Whole30 and food addictions.


sugaraddict83

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Hi, I'm new to this so let me go ahead and give you a bit of history.  In the past 3 weeks I've started and fallen off the program about 5 times.  I thought this would be a great way to clean up my diet and start leading a more balanced nutritious life.  What I didn't realize was that my compulsive behavior with food had started to resurface and this would push me over the edge. 

 

I have a hard time with the notion of perfection.  I've lived my life with the whole all or nothing approach and thats what fueled my compulsive eating in the first place.  I thought the Whole30 might be a solution to that, what I did not realize is that it would act as a trigger to further exasperate my compulsive behavior.  I've really been working on myself emotionally and was hoping this would help but the tough love approach doesn't work for me.  The idea of all or nothing brings out crippling fear within me, it send me down a spiral of deprivation and shame.  Today is the 2nd day of my 5th attempt at the Whole30 and after obsessively thinking of sugar I decided that I would again go on a bender tonight and then start Day 1 all over again tomorrow.  But I was so sick of that, starting and restarting all over again! Till I got online and started researching eating disorders and the Whole30 and when I came across what Melissa and Dallas wrote about it being hard and taking it one step at a time I started to cry. 

 

It is hard, no one really tells you that.  I realized the rigidity of the Whole30 wasn't a possibility at this stage in my life.  I was all but about to give up but I feel so empowered after reading what they wrote and other peoples comments too.  I've decided I'm going to take it one day at a time and if I happen to stray a little I won't restart over, I'm making a promise to myself to complete the whole30 to the best of my ability.

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From one fellow sugar addict to another - this IS hard.  It is waaay hard.

 

But on the other side - it is also the most freeing way of eating too.  I have come to a place to the other side where I give myself total permission to eat whatever I want.  Does it mean I eat ALL THE THINGS?  No.  

 

How did I come to this fantasy place?  All of my decisions are made by the information that I gathered on my whole 30's. Each decision I make is based on: does this food make me feel crummy?  If yes - how crummy does it make me feel?  Do I feel crummy for roughly 24 hours?  Or Do I feel crummy for 10 days (yes that is a serious thing for me) .  I could not have come to this place where I am without the information from my whole 30's.

 

The thing is even when I am doing a whole 30 - nothing is really truly off limits.  I just run with - do I want that chocolate?  Hmmm - not right now.  Maybe tomorrow.  Since it is never off limits - I don't feel like I am depriving myself.  

 

You see I am an all or nothing personality too!  There is no moderation for me.  I like things black and white.  In fact it kind of scares me that I take so much comfort in it. 

 

I am the type of person who will finish the entire bag of oreo's - just so it's not there anymore.  I mean I could throw the bag of oreo's out after the 5th or 6th one - but then that would be wasteful.  So my solution to make it go away is to finish the entire bag.  That is why when I make the choice to have a chocolate - I chose a small bar.  I give my permission to finish it - but sometimes I do but it is coming to a point where I don't have that "need" to make it go away any more.  I make the decision not to have these triggers in my house.  If I want it I have to walk to the store to pick it up.  Simply in that action - you can postpone the actual craving and start asking yourself what is going going in your life.  Why do you really want it.  If you want it just 'cause - that is not a good enough reason.  

 

One meal at a time, one day at a time is a good way to approach things.  And do not let perfection be the enemy of good.  

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Now to delve onto the food side of things...

 

Are you able to list a couple of days worth of meals look like?  It's quite possible you could be under eating, or not eating enough fat or starchy carbs.  NOt eating enough foods - will set you up for giving into your cravings.

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Hi Carlacccini, OMG everything you just said is exactly how i feel!  I'm the person that will finish the jar of nutella just so it isn't there anymore! The giving myself  permission to eat the food is exactly what I'm talking about.  If it isn't off limit in my head, I'm not depriving myself.  I actually had a great year and a half where I ate in moderation and was able to live a balanced life without every waking moment be about food.

 

I've found that comfort on the Whole30 too, the time i gets crazy is when I get a really bad craving and in my head I forbid myself because I'm supposed to be good these 30 days and not stray.  That's when the compulsive behavior starts.  I'll start planning my binge so that I can eat that day and promising myself perfection from the next day forward.  So now I too am using the approach of moderation.  If a craving strikes I'll try talking myself down and if I can't then I won't beat myself up about it.  Its really hard to understand that perfection doesn't exist when you come from that black and white mind set.  It's so much easier to use the idea of perfection as a crutch. Thanks so much for your response, glad to know I'm not the only one out there.

