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.

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Getting out of a Bulimic cycle

Breaking free from Bulimia or any Eating Disorder is a very, very long journey. Meanwhile, one needs some good tools to get quickly out of a bad cycle i.e. a series of binge or binge-and-purge episodes over a few days.

I have consistent success in employing 3 tricks. If you are on your Eating Disorder discovery/recovering journey, please try them out!

Source: Enjoytherandom.com
Source: Enjoytherandom.com

 

#1 – Tricking your own mind
Denial and Ignorance are 2 traits I cannot stand. HOWEVER, they can be usefully employed when it comes to binge management.

After a binge episode, you feel bloated, “fat”, tired, and guilty.  Slipping into a vicious cycle, you eat more to stub out those unpleasant feelings, to temporarily disengage from whatever has been bothering you.  And there breeds a new cycle.

Your body is not lying to you though – you ARE indeed bloated from too much salt/sugar, you ARE lethargic because you have been eating without moving.

But you have a choice regarding how to feel about the situation.

  • Choice A: Regrets, frustration and guilty feeling -> Vicious cycle
  • Choice B: Ignore or even deny how bloated you feel -> Back to Normal state of mind (and eating)

In other words, RESETTING your mind will RESET your behaviours.

Instead of reminding yourself of the binge episodes, you pretend nothing has happened. You go on with your programme – mindful and intuitive eating, enjoyable workouts – as if nothing bad has happened. 

You just killed the vicious cycle before it had a chance to grow!

 

#2 – Move, move, move!
Workout is a miracle cure, it really is. And remember: I am speaking as someone who only discovered this in her 40s…so it is never ever too late.

Here’s what will happen to you and your body when you just move your body for a bit

  1. You begin to feel alive; you get your head out of the post-binge zone where you focus so much on being “fat”, tired and guilty.
  2. You sweat, you get rid of water retention.
  3. You produce endorphins that make you feel better overall.
  4. You feel stronger and you are more flexible, all positive feelings to drown out the negative chatters in your head.

If you were like the old-me, the last thing you wanted to do is to move. I was there only 2 days ago…I binged then I slept A LOT. Today I eased back into a couple of workouts and am afreshed and ready for better days.

 

#3 – Self Awareness and External Support
Last but not least, the ultimate tool ….
The more you develop self-awareness, the more you solicit support from close ones, the quicker you will learn to recognize the signs and spring into positive actions.

 

Try these 3 methods and let me know how they work out for you!

 

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

 

If you know of similar sites, please let me know.

 

 

 

Back to T25

I am re-kickstarting my body today with T25 Focus. (No, I am not a seller).

It probably makes more sense had I shared my workout history and routine to put this in context…but, time must not be wasted, as I’m determined to face my Perfectionism by no longer writing, re-writing, over-thinking, or delaying my blog posting!

 

T25

I pick from my huge repertoire of workouts depending on my needs. At the moment, huge urgency regarding the following:

  • To continue with the momentum of dealing with my eating disorder (binge-eating/bulimia) that has improved tremendously since I worked with a therapist, adopted intuitive eating, and worked on issues like Perfectionism.
  • To kickstart my body out of inertia. Usually it only takes a few sessions of workout to get back.
  • To alleviate that awful bloating and lethargy due to 2 days of binges and anxiety, triggered by a minor event (you would laugh….housekeeper was not well so she sent her sister-in-law who not only destroyed my favourite cashmere sweater but put it away without telling me. It was in the no-touch pile, BTW)
  • To do the above, start with a workout that allows me to ease back in with (1) fun (2) low impact, but still intensive. My cardio takes about 2 quick sessions to get back to shape…jumping power a bit longer as my calves pretty much disappear once I stop working out!

 

For fellow Perfectionists/Over-thinkers out there, I fess up – I almost wanted to do do a plan – strategy! – first before even getting off the chair. To pick a workout within a split second to kick start something important (for my body, my mind…and those tight jeans!) was daunting.

But I am glad I used the time to write about it instead. Because now I no longer procrasinate posting, AND I get to workout right away, AND I hopefully get to start sharing and hearing others’ stories in their journey of fitness and health.

 

Off to the basement gym I go!