I really need some help here. I have hashimotos and an eating disorder. I had some weight loss success with the hcg diet then got very into the paleo lifestyle. I feel like my eating disorder is getting the best of me..I've put on a couple of pounds and want to do hcg again to lose it but the restrictions I already have with hashimotos and the hcg just put added stress on my eating disorder...i dont know how to get a healthy handle on my autoimmune dietary restrictions without letting my eating disorder and temptations of hcg getting the best of me.
asked byA__Newpage_Paleo (43)
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on June 13, 2011
at 12:04 PM
I agree that eating lots of fat is incredibly helpful. I know that for most people, especially those with eating disorders--and I am one--eating fatty foods is really scary. We already have body image and food control issues, and coupled with all the anti-fat conditioning we've received, sitting down to a hamburger made with 80% ground beef instead of 95% can be daunting. But when I make sure to start the day off with a fatty breakfast (coffee with cream, bacon and eggs), I hardly ever want to binge. And if I slip and binge one day, I just try to really scale down my carbs and amp up the fat intake the next day. It helps immensely with the carb backlash, even though my eating disordered mind tells me just to fast to get everything out of my system. Incorporating fat (and cutting down on carbs at the same time) is a process. But look at it this way: in a year, you can either be in the same place, struggling, or feeling better than you ever thought possible. Once I got over my fear of fat, things got so much easier.
I can't speak for others, but for me, there's a huge biochemical component to my eating disorder. While I agree that therapy is helpful, working through what's behind it can take years. Although I've figured out where my eating disorder came from and why it was so entrenched, I still haven't been able to internalize this knowledge to get rid of the urge to abuse food when things get rough. I'm glad that I can use the right foods to treat the symptoms while I'm working on the cure.
I also take lots of L-Glutamine (5-10 grams, not milligrams, a day) to help with carb cravings, particularly in the afternoon when they can hit hard. Carbs are a huge trigger for me, even fruit. If I start, it's hard to stop. Even if I eat a controlled amount of starchy, paleo-friendly carbs like plantains or sweet potatoes, I find that I'm more likely to binge later in the day. Obviously, bingeing on berries and sweet potatoes is better than choosing Twinkies and pizza, but not bingeing at all is better. Fat and L-Glutamine are my secret weapons.
Finally, try to let go of the weight loss aspect and think about healing instead. Focus on eating coconut, avocado, heavy cream and butter (if you can tolerate them), nuts (if they are not a trigger for you--I tend to eat nuts I don't binge on like almonds and brazils instead of macadamias and cashews), and olives. Saute your veggies in lots of coconut oil--yum! When I get hung up on weight, I binge. Instead of weighing or measuring yourself, imagine how you would live if you were at your "ideal" weight--would you do it alone with your eating disorder or would you choose food that made you feel good physically and emotionally? Fat will not make you fat, but obsessing about it might.
Please don't give up. The more adept you become at figuring out what works for you, the easier it gets. Temptations may seem huge, but I promise that they will fade into the background. They may never go away, but you can work with your own biochemistry and body to get the best of them.
Good luck to you!
on June 13, 2011
at 02:01 PM
- hug * I am sorry you are going through this, I have a couple suggestions both dietary and psychological that might help-
- As some have already suggested, make sure you eat enough fat. Fat is truly satisfying to the gut and a macromolecule too often neglected in eating disorder recovery ... imo.
- In conjunction with the increased fat, make sure you are eating enough protein and try to get your carbohydrate intake down (however, do not fret over it).
- I would suggest not counting anything. This often triggers people with an eating disorder. Just, eat. No rules. No numbers. Just food.
- And, frankly, I really think paleo is a great thing for you situation. Not only the increased fat and protein but the regulation of carbs and sugar should get the serotonin and other neurotransmitters that are associated with binging/purging in check.
Eating Disorders are often due to psychological triggers- stress, anxiety, anger, helplessness, depression, etc. Often times people restricting, purging, or over eating are mechanisms to channel those underlying causes and lead to some relief. Your body and mind are trying to help you, they have learned that purging and binging relieve you in some way. But, they are also doing more harm than good, their effects having rather detrimental reverberations. So, your body is trying to help you out- it just needs a better way. :)
Perhaps, a 'mindful' practice would be helpful? Learning to stop and listen to your body, listening to what your body is telling you. Is it tired? Anxious? Upset? Is it hungry? To do this- pause, let your body be still, focus on your breathing, what your body feels like- is it tense? is your breathe quick or slow and paced? Listen. Ask yourself what it is that you need in that moment. If you are hungry, you very well might need food and it is okay to eat. If you are anxious or upset maybe you need some time to think or someone to talk it out with. If you are sad about something maybe you need some human contact, someone to confide in, or maybe you just need some time alone to reflect.
Additionally- I would encourage you to journal. Many psychological studies bolster the positive affects of journaling. Consciously writing out what one is thinking and feeling about their day, feelings, big events, or even mundane activities has helped many people with their anxieties, depression, anger, sadness, etc. Just get a notebook (or use your computer) and write, write what you are feeling, what you are feeling, anything.
- B.S. in Psychology
- Research on Eating Disorders for many years, knew people that had them ...
- Plan on becoming a Naturopath and a Psychologist, thus find it necessary to be versed on how to help people in this area ... and sincerely want them to get better.
