If you ate like a baby, you would probably not have a weight issue. Babies start life eating when they are hungry, and stop when they’re full. Nature has the perfect signal to keep you healthy, hydrated, and to maintain your stable weight. It’s called hunger, thirst, and feeling sleepy. When you pay attention to those signals, your weight should be of no issue to you. But something happens later in life to people who have developed a weight problem that disrupted this natural pattern.
For many women (in particular), dislike of their body because it doesn’t conform to the fashion of the day makes them start on that slippery slope called dieting. Your hunger and activity level is a very delicate balance like a sophisticated thermostat that can add either heat or cooling to a room to keep it at a near-steady temperature. But when you start jiggling around with the mechanism by removing certain foods (starches, sugar and salt, etc.), eating less and exercising more, the automatic thermostat stops functioning properly. You lose weight, and then you gain it back, PLUS additional punishment pounds.
Did unhappiness with your body start you dieting in the first place? Or was your natural thermostat damaged by a stressful event, or a continuing stressful time in your life?
We’ve been brainwashed to believe that the only way to lose weight is to ?eat less and exercise more. But if you’ve been on a diet, you’ve probably realized that this strategy doesn’t work, or at least it doesn’t work for long.
Many people claim that in order to lose weight you have to maintain a ?lifestyle change? of depriving yourself of food you enjoy and over-exercising. This might work until you injure yourself and have to stop your activity level, or can no longer resist by starving yourself.
If you’re like the majority of people, you can identify a particular stressful event that precipitated your weight gain. It can both suppress your metabolism, and lead to over-eating. There’s even a term for food you eat when you’re stressed: ?comfort food. The type of food doesn’t matter that much, it’s the fact that you are ‘stuffing? your emotions with food when your stomach isn’t telling you it’s hungry! So food becomes the drug of choice for many stressed-out people. It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you!
Are you approaching the problem of overweight from the wrong perspective and trying to solve it with the wrong solution by dieting to lose weight? If stress is making you overweight in the first place, doesn’t it make more sense to deal with the cause? Some people are not even aware of the level of stress that is present in their mind/body, because it’s so habitual it’s become like a background of white noise.
Yes, being overweight and belly fat can be an indicator of stress, but make sure to look at your face. Do you have worry lines, or wrinkles around your eyes, or on your forehead that are an indication that you are holding an expression of anxiety on your face? The ?Facial Feedback Hypothesis? theory first written about by Charles Darwin shows that even changing the muscles in your face by smiling will change your thoughts and emotions. Preliminary studies have indicated that paralyzing these facial muscles with Botox can actually have an effect on depression and stress. While using Botox is treating symptoms instead of the cause, it also points to the efficacy of changing your body to affect your mind and emotions.
The Mind/Emotion/Body are an interdependent system.
In the past, it was assumed that the Autonomic Nervous System worked independently of your conscious thoughts/emotions. It is now clear that your thoughts and emotions can change your physiology. It’s been estimated that over 95% of diseases are caused by or exacerbated by stress. The Nocebo Effect is created by negative emotions and beliefs, and is the opposite of the more well known Placebo effect. Perhaps your negative self-image is having a Nocebo Effect on your weight!
Stress in the body can be detected by observing the pattern of your heart beat. An organized beat to beat change called ?entrainment? of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a marker of calm in the heart, that then informs the body to follow the peaceful pattern of the heart. There are biofeedback types of devices available that you can use to observe and learn to organize and calm your Heart Rate Variability. You can learn from these devices to change HRV by focusing the mind on the heart and feeling gratitude or positive emotions. This well-researched technique is one of the most successful stress relief techniques that also builds resilience to stress.
Stress relief is not just a woo-woo activity that you ‘should? do to make yourself calm. It’s a necessity that can change every aspect of your health. However, if you are attempting stress relief, it means that you are already experiencing stress. You can prevent stress by changing your attitude and mindset. Then you subdue the intensity of your reaction to improve your health and control your weight at the same time.
What’s the best stress reliever? The one you will do frequently is best. Using ?re-feeding? as a mindful activity lets the body know the starvation is over, and is also a very effective practice. That way, you’re getting a double benefit of nurturing your body and your mind at the same time. That’s the perfect Mind/Body stress relief approach to improve your health and weight.
Lianda Ludwig, M.S., is now offering free 30-minute’stress-releasing consultations through the 180DegreeHealth Get Help program.
i’ve never done this before… honestly… but….. FIRST
**update** that was surprisingly anticlimactic
It always is.
I liked it.
Did you do a victory dance? It’s better if you do a dance.
