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Anxiety and fear near the end....

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Warning! This topic could be boring for the most of you.

I'm not a whining person, but today I feel like crying...Maybe it's just PMS (even if I use birth control, so I'm not supposed to suffer from PMS, but I'm always more anxious the week before...), maybe it is the stress for the upcoming university exams, maybe it is because I have a very ill aunt who is struggling at the hospital with a very bad disease... I don't know.

I've always had food issues in my life, and this month I felt relieved from them. I followed the squeaky clean paleo plan from Practical Paleo, making it Whole 30 when necessary, and my stomach felt good, and I've been feeling "safe". The concept of feeling safe, though, can be slightly dangerous for me, as a recovery anorexic and bulimic. I struggled to be able to eat sweets and baking goods without feeling the guilt, and now I'm scared that I am going to misinterpret my physical reactions to grains because I could feel the guilt and the fear of eating them again...I thought that whole 30 could adjust my relationship with food, and it did during these weeks, but I'm really preoccupied about the reintroduction phase...

Does anyone out there feel the same?

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Hey you!  I was apprehensive towards the end and I didn't have any major food issues to start with (apart from being a very enthusiastic over-eater!).  I think it is very normal to feel anxious about losing the safety blanket and having to own our choices!


I don't have enough knowledge to make any good suggestions about not fearing your reintroductions, though I certainly see how it might be easy for you amplify a symptom out of guilt.  I got a tummy ache after trying yoghurt when I finished my Whole 30 and while I don't really want to be allergic to dairy, it almost felt like relief when I had that reaction.  One less problem food to worry about, and easy to refuse.  That's one of the reasons I'm going to try it again!  I haven't reintroduced anything else yet.


I'm sure a mod or someone more experienced will be along soon, but here is my offering: you don't have to reintroduce quickly.  You can take your time.  And after reintroduction you don't have to keep eating these things.  Reintroducing them doesn't mean you are going to eat them all the time - that choice is yours.  Try to reassure yourself of that: it's ok for there to be no reaction to grains (or sugar, or dairy, etc), you will still have control over whether you eat those products or not, and how much.  It's good to know what your body likes and doesn't like.


And for what it's worth, I've opted to keep following the Whole 30 template because this feels like a good way to eat.  I will reintroduce slowly to find out what I can handle, and I've given myself permission to off-road when we go out for meals.  That's how I dealt with the "what do I do next?!" feelings.  I'm sure you will find a way that works for you!  Don't be scared!  Take charge of it :)

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33 year bulimic here (well, not continual for 30 yrs, but I started that path as a young teen).  I GET IT


30 days isn't long enough to undo why you are an eating disorder girl.  I don't think it means you have to continue W30 any longer, but there is no reason you have to reintroduce baked goods/sweets.  Why not just add oats, dairy and gluten in non-sweet form slowly to see how you do, and leave the sugar out for longer if you feel it will be a trigger?  I know I'm not ready.  If you want to start reintroducing sugar, make the Paleo treats instead of opting for Oreos or mom's chocolate chip cookies.  The guilt could be less...


I hope you are not doing this recovery thing alone.  It helps so much to talk to someone about it.  I am finally doing that after a few decades of handling it myself and finding I go up and down with my ability to control the behavior (the thoughts are always there).  Getting to the underlying causes behind why I turn to food has been helpful, even if it sounds so obvious when I talk about it.


Realize that, if you find you cannot handle the pressures of eating baked goods THAT IS OK.  We don't need cinnamon rolls or chocolate muffins to survive or even to fit in.  You do what you need to do for you, and after a while we cross our fingers that we will find a way to eat to live instead of live to eat.


I wish you the best.  I've heard that zinc deficiency or heavy metal toxicity can be a reason for some eating disorders.  It is worth looking into if you are throwing your hands up in frustration.  Adding a zinc supplement to you diet is easy.



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So yesterday, I planned to go off road a bit on a day trip to the beach. This was day 61 for me. I had looked forward to it but, like you, was very anxious and worried if I would spiral out of control with one drop of sugar. I have a long history of bulimia, binging, and the list continues long before there were "titles" for these conditions. At 54 yo, I hope to have a handle on this crap at some point.

I ate a nice crab salad at the beach and really wanted a DQ Blizzard(the smores kind on TV). I got home and then ate my nemesis-popcorn(homemade) and snickersbars. So I went off road for CRAP! No time to go to DQ.