 

And in response to your question about food, this is a typical good day on the whole30:

 

Breakfast:

mushroom and roasted tomato egg scramble 

turkey sausage or smoked salmon

 

Snack:

an apple usually

 

lunch:

Some sort of salad

chicken nuggets 

sweet potato oven chips

 

snack:

green tea and maybe some fruit

 

dinner:

kale stirfry or salad

lamb or chicken curry or stirfry.

 

If I get a sugar craving sometimes I can eat a date or some dried figs and take my mind off it or have it go away.

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Okay - some questions and comments.

 

How many eggs are in your scramble? When eggs are your soul protein they should be the number of whole eggs you can hold in one hand.

 

The fact that you are needing a snack tells me that your meal one is not big enough.

 

I also see no fats listed anywhere.  Please note that cooking fats very often get left behind in the pan.

 

Any protein needs to palm sized,  This is the height, width and depth of your palm.  If you are still hungry add another piece.

 

DO NOT - snack on fruit, nuts, or dried fruit.  You want to kill your sugar dragon and get over your cravings this is the complete wrong way  to do it.  Think about it like this.  Your body is craving sugar.  So what do you give it?  SUGAR!  in the form of fruit, nuts and dried fruits.   You are going to keep your sugar dragon alive and well fed this way.

 

If you are hungry.  And I mean honestly hungry - NOT snacky - the litmus test we suggest for hunger is that you are hungry enough to eat something super bland like either steamed veggies and fish - then eat.  Think mini meal or protein, veg and fat.  If you are not hungry but just merely snacky - distract yourself.  Go for a walk, make a cup of tea, read a magazine - something else to distract you from your craving.

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I have two things I do to stop a craving in its tracks:

 

1. Drink a cup of mint herbal tea. The mint flavor signals that it's not eating time (similar to brushing your teeth or chewing a piece of gum - giving up gum was one of my hardest things!!) and it is refreshing and thirst quenching - half the time I find I'm not actually hungry, just thirsty.

 

2. If the craving is really hanging on, I promise myself that I will wait 30 minutes and see if I still want it. 99% of the time, actively delaying it is enough to make it go away. I think it's because I'm not telling my brain "no, you can't have that" which of course makes me want it more ... I'm saying "not right now". By the time the 30 minutes rolls around, I've calmed down enough to realize I really don't want to derail all my progress to give in to one craving.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Good luck!

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Wow, @Carlaccini - yep, you definitely put into words what I feel too when I eat compulsively. That I want to "make it go away" and the solution is finishing it all. I wonder what it is that wires us to be that way?

 

@sugaraddict83: I am a full-blown sugar addict as well, and I'm only on Day 4 of my W30 so I can't give tons of sage wisdom yet. But one thing that I will say is that I caught myself having kind of a trigger-y thought earlier today, but luckily I was able to immediately identify it and turn it around, which made me feel a TON better. And that thought was, "I don't eat _____ anymore" (where the blank space is whatever one of your usual non-W30 temptations is). When I had that thought, it made me want to panic and go running for that food, RIGHT NOW, because the commitment of that statement is overwhelming -- who is the W30 to say that I will never have one particular thing ever again, especially something I like? So I corrected myself and thought, no, what I really mean is "I'm not eating that right now." Because "right now" is only 30 days. And if we make it to the end of the 30 days, we can then give ourselves the choice to do whatever we want, but in a more enlightened way. That's how I'm trying to see it, anyways. Hopefully this mantra continues to talk me off the ledge of any similar emotional triggers as time goes on!

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H

 

Wow, @Carlaccini - yep, you definitely put into words what I feel too when I eat compulsively. That I want to "make it go away" and the solution is finishing it all. I wonder what it is that wires us to be that way?

 

@sugaraddict83: I am a full-blown sugar addict as well, and I'm only on Day 4 of my W30 so I can't give tons of sage wisdom yet. But one thing that I will say is that I caught myself having kind of a trigger-y thought earlier today, but luckily I was able to immediately identify it and turn it around, which made me feel a TON better. And that thought was, "I don't eat _____ anymore" (where the blank space is whatever one of your usual non-W30 temptations is). When I had that thought, it made me want to panic and go running for that food, RIGHT NOW, because the commitment of that statement is overwhelming -- who is the W30 to say that I will never have one particular thing ever again, especially something I like? So I corrected myself and thought, no, what I really mean is "I'm not eating that right now." Because "right now" is only 30 days. And if we make it to the end of the 30 days, we can then give ourselves the choice to do whatever we want, but in a more enlightened way. That's how I'm trying to see it, anyways. Hopefully this mantra continues to talk me off the ledge of any similar emotional triggers as time goes on!

