Thoughtful Thursday: Disordered Eating

I didn’t feel like posting yesterday but I realized sometime in the morning that it was a semi-important day in my life. Two years ago yesterday, I stepped on a scale in front of 50 people after a grueling 15 minute workout and vowed never to see that number again. I was sweating not only from jumping jacks, push ups and mountain climbers but from the realization that I was 230 pounds. That that number was being seen, and written down, by coaches and the people standing near me. From that day forward, I changed my life.


(2011 and the other day)

It’s funny–well, not really, but during those eight weeks, I was more relaxed about food than I have ever been in the last 2 years. I knew how much to eat, what to eat and fueled my body for the intense workouts at 5:30 a.m. every day. It’s afterwards that got me.

I fell into a spell of carbohydrate and calorie fear recently. Even though I never tracked my food after those eight weeks, I counted carbs in the back of my head and did my best to restrict them. For a while, I wasn’t afraid. I knew what to do to continue losing weight and to not gain and I did it. I ate healthy, I exercised–I knew the ropes. I had a sustainable lifestyle and could eat as I pleased.

More recently though, somewhere near my switch to a Paleo lifestyle/a little before, I developed this intense fright of food. Fruit was bad, grains were bad, carbohydrates that didn’t come from vegetables were bad, dairy, also bad. Sugar, worst. I spiraled deep down into a Paleo hole where I tried to listen to my body and failed.

I tracked my food for the first time a few weeks ago and discovered I was eating somewhere near 800/900 calories a day with very little carbohydrates and too much protein and fat. It’s no wonder I didn’t always feel 100%, my weight loss and muscle development plateaued and my hormones got all out of whack. Who knows what other bodily signals I’ve ignored.

To just maintain my weight, I should be eating over 2000 calories a day. For the amount of activity I do everyday, I could eat even more.

I unintentionally gave myself an eating disorder and was starving.

This realization came to me the other day when I really wanted oatmeal for breakfast but wouldn’t eat a whole serving because it would use up my carbs. The next day I wanted a smoothie, but, bananas, they have so much sugar. I then realized that even before becoming Paleo I never ate bread and rarely ate other grains because I was nervous about using up all my carbs. I had to mentally prepare before eating something like ice cream or anything I didn’t normally consume and attempt to avoid the overwhelming guilt that accompanied the meal.

I’ve decided to stop being Paleo, to try and eat normally and to rid myself of the fear of food. I preach health and balance yet I’m the worst offender. This needs to stop.

A few weeks back I decided my primary fitness goal for the next year is to build muscle and get strong. To do this, I would need to eat. A lot.

So far, it’s been both simple and difficult. Eating things I’ve cut out in the past has proved to be hard. I bought bread and cereal for the first time in months the other day, ate a yogurt with peanut butter (something I used to have every single day for breakfast) and have tried to be more relaxed. I have been writing everything down, tedious, but apparently necessary. I’m currently trying to revamp my metabolism which is a slow process but something that will be worth it in the end.

Two years later, I’m 89.5 pounds lighter, a million times stronger and have a tiny bit more confidence.  For the next year, I can only hope the latter two grow even more.


One thought on “Thoughtful Thursday: Disordered Eating

  1. Pingback: Why I Count Calories | A Simple Spoon

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