Re-feeding will only solve the problem if you have been on a calorie restricted diet. If you have a stressful job, bad social life or unhappy with something eating a lot of food will not solve the real problem, maybe only temporarly treating some symptoms.
what if the person solves the stress and social life and happiness but doesn’t get rid of pufas. refeeding seems like an important part of the thing. ? i think you are right about the fact that JUST refeeding won’t fix everyone. maybe they have chronic pain, or apnea…
If someone has been under-eating, it’s a reflection of dislike of their body; it’s stressful, and the brain is very literal. So the behavior of re-feeding is important, and it lessens one of the stressors. I think that Matt is correct, that PUFAs are something to avoid- but not to the point of Orthorexia (obsession about only eating healthy food). Balance in life is the thing that seems to cover all contingencies! Eat, play, love, be happy, enjoy your body – and you’ll be healthy!
I think Dr. Midnight is correct. There is a fine line between “re-feeding” and stuffing yourself on “comfort food”, isn’t there? Certainly if you’ve been neurotically starving yourself, then for the moment best not to worry about the distinction and just eat. However, for other people it’s important to make the distinction.
No matter what the cause of being overweight might be, being overweight can, in itself, be a source of stress. Fair or NOT, like it or NOT, our society, like ALL others, has certain aesthetic customs/standards . I am not arguing that you just become a slave to them, but neither can you completely ignore them. Let’s face it, if you become fat, you are less likely to find people who find you physically attractive. Now if you can deal with that fine. If you want to start a campaign to abolish “fat-haters”, fine. If you think you can isolate yourself from the “They” by repeating those affirmations you got from the back of some book printed in Marin County, fine. Otherwise, you are probably going to get stressed out by the gaze of others who consider you “fat”. On here, you can be strut and be brave and declare that the world is fucked up. It’s called computer screen bravado, but how are you out there in the Meat World?
Don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger. But how are you going to deal with it? How are you going to find the sweet spot between “being yourself” and “being a social being” who has to deal with the opinions of the world? After all, even if you can afford one of those biofeedback monitors from HeartMath, sooner or later you are going to get bored of looking at the undulations on the computer screen and go out in the world.
“Computer screen bravado” is an amazing phrase. I’m filing that away in my mental files for future use.
Matt, during what phase of 180 were you doing RRARF yourself? Just curious when you “discovered” it in your journey. Did your own experience match the Ancel Key’s re-feeding gain-and-then-loss curve?
Have you ever considered doing a timeline of the various phases and experiments described here? It could include both specific experiments, dates approx when you read influential authors, and — importantly — when you changed your mind on certain ideas (e.g., on sugar). Without reading the archives in order, it’s hard to get a sense of the evolution, which has been kind of epic.
I think you’re a great writer and a great “quest-er” with a fantastic zeal for knowledge. Your investigation has a real narrative arc, and that storyline could be highlighted with either a “long view” history post, or a visual-type timeline, with links to key “turning point” posts.
Anyway, just a thought! I’m a new reader here and enjoying the ideas in & info tremendously.
I know that fighting to be thin by dieting was the very thing that made me overweight. I’ve read this quote that really makes sense to me: “the things you resist persist”.
Yes, re-feeding is a difficult 180 degree turn from starving yourself- and it takes a lot of bravery to follow this path. For people who are already overweight, the fear of getting fatter, and “what if this doesn’t work??” is enough to give people fits and starts in the process.
And, if they are still so stressed, not only with the process of re-feeding, but haven’t solved other stressful situations in their lives, there’s no guarantee that the re-feeding alone will work. So they’ll be more overweight, and more stressed!
For many people, feeling stressed takes away the appetite; for others, they binge on comfort food. So dealing with the stress is going to be an ongoing necessary process. This isn’t just about physical beauty and being accepted by society, but accepting yourself.
For some, this process may not work… and they MUST get to a point where they accept the things they cannot change, and stop beating themselves up. I believe, at that point is where an actual shift can be achieved.
And yes, practicing coherence with HeartMath has shown to help, as well as EFT Tapping.
There was this really hot guy who managed a Perkins in my town. Me and all the gals wanted to date him extra bad. But we were too thin. Even the moderately overweight waitress was too thin. Dude liked ’em big. We were all shocked. But I learned a valuable lesson: Everyone is appreciated by someone. Sure, it’s easier to fight to fit yourself into a mold of general acceptability. You get less weird looks, more overtures from the generally acceptable members of society, nods of approval all around. But how much cooler would it be to find the folks who actually like what comes naturally to you? How much more authentic would those relationships be?
