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Learning to listen

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  • Learning to listen

    Hi all you primals

    I've been fighting eating disorders for about 5 years now, and I want it to END. I want to be able to have loads of energy every day - something I struggle a lot with, and always have as far as I recall, since developing my EDs.

    I'm creating this journal to keep track of my mood, energy levels and eating. My plan is to NOT count calories, but instead listen to my body. I do have a problem one problem though... I'm getting better at feeling and reacting to actual hunger instead of emotional hunger, but I still tend to eat because I lack energy, which as previously caused weight gain...
    I want to find the source to why I'm so out of energy all the time. Some days I feel like I don't even have the energy to laugh, let alone play. I'm grumpy most of the time - even towards my dear dogs and horses, and it really crushes my heart that I snap at them; they don't deserve that - animals never do.

    Age: 20
    Nationality (not that it matter...): Danish
    Gender: Female
    Height: 168.5cm/5'6"
    Weight (just for reference): ~54kg/~120lbs

    My weight doesn't really matter, but I'm pretty lean and muscular. I have a workout thread here.

    I'm looking forward to a life with more energy and no more EDs. I'm doing pretty good so far, not having had symptoms (I'm currently bulimic, hence symptoms = binge+purge) nor have I even felt the need to to "bad stuff".
    I was pesco vegetarian (eating fish, eggs and dairy) until about september 2010.

    On a daily basis, I consume (* = not daily):
    Eggs, coconut oil, a little coconut milk, shredded coconut, other nuts (almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pecan, brazil etc.), sesame seeds, olive oil, fish, game meat* (and its fat), veggies... did I leave something out? Of ethical (and health) reasons I don't want to eat "industry animals"; we sometimes get meats from privat farmers, but not too often, so I eat a loooot of fish (mainly wild caught).

    VitD, zink, multi vitamin, fish oil (I don't eat that many fat fish - they're pricey!)

    Wish me luck on my road to healing; a life without counting calories!

  • #2
    How much Vitamin D are you taking?
    Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
    Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
    Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
      How much Vitamin D are you taking?
      About 6000 IU per day... Reminds me I should take a look at the Vit D thread on this board!
      Last edited by Bissen; 04-05-2011, 04:41 AM.


      • #4
        5/4-'11 (dd/mm-'yy)
        Breakfast was 4 medium eggs (~200g)
        small cup of mushrooms, a little bell pepper, coconut oil for frying, butter as topping
        2 cups cafe mocha

        Felt hungry for some reason (I didn't eat enough yesterday?) and snacked on a little (20g?) avocado, a little shredded coconut and a few almonds...

        Made lunch (and by the time it was done, I realized I wasn't really hungry anymore... well, ate it anyways)
        160g rainbow trout caught by my big bro'
        Fried mushrooms, spring onion and a little bell pepper, baby leaf salad, ~5g butter

        I have a feeling this should keep me going and feeling good for at least soem hours. Let's see what I feel like for dinner! I have deer meat in the fridge!


        • #5
          Today's been a so-so day... The only exercise (which I wouldn't call it...) was a one-hour walk with the dogs. I felt it in my knee

          Also, I snacked on a little coconut and a cafe-mocha (I should go cold turkey with these instead...). Wasn't really hungry for dinner, but my parents ate (and my mum gets a little angry when I don't join them) so I figured I'd just eat with them.
          I didn't really feel satisfied, but I don't know what I "needed". Took a few almonds, a little coconut and a little left-over trout, but it didn't fix it. My dinner was 1 small avocado, a little coconut oil, ~100g of deer and a few veggies. Yet, an hour after my snack, I still feel hungry, but I'm figuring it might be because I'm actually a little sleepy, maybe I make it up or it's emotional from not really doing much today. I'm going to ignore it (I don't know if it's wise though) and see if it's better tomorrow.

          EDIT: I think I need to up my water intake. It's ALWAYS been too low. I just never feel thirsty
          Last edited by Bissen; 04-05-2011, 12:48 PM.


          • #6
            Yeah water can be important, for sure. Although considering your history I suspect a little more. It has an easy solution (easy in practice, I can't comment on the psychology of it).

            Being hungry can mean a few things. Either you are just not eating enough calories (it is a possibility, I don't know how much you're eating but the portion sizes look a bit small) or your satiety signaling is out of whack. There are a few things that can do it but it could possibly be too much omega 6 fat from nuts and avocado (but macadamias are all right in any amount), they tend to cause inflammation which blocks the satiety signal to the brain.

            So the formula is More satiety signals + better signaling of satiety in the brain = More fullness, usually. Since you're fit and just looking for better health I would say eat some tubers in the morning. Add some home-made fries to your eggs or something and it will help with feeling full as long as your insulin and leptin signaling is good. Protein + fat + carbs = more satiety signals than the same number of calories of a single macro-nutrient, and more calories obviously means more satiety signaling. I know we tend to speak disparagingly of carbs around here but I'm only suggesting something like 100g per day, much of it in the morning.

            There is one less clear mechanism behind it. The body has evolved to keep us thinking about food all of the time if it perceives a potential starvation situation so after eating a low calorie diet for so long it will always want food. The only real solution for the long term is to oblige it and eat more at each meal and consistently multiple times a day for a few weeks. So long as we eat healthy foods and get good nutrition we shouldn't see any negative effects from eating more, and eventually the body will ease itself out of "survival mode" and we won't be so hungry.

            Just so you know body composition has more to do with what your body does with the food than the amount of food itself. Not that a low calorie diet can't be good for body composition but I don't think it is healthy to eat too little. It raises stress hormones which isn't a good thing.

