I'm having a revelation YET AGAIN about food. It is this...
When I eat clean I am happier. When I eat clean my moods are more stable. When I eat clean my thoughts are calmer. When I eat clean I sleep better. When I eat clean my 'system' works better (I'm talking bodily functions here sorry people).
I know there's so much around in the media right now about food and diets and clean eating and often it causes angst in people about foods and what they should and shouldn't eat.. it's the hot topic and everyone has an opinion or a plan to follow or a diet to adhere to.... a million trillion opinions about what to eat/what not to eat.
Yes I have been doing a lot of reading and soaking up of all the chatter around food & eating (Dr Libby's The Calorie Fallacy is great).. but mostly this comes from the living I have done over the past 4ish years since I got sober and became acutely aware of my moods. Over the past four years I have been lurching from one eating style to another.. trying and failing and cycling in-and-out of bad/good habits. And this is what I unequivocally know now about myself, food, and my mood & general state of mind.
What works best for me is when I avoid any wheat/sugar products. When I make a blanket decision in my mind to not eat those things (i.e. almost total abstinence) then I am a happy, calm & stable person. When I do eat these things I am not.
Because here's the thing.....I am an addict. I am an alcoholic in recovery. When I eat these things I don't eat them in what you might call a 'healthy' way.
Since I got sober I have realised that I use these foods (sugary/wheaty foods) alcoholically. The more I eat them the more I crave them. I feel the 'pull' towards these foods very strongly in my core (I don't know how to explain this 'pull' or 'craving' but it's a combination of a very intense sensation inside my chest/belly and a very noisy stream of thoughts telling me to eat them). I binge. I can be secretive/furtive with them. I indulge more when I am low/stressed/tired/sad. I experience intense feelings of low self-worth and guilt when I over indulge. In short I feel like shit emotionally and physically when I am eating sugary/wheaty foods regularly.
Moderation is impossible. It might start that way but over the days my intake speeds up. So I opt for totally abstinence and when I achieve that I SOAR!!! I feel stable, my moods are even, I feel happy, I feel great.
At the moment I'm in a long phase of abstinence from these foods and it's been awesome. Utterly fantastic. I keep bumping into people who ask 'how's it going?'.. and all that comes out of my mouth is 'good!'.
This cannot be unrelated to the fact I'm eating clean at the moment. (My version of clean which = no wheat/sugary foods). It is not unrelated to this fact. Life has been continuing on. We are crazy busy in our household. Work is busy. Stuff is going on. But yet I feel stable and good.
Look. I know I'm going to probably slip back into bad habits again. I hope I don't but my cycle seems to be 3ish weeks off those foods, 3ish weeks on them.
3 weeks off = happy and calm.
3 weeks on = fun at first and yummy but slowly worsening and usually ending in a catastrophic binge followed by a day of self-loathing and then back off them I go again.
I know this post is long and waffly but I'm wanting to get this all out for myself because I do feel (fingers crossed) that I am progressing in myself to a point where I might finally for once and for all stop the endless cycling on-and-off these foods. I really do feel I've finally done enough 'research' to know myself well enough, to fight off the cravings when they come (when I let a little bit back in the cravings start again and I usually let them win and down the hole I go again for 3ish more weeks), and to make my permanent base-line lifestyle almost total abstinence from these foods.
Funnily enough one of the things I worry about most if I do end up living like this permanently is how I'll explain it to people. I'm worried people will think I'm a stupid bore for not having dessert at a restaurant or a piece of slice for afternoon tea or a piece of cake because it's somebody's birthday. Maybe I'll try to explain it like 'I'm an addict. I have a complicated relationship with those foods. It's best if I don't touch them'. Or maybe over time I won't feel the need to explain myself at all. This is so reminiscent of when I got sober and stopped drinking alcohol!
Who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks??!! I'm the one who wakes up with my head on the pillow every morning feeling what I feel and knowing what I know.
I'll just have to see how it goes. But for now I'm feeling really strong and resolute. Long may it last.
Love, Mrs D xxx