Absolutely not worth the time or the anxiety I spent during the day worrying if, when, and with what. The foods I ate yesterday were not fulfilling on any level-I was hungry after I ate it and during the eating. There is NO fear in me today knowing that I could fall off the cliff into my old habits. I am right back on track today as if nothing happened. And in my mind, I am on day 62, not day 1. Don't really care what the rules say:)


So stay the course a bit longer if that makes you more secure. There is nothing wrong in finding comfort in good, healthy, fulfilling foods. I feel safer today, after the disaster yesterday, knowing I am getting what I need-FINALLY-from the foods I eat.


Good luck!



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Thank you girls, it's such a relief to me to hear that I'm not alone. <3

@percypat I'm so glad to hear that also someone with a peaceful relation with food can experience some anxiety at the end of the process. This makes me feel more "normal":-)) I agree with you , I should let myself all the time I need to reintroduce. And I totally understand the feeling you had about dairy, and the fact that you want to try again. I don't really want to demonize any food, I'm grateful to the whole30 because I've learnt how to fight my stomach issues eating well, and I'll definitely stick to the template for my home made meal. On the other hand, I want to feel free to indulge also in "crap" (like you said @cayenne). I mean, food is not just a matter of fuel, and this anxiety of control can lead, at least for me, to a terrible binge on the things I cut off my diet. That's why I think that we, as former anorexics and bulimics, and as lifetime fighters, should avoid any strict restriction - if we feel it like a restriction.

I mean, if I want a piece of cake, and I avoid it, it could easily drive to a mindless binge on a whole bag of nuts, or a big bowl of cereal, and I'd feel guilty the same (and I would be in pain, too), and maybe the piece of cake was not such a big deal.

What I learnt in my 7 years of therapy ( @PamH, I'm definitely not alone in this, I cannot even imagine how hard and painful that could have been! I have an amazing therapist and I am in treatment since my eating disorder have started) is that we have to make choices and we have to recognize choices from self imposed obligations. I chose to start the whole 30, and I am very happy I did it. And I want to feel free to choose to bake a batch of cookies for my friends and have one, or to eat some pizza when I go out without feeling that I am the worst person in the world.

I think it's just a matter of consciousness and balance. I know that if I eat strictly paleo I feel good physically, but sometimes there must be room for something else...

Good luck to all of us! We rock!

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I tooootally felt that way towards the end. It was like I was in mourning. 


The thing is, you don't have to stop! It feels scary because you are losing the rules, and I felt the same way, but you can choose to keep the rules in place with a few tweaks (like relaxing about hidden ingredients at restaurants) and if that feels scary or too unconstrained, you can always start another w30. 


I understand the rationale of eating the cake because otherwise you'll eat a bag of nuts. And I also have a history of ED. But, IME (and yours might be different) that only ever leads to more cake, then a bite of ice cream, then two glasses of wine, then I wake up and I'm starving but feel too crappy to make breakfast so I eat half a chocolate bar standing at my freezer, and then I really feel awful so I clearly have to just eat a chocolate croissant.


I have had much more luck deciding in advance what, when, where how and why I'm going to off-road. (Like, if I was going out to a restaurant known for their amazing world's best chocolate cake I might have to share a piece with my husband. Or take a bite while I enjoy a dish of panna cotta. But it's not like, oh god those cheez doodles look good and I'm gonna eat crap for the sake of eating crap. That is feeding something else inside you: the need to not follow rules. I have authority issues too! I get that--totally get that. But it's not about food.) 


While I hear your rationale, and feel it to a degree as well, eating a mini w30 meal in response to a craving works out 100% better than giving into a craving. I feed sugar cravings with fat, and then I don't dig into a bag of nuts or eat three burgers. Sometimes the restrictions make me want to flee, as well. Just last week a bunch of us who did a mini-AIP together were talking about starting another w30. At first I was like, no way! No can do. It made me want to eat pints of ice cream and get drunk. But instead I did start another w30 and when it started a wave of calm passed over me. I was like, ahhh, rules. Simplicity. No more fighting with myself. 


Eventually I'd like to be able to wing it myself, but for now I'm doing better keeping with the plan. 

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Also, I feel like there is a difference between a self-imposed obligation that says, I just ate chinese food so I need to either puke it up within so many minutes or else run for two hours every day for the next week. And a self-imposed obligation that says, I am going to only eat food that nourishes my body. Clearly there's not always such a valley between the two, but I firmly believe that eating crap for the sake of eating crap is never going to make you feel better about yourself. There are other ways to connect with friends, relax, tell yourself it's the weekend, make yourself feel less out of control. 


There is also, as PP said, no reason to reintroduce foods you fear or aren't sure you can handle emotionally or physically. Personally I never plan to reintroduce most grains. Maybe rice? But I just cannot eat bakery goods. Too emotionally charged and they just start days of bad eating and bad feelings. Why add them back at all? 

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