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Tobbe's 100 days of food freedom (part 2)


Tobbe

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Life happened, and I totally skipped out on the last four week challenge. But now I'm back for this one!

 

Continuing on with the tasks/challenges from the book. It's been great this far, and I don't expect anything less going forward :) 

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Of course I have my reasons for not keeping up with the book. The most positive reason is that I went to Canada to stay with a friend for two weeks :D It was awesome! Best two weeks I've had in a very long time Thumbs Up :)  "Oh Canada, true north, strong and free" Love Eyes  ( @Mad Hatter did an awesome writeup about her trip to Iran. If there's any interest I can write about my trip to Canada)

 

After getting home, I haven't found the time to do this one challenge in the book. But today I finally found that time, so I'll do the challenge, and continue on from there!

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Week 7. Savoring Your Satiety (Mindful Eating)

 

Day 6. A Totally Mindful Adventure

 

This is a full day challenge/adventure, that requires me to be alone for all meals during the day. That's why it's been so hard to find the time to complete it. But today the rest of the family is away, and I can mind my own business all day :) 

 

The layout for this adventure is as follows:

 

  1. Start the day with a longer than normal morning meditation
  2. Mindful eating for every meal
    • Eating when I'm between 3 and 4 on the Intuitive Eating hunger/fullness scale
    • Eating without distractions (TV, phone, computer, magazine, etc)
    • Eating in silence
    • Have your meal in proper tableware (i.e. bowl or plate) and with proper utensils
    • Eat your meal sitting down at the table 
    • Pre-meal deap breathing
    • Slow down your pace
    • Bring awareness to the different taste sensations
    • Check out of the meal with the hunger/fullness scale
    • Post-meal gratitude
  3. Do a mindfulness check-in mid-day
     
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Day 6. A Totally Mindful Adventure

 

Morning Meditation


I could really tell I was out of practice. It’s been a long time since I last meditated. The book said to meditate 10 - 20 minutes. I set my meditation timer for 13 minutes. That’s a full 10 minutes longer than what my morning meditations used to be, when I did them regularly. But since I haven’t meditated in quite some time it was hard for me to clear my mind as I usually can. I used the “notice and naming” technique I learned in the book, and the breathing, the “sat nam” mantra and looking out through the third eye focus points I picked up from Kundalini yoga classes I’ve taken. 

 

At first my mind was filled with everyday thoughts, that I could easily just observe, notice, name, and then let go. But after a while my mind wandered back to a very dark day last week when I had some truly horrifying thoughts about doing the worst thing possible to myself. Usually I would quickly have just tried to find something, anything, to distract myself to get rid of those thoughts. But now, since I was meditating, I was forced to just sit with them. A thought popped up in my head while I had these memories of that dark day; “I will soon be irritated on my self for not being able to let these thoughts go”. But doing meditation is very calming, very relaxing. So I never got irritated. I just sat there with my uncomfortable thoughts, and after a while those to slowly exited my mind, to be replaced by more recent, much happier musings.

 

When the bell rang, and the time for meditation was up, I didn’t feel like stopping. So I just sat there, let my breathing go free, but kept my posture, and kept my eyes closed, and meditated for a few more minutes. Then I opened my eyes, but still kept my posture and the calmness inside me that meditation had brought on to gently end the meditation session.

 

I want to get back to doing my 3 minute short morning meditations.
 

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Breakfast

 

Checked in at a “2”, which, using the book’s description, is “Very hungry and probably experiencing hunger pangs”. I would have eaten sooner, but it took awhile to do my meditation, start this thread, journal about my meditation etc…

 

I had my breakfast on a plate, with proper utensils, sitting alone with no distractions outdoors at the picnic table I built for my wife a few weeks ago. So not complete silence. I could hear the birds chirping ;)

 

I took a couple of deep breaths before eating, and tried to eat slowly and noticing the taste and texture of what I was eating. The first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t hot enough for my liking, so I put the food back into the oven for a few more minutes to heat it up some more. When I ate I noticed the crunchy topping (love that!), and the different berries. Most notable were the strawberries. I liked the contrast of the hot pie and the cool vanilla sauce* I had with it. I made sure to put the spoon down from time to time to have a sip of my tea. I also made sure to properly chew my food. But I noticed that even when I don’t pay any special attention to it, I actually do chew my food pretty well.

 

When I had finished my food and drank all of my tea, I took a moment to reflect on my hunger/fullness level. I was at a 7. “Comfortably full, no physical pain from fullness”. I did notice that I was more thirsty though, so I made myself another cup of tea.