I hope some of this is helpful and I do want you to get better.
on June 13, 2011
at 02:28 PM
true, but i akin paleo and eating disorders like diabetes and low carb.... you wont cure it but you will be doing everything in your power to control the chemical imbalance and mental misfiring. i for one, never benefitted from professional help/treatment/psychs/dieticians. never had anything good come out of them.
recovery should be empowering, and you only need yourself to do that. the power is always in you, you just need to find it and trust it. accepting recovery is a huge first step- it opens freedom with your body, food and health.
i agree about the journaling b/c i have a temper/anxiety and writing helps, as does music, the sun and good sleep. also, puzzle books :)
i have a blog with a lot of help/experience on it you might can check out
on June 13, 2011
at 07:16 AM
As a woman who has struggled all my life and even been hospitalized due to an eating disorder in my early years, please know first of all that it is a life time struggle with no 12 step program. I teeter on the paleo see-saw all the time, but I understand what is good for my body and what I am supposed to do to actually treat it in the way it deserves to be treated. That is the only real step, I believe. Paleo is a great recovery lifestyle, not a diet. Understanding what works for whatever damage has been done to our bodies by yo-yo dieting, bingeing, purging, fasting and more comes with time. Take your time. Learn what works and what doesn't. For example, I know certain fruits will halt progress so when I am on, I will focus on low glycemic veggies and good oils. When I am not on, I am guilt ridden and I struggle with issues of body image and self acceptance. I understand that this is a normal feeling, I just react differently than others. I know how to do it the wrong way, I am focusing on doing the right way. But every day I approach with baby steps on my tip toes on egg shells. Somedays, I beat myself up. Somedays I praise myself. I try to help others and this helps me. I think about how I am benefiting the earth, my friends, coworkers and family who recognize the positive change this lifestyle offers when I do it correctly. And when I fall off the wagon, those same thoughts (at some point) help me climb back on.
The ED issues lie so much deeper than any diet can repair, but understanding science, appreciating strength and sometimes, falling back on my old restriction ways (this time I restrict different things) helps tremendously. I wish the best for you. Wish the best for yourself. I have PCOS so I understand the challenge of Hashimotos as theyy are very similar in many ways. <-another reason why fruit and some veggies might need to be examined for your metabolic type. For instance: Diuretics like coffee and some teas can lower your body's on way to produce HGC, as do some veggies like ginger, fennel, watermelon, cucumbers, watercress, artichokes, beets, and tomatoes. So before going on a supplement based diet, why not try and get your body to do what it can do naturally?
Cheers to you girl!
on June 13, 2011
at 02:45 PM
I struggled with bulimia for most of my adolescence and then as an adult I dropped the purging and just had a binge eating issue. I have found living on a very low carb diet to be immeasurably helpful in curbing my addictions. I think therapy is very important and it was helpful for me as it helped address many of my "self-loathing" issues, but it didn't really address the biological issue of depression and carb loading that eating a nutrient dense, natural, low carbohydrate diet did. I wish you all the luck. I found that as soon as I got serious and became 98% compliant with my VLC paleo, most of my eating disorder symptoms went away. I can't promise that will happen with you but here's my support.
Do keep in mind, it might take a while before you start losing weight, if that is your goal. I stalled for a while and my theory is that I had damaged my body's nutrient stores for so long that my body was in recovery/rebuilding mode for a while before it could let go of those fat stores.
Good luck and you have my greatest empathy. Now, Sieze the day!
on June 13, 2011
at 06:24 AM
Not that it will cure your disorder because mentally you will need professional help but a very positive aspect of paleo is that is that when you eat higher fat you feel very full it really cuts the binging desire, it cuts the desire to overeat even with a disorder. It's much harder to fill up when you lack the desire to fill up. The rest will be a mental challenge. I hope you are seeking professional help.
on September 28, 2011
at 11:59 PM
This was all very helpful. Thank you. Long time eating disorder creeping back up after a few years. i am stressed. I was feeling great the last few months..on a primal/paleo lifestyle...then, fell off on vacation and my perfectionism got the best of me.. i started going more off~eating pizza, ice cream etc (not yet purging, just bingeing) then, i tried Whole30~i felt AWESOME! EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY.`I worried that I didn't lose any weight, clothes felt the same..and i feel off at day 22:(...since then, bingeing and purgeing for a week~my clothes are tighter, i am bloated, i feel like crap, i spent money on crap food that i know won't neurish me and i will either keep it in and binge on it or purge it out and feel worse either way... after reading this blog...i am empowered to get my life back~i have 2 beautiful girls i have to stick around for and be present for~i did so much better not counting calories or fats or anything and just eating healthy...i need to allow myself the occasional non-paleo food (like pizza or ice cream) in order to not feel restricted, but i also need to stay on track with what makes me feel healthy and amazaing! I am taking that crap food back to the store b/c it's just sitting in the fridge and I have the receipt. I have grass fed ground beef waiting for me at home along with good veggies, coconut oil, avacodo~i will feel better and my kids will feel better...i'm giong to have a nice glass of wine and maybe a bite of dark chocoloate and cheers to comgin back to myself and my family...it's not about weight..it's about life, enjoying it, taking it in, being present and loving my kids...