5

votes

Stuck in a rut... help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 05, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I have all the tools I need to succeed: I know all about Paleo, my husband is on board and has lost about 20lbs in the last few months, I have tried Paleo for brief periods and have loved the results. So, WHY am I sabbotaging my own body, bingeing on food, putting off my plans until the next day, and then the next day, and then the next... I am gaining weight and feeling horrible. In the back of my head, I keep telling myself "Ok, starting tomorrow I am going back to healthy eating, that's it!!". But then tomorrow comes and it doesn't happen. It's a downward spiral and I feel like I have ZERO self control. I have never felt like this and it scares me. Thoughts anyone??

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 07, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Bingo... I think what triggers me to overeat is the thought that I will be "dieting" soon. Just the THOUGHT of depriving myself triggers me to binge, binge, binge. I know its mind over matter, and its all in my brain. I recently read an article about food being as addictive as cocaine ... I don't doubt that for a minute! I just wish I was addicted to water and lettuce hahaha

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 06, 2011
at 10:29 AM

2 words : COCONUT OIL

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on November 06, 2011
at 06:16 AM

This is really good! Mind if I quote you to my friends who are struggling?

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Hmmm good idea. I never thought to do that...will definitely try it!

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Agree. I haven't done a Whole30 but think the program is something a person can "hold" onto and stick to. Once you finish your month, you've shown yourself you are capable of self-control.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I agree, Toni. If I HAVE to binge I now try to binge on more meat/fat.

220994a1bcff1923ef0388192bdba8d4

on November 05, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I think behavior like this tends to point to an unhealthy emotional relationship with food. The reason I know this is because I do it to, and I have borderline disordered eating thoughts/behaviors. You need to be gentle with yourself. Don't punish, that will just make it worse. What feelings are you trying to mitigate through regimenting your food choices? I suggest you read some of Geneen Roth's stuff. She is really amazing and has a great understanding of emotional eating.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:42 PM

I agree with keeping things strict. I have had success in the past with going cold turkey and doing the "all or nothing" approach. I was either paleo or I wasn't. Because as soon as I allowed myself to have a little cheat, it would snowball and I would find myself still stuffing my face a week later. I think accountability would help me.... thanks for the suggestions!

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:40 PM

My "non-paleo diet" is horrible. I can't eat normal meals and portions because I keep telling myself "I better go nuts today, because starting tomorrow I'm dedicated to eating healthy". Its such a bad cycle. I don't eat when I'm hungry, I simply eat all the time...non-stop snacking on the worst foods I can get my hands on. Getting this junk out of my house is one step; but then theres work, and the donuts that others bring in, and the department lunches, etc etc. I used to be so strong and determined... totally opposite to how I act now.

19ba72a662a871cb6394dc69c27f3d4e

(408)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:09 PM

I personally think that of all the things I have ever done in my life, getting rid of the bad food was the hardest! Everything in life revolves around food, funerals weddings craft fairs weekends etc! I decided I was going to do it for 90 days because I just got to that point where I felt so disgusted with myself. After 90 days I felt much better so I added 90 more days and I just felt better so I continued on and it has been about 2 years and for the first time in my life I finally like real food and seldom ever even get cravings for something bad. You can do it!

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11 Answers

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5
Medium avatar

on November 05, 2011
at 02:54 PM

The thought that you have zero self control is just that, a thought. Actively cultivating that thought? That's a choice, entirely optional. If you want to encourage feelings of being a "victim of yourself," you can easily succeed, and the Oprah Culture will keep you handsomely rewarded, with excuses for why you "keep failing." Kind of like the belief "I can't get ahead because of the damaging bad childhood I had." It's that thought per se that's damaging, present time.

When someone backslides, or falls off the wagon, choose preferred metaphor -- invariably that person is told, pertaining to their elusive goal: "You've got to really want the result." Actually, you've got to be the result, right now. Sounds like a bumpersticker on some hippie's car, but in fact it's very pragmatic and results-oriented. One must live into the desired future, and by "future" I mean the new life you seek. The quality of my life in this moment is given by the future into which I am living with each choice I make. The rest -- getting bad food out of the house, ensuring the presence of preferred foods, laughing in the face of candy drawers -- is details. Peanuts. Chump change. Your metaphor of choice.

Yes, this path involves hanging out with uncomfortable feelings, sensations, thoughts, some of the time. Including those loud-mouthed cravings for this or that food. When I hear from one of my cravings, I tell it in effect to get a life: "Visit someone who gives a rat's ass about what you want, Mr. Craving. That person is not me." Mr. Craving slinks away when I talk like that. That's because Mr. Craving is a classic bully, a chicken-shit loud-mouthed BS artist, who realizes there aren't any victims in my vicinity.

