Looking for Change and Peace of Mind - Sorry but its a long one
Hi everybody, just thought I'd introduce myself, and btw it might be lengthy, I've got a lot to say and this is really my only outlet. I'm 24 years old and I've had issues with food/eating disorder problems for a few years now. Up until the end of college I was always the "athletically curvy girl." I could never recall being happy with my body. Then I went off to college and put on the freshman 15 or 20 or 25... haha hard to know since I would never step on a scale. I dealt with disordered eating my first couple years trying to eat healthier cooking on my own and then being so busy at school I subsisted on power bars and sugar free redbull which led to a substantial weight loss that would then come back. The end of my junior year of college finally got to me. I was in a wedding in the coming summer and I knew the dress wasn't going to fit by the time the wedding came around if I didn't do something. So as soon as my finals were done something clicked in me and I started working out with some intense exercise DVD's, running, cutting back a ton on calories (1200 despite working out intensely for 90 mins/day) and eating "clean." However, because all I cared about was minimizing calories I cut fat almost entirely from my diet (eating 10 to 20 grams of fat per day). Obviously, the weight came off quickly. I had no cheat days, meals, or even bites of "bad food." But at this point it all seemed worth it, people were so amazed at how quickly the weight was coming off and so proud of me for eating so "healthy."
It was strange because I was so happy to be getting attention for how much I had changed but at the same time my mind was constantly consumed with food and counting calories and making sure I never went over my caloric allowance. By the end of the summer I was running 40 to 50 miles a week, doing HIIT circuit training 6 days a week, and still only eating 1200 calories per day. I was absolutely starving all the time but it didn't matter at the time because I was getting results and was working towards the body I always wanted. School came back around and I kept up with my system for a month or so until I started dating a new guy. His cross-fit gym was doing the Paleo Diet and he wanted someone to do it with him so I figured I'd give it a shot. Too bad I didn't understand the importance of healthy fats. Now I was basically eating egg-whites, turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Obviously, I was ravenous all the time. I felt so discouraged that I caved quickly into delving into pizza, burritos, ice cream, anything non-paleo I could get my hands on. This was when my food issues got really bad. I would binge on anything unhealthy because a) I was freaking hungry lol and b) I felt entitled due to dealing with the stress of my final college semester.
After graduating I wanted to "get back on track". (Still quite crazy at this point I'm 5'6" and was still fitting comfortably into a size 5). I got certified as a personal trainer and started living the "healthy lifestyle" again. I was able to cut out added sugars and stuck with lean protein, whole grains, and lots of fruits and veggies but I was still hungry, ALL THE TIME, (yep still couldn't bring myself to eat fat). Despite the hunger pangs I managed to lose a bunch of weight again (although this time I struggled with binging episodes every now and again). Despite the fact that I was skinnier than I had ever been food was never not on my mind, I wondered if I'd ever be able to eat "normal again" and ever not be on a diet and monitor my caloric intake. Thanks to overexercising I dropped down to 103 pounds and yet was still not entirely happy with my body.
Once I reached this low point the I moved away from my family thinking a change of scenery might cure my woes. It did not, the bingeing got exponentially worse, as did my relationship with food and self esteem. Its been about 14 months since my lowest weight and I've been trying to establish healthy eating habits for about 13 and a half months lol. It seemed like no matter what I did the past year nothing could cure my hunger. I've started reading Primal Blueprint and it makes soooo much sense to me now. Even when I did add fat to my diet I didn't cut out the insulin spiking carbs even if they were whole grain. I've been switching over to primal for about a week now (still have had some pizza and baked goods for family events). But I can already tell things are getting better. I don't feel hungry an hour and a half after a meal and I'm not freaking out about food like I have in the past. After having a primal dinner last night I felt satiated and not overly stuffed for the first time I can remember in over a year. Very sad, but very true. All of the baked goods are gone now and I can abstain from the leftover pizza so tomorrow marks the day for total Primal Conversion. I'm hoping to finally have a healthy relationship with food and get my six-pack back (though I could do without the ribs ) Although I am an athlete at heart and training for a marathon so might be doing a touch more cardio than Grok lol. Wish me luck!
I feel i must say well done and i do wish you luck but i suspect you wont need it.
Welcome! I know what you mean about fat. I was apprehensive about it too at first.
Check out the athletes forum too!
Thanks, so far things are going well, still getting used to not eating sugar, yay detox lol. I know it's not going to be easy but I'm excited about living healthy and not obsessing about food or my body except for doing right by it. And i will definitely check out the athletes forum!
This was really interesting to read, and quite relatable. I've struggled with an eating disorder since ninth grade, close to seven years. At the worst I'd live off of apples and aspartame-sweetened beverages, for weeks at a time. After some reflection and help from family and friends, I can honestly say it's gotten a lot better. It's been a journey with food since, and often I find myself, subconsciously almost, counting calories and restricting food. I think it's inspirational that you've overcome so much, and I wish you all the best.
Andi, thanks for your post. I'm so happy that things have gotten better for you. (Friends and family really are the best). I started on this forum looking for help and support and the fact that you think my story is inspirational means so much to me. I can honestly say that each and every day is a struggle and like you I can't help but count my calories but it helps me to know that doing good by my body will ease my issues with food. I know I'll get back to a happy weight eventually but I don't need to wait until then to enjoy my life. Thanks again and best of luck to you too
Well certainly had a horrendous week and a half or so. I feel like I went rogue lol. Went totally non-primal and ate like a fat kid who broke out of fat camp. Definitely happened for emotional reasons (close family friend passed away and started a new job). But after a lot of really bad days in a row I finally hit my breaking point. Waking up each morning feeling like crap both physically and emotionally finally just pissed me off. Before I would allow myself to have a little snack here and there but that really just ignited the sugar cravings again. I got tired of listening to my family and friends who think this "primal-thing" is crazy and I should just relax and enjoy life. Well fuck that. Eating SAD food made me sad. I didn't feel relaxed and I gained about 30 pounds. Fuck what other people think, as far as I'm concerned eating primal is not some crazy fad, it's what's gonna make me happy and healthy.
Back on track now for 3 solid days including a family celebration where everyone else had waffles and cheesecake. I felt no temptation whatsoever and I wasn't going to have a tiny bit just to please anybody either. My life, my body, my choice.