I am sad, frustrated and pretty angry


cayenne

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I am sick and tired of not trusting myself around food. I am sick , at my age(55), of always thinking I am going to struggle daily with food. Does one really get over disordered eating? I get up thinking about my  issues with food and I go to bed thinking about them. Last year, I really did great on this plan-stayed true to the plan for 3+ months, then continued for several more at 95% or better. I found the plan easy for the most part BUT I eliminated huge sections of food that I struggle with. I did not learn to trust myself around them. Just like a crack addict, I stayed away completely from sugar, grains, dairy etc. Then, I lost about 20 pounds over 6 months so not huge drop but steady and slow.

I kinda fell off when my dog passed away, we got another puppy maybe too soon, and hubby got sick and then next 6 months were in and out of hospital with the eventual amputation of a leg.

Now, he is good, and puppy is almost a year old so things have settled a bit.

I understand that the point of this plan is not a diet or to lose weight BUT I suspect 95% of folks who try this-that is the desired goal.  Getting back on plan is like an old hat to me-easy. This time, there is NO weight loss after gaining back the 20 pounds it took me 6 months to lose.

After being on this plan on and off for so long, is it typical to become so adapted to this plan that it no longer "works"? Is my body so aclimated to this that it is just stuck much like a plateau an athlete gets in if they do the same thing over and over? Do I need in encorporate a change to shock my body into weight loss again?

Typical day-3 eggs/spinach/squash or black olives for Bfast, ground chicken and veggies for lunch-usually not a starchy carb veggie, carrots and an apple on the ride home from work, the salad with avocado, olives chicken for dinner. When working out or a long bike ride-a larabar(to be honest). Maybe 3 glasses of wine a week. NO grains, dairy, sugar for the most part.

This plan may not be the right plan for me to live with....I don't  know. I thought it was as I was never hungry and I could train for triathlons fairly well. I want to feel there will be a time I can trust myself around food and not think I will spend the rest of my days fighting it, restricting it, worried about it in one way or the other-Damn!!

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I put on weight from stress last year while eating Whole30 most of the year. This summer things settled a bit, and five months later my body composition is  (FINALLY!!!!) shifting.

 

Stress is a huge factor in holding on to weight.

 

Be as gentle with yourself as you can.  You've been through a lot. Deep breaths, eat well, and give yourself lots and lots of time.  And then a bit more time.

 

Most of us are way too hard on ourselves, and then the battle for good health gets exhausting.  Rest, go easy, and eat well.  Be much kinder to yourself than you think is proper. :wub: 

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I wanted to come back here with a follow-up thought on the subject of life stress and going on and off Whole30/Whole30ish eating.  I find, for myself (not a statistical sample, of course), that after I've been under a lot of stress and when I'm returning to a cleaner way of eating (whether a strict Whole30 or a Whole30 + this or that), that I need LOTS of food for a while. 

 

I think, in this regard, that checking on weight within a thirty-day period of returning to Whole30/Whole30ish eating may be counterproductive. I know Whole30 allows checks of weight once the 30 day period is done, but for those of us going longer term, and living Whole30/Whole9 beyond that 30-day period, this may be something we want to rethink. Profound life stresses take a lot out of us, and I think we need to feed ourselves extremely well for quite a while before our bodies get the news that it's OK to let go of extra pounds, feel rested, and get our cortisol levels back on track.  It's also worth checking in with a health practitioner who will check those pesky cortisol levels, though this takes us beyond Whole30 itself.  Serious and prolonged life stresses can have a significant impact on our cortisol levels and rhythms, and this in turn can keep us stressed out even when the immediate/original source of the stress is long gone. 

 

I hope some of these thoughts provide a point of departure for your own thoughts, and some encouragement to you that you're really doing amazingly well, even (especially?) when it may not feel like it.  You're here, you're eating, and you're determined to keep it all up for another day.  That right there is victory. :wub:

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Dear Cayenne,

 

Understood and appreciated that you expected more.  You sound very healthy..training for your triathons.  Wow, I think that's very athletic.  Give it some time and you'll be back in the full swing of a W30 food reset lifestyle.  Happy trails and not trials to you.  :) 

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Hello, cayenne.  First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your dog and about your husband's leg.  

