Chronic Dieting Mentality & WIAW

*Before I jump into my rant and reflections, along with Monday’s eats, make sure to check out my guest post on Christine’s blog at Love Life Surf! I wrote about my love for coconut flour as well as how and why you can use it yourself πŸ™‚ Check it out and show support!

There’s something I have been thinking about a lot lately – my mentality towards food. I posted a write-up about the two personalities, motivated and discouraged, and how they both are total opposites, yet both are controlled by food. To be more specific, it deals more with my relationship with food at any given time. I enjoy self-reflections and I am not afraid to draw out conclusions based on my own experiences. I want to be healthier – and while I really want to fit in a smaller jean size, I have been caught in the dieting yo-yo cycle once again. I feel confident that I have recognized at least a part of the reason why this has happened.

Breakfast: Mocha Banana Protein Soft Serve topped with Crackles and Puffins cereals

Most of the time, I am dieting. While I don’t really do any actual short-term diets very much anymore (after endless failures), I have focused all of my “on” days on counting calories. Some days, I would eat 1000 calories a day even though I’d set the goal to be higher but my motivation would weaken my appetite and excitement for weight loss would encourage and praise me for the job well done (even though I know I should be eating more). Yet some days I would eat 1450 calories. I would set my limits at 1350-1450 calories per day.

Told ya there’s the protein soft serve in there… yum

I realized that the amount of calories I allow myself is not the problem. It is not whether I am allowing myself too little or too many calories. It is the fact that I am so controlling in this matter. I have lost the ability to act upon my innate feeling of hunger. I no longer rely on my body to tell me when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. The fact that I am scheduling and recording every single calorie that goes into my body is putting me in a frenzied state that always ends up with a period of binging in the end. I know this because this has been going on for many months now. At first, the binges weren’t that frequent but they have been occurring increasingly more often lately. I am now realizing that I often force myself to eat simply because I already recorded the food in the planner and I might as well just finish the food that’s in front of me. This forces me to use my mind and brain instead of my body to tell when to stop eating. This is a function I have lost and I no longer rely on, which may be the reason why I’m having trouble losing weight.

Farmstand salad from Sopraffina during lunch. So delicious, I was amazed!

I have become obsessed once again. Numbers. Numbers. Numbers. Every food comes with a number. Calories, carbs, protein, fat… All of which come to one total number that must not be larger than x or else I will get fat. There have been days where I would make myself eat just to get to that higher number. Other days, I would eat because 3-4 hours were up and it was time to eat. I no longer rely on Β feelings of hunger to eat though, which is the true problem here.

Masala veggie burger with roasted peppers and onions, goat cheese, in a spinach wrap

So I am going to stop recording calories for the rest of the year. I realize this is extremely difficult to do but I no longer want to feel limited by a number only to be followed by a terrible binge caused by that restriction and extreme control. The binges are simply not worth it and they reverse any weight loss I experienced and often add a few extra lbs on top of that. It is not worth it.

I ate the wrap like so… I missed goat cheese, not gonna lie. Nom.

So here is what I will be doing from now on – I will try to pay attention to my body more. I will continue to eat healthy. Listen to what my body wants to eat – don’t eat simply because 3 hours are up, eat when my body tells me it’s time to eat! Don’t restrict myself on stuff I really want to eat either. I want to enjoy the holidays if that’s what my body wants me to do. I no longer want to feel controlled by my mind’s obsessive diet mentality.

Recycled picture: Chocolate coconut yogurt pudding. For topping, I used Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal crushed up instead of the puffed wheat that’s pictured.

I hope I won’t gain any weight. I hope I will be able to trust myself enough to lose some weight just through exercise and healthy eating. I hope I will learn to be normal with food so that I no longer have to resort to restriction and end up in the binge cycle again. I may or may not count calories for a while in January or after Christmas, if I found that I am not happy. I am giving myself this time to tune myself back into my innate bodily feelings and functions without the need for any phone apps or journals.

4 squares of this yummy dark chocolate

I haven’t weighed myself in a month and I am not planning on it for a while. I refuse to be controlled by numbers. Numbers will not have the power to control my mood, my happiness, and my self-image. That’s all for now.

Here are some posts from bloggers about the similar issue:

Have a great Wednesday πŸ™‚

Ps. Foods featured were recorded on Monday.

Peas and Crayons

 

Kammie wants to know:

  • Have you ever struggled with this issue?

  • Do you count your macros?

Let me know in the comments below!

33 Comments

  1. cleanfoodcreativefitness

    You can do this Kammie! I went through the same struggle with stopping counting my calories and I am so much happier without it in my life! The numbers took over and to be honest from nutritionist perspective it is actually extremely difficult to really accurately count calories and know how many you need! I’m proud of you for taking this step! Hugs!

    • Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. My mom would make fun of me for trying to measure out every. single. thing. and it’s just like come onnn… the mere act of measuring it out so obsessively is almost laughable. it’s just FOOD, shouldn’t we know how much we should eat? and if we put too much… well we just stop eating when we’re no longer hungry. This is what I’m working on now. Thank you for reading dear xo

  2. You can so do this! It’s so important to honor your body. It will take some getting used to since you weren’t going by your own body’s cues for awhile, but trust yourself. Our bodies are smart and you deserve to live free from worry and obsession over food. I’m always here i you need me!

  3. Great post! I totally get being so controlling about food. You can do this!

  4. What a great post! This is such an important topic! I think people get caught up with eating disorders and forget about how hard just disordered thinking can be. It is so time consuming to weight and measure food, count calories, subtract calories burned. It becomes obsessive and I have found myself in this pattern on and off throughout the years. It is hard! Take it one day at a time and I look forward to reading about you progress! Good luck! You can do it!

    • Thank you so much for reading, Katie! Food and calorie counting can definitely become very bothersome.. while it can get the job done at losing weight, the consequences are not worth it for me. What’s the point of losing 5 lbs if I’ll only gain it back after a longer binge from the restriction and obsessiveness. I would usually go crazy when I went out for dinner cause I wouldn’t be able to log it and I’d feel like I should just cheat and binge the rest of the day. No relying on body cues whatsoever. That’s what scared me the most.

  5. You’ll be surprised, after a week or so of not counting you’ll feel more at ease with it all! Good luck and keep us posted – it’s really worth it, you’ll feel so much more free! Wonderful open honest post!

  6. I have actually struggled a lot with this and I can tell you from experience, that you can stop. “Front-loading my calories” really helped me stopped setting myself up for a binge. It’s hard, but the payoff is worth it. Good luck!

  7. What a great post! I’m sure you can do this! I completely understand how hard it is – I still slip into old habits of counting, but I’m sure that once you give it up things will start to be easier πŸ™‚

  8. I love this post. I am similar but since I am trying to gain weight (still with a dieting mentality), I often have to binge in order to make my calorie quota because I restricted earlier in the day “just in case.” Something that I often do (because I really do need to make sure I get everything in and I’m worried about not) is just eat how I feel I need to according to my body and then do a tally at night or way after I’ve eaten, so I can eat mindfully but still be cognizant of how it made me feel and whether or not I got enough.
    Good luck!

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles πŸ™ But I know you can pull through this! You know what the ultimate goal is: eating intuitively, and you’re slowly but surely working towards this. The hardes thing I’ve had to learn is how to eat intuitively again after a period in my life where food became just a number and nutritional statistic. It’s still something I’m working on, many years later. You will get there I know you will!!

  10. I often have to think about weighing out the exact serving size of food – if I don’t, am I going to be freed from obsessing over food all day, or will I just say “fuck it, I probably over-ate” and then binge for the rest of the day? It’s so hard to find balance between disordered and healthy eating. πŸ™

    Good luck on your journey. πŸ™‚

    • I agree about everything you said here – it’s so hard. Every time I’d go out to eat, I’d just say fuck it to the rest of the day thinking I already overate during lunch/dinner anyway. No taking in body cues whatsoever.

  11. You rock. I love how candid you are here. I love how you’re going to let your body learn again how to innately eat. I am proud of you. I have too had my own struggles of control with food, and did take about 9 mths to eat more innately, allow my body to gain weight – although it wasn’t easy any step of the way, it was so necessary for my health mentally and physically and I am so much better for it. I think those obsessive dieting ideas may always pop up every once in a while but understanding your body and listening is your weapon against it. SOOO proud of you, loved this post. XO

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me Electra! It’s like even if we end up losing weigh in the short term, what’s the point if we will be consumed by these negative food-related and weight-related thoughts constantly. There’s no joy in that. It’s obsessive and unhealthy. I’m just doing whatever now, really trying to stay in tune with my body. An upside is that I’ve noticed that I mentally was so exhausted, I am now finding motivation to do the things I used to love doing and forgot I loved because I was so focused on the “dieting” and “looking good”.

  12. In the last couple months I’ve gained about 10 pounds .. from a restrict / binge cycle. (a few years ago I competed in a figure competition and since then, had the hardest time figuring out what “normal” is, which lead to a lot of self loathing). I read the book, Intuitive Eating, and the concept is wonderful! However, I did gain some weight.. although I feel much needed. I finally started menstruating again and have more energy. I’m still trying to get out of the “should” of eating and food. It’s hard, but freeing at the same time. It is a process, and in that process i’m teaching myself that my health, sanity and time are far more important than obsessing about food and the way I look (does anyone care if i’ve gained 10? doubt it). It’s amazing how FOOD and EATING can control our lives!!! So ridiculous and maddening. Good Luck with your process!! I hope you write an update blog! πŸ™‚

  13. I really loved this post (I’m glad you linked to it in today’s post) because this is EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling lately! I feel like I’m always counting. I stopped in January, and I’ve actually lost some weight, and I’m eating when I’m hungry, and not when I’m full!

    • I’m happy to hear this! Counting is so limiting, it’s a huge mental block and I think it’s necessary to learn to live. I’m glad we’re on the same page! Thanks for the comment.

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