Nutrition Woes: Eating Disorder

A quick update: August ended up being not so great.

On the bright side, I think I finally figured out my underlying problem. It sounds simple enough: sleep.
I am always tired and have too many things on my plate, rest being on the very end of the list.

New plan for september: Focus on quality sleep and see what happens.

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Keep at it @P.Weikamp! Remember, look only forward, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself. :muscle:t4:

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@P.Weikamp, for August you were still 2 out of 3 on track. That’s progress. I think as long as we stay aware and consciously make an effort to be “good” that in the long run, we will always be better off than if we just give in. I believe this is a lifelong battle I got a “counter” type app that tracks good days and bad days and am aiming for a 10:1 ratio. I am currently at 21:4 or 5.25:1. I feel pretty good about that.

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Thank you for the kind words, @Juanale81 and @Glen.Coutts.

Being kind to myself and celebrating the little victories is hard, but I am getting there.
Actually, starting this month and going forward, I am trying to change up my routine. I am not ready to share it just yet. I will report back in a few weeks.

Juan, how is your recovery going? I don‘t know how long a broken collarbone will set you on rest, but I imagine soon a little bit of training is coming back into your life, right? Do you think this will make your eating situation any easier?

Glen, you are absolutely right. This is a lifelong battle. Some stages will be easier as others, though. I feel that much of my problem is still related to my ambition and activities, but I am not, under no circumstances, giving up on these.

A 10:1 ratio sounds like a very reasonable and you are already doing an awesome job along the way to this goal. Keep it up!
And if you don‘t mind sharing a bit more: Are you struggling with binging or any other eating disorder? Do you know what triggers you?

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@P.Weikamp glad to hear you are back on track!

Recovery has been about patience. I had to get some metal put in so I had to stay still for a bit more than a month, and getting back to it has been a long process. I had to cut back on eating quite a bit, and while I didn’t gain weight, I did gain fat and lost muscle tissue. Not ideal but it is just a fact, it will happen if you can’t exercise.

however, I’m back on the bike and the trainer, fitness is almost at the point where I left off four months ago, and quite happy about it! The mandatory break gifted me a fresh start I didn’t expect and I find I enjoy each workout a lot more than before.

Thanks a lot for asking, and have a great day.

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I like the optimism! Awesome that your fitness seems to come back pretty quickly.

I believe with willpower, patience and a good support system everything is possible.

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Hey @P.Weikamp, I meant to get back to you sooner but wanted to take some time to think and compose my thoughts. Here is my response. I haven’t been formally diagnosed with an eating disorder. But, I do have a problem. I’m 5’11” and was always on the lean side of things growing up. Not an athlete by any stretch. Never paid attention to what I ate or drank just did whatever I felt like and continued to look and feel good. As the years wore on, adulthood, marriage, kids, job stresses, I found myself buying larger and larger pants. In my twenties I wore size 30-32 waist sizes. Then came 34’s. Then 36’s with the stretchy elastic waist bands hidden in the sides. In 2010 (age 46) I got to a point where my 36’s were becoming uncomfortably tight. I was faced with a choice, buy 38’s or make a change. I decided to make a change. From July 2010 to December 2010 I went from a high of 222 pounds to 175. Since then, I’ve creeped up to the high 190’s a few times and broke 200 for a bit but by and large, while I have fluctuated up and down a number of times, I usually hover in the 185 lb range (+/- 5lbs).

So, it’s been a 10-year journey for me. And, during those 10 years I’ve learned what seems to work well, what doesn’t work at all, what triggers me and what I must always do.

For what it’s worth, what I must always do is be aware. Whether I am on track or not, I need to maintain an awareness of what I am doing since it was the unconscious consumption and insidious weight gain that led me to that point in 2010 that I call the point of no return.

What works well is: weighing myself every single day, when eating, only eat (i.e. don’t watch tv, work on the computer, look at facebook, or surf the internet etc, all of which lead to unconscious eating) and try to eat at the same place each day (when at home), don’t eat after dinner, drink at least 2 litres of water every day, keep all tempting foods out of the house, remind myself daily of why I am doing this (vanity (feeling like I look good when I look in the mirror), health, having more energy, family history of type II diabetes), and, having a supportive wife. What also works is being forgiving and understanding of myself when I “fall” but to ALWAYS get back up.

What doesn’t work is “dieting”. By dieting I mean a significant departure from my usual eating habits. Eg. restriction or elimination of carbs, intermittent fasting, etc etc. etc. While all of these things may work in the short term, unless I am completely committed to them as a permanent lifestyle change (which I am not), they will inevitably end with me returning to my old patterns and weight.

Triggers : we live in an obesogenic society so there is constant temptation to consume unhealthy foods but beyond that, there are plenty of other triggers. Being alone (i.e. my wife goes out, or goes to bed before me), having any kind of “junk food” in the house that I can see (if I know it’s there, I will eat it), and by junk I have a very large menu of things I’d consider junk, or would consume to the point of nausea and/or discomfort that includes certain types of bread, a range of breakfast cereals, crackers as well as more typical junk foods like ice cream, chocolate, cookies, cakes, chips (crisps) etc., almost any kind of stress (good or bad but mostly bad), changes, usually unexpected, to my usual routines (this includes travel), going out for dinner (including to friends), eating sushi (which I love, but often ends with strong cravings for ice cream), gaining weight (this is ironic but still, it’s a trigger), losing weight (makes me think I can “afford” to eat badly), eating almost any amount, no matter how small, of junk food (once I start, I find it very hard to stop), tv commercials, internet ads, driving past restaurants or fast food outlets (including, may GvA have mercy on me) donut shops, billboards etc etc., achieving a big goal I had been training for for a long time (eg. Knighthood, massive rides, Everesting etc). As you can see, my list of triggers is long and I’m sure I’ve missed a few things.

While this might all sound rather dire, it’s really not and by and large I have things well under control. That said, I have learned there is no room for complacency. So know this, you are not alone, by any stretch.

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@P.Weikamp, I forgot to mention the “problem”. Your initial description was very relatable and when I first read it I intended to reply with just that statement. My issue is binging, absolutely. It’s like a floodgate, once I start eating something bad, no matter how small the quantity, I have a history of eating all manner of badness until I almost explode. It’s not pretty. I don’t purge though and I am well aware of my patterns. I find it a lot easier to avoid “bad” foods altogether than to control myself by limiting the quantities. Cheers again for sharing and starting the conversation.

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@Glen.Coutts: Thank you so much for sharing. I believe we are in this together and will come out the other side stronger for it.

„Always be aware“ is probably the sentence I will keep remembering the most. These are true words and relate to probably one of my biggest pitfalls.

I want to be able to write you a longer and proper response. Sadly, I’m not in the right headspace for it, right now. I was binging the last three days because of stress and the lack of a more useful outlet.

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@P.Weikamp, no need to make a longer reply. You are where you are. FWIW, since achieving a big cycling goal just last Wednesday, I’ve been so far from the wagon that I can barely see it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (cheese puffs, potato chips, chocolate bars, caramel corn, ice cream, extra large bubble tea smoothies etc etc) 4 days of binging but here we are, it’s Monday, and I’m starting a new plan toward another big cycling goal later in December. So, today I’m back on the wagon, back on track, focused on my goal and being kind to myself for my indulgences. All of this with awareness even when it wasn’t. What I mean by that, for example, was on Thursday, I made a conscious decision to eat a bowl of caramel corn while watching a show on Netflix. I know that eating while watching TV is not good and does not lead to satiation but I chose to do it anyway. Like I said, it’s a life long journey and I’ve got no intention to disembark. Hang in there man!

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