Comparing yourself to Non-Whole30 Eaters who have no problems with food


sethb01

Recommended Posts

I have found it hard not to compare myself with others who have no problem eating sugar, peanut butter, or any food for that matter in moderation. After doing a whole30 and realizing that certain foods are never worth it for me because I have such a strong addiction to them, I can't help but think of myself as abnormal when I see others who are very healthy and fitness role models post pictures of cookies and other things they had on their "cheat day" or as a cheat meal. Does anyone know if there is any research behind why certain people are so strongly addicted to certain foods and why others aren't? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You say someone is having cookies/etc on their "cheat" day. They call it cheating because they know its not good and probably feel guilty about it.

 

If they know something is bad, and feel guilty when they consume it (guilty enough to call it a cheat), but consume it anyway, it sounds like they are unable to stop! Just because they don't binge, doesn't mean they are healthy. To take it to extremes, a heroin user that uses in moderation still uses heroin! 

 

You should be really proud of yourself for breaking that cycle. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

What amberino said. I saw a saying once on FB, We are comparing the 'behind the scene' reality of our life to the edited promotional version of others lives. For instance, my husband swears he doesn't have any food problems. Sure, he felt better when he went gluten free (and his blood sugar did too!), but he wasn't 'sick' enough to make the switch permanently. He thinks he's fine, but he's on cholesterol and bp  meds. So while he sometimes complains about me buying expensive food and supplements, his prescription meds cost more. And to me, he's not healthy. But there isn't anything I can do except set a good example.

 

Do what is right for you, don't judge yourself by other what other people do or don't do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me the majority of the population is walking around with food related health issues;  diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, binge eating, sugar addictions, depression, and on and on and on.  I believe we have just accepted that this is normal and we don't even see the ramifications of unhealthy eating anymore. 

 

Plus,  it's never a good idea to  compare ourselves to others because the truth is, we don't always know what their journey is about, and we  don't know what battles they may be fighting.   It's possible you're perception is skewed.  I can tell you that I never realized my many health issues were food related until I tried the W30.  My father never realized his terrible diet clogged his arteries until he needed quadruple bypass surgery a few months ago.  He was fine until he he wasn't fine.  Someone else close to me also believes she has no food issues, but always feels stressed out,  gets nauseous and dizzy during workouts, and weighs herself multiple times before and after each workout.  She has also recently developed digestive issues that she can't resolve.  Good thing she doesn't have any problems with food, like I do.  :D

 

I think  you should be proud of yourself for taking steps to heal your body and feed it healthy, nourishing food.  Many won't take that leap the way you have.  However, it won't be hard for others to notice your improved health at some point, and perhaps you will be the one to influence those in your life to be more healthy, just by your example.   Somewhere someone is saying, "I wish I had the strength to give up sugar and fast food, just like Sethb01, but I can't.  It doesn't seem fair that some people have all the willpower and I don't. "   Do what's right for you and don't worry about anyone else.  All the best to you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

To everyone who has replied, thank you in a big way. I guess everyone's life and environment is different and as a result everyone has different issues. When I asked the question I was specifically thinking of a few former and current roommates of mine who just really don't think about food much, and it is apparent. At times one will "forget to eat," or they will eat a doughnut or two for breakfast and not constantly go back to eat more. My sisters can eat ice cream for dessert after dinner and both are in great shape (as well as my roommates). If I had a doughnut for breakfast, or just one bowl of ice cream, I would binge eat an entire box or carton hating myself the entire time but feeling unable to stop. I have had friends go through really hard times in their lives and not eat as a result, whereas I would eat uncontrollably.

 

So I guess I am referring more specifically to the mental reactions and addictions (or lack of) and why some can't control the sugar dragon or binge eating trigger foods, while others can be pretty carefree with such things. Not saying their eating these foods is healthy, but there is clearly no mental struggle to stop eating with them. I, on the other hand have battled portion control, the sugar and peanut butter dragons and emotional eating for 6 years and am starting my second whole30 tomorrow after a big slippery slope recently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to eat emotionally, and have issues with sugar/desserts. Now I don't. I can have a piece of cake and be satisfied because I really enjoyed it (or have a bite and leave it because its not that great), not feel like I need a whole cake to make me feel better, or because I "deserve" it. (We aren't pets, we don't need rewarding with food)

Willpower, and also overcoming a lot of the emotional issues helped. Cravings go away, tastes change. I'd also rather be healthy and maintain my physique than chow down on sweets all day and be unhealthy and fat again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, that is encouraging to hear. Any specific workout program you would recommend to go along with the next 30 days? I do so much better when I channel my emotions into workouts. Are you a crossfitter or do you train for physique?

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really interesting question and something I thought about a lot after my first whole30 in Feb. I went way off road and felt so guilty about it because I knew better. For me the turning point was finally experiencing that awesome energy you get when you're eating clean and working out hard (I do crossfit). I have three small kids and that energy makes a big difference in how our day goes. I want to be the best mom I can be. I had to reach the point where I was motivated enough to put forth the effort it takes to keep chipping away at those habits/mindsets.

