Back to the Drawing Board

21 Dec

I tried 2 supplements and found little relief.  Over the course of 2014, I would like to revisit the structured diet world.  This time, however, everything will be on my terms.  In a sense, things were on my terms in 2012 when I designed the original experiment.  However, I took a martyr approach.  I often ate less than I should have during many of the diets, struggling to keep true to the limitations.  I had a hard time combining all of my self-imposed restrictions and shrank my stomach so much that I didn’t even notice how few calories I was consuming.  This didn’t help with my already well-established binging tendencies.  I could have been more organized, but it was a learning experience.

This time around, I am interested in trying out various styles of eating more tailored to my body.  For example, the first diet I will do is the low FODMAP elimination diet.  I already know it will help, but I want to better sort out which FODMAPS give me the worst symptoms.  It will then be easier to eat whatever I want within reason without making myself sick when the least convenient (such as before traveling).  There are other approaches I want to try out of curiosity.  I will choose whichever diets I want to do in whatever order sounds good to me (no more leaving it up to fate and pulling it out of a hat).  I will take breaks whenever I feel like it (especially over the summer).  I don’t intend for this to be a year of deprivation.  I aim for it to be a year of further revelation.  Structured eating helps me eat more mindfully.  When life is overwhelmingly chaotic, attempting to eat certain foods and limit others forces your brain to focus.  Meal planning becomes necessary.  While convenience is amazing so is paying attention to the signals your body is trying to send.

I enjoyed my year off, but even when given free reign, I found myself reverting to old habits.  I sometimes ate out of boredom, just to escape, or gave into sugar binges simply because I am an addict.  Ever eat 12 peanut butter cups in one sitting?  I have, and it was only a couple of weeks ago.  I even oversee myself engaging in self-sabotage.  Here is a true story to illustrate my point.  For the past few years, around Christmas, I make candy with Derek’s mom.  We always make an insane amount, and several canisters of deliciousness are sent home with me.  Every year, I vow to myself that I will control myself and make sure there is plenty of candy for Christmas.  Every year, I fail.  I come home from work with the knowledge of goodies in my freezer, and I stuff myself.  The next day, I tell myself that that was the last time! and a few hours later, repeat the behavior.  Hmm.  This year, I binged on candy for 2 days straight and put the kabosh on the madness early by bringing it all over to my mom’s.  Then our Christmas plans changed.  We decided to have Christmas Eve dinner at my house.  Instead of leaving the candy in my mom’s care, I nonchalantly said that I “might as well” take the candy home with me, so that it would be at my house for Christmas.  The whole time this was going on, a voice in my head reminded me that I was just lying to myself.  It knew I intended to eat the candy as soon as I got the chance.  That’s exactly what happened.  On my way home, I ate about 6 peanut butter cups, already stuffed from overeating at supper.  When I go down that slippery slope, sugar starts making decisions for me.  I am sticking to my guns that sugar is a drug.  I don’t care how many times people snicker at me when I say it.  These are the same people who will refuse to cut it out when given a diabetes or fructose malabsorption diagnosis.  Mark my words.  On the plus side, I understand my limits enough to have demanded that Derek hide the (remaining!) Christmas candy from me.  If at first you don’t succeed…try try again.

My ally, who also happens to be a professional in the psychology field, gave me a recommendation for this next round of guinea pigging.  She thought I should try to tackle my unhealthy relationship with food through proven techniques, such as mindfulness and appetite awareness.  I think this is a fantastic idea, so I have decided to incorporate both approaches.  I will follow the do or die route when I feel I’ve got it in me.  When I don’t, I will eat whatever I want while utilizing various healthy eating habits.

Here are some diets (in no particular order!) I want to try during the next round:

1. 21 Day Sugar Detox: http://www.amazon.com/The-21-Day-Sugar-Detox-Naturally/dp/1936608111

2. Low FODMAP diet: http://www.amazon.com/IBS-Change-FODMAP-Elimination-Edition/dp/0982063520/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1380301287&sr=8-1

3. The Whole 30: http://www.whole9life.com/category/whole-30/

4. The Bulletproof Diet: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/category/bulletproofdiet/

5. Fast Tract Digestion – IBS: http://digestivehealthinstitute.org/2013/05/resistant-starch-friend-or-foe/ (This diet restricts resistant starch in an effort to treat Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

6. Perfect Health Diet: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/

7. The Paleo Approach: http://www.amazon.com/The-Paleo-Approach-Reverse-Autoimmune/dp/1936608391

The nice thing about the diets listed above is that most of them are not crazy restrictive.  All but a few of these are meant to be lifestyle approaches, not elimination diets.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey as a guinea pig.  As always, I welcome any comments or questions.

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6 Responses to “Back to the Drawing Board”

  1. tessatito December 21, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    So well written! I was really excited to read this post. I would like to try one of them with you either paleo or sugar detox. This was very well-written too and I could definitely relate: “I don’t intend for this to be a year of deprivation. I aim for it to be a year of further revelation. Structured eating helps me eat more mindfully. When life is overwhelmingly chaotic, attempting to eat certain foods and eliminate others helps my brain to focus…”

    • thehungryguineapig December 22, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Thanks Tessa! I think I will end up doing the 21 day sugar detox in February. I have a history of cutting out sugar during that month, so I might as well keep with tradition. 🙂 Let me know if you want to do it together!

  2. Dad December 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    As I stand here making chocolate candies for Christmas, I want to give you all encouragement and look forward to your writings. All my love dad

    • thehungryguineapig December 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

      Thank you papason! Watch out…those Christmas candies will get ya! 😉

  3. PC December 21, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    This is a useful resource for tackling the emotional connection to sugar:

    http://www.firstourselves.org/getting-started/sugar-support/

    I found many of the articles on there speak to me a lot. Since I’ve given up sugar I feel so much better emotionally! The first week is the toughest but it gets easier and easier over time.

    • thehungryguineapig December 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      I always felt more stable when successfully restricting sugar. I guess when you don’t dump a bunch of sugar in your bloodstream, your hormones have a chance to regulate themselves. 🙂 Thanks for another helpful link PC!

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