 

I wonder if you are eating enough, considering that you are training for triathalons.  Most people assume they must be eating too much... many times, people are eating too little.  

 

Are you doing an official Whole 30 right now, or have you done one recently?  If not... maybe that is a good place to start?  The wine would be out, and you could really focus on following the meal template, as well as the recommendations for pre-workout and post-workout nutrition -- instead of Larabars, which I am sure you have seen the posts here about.  They are an emergency food.  They will only continue to feed the cravings and constant food thoughts that you don't want to have.

 

I also wonder how is your sleep?  Sad, frustrated, and pretty angry is not a good place to be.  For me, those emotions are greatly intensified when I am short on sleep.  Even one night is noticeable, but definitely multiple nights... it has a cumulative effect that there is no denying.

 

I do believe that we can get over disordered eating.  I have had many small personal victories that add up to a BIG victory for me.  Each particular struggle, I have learned from.  I get a little stronger and a little smarter each time I conquer something.  There are things that are ingrained now that didn't used to be.  Lightbulb moments or literally like the "click" of a puzzle piece fitting perfectly -- ah ha! moments... these are all a great part of the Whole 30 for me.  

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Thanks for the kind words, guys. I do understand the longer term issues that stress can have even though things have improved-it is like waiting for the other shoe to drop. But life holds these challenges for all of us and, like you said, taking care of ourselves over the long term is the way out-takes forever it seems.

My biggest frustration is not trusting myself around food-I have have the biggest part of the last year and a half doing W90 then 30ish and if I don't completely eliminate the "offender", then I struggle. My goal is to be able to trust myself, live a normal life around food, be able to live out in the community(not isolated as sometime W30 can be), and get my weight under control in my retirement years.

Yes-I am proud of the triathlons and have done 2 irondistance races, aand several marathons and countless half marathons-but you see, that just ga ve me the OK to eat as well as to "outrun the devil" as we call it. I have been to counseling etc and read all manner of resources.

Is it just someting I will be fighting till I drop dead? Just want to come to some kind of peace about it. The W30 plan is fabulous-best plan I have been on by far. Not hungry, good sleep etc-just eliminates the issues-not dealing with them. Does that make sense??
 

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Yes, it does make sense - but give it time. You can't possibly overstate the amount of stress and grief you've been through recently. And yes, we all face these things - but the thing is, everybody struggles with this stuff. We struggle in our own ways, sure, but there's no one out there who has it all figured out. And when life stresses come, we revert to our oldest survival patterns, and then we have to re-learn the new ways that were just taking hold when the stressors hit.  This doesn't mean the battle is lost, it means our bodies and minds really want to survive.

 

Give yourself time, parameters that help, and more time. :wub:

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Yes it is possible to learn to trust yourself with food.  You don't need to feel like this is a life sentence - that you will always feel like you can't be trusted in the same room with [insert fav food here - cake/chips/nutella/whatever].  A year ago I figured it wasn't possible, but now I believe it is as I've seen that shift in my own life.  

 

Whole30 and paleo give you a good food foundation but the book is called "it starts with food" for a reason - food is a big part, but there is far more to it for people who have had an unhealthy relationship with food, weight, body image (which is the case for the majority of women, I think).

 

Mindset about food, body image, restriction, etc etc all play a big part for many people in my experience.  Mental/emotional work is important too.  Lots of great blogs and articles out there to help with that kind of stuff.  Message me if you would like me to send a list of the resources I've been reading.

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cayenne--I can totally understand where you are coming from.  I am 32 and have battled disordered eating for 4 years.  I wonder the same thing--if I will ever be able to be normal around food again.  Right now I am going through a very frustrating time.  I train 2-3 hours a day (sometimes more) and eat strict Paleo/Whole 30 and am gaining weight like no one's business.  I know it's not whole30 but I do track what I eat and it's not a lot for as much as I train.  My training is running, cycling, lifting and crossfit.  I don't understand what is going on at all.  I know stress plays a huge part and we have a lot going on in our lives right now (young kids, own our own business, family illness, etc) but I feel like it can't all be stress. I am waiting on labs to see if it is my thyroid, cortisol, etc.  I hope it can provide answers.  So I empathize with you!!!  Hopefully we can work towards finding a good balance for both of us!!  Best of luck and if you ever need to vent feel free--I will listen! 

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