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Tobbe

Tobbe's 100 days of food freedom (part 1)

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I've wanted to start this challenge thread for three weeks now. But I always feel like everyone else has all these great gifs, funny quotes and poignant text for their thread introduction posts. So I get performance anxiety and end up procrastinate it instead... No more I say! This is enough! Need to get this going!

 

So for my last challenge I joined an online class that was supposed to help me heal from my eating disorder. It was very expensive, but I was desperate. Couldn't, and can't, stand this eating disorder any more. So I was ready to do anything to heal. But after two weeks it was pretty clear that I wouldn't heal by completing that course. Several of the students were doing the class for a second time. Others that had done the class earlier had moved on to step two, that was even more expensive... So I quit, and got a refund. 

 

At about the same time I found this book that had just gotten released called "100 days of food freedom"

 

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When I found the book there was just a few days left on an offer to join a support group where the author of the book would answer any questions you might have, and where all of us who had bought the book could support each other.

 

So for 100 days I will do the tasks in the book, and I'll post the updates here. So I won't make up any goals of my own for this challenge. I'll focus on doing what's in the book.

 

Now, since I'm late with setting up this thread, I've already completed quite a few days. But I'll post all my updates from day 1 anyway. I'll post a few days at a time until I'm all caught up.

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Initial Assessment

 

1. How difficult has it been to manage your ED recently?
    (0 = extremely easy, 10 = impossible)
 10

2. How effective have your coping skills been?
    (0 = highly effective, 10 = have not been using any coping skills)
 7

3. Can you enjoy things?
    (0 = no problem, 10 = extremely difficult)
 7

4. How many of the last 20 days have you had disordered thoughts?
    (Divide by 2)
 20/2 = 10

5. How many of the last 20 days have you engaged in ED behaviors?
    (Don't divide this number)
 20

 

Sum, divided by five = 10.8
 

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Looking back at the initial assessment, it's incredible how far I've gotten! I feel so much better than that now :) Strong

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Day 1. Self-Authoring

 

1. Who are you? What defines you?

I am Tobbe. I am strong-willed and stubborn. I am smart, intelligent. I am good at logical thinking and reasoning. I like motorcycles and adventures in nature. I like to test my limits. I enjoy food - cooking, eating and learning about food and food cultures. I like computers and computer programming.

 

2. What are you passionate about? What issues, topics and concepts excite you most?

Diets, nutrition, health, exercise. Computer languages and programming. Weight stigma. LGBT stigma. Racism.

 

3. What are your top three strengths?

  • Stubborn/strong-willed/determined
  • Smart/intelligent
  • Good at teaching/explaining

 

4. What's the kind of person you want to be? Why aren't you now?

Strong (physically) - Because I haven't been eating and strength training enough.
Strong (mentally) - Because I have a bad self-esteem and don't believe I have any self-worth.
Kind - I'm not sure. Something has happened to me that has made me angry and bitter and with a bad and quick temper.

 

5. What would be bad about continuing with your ED?

I would become even weaker. My bones would be weak. My brain would be damaged. My organs would take a hit. I would feel even worse. I would not be able to enjoy myself. I would not be able to do the things I want to do because all my mental capacity would go towards my ED. I would not be able to be the dad or husband I want to be.

 

6. What would be good about changing your disordered eating habits?

I will be able to focus on more important things in my life.

 

7. What would be good about continuing with your ED?

I would stay "the thin guy who can eat unlimited amounts of all the foods" that people have come to know and expect. I would get to continue to do what I'm good at - controlling my weight. The one and only thing I'm actually still good at... I wouldn't risk getting well and realize nothing good came out of it. I have seen all these success stories where people share how amazing their lives became after getting rid of their EDs. What if that doesn't happen to me?

 

8. What would be bad about changing your disordered eating habits?

I would have to venture out into the scary unknown. It feels safe to be where I am now and scary to try to change that.
 

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Day 2. Personal Milestone Goal

 

Spend time on personal hobbies, like programming (NOT food/cooking or exercise related), for five days/evenings in one week.

