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Lessons in Self Control

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  • Lessons in Self Control

    It seems I've been studying nutrition for years - decades, even. So why do I look like a frickin' pumpkin?!

    When it comes to my eating habits, I've lost most of my self control, which annoys me mostly because I remember being a very picky eater as a child. There's got to be a way to get that mindset back. But for 13 years now, I've been stuck in a pattern of trying and failing to get healthy. After two days into every new diet or exercise program I go right back to my unhealthy habits, even if I enjoyed the new ones. It's like my brain or body resets itself - a short term memory loss of sorts. It's very frustrating!!

    Going primal is how I prefer to lose this excess weight and get back the vibrant energy I once had. Perhaps journaling my experience will help keep me on track.

    Last Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I stuck to the plan - ate only meat, fats, and veggies. Drank water and splenda'd tea and coffee. Though Thursday through today (Sunday) have been one big disasterous free for all, I am happy to have abstained from starch and flour for a full 3 days before the binging days that followed. That means I'm improving, right?

    My goal is to get to at least Friday morning this week without losing control again.

    This week I also plan on doing yoga three days, walking for an hour three days, and having a sprint day. That's some sort of movement everyday. Oh my God I can't believe I've gotten to the point of having to motivate myself to move my body. I used to be so fit. Sigh. Teaching myself self control will be difficult, that is for sure.

    Here's the Wikipedia page related to self control for future reference: Self control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Proof that it can be done.
    Last edited by Betty Nugs; 07-24-2011, 09:22 PM.

  • #2
    If you've been resolving to eat well, then failing and bingeing, for 13 years - please take a look at this thread. I have been.there.done.that. I was so fit, so loved exercising, so in charge of everything in my life and did exactly what I set my mind to ever time. Until chronic antibiotics destroyed my gut bacteria (although I didn't know what caused it until I put it together years later) and I couldn't stop thinking about sugar. ever.

    Over a decade later, I am realizing not only was I literally addicted to sugar & grains, but also had what they would call binge eating disorder. I just never knew it. My solutions have been dramatic increase in protein for three meals a day, dramatic increase in natural fats, removing grains from the diet, limiting starches and fruits, focusing on nutrient-dense foods (instead of just avoiding XYZ), adding in fermented foods and bone broths (to restore proper gut function), & finally, increasing my breakfast protein even more to 50gm each morning.

    You may have different solutions, but do go and read through at least three pages of that thread and see if you see yourself in there.

    It's not self-control. It's biochemistry. Our diets have screwed with our brain chemicals. When the craving switch is on, all you can think about is food. When the switch is off, you couldn't care less about food between meals and can rationally and simply make choices during them, exerting normal human levels of self-control.

    It totally sucks. But it's not hopeless.
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


    • #3
      Personally, I am in a 12 step program for compulsive overeating, which has brought me a lot of freedom, usefulness, and (physcial, emotional, spiritual) recovery from binge eating. Giving up sugar and flour for that program, I came (back) to PB. So there are many paths to recovery. PB is a Gods-send for me. Good luck!

      Many of my fellow compulsive eaters would tell you that they have excellent willpower and self-control, but it gets ties to the service of the binge (my words, not anything else).
      Last edited by kungfumike; 07-25-2011, 06:05 AM. Reason: forgot stuff


      • #4
        I just re-read and noted you said you were a very picky eater as a child. That is actually a classic sign of gut dysbiosis. The worse it is, the more the person self-limits, mostly to foods that are carb-y. You'll often find children like this eating only bread, mac & cheese, (sugary) yogurt, cereal, ketchup, and the like. I even know some who wouldn't eat meat at all - no hot dogs, just the bun. You'll often find the picky eating co-exists with anxiety, tantrums, rages, sensory integration disorder, ADHD, or some other neurological sign, or it could go the other way, with digestive signs like chronic constipation, IBD, etc.

        If any of that sounds like you, google "GAPS diet."