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on November 06, 2011
at 06:16 AM

This is really good! Mind if I quote you to my friends who are struggling?

4
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 06, 2011
at 12:27 PM

From this comment by you:

My "non-paleo diet" is horrible. I can't eat normal meals and portions because I keep telling myself "I better go nuts today, because starting tomorrow I'm dedicated to eating healthy". Its such a bad cycle. I don't eat when I'm hungry, I simply eat all the time...non-stop snacking on the worst foods I can get my hands on.

I'm going to suggest something a little different. Stop trying to diet for a while. Period. Promise yourself you will not try to restrict food for a month. A paleo diet may be more healthy, but if trying to do something like this triggers an eating disorder, this is not in your longterm health interest. It is the all or nothing mentality that is sabotaging you.

While I "hear" some of the others who are all about you being in charge of your choices and all that, I also know the place you're in because I've been there and done that. If eating paleo is this daunting specter of deprivation, it's not going to work for you, I don't care how wonderfully glorious it is for others.

For me what finally worked was fashioning a plan with cheats incorporated. Here's a blog post on it: http://carbsanitychronicles.blogspot.com/2011/03/planned-cheats.html (FWIW I'd never heard of paleo when I did this starting in 2007, but in retrospect I was probably 90% paleo on my VLC days). This way I was never "on" or "off". There's also enough (IMO anyway) things you can eat on paleo that are severely restricted on other diets that if you're creative you shouldn't feel deprived.

The thing is, you have to find the day you start right now. And if you mess up, you just keep going. I wish you the best. Binges are a biotch.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 07, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Bingo... I think what triggers me to overeat is the thought that I will be "dieting" soon. Just the THOUGHT of depriving myself triggers me to binge, binge, binge. I know its mind over matter, and its all in my brain. I recently read an article about food being as addictive as cocaine ... I don't doubt that for a minute! I just wish I was addicted to water and lettuce hahaha

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 04:26 PM

You sound pretty stressed. So, something that's important to you isn't right, correct? The first question is, is the primary problem even about food? Is your desire for food knocking you off paleo or is it a need for comfort that's knocking you off paleo?

If it's desire for the bad foods, that's addiction and you can stay in conversation with yourself to find the strategies that will help you find your way back to the foods you know you SHOULD eat but aren't yet emotionally attached to.

If you need comfort because you have stress from other sources, that's a different conversation and you need to find other methods of comfort--that aren't centered around eating. Go do something you love away from food, even if it's a walk in the park or around the mall, or a long warm bath, then confront your stress and come up with plans and goals to get through it that aren't self-destructive.

The first try doesn't always work but it's always possible to try again!

3
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 05, 2011
at 12:02 PM

Been there, done that! I did the "one more day" thing to a very scary weight. I think this downward spiral kind of feeling is basically food reward run amuck (and it's not just "emotional" eating). I recommend the video series Your Brain on Porn and J Stanton's Why Are We Hungry to understand how Western food can wreak havoc with our evolutionary instincts.

I think the YBoP suggestions at the end re "reboot" and "rewire" apply with food as well. I'm gonna do a longer blog post on this, but the reboot part implies basically a detox. I know it's hard, but you just have to get clean and get off industrial food. Yes, that first day is the hardest, but if you get past the hurdle (for me, it's about 72 hrs), it becomes much easier, especially if you're eating nutrient-dense food. And somewhere between weeks 1 and 2 you realize how good you start feeling compared to the roller-coaster days you were enduring.

The rewire part is understanding that you can still be triggered by cues. I've found that eating paleo gets me about 90% of the way ... simple things don't trigger me. But I needed to do a lot of work (mostly involving what I call assisted meditation) so that I could handle the bigger triggers (like going home for the holidays ;).

Speaking of which, three weeks before the start of the holiday season can also be an obstacle for folks as far as adopting a healthier diet. But from my perspective, I've found a way that works for me based on Martin Berkhan's cheat day strategies (basically I skip breakfast, eat paleo for lunch, and then relax -- not binge -- at dinner, then get right back on the next day).

Basically, you need to realize that industrial food is messing with your brain. Help your brain (with real, whole, nutrient-dense, toxin-free foods) and it will help you!

2
F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 05, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I would pick Paleo foods that you really like and allow yourself to binge eat them! In other words, eat them until you feel full and satiated. When I do that, I just don't crave junk food. Good luck!

