5

votes

Anyone come from an eating disorder background into Paleo? Athlete?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Just wanted to see how many of you have dealt with an eating disorder before going into paleo and if you still struggle with it while doing paleo. I just started writing a blog about my journey from raw food into paleo and beyond while running competitively at the collegiate level. It would be cool to recieve any feedback or personal stories. I would like to see how common it is for people to come from an eating-disorder background into paleo

www.runninginsilence.com if you care to check it out.

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on April 16, 2013
at 01:56 AM

Thank you for your response! I wish you the best of luck as well!!

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on January 11, 2013
at 04:32 AM

I can completely agree with that last statement. At least we can relate! Good luck to you!

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on January 11, 2013
at 04:31 AM

I agree, I tried paleo for a while but still had to deal with the ED...it wasn't until I put the "forbidden food" (peanut butter, bread, yogurt) back into my diet that my mind started to heal. Sometimes it's not about a certain diet changing but our perception. I hope to be able to venture back into paleo someday but for now I have to work on my mental state. I do try to stick along the paleo lines as much as possible--I have learned a lot from it. I try to keep dairy and wheat to a minimum each day. Good luck to you as well!

B62ff15477b5fd539709a5014db51e4b

(185)

on December 27, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Wow, thank you for the detail, seriously! I can relate easily--although I did not continue with 30BAD for 3 years but instead more like 1-2 months (thank goodness). I can completely relate with falling back into ED stuff since doing more paleo/cooked food but I am finally finding a balance. I feel like 30BAD was just covering up what was really going on--and I need to tackle the ED for what it is.

8f63ca8f7da5236580701d6f03f8958d

(30)

on December 26, 2012
at 09:14 AM

A bit of both - stress, study, too any calories, no exercise... I only has a couple :)

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 26, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Was your anxiety attacks related to your anorexia? I'm thinking in terms of not enough of food, nutrients or something particular can cause it?

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 26, 2012
at 07:16 AM

Thats the thing, I wish I could think like that. Another thing is that now that I've really adapted to a ketogenic diet I dont really feel hungry anymore and I have constant energy throughout the day.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on December 26, 2012
at 05:38 AM

Have you maybe considered a Paleo diet that isn't ketogenic? That isn't to say that keto doesn't have it's benefits, but if you have an eating disorder, or a bad relationship with food, then maybe a less stringent Paleo diet would be better in such a case.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 25, 2012
at 11:26 PM

I thought so. Look up "vegetarianism and mental disorders" on this site.

B62ff15477b5fd539709a5014db51e4b

(185)

on December 25, 2012
at 10:53 PM

Ohhhh yeah haha. First raw food, then raw vegan (80/10/10, 30bananasaday diet), then Paleo.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 25, 2012
at 05:10 PM

Were you ever a vegetarian/vegan Rachael?

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11 Answers

5
39061dc0d7bd2b3a6639282497686099

on December 26, 2012
at 05:50 PM

Hey Rachael : )

Thank you for sharing your journey with us thus far. I have a similar background- have always been concerned about weight gain since early puberty and have gone through periods of extreme restriction, which then morphed into seeking a way to eat "clean" so that I would hopefully never feel guilty after eating. That's when I discovered raw foodism back in 2005. I quickly adopted a 100% raw vegan diet overnight and I felt great at first, until I realized that all the nutty concoctions were a disaster for digestion and I started to gain a little weight. Not much weight gain, but enough to strike panic in me.

About 6 months into a standard raw diet, I came across Doug Graham and immediately followed 811 to a T for 3 years. I noticed that YES, you can gain weight on fruit, much to Freelea's claims otherwise. So this made me a bit freaked out, bc I felt like this was the ultimate way to eat, the cleanest, most guilt-free way to eat, so WTF!? I was so confused, and close-minded.

I started to really question if all this damn fruit was healthy? I did not get my period for 6 years, No sex drive at all, had 15K dollars worth of dental work ( incl. 3 root canals) , and my mental state was totally whacked out. I felt so incredibly isolated from my peer group, family, and basically everyone expect 30bad folks who "get it" ( HAHA yeah right!) But the thing that kept me in it was that I genuinely fell in love with fruit, and yes, all those feelings of bliss do happen when you eat a fruit-based diet bc your constantly on a sugar feast! Your kind of drunk.

I was also in fear of fat, salt and cooked food. There seemed to be no where else to look. It wasn't until I actually listened to some of Daniel Vitalis's interviews on One Radio Network that I began to consider expanding my diet beyond veganism. I spent a good year following and researching what he was saying about how healthy saturated fats and animal products were before I made an dietary changes from 811. When he mentioned Weston Price, it was all over. When I found Nora Gedgaudas and Chris Masterjohn it sealed the deal. It was all butter from there on haha.