 

Why is this a good goal?

  • Mental capacity "excess" to spend on my own hobbies
  • Focused enough during the day on my job to be able to let it go during the evening
  • Found a hobby I want to spend time on

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Hi fella,

I'm a latecomer too.

May I make a completely uninformed observation about your thread? I mean, I have no experience of this, really, so pardon me if this is naive, but it seems like your whole challenge is predicated on thinking about one issue, reading about that one issue and I wondered if it might be a little introverted - that I know from my own (admittedly different, much less dangerous) obessive thoughts, that thinking about beating them means I am thinking about them which means I don't beat them. 

So I suppose what it comes down to is, maybe set yourself some relaxing, healthy side goals as well as reading the book, to give yourself something to focus on outside yourself...? It might give you a bit of space. 

Again, sorry if this is unhelpful, but I thought I'd suggest it.

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19 minutes ago, 18ck said:

Hi fella,

 

Hi! Welcome to this thread. Nice to have you here :) 

 

19 minutes ago, 18ck said:

So I suppose what it comes down to is, maybe set yourself some relaxing, healthy side goals as well as reading the book, to give yourself something to focus on outside yourself...? It might give you a bit of space.

 

Hah, yeah, now that you point it out I can totally see how it sounds like this is the one and only thing I'm doing in my life right now. But I assure you it's not! :) It's just all I wanted to formally track in this thread :) 

 

For other NerdFitness goals I have the weekly PvP TODO challenge to focus on. If you also want weekly fun side quests, come join us!

 

Other than that I have plenty of things to do outside of NF (*gasp* What?! A life outside of this place?! What is this IRL stuff people keep talking about, right? :D)

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Hey! Better late than never! And everyone has their own flavour of challenge so don't worry if you think you don't have enough gifs or images or random text. You do you. 

 

Also heyyyy fellow programmer lol *fistbump*

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6 hours ago, Tobbe said:

Kind - I'm not sure. Something has happened to me that has made me angry and bitter and with a bad and quick temper.

 

Know that feel. Also not sure, what happened to me.

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8 hours ago, Jett said:

Hey, Tobbe. I'm following along, of course. I haven't started my challenge yet, either. :nightmare:

 

Great to have you here :) 

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7 hours ago, Rookie said:

Hey! Better late than never! And everyone has their own flavour of challenge so don't worry if you think you don't have enough gifs or images or random text. You do you. 

 

Also heyyyy fellow programmer lol *fistbump*

 

fistbump.gif

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6 hours ago, Arkania said:

Know that feel. Also not sure, what happened to me.

 

For me I think it's mainly two things

1. I am/was too angry with myself for various reasons. And all that internal anger/disappointment/resentment easily got projected on other people around me, especially my wife and kids

2. Very low on energy. So I didn't have the energy required to stay calm and positive when something happened that I didn't like. So I just snapped instead. Constantly hangry and tired

 

 

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Day 3. Journal entry

 

Today has been a good day. I listened to a podcast about mental hunger during my morning walk. It was about how important it was to eat as soon as you experienced this mental hunger, and whenever you felt physical hunger too. I also watched a YouTube video on the same subject that said basically the same thing. I also watched a YouTube video about how you might get really hungry during ED recovery, "extreme hunger", and that it's absolutely normal, and just the body's way of healing and restoring hormone levels. You will most likely gain a lot of weight during this period, and you might keep this weight for several months/years. But eventually you will adjust your weight to match your setpoint.

 

So today I have allowed myself to eat a lot of food. It has felt really good.

 

I have struggled a bit with exercise. I decided I will not do any exercise at all until I reached a BMI of 17. But sitting in front of the computer for too long I get "ants-in-my-pants" and really do want to move. Not at all as a compensatory/purge behavior as it has been in the past, but truly because it feels good to be a little bit active. I also did a couple of hand-stands against the wall just for fun. Don't really know what to think of this. On one hand it feels "wrong" to do it because I told myself I shouldn't. On the other hand it feels good to just move because I enjoy it, not because my ED tells me I have to do it.

