It’s a great day! Today I tested my ketones and the results show low levels of ketones. Not as high as I want it to be but is a great start considering that I have been eating less that 20mg of carbs for only 8 days. I have only been eating keto for only 12 and weight loss is tangible. I will not weigh-in until the last day of the month in order to my abstinence (having strong impulse on weighing myself several times a day). Keto-flu was not a problem the first few days which it is a huge player in this. Sometime when I get keto-flu it’s so bag I ended up eating carbs (or at least using it as an excuse to fail again).
But weight loss has not been the only motivator. My sugar and wheat cravings has cease in a very short amount of time. I am a pizza addict/fanatic (call it how you want) and for first time in my life I was able to go to a Pizza Buffet (I know it sounds like entrapment) and I honestly wasn’t thinking about eating any of it. I did not even battle with myself. Believe me when I say, I would never have been able to do that in my non-keto diet life. Not even on my Vegan days. I am so proud of myself!
Here others foods I divorced since they cause me cravings or because is they are hard to track while doing a ketogenic diet.
- Peanut Butter
- Cakes (even sugar free ones)
- Any processed sugar foods (anything that has real sugar)
- Any wheat product
- Popcorn (any kind)
As I keep doing well in my keto experience, I am guess I will keep adding other forbidden foods. Some people commented before that restriction doesn’t work for them. Instead causes them frustration and deprivation feelings which leads to binge eating and yo-yo dieting. In my case my body work different. I am not a person of moderation. I am a all or nothing kind of person. Eating some of these food would lead me to relapse, a circle I have been many times but I won’t be again.
When I was growing up, I was not allowed to wear certain kind of clothes. Nothing short, or tight, or a two (2) piece set, or without sleeves. No, we were not religious. One of the reasons I couldn’t was that my hidradenitis suppurativa was all spread out through my body. The second reason was because I was already obese probably by the age of ten (10). I got told so many times that the reason I could not wear anything cute was because I was overweight. In a very early age, obesity was used against me. Many times I was told I could be pretty if only I lose some pounds. By the age of thirteen (13) I was wearing clothing from the Women’s section from Kmart (plus sizes). We all know the styles aren’t designed for teenagers.
I have always avoided to wear dresses. As a teenager I had the crazy idea to get married in a suit instead a white and pretty and traditional wedding dress.And I so hated myself when I started to go to bridal stores to looking for one many years after. It felt so un-natural to me…
Spending outrageous amount of money on a piece of clothing that I would only wear once (and one I would probably hate) did not sounded like a great idea to me. One Saturday, while going to yard sales with my husband, he seen this beautiful and simple wedding dress. Bingo! That was the one. It was not too loud, it was just perfect. For first time in life I wore something that “made me feel beautiful”. At the time I was weighing about 235 pounds and not even that took my joy. I did had to buy a shrug to cover up my hidradenitis suppurativa. I seriously loved it. It was like a miracle to me.
Since then I have wore a dress once. I don’t think I will ever be the dress type girl. I am just grateful that now I have the courage to wear one. I actually feel good in one. Every day is a battle against myself, a debate of how much is my worth; my self-worth. The phycholigical damage is there, is always going to be. It doesn’t mean I have to live like that anymore. Today I can make my own wardrobe choices and feel good about it. I am not perfect at it. I don’t think I’ll ever be. But now I can look at the mirror and love that girl on the dress.
I must confess I fell off the wagon. Since my daughter’s birthday we can celebration in San Luis I have been eating a bunch of garbage and sugary treats. At the beginning I did he thought it was gonna be a big deal. My Brain justify it real quick. “It’s only to celebrate her birthday” or “She is turning 3 only one”. Well it didn’t turn out as I expected. I was binging and over eating for over a week after we came back home. I bet not know how to go back to my keto meals and regular routine. I gained weight back. 10 pounds to be more specific. It was an untill yesterday “May the forth be with you” when I was able to stay away from everything I I knew I couldn’t have. It was hard. I felt I was sick. My body was against me. I crave sugar and with the products all night long. Even those foods I regularly don’t like. I felt the urge to shovel in my mouth anything and everything that have sugar but I didn’t. I fought it and I told on myself. I talk to my husband and let him know what was I going through. He was patient with me and get me accountable until we went to bed.
