Progress – Eating ‘Clean’ and Obsessing Over Nutritional Facts

In a related post I outlined how I would obsessively track and weigh all my food in MyFitnessPal to try and keep my calories and individual macronutrients as perfect and evenly spread through the day as I could. The other facet of this that of course I was obsessed with keeping fats down, keeping carbohydrate low (except around times of high activity like training) and keeping protein high, which meant I had to cut out pretty much any ‘junk’ food (most of it wouldn’t fit into my macros anyway) and I spent lots and lots of time looking at the nutrition labels on everything I purchased from the supermarket and everything I ate. This also used to cause a lot of anxiety when eating food prepared by others, both when eating out as well as family occasions, work functions, etc.

Thankfully, since I stopped tracking food in MyFitnessPal this has almost become a thing of the past and I’m now quite capable of buying and/or eating things without looking at the label. The temptation is still there a lot of the time, but mostly I am able to ignore it. Sometimes if I need to look at the packet (for example, I cooked some frozen oven bake vegetables the other night and needed to look at the cooking instructions) and I’m tempted, I’ll just cover them with my fingers so I don’t even accidentally see them. Other times I will look at them just for kicks but I will say to myself that if I am going to look at them that I am not going to let the macros influence my decision, I am eating whatever it is, regardless!

As far as the calorie/macro breakdown of food, I do still have goals of developing a decent physique so I still try to eat good quality foods most of the time, however I try to adhere to the 80/20 rule and allow myself plenty of treats. Not only that, but I am well aware that part of recovering from this thing fully is to teach my brain that no foods are off limits, so I need to regularly eat my fear foods, in order that they can just become ordinary foods again. I learnt the hard way, as I’ve been going through my extreme hunger phase, that any time I am craving something and I choose not to have it, it almost always results in a bigger feast (what I would call a binge) later on. And those episodes of extreme hunger are not fun – I don’t enjoy or savor the food because I am slamming it down so manically, and the digestive after effects last a day or two and impact on my ability to eat meals with my family. Plus psychologically they make me feel like shit – so I’m far better to just eat the fucking food and enjoy it!

And speaking of enjoyment – eating out and those family occasions are so. much. easier. now – I can just go and eat without guilt, mostly. I do still try to make healthy choices – both for my physique goals as well as my feeling of well being, because there are certain foods (mostly very high-fat ones) that will leave me feeling bloated and heartburny even in small quantities. I just have to be careful to make sure I’m restricting those foods for the right reasons and not listening to Dmitry.