 

Honestly - part of me thinks it all the things that are put into the food like substances to get us addicted.  They are made to make us want more.  However the more we eat the more guilty we feel.  The more guilty we feel the more we try to squash down those feelings with more food like substances.  And eventually it hits us that we just want to make the stupid thing go away so we don't have these feelings any more.

 

I was lucky when I was a kid - my mom loved to bake so we very often had homemade goodies.  Still goodies none the same but at least you knew what was in them.  It wasn't until I was a teenager where I was introduced to the true food like substances.

 

Oreos have zero calling for me now.  I can stare down any prepacked treat that I used to indulge in.  To me they just taste fake and manufactured.  And I don't even enjoy it.  But my mom's homemade peanut butter cookies?  Totally worth it.  This is the power of the whole 30.

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  • 2 months later...

From one fellow sugar addict to another - this IS hard.  It is waaay hard.

 

But on the other side - it is also the most freeing way of eating too.  I have come to a place to the other side where I give myself total permission to eat whatever I want.  Does it mean I eat ALL THE THINGS?  No.  

 

How did I come to this fantasy place?  All of my decisions are made by the information that I gathered on my whole 30's. Each decision I make is based on: does this food make me feel crummy?  If yes - how crummy does it make me feel?  Do I feel crummy for roughly 24 hours?  Or Do I feel crummy for 10 days (yes that is a serious thing for me) .  I could not have come to this place where I am without the information from my whole 30's.

 

The thing is even when I am doing a whole 30 - nothing is really truly off limits.  I just run with - do I want that chocolate?  Hmmm - not right now.  Maybe tomorrow.  Since it is never off limits - I don't feel like I am depriving myself.  

 

You see I am an all or nothing personality too!  There is no moderation for me.  I like things black and white.  In fact it kind of scares me that I take so much comfort in it. 

 

I am the type of person who will finish the entire bag of oreo's - just so it's not there anymore.  I mean I could throw the bag of oreo's out after the 5th or 6th one - but then that would be wasteful.  So my solution to make it go away is to finish the entire bag.  That is why when I make the choice to have a chocolate - I chose a small bar.  I give my permission to finish it - but sometimes I do but it is coming to a point where I don't have that "need" to make it go away any more.  I make the decision not to have these triggers in my house.  If I want it I have to walk to the store to pick it up.  Simply in that action - you can postpone the actual craving and start asking yourself what is going going in your life.  Why do you really want it.  If you want it just 'cause - that is not a good enough reason.  

 

One meal at a time, one day at a time is a good way to approach things.  And do not let perfection be the enemy of good.  

Do you think our cravings are a composite of all of the generations before us?  Their cravings in our DNA...carried down through the lineage.

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I am the type of person who will finish the entire bag of oreo's - just so it's not there anymore. I mean I could throw the bag of oreo's out after the 5th or 6th one - but then that would be wasteful. So my solution to make it go away is to finish the entire bag.

Substitute Jaffa cakes, slabs of dairy milk or packets of jammie Dodgers for Oreos and this is me!

And I know exactly how the "ill go to the shop, buy £& if chocolate, curl up in bed and eat it...I'll start again tomorrow" thoughts go. But they can remain just thoughts.

I deal with a complete inability to eat in moderation differently. I do not have it. Nope. If I even allow myself to think I can have pesky chocolate, even just in my mind, then I am doomed. Look at the freedom an actual wheat allergy has given my odd autistic mind...I cannot eat it and that has led to my life being so much better around cakes and biscuits and bread. I know...odd!

And I have always disputed that idea that whole30 is not hard. It is a choice to go against everything we have been taught about nutrition, to eat differently from everyone around us in the midst of advertising and fast food and supermarket shelves heaving with food we cannot touch. Then there's the idea of eating out and being "that" person...and the distinct possibility there won't be anything you can eat at the restaurant anyways...so eating your boiled egg stash whilst your friends eat chips.

It IS hard. Worth it...but bloody hard all the same.

You'll do great ;)

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I also have no moderation and have been finding that if I do go off the rails its always at least as bad as the last time if not worse (escalating much?).  This helps to keep me in check a bit more because while I know "one chocolate" will lead to many, the "many" is getting out of hand and that scares me a little.

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