again with in the past few years. I try and eat intuitively which turns into daily binges, I get uncomfortable in my body and start restricting food again, get back to a comfortable body weight for myself but know I'm pushing myself too hard by under eating and over exercising and it shows in my mood swings, energy, and libido (tmi?) . I'm at a happy weight right now but I know it was obtained in a non healthy way because the binges are coming back. Today is day one of my whole 30 so I'm hoping this will help me transition into intuitive eating whole healing my relationship with food and prevent binges but I'm terrified of the weight gain that may come with it. I'm so happy with the way my body feels now but mentally I'm a mess. It's like a lose lose situation! Thanks for giving me hope!

J0berries likes this

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I have a disordered relationship with food. I have found these are massively impacted by anxiety, self esteem and blood sugar/ hormone regulation. The whole30 is helping with all of these, so I am feeling less urge to binge. I have not had a "w30 compliant binge" either; today is day 19. :)

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