Ready for “Experimentation”?

I was reading a fabulous post Heather wrote a few days ago about how she figured out the best way to eat for her body. It involved a lot of trial and error, and I’m glad she found what works.

However, this got me thinking about how this would apply to people with some serious weight restoration, or who have had weight restored after an eating disorder.

Now, Heather is brilliant in that she was able to sit back, and really examine her bodily reactions and feelings on certain “diets”. But to be honest, I don’t think I’m quiet there yet. I think most recovering or maybe even recovered people aren’t either. I wont even go into people who are in the depths of their disorder, this defiently does NOT apply to them.  But even after some or all weight restoration, I question whether someone is “ready” to really find their “way to eat”.

Why? Well for one, I think the eating disordered brain is still wired to believe those myths engraved in our minds. So much so, that we’ll begin to think we look and feel great on a diet of frozen yogurt and egg whites. Or that we are “really energetic” when we eat only protein or non-fat or whatever eating disorder fad you on. I say that because eating disorders are not diets. You go on a diet, you go off one. I sure wish it were that simple.

“I’m struggling with an eating disorder”

“O well, just go off that diet! Problem solved”

Yea, it aint that simple. Eating disorders will convince us that we feel “better” eating egg whites only, and we might totally dismiss the signs that our bodies are lacking not only nutrients, but unmet desires. When “refeeding” I think its beyond just simple nutrition, its giving into our desires. Society has us to believe its “shameful” to give in to desires. How many times have you seen “guilt-free!” on a label. Even on blogs, and hell I do it to! We change brownie recipes to add more protein or less fat or whatever so that we’ll satiate our craving without giving our body what it REALLY wants, an effeing brownie! I do think if modifying is a step to having the real thing, go for it. But dont forget about what your trying to copy.

That being said, I dont know if I can adopt Heather’s way. I’m hopeful that maybe I’ll get there in the near future, but I dont think I should even bother “experimenting” just yet. Believe me, I’ve been tempted. Its hard not to when you see such positive attitudes towards certain ways of eating and all the cool recipes.  I’m still very ingrigued by the raw movement and I’m totally dying for a dehydrator. But with my twisted brain, I know its dangerous for me to start restricting a certain food group or temperature I guess. I do think I’m far enough where I can maybe do “modified” experiments, like maybe going easy on the dairy (because of tummy issues), but then I also wonder if neglecting my greek yogurt cravings is mentally healthy.

And some people dont have any eating disorder history and still might not be considered “ready”. Our minds are tricky, and we’ll convince ourselves to like certain things we dont. Like in those studies where they told people with a headache to take a medicine, only to find out it was a sugar pill, and yet they reported feeling better.

I try to be honest these days. For instance, I know those “Green Monsters” are healthy and all, but I just dont like drinking my spinach! I much rather have it in a sandwich or salad, I’d like to chew it.  And for the longest time I was convinced “running” made me feel better. I totally neglected that my bones were whittling down and before you knew it, I had osteoporosis.

Our tricky little minds of ours! So what about you? Have you ever tried to make yourself believe something? Maybe your struggling with coming to terms with your own truth. I really aspire to have that true mind/body connection and leave out the mental BS like Heather did. For now, I think I’m doing ok in calling out the BS, but to be safe, I’ll steer clear of drastic experiments.

By the way I pick the tortilla  giveaway monday evening so get you comments in!

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32 thoughts on “Ready for “Experimentation”?

  1. That is one of the hardest things for me to figure out… I honestly have no idea most of the time what I really like. I mean, I do sort of know what I used to like / dislike, but tastes change, so who knows if I’d still feel that way if I hadn’t screwed everything up?… And I definitely agree that (for me, at least) it’s not the greatest idea to go cutting out huge food groups at present.

    (Also agree: I would rather chew my greens!! ;))
    <3 <3

  2. Oh Eden. Fantastic post. I agree. I cannot experiment with anything like that…no chance. I just don’t want to and may not be for years (or EVER). I do not want to “try” vegetarian or less meat or less anything. I want to eat as much dairy as I please. I don’t want to go high-paleo and neglect carbs because I don’t want something as an “excuse”. It is all craziness. What a great post. I think this post needs to go side by side with Heather’s!
    I feel like I want to chat to you…I feel you would be a neat girl to hang out with in everyday life.
    I hope you keep eating up because I know you have said before you need to gain more yet, and keep up the dairy girl :)

  3. Well said!! You have some great insights.

    Don’t worry about trying anything right now girl – or ever!! Just keep being Eden and focusing on YOURself – not your food, or exercise, or how you look. On YOU.