        Do you think you could commit this week to getting, say, 30g of protein eachc morning? 3 eggs and a sausage round or link, maybe? or eggs + leftovers or whatever you like? See how it affects your mornings?
        5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
        Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
        Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
        Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
        ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


        • #5
          I could have written your post! Seriously I know what your going through. You can do it! I have been managing for nearly 2 years now. I have had ups and downs. It takes time. I have had so many antibiotics that some don't even work anymore. My gut health was obliterated in childhood and I made into adulthood a complete sugar addict. Despite eating "healthy" I ate a lot of sugar. Once I started I could not stop. My body began to fall apart. Now that I have been Paleo I am healthier overall. I don't need antibiotics nearly as much. I hope to go a full year antibiotic free if I can. My gut health is returning. I live on coconut oil and coconut milk. I eat fermented foods and I stay away from gut irritants like dairy, white sugar, and wheat. I still will get into trouble with fruit. I find that I can binge on it because of the sugar. I am losing my taste for sweet and find I feel ill after I eat too much fruit. It has been a long hard struggle. I can now say no to chocolate. It makes me feel so terrible that it is not worth the taste. It is slow going but worth the battle. I am healthier now than I have been in years. Hang in there you can do it!


          • #6
            Holy moley, MamaGrok, you hit the nail right on the head!

            You were right about the antibiotics - I took them habitually from age 8 to 22 for chronic asthma and bronchitis. Before I was diagnosed with asthma I hated milk, bread, potatoes and anything white so my mom used to food color it. The prescriptions were to be taken with food and suddenly I was eating several bowls of cereal a day, plus, adding heaps of sugar to the grapenuts, raisin bran, etc.

            Your reply and teammommy's gave me lots of valueable information, thank you.

            I stopped eating fruit for now, have been eating saurkraut and various cabbages instead, plus a bit more protein. I feel so good!

            Did you notice such instant and dramtic changes in your sense of well being? There were rough headachy/flu like days, but it seems my energy is up and my moods are more stable.

            Plus, after about 10 days, my constantly painful and slightly swollen ankle feels almost back to normal. I'm also sleeping soundly the whole night. I've read that these would all be benefits of going Paleo but I hadn't been able to stick to the program long enough to see any results. I'm kind of freaking out because it seems to good to be true lol.

            Working on my gut flora, I think, is what got me past those two days. Before I felt there was no way to stop devouring oranges, cereal, english muffins, etc. But this last week + a few days I've been able to pass up much junk food at work without even blinking ... it seems like a Christmas miracle LOL!

            Thank you thank you for the information.

            I'm trying to chronical everything I think and feel fight now so that in the event I go off the rails I'll know what worked.

            Here are the foods I found delicious these wonderful days:
            Slow baked chicken and veggies with olive oil, herbs/spices - various seasonings and veggies all yielded super yummy results
            Egg fritata various ways but fav was skillet cooked for half and then put under the broiler for the other half.
            coffee with cream - full fat cream/half and half does not seem to be a problem
            butter lettuce with roasted turkey slices, asparagus spears, oive oil or dressing
            coleslaw mix, mini burgers, various veggies topped with olive oil or dressing
            shredded carrots baked in olive oil and salt and pepper, sauteed mushrooms, and some sort of meat
            that hempshake berry smoothie thing i had that one day was pretty good and filling ...
            eating saurkraut before meals has helped eliminate sugar cravings and thus stick to the paleo way

            OK - I've grown sick of hearing myself talk (type).

            Something to work towards: 10 Habits of Fit People Photo 1


            • #7
              Oh, wow, what amazing results! It's so painful to think of all the people who, like I did, think they're just undisciplined gluttons, when the real problem is they were doing what the doctor told them. :headwall:

              I'm so glad for you. I hope & pray your health just keeps improving and improving! I have definitely had ups and downs, but the ups are longer, and the downs fewer and further between. I listed in my first post above the things I tried over time, and in what order - each thing I tried added more healing, and chipped away more at the cravings. I'm definitely at the point where if I never got in front of a buffet full of desserts or a lovely cake, I don't think I'd ever eat sugar again. In the tempting situations, I thin k9/10 times I wouldn't binge. And that's a huge, huge, huge improvement - I used to be eating half a box of granola, and way more other stuff, every day.

              I'm glad you've found your nourishing foods. You may find increasing animal fats at some point may help, and/or adding in organ meats. I assume the sauerkraut is fermented since it sounds like it's been working so well for you.

              I haven't personally had dramatic improvements in mood & energy, but then, those didn't go awry for me until over 5 years into the problem, so it may take me a good long while to get them better. I do know of others who have had immediate & lasting improvements in those areas.

              Best to you!!
              5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
              Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
              Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
              Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
              ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***