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Not the kind of success you'd expect

Ariel Elyse

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I finished a Whole48 a week or so ago. And I wanted to post what I've been learning to encourage and hopefully help others on their journey!


A bit of background: I'm young (18) and for the past year I've fought with binge eating. Growing up my family ate very healthy but for some reason when I was 16 or 17 I started wishing I could loose a little weight - and I was not overweight at all. So I worked out faithfully and messed around with herbs and smoothies and learned about healthy food. I did not loose weight (because I did not need to loose weight! I was super healthy!). Honestly this part of my story is fuzzy, but I remember starting to looove sweets. I got a stash of fair trade dark chocolate for Christmas one year and at first I just ate one square a day. Then it was two or three, and then it was a whole bar. I started eating when I was alone, and eating junk. I didn't gain much weight because I was active and young. 


Then this summer I went completely overboard on the bingeing. That combined with stress helped me gain about 20 pounds in a summer. I hated what I was doing and knew exactly what to do to get back to where I wanted to be... but I simply didn't do it (stop eating too much junk). Enter W30. I messed around with short spurts of the W30 plan and felt good when I was eating that way, but could never stick to it. Finally, on January 1 of 2016 I started in earnest. My mom hopped on board a few days later, and she was a huge part of my motivation. I'm going to say this now: I was not a very good W30 girl. I struggled with bingeing on sweet potatoes and nut butter. I ate SWPO. I ate too many small meals in a day. (I was eating to feel good, not for fuel. Same problem as earlier) But I did not go off plan, and I did not weigh myself.


Day 30 came and I knew I had not conquered whatever it was I'd set out to conquer. I still felt bloated. So I cracked down on myself and pretty much did away with sweet potatoes, nut butter, and too many meals in general. It actually wasn't that hard, since I was rolling from my W30. Finally, on what would have been day 49 I started reintroduction. I learned that I'm not allergic to any non-W30 foods. I also learned that either those foods are trigger foods for me, or (more likely) the fact that I was now "allowed" to have non-W30 food made me crave them like crazy. And I gave in a little. Then I gave in some more, and then suddenly I had a belly full of ice cream and corn chips.  


Let me tell you, that is a terrible feeling. I was so frustrated with myself. And I had a roaring headache. But you know what? I also know that I'm on a journey. And I know that it takes some serious guts to stand back up once you've fallen down - no matter how many times you've hit the ground before - and that standing back up again is more important than whimpering over failure. I know that God has a reason for this tough spot and that He loves me and by golly, He's not letting go of me. So I know it's going to be awesome in the end.


But. Time for tough love. Guys, I've learned that I still rely on food to make me happy (how silly. Seriously, girl!! God is your source of joy, and pouring out love on others is the way to be filled to overflowing with peace and joy!). And I started to taste freedom from that on my W30, but not fully. And I've learned that I am not ready to "allow" myself junk food on an occasional basis (because it won't be just occasional if I do). But I am 18 years old. I sometimes need to eat lunch at work. I go to friends' houses over dinner time. So here are my thoughts: I will continue on the W30 meal plan, with exception of eating butter (not a trigger food and I'm not allergic). I will give myself guidelines on sweet potatoes (1/day after my WO), nuts (nope. See ya.), and number of meals (3 plus a post/WO snack). BUT if I find myself in a position where it would be impolite/extremely inconvenient to insist on the W30 way, I will eat normal food. See, I only binge when I'm alone. In the cases where I'll be eating non-compliant I'll be with others (in those cases I tend to eat uber-healthy anyway) and therefore will hardly be tempted to overdo it. Then when I'm home again I will go right back to W30 style. No buts, ifs, or sad puppy faces. On my 19th birthday, in almost a month, I will reassess my progress. 


Goodness, that was long. Congratulations on reading this far! Thoughts, concerns, or questions? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ariel. I enjoyed reading your post. Congratulations on being so strong. It's been over a month since this post (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and I was wondering if you were able to get the bingeing under control? I have the same issue. Thank you.

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