 

I expressed gratitude for coming as far as I have in my healing, and with that my first mindful meal of the day was completed. I quite enjoyed it!

 

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*It would have been better with a proper creme anglaise, but ain’t nobody got time for that for breakfast… So I made a faux creme anglaise instead, by mixing vanilla flavored quark (greek yogurt) with milk to thin it out to a pourable sauce consistency
 

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Lunch

 

Checked in at a 1. I waited way too long to eat. But I got stuck on a programming problem I really wanted to solve! Again I had my meal on a proper plate, with a fork and a knife. But since I was so hungry it was a bit of a struggle to not put the knife down, and just shovel all  the food in with the fork. But I managed to slow down, and notice not just the taste (love the pop of real tellicherry black pepper) and the texture (the pasta was a little bit too al dente), but also the smell (the vinegar in my green habanero sauce).

 

After I had finished my food I tried to get a sense of my hunger/fullness, but going from starving, to devouring a huge portion of food, it’s hard for the body and mind to keep up. So I couldn’t really pinpoint a good figure. But I think, at that moment, I was at a 6. I could easily have eaten more, had there been more available. I’ll let the food settle, and then if I’m still hungry, I’ll go prepare something more.

 

I expressed gratitude over leftovers in the fridge :) 
 

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Dinner

 

Checked in at a 2. I had breakfast-y foods for dinner. So not much use for knife and fork. I did have muesli with sour milk though, and I did have that in a bowl, with a proper spoon. Does that count? :)  I only prepared a little food, because it was only meant as a snack before I had a proper dinner. But I was so hungry I just kept going up and preparing more and more food. Even stopped to boil two eggs in the middle of it. So lots of opportunities to reflect over my hunger/fullness. But even so I still ate past comfortable fullness. Checked out at about a 9. Expressed gratitude for discovering goat milk cream cheese when I was in Canada. That stuff is delicious!
 

And with that I'm done with my adventure :) Main takeaway? Don't wait so long before eating! Even if stuck with a super interesting programming problem :D 

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I've been away from the forums for a few days, but coming back and reading through this challenge has been super interesting. I'll be following along! 

 

1 hour ago, Tobbe said:

I did have that in a bowl, with a proper spoon. Does that count? :)

I'm sure it counts. If someone eating East Asian food undertook this protocol, wouldn't chopsticks count in place of a knife and fork? Surely there's leeway to eat food the way it's meant to be eaten. 

 

Although that leaves me wondering about my frequent meals of cheese/cold cuts/olives/(formerly crackers). Is there a way to eat that meal with cutlery? I do serve it to myself on a plate, at least... 

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5 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

Lol I'm so glad there are graphics to demonstrate.

:D

 

5 minutes ago, Wobbegong said:

It still seems pretty ridiculous, though. What's wrong with eating with your hands? 

 

Must be a cultural thing. I'm pretty sure people here would look at you funny if you didn't eat it with a knife and fork.

Mind you, we also eat pizza and burgers with knife and fork...

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12 hours ago, Tobbe said:

I waited way too long to eat. But I got stuck on a programming problem I really wanted to solve!

Loool never done that one. Nope. Never... (And not basing a challenge around this problem :lol:)

 

5 hours ago, Tobbe said:

Must be a cultural thing. I'm pretty sure people here would look at you funny if you didn't eat it with a knife and fork.

Maybe the first time. ;) I tend to optimise my cutlery or lack thereof to the food at hand. Most often that means spoon and fork because I think the Thai got it right.

 

And YES for trip write up!!

 

Nice to see you back!

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I've been away from the forums for a few days, but coming back and reading through this challenge has been super interesting. I'll be following along! 
 
I'm sure it counts. If someone eating East Asian food undertook this protocol, wouldn't chopsticks count in place of a knife and fork? Surely there's leeway to eat food the way it's meant to be eaten. 
 
Although that leaves me wondering about my frequent meals of cheese/cold cuts/olives/(formerly crackers). Is there a way to eat that meal with cutlery? I do serve it to myself on a plate, at least... 
You could use a toothstick (or whatever are they called) an that's what we would consider proper in my hometown [emoji28]
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Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Loool never done that one. Nope. Never... (And not basing a challenge around this problem :lol:)

 

It's a good problem to have though, isn't it? I mean, it means we're having fun! :) 

 

 

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Maybe the first time. ;) I tend to optimise my cutlery or lack thereof to the food at hand. Most often that means spoon and fork because I think the Thai got it right.