For the first 1.5 years of paleo though, I kept restricting- then binge/purge, feel SUPER guilty,like total shit for 2 weeks. This cycle would always follow a period of mental recovery where I would revert back to 811 bc at least when I ate mostly fruit I didn't feel the need to purge. I kept going back to that damn website and would see Freelea's videos and think about how much more "pure" fruit eating is, and that there must be a way to make it work. "maybe if I just eat less" become a breatharian be done with all this guilt associated with food. I actually thought these things, and sadly I tried them.

Finally, after completely whacking out my system and feeling completely depressed in a brain fog, I made the commitment to just go for the fats and protein bc my body was begging for some nourishment and needed the building blocks to make some nice neurotransmitters to get me out of this damn haze I was in. I finally got my cycle back, and my sex drive : ) I feel human again!

I still feel some residual ED thoughts, but as I get more nourished, I feel more balanced and I try not to restrict bc the body is so smart and will eventually need to make up for a deficit. And this is what can start that hellish binge/purge cycle.

My tips would be to eat smaller meals throughout the day bc so you don't ever feel too full, bc coming from the 30bad idea of stretching your stomach, we need to be ok not feeling stuffed beyond capacity. I know feeling full is a trigger for me, which is why smaller quantities that include protein and saturated fats really helps. And if 2 hours later I need more food, I allow myself to have it and this feels like I am treating my body with the respect and love it deserves. I can really feel when I haven't eaten enough- the next day I feel ravenous and less energized, which is a vulnerable place to be if you tend to have ED thoughts, as the body plays caloric catch-up it can feel like your "out of contro" but truly we need to eat!

I really hope this helps everyone out there- you are not alone.... Esp EX-30Bad peeps!!Much love and support guys : ) Keep going!!!!!

B62ff15477b5fd539709a5014db51e4b

(185)

on December 27, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Wow, thank you for the detail, seriously! I can relate easily--although I did not continue with 30BAD for 3 years but instead more like 1-2 months (thank goodness). I can completely relate with falling back into ED stuff since doing more paleo/cooked food but I am finally finding a balance. I feel like 30BAD was just covering up what was really going on--and I need to tackle the ED for what it is.

1
5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 26, 2012
at 05:30 AM

I used to be a vegan, was super skinny with no muscles and had depression, very low sex drive at 20 and became socially withdrawn as a result. Paleo saved me.

0
Ecf74be7282867882c05eb2c1c93c55f

on February 12, 2013
at 03:28 PM

Hi Rachel,

I was a collegiate swimmer and have struggled with healthy eating since I graduated in 2006. I still maintained an intense weekly swim and running routine until 3 years ago, when my mother passed away from lung cancer. Since then, I have suffered greatly from Binge eating. To make things harder for myself, I packed up and moved to two different countries in two years. While, I was able to find the a group of gret friends in London (through cold water swimming), I am currently experiencing the loneliest year and half of my life in Singapore.

That said, I have been struggling and trying hard to est as paleo as I can (as a student & in a country filled with things like sugar cane juice). I have joined a gym which has helped a bit, because I seem to eat better when I workout during the day. To help me understand my experiences better, I have been researching about eating disorders for my MFA thesis and graduate project.

I don't know if that helps answer your questions, but I am someone looking to get back to a normal life, where I don't feel out of control with my eating. I find paleo to work well for me, until those days when I spend 16 hours at my studio and have only junk food to eat.

I wish you the best of luck!

E.

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on April 16, 2013
at 01:56 AM

Thank you for your response! I wish you the best of luck as well!!

0
Medium avatar

(389)

on January 10, 2013
at 08:34 PM

I had a binge eating problem for a good bit of my life. Always overeating WAY past the point of satiety. It wrecked my mental and physical state. Always depressed. Hormones out of whack. It has only been in the last 2 years since I've gone paleo and really focused on treating myself well consistently that I do not have problems anymore. Although, the after effects of my choices are def. still present, mostly hormonally, and am still "on the journey" so to speak in this area.

0
D7291de1d3cda7a9a3155429b1aebb77

on January 10, 2013
at 06:15 PM

So much of all of your stories resonates with me....I'm 37, have had one eating disorder or another since I was 8 and heard my dad tell my mom I was looking fat. I love Paleo, it gives me more energy, freedom, and vitality than I have felt in my life. I'm not "cured" though, still feel guilty and gross if I eat too much. I excercise more than I should according to what I've read, and sometimes that's not all. I wish we could all come together to support each other and, if nothing else, hug each other when our memories get too intense. I have said that eating disorders are like a terrible, comfortable old friend.

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on January 11, 2013
at 04:32 AM

I can completely agree with that last statement. At least we can relate! Good luck to you!