I think computer screen bravado is doing a great thing if it shows people that they aren’t alone and trickles into their real life attitudes. The fact that so many people act this way online proves the sentiments are out there. What is or is not acceptable is entirely moldable by the population. For instance, I never thought I’d live to see the day that floral print stretch pants came back in fashion. If you wore them ten years ago you’d get made fun of mercilessly. But today? Hot shit. Wear ’em to yoga. Get down with your spandex self. Anything can be acceptable if can reach critical mass. Also, with the internet you can see all the niches of people who aren’t so obvious in daily life where the majority rules. That can be bolstering to everyone. I think we’re seeing a real shift in ideas of body image acceptability, due in large part to the internet.
I’m patiently awaiting the acceptability of Speedo’s to migrate over from Europe. It’s my dream to kick it in one of those things in public without drawing attention to myself for doing so.
I think you should be the change you want to see in the world, friend. And post pics.
I totally love men in Speedo’s. Especially chubby, hairy men with a great sense of humour and a great smile. I’m breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it. That is my computer screen bravado for today.
Wow, I’m pretty much your dream guy. I could stand to be a little more hairy though. But I got a little fur.
I’m in love :) ‘m definitely chubby and hairy, my friends nd co-workers always remark on my great smile and sense of humor…just don’t know how I look in a speedo though.
Very cool very true. But I’m so tired of trying so hard. I do believe it’s a metabolism thing. How do I deal w that. ???? anyone ever had luck with cool sculpting?
Dr. Midnight- you are correct- Dealing with the stress, by doing stress relief is still allowing the stress to have an effect. Dialing down the level, so that you don’t allow small stuff to stress you is better. Developing resilience to stressors is the best way to deal with stress and its effect on your mind/emotions and body.
Yes, the last thing a stressed person needs is to get fat. Talk about adding stress on top of stress!
everyone together: “it’s not will power”
I am currently in the negative feedback loop of bad health and stress. I have very bad psoriasis so unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I have a very immediate feedback with which to monitor stress and poor eating. I have tried many restrictive diets, sugar free, paleo, etc. Usually I had some amount success . With paleo I had a lot of success at first as well as lost weight. After a while of the routine grind and stresses of everyday life I would start to slack and notice my psoriasis get worse then I would stress about it then eat worse repeating the cycle. I had started to get cold all the time. I developed clammy hands and feet as well as very low body temps and other related low metabolism problems that I won’t get into. Around Dec. I kind of just let go and slowly started building my way up to eating normally again. I definitely believe that stress eating is started to take over ever since I gave up trying to really restrict my diet. As Thomas said there is a fine line between re-feeding and stuffing your self with comfort food. Unfortunately I think I’ve crossed over that line and my condition is worse than it’s ever been. I feel like until I manage the stress of this illness I’ll never be able to manage the eating properly part.
First, your awareness of what’s going on is the first step towards fixing the problem. Here’s what I suggest you do: use the time that you are eating as Mindful stress relief. Turn off any distracting electronics, books, conversation, and be with the food. Focus on the taste, everything about it… Slow down, monitor how fast you are chewing. Only eat things you enjoy. You will find this break from “normal” eating can be the perfect way to “have your cake and eat it”. It will be incredibly relaxing and restorative. (no eating in the car either!). And you’ll start “feeling” full, and what your body is telling you about when you’ve had enough, or when you really want more to eat. This works- I promise!
Lianda- that is wonderful advice.
That is precisely the place I am trying to get back to. Sometimes I feel like my psoriasis is here to teach me self acceptance , mindfulness and patience. Other times I just wish it was over with.
I believe that most of us that found our way to this site fell into the the diet fundamentalism trap either through a desire to lose weight or due to health issues that were promised to be cured if we just ate in a certain way. In regards to weight I feel like it may be slightly easier to deal with an extra twenty pounds in the process of metabolism repair. In regards to health issues I feel like it’s a little more difficult to remain calm while painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms flare up. I do believe that there are some foods I need to avoid more often than not but I had gotten to the point where I was so afraid of eating the wrong thing that one slip up would cause me undue stress. I would like to hear from anyone out there who feels like they dieted for inflammatory diseases or other types of health reasons and how there journey through ” re-feeding” has gone.