As my husband packed his luggage bag this morning before going out of town I expressed to him concerned about me being alone. I’ll be at home with the kids all weekend long. DANGER! Usually that’s when I eat the most. When I’m feeling bored, alone or unattended. Before he left I told on myself again and express my fear to him. He kindly suggested to stay busy and take the kids to a family night in a church nearby. I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to go. That would involve a little bit of socializing which I don’t feel like doing (I guess these might be side effects from detoxing). But I made the effort and drove there.
All I heard about this event was there was going to be bouncy houses and games for the kids. But Lord have mercy! First thing as you walk in the building a table with all you can eat pizza (with different toppings and it was from Papa Murphy’s), chocolate chip cookies and individual bags of chip awaits you. This was only my second day of sugar and wheat products detox. It was hard, it was very hard to turn away food. Not only because I am not strong in now but think about it it’s free food. There is nothing harder to turn away from but free food. It’ll matter what kind of food it is . It could be any bag of empty calories, but if his free… Heck yeah! And pizza. Are you serious call? Pizza been my favorite demon my whole life. No! I did not eat it my friend but I won this battle.
I know I will struggle with temptations for the rest of my life. But I was thinking about it after I got home and it seems like all you find to eat is carbs. It’s almost like the carb overeating it’s being highly encourage specially to our kids. I work really hard to teach my kids to make better eating choices when. Generally they do pretty good. But what can they do when all the choices they have are between carbs. Not healthy whole carbs, but process ones. Those that helps you to develop an addictive behavior. I fear for them. Hopefully they will understand better as they grow. And maybe by then we will have better choices.
Nowadays is so easy to get addicted to substances or certain behaviors. Form alcohol and drug addiction to a TV show on Netflix (binge watching). Some are more socially acceptable than others but that doesn’t make it less harmful. As an overeater, binge eater and a bulimic, (I am also an Al-Anon) I am a person with many compulsions. Constantly I have to watch my behaviors since they could easily turn into habit.
As I was turning to taking pills, fasting and vomiting after my binges, my relationship with the scale changed. Initially I weighed myself weekly. But then I start doing it daily. I was so concerned I would gain weight after my binges that I had to know what was going on. Then I started weighing myself in the mornings and nights. Then after drinking water or using the bathroom. I was out of control. I got obsessed with the numbers. But it did not matter how low they were, they weren’t low enough to help my self-steam. On the contrary, it would lower it. In a matter of weeks my identity changed, I was no longer myself but 180 or 178 pounds. That’s how I started seeing myself. I could not stand see my own image in the mirror (it is still hard sometimes). I tried so many times to negotiate with myself and to justify stepping on the scale. The more I stepped on the scale, the worst I felt. No weight loss motivation came from keeping track of my weight.
I was so sick of it. The more stepped on the scale, the more I binge that day. These binges caused more weight gain, and this is what probably started my bulimic behaviors. That’s when I figure that if I use laxatives or take pills the next morning it wouldn’t matter what happened the night before. And it just got worse from there.
Today, I manage to weigh myself once a month. Sometimes I still get that impulse to step on the scale especially when I feel really good about myself. I remind myself daily of my value as a person and not a number. Just like my eating disorders, the stepping on the scale behavior might not go away. I will keep fighting in everyday. Walking little steps to recover.
When I was in high school I wanted to be a writer. It was my dream to be published. There is short stories and poems of mine. My friends used to love reading my stuff. I applied for a literature B.A at the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey where I was accepted. I stupidly turned down the opportunity because of fear of losing a boyfriend. Then I quit writing. So, this is my first poem in ten (10) years. Please acknowledge my native language is Spanish and some of my grammar and spelling are not proper.
After a binge
I feel bad
I feel shame
I feel like a crazy pig
I try to change
Do it hard
I know I'll fail
I have to die
My old self
I need to be
I hate myself
I hate my skin
'Cause like a zombie
I'm slowly in
A pool of mud
I'm sinking in
I want to eat
Your messy stress
I want to run?
I want to pray?
