Jump to content

Disordered eating habits


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I did my first w30 back in January and have fallen off track since (even more so than before).

I'm looking to start my second w30 as I definitely need a reset, but noticed that after my first round I had some concerning thoughts and symptoms come up. To preface, I struggled with an eating disorder for many years when I was a teenager (I'm now mid twenties) and luckily recovered through the help of s long term residential program. I had been eating disorder and behavior free since I was 17, but found that recently the sneaky thoughts and some bingeing behaviors have crept back.

I've read before how Melissa suggests maybe for those folk who struggle with disordered eating behaviors go modify their whole30 (I.e. Not reading all ingredient labels).

My goal of a second round is to break the late night snacking/binge cycle that has become a habit, to do a thoughtful reintro, and to gain further control and eventually freedom over my eating.

I am working with a therapist this go around, but am really looking to you all on what modifications or suggests that you've heard of or done yourself to ensure the obsessive eating thoughts stay in check?

Thanks all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there & welcome back to Whole30.

I'm not sure if you're read >this article< from Ask Melissa, which also links to a number of blog articles on eating disorders, but if not you may find it helpful.

I'm all for those with any type of ED to keep a diary. Not just a food log, but one detailing weather, mood, sleep quality, work day/weekend, activities, music you've maybe listened to, the company you've kept (let's face it, certain people can be enablers), the places you've been - so many of these things can be triggers (alone, when combined, or combined with a certain food/s) that a diary really helps to identify these things and provides a starting point for how to deal with them - a way to develop a NEW reaction, which over time will be come your new norm.

Have you spoken with your therapist about a method for dealing with urges? A very well known method used in treating addictions & ED is urge surfing - which really means you ride the wave until it passes - I've copied an excerpt from an article below which you may find helpful, but you might want to talk to your therapist about this (if you haven't already), or read up on it a little more....


As the intensity of a craving builds it feels like it is going to keep on getting worse and if you don’t give in to it, it will last forever. In actual fact, if you can just wait it out it will peak in intensity after a few minutes and then gradually subside into nothingness; just as a wave crests and falls. Cravings very rarely last for longer than half an hour and are generally briefer in duration.


The trick is to forget fighting or suppressing cravings but instead to learn a technique that asks you to experience a craving fully so that you rob that craving of its power over you.

Urge surfing is a relapse prevention technique based on the principles of mindfulness meditation. By paying great attention to what a craving actually feels like, by maintaining awareness on the craving on a second by second basis and by avoiding passing value judgments about what you are experiencing (this is good, this is terrible, this will never end etc.) you learn to ride over waves of cravings and you rob these cravings of much of their power.

To get started with urge surfing try these three steps:

  1. When you feel a craving coming on, sit down in a  comfortable chair (ideally in a place where you won’t be disturbed), put your feet flat on the floor and take a few deep breaths to relax yourself. Close your eyes and look inward into your body. Try to feel where in your body you experience sensations of cravings and describe to yourself what these cravings feel like in different parts of your body (for example "I feel a tightness in my legs and my stomach is kind of jumpy…").
  2. Pick one area in your body that seems most affected by sensations of craving and focus deeply on these sensations as they pass by. To keep your mind from wandering, describe the sensations you experience in your chosen part of the body as they arise (for example "my arm is kind of itchy, now it’s almost like a pins-and-needles sensation just below my elbow in my inner arm…It feels warm too now…")
  3. Next move to another affected part of the body and repeat the focused attention there, and then repeat with another part of the body. After a while, you will notice that the craving will have passed by

By learning a new way to experience cravings you learn a valuable skill in overcoming them, and as you learn to experience your cravings in a mindful way, without judging and without giving in, you will find that in time the frequency and intensity with which you experience them will diminish.

Hopefully this will be of some help to you, and of course we're here to help you every step of the way....

Best of luck to you :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Right in line with the urge surfing is a book called Brain Over Binge.  I have recommended it numerous times on this forum to people struggling with recognizing that binge urges are just urges and can be ignored.  There is a new edition of the book out (that I haven't read) that *may* not be as good as the first edition.  See if you can get a used copy from the first printing.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't heard of urge surfing before. But I practice mindful meditation (which is what this seems to be) when cravings hit. Even if I am not focusing my mindfulness on the craving, spending a couple of minutes "diverting" my brain's attention onto something else and being completely mindful of it seems to usually do the trick. 


Also, I will sometimes brush my teeth or gargle with Listerine when it's getting close to bed time anyways. Seriously, NOTHING tastes good to me after either. So it instantly kills the urge for bedtime snacks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with JadedRaven, I know that once I brush my teeth I lose all interest in eating! It also helps to create a habit because once those teeth are brushed, eating is over, and you just sort of get in that mindset. If I don't brush my teeth, then I start to creep around and look for snacks...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Create New...