 

Also, somebody here said something recently about paying attention to when you feel satisfied and stopping right then rather than automatically continuing to put hand to mouth. It is a hard thing to do, especially if you are eating while doing something else. I like to eat and read but realize that contributes to this habit. So I have forced myself to eat mindfully and stop when the thrill is gone, and it has gotten a lot easier. I think it just takes time and practice to systematically break those habits, and I personally had to come to terms with the fact that certain foods just don't bring me joy anymore. After trying them and coming away with a stomach ache consistently. I had certain go-to treats and it was a big bummer when they didn't have the same effect they used to. I had to learn to find and savor that joy elsewhere. Old habits die hard and I suppose the more you rely on the joy coming from those foods, the harder it would be to stop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you google Geneen Roth and abstainers and moderators, you'll get some great information about the question you're asking.  She writes extensively about this phenomenon.  She's not a Whole30er, but a lot of Whole30ers talk about her work here. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, thanks so much to everyone who is contributing. This is my first time posting in the forums and I didn't expect so much feedback so quickly! This definitely helps. Starting day 1 today. If anyone else is doing the august whole30, I would really appreciate a "running buddy" to help hold me accountable and to compare my meals to. The fact that you all can empathize with the topic I've brought up definitely makes a difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, you don't know that it's not a mental struggle for them. It sounds as if they are just eating without thinking, which is not good. They are young and they don't understand the consequences now, but they will, trust me.

 

I'm not really a binge eater (well I once did eat an entire bag of sweet potato fries in like 10 minutes) but I have been sick from food my whole life, so like you, I can question, why me and not them? But you know what? I feel lucky. I know I have a problem. It has brought me to eating healthier and now to W30. The junk those girls are eating will catch up to them eventually. Then they may look at you and say, 'How does she do it?'

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to eat emotionally, and have issues with sugar/desserts. Now I don't. I can have a piece of cake and be satisfied because I really enjoyed it (or have a bite and leave it because its not that great), not feel like I need a whole cake to make me feel better, or because I "deserve" it. (We aren't pets, we don't need rewarding with food)

Willpower, and also overcoming a lot of the emotional issues helped. Cravings go away, tastes change. I'd also rather be healthy and maintain my physique than chow down on sweets all day and be unhealthy and fat again!

 

I need me some of this attitude! I'm very good at forgetting the bit about fit & healthy when i'm staring down a chocolate cake...  :ph34r:

Link to post
Share on other sites

You definitely can't compare to others. And your friends/family might say they don't have any health issues, but I know I thought the same in relation to food before I learned everything I know now, and boy was I wrong. I really believe you can't know what effect something has on you (good or bad) until you take it out then reintroduce it to see how it really works for you. In the end, all we can know is that we're making the right choices for ourselves at the time they were made, so if you're working towards that I reckon you're on the right path!

 

In terms of exercise, my first and most important criteria is that I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I won't do it, and I won't want to do it unless I like it. Like the food/hunger test of are you hungry enough to eat steamed white fish and bok choy/etc, I have an exercise test - am I happy to get up at 5/530 in the morning to do the WOD/barre class/bike ride/dance around the lounge room naked like a goose? If I feel happy saying yes to that most of the time, then its a good option for me!

Link to post
Share on other sites

amberino21, how long did it take you to get to the point where you could make those rational decisions and have sugar and "trigger foods" in moderation? Was is just after doing a whole30? 

 

At the end of my last whole30 I felt "normal" and could think clearly without being influenced by sugar/pb etc. However, then I attempted to reintroduce it in moderation and things quickly went downhill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only on day 23 of my first whole 30! I went through a huge lifestyle change about 4 years ago, initially just to lose weight (25kgs) then it became something I continued for health. Before that I thought I was healthy, and really had no idea how important diet was to health!!

My brain change just happened - I was kind of in shock how one day I just switched off that emotional eating switch and could stick to only what I had planned to eat!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Seth, I saw this the other day under the 'off roading' topic. It's more geared to life after W30, but it may work in your case to think about what you are craving and why you shouldn't eat it. It's like counting to 10 before getting mad. Sometimes you just need to stop and think for a few moments to halt the mind/body signal to eat something you shouldn't be:

 

http://whole9life.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Whole9%27s-Guide-to-Nutritional-Off-Roading.pdf

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think of this kind of like alcoholism...some people have trouble with alcohol, and need to limit or cut off their intake.  Some people can have a few drinks a week and be fine.  It's not fair, but we're all individuals, and what is easy for one person is hard for another.  You just have to do the best with the hand you're dealt.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Seth, to answer your original question, there is research and there are a number of causes. Some psychological, some physiological. Just like some people have better pain tolerance than others, some people cope better with inflammation than others and some people develop less inflammation than others. Some people have a robust metabolism and others are affected by the slightest changes... Not enough sleep, too much coffee, too much exercise, too many carbs etc, insulin sensitivity, the list is endless. What helps most is finding out your particular causes or triggers and being as healthy as you can to enjoy the best quality of life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback and help. I can't explain how much it helps to know that others can relate and have overcome. I have been hesitant to post in the forums until now, but I am definitely glad I did. Your responses have confirmed that everyone really is different when it comes to triggers, and I have also finally realized that I really need to just dig and pull the emotional discomforts out of my life and face my fears. Again, thanks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that is one of the worst things I've done to myself over the years.....compare to others.  I'm not anyone else.  My body is not going to act the way anyone else's does.  I have to listen to what my needs are and go from there.  To look at why my friend lost weight and I didn't, or why they can seemingly eat anything and I can't, or why some have more self control than me is exhausting.  God made me just the way I am and I can take my strengths and build on them and also work on my weaknesses.  Embrace who you are.....

Also, I've started to realize that maybe these food issues I have are a blessing......if something causes you to eat better/healthier because you have to, that may just be the very thing that saves your life down the road.....less disease/sickness.  Disease can begin in a body years and years before you have symptoms so just because your friends can eat that, doesn't make them healthy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.