Urgh - messed up eating habits


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Sorry this might be a long post but I am in need of some help. I did my first whole30 back in September 2016. I have a history of disordered eating so was reluctant to do it in the first place as I felt that the restriction in terms of food choices might trigger some of my old issues however I agreed to do it to support my husband. Low and behold I LOVED it, got massively into the food prep and cooking and felt incredible. I was a total whole30 bore for several months after and definitely experienced tiger blood. As the months passed I noticed that I started to get more obsessive about my eating and started to track my calories and food choices (even though they were whole30). I then started weighing myself every day and dropped a reasonable amount of weight (15lbs total) but I am pretty small to begin with.  When my cycle stopped I realized that I had gone too far in terms of my weight loss and needed to do something different however by that point I was back into my disordered eating and was obsessed with eating clean. I then started binging on non-whole30 foods and then started the binge/restrict cycle and for the past couple of months have been in that cycle and have put on about 10lbs but basically feel like crap. Because I have felt so bad I have been frantically trying different ways to lose the weigh (counting macros, intermittent fasting, hiring an online coach). When I write these things down I feel ridiculous because truthfully before I started to be crazy about food again my whole30 lifestyle worked great for me. I looked great, felt great and actually didn't think about food that much. It was only when I started becoming obsessed with losing weight and restricting my food that those thoughts came back. Anyway fast forward a couple of months and I am realizing that I do have the answers and the innate wisdom that my body needs to get through this with the tools that I learned doing whole30. I am going to do another one and REALLY focus on being mindful in terms of what my body needs and how it feels rather than doing what I think I need to do to lose weight. I also hope to experience some of the benefits of a reset in terms of my hormones, food cravings, mindfulness and habits around food etc. I guess the reason for the post is I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this downward spiral with doing whole30 and managed to get themselves back on track with the lifestyle but without going down the rabbit hole of disordered eating. I truly love the lifestyle, love the food and love the messages about listening to your body and food freedom. I felt like when I actually followed the program and wasn't so hung up on what the scale said that I did experience food freedom and felt great. I'd love to hear of anyone else's experiences with these issues and how they have overcome them. Currently my goals are to start whole30 June 1, 2017, no weighing, no measuring, sticking to the whole30 meal template, no snacking, lots of water and mindfulness in terms of how I feel after a meal so that I can better gauge portion sizes. I don't care so much about the weight but I would like to feel great in my body again and get rid of crazy food thoughts, cravings and obsessiveness as well as make better food choices. 

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Hi Sarah,

I totally hear you.  I have a history of eating disorders and had basically nipped it in the bud (or so I thought) prior to my Whole 30.  I was eating when hungry, stopping when full, and not eating emotionally.  With the Whole 30, I felt so great that now that I'm done, I'm terrified of losing weight and have gone back to obsessing about "good" and "bad" foods.

My plan is to return to how I ended up dealing with my disordered eating in the first place.  It is important to remember that there are no "bad" foods, there may be some foods that make us feel better and foods that make us feel worse, but really food is food and any meaning we choose to give food is our own decision.

While I will aim to stay away from the foods that make me feel bad (white flour, sugar, processed foods), I will also not beat myself up if I have them once in a while.  

Lastly, I will not focus on the number.  I have learned in the past that when I eat when hungry, stop when full, and don't eat to cover up my emotions (try the broccoli and chicken test), my body will be healthy and fine, and I don't need to obsess about the number.

Another thing I will do is come here to log and get out my thoughts and fears, dealing with the underlying emotions has always helped me to get back on track with food.

Best of luck with your journey!

Lots of love,

Paula

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