Hey friends! I have seriously been working on this post since Monday. Seriously. It started pretty light, then got deep. Now I’m just hoping it’s coherent since it is three days’ worth of thoughts. Hold on to your hats!
More on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, IE, and Restriction
I wanted to come back to this topic once more. Oh, I likely will keep coming back to it! I’ve had so many conflicting feelings! I LOVED my first AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, but then I had so many issues when I attempted my second. WTF?! It was really hard for me to articulate just what the problem was, but I just knew I had to quit. Now I’m beginning to understand. You see, as someone who has been on (and off) every single diet under the sun, I have issues with disordered thinking and eating. I’m seeing now that the restriction from the challenge was bringing up a lot of those feelings. I can now even see how my thinking was becoming disordered all the way back to my first challenge! Sad. Here’s the thing – since I’ve been on so many diets, I tend to have very all or nothing thinking. I was catching myself labeling clean foods as “good” and not-clean foods as “bad”. I was “good” if I ate those foods and “bad” if I didn’t. I wasn’t using the challenge as it’s meant to be used – to help you clean up your diet once a quarter and flood your body with nutritious foods. Instead, I was using it as a whole new set of rules, that I was “bad” if I didn’t follow. In between my challenges, I totally struggled with this thinking. I felt like I was constantly needing to “start over”, to “tighten things up”, like I’d “fallen off the wagon”. I kept proclaiming that “this will be a clean eating week!” where I wouldn’t eat anything unclean. This, my friends, is diet thinking all the way!
So now I’m resetting. I’m re-reading Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works as I follow along in an IE program. I’m still not completely ready to share about this program. I want to keep this one close to the vest for a while. However, I must tell you that things are clicking for me. I’m seeing where I had made previous judgments about food, where I went wrong the last time with IE, how I thought the challenge was helping me eat intuitively (it was but wasn’t), and what I want my relationship with food to look like. A few realizations I’ve made:
- It’s very easy for me to use IE as an excuse to overeat (“I don’t want to restrict myself” <– one of my issues going through this the last time around!). Really, I’m just eating because I’m bored or for another emotional reason. Stop, drop that food, and feel.
- It’s really hard for me to get rid of judgments and not feel guilty about eating something that I don’t deem “healthy” or now “clean”. I’m trying to catch myself and change my thinking every time, but I don’t always believe myself when I say that it’s okay to eat that, and I don’t need to feel guilty.
- Also related to guilt – I find myself feeling guilty or internally saying “I’ll be better tomorrow” if I know I ate something when I wasn’t hungry. I have to reassure myself over and over that it is okay, that I’m still “good”. Do you see how I could get caught in this spiral between this bullet point and the first one?! This is why I never truly learned IE.
- I know now that I have to ignore all of the health, exercise, and diet advice out there. I can’t even read it. It sticks in my head, I get guilty feelings, and it’s just not beneficial to me. I just want to eat and move in a way that works for ME. That is beneficial to ME. Not according to some study, or this group, or that group, etc. They don’t know me! They don’t know how my body reacts to foods or how it feels after certain exercises! My body knows what’s best, and I just need to listen to it.
- I just want to live like a “normal” person who hasn’t heard all of these diet tips, health tips, exercise tips, etc. and just lives. I don’t want to log, and I don’t want to obsess anymore. I don’t want to talk and think about food, health, diet, exercise, and my body constantly. That’s a huge change for me. Every blog I follow is a food, healthy living, running, or intuitive eating blog. My own blog is a blog about dieting! My Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all follow along these lines as well. My Gmail account is full of healthy living newsletters. Almost all of the podcasts I listen to are about body love or healthy living. I’ve gotten myself in a bad way here. This hobby turned into an obsession that has taken over my life! I need a new hobby. What did I think and talk about before this?!
Those last two bullet points are what I have been thinking about for the last few days. I try to remember what I thought about in high school and college before I became so obsessed with the healthy living world. I had disordered eating and thinking back then too, but it didn’t take over my life. I seem to remember hanging out with friends a lot… we had to have talked about something! I need to make a list of how to fill all of the time during the day that was previously spent reading and thinking about healthy living. Any thoughts? I even searched Pinterest for “hobbies”! There was a lot of knitting and crocheting. Not me. I’m not a long project kind of gal. I have plenty of long projects sitting in closets at my house that I’ve never finished. I need something besides just reading and watching TV.
I think I was able to bring this together pretty coherently after all. As I work on adjusting my thinking and free time, I’m not sure what that will mean for this old blog. Probably a lot more ramblings like this one! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. For now, just know what I’m working on and why I might not be here.