 

I wouldn't be telling the full truth though if I didn't mention my step counter. I do want to hit 10000 steps per day. Preferably 12k. But that's more of a compulsive behavior than a compensatory/purge behavior. I now feel willing to eat more food to be able to do this. Earlier I did this, and limited my food intake as a way to restrict/lose weight. And that's the opposite of what I want now.
 

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Day 4. Fear Foods

 

(None of these lists are exhaustive)

 

Yellow
 

All fruit
Muesli/Granola
Regular potatoes
Carrots
Corn
Basmati rice/white rice
Regular pasta
Whole wheat bread

 

Red
 

Cake
Pie
Ice cream
Creme fraiche
Butter
Candy
Cookies
Pastries
Pizza
Chips
Whipping cream

 

Day 4. Journal Entry
 

I've been sweating the last couple of nights. I get really warm when I eat more. I used to have to sleep with a t-shirt and socks and an extra blanket. Now I'm sweating sleeping naked without the extra blanket. Such a difference now that I allow myself to eat more! i am also going for number two in the bathroom several times per day, and I'm farting all the time! I remember this. This is exactly how my stomach used to behave before. Before I started on the keto diet (and before my ED). I actually think my stomach is a little bit sensitive to gluten.

 

I have struggled with food today. I knew my wife was having a friend come over, and that she was going to make waffles for lunch. My initial idea was to make myself "healthy" waffles and eat with "healthy" toppings. But then I thought I didn't want to restrict myself, so the next idea was to have a proper meal for lunch and just have one or two waffles for dessert. So I did have my proper lunch (beef salad with nuts, fruits, dressing... the works!) and it was really good and filling. And then I had the waffles. But I couldn't stop after just two. I probably had more like six... After that I felt uncomfortably full. But I like that. Usually after eating that much I wouldn't eat for probably 10 - 20 hours. Now I went back to work for like an hour, but couldn't stop thinking about food. Recalling the podcast and videos about mental hunger and how you're supposed to eat when you think about food I went and got myself a cup of tea and some crackers. Making me feel even more stuffed. A while later my wife was eating a fruit, and since I was still thinking of food I had some fruit too. By now I'm starting to feel physically ill of all the food and it was getting close to dinner time. When dinner was ready I ate a proper size portion of that as well, despite being overly full already. It was a really nice meal, but unfortunately I couldn't really enjoy it because I was too full. I don't like this. I don't want to be this full all the time. I want to be able to enjoy the food I eat.
 

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Day 5. Permission to Break the Rules

 

I, Tobbe, hereby give myself full permission to break all of ED's rules. Every day I will challenge my disordered thoughts. When they enter my mind I will reflect on them, but then let them pass and not act on them. For the rest of this journey and beyond I will do what is best for me and my mental health and healing. Second priority is my physical health. Never will I prioritize looks, body shape or weight over those two things. Some days will be more difficult than others, but as long as I do my best, that is good enough. I know I am strong. I know I can recover. I know it will take time, but I will persevere.

 

Day 5. Journal Entry
 

Today has been an easier day than yesterday. No difficult social situations, so I could just eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. The most difficult meal was breakfast. I decided to have a fruit salad, because that was something I sometimes had for (second) breakfast at work before I got my ED. Just a plate of cut up fruit. But after I got my ED when I have had fruit salad I have only had it as a dessert or a sweet snack with ice cream and whipped cream. That is obviously much tastier, so I kind of did want to have that today as well, but perhaps not as breakfast. Plus, we didn’t have any ice cream in the freezer. So even if I wanted it, I couldn’t have it. I really don’t want to restrict anymore, but what should I do when the food I’m thinking of isn’t available? This was my struggle this morning. After that it hasn't been very difficult. Feels like I have eaten and eaten all day, but I haven’t eaten as much in one sitting as I did with the waffles yesterday so I haven’t been as sickening full. That has been nice.