    Breathe In – My Body Is Calm.
    Breathe Out – My Body Smiles.

    Remember that girl.
    :)

  4. The mind/body connection is so important in knowing your true self- obviously. If only it was better to find. It really does take so much trial and error to find what works for your body..and what’s right for your body. Nobody’s the same and there’s no “one size fits all” diet, exercise, or life. It’s a journey every single day..and I don’t know if we’ll ever get there completely since we’re constantly growing and changing.

  5. I TOTALLY agree. That is why I get so, so wary when someone with an ED history start jumping on some kind of food restriction and diet…and I don’t believe it when they tell me they just don’t “like” fried foods anymore, or they can’t “handle” sugary stuff. To be completely frank, I think it’s bullshit, and it’s the ED talking.

    I used to believe that carbs were the devil. I was in “recovery” back then, but all I ate was nuts because I was TERRIFIED of carbs and convinced myself I am “okay” because nuts have lots of calories. I don’t know what I was thinking!

  6. Okay, you’re oficially added on my google reader!

    I have changed my eating habits drastically since really commiting to recovery. I do give in to tempations. I do enjoy full fat foods. But I still have at the back of my mind, a firm belief that once I get to healthy weight, i’m going to eat more healthy things and less junk than I am in recovery. Why? Because I feel like I’ll be in a healthier place where I can stop having to constantly make myself overeat huge portions of calorie dense food, and I can just EAT what I want. Which for the most part, is “healthy food” still. I don’t know why, I don’t know if it’s just a repercussion of my ed, the influence of healthy living blogs I read, or what. But I do dream of the days where I can opt for the healthier option at a restaurant or grocery store and not get put off by it because it won’t get me anywhere near the calories I need in a day now. Ugh! I hope I’m making sense here! Haha, probably not, but it’s nice to get out of my head!

    I loved what you said about green monsters. I prefer to chew my spinach too! :)
    <3 Tori

  7. I’ve been weight restored for about 2 years and I only finally stopped obsessing about 2 weeks ago. Something just clicked, and I don’t know what it was, but I will *never* go back. Ever. I think I’m finally ready to do what Heather is doing. And I’m pretty sure I’m not faking it because I’m eating things that I absolutely love, like cheese and bread, and I’m not obsessing over vegetables anymore. And I’m not binging. I have definitely BS-ed in the past but I always really thought that I was “listening to my body”. I actually think I do know why I am suddenly seemingly more normal all of a sudden though (it’s because I finally got my period back).

    Anyway, this comment is long and confusing and rambling, so I am going to stop. Great post :) (as usual)

  8. I think you’re really right about society and guilt. And I think that in the blog world too you get some of that guilt if you’re not eating spot on healthy. It’s ok to admit that we enjoy 3 slices of pizza, just not every day. Or that yes, sometimes I crave a diet freaking coke or some other chemical laden badness. I think it’s about moderation though – and I know that words gets thrown around freely: moderation and balance. But it is true in many ways. Eating healthy is great, but it’s ok to indulge sparingly and not feel guilty about it.

  9. Experimentation can definitely be dangerous for a disordered mind; it was actually what got me into trouble. My disorder started out as a desire to get “healthy”, and I actually went on a raw vegan diet and stayed on it for 8 months, convinced that I felt great, when in reality my health suffered to the extreme. Even these days, the idea of raw food/dessert intrigues me, but I avoid it because I don’t want to get sucked into that again.

    Raw didn’t work for me. Being vegan didn’t work for me (I love my eggs and yogurt!). Does being vegetarian? I don’t know… for now it does. But sometimes I think maybe I should try re-introducing meat into my diet to see how I feel. I just want to make sure that I’m not simply fooling myself into thinking that I feel great, when in reality, I could feel better if I stopped restricting certain foods.

  10. Awesome post, girl! I love the introspection. Although I never had a full on eating disorder, I certainly struggled with disordered eating (although in reality, they are probably close to be the same thing).