 

Funny that you should mention optimizing... Just the other day I was thinking if we couldn't get rid of a lot of our plates and other dishware and replace it all with big bowls :) Pretty much all foods I can think of that we serve on flat plates could just as well be served in a big bowl :)  Only thing that comes to mind right now that I wouldn't want to eat in a bowl is pizza :P  But it's not like we have that on the regular anyway... Think I might have a bit of a problem getting the rest of the family onboard with that idea though :D 

 

 

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

And YES for trip write up!!

 

I didn't take as nice pictures as you did. Never planned to do a write up... But I'll see what I can put together :) 

 

 

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Nice to see you back!

 

Thank you Hug

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Yesterday was much better with the food than my "mindfull eating" day... Thinking

 

Oatmeal and eggs for breakfast

Chicken thighs, brown rice and fried vegetables with tzatziki for lunch

Half a melon for a snack

Roasted veggies and humus wrap for dinner

 

And, importantly, properly spread out through out the day. Never waited too long before eating.

 

Also did three minutes meditation in the morning Thumbs Up

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Yesterday was much better with the food than my "mindfull eating" day... tjDxdYl.png
 
Oatmeal and eggs for breakfast
Chicken thighs, brown rice and fried vegetables with tzatziki for lunch
Half a melon for a snack
Roasted veggies and humus wrap for dinner
 
And, importantly, properly spread out through out the day. Never waited too long before eating.
 
Also did three minutes meditation in the morning SyBNiWx.png
Maybe you could try the mindful eating day again? And set alarms to not leave too much time in between meals?
I find too that my hunger cue is so subtle that I don't eat until I'm starving...
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Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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7 minutes ago, Diadhuit said:

Maybe you could try the mindful eating day again? And set alarms to not leave too much time in between meals?
I find too that my hunger cue is so subtle that I don't eat until I'm starving...

 

Yeah, I should try it again. It's just difficult finding a day when I'm alone.  And the problem wasn't knowing I was hungry. The problem was getting my ass away from the computer and in to the kitchen. I was having too much fun coding! :) "I'll just fix this one little thing, then I'll eat" ... two hours later ... "just a couple of more minutes, and then I really will get something to eat" :D 

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12 hours ago, Tobbe said:

Yeah, I should try it again. It's just difficult finding a day when I'm alone.  And the problem wasn't knowing I was hungry. The problem was getting my ass away from the computer and in to the kitchen. I was having too much fun coding! :) "I'll just fix this one little thing, then I'll eat" ... two hours later ... "just a couple of more minutes, and then I really will get something to eat" :D 

 

Oh dear, I have the exact same problem. I don't know that it's a good solution, but I've started eating parts of my lunch as "snacks" while I work, so that I'm at least not ravenous when I finally take a break.

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1 hour ago, Jett said:

Oh dear, I have the exact same problem. I don't know that it's a good solution, but I've started eating parts of my lunch as "snacks" while I work, so that I'm at least not ravenous when I finally take a break.

 

Maybe I'll figure something out that works for me, maybe I wont. But what's great is that so far "bad" days like this, days when I screw up my eating a little bit, aren't very frequent. So when they do happen it's not the end of the world. My body can handle it, and I'll do better the next day :) It doesn't always have to be perfect! :) 

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Having a bit of a rough time getting back in to the habit of doing the daily reading, daily habits and daily challenges in the book, and the daily updates here...

 

But tonight I took some time to read and write. So here are some updates!

 

Sunday

 

Did 3 minutes of meditation in the morning. Three minutes goes by pretty fast. Had no problems at all completing the meditation.

 

Did not read the book today.

 

Monday, day 50 (day 1, week 8)

 

Figured I’d start my meditation by taking 10 deep breaths. Just when I had finished my tenth breath the timer went off and my three meditation minutes had passed! Didn’t feel like I was done with the meditating though, so I kept going for a little more than two minutes more.

 

Didn’t open the book until late in the evening, and realized the task for the day would take longer than what I had time for. 

 

 

Unrelated to the book I've really been enjoying the nice weather we've had lately. On Sunday I ate all my meals out in our garden. And when going to bed I chose to do this:

 

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Waking up to this the day after

 

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The first photo was taken (with flash) at 1:20 am when I went to bed. The second photo was taken (without flash) 5 am when I woke up and went inside. I'm afraid this was the last time I slept outdoors under the stars like that because the mosquitoes were horrible! I just couldn't go back to sleep with the constant buzz from the little blood suckers! All in all I probably only slept for three hours or so. But surprisingly I wasn't very tired during the day. Those few hours must have been some truly quality sleep hours! :)  

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Tuesday

 

Didn’t do my morning meditation today. Wanted to do it after sending my kids off to school, but I was too tired, so I went back to bed. And when I woke up again I had to quickly get some breakfast, and then log in for a meeting at work. So the meditation didn’t happen until this evening. But that was a nice experience too. A good way to relax and de-stress.