 

I’ve been farting like crazy today. And I have not been a fan of the constant snacking. I will try to eat bigger meals when I eat, so I get properly full. Hopefully then I will not have to snack as much. I listened to a podcast today with Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani about the GI tract. She said it’s perfectly normal for the stomach to act up a bit when you start eating properly again.

 

I watched a youtube video where the girl mentioned her "Commitment statement". Sounded a lot like what is called "Permission to Break the Rules" in the book I'm reading. Her "Commitment statement" was "I am committing myself to complete recovery. With each day I will try my best to silence my eating disorder mindset and the eating disorder assumptions and judgements that pop into my head."

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Tobbe said:

2. Very low on energy. So I didn't have the energy required to stay calm and positive when something happened that I didn't like. So I just snapped instead. Constantly hangry and tired

 

Last night I was reading the Intuitive Eating book, and there's a part where they talk about the Ancel Keys experiment. What struck me was the part where they described how the attitudes of the men in the experiment changed once they were on a high calorie restriction. They became quite irritable and sometimes aggressive. And because I'd just read your thread, it made me wonder if that is, indeed, a big component of your own attitude. So, I'm glad you're aware that your low energy reserves is probably impacting your personality.

 

7 hours ago, Tobbe said:

 

I, Tobbe, hereby give myself full permission to break all of ED's rules. Every day I will challenge my disordered thoughts. When they enter my mind I will reflect on them, but then let them pass and not act on them. For the rest of this journey and beyond I will do what is best for me and my mental health and healing. Second priority is my physical health. Never will I prioritize looks, body shape or weight over those two things. Some days will be more difficult than others, but as long as I do my best, that is good enough. I know I am strong. I know I can recover. I know it will take time, but I will persevere.

 

This is awesome!

 

If I may suggest it, give yourself permission to break your own rules, too, when they aren't serving you. Like the exercise thing. If you want to move, because it's fun and its what your body and mind want to do, then do it! If you're thinking about food, and kind of want a taste of something, but also feel really full and don't really want to eat more, then you don't have to eat. Something else from the Intuitive Eating book: live in the grey. There are no absolute rules on how to live your life!

 

7 hours ago, Tobbe said:

I really don’t want to restrict anymore, but what should I do when the food I’m thinking of isn’t available?

 

This is a good question, and one I've asked myself, as well. For me, a lot of the time I'm not that specific in what I want - I just want something crunchy, or salty, or something like fruit or meat. So normally I can just pick something that I have that is in the category of what I'm in the mood for. But sometimes I don't have anything in that category, or I have a specific craving with no way to fill it. Most of the time, I either look for something similar enough (ie, dried fruit instead of fresh), or I just wait it out until the craving goes away. I haven't yet gotten to a point of going to the store to buy a specific thing. I have really mixed feelings on doing that. In the past, I would use my general laziness about not wanting to go to the store to limit myself to just the foods that I had at home, and then make sure that most of the foods at home were healthy. But sometimes that backfires with me just going out to eat because none of the food at home seems tasty. Going to the store for a specific item (which is nearly always an "unhealthy" thing like ice cream) makes me feel like I'm jumping right to the "giving in" part of that cycle.

 

What do you think? Is going to the store the right course of action there?

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22 hours ago, Jett said:

Like the exercise thing. If you want to move, because it's fun and its what your body and mind want to do, then do it!

 

Absolutely! The difficult thing is to know if it's my ED voice that's just being sneaky and trying to make me "want" to move, or if I truly want to :)

 

22 hours ago, Jett said:

What do you think? Is going to the store the right course of action there?

 

I think it depends on the true reason for not going to the store. If it's truly because you're lazy, then you shouldn't go. If you're using "lazy" as a excuse for restricting, then you really should go. For me it could be the same thing with the price of what I want. Do I really think it's too expensive to buy, or am I using it as a way out of not "having" to buy it? It's all about the mindset behind the decision.

