Concerns with binge eating


Keri W.

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I am currently into the second week of my 2nd Whole30. In between the whole30s, I had a mini-binge once I reintroduced dairy and that's when I got a hold of myself and started into my 2nd Whole30. The binge could've been WAY worse and I'm proud of myself for not letting it linger on for days like I normally do. However, this has been a common thing for me in the past and it scares me. My sister and I are both like that. It seems that after 30 days of any healthy food regimen, we both crash. My sister eats clean but doesn't follow the whole9 way of thinking (she eats dairy & some grains). She has a trainer that she works with, and he told her to add in a cheat meal every three weeks. GASP! To me, this sounds like a terrible idea and I think that would make me go into binge mode. I can't eat fruit or higher carb veggies without starting into the negative binge mode. I've tried so hard to just add in fruit once in awhile but it feels like it builds up in my body and then all I can think about is sugar. Ugh. Anyways, I recall a period of time while eating low carb, that I really never craved sugar and went on like that for a significant amount of time. I want to feel that way again. I have faith that the Whole9 way is going to make this happen for me, but I think that nutritional off-roading is a terrifying thing for me. I hate how I feel when I eat sugar. My question is, do you think that after an extended period of time, I MAY be able to eat something with sugar and not let it go into a full blown binge? Or...should I allow for a cheat meal every three weeks that allows me to taste the foods I miss? I have no need to reintroduce foods to see how they effect me, as I already know that I have celiac (no gluten), and dairy bothers me. My sister and I just don't understand why we have such major issues with this. Thoughts?

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Doing a Whole90 or 180 may allow you to become settled enough in your new relationship with food that a little fruit or sweet potato won't rock your boat.

You should never cheat. You can eat anything you truly want, but you should make the choice purposefully and enjoy it. In the Whole30 world, you can have "treats," but we don't want you suffering guilt trips from cheating.

The idea that eating unhealthy foods periodically is good for you is bogus. You can eat unhealthy foods occasionally. I do. But you should never lie to yourself that you are doing so for any other reason than that you like the taste or it is convenient. That's why we call them treats, not cheats.

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As an ex binge eater struggling for years I completely understand what you are going through and I will tell you what helped me.

Eating more fat and all that definitely helped with my physical relationship with food, but stopping the "food rules" was what really stopped the binge eating. After my second whole 30 I made a list of foods that I really wanted to eat and allowed myself to eat them as described in Melissa's F off scale. http://whole9life.com/2010/12/the-healthy-f-off-scale-version-2-0/

Allowing yourself to "just add in" once in a while as you described doesn't work, because you still have the thought mentally that you are doing a bad thing and breaking a rule, which leads to guilt and binge eating. You need to implement the F off scale. You need to fully accept that you can eat fruit and even (gulp) sweets whenever you want because you are a grown woman and you are allowed to. When you put these foods on the F off scale, you don't get guilt anymore, it's like F off, I'm eating this right now and I don't care, F off. It's difficult, but once you do this the cravings diminish and so do the binges. I know it sounds crazy, I never believed it would work with my epic binge habit but it did once I fully accepted the F off scale. Guilt is never healthy!

My first list was things like chocolate chunk cookies and sugar cereal....now my list isn't even that bad, it's stupid things like oatmeal, peanut butter, dark chocolate and tofu sausage. Once I said f-it, I'll eat these whenever I want, the allure went away. I way overdid it at first and didn't think it was possible, but I trusted the F off scale and over time it worked and I have not had a binge in a really long time plus I'm really happy that I can enjoy these foods occasionally because I really like them! I love the F off scale, it has been so helpful and is such a great tool to have. Maybe this will help you, good luck :)

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Hi Keri, I also have Celiac Disease and am a recovering sugar-binger. I just completed my first Whole 30 on August 30, so I am still new to this. I really lost my sugar cravings, which was one of the main reasons I started. I had ice cream last night, and I focused on thoroughly enjoying it and not feeling guilty. And i ate it slowly. I was right back after I ate it. All of this was pretty shocking because the old me would have used that to feel guilty and throw in the towel. However, I will be completely avoiding milk chocolate. I think I am still quite away from having a healthy relationship with the stuff. Good luck, and I will be battling right along with you.

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