Primal Journal of an Obsessive Athlete...
The fact I am making my own thread is just another step in trying to figure out my obsession with food and diet. I know my first step is to stop the obsession, but I have a long and complicated history with food and stopping the cycle is what I hope to change by going primal.
So excuse the terrible grammar, I more or less had what I want to be my last breakdown today and feel I need to finally make my feelings public as opposed to keeping them private. It's late, but I feel like I need to do this now. Before I go to bed, so when I wake up, it's a new day, and its out there. I could care less if anyone reads this or not, it's mostly for myself, and if anyone has struggled with similar problems, well then i'm open to whatever advice you have to give!
It's hard for a lot of people to understand my relationship with food. In my field of sport, we would refer to those who do not understand as "regular" people. I am a lightweight rower, have been for 6 years of my life. If you are unfamiliar, basically we row boats...and rowing has weight classes. I am 5'7" and slim build, so naturally I cannot compete with girls who are 6' ft. plus (thought we often give them a run for their money), which believe it or not is average for the competitive female rower. Rowing is highly dependent on weight. So in order to succeed at a competitive, university level, it makes most sense for me to row lightweight. I could literally babble on forever about rowing, how it works, why we need weight classes, but I won't bore you to death.
I am in the midst of finishing my last year of school, I currently row in the states on scholarship. I would give you more details, but due to the small community of rowing I don't want to get into specifics as many of my issues surrounding food are deeply routed in the people and coaches I have been surrounded by throughout my lightweight career.
I'm realizing now this is going to be one helluva long journal entry!
So like many people in weigh categorized sports, (wrestling, boxing, etc.) we learn to manipulate our diets and learn what we can get away with in order to make weight. Rowing, unlike wrestling, taps into completely different muscle stores, so dehydrating the shit out of ourselves the day before will seriously affect our performance, not to mention we weigh in 2 hours before we race.
Anyway, I was always a natural lightweight, never had to try, until my first year of university, I gained the freshman 15. It wasn't detrimental...I was still lightweight, YES, I was actually that small at one point (lightweight is 130 lbs. for anyone who is curious) . But of course, I learned to push the envelope, and following the eating patterns of my elder more experienced lwt team mates, I developed extremely unhealthy eating habits.
When we were off season, I would eat tons of junk food and sugar and completely lost sight of what was healthy. It didn't matter, as long as I didn't have to weigh in, why watch what I eat? Right after racing, we would all go out for all you can eat sushi...movie nights with all the junk you could imagine, yes, not how you would picture small, toned, weight conscious athletes to act, but it's a pattern and almost every lightweight rower I know has this disordered pattern in some way or another.
This post is going to be excessively long, so i'll save some more stories for another post, but when it comes down to it, i'm done with eating crap, i'm done feeling like crap, my mood, my performance, my health, everything is not falling into line the way I want it to, and it's a sad reality, but i've come to realize my happiness revolves around food, weight, what i'm eating, how I look, and everything else simply revolves around these variables.
I want to take control of my eating, my life, and feel good. By going primal I hope to achieve this in some shape or form.
So i've realized changing my eating patterns is going to be a lot harder than simply "going primal". So far saying goodbye to grains hasn't been that bad. Due to my irregular eating patterns and binge tendencies i've already stopped buying bread for quite some time, though don't get me wrong, I LOVE bread and grains and basically any carb.
As an athlete my food for fuel consisted almost entirely of carbs...oatmeal was my staple, sometimes i'd even have it for dinner, that's how much I relied on it for fuel, and how I really thought it was good enough to consume for dinner...of course i'd always get the healthy oats, large flake, organic, mixed with flax and berries, greek yogurt, I basically have had a long time obsession with oatmeal. Saying goodbye to my warm bowl of oatmeal will likely be the biggest loss. I never binged on oatmeal either, which also makes it a far superior food in my books. Bread, bagels, cereal however are an entirely different story. Give me a loaf of bread and I would polish it off in maybe two days, life of a binge eater...I'd eat it for every meal, snack, anything, as long as bread, and some type of spread was available, it got to the point where I simply could not have it in the house or I would binge on it. ONCE I had a normal relationship with bread, but all the changed, all of a sudden.
I can talk about cereal for awhile, I love cereal...after a weigh in my choice treat would be a box of cereal, usually a dense, delicious granola sprinkled with chocolate chips and dried fruit with milk, and i'd just finish the box. I had to finish the entire box to get it out the house. But then it just became any cereal, I love cereal that much, with a few exceptions I would consume the entire box in a day. So, obviously I had to stop buying that too. Bagels, crackers, anything with peanut butter, also a huge weakness of mine. I used to eat peanut butter like a normal person...a serving, once a day for breakfast maybe, now, give me a jar of peanut butter I will finish it just to get rid of it. This is how unhealthy my eating has become - NO SELF CONTROL!!. I've come to realize however that the foods I binge on are almost exclusively unhealthy carbs, or highly sugary foods, very rarely do I binge on fat and protein (with the exception of peanut butter because I put it on carbs).
My weight has never been excessively high, and I have never been overweight. A large part of this has been due to the sheer amount of working out I do. I most definitely engage in chronic cardio, and almost on a daily basis. Either because I have to, for training, or because i'm doing a second workout to burn off all the food I just ate. My highest weight has been 145 lbs, and my lowest weight these days is always when i'm at weight, which is 130 lbs. I fluctuate regularly between 130-140 lbs, and that's largely due to the starve, binge cycle i've developed as a result of weighing in, and then gaining it all back afterwards. I have phases of healthy eating for extended periods, but I almost always fall back into the unhealthy patterns.
I need to take control of my life and my eating, and stop feeling like food is controlling me.
So, I haven't really started primal yet...when I first posted I had been free of grains for about a week. But then I came home for xmas break, and the roller coaster ride of eating all things delicious yet terrible began. No self control...is an adequate way to describe it. So many dinners, and just delicious food everywhere, I quickly ended up full out binging on carbs every single night. I haven't had a single clean day of eating since arrive home on the 14th. I don't even want to know how much weight i've gained. I'm usually around 135, if I could guess, I'd say i'm 145 right now.
Well, ya know when you binge so much you more or less get sick of eating. And just feeling awful...all the time, well I am now officially sick of eating and feeling like crap. I am going back to school soon, and would prefer to not to shock everyone (particularly the other lightweight rowers) with my 10lb weight gain, though knowing them, they probably commenced in the same eating fest I did. So, starting tomorrow morning, I am going to attempt a fast. I will start off with a 24 hour goal, so i'll wake up at 8am likely, fast until 8am the following morning, though I don't want to cut it off there, i'd like to keep going if I can after reading other people's experiences with fasting, I would love to stretch it out to 48 hours.
Okay, scratch 24 hours, that is not long enough. I need to at least go for 48 hours. I don't need to workout until I go back to school, so I don't need to stress about consuming enough calories to fuel my workout (one of my common binge triggers). SO, okay...yes 48 hour fast.
I'll keep my journal updated with my progress. The first task is waking up and actually not eating. I often plan on not eating, but then as soon as i wake up bam already eating. So, no eating, cup of coffee, that's it. I'll consume lots of fluids and try stay busy, that's as far as my plan goes...