Hi Jeff, I started my perfect diet experiments when I was 15 or 16 because I was trying to cure the terrible eczema I had had since the age of 14. My father died when I was 14, but both of my older brothers also have eczema, so it’s hereditary as well as potentially stress related. I started out with eliminating dairy and wheat for a while and then got into natural hygiene when I was 18, quickly pared that down to veganism for four years and got pretty close to fruitarian with a few weeks as a strict raw foodist. There was a period of macrobiotic vegan during that 4 year time and anti-candida diets as well. I then ditched the veganism and got into paleo, did juice fasts and water fasts periodically throughout all the other diets, did low carb or no grain diets for a while and eventually settled on a fairly relaxed WAPF approach. At the age of 37 my eczema was almost completely gone (it gradually improved over the years and by the time I was 34 I hardly ever had a flare up and when I did it was pretty minor) but I was infertile, lethargic, thin-haired, cold, and considering doing GAPS when I stumbled upon this site. After reading a bunch here it finally dawned on me that maybe being so bored with food and metabolically suppressed and orthorexic that I generally only ate 1 or 2 meals a day might have something to do with my infertility, so I’ve been refeeding since December. I have definitely been itchier and rashier since I started consistently eating throughout the day. I even worried that the only reason my eczema went away before was because my metabolism was too weak and low to mount an autoimmune attack, and now that I was fueling it the eczema was coming back. But I’m starting to see improvements in other areas, no pregnancy yet, but my lower back pain is getting better, hair is getting fuller and stronger and I’m never cold any more! I suspect that the two things that helped the most in the past with the eczema is cod liver oil (I don’t take it regularly, but a capsule or two when I start feeling really itchy seems to help) and I can get raw milk nearby so I don’t really buy pasteurized milk. However I do drink coffee from restaurants and eat store-bought ice cream, butter, sour cream, cheese and yogurt and buy heavy cream so it’s not like I make a lot of effort to avoid conventional dairy products now. I wish I knew the answer to the eczema and psoriasis problem. One of my older brothers has been using topical steroids for decades and his eczema is still very bad and his skin is now so thin that he has even more problems. It really breaks my heart. I’m pretty sure I eat more saturated fat than my brothers, for about a decade I’ve been extremely liberal with butter and try to work coconut oil into my cooking pretty often as well. Possibly that has something to do with my skin being better, I don’t know. Some of the folks here were kind enough to point me in the direction of youreatopia.com and I’ve been learning so much there. Refeeding seems to bring out a lot of odd symptoms among people that often clear up if they just keep powering through so it’s possible that your psoriasis might not actually be a sign that you’re eating the “wrong” foods or that you are on the wrong track. The difficulty with psoriasis and eczema is that it usually isn’t like an allergic reaction like hives immediately after touching or ingesting something. I’ve found over the years there seems to be little rhyme or reason to it and it’s impossible for me to pinpoint specific causes or catalysts, especially dietary ones.
Thank you for your reply. I am in the process of getting over my fear of foods. I think I have done more damage trying to fix the problem through drastic dietary measures than if I had just had a more chill attitude and ate three square meals a day. I am starting to feel like the wisdom of our ancestors was correct.. And by ancestors I don’t mean some short lived cave man. I think eating the old fashioned style balanced home cooked meal with starch, protein, and vegetable may truly be the way to go. That and a much better out look on life. I’m plugging away one day at a time. I don’t expect any easy answers anymore. Good luck with getting pregnant and may we all achieve more of a natural balance on this sometimes pesky business of properly nourishing ourselves.
matt help, when i eat icecream it makes me cold! will this improve over time
I want to know too! Seems like it dilutes my salts?
Reading the comments here, I think it deserves saying that re-feeding in and of itself will *not* solve problems. It will solve problems if your body has been in starvation mode. If you suffer from low metabolism it might solve the problem, but only if the low metabolism is due to undereating and/or restrictions of food groups. Otherwise, you are likely to just gain weight and still be stuck with the same old issues. There are a lot of people in the US who eat whatever they want in large quantities are not only overweight but unhealthy. There are many causes of metabolic issues, such as stress, lack of sleep, trauma, poor lifestyle choices, sedentary life, poor diet, illness, etc., etc. It is really worthwhile to address the other stuff before launching into a re-feed, unless you came here with health issues that are specifically caused by dieting hell/eating disorders/over-training, in which case, yes, a re-feed will likely help. And even then, you probably still need to address the other issues.
I think this applies to me. I have been doing eat for heat & diet rec 2 and sort of refeeding. but i don’t sleep well. I was hoping all of this would help me sleep better so I can raise my metabolism. Now I feel like I have to find a way to sleep better before I can raise it. This issue was discussed on a previous post. Honestly, I feel like I somehow programmed myself to wake up the same times every night. Then I lie there stressing over it & wondering how long it will take to fall back asleep. I have tried a lot of things that have no effect. I have tried magnesium, but I don’t feel any different. I try other suggestions before going to bed that don’t work. My family has said I need to shut my brain off. How do you do that? I can’t believe my body still thinks it’s in starvation mode. And I definitely need to go outside and get some sun. Without sun I get depressed. In fact, I never look forward to winter.
