*Warning: This blog post is highly caffeinated. I will ramble. I have gotten into the habit of staying up until midnight-1am so I got up REALLY early this morning to try to get myself to bed a little earlier. I apologize in advance for all spelling and punctuation errors.
Since I can’t really focus anymore today on learning new things, what better time to blog about things I already know? I’ve been blogging along for three years now. Dear readers, thank you so much for reading. I love writing, but it sure is nice to know there is someone out there that I am writing to. Today I am writing to you a little more about my eating disorder and recovery. I unexpectedly had a huge response to my post where I chose an Eating Disorder Recovery Anniversary Date and realized that there are a lot of you out there struggling that need to know how I managed to make it through my day back then (which I didn’t always), and how I made it to where I am today. There is so much to tell and it’s about time I started telling. It was such a long tumultuous road to recovery and even when I was doing much better with it all, I was still having really strong binge urges. I couldn’t control them! As hard as I would try, I could never get my appetite under control. I had to figure it out. This took years. Often times, I didn’t know what was the eating disorder and what was just eating too much. But I have learned a ton! Not everything. But a ton! And I am going to share some of this with you today. If you are struggling with bulimia or binge eating, here are some things that helped me to manage the behavior until I FINALLY got to the other side of the fence!
*Note-I am not a doctor of any kind! I struggled with anorexia and then bulimia for 17 years and I am sharing with you things that helped me in my journey and recovery.
When I was in therapy for my eating disorders, my therapist really tried to get me to be comfortable with having junk food. The reason that she was trying to get me to include some junk into my diet was so that I could get rid of this “good food/bad food” mentality. Well, I came to be okay with having junk every now and then but I STILL couldn’t control myself with it. If I had an Orea, I ate the pound of Oreos. My therapist told me that it was because I still thought of sweets as “off limits” and so when I did finally have then, I would eat as much as I possibly could because I didn’t know when I would have it again. Well in the 17 years, I had a few years where I just gave up, swung to the other end of the weight spectrum and had junk all the time. So a year or so of consistently including junk food into my diet……..still couldn’t control myself. I figured I was just doomed with food. But then I learned that when you deprive your body of nutrients for a long period of time, it starts to get angry. See, our body/brain is constantly trying to rescue us from ourselves. And it remembers that the junk has lots of calories. Calories that can be used to save you from starvation! If you have ever eaten a donut or a cookie in your life, then developed an eating disorder where you are starving your body, when you do finally take a bite of a cookie or some other kind of junk food there is a hormonal response that happens that jogs your bodies memory that the cookie has lots of calories and in turn tells you to eat it…….ALL. Eat as much as you possibly can. This is the uncontrollable binge that is experienced.
Since I struggled with eating disorders for a very long time, it is well worth it for me to stick to healthy whole foods. I even quit sugar last October and this has been even more helpful.
Ah, this blog is probably starting to make more sense. I don’t only do this stuff for the fun of it. It keeps my life in check! Exercise is so much more than burning calories in the moment. Isn’t it crazy how when you exercise you aren’t as hungry even though you actually burned more calories in your day? Exercise regulates your appetite and is also a fantastic antidepressant! Exercise was and is a crucial part of my recovery.
I used to keep fat out of my diet at all costs because it was too caloric. Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and ate TONS of fat. When I ate low fat, I was thin and looked healthy but I felt like I was going to die all the time haha. I was always and anxious, I couldn’t catch my breath, and my teeth and gums were terrible! Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and threw calorie watching out the window. I experienced such a great turnaround in my health! My previously loose teeth were no longer loose and I was as calm as a cucumber. I learned the reason for this was because our cells are made mostly of fat! We NEED fat to be healthy! Now I don’t eat quite as much fat.. I do watch my calories but I make sure that I include lots of good fats into my diet and I don’t stress if I go over a bit. I know the calories from whole food are different than the calories in junk. You will read otherwise, but in my experience with food and eating (and I have lots) the calories are very different between the two.
Examples of healthy fats are egg yolks, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. My favorites are eggs and cashews. 🙂
I think in most recovery programs it is recommended to depend on a power greater than yourself. It’s because we have gotten ourselves in over our heads and we need something bigger than ourselves to get us out of it. During my 17 year struggle, I learned ways to manage my disorder to where I could go about my daily life. But there did finally come a point where I was completely healed and I know that was God that did that. I am very thankful to Him for changing my mind and my heart.
So just pray to God and then wait. PS- it may be a while.
Practice Making the Right Choice
Obviously I am not perfect, but when I make decisions now I think about what will happen afterward. I have an infant, If I do not stay on top of my health, I am EXHAUSTED. So I eat healthy, I workout, and I try (I said try) to get enough sleep so that I can be mentally and physically present for my two little pumpkin heads. Whether you have had an eating disorder or not, this is how we need to think in life. But those of us struggling in an eating disorder are in desperate need of rising above the chaos that has become our daily lives. This is achieved through making one good decision at a time. There is so much power in accomplishment. I always talk about my to-do list on here. I have been making them for years and they are such a great tool for gaining confidence in yourself! That being said, I know that all is in God’s hands but we have to be able to trust ourselves that when we say we are going to do something, we are actually going to do it. Now I make sure to accomplish at least one thing of meaning to me daily even if it is small. Maybe try to think of something you can set out to accomplish tomorrow. You will actually be accomplishing more than just the task!
So those are a few of the things that helped me in being able to get through the day when I was in the struggle, going through recovery, and even now. I will try to do another post with more of my experience and things that helped me soon. For now I hope these can help some of you out there. If you are struggling now and need someone to pray for you just let me know in the comments or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise I will.
Until next time, have a great afternoon!