 

The task yesterday was to answer a list of questions by giving them a numerical score on a scale, and in the end, arrive at a total point.

 

How difficult has it been to keep up with the journey? (0 = almost too easy, 10 = virtually impossible)
9

 

What percentage of the daily tasks have you been unable to complete?
0 (I’ve done them all, but some have been delayed until later)

 

What percentage of the habits have you been unable to complete?
0 (On the days I’ve followed along with the book I’ve done all the habits)

 

How has this journey been for you? (0 = amazing, 10 = dreadful)

4

 

Last 20 days, how many days have you had significant amount of ED thoughts? (Divide the number by 2)
5 (On average, I’d say it’s every other day)

 

Last 20 days, how many days have you engaged in ED behaviors? (Do not divide this number)
8 (I have not done any of the typical ED behaviors I engaged in before, like restricting and over-exercising. Not a single day have I done anything like that. But I’ve noticed that my body-checking is getting pretty bad. And I’m still hoarding a little bit.

 

Total for the six questions: 26. Average: 4.33

 

3 - 5: “This is a great, and expected, place to be in at this point in the journey.” And a lot of more text, of course. 

 

Looking at the text for a score of 6 - 8, the book suggests looking at the question with the highest score, and then suggests some things you can do to address any problems you might have in that area.

 

For me the first question got the highest score, mostly because I totally stopped reading the book for several weeks. The reason for that is that I went away on vacation, and that I had a difficult time finding the time to complete the tasks. And instead of half-assing the tasks. I completely paused my journey until I could find the time to do the tasks properly. The easiest solution to the first excuse is to just stay at home for the rest of the journey. The solution to the other excuse is to plan the weeks better, and try harder to find the time to complete the tasks.

 

The other questions with high scores are 5 and 6. I think the reason for the high scores is that I haven’t accepted my new body yet. Almost all my ED thoughts relate to how much I hate my fat body, and a lot of the behaviors come with/after those thoughts. The suggestions in the book when you struggle with question 5 and 6 are to modify/add to the daily habits. Instead of the mindfulness check-in mid-day, it should be a “disordered thoughts” check-in. Instead of doing a fullness check-in before dinner, do a “disordered thoughts scale” check-in. Give a score on a scale between 0 (no ED thoughts) to 10 (my mind is racing with ED thoughts). After that, take at least two deep breaths before eating. After dinner, again assess where you are on that scale. After the score, give gratitude for the dinner. Finally, each night, journal about how intense your disordered thoughts have been. 

 

So, basically, what I need to do now, is a lot more reflection. Personally I would have chosen “action” instead of “reflection”. So I’m feeling a bit torn here...
 

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Nice reading about your journey.

 

i like how you said “sat with your thoughts”

 

We work so hard ignoring our thoughts or letting them dominate instead of sitting with them and realizing... there just thoughts

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"One should eat to live, not live to eat." -Molaire-

"People always forget their hangover" -My dear ol' dad

"People are born to live, while some are born to evolve." 

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Wednesday

 

My ED therapist suggested I tried something known as “tactile stimulation” so I’ve been going to two or three sessions per week the last few weeks. Today was my ninth session. My massage therapist asked if I had noticed any changes in my day to day life. But I couldn’t come up with anything. But tonight I realized I hadn’t had any bad thoughts about my body at all today. Maybe related to the treatment, maybe not. Hard to know… Then, just an hour or so after I made that realization about not having bad thoughts, I was getting cravings for food. So I prepared some kefir, nuts and berries. While doing that I started doing this stupid body checking. And started feeling really bad about my body. And the bad thoughts just don’t leave. I’ve had them for almost three hours now :( 

 

On to the task for yesterday, since I didn’t do it that day… The tasks are: 1) Journal about your journaling habit, and 2) Go against an established ED ritual

 

1. Journal about journaling

 

Am I enjoying journaling each night
I’m not thrilled about the idea of journaling each night. But when I actually do it, it’s kind of nice to just put things in writing. I’ve also on more than one occasion happened to look back at old notes, and appreciated that I did write them. So while I can’t say I particularly enjoy it, I do see the benefits of doing it.

 

Could I afford to add anything to each night’s entry?
Not really, no. Not at this time. This already takes too much time.

 

Do I like the medium I’m using for journaling
Yeah. I started out writing pen-and-paper style, but after just a few days I switched over to just writing on the computer. Much better! I was always copying my notes over to the computer anyway to be able to post them online, so I figured I might as well just write them on the computer in the first place!

