Saturday, November 22, 2014

It's All About That Face

I made a choice for my life this morning.

I threw away my scale for good.

I threw away my scale once before when I was really struggling with eating disorder tendencies, but I still always planned on weighing myself for progress.

This time, I don't plan on weighing myself for progress anymore at all. Sure, I will likely still have to weigh in for doctor's offices and insurance policies.

But the scale can no longer control me.

Why did I decide this? One reason, the Whole 30.

After I finished the Whole 30, I got really obsessed with my weight again (a 13 lb loss in 30 days will do that). So I began to struggle with binge eating in a way that I haven't since I got into recovery for this eating disorder three years ago.

I would do the Whole 30 type eating for a few days and then binge eat. At first I blamed the restriction of the program and went back to counting calories for a while. This worked except for one thing: I started to get nosebleeds, headaches, and joint problems.

The Whole 30 is the optimal way for me to eat. I know this and my rational brain wants to eat this way for the rest of my life. As someone who has struggled with an autoimmune disorder and regular sickness for my entire life, I found freedom and wellness in eating the Whole 30 way that I haven't found in my other 31 years of life.

But when I brought the scale back into the equation (you aren't allowed to weigh in on the Whole 30 at all), I found that I began eating this way for weight loss instead. This led me to make decisions based on what would be best for my weight loss (or cause super fast weight loss) than what would be best for my body.

The thing about Whole 30 eating is that my body self-regulates. It feels amazing and energetic and doesn't overeat. Sometimes I might eat more and sometimes I might eat less based on my hormones. But I never felt the crazy sugar or binge eating hangovers that I felt when I eat other food.

My ultimate goal is to get to a place where I am eating like this ALL THE TIME because it's best for me and because I am a more enjoyable and productive individual at social events when I'm eating this way.

I am going to allow myself some indulgences on Thanksgiving and Christmas with the intention of making my normal weekdays and weekends Whole 30 compliant. But I am actually hoping that by next year, I can even get through the holidays eating in this new healthy way.

It's hard to feel that you are missing out on the fun when you can't eat the delicious holiday food and drinks that people make. But what I am starting to learn is that family is fun, games are fun, giving back is fun, and cooking new and healthy dishes are fun. Nosebleeds, brain cloudiness, and energy depletion are not fun...even if that gluten free cupcake is the most delicious thing on earth.

So the scale has to go. Because it can't be about my weight anymore. It has to be about my health...and the weight loss will follow when it's ready.

Also, pictures (and sizes) don't lie.

I weigh the exact same amount in both pictures. But in the second picture I am actually six (yes, SIX) sizes smaller. My body composition is changing and I feel better than I have in years. So, I've decided that I don't need the scale to tell me how to move forward. I am ready to trust myself instead.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Whole 30, Paleo Style, Clean Eating

Recently, I have been looking up a lot of recipes to try to turn Whole 30/Paleo eating into a lifestyle. In doing so, I have come across many blogs knocking the Whole 30 (too restrictive, why would you have to give up legumes, no energy so quit after the 5th day)...are some of the things I am reading.

I wanted to speak to this. First of all, I noticed that not a single person who is knocking the Whole 30 has actually completed a Whole 30. Why? Because most (if not all) people could probably benefit in cleaning up your diet this much and if they had actually tried a Whole 30, they probably wouldn't be knocking it.

People quitting on the 5th day? I probably would have made out with an Ebola patient for a Reece's Peanut Butter cup on the 5th day. Changing your life is's not easy. But the payoff is well worth it.

The reason that I wanted to speak to this is because of the people that have serious Autoimmune diseases. The Whole 30 would probably save these people's lives, or at least provide a quality of life that they haven't known in 10-20 years.

That's what it did for me.

I remember four years ago when I was trying to go gluten free. I had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease when I was 21 and continued eating it for six years. I just "couldn't" give up my cinnamon rolls and pizza. Because of this, I had ridiculous weight gain, I was sick all the time, and I truly thought that I had Bipolar Disorder (my mood swings were THAT extreme.)

But every time I read something that said "gluten free is crap" or "this lifestyle is too restrictive," it fed my desire to keep eating gluten. This happened until I had an amazing dietician who spoke truth to me (that I actually listened to...sorry mom:). She said "Do you know what HAPPENS to your body every time you eat gluten?" Knowing that, really hearing that, led me to a quality of life that I had never seen before.

Then with the Whole 30, I found a quality of life that I never knew existed.

So here am I to say "Do you know what HAPPENS to your body every time you eat sugar, fast food, and for many people..dairy and grains?" Do you know what happened to my body when I reintroduced legumes? (something that I thought was harmless and even good for me)..every old injury started coming back. I couldn't move for an evening because of back pain.

The thing would you know unless you tried it? It's really only 30 days, for Pete's Sake. Don't listen to the people who can't emotionally divorce themselves from food enough to try it. Listen to the people who have tried it, and came out stronger (and happier) on the other end.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stress Eating

I finally decided to bite the bullet and work on my stress eating. It has been a difficult, emotional roller coaster week. During the Whole 30, they suggest only eating three meals a day with no snacks. I never really did that and kept snacking throughout. I still had amazing health benefits from my Whole 30, but not as many psychological benefits as I could of. All week I have had three meals a day only and no snacks. My meals consisted of only Whole 30 foods, just because Whole 30 foods make me feel amazing and don't rev up any sugar cravings.

It has been HARD. Because I've never truly addressed my stress eating in a way where I wasn't allowed to do it at all. Every time I have been stressed this week, I have had to find another avenue rather than food to deal with it.

I broke down on the phone with my mom on Tuesday just because I was soooo emotional and could not eat those emotions. I would have told you before that I was a stress eater "sometimes," but I didn't realize how much and often I use food to cope with stress. When I was on the Whole 30, I still used "healthy" foods to cope with my stress. It's amazing the hold it has on me.

So, I've been taking a lot of walks, having a lot of conversations, and I have two stress balls in my car that I have squeezed the life out of. Right now, I am experiencing a lot of stress and I am choosing to write this blog rather than go get M&M's from the store. This is a journey that rather than doing it for 30 days or 100 days, I am just going to take one day at a time. TODAY, I'm not going to eat my stress. And it's hard.