0
F62b26c1d5e6a825db196dff220e3b7e

on January 10, 2013
at 05:07 PM

Oh yea. I have done away with labels. I eat non processed about 75% of the time but I don't call it Paleo. I wish I was a fortunate soul that could say eating Paleo rescued them from an eating disorder, but that hasn't been my experience. No matter the diet I can tie my identity to it. If I deviate from Paleo by having a slice of bread or something, you can bet it's going to come up the same way it went down. The fear related to chronic disease that Paleo research and books perpetuate only fuels the madness. I don't do Paleo challenges and rarely write my score on the white board at crossfit.

If it were as simple as changing my perception I would have done that years ago. I have been to treatment, but every day is a challenge. I actually found this post while doing some research for an article I'm writing. I try to give myself a great deal of grace, tough to do with some Paleo extremists breathing down your neck. Best of luck to ya!

2c24b5d535ab1322e037099d023039f4

on January 11, 2013
at 04:31 AM

I agree, I tried paleo for a while but still had to deal with the ED...it wasn't until I put the "forbidden food" (peanut butter, bread, yogurt) back into my diet that my mind started to heal. Sometimes it's not about a certain diet changing but our perception. I hope to be able to venture back into paleo someday but for now I have to work on my mental state. I do try to stick along the paleo lines as much as possible--I have learned a lot from it. I try to keep dairy and wheat to a minimum each day. Good luck to you as well!

0
8f63ca8f7da5236580701d6f03f8958d

on December 26, 2012
at 09:00 AM

I was Anorexic a few years ago. I suffered anxiety attacks OCD and depression. I recovered through a bed program and was happy for a few years but then moved away from home and then went the other way weight wise. I put on a lot of weight literally eating my emotions, as I was so lonely. The this year served a shit one for my depression as I moved again and constantly got rejected from job apps. But I started a weight loss program (Michelle bridges 12 week body transformation) and CrossFit amd started to see everything clearly. I then naturally moved to paleo from CrossFit. My body feels so much better running on a paleo lifestyle. In terms of my ED there's a little smidge still there and I think it always will be but I've learned to control and to relax. As for exercise I've always been into sports running anything active, I'll do it. I guess in terms of where I was I'll never go there again i now and will forever manage a healthy lifestyle on paleo :)

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 26, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Was your anxiety attacks related to your anorexia? I'm thinking in terms of not enough of food, nutrients or something particular can cause it?

8f63ca8f7da5236580701d6f03f8958d

(30)

on December 26, 2012
at 09:14 AM

A bit of both - stress, study, too any calories, no exercise... I only has a couple :)

0
2f0bef2f551a38a956b19bd7a2d8b06a

on December 25, 2012
at 07:42 PM

I'm pretty sure I've had an eating disorder my whole life, all across the spectrum (binge eating/anorexia/bulimia/exercise bulimia). I still find myself obsessing over numbers and worried my diet isn't perfect though not as bad as previously. I try to embrace a healthy lifestyle and not overdo exercise (though I still feel a level of anxiety when I don't get in a full work out).

0
Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 25, 2012
at 07:31 PM

I'm still struggling with being obsessed about food in the way that I want to eat as healthy as possibly in every way. Additionally, I eat a ketogenic diet where I'm obsessed about not getting too many carbs and protein while overall not consuming too much or too little fat. This has resulted in that I'm constantly worried about what to eat and how much. I have now managed to control my obsession with running all the time to purge the calories I've eaten. I still have a problem with just sitting down and relaxing thinking that I have to do something to not become sedentary. In this process I've lost 8-10kg and currently weigh 50-52kg @ 178cm (I'm male). I'm trying to put on weight but haven't been able to despite dramatically reducing my training load. For me it's apparently very difficult in ketosis while I at the same time have a hard time convincing myself that it's okay to eat more.

Reading your posts it seems like you have struggled some of the same thoughts. I'm looking forward to reading the rest!

Ed0cb30f40daff568778b776b2a5a81d

(943)

on December 26, 2012
at 07:16 AM

Thats the thing, I wish I could think like that. Another thing is that now that I've really adapted to a ketogenic diet I dont really feel hungry anymore and I have constant energy throughout the day.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on December 26, 2012
at 05:38 AM

Have you maybe considered a Paleo diet that isn't ketogenic? That isn't to say that keto doesn't have it's benefits, but if you have an eating disorder, or a bad relationship with food, then maybe a less stringent Paleo diet would be better in such a case.

0
532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on December 25, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I was bulimic from age 12. Eating disorder increasing in severity until age 23, by which time most of my hair had fallen out, teeth were rotten, bones were soft and belly swollen. My heart still putters along unevenly, but otherwise paleo and high fat has made me whole again. 3 years of getting there and still working on it.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on December 25, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Yeah, I was anorexic from 12-15 years old. Competed in athletics until I was too weak due to illness. When I got better I continued competing in collegiate athletics as a lightweight oarsman (crew). Doing much better now. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

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