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Hmmm good idea. I never thought to do that...will definitely try it!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 05, 2011
at 08:04 PM

I agree, Toni. If I HAVE to binge I now try to binge on more meat/fat.

1
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on November 06, 2011
at 03:50 PM

Why people fail on paleo I saw this this morning and immediately thought of you. Look at number 4. This is where you are stuck.

Figure out where the problem is and fix it. You need to step back from yourself and look at the "why" of what is happening. Look at the thoughts that are driving the actions that are tripping you up and figure out how to manage those thoughts. There is NOTHING wrong with you. Many go through this very thing. Just work on getting one day under your belt. Just one day. Then you can work on the lifetime of good eating. Lifetimes of anything start with single day and are really just a series of single day wins. Just get one day done and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. One day at a time. One meal at a time. One thought at a time.

1
14fa79ce4dec5c01dc8f54195238f138

on November 06, 2011
at 03:29 AM

To be blunt: Everything in life is a choice...at this time you are choosing to eat poorly and feel like crap. When your health becomes more important than eating anything you want, you will make the change. Just do it!

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:42 PM

I wonder what your diet looked like before paleo, and what it looks like when you fall of the wagon, so to speak.

Some people have no problem going cold turkey from SAD to paleo, but for others an incremental plan works better. Figure out one thing that you feel really strongly about in the paleo diet (for many that seems to be avoiding gluten, but you have to pick what is important to you) and focus on that just doing that for a few weeks (or more, if necessary). Then move on to something else. Some changes will be quick and easy, some will be much harder.

Above all, keep in mind that this isn't a temporary quick fix. You are making permanent lifestyle changes. It's ok if you need to take it one step at a time. Everyone has to approach in the way that works best for them. Each step is going to help you be that much healthier and as you start feeling better, the changes will be easier to make.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:40 PM

My "non-paleo diet" is horrible. I can't eat normal meals and portions because I keep telling myself "I better go nuts today, because starting tomorrow I'm dedicated to eating healthy". Its such a bad cycle. I don't eat when I'm hungry, I simply eat all the time...non-stop snacking on the worst foods I can get my hands on. Getting this junk out of my house is one step; but then theres work, and the donuts that others bring in, and the department lunches, etc etc. I used to be so strong and determined... totally opposite to how I act now.

0
3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on November 06, 2011
at 10:23 AM

It might be good to start the morning with throwing out all of the unhealthy food and then cook a very satiating meal. After that there is no going back. Thats how I did it at least. A lot of waste, but everytime I thought that I can give it away to someone, it ended up in my mouth anyway because I had to wait with giving it to them. So don't be the garbage can!

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:50 PM

Try Eggs and butter for breakfast and nothing else. Pick a food to cheat with that is high in fat and low in sugar. Such as vanilla ice cream.

0
Bcb2f5436d11467e89123680c046b858

(1356)

on November 05, 2011
at 12:41 PM

For me, it helps to have very strict rules that I am not allowed to break. I try to make rules for myself, but I don't follow them very well. If I have to follow someone else's rules, and I am being held accountable by a third party, I do much better. For example, this month I am doing a Whole30 (http://whole9life.com/2011/10/whole-30-v5/) and posting everything I eat on a thread at MDA, along with other folks doing a Whole30 this month (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread40502-15.html).

I find that a slippery slope can be very slippery indeed. At work, we have a candy drawer, and if there are Reese's peanut butter cups in them I am usually helpless. If I eat a couple, then I eat a dozen and then feel like crap. I can tell myself "Tomorrow, no candy from the drawer!" but it doesn't usually work. On the Whole30, you have no option to bend the rules even a teeny bit. I gave out candy on Halloween, including Reese's, and didn't eat one piece because I just wasn't allowed to.

It might help if you give yourself non-food rewards also ("If I don't eat XYZ for this whole week, I will treat myself to a new pair of earrings"). Then if you are tempted, think about the treat you have promised yourself.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 05, 2011
at 01:42 PM

I agree with keeping things strict. I have had success in the past with going cold turkey and doing the "all or nothing" approach. I was either paleo or I wasn't. Because as soon as I allowed myself to have a little cheat, it would snowball and I would find myself still stuffing my face a week later. I think accountability would help me.... thanks for the suggestions!

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on November 05, 2011
at 10:11 PM

Agree. I haven't done a Whole30 but think the program is something a person can "hold" onto and stick to. Once you finish your month, you've shown yourself you are capable of self-control.

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