I have been fat, I have been thin. I have eaten normally, I have dieted, I have binged. I am a typical woman in a abnormal society filled with the overkill information on health, an extremely distorted view on womanhood and an abundance of fake over processed food promising happiness with just one bite. Bet-cha can’t eat just one! (old potato chip advert).
I was lured into bingeing. Easy, quick, and cheap. Stuff an emotion, punish with painful indigestion, wallow in excess to drown out that which I could not deal with…..bingeing became my way of coping or not coping, doesn’t really matter. It took on a life of it’s own and has been my lifestyle for well over 30 years. Dieting was the cure or punishment, depending on my mindset at the time.
With a 30 year history of disordered eating I can claim all kinds of trials and errors. Even pseudo-sucesses. I have lost huge amounts of weight, 80 pounds as a teen, 120 pounds as an adult and 88 pounds a couple of years ago. I have kept weight loss off for up to 7 years. But it all came back.
Why? I have asked myself that question perhaps a billion times with no exaggeration. I delved into the psychology side, the food group side, the vegetarian, the paleo the low fat, high fat and even the intuitive side of eating. I’ve tried to find the root cause and while many answers surfaced, many cause and effects connected, there was something else holding my hands over the fire.
That something was the voice of the eating disorder. ED, as I call it, can be personified in many ways, depending on one’s view point in life. ED can be the binge beast, the starvation best, the perpetual dieter, the devil, the enemy within. It is the voice of addiction.
This blog is an experiment for me. I am taking whatever tool that helped me in the past and combining them into a strategic plan to work through my eating disorder and learn to live with ED’s voice.
The plan is incredibly simple, but very defining. I chose to eat all of my meals from a single container, one that belongs only to me. It reminds me of the amount of food my stomach can hold comfortably in one meal. It represents the gift of life I give to myself as an offering, breaking the negative connotations of restrictive eating and dieting. It is a gentle and natural way of having portion control without weighing and measuring food, counting nutrients or following food plans. I can eat whatever I put in the bowl, as long as it fits.
When a binge happens, there is a recovery period to get through. During that time, I do not attempt to limit how many bowls of food I eat a day. Instead, I concentrate on eating mostly meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt, veggies and plenty of fats to get the food in the bowl as concentrated as possible. This brings me to ketosis in about 2 weeks, which then helps stabilize my appetite. I then allow my appetite to guide the number of bowls, with the goal of 3 regular, predictable meals a day of low carb foods. I have diabetes, by the way. This is the only way to keep my blood sugars in the normal range without medication.
The bowl and the low carb foods are the tools I use to stabilize my eating, appetite and gives me a boundary to stay within. It is what I consider my sobriety. I always smile when I hear someone say that they are addicted to food but can’t stop eating like an alcoholic can stop drinking for sobriety. That is simply not true. Food sobriety is easy to define, simply follow a plan that defines what foods can be eaten and include the boundaries of how and where the foods can be eaten. DON’T, NO MATTER WHAT, leave the plan.
Dealing with the voice of ED is difficult. Hence, the blog. I am determined to write it all down as it happens, try and look at the patterns, the reactions I have to it all. I am trying not to make this about dieting or weight loss, but about learning to manage my eating in a simple way and see what happens.
My lowest weight as an adult was 147 pounds. My highest weight was 317 pounds. I currently weigh 266 pounds, which shows a 37 pound regain in the last two years.
At this point, it is less about my weight as it is about finding my sobriety.