Eating Consciously Triggers 2 Eating Disorders
As many of you know I have been eating consciously for over 6 years & experienced life changing results that set the stage for the miracle known as PaleoBOSS Lady. My food healing journey began with gluten & the changes my body felt with removing gluten from my diet were astounding. Restless leg almost immediately left my body which is an MS (Multiple Sclerosis) symptom that is often quite troubling.
This initial result of saying bye bye to gluten let me know that food was my missing piece and I needed to keep looking at food to biohack my health. Within a year of giving up gluten I started a Paleo lifestyle followed by The Wahls Protocol which is where I have remained and to this day I am a proud & faithful Wahls Warrior.
Sadly eating consciously triggered 2 different eating disorders in my life.
Many who eat whole foods develop an eating disorder called Orthorexia which is when the restrictions of eating healthy become excessive regarding "clean" eating. Often this restrictive behavior flows into to other areas of your life limiting the ability to live your life.
I do not believe I had or have Orthorexia, but I do believe I have had bouts of Anorexia and Bulimia.
About a year after becoming a Wahls Warrior I decided to follow the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP Protocol) to see if I had any food triggers especially regarding night shades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potato) & eggs. A trip to Italy where I got very sick eating a tomato, pepper & eggplant based meal prompted me to feel I needed to see what foods did not work for me in my healing journey.
AIP focuses on eating foods that heal your gut. After 90 days I begin a slow reintroduction which is the recommended path to see what foods may be a trigger for my body.
Because I am a dark chocolate lover extraordinaire I chose chocolate for my reintroduction & it did not go well. I was devastated & symptoms of MS started to return. This result made me pause, but I still keep going and in another couple days I reintroduced eggs with another poor result.
Now I am 2 for 2 with negative outcomes & I begin to get concerned.
During this time my only resource or support system was Dr. Google. I was completely alone in the journey outside of a few bloggers offering online information. I personally do not know a single person using food as medicine & my doctors had already thought my approach to healing was bogus. Dr. Wahls had no book yet and Mark's Daily Apple was my most significant resource which is not AIP focused, but proved to be a lifeline regardless so many times during this period of my life.
Without conscious effort the negative results of the reintroduction translated into an almost anorexic behavior for me.
Suddenly food became an enemy & I was afraid to eat because I did not want any MS symptoms to return. The sad truth is I began losing so much weight & the compliments started pouring in which did not help my healing journey. It almost reinforced my anorexic behavior which was easy to hide because most stopped listening to me using food as medicine. At this time these types of healing protocols were new and somewhat ground breaking translating into most thinking it was 'hippie' bullshit.
I am not going to lie the positive reinforcement by way of comments about how great I looked losing so much weight continued to fuel my anorexic behavior.
Eating foods again became hard not only because of fear of an MS flair, but also because I loved all the attention around 'how great I looked.' Luckily for me I was deep into my conscious life journey & I woke up. It was a true brick hit forehead moment when I began realizing that my mitochondria needed food to continue to kick MS to the curb & eating was essential. I also reminded myself that I was not interested in being on the cover of Vogue & that I was trying to heal myself & regain some quality of life.
My current state of using food as medicine involves killing my sugar demons. Gave up refined sugar years ago yet I still struggle with anything that has a natural sweetener especially honey & maple syrup. In the last 2 years I have noticed a bulimic style behavior eating 'healthy' desserts with reckless abandonment
I literally can eat an entire pie, cake or box of Paleo style treats without any sense of self control & in one sitting.
My 2017 healthcare goal has been to kick this type of habit to the curb as I have every conscious eating change. For some reason this demon has been the hardest of my life to date finding myself dealing with daily struggles that shock & scare me. I lack self control in a way I have never experienced. In May with the help of community I worked hard on a road map with tools, a good plan and course of action to overcome this addiction using tried and true steps that have served me when I quit smoking, gluten, dairy and processed foods and still the struggle is real.
I began looking at my conscious eating journey since the beginning and trying to see what I may be missing that I forgot or simply for insight into what has brought me to this place.
When I first started this path I was 100% alone not knowing anyone using food as medicine. There were little to no companies or food products that you were able to buy at a grocery store beyond ingredients to make all of your meal. There were no cakes, cookies, tarts, pizza, puddings, ice creams etc that were called Paleo. In fact, few and far between even recipes for making this desserts where hard to come by with bloggers just started to pop up.
I have come to understand in this year of focused effort that my addiction is not to the ingredients it is to the food category.
I was under the assumption that eating ingredients that are Paleo or Wahls compliant was a good look & okay. I was dead wrong. In fact it simply is a gateway drug to get back into old unconscious eating habits or in my case creating new ones.
Once I have one compliant cookie I cannot stop until the box is gone.
Literally this is the path I have been on and of course I don't discount the power of addiction to substances, but this for me is coupled with a HUGE psychological addiction to my favorite comfort foods of days gone by.
I thought I needed to take honey & maple syrup out of my diet for life, but the reality is the types of foods that have these ingredients added are what I need to give up.
America is a consumer driven country and the conscious living movement is one of the fasted growing retail sectors in shelf space and new companies in a long time. Almost every month there is a new brand of some favorite processed food that is now available in a Paleo version. Companies know this is a fast growing market and are jumping on the gravy train yet this is merely recreating different forms of "processed type foods" using acceptable ingredients.
All of this truly serves to continue the bad habits we are trying to break regardless of the ingredients.
Now I am taking it back to my conscious living roots which did not include desserts of cake, cookies, ice cream and all the new products that mimic the things that simply are not Paleo or conscious no matter what we tell ourselves.
No doubt I got this finally. I am pretty confident the final quarter of 2017 will finish with me reaching my goal. Wish me luck.
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