Experiment “The Diet Fix”: Important message for those with eating disorder

I enjoyed my experiment on following the Diet Fix. Here’s my last summary.

However, I have learned something very important since then.

So, please, if you have/had eating disorder such as bulimia or binge-eating, read the message below.

eating-disorders-statistics-among-female-students-in-uae

What happened

In my past post, I wrote about my take on The Diet Fix by Yoni Reedhoff after about 10 days of (80%) following his principals.

Soon after that, I experienced a relapse a.k.a binge-ing.

Why this is an important message

I feel the OBLIGATION to warn fellow eating disorder recoverers the lessons I have learned from the experiment. Even if only 1 or 2 people read the post! I have corrected the course – remember it is different for everyone.

Why The Diet Fix was good

The Diet fix encourages:

  • High protein intake per meal (20g for main, 10g for snacks).
  • Preferably 6 meals a day to combat our evolution-based hunger. Meaning, don’t go hungry which will trigger bad food choices.
  • Measure, count (cals, proteins, etc). Repeat.
  • Meet the minimum protein and calories per meal (as opposed to restricting to a maximum).
  • ONLY do what you ENJOY while still keeping to a HEALTHY standard. Indulgences, fluctuations, all healthy and necessary part of life.

I did have good results from following a high protein intake – especially from breakfast through to afternoon. It did prevent mindless unhealthy eating at the end of the day. It also showed my protein intake was previously too low.

Why The Diet Fix for people with eating disorder

Numbers! Counting! Tracking!

Though the approach emphasizes on eating enough protein as opposed to capping at X calories (though that is also softly mentioned), counting is still counting. The danger of totally relying on external validators is that you can easily forget to listen to your body and learn what hunger and fullness feels like.

Intuitive Eating was what helped me, and many others, to stop the vicious cycle of binges.

About 2 weeks into tracking, I did slip back into the old mindset of watching out for the max calories (meeting protein quota was easy).  Quite sure that was the trigger for the subsequent binges.

How to correct the course

  • I set my tracker (myfitnesspal.com) to a ridiculously high calories goal. It takes the red (over calories) marks out of the dashboard.
  • I paid for the premium membership so I can set the macro as the most prominent indicator on my dashboard. Focusing on how I am doing in terms of Protein vs Fat vs Carb, and not calories.
  • Remembering the purpose of tracking – a non-judgemental view of understanding what I put in and how it affects my body.

And I still don’t care about the number on the scale. I care about what how my diet is affecting my health. Hope you are on the same page too.

Stress – What a Sneaky Beast!

Lack of blog post is never a good thing, except in the case when one turns to blogging only when one’s frustrated, sad, and stuck.

Therefore, happy to say, I have made much progress in the Eating (Disorder) department in the past few months, so much that I preferred to experience, as opposed to simply writing about, my newly-learned gastronomic aptitude.

However, as the mind-to-keyboard channel was neglected, dust, rust and countless unidentifiable substances started clogging up my system. Hardly noticeable really, until I found myself with 2 consecutive nights of binge-ing.

Time for some house keeping.

Matisse, "The Inattentive Reader", http://www.tate.org.uk/
Matisse, “The Inattentive Reader”, http://www.tate.org.uk/

Am I worried? Not really. Since mastering Intuitive Eating (maybe “mastering” is too presumptuous…let’s say successfully learned), there have been fleeing moments of anxiousness when I wanted to turn to food for comfort. But, I had no desire to use food for comfort. It was the absolute sweetest and most liberating feeling to (1) feel anxious (2) instinctively think about binge-ing, and (3) automatically write that option off. No internal chatters or struggle: I was no longer into binge-ing. How about that?

It’s like I became so aware of my hunger/satiation level (physiological but also psychological) that the “bad emotions” had nowhere else to hide. I could single out that anxious feeling as something to look into, not something to bite into.

I no longer subconsciously drown and avoid the emotions. However, I had not actually done much about it either! I had simply moved from subconsciously avoiding the emotions to now consciously avoiding them (too much sleep, too much brain fog).