 

2. Full Permission

 

In what ways do I exemplify my “full and unconditional permission” to break my ED rules?
I’m never doing any exercise, even when my ED voice is telling me I’ve eaten too much. I’m never eating less in anticipation of an event, like a birthday party. I’m never skipping any meals. I’m not counting any calories. I’m not compulsively weighing myself.

 

Which rule have you been the most successful at breaking?
Overexercise. I just stopped moving, and haven’t done any running, any excessive walking, or any resistance training since I decided to recover. I kind of want to get back in to long distance running, but I know my body can’t take it right now, and neither can my mind. So I won’t do it until I feel it’s safe to do so.

 

Which rule has been the hardest to break
Of my original rules, event restriction has been the hardest to break. I.e. not saving up for a birthday party or something like that. Right now I’m struggling with body checking. Pinching, poking, pulling… I hate that I do it, because it only makes me feel really bad. And when I do it, all the bad thoughts comes too. I’m pretty sure the reason I’m doing this is because it’s my ED that’s trying to find new ways to get me back to restricting again. I’ll get in to this some more further down.

 

What are your overall thoughts on this objective?
I think it’s super important to follow through with this. In fact, it’s the only way I’ll get to full recovery. Giving myself full permission to eat whatever I feel like is non-negotiable. I have to do it.

 

Challenge: Go against an established ED ritual of yours
I decided to try to stop pinching/pulling/poking the fat on my stomach and my love handles. Whenever I noticed myself doing it, I thought to myself “no, I’m not doing this anymore”, and immediately quit. It’s too early to tell if it makes any difference, but I’m going to continue trying to stop me in the act, and hopefully the urge to do it in the first place will eventually stop.
 

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Thursday, week 8 (day 53)

 

Day 53. Journal Entry

Today I celebrated mom’s birthday. I was feeling pretty good going there - looking forward to spending time with mom and dad, and giving my gifts to mom. But as other guests were arriving I started feeling more and more self conscious about my weight gain. Nobody said anything about the way I looked, just like you can expect of civilized people. Even so, I’m always afraid of what other people think of me. I feel disgusted with myself and how fat I’ve become. And sure enough, when the guests were leaving my granddad told me “sure looks like you’ve gained a lot of fat”, and it was in a very non positive tone. So, even though I’ve always known people think, and talk, shit about me bind my back, now that I’ve become this gross they can’t even hide it from me any more, and say it to my face. And it really hurt a lot. Made me want to cry.

 

Day 53. Support Squad / Toxic Relationships (this is really the tasks for day 53, but I’m doing them today)

 

Support Squad

 

How often are you checking in with a member of your Support Squad?
Since my wife is my support squad, I’m checking in pretty much daily. My mom, who is also in my support squad, has been calling me about once a week, asking how I’m doing. Recently though, she hasn’t been calling. She tried calling a couple of times a while ago, but it wasn’t a good time for me, so I couldn’t take the calls. So she stopped trying to call me, and hasn’t really picked it up again after that. 

 

Is anyone in your Squad providing not as reliable as you initially thought?
Yeah, I guess I should talk to mom and ask her to start calling me again, to check in on me and how I’m doing.

 

Is the medium you’re using working for you?
I’m very much not a phone person, but for this the phone calls have been working really good. I want to continue with that.

 

Task: Check in on one of your Support Squad members, acting as their support today.
I asked my wife the two questions from the book. Here are her answers

  • How does it feel for you to help me with my recovery?
    It feels good if/when I can offer any kind of help. But it’s also tough on me because it feels like I’m not doing enough at times. That even though I’m doing my best, more is required. It feels bad inside of me knowing you’re not well, and I so wish I could make you heal faster.
  • Is there anything you’d like to change about how we do this?
    I’d like it to be more structured. Like having planned activities that are beneficial to your recovery. One example could be that we go for walks, where we can talk. I’d like you to tell me if there’s anything that’s bothering you, I don’t always remember or think of asking you. I’d also like you to tell me if you’re feeling better sometimes, so it’s not always just negative things.

 

Toxic Relationships

 

I couldn’t think of any toxic relationships back in week two, where this was first brought up, and I still can’t. No single person that has proven to be holding my recovery back that I can think of.

 

Task: Radical Compassion. Devote a loving kindness meditation to someone who has been toxic to you.
I decided to devote this meditation to my granddad, who made that unnecessary comment that made me feel really bad. I forgave him for his remark, and I tried to think of all the good things he has done for me in my life. It actually felt better than I thought, and thinking of all the good things we’ve done together made me pretty happy :) 
 

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