I feel like most of my posts lately have been fairly negative reports about what I have been calling binges (but are really extreme hunger). Today I received a nice email from J who has been reading my posts here, and while it was kinda nice to know that other people are reading and finding it helpful (thanks, J!) it reminded me that this is also supposed to be some sort of record of how I’m going, not just a neverending catalogue of my eating habits.
So, it’s time for a review of my symptoms and where I’m at with addressing them.
- As noted, I don’t track or weigh my food at all any more. I don’t obsess about perfect macros, I still try to get 30g of protein in every meal particularly after a training session, but really – close enough is good enough. A decent helping of meat and maybe some yoghurt or eggs if I’m in doubt, and everything is happy.
- I don’t look at nutrition labels very much these days. Every now and again I do, mostly just for interest’s sake, but it’s not usually a compulsion. Although I did look at the label on an AMAZING cookie I ate the other day… AFTER I’d eaten it. And since then I have been scared to buy that cookie again, even though it was so darn good – so clearly I still have some work to do here. But that being said, I can eat out at a restaurant without fear or favour these days. I even had a burger and chips the other night, and enjoyed them with no guilt.
- I am getting better at not restricting food all day, most definitely. I have been working with a dietician who has really drummed into me that I need to eat every 2-3 hours whether I’m hungry or not, and sticking to this has really helped me become far less food focussed. Also, and this should be common sense, but I’ve realised that if I’m not starving at dinner time, I’m in a far better mood to be spending time with my family, and I’m far less likely to want to eat a half a dozen servings of dessert afterwards. Which is great, because it leaves me time to spend on other, productive habits. So, my suppers these days tend to be very small, if anything at all – and I think that cutting back on that evening splurge, as well as moving to lifting in the morning again, has really helped me sleep better too so it’s a win all round.
- Refusal to eat non-healthy food? Nup, nada. I still try to eat ‘clean’ 80% of the time (because there’s nothing wrong with caring about your health) but I can’t remember a single day when I haven’t had some kind of chocolate, cake or biscuit in the past couple of months. And that’s kinda taken care of the fear of excess carbs/fat as well…..
- Multiple trips to the supermarket every week? Rarely happens. I make do with what’s in the fridge or in the cupboard, and quite often if I can’t be bothered making lunch I’ll go to the bakery (or the takeaway) and buy a bloody sandwich. Imagine that!
- Seasoning foods? I don’t do it anywhere near as much now – half the time I don’t bother, if a food isn’t tasty enough to eat without seasoning then perhaps I shouldn’t be eating it? But yaknow… chips need salt, salad needs mayo, and I even had sweet chilli sauce on my noodles last night. 3 months ago that would have been unthinkable because OH, the CAARRBS! The SUGAR! I do still use 99% fat free dressings, and having been watching a lot of Megsy Recovery lately, it’s reminded me that this is something I need to address. Same as my fat free yoghurt obsession.
- Microwaving tea and coffees? Nup. Nada. Can’t remember the last time I did it. Although I do occasionally now make a frothy coffee, with lots of milk, and I do warm that up first. Because it’s the closest thing to a latte that I can make at home.
- Bullguarding food? No, not really. I do still get a bit moody at mealtimes if I’m super hungry – but mostly I combat this by trying to never let my hunger get below about a 3 on the hunger scale.
- Craving carbs? Well yeah… as I’ve posted many times, my extreme hunger almost always involves some carb heavy food. But the erythritol out of the packet thing… nope. When I committed to gaining weight, I completely dropped artificial sweeteners from my drinks and went back to beautiful, lovely, sweet tasting raw sugar. I might have used erythritol or stevia two or three times in the past few months, the thought barely crosses my mind.
- Compulsions to move? Well no, not really. I still like to have a bit of a walk after lunch, but I don’t do it if I don’t feel like it, or the weather’s bad, or if I have lots of work to do. Since taking the Fitbit off I’ve felt the most free I’ve felt in a long time. I still get into the gym and lift weights – lots – but that’s something I enjoy even when I don’t feel like it.
- I’ve cut back on supplements a lot. Nowadays I’m down to 3 that I take regularly (creatine, vitamin D, and digestive enzymes) as well as a few actual medications. Most of the others are still in my stash but just get ignored.
- My bladder has been much improved since I gained weight and stopped drinking so much black coffee.
- I’m still a bit obsessed with gut health – partly because of the huge quantities of food I’ve been slamming at times, I feel like making sure my digestive system can handle it is probably not an awful issue to have right now.
- Extreme hunger – if you read this blog at all you know it’s still an issue. But I’m coming to terms with it.
After throwing this post together in a bit of a hurry, I feel like there’s far more positive things going on than negative, even if I still feel out of control around food at times. Things to focus on are finding better ways to deal with stress than eating (last week was… very bad in this respect) and making sure I don’t restrict. At all. Just eat when hungry and move on with life. And there are fear foods I need to work on. Chocolate milk is a classic that I haven’t mastered yet. But I will get there.
Lots of positive things going on in my life outside of the food world. Work is going fairly well, and I feel more productive than I have in a long time. We have a beautiful new puppy at home, and I just signed a contract to build a new gym in our backyard – soon I will have a lot more space for my man cave. It’s my birthday later this week, and we have some fun stuff planned including a nice night out and meal with the family.
Life is good.