            Good luck! You seem like you're off to a good start with the style of eating.
            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


            • #7
              could possibly be too much omega 6 fat from nuts and avocado
              I've cut down on O6's - I don't eat more than about 10g of almonds a day, and no more than 100g of avocado (usually less) a day. Once I buy some mac nuts, I'll munch on those instead of almonds.
              I also take 1600mg of fish oil every day and also eat (fatty)fish (trout, salmon, herring, mackerel) at least 3 days/week, with the hope that it'll balance it out a little. I've also cut down on tahini (sesame butter).

              eat some tubers in the morning
              Mornings are the time I feel the least hunger (if at all - today I had a little meat (30g?) and fat (10g avocado?) for breakkie). I want to try to listen to my body's signals rather than just eat to eat.

              Today I've been able to go from 8am to 3pm without eating; this wasn't planned though, as I was scheduled to come off work at 11am, but my employer came and asked if I could take another two lectures (I'm a substitute teacher), and I agreed. Did fine; I did get fairly hungry, but nothing like "OMG, I'm starving!"

              The thing is, that there's no doubt I am a little scared gaining weight, and since fats don't fill you up (volume wise), I'm having a hard time estimating how much I need. I think I may have had tbsp coconut oil + tbsp butter for lunch, along with 3 eggs, 5g shredded coconut and a BAS. Also ate like 5 almonds. I'm just a little scared of suddenly taking in too much fat, but I also want to be able to feel when it's enough. Tough job!

              I don't think it is healthy to eat too little
              Neither do I, but I'm out of action (knee, elbow and shoulder pain) so I can't exercise as usual, and it's making me more "scared" of eating. Also, I don't know how much "too little" is. I don't know my energy requirements...


              • #8
                Good luck! You have youth on your side; eat right and you will be fine.
                This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                • #9
                  I actually felt hungry this morning!
                  I took a cup of coffee and then headed to the barn where I have a pair of gymnastics rings. I did 5x5 wide pullups (getting back into at least upper body work, completely avoiding pain in both shoulders and elbow), and 1 minute of 1-legged standing on my balance board, wiggling my foot around to target different parts of the muscles in my legs. Should help my knee

                  I teach karate, and yesterday was such day. I'm not very active myself, but I get out and meet other people - and sometimes I actually do end up moving because it catches me
                  I did about 3 minutes of total handstand (mostly supported), which builds strength and endurance in my shoulders. I'll consider doing more of this...

                  Yesterday evening, after dinner, I did 4 rounds of:
                  4-6 HSPU
                  10 pushups (different variations)
                  10 kneeling ab wheel rollouts

                  I walk for about 1 hour with my dogs every day. (They get so nicely tired, haha!)

                  Today is the day for my psych, and I don't know if I should try talking her into not weighing me, but on the other hand, I'm pretty curious to see what has happened this last week...
                  Btw, I haven't felt hungry since breakfast (now 3 hours ago). Took a cup of coffee and hope it'll last me until I've been at the psych (at 2pm, will be home around 3pm). Breakfast btw, was 3 eggs, a little deer, mushrooms, bell pepper, spring onion and asparagus (it's asparagus season!), and then some melted butter. I loooove melted butter!

                  I hope to get my arse together and sit on a stationary bike for a few tabatas later today... I reeeeaally need to get my legs back!

                  Oh yeah, and I've had no bad tendencies - at all! It's been almost a week now!
                  Last edited by Bissen; 04-07-2011, 03:35 AM.


                  • #10
                    You certainly get plenty of exercise. Congratulations on having a good week of "no bad tendencies."
                    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Digby View Post
                      You certainly get plenty of exercise. Congratulations on having a good week of "no bad tendencies."
                      Compared to what I usually do, it's not so plenty though.
                      But thanks ^^

                      Also had a bike ride today; nothing special, but it was against the wind, uphill and I was in a hurry Felt good though! ^^


                      • #12
                        8/4-'11, early morning
                        I just woke up from a nightmare...
                        I dreamed I had a huge binge on ice cream, chocolate and candy; in the dream I was even thinking "no, no, no, you've been doing so good for a whole week, why did you decide to f*ck up now?!" and banging my head against the wall.
                        I think I crying a little bit, for real in the dream, but actually also a little in real life (lying in my bed). OH DEAR, I was so relieved when I realized it was just a dream!!!

                        Just had to plot it down... Maybe it was a reminder from my conscience that I mustn't forget how awful it feels to binge and hence mustn't do it.
                        I still haven't felt like doing it on PB though!


                        • #13
                          I've had those dreams; the lizard, sugar-loving brain fighting it out with the rational, thinking brain. Actually a good sign you are winning.
                          This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                          Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                          Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism


                          • #14
                            Hey Bissen,

                            It is so great that you are working hard to fight your eating disorder!

                            Just be mindful of what you used to do for exercise. Very likely it wasn't within a healthy range of activity, probably too much, too hard, and too obsessive.

                            When you have a moment, check out Mark's recommendations for exercise.
                            The more I see the less I know for sure.
                            -John Lennon


                            • #15
                              Hi Bissen. You're post today made me smile as it jogged my memory. I had a messed up dream about food last night too. Not quite a nightmare but I did wake up quite confused and stressed. I can't remember it in detail now but just in flashes. I remember someone telling me that contrary to popular belief bread was just like meat. I remember being stressed because my chickens all stopped laying and I didn't know what I was going to do. There was also something about cholesteral which I can't remember exactly except that it was really messed up and wrong. I also remember trying to cook and every time I'd get something out of the fridge or cupboard it would change into something else. I just couldn't get the ingredients together.

                              It's been almost a week for me so I guess my subconscious is wrestling with it too. I think it's a good thing though because it means that it's getting in deeper then just my conscious mind.

                              Here's to staying strong and on track!