I’m intending to try and keep these up on a kind-of-weekly basis although it’s almost two weeks since I last celebrated changes! Mostly this edition is about my split with starchy carbs and the effects of that. It’s funny because at least a portion of what I felt was my eating disorder seems to have just been the influence of those starchy carbs working against me. I have read very little about this but I am now CONVINCED that there is some major difference in the way the body reacts to and metabolises those kinds of substances, as they seem to have been the font of all evil as far as my eating behaviours were concerned. Or at least, maybe my body in particular doesn’t deal with them well – or deals with them too easily and that’s what makes me crave more of them? HH certainly doesn’t have a problem with them.
Anyway here are the changes I’ve noticed:
- If I don’t eat starchy carbs, I don’t crave them. I’m talking rice, pasta, BREAD in all its many forms and potatoes. The more I see what life is like without them, the less I’m prepared to compromise my quality of life by eating them. I get a particular feeling about bread – as much as I have loved the stuff, when I’m in the ZONE of eating other foods I get almost a physical repulsion to it, like it’s a danger-food. It’s so weird, but my body seems to prefer to avoid it.
- Without the starchy carbs and their cravings, I am way more attuned to my body’s actual needs – which helps with the two following items:
- WATER. It helps that it’s been mega hot here, but I’m finally aware of how much water I need and how thirsty I am. I’m sure a lot of the time I was confusing thirst with hunger and just assuming it was the latter that I felt – whereas now I can quite distinctly feel the difference. Sometimes the sheer relief of sitting down with a bottle of cold water is way more pleasurable than I used to find sitting down to a binge. Also I find a little bit of fruit and some water together is super-awesome.
- PORTIONS. It’s like I finally get now this thing that people say about knowing when you’re done, and what’s enough food to be eating. I eat wayyyy smaller portions for my meals and snacks and am satisfied on far less. I don’t feel bad about cooking a batch of food and then only eating a small part of it because we always need spare food for meals and snacks, so that seems to work well. It happens so often now, that I sit down to a salad or a small portion of something cooked and I look at it and think, this would have been me on a *really good day* before when I was feeling really guilty about something I’d eaten previously – but now this is my life all the time. It is just so cool to not always be craving more food after you’ve had a small but satisfying meal.
- I eat much more slowly – even HH has noticed this! That’s one of those things everyone says you’re “supposed” to do to lose weight, but it never really clicked with me until now. I’m getting the most out of every mouthful!
- My hunger is much less severe than it used to be. There’s a very specific type of raging, gurgling hunger I used to get after eating starchy carbs – and not that long after, either – and I never get that any more. Hunger now is generally a much quieter affair and that makes it more manageable – I don’t freak out about feeling hungry for an hour or two before a meal and I know I can take it or drink something and forget about it.
- As a result of all of this, I suppose, I haven’t had a binge for over 4 weeks. I remember the weekend 4 weeks ago when we had friends to stay and I did fairly well with controlling my portions but we had pizza one night and I couldn’t say no until it was all gone, and also we had a massive fudge eating session the following day. That was the last time I was out of control with my eating. Since then, I’ve eaten pretty much exactly what I’ve wanted to – and no more.
So what does this mean in the long-term? Clearly cutting out the starchy carbs has been the key not just to freeing my weightloss, but also to unlocking more rational and natural eating behaviours, a multitude of little things that I’ve always struggled with. I don’t think it’s magic so much, but just that cutting down on the starches has cut down the amount of cravings I have, which allows me to do more of the things I know I should be doing if I want to lose weight. I know for the time being that I want to avoid these foods as much as possible and while I have the incentive of weightloss to guide me, I imagine it’ll be fairly easy to continue like this, even for the several months ahead, for as long as there’s a direct cause and effect relationship. But my body has had such a strong reaction to removing these substances from my diet, that I’m starting to think, even if I am a healthy weight and have an otherwise healthy lifestyle, maybe it’s just not healthy for me (personally) to be eating these things? If I want to be the healthiest all-round, throughout the course of my life, then maybe I’m looking at only having starchy carbs on very rare occasions (and by rare I don’t mean “only on meals out” or “only on Sundays” – those kinds of rare can mount up quite quickly 😉 !) but pretty much all the time unless I’m in a position where there really is no other choice or it’s just so downright rude not to, or for a birthday treat, things like that. This seems like a pretty big deal to me, but I guess I have a few months to get used to the idea before I need to make those kinds of decisions. For now, I’m going to stick with what works!