Hi guys - I'm hoping for some advice on how to really work on myself. I just graduated college and I have about two months of doing NOTHING before my job starts, and I want to use this time to tackle some of the food demons that I've dealt with for a decade or so. I'm also trying to lose 20-30 pounds. This will probably be long, but I appreciate anyone who can offer advice or support!
First, some background: 22, female, 5'3, about 150 pounds. Happy weight is about 125. Been paleo for about 8 months. History of chronic undereating/undiagnosed anorexia/EDNOS (age 12-18) and binge eating disorder (age 18-present). I've been in and out of therapy throughout all of this, but only recently (the past year or so) have I really been determined to get rid of this eating disorder and improve my relationship with food. I'm currently not in therapy, because I don't want to get a therapist until I move for my job (consistency is important to me when it comes to therapists) so I'm trying to do some recovery on my own until then.
What I've been doing - all of which I consider PROGRESS:
- Eating 3 square meals/day - bfast, lunch, dinner. No snacking. Each meal has at least a serving of fat (usually 2), a serving of protein, and a ton of vegetables (mostly cruciferous - cooked). An example is my favorite breakfaste: 1 cup red cabbage, 1 cup kale cooked in 1-2 TBSP coconut oil, 1/2 avocado, and sardines/wild salmon with sea salt. Mmmm.
- Stopped running 5-6x/week - started walking, doing yoga, LHT, and sprinting. I was a cardio JUNKIE and ran 6-10 miles at a time. Now, I do full body strength training 2x/week, yoga 4-5x/week (or more - I'm loving it right now), walking 1-2 hours 2-3x/week, and sprinting 1-2x/week.
- Being more active in general. I'm "anti-sitting" right now - I rarely watch TV and would rather do stuff around the house if I'm bored (clean, organize, etc.). I also give myself at least one activity to do everyday which typically becomes my afternoon activity to keep me busy (random errands, studying for the GMAT, etc.).
- Upped my calories from 1000-1200 to 1300-1700 /day, added fat, added meat. For years I've been eating a starvation diet of chicken/turkey/egg whites and green vegetables only. I've now included lots of coconut oil, kerrygold butter, and grass-fed beef... and I'm loving it.
- Sleeping 8-9 hours per night. This is glorious. Thank you, empty schedule.
- Stopped weighing myself and started using a measuring tape. Breaking up with the scale was really difficult, but I'm glad I did it. However, I'm struggling a bit with using measuring tape to measure my progress. How often should I measure? From what I understand, inches go down at a slow pace, and I don't want to get frustrated by lack of progress (and consequently binge, even though it makes no sense when I do that). Measure once a week? Once a month?
- Journal everyday and work through the Beck Diet Solution. I'm REALLY trying to tackle the mental side of my diet - I know that it's the only way I'm going to have a healthy relationship with food. I truly believe that Paleo is the best diet for me, but I know that any diet alone is not enough to cure me of my eating disorder(s) - I really have to understand why I turn to food (in good times and bad) and develop better coping mechanisms. This, however, is a frustratingly slow process.
Where I'm not having too much progress:
- I'm still binging. My last one was 6 days ago, which was the end of a 4 day binge that spanned the weekend. Gluten and sugar - the usual.
- Because of my binges, I am 20-30 pounds over a healthy weight (for me). I am technically overweight (it stings as I write that) and want desperately to be healthier, thinner, and more fit.
- Because I am overweight, I have terrible body image and I don't want to leave my house until I'm thinner. This is unhealthy, unrealistic, and overall a terrible idea. But how do you go out and see people when you feel terrible about how you look?
I know many questions have been asked related to binging and eating disorders... and I've read through all of them. I feel like I'm in the middle of being deep into binge eating disorder/anorexia and being recovered, and I'm really looking for any advice that may just get me over the hump to "smooth sailing" toward recovery. In other words, I feel like I have many of the tools I need to conquer this, but I haven't yet had that lightbulb moment when everything clicks and I can go about my daily life without constantly having to WORK at not binging or thinking about food all the time. Does that moment of clarity even exist? I really want to take this time before I start work to work on myself and really work through these issues that have plagued me for the past 10 years. If you read through all of this, I sincerely thank you - any help related to weight loss, recovery, or anti-binging is much appreciated.
As always, grok on.