Anorexia and Primal Transition
I think this forum is a place for me to give a little of my dietary background, so here goes!
I ate a typical sad diet for all childhood/teenage years. I have never been overweight and was basically able to eat whatever I wanted. Although I never ate healthy, I would go all day without eating. I am not sure if this was the start of my eating disorder, but I would frequently not eat all day at school and then semi binge when I got home. I was obsessed with body image and being fat even though I never was.
I met a new friend when I was 18 who happened to be health conscious. He was much much older than I was and he tried to be a good influence on me I guess. He ate a partial raw high fat diet, I am pretty sure he is orthorexic. I never really followed his diet, but introduced different foods into my diet. I went through a period when I ate tuna and broccoli w/some mayo and fruit. I wasn't perfect with my diet, but I reduced my calories dramatically. I lost probably about 5 pounds in a month or so. ( i was 110 at 5'2 and went down to 105). I started dating someone at that time who became my boyfriend for about 8 months. He took me out to eat all of the time, and I ate and ate and loved it. Lots of burgers and ribs and fatty meals, I have never been a sweets kind of a person. I gained that 5 lbs back and always was at 110-115 while dating him. I was content and felt great.
As soon as I broke it off with him I went to stay with my older male friend. I had chronic nausea all of the time (anxiety related that I've had since I was 8.) I lost 6-7 pounds from that and of course "dieting" again. I would eat only fruit for meals, and I would skip nutritious meals to have ice cream. I pretty much became addicted to sugar at this point. I would down a half a gallon of ice cream for dinner. One day I was eating sweetened yogurt and I could not stop. (this was about 1 months into the unbalanced unhealthy eating habits). I was hungry all of the time and could not stop eating. I was never satisfied. Unfortunately I ate lots of fat free sweetened frozen yogurt. I could not go to bed without eating at least a cup (this is after eating HUGE portions at dinner.) I got up to 115 pounds in about 3 months. I also started exercising more so it was some muscle mass gain as well as fat. I still looked good, but I felt HUGE. I started cutting back on my food, but that only lasted like 2 weeks. I moved out of my older friend's place into a good friends place who is not healthy at all. I went back to my burgers and fries in no time, but stayed at about 115 with maybe a little less muscle and more fat since I cut back on exercise.
I was content with this for about 6 months and then went on an mostly all fruit diet. I lost 5 pounds pretty quickly but was feeling starved. I got pregnant a month after this and ate whatever I wanted throughout the pregnancy (SAD diet). I gained 30 pounds during my pregnancy, 20 of which came off naturally within the first month PP. A month after giving birth I had only 10 pounds to lose, so I joined a gym for the first time. Long story short this is when the anorexia went into full effect.
I got down to 110 about 3 months after delivery, and looked pretty healthy. I did not really watch my diet too much. I still ate greasy fatty things. It was the exercise that helped. My family and I caught a stomach bug in april. I did not eat meat/protein for those days and lost 4 pounds in a week. ( I am sure some of it was water weight) But nonetheless, I liked what I saw. I decided to become vegan. I did and continued to lose and lose and lose until I refused to eat anything but celery and a serving of frozen yogurt a day. I was hospitalized in August at 82 pounds. I relapsed when I got out and my lowest was 79 pounds. I started seeing a therapist and started eating more and more. I eventually quit the vegan as I realized it was the worst thing for my health. In November I started adding saturated fats into my diet. I was eating 300 carbs a day, but am down to 150-200. I am at a healthy 105 pounds and pretty lean (for a woman). I still feel fat but I am working on that. I am still on the low end of the bmi chart and want to gain 5-10 lbs to avoid relapse. Studies have shown brain chemistry changes in ED patients when they underweight. So I wanna leave a little wiggle room in case i "diet" again. (and I want my curves a little bigger as well!)
I have the urge to eat ALL OF THE TIME still. I keep changing my macros from week to week, but really truly want to give primal a real shot. I intuitively know it will help me feel better and be more satiated than all of the low fat sugar laden foods I have been eating.
I really don't know if anyone will read this but I figured I would write it all down!
THank you for this link. I have seen your blog before, congrats on making it this far! We can beat this thing.
Food Diary February 24th 2012
2 large eggs; 1 turkey burger patty (not lean); tsp of coconut oil for cooking; 3-4 tbsp of homemade guacamole made with evoo. ketchup. ( I can't let this go yet. It is not made with hfcs though.)
1/2 cup of oatmeal ( not letting this go yet, it is only 26 carbs so it is within my limit); 1 scoop of vanilla whey; 1 tbsp of kerrygold butter mixed in. also had 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
Going to a brazilian bbq place- perfect for primal living!
I will probably get a chicken breast wrapped in bacon;a healthy serving of coconut shrimp; large portion of collard greens made with evoo; and unsure of what else. yum! No bingeing yet today, but that usually happens at night. I had a fruit binge yesterday sort of. So today is better.
I feel for you lvgrl90! I followed a SAD diet throughout high school and was never huge but definitely heavier. I picked up Atkins in college and then put a more anorexic approach to it. Dropped to 110 at 5'10''. That turned to binge eating after college and I ballooned up to 200 lbs. Eating primal has helped me get my brain in order. I know that when I eat healthy the binges stop. Cutting grains was the last step in this and I guarantee that will help! I would recommend cutting the oats even if you do love them. Coconut oil has also helped me. You could say I have orthorexia now. I am very obsessed with food quality and types of food I put in my body. I hate it but at the same time I know that if I don't want to binge I need to eat foods that don't trigger a binge. Maintaining my weight is difficult but I can't stress enough on how the quality of the food help in keeping the weight off without starving myself.
Writing down feelings help in understanding how you feel when it comes to food. I still have food and exercise as the number one issue in my life that determines my overall happiness for the day. The control issue with food is more of distraction than anything. I'm still trying to figure out where this manifistation came from and what daily events trigger it into overboard mode. I always just want to "be skinny" even though I have a body that anyone would die for. I hide my problems in food and self body image. It isn't about the food as much as it is the emotional background that caused it to develop in the first place. Good luck and keep writing!
Sunnykist- Thank you for your input but I do not think a 1/2 a cup of oatmeal a few times a week will make a big difference. I do not want to be orthorexic and would like to eat non-primal foods from time to time. It sounds like you still have an unhealthy relationship with food. I do agree that sugar leads to binges, but only when you are not getting enough of something else. I was perfectly fine having ice cream after dinner before my eating disorder. That was because I was eating lots of saturated fat. I do not hide my problems in my food, that just doesn't make sense. Oh and everyone emotionally eats I believe, otherwise we would not be human. I am in therapy now and am less "scared of eating certain things. But I do want to eat what is most nutritionally dense so that I am happy.
Breakfast- 1 scoop of whey and one green apple.
Lunch- 2 eggs, 2 slices of uncured bacon (first time cooking bacon in almost 2 years!) small sweet potato.
Snacks- 2 coffees with half and half/splenda, 1 green apple.
Dinner- Large salad with chicken breast, mashed avocado, marinated peppers, pickled onions, beets, and balsamic vinagrette.
How'd you like your bacon?
Props to you for fighting this and working for recovery. I had some anxiety about food last fall that left me worrying way too much about macros and everything. I did a Whole30 and feel a lot better about "food as fuel" now. Eating disorders are always pretty close in my thoughts when I'm reading about how people eat and worrying about myself, since my sister was hospitalized a few years ago for anorexia and is vegan now =(