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I heard another example on a podcast a while ago (sorry, can't remember what podcast it was :(). It was about limiting/restricting/cutting out specific foods as part of a diet you're on. If, for example you cut out sugar because you want to lose weight, then the brain sees this as restriction, and you will only be able to stick to it for so long, and then, at some point in the future, you're probably going to binge on it.  If, however, you cut out the sugar for true health reasons, like if you have diabetes, then the mind doesn't see it as restriction, and you don't get the same response at all. Same with people who are vegans for purely ethical reasons. They usually have no problem with sticking with their diet. People who go vegan (secretly) looking to to lose weight will not stick with the diet for as long, and will probably binge out on bacon or cream pies after a while...

 

It's all about your true mindset!

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Day 6. A Strengths Adventure

 

“What would you say is my greatest strength?”

 

My wife:

Your greatest strength, according to me, is that you are great at coming up with fun and exciting surprises and adventures.


A friend/acquaintance:

You are very thorough in what you do and demand high quality standards in all that you deliver. You are very dedicated to all you do.


Mom:

When you are faced with a challenge you always find an answer or solution. You can really immerse yourself in a subject.


Dad:

Dedication. That’s a word that really describes how you tackle things.


My brother:

One of your greatest strengths is that you’re very dedicated to what you do. You’re also very stubborn and you never give up.

 

Day 6. Journal Entry

 

    No journal entry today. (My birthday)
 

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Day 7. Weekly Check-In and Planning

 

How Are Things Going?


1. What have you done exceptionally well in the past week?
I have started eating more. And I’ve been able to do so (mostly) without feeling bad about it.

 

2. What strength/motivation led to this accomplishment? And how can you use this strength/motivation as you move forward?
Starting this 100 day journey has been really motivating. Failing to see much progress with the last online course I tried really makes me not want to fail with this one as well. More specifically what has motivated me to eat more has been watching YouTube videos, reading blog posts and listening to podcasts about how important it is to get weight restored as quickly as possible.

 

3. What did not go so well in the past week?
I’ve fallen behind on the schedule already and haven’t done my journaling all days.

 

4. What do you think led to this?
A couple of things really.
First: Not reading through the day’s chapter in the book in the morning so as to know what I have to do that day and how long it might take.
Second: Not planning the day properly so that I leave enough time for myself to journal and do the day’s task in the evening.

 

Plan out the Week Ahead


1. Check your calendar. Any especially busy days? How can you handle those?

I’m away Tuesday evening. My wife will have to do the cooking instead of me so that I save time.

 

2. Any mental or emotional obstacles?
We’re going to see friends on Friday. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. It’s not the kind of people I usually overeat too much around. But I still have to stay vigilant not to restrict before or after, no matter what happens when we meet.

 

3. What are you excited about in this upcoming week?
I’m excited about meeting our friends on Friday. They always cook high quality food, so that’s something I look forward to eat. I’m also excited about continuing this journey and whatever tasks I get to do on each day.

 

Day 7. Journal Entry

 

    No journaling. (It was 2 am when I finally was done with everything else and I was just too tired to journal before going to bed)
 

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1 hour ago, Tobbe said:

I think it depends on the true reason for not going to the store. If it's truly because you're lazy, then you shouldn't go. If you're using "lazy" as a excuse for restricting, then you really should go. For me it could be the same thing with the price of what I want. Do I really think it's too expensive to buy, or am I using it as a way out of not "having" to buy it? It's all about the mindset behind the decision.

 

Yeah, I guess in the end living intuitively means unraveling the motives behind what we do, and being honest with ourselves. I use "I'm too tired/unmotivated to go to the store" and "this item is too expensive to be worth getting" as ways of "tricking" myself into only getting certain types of food, so it is definitely a restriction mindset.

 

In my case, I think I need to start keeping track of the foods that I crave and don't have access to during the week, so I can start buying these during the weekly grocery shopping. That might be a long-term answer to your question, too? If you frequently crave something, then maybe you need more of it in your regular eating, which means it should have a place on your shopping list.

 

43 minutes ago, Tobbe said:

No journal entry today. (My birthday)

 

Happy birthday!

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