John Macallan, “SwanBack of a Leopard Lying Down”. http://www.tate.org.uk

And that is a breeding ground for stress.  No need to look further than the eruption of the following persistent problems in the past 2 months:

  • Poor digestive system
  • Sore throat
  • Chronic fatigue (even on days with a clear mind)
  • Severe acne
  • Loss of appetite
  • Brain fog

 

Stress, it really is a sneaky beast.

On a good day, you are on top of the world. For the next 3 bad days, stress starts brewing and likely multiplying deep, deep down in the core. Before you knew…well, you got all those common-yet-no-clear-cure symptoms.People said you are stressed. Your masseuse told you you are stressed. Even your doctor told you you are stressed.

And yet you are at a loss – what does no stress feel like?

 

Silver lining, always! Thanks to my new eating habit and established love for workouts, I can now list – yes, LIST – all the stress factors and will be able to resolve them one by one. Oh, it is a  long list but at least it is a list. It is no longer a lump of “unknown” that I could not make the head or tail of.

In my next post, I will outline my plan. I have started already, but my 2 nights of binge-ing helps put an “urgent” sticker on it.

Bring it on, I am ready.

Clouded Clarity

You know that light-bulb moment when you achieve clarity? 

I had that moment about a month into intuitive eating. Deprivation-driven eating (too few calories, too many food/workout rules) was fading, while emotional triggers became more detectable.

Work in full swing, food to follow. Cause and Effect.  Clarity was a sweet, sweet thing.

Yet, as expected, the path is never linear.  It’s now foggy; causes for recent binge episodes unidentified.

I miss my logical inner world of peace.

Artist: Loui Jover

 

Here’s what I have done to prevent slipping back
Ignore what I did and how I feel (bloated! guilty! confused!) and keep to my work out plan. Again, endorphins prove to be the best remedy *PROUD*

 

Here’s what I will do to regain clarity

  • Consolidate AND clear my to-do list in earnest. I am pretty sure that the pile of procrastinated “stuff” is building up stress deep, deep inside my core.
  • Keep up with my workout plan.
  • Practise breathing. While I’ve back into HIIT quite well, my Pilates has slipped….my mind just isn’t quite there to handle the movements. Oh so cliche, but the mind-body connection does need mending.

 

 

Challenges? Bring them on.

 

 

 

I binged, now what?

My Eating Disorder (Bulimia/Binge-eating) has resurfaced after 20-odd years, right when I was at my “fittest”, physique-wise.

 

I am documenting my thoughts, actions, and discoveries for 2 reasons:

  • To flesh out my thinking during both low and high points
  • To record the journey that I know will have twists and turns, all pointing towards recovery
  • To share insights that may help others in a similar boat

 

Source: Favim.com
Source: Favim.com

 

What Happened Today
I’ve been extremely bloated the past day or so, likely due to the aftermath of Gastroenteritis, leaving my digestive system in an extremely sluggish state. Who knew a “clogged” system could leave me so self-conscious? I feel 2 sizes larger, though my logical mind told me this is a temporary (medical) condition.

The anxiety must have been brewing at the back of my mind….till I was alone with the opportunity to binge hence silence the unease.

While the actual amount consumed was not astronomical (compared to more serious episodes), it was psychologically trying. I escaped by taking a long Sunday afternoon nap, full stomach and all.

Source: Favim.com

 

What I will do
What’s done is done. I feel extremely down but my fighting spirit and logical mind are doing their best.

I have 2 choices: (A) to give in to the slippery slope, or (B) to use this setback as another chance to prove my strategy WILL work.

I am going with (B).

My strategy is two-fold:

  • Continue with my “re-kick-start” workout programme. Endorphins, circulation, lymphatic drainage….not to mention delicious abs and strong legs. It is the best Rx.
  • Continue to write and share (and hope to attract a few comments?)

 

Today’s Discovery

 

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