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  • Disordered Eating Support Thread

    I thought I'd start a thread for those of us suffering at MDA who are primal (or want to be primal) but are suffering from some kind of disordered eating. This might be old patterns of an ED, something which has started recently, or for those of us in relapse (like me).

    Let's classify disordered eating as having a diagnosed eating disorder, or undiagnosed problems with food. They might be undereating, compulsive overeating, binge eating, anorexia, bulimia, compulisve excersising after food, orthorexia, obsessive calorie counting or any other behaviours with food that leave us feeling overwhelmed, bewildered and desperate.

    This thread could be a place to share our progress and experience or to get support on a tough day.

    A little about me, I've been eating 95% primal for over a year. I'm a recovering anorexic and came to MDA to see if food could help me with my food issues. I also secretly hoped that I could eat loads of bacon and still lose weight...which didn't happen. After a few months I felt well enough to gain some weight, but a few weeks ago swtiched into binge eating and continued to gain. I am now in relapse again, restricting by IFing daily and avoiding foods I normally eat and enjoy. I've lost weight again, but I know it's not the answer. I have realised that a primal/paleo diet is not going to cure me of psychological and mental health issues. On that note, I see a therapist and psychiatrist regularly and my weight and mental state are monitored. I take medication, I go to OA, I read these forums.

    I have made progress in the last 12 months. I don't count calories anymore, I eat a normal lunch and dinner of highly nutritious food, but I could probably do with eating a bit more of it. Binging scares me and I wish I could stop it. Restricting is scary too as I don't know where it's going to take me.

    Recently I've been trying to eat a bit more, an extra egg, some bacon, some potato to help keep binges at bay. It's working, but early days. I've been slogging this out now for some time.

    I'm a healthy weight, but probably at the low end of it.

    Any others who want to share their journey?

  • #2
    Hi Dexy,

    Thank you for sharing! I know it's tough sometimes to admit that the progress made has stagnated. For me, I know that I'm a highly anxious person, prone to insomina and my pet way to deal with anxiety is to control things, diet, exercise, sleep. I've never really had a diagnosed eating disorder per se, but my upbringing was very controlled re food so I have a lot of hang-ups about it.

    I don't know if you have come across this forum - Paleo For Women . I find it hugely inspirational and helpful for when I'm starting the cycle of obsessive thinking/anxiety. She addresses disorded eating in a really gentle and supportive way, while also keeping it paleo. Here are some examples of posts addressing disorded eating. One of which specifically deals with binging/restricting food.

    Anyway, I hope other people share and we can support each other

    Good luck on your journey

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Adanac85 View Post
      I don't know if you have come across this forum - Paleo For Women . I find it hugely inspirational and helpful for when I'm starting the cycle of obsessive thinking/anxiety. She addresses disorded eating in a really gentle and supportive way, while also keeping it paleo. Here are some examples of posts addressing disorded eating. One of which specifically deals with binging/restricting food.
      Hey Adanac85,

      I'm a big Stefani Ruper fan and read her new site every time she posts. I also love Paleo Pepper. I like her approach to disordered eating and the relationship that women (and society) have with our bodies.

      Thanks for coming on the thread. Has eating paleo/primal helped you with your food hangups?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hey.
        I used to have an anorexic mindset. At 13 I was continually dieting, at detriment to my health. All-coffee diet, kcal-counting, obsessive restriction, vegetarianism... From 14 onwards began a steady increase in weight, due to having lost all appetite control (I could eat til I was in physical pain and still feel hungry), but wanting to eat normally. My diet became very high-grain and refined to keep me full up. Exercise dwindled a bit.
        I crash-dieted my way down to a size 12 (a rather healthy crash-diet, as crash diets go, limiting refined foods, so lotsa veg, but also limiting fats and red meat). Stretch-marks probably won't go.

        A Primal diet has helped me regain control of my appetite and turn previous obsessive behaviours around into good ones (desiring to gain muscle rather than see ribs, for example: the behaviour's stil obsessive, but my fiance has helped me see how an obsession like this, when controlled and to do with something healthier [muscle gain, without fat-loss], can be good for me). I'm happy to talk with anyone who's going through trouble overcoming a disorder, for support and understanding, and advice where I can offer it.
        Be brave, fellow Groks!
        Last edited by Kochin; 01-07-2013, 02:09 PM.
        --
        Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

        --
        I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
        I'd apologize, but...

        Comment


        • #5
          You've come a long way, by the way! It's hard to see how much your body needs when you can't discard the obsessive mindset, so what you're managing to do is amazing.

          Do you find that fasting leaves you eating normally the next day? Or that it just makes you hungry? Just asking because a fast gives me better appetite control, for some reason.
          --
          Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

          --
          I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
          I'd apologize, but...

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi, i am joining....had bulimia for a very long time, was vegetarian for over 20 years....for about 4 years now i know that i have a genetic issue with the ration of LH/FSH and thus an issue with insuline intolerance which was the main reason for my extreme carb cravings that sometimes i really went nuts, body shaking, headaches if i was "off"...the complete addict..... reducing carbs is really bringing my peace of mind....
            xx
            Alex

            Comment


            • #7
              Binge eating disorder here. I'm proof positive for the fat-acceptance crowd that eating can be an addiction - I've done things to binge that would make heroin addicts proud. I've binged in amounts that shocked and horrified life-long Weight Watchers members. It's such a sickness that even 5 years into recovery, I'm still slightly proud of my personal best binge.