I can't make up
My scary brain
I need a body
A new one to like
I want the strength
To fight for me
You get bombarded with so many fad diets nowadays, it can be discouraging. At least I was. And I spended most of my life trying them alone, together with weight loss pills or extreme exercise. I did lost a total of -28.63 % of fat. But a lot of time was wasted on the wrong diets, ending on yo-yo dieting.
As I mention on the blog post Fad Diets I’ve Tried: Which Ones Didn’t Work? , unhealthy eating was learned at home. This is not the reason I am a bulimic, but it might have been what activated my hereditary binging disorder (BED). I am not blaming my father. To this day, he has no idea of his illness. He is over 60 years old and too concern about other medical conditions to even worry about what enters to his mouth. He will probably leave this earth and not know about it. I have been through a lot of pain and suffering because of my eating disorder. I am really grateful that I was able to see that I have a bigger problem than just liking food too much.
So here I am sharing with you some things that I have found learned with time. They help me on daily basis to battle my binge eating disorder.
Overeaters Anonymous/Food Addicts Anonymous
Just like Alcoholic Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program. It is great to know and feel that you are not the only one battling with food. It has help me a lot to create connections with others. I still can’t do a flawless program. This is an honesty program and it God really hard when I had to admit to myself my problems were serious. Even worst to have two admit to my family and a husband that I am a bulimic. I do not follow these programs by the book I simply use a lot of their principles and material. Starting by having a higher power that can help me with my problems. Today I am aware I could not do this on my own.
I probably tried most of the fat diets out there. Every single one lead me to total frustration. Not too long ago I found the ketogenic diet or low carb, high fat diet. At first it did not sound the greatest idea to block my arteries with cholesterol. After a few weeks of research I decided to give it shot. There were too many good reviews and apparently so many benefits it was almost impossible not to consider it. During the first 12 days of keto I lost 10.4 pounds. What? Yes it was unreal to me. I figured I was doing something wrong because of the huge amount of weight loss and weakness I experienced. I almost had to quit but I felt that I could stick up with the ketogenic diet. It seems to be so easy to follow (comparing to other diet I tried) and I always had a meal choice everywhere I went. The results motivated me to do some more research and that’s when I learned I had keto-flu and took care of it quickly.
As a person with a high stress job, I need to find ways to release it. Writing about my feelings, thoughts and actions allows me to see my behaviours (especially the addictive ones). This helps me to be more proactive and cautious about my eating disorders.Now blogging is something new to me.
I am used to write down my feelings but I never shared them before. Believe me, I feel highly vulnerable by writing my experiences and struggles. I know how is it to feel isolated because of the eating disorders. I might have to live with binge eating disorder and bulimia for the rest of my life. But there is relief and recovery for people suffering with these diseases. There is hope.
It is impossible to follow a “perfect diet”. Allow yourself to make mistakes. You are human after all, you won’t be able to keep a perfect diet or a perfect anything else. The faster you accept that fact, the faster you can move on after a binge or a cheat day. If you were in ketosis and decided to eat over 100 grams of carbs you will have to start over. You might also have to go through the keto-flu once again. So here some tips that can help you to get back in track:
Do not panic: Freaking out about what you ate the day before does not help you get back on track. You have to think that we grew up eating differently and there is certain foods that we will always be willing to have again. If you stick up with the ketogenic diet long enough you might discover later that you don’t crave these kinds of food anymore.
Think positively: Remorse after a cheat day or binge is worst than the act. Once you feel guilty about the day before you are more likely to do it again. Try no thinking about it. Keep yourself busy.
Eat your meals: Get back on your routine. Eat your meals as you would eat any other day. Lower your carbs as much as you can handle but try not fasting. It is true that you can fall on ketosis faster by fasting but I suggest to do it any day except right after cheat day/binge.
Drink water: Keep your body hydrated. You might feel hungrier than usual on the day after. Remember your body will be adapting to the low carbs. Make sure you don’t confuse thirst with hunger. And don’t forget to drink at least 64 ounces a day.
Exercise: Physical activity does only have great benefits on your body but it also helps mentally. Exercise can serve you as a stress reliever and to ease depression.
The most important thing the you need to do is to love yourself, to love your body and mind. You are a unique piece. Beautifully handed carved. Keep up taking care of it and never give up.