Giving up foods and mental health
Lately I've been thinking a lot about diet and mental health... I have had some mental health struggles in the past and I'm almost certain they were related to diet. I shudder when I think about my old ways, when my 3 food groups were Caffeine, Candy, and Chips. I would frequently stay up all night, I would do intense cardio for an hour every day, then I started having mental issues that forced me to make my health a priority. Since revamping my diet things are better, but I'm still constantly trying new things, adding this food, cutting that one, to see how they affect me.
I'm a 20 yr old female, I've always been thin but have struggled with eating disorders/body image issues since I was probably 12 or 13. For example, one summer in high school I came up with a diet that allowed me 1 soft pretzel and 1 stack of wheat thins with cheese every day, I worked out compulsively, and I was a slave to the scale. Now I tend to be compulsive about healthy eating, which seems to defeat the point. My body is probably very damaged due to years and years of poor nutrition (I'm pretty sure that from the ages 10 to 18 I didn't eat a single vegetable) and I have a family history of depression and anxiety, coupled with a bad relationship with my depressed/anxious mother.
Anyway, I just wanted to hear some thoughts on the mental health aspects of primal eating... I have learned not to trust my body since it steered me towards all kinds of bad food choices over the years. But "overriding" my natural instincts, if you will, seems like the very reverse of the primal philosophy. If Grok craved pistachios, he'd eat them. He wouldn't spend 10 minutes beating himself up first, he wouldn't think about it so much. My problem is overthinking everything--it gets to the point where I don't want to eat anything, having read so many conflicting studies. I've heard about "orthorexia" and it sounds similar to what I experience. I'm also fairly sure I'm hypoglycemic, if my blood sugar dips I can feel it, it manifests itself as extreme depression only curable with carbs. Now, if I listen to this site, my depression would go away if I cut carbs and learn to live on fat instead. But I tried going grain free for 6 months-- although during this time I still ate fruit so perhaps it was a bad experiment-- and it made me depressed. The day I ate a sandwich again, and I thought to myself "I can eat sandwiches if I want to, fuck it!" made me feel so much better. This is clearly a mental thing-- sandwiches may not be good for my body, but denying myself them when it's possible to have them is not good for my mind.
I don't have a specific question, just wondering if other people experience things like this... I wake up in the morning and I don't want to eat eggs, I want to eat an apple. I want some oatmeal (made in the rice cooker with coconut oil and cinnamon!). If I make myself eat eggs anyway, I feel sad... This site is all about debunking fiber but I've read other sites saying fiber is key to fighting colon cancer, and I have a family history of that as well... is there a point when all this becomes madness? I've reached the point where I think to myself, Grok would never make himself crazy over eating. He would eat what was available and be happy. For me, THAT is primal eating. Eating what you want, when you want. Where I get hung up is when I feel like "oh no, what if what I think I want is actually bad for me? My taste buds have steered me wrong before..."
I also sometimes have envy towards people who come in the restaurant where I work...their minds aren't filled with conflicting info that makes their every food choice feel like Sophie's choice, and they don't feel guilty about every bite (at least, I imagine they don't...some of our larger patrons probably do), and I think perhaps even though I eat much healthier foods, they are still healthier than me because food doesn't torment them?
Last edited by 2ndChance; 09-08-2012 at 09:49 AM.