              I'm still prone to some disordered eating, but I've made very significant progress from the days when I could put away a large pizza and quart of ice cream in one sitting, multiple times per week.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kochin View Post
                Hey.
                A Primal diet has helped me regain control of my appetite and turn previous obsessive behaviours around into good ones (desiring to gain muscle rather than see ribs, for example: the behaviour's stil obsessive, but my fiance has helped me see how an obsession like this, when controlled and to do with something healthier [muscle gain, without fat-loss], can be good for me). Be brave, fellow Groks!
                This is the key I think, re-thinking what food is for. Essentially it's a fuel and ought to be a pleasure, but for the disordered eater it's a the enemy, a means of punishment, the gateway to self-hatred and something to be controlled or abused at all costs. The ways Mark talks about food is is apparent he does not eat emotionally, I don't understand what it feels like to stop when sated. I don't even know when I'm sated. At the moment I don't even know when I'm hungry.

                IFing doesn't regulate my appetite I don't think, I've missed breakfast every day for a few weeks and I know it stresses me mentally and physically. My sleep is becoming dysregualted over the last few days and my period hasn't come this month. These are typical symptoms of fasting in women. I think IFing is a real issue for disordered eaters, and I don't think it's helpful. If I was to love myself with food, I'd eat 3 good meals a day and no snacks, that would be my ideal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kochin View Post
                  Hey.
                  A Primal diet has helped me regain control of my appetite and turn previous obsessive behaviours around into good ones (desiring to gain muscle rather than see ribs, for example: the behaviour's stil obsessive, but my fiance has helped me see how an obsession like this, when controlled and to do with something healthier [muscle gain, without fat-loss], can be good for me). Be brave, fellow Groks!
                  This is the key I think, re-thinking what food is for. Essentially it's a fuel and ought to be a pleasure, but for the disordered eater it's a the enemy, a means of punishment, the gateway to self-hatred and something to be controlled or abused at all costs. The ways Mark talks about food is is apparent he does not eat emotionally, I don't understand what it feels like to stop when sated. I don't even know when I'm sated. At the moment I don't even know when I'm hungry.

                  IFing doesn't regulate my appetite I don't think, I've missed breakfast every day for a few weeks and I know it stresses me mentally and physically. My sleep is becoming dysregualted over the last few days and my period hasn't come this month. These are typical symptoms of fasting in women. I think IFing is a real issue for disordered eaters, and I don't think it's helpful. If I was to love myself with food, I'd eat 3 good meals a day and no snacks, that would be my ideal.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Violette_R View Post
                    I've done things to binge that would make heroin addicts proud. I've binged in amounts that shocked and horrified life-long Weight Watchers members. It's such a sickness that even 5 years into recovery, I'm still slightly proud of my personal best binge.
                    Interesting Violette R that you identify food as a drug. So does that make your binge eating emotional? How has your progress come about, just from being primal or from other support or means?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      if something brings relief....it would be drug, wouldn´t it...if nervousness, stress is supported, enhanced by fluctuating blood sugars....and one would like to calm one down by eating...is this then emotional?...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No, I wouldn't say I classify food as a drug. There are plenty of things that aren't drugs that people can be addicted to - gambling, sex, etc. Maybe you could say they have a drug-like effect. IDK. And I wouldn't say it was necessarily food I was addicted to, but bingeing. I read Wasted by Marya Hornbacher, which was her memoir of bulimia and anorexia. It seemed to me that her compulsion to binge/purge, then starve herself was akin to my compulsion to binge. As a result I now view anorexia as another type of addiction - addiction to starving. But I'm hardly an expert.

                        For me, the bingeing was partly emotional. The physical effects of high-sugar, high-fat foods also played a part in it. Formal recovery programs did f--k all to help. What worked was a combination of changing what in my life was making me so unhappy (so far as I could - some things you just don't have control over) and low-carb eating.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alex Who_else View Post
                          if something brings relief....it would be drug, wouldn´t it...if nervousness, stress is supported, enhanced by fluctuating blood sugars....and one would like to calm one down by eating...is this then emotional?...
                          Mmmm....interesting point. I can't pinpoint whether my binge eating is driven by physical or emotional inbalance, perhaps it's both. It seems that sugar triggers a binge for me. Wheat and gluten appear to have an opiate like effect on many people, and I think I can feel that and understand why I crave those foods in a binge. I'm starting to think there are two types of binge triggers for me, one driven by genuine cravings and hunger, and another which is purely a response to an emotional trigger.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I binged for 13 years, every emotion sent me to binge.
                            I thought id never stop.
                            Then I discovered primal over a year ago. Binges became less frequent but still happened.
                            Sometime in the last few months they stopped. Going high fat, low carb really helped. Avoiding all types of sugar helped too. Even fruit.
                            It was a gradual shift, I am so relieved. It seemed to be a never ending cycle.
                            Before I stopped, I managed to gain around 20 kg that I had already lost.
                            High fats really help. There is a thread called eat moar fat you should check out.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I experimented with with low-carb, low-fat last year. Massive failure. Express train to binge city. High fat is where it's fat.

                              Comment

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