    I think learning to eat for what is best for us takes a lot of time… even today I am learning and evolving the way I eat. I am trying to learn to “listen to my body”… easier said than done some days :)

  11. Trust me my friend, there were many years of dealing with the mental BS…and I still struggle. In fact, Chris is always getting onto me that just because something is low-cal and filling does not always mean it’s the best option out there, like eating a huge smoothie filled with air with little to no calories. However, my mind often believes low-cal = healthy, but that’s not always true, and it’s something I’m working on. :)

    Thanks for the kind shout-out, and I wish you all the best. Sounds like you’re really trying to listen to your body. Keep it up. :)

  12. I know that as I get older my eating habits have evolved to where I am finally in a place where I realize what works for me. I can honestly say that I am not really struggling anymore…finally. My only struggles occur when I eat something that bothers my stomach but for the most part I know now what works and what doesn’t.

    Just know that you don’t have to change overnight…don’t put that pressure on yourself. You too will figure it out Eden. I have faith in you!

  13. I have just now been to the point where I feel comfortable experimenting. I was scared too for so long though.

    You’ll get there anda it truly sounds like you are on the right path.

  14. great post. I have finally found what kinda works for me and thats only because I was sick for years from a digestive disorder. Low cal/ low fat stuff makes my stomach hurt, seriously! And egg whites, well…they just give me gas. It ain’t pretty people. :)

  15. I’m definitely not in the experimental stage, but I would love to get there. I do think that when we are restricting and will only eat certain foods, the eating disorder makes us think that we feel good and are fuctioning just fine. We learn to compensate for the symptoms. Glad I found your blog. This is a great post:)

  16. its an important thing to figure out for each of us, that is ‘what works for one person wont work for another’.
    im similar in that i dont like eating things even tho they may be healthy or other people love them.. its gonna ‘make sense’ to me, if u know what i mean. and if it doesnt make sense or seems like something i would get excited eating, then theres no point to force my body. i’ll try anything once, but im still hesitant.

    xoxo

  17. I agree with you :) april tried to get me to drink green smoothies when I was a freshman…eek there were NOT enough berries/stevia in my house to add to that! haah i drank it for a week so that my breakout could clear up and my skin get nourished and then after that, NO more green monsters for me haha.
    Thanks for my comment by the way :) its good to know someone is actually reading lol how long did it take you to get daily readers on your blog? :)

  18. I haven’t found what works for me yet. I wish I knew, it’s all very frustrating. I’ve tried some of the foods that bloggers make, and sometimes it’s good, but other times I just don’t understand how they can eat some of the stuff that they do! ;) But then, I never heard of Ezekial bread and NEVER ate coconut butter, or natural nut butter until last year, so I guess I’ve totally evolved! It’s my own personal evolution! :)

  19. I’m the type that over analyze everything so I can’t make a decision, that’s generally speaking about my life….. but when it comes to food, making decisions is easy for me. I honestly just eat what I like. I was at a buffet this weekend, and can have any food I want…but I was still drawn to the healthy food.

    I guess for my personality, experimenting would not be a good idea. If I’m curious I’ll try something new, but usually it doesn’t last because I go back to what I like to eat. I like everything in moderation.

  20. of courrse i’ve totally tried convincing myself that lunch qualified as a dannon light n fit yogurt & 1,000 100cal packages oh and the no carb thing had me convinced. not anymawww. woop woop

  21. Pingback: DYI Whey, Daddy Interview, and Giveaway winner! | Eden's Eats

  22. Great post! You know I agree with this 100%. I tried to make one of those goddamn egg white pancake things and it was just so yuck!! I don’t know how I ever lived without real pancakes! I’d rather wait a little bit for the real deal then have to stomach this low cal “guilt free” stuff that doesn’t even taste like a pancake. :P

    I don’t even like putting labels on things like that…there is no GUILT in a couple extra calories. They don’t make or break you. Only when eaten in EXCESS.

    That being said, I refuse to believe that I will get fat off of eating a cookie. Heck, I ate several this weekend, and I enjoyed them too. And no way were they “egg white-protein-oatmeal cookies” ;)

  23. I like this post..I myself don’t like to restrict my food intake. Moderation is the key. I eat lots veggies, fruits, some chicken and fish for my protein source, not much pork or red meat and don’t think I can ever give up eggs and yogurt.

  24. And I completely forgot to mention, as I was rambling on, that if you want to “chew your greens” and still enjoy a green monster, give kale or beet greens a try – they tend to have a stronger, more pronounced flavor, but there’s a bit of a chew to it if you don’t blend it to an extremely smooth drink (i.e. VitaMix it).

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