I have used Niacin to get back to sleep after waking up with a racing mind. I got the idea from Dharma Singh Khalsa’s book Brain Longevity. Niacin gets turned into GABA a calming neurotransmitter. I would take 400 mg. of ordinary Niacin. Niacin causes the release of Histamine from storage. The histamine will cause hot, red itchy skin for half an hour, after this you should fall asleep. I have found that 100 mg. of niacin can change a heavy nasal allergy into a skin inflammation. Now days GABA is sold in health food stores. I would worry that taking GABA would reduce natural production of GABA. With the exception of Time Release Niacin, Niacin has not been found to be toxic. Adelle Davis a 60/s 70’s nutritionist was worried about an excess of one B Vitamin causing a shortage of another B Vitamin. Modern nutritionists generally ignore this concern. Pearson and Shaw’s Book Life Extension says niacin can improve orgasms.
I started the Paleo diet 6 years ago due to moderate acne, which was very emotionally traumatizing. I also had psoriasis as well. About 1.5 years into strict dietary manipulation I was able to completely clear my skin, which was an amazing feeling. Unfortunalty along the way menstrual cycles stopped, I lost an extreme amount of weight(86lbs@5’3″), and most of my hormones tanked. I felt horrible, and after 4 years on Paleo decided to start to refeed Matt Stone style. I went crazy and gained 100 lbs over the course of 2 years. I’ve somewhat started to level out at 180 lbs. My temps are up, but now I have to deal with the horrible confidence destroying excess weight. It has literally crippled me socially. I do not leave my apartment, and haven’t for 2 months. I kind of just ended up in the same position 6 years later, potentially worse : / I’m literally in the worse depression I have ever experienced. I think the stress from being overweight is actually worse then underfeeding my body.
That’s a serious positive feedback loop there, as staying in your apartment all day will cause depression, and cause you to see the negative of every situation and dwell on it. No matter how happy I’ve been in life, even a single day without going outdoors is enough for feelings of depression to set in before nightfall.
I think you should get out and start exercising immediately. It should be the first thing you do every day other than perhaps grab a snack – just to make sure you start your day outdoors before indoor rigormortis sets in. Just make sure that whatever you do is not extreme, unsustainable, or drops your temps substantially. You don’t need to lose that much weight to look great either. A woman in good physical condition doing some strength training should be quite lean at about 140-150 pounds at your height.
I really feel for you. I was paleo for a couple months during my ED and as soon as I started to recover and eat I gained quite a bit of weight. I didn’t want to leave my apartment either. Matt is right, you HAVE to get out, no matter how hard it is. Even though I felt like a disgusting blob, I made myself ride my bike sometimes, visit family, etc. Do you have any good friends close by? I realized that my friends, who knew what I was going through, did not care at all how big I was. I’d also recommend buying new flattering clothes. I got rid of all my clothes that didn’t fit and bought some new ones. It gets better, I promise.
Look into the T-Tapp exercise program. It is a rehabilitative type of exercise that can help you lose inches and eventually weight. But the bottom line of doing it is that it makes you feel really good. I heard about T-Tapp from someone else’s comment on this site.
I feel your pain. I almost completely cleared my psoriasis last year by fasting. Then I got it back bad when eating normal again. then I cleared it back up halfway on paleo. For a lot of psoriasis sufferers it seems like diet plays some sort of role even though most derms claim that it doesn’t . Unfortunately a lot of these diets cause other problems as you have found out. They are simply unsustainable. I think Matt is right and getting out and exercising is a good way to boost metabolism and get some of those hormones flowing. I know how hard it can be. I’m in the midst of my own social anxiety, physical depression episode where I’ve kept myself stuck in the house for awhile. I gonna try to shake this off eat some balanced meals and continue to work on accepting my condition and working on my stress .. I hope you can do the same. You are not alone. I think the bottom line is that there probably is no way to permanently clear psoriasis through diet. I also feel like my recent eating binge has been due to restricting all of my favorite foods for so long. It’s like I’m trying to make up for lost time.
I think restrictive diets will give anyone temporary relief from most inflammatory conditions. That big spike in cortisol will do that, followed by ruining you.
So true. That’s why I have also stayed away from the meds. The corticosteroids give temporary relief and cause big time permanent problems. And I won’t even consider the biological drugs that suppress the immune system or chemo drugs like methotrexate that ruin the liver. I thought dietary measures would be a much safer way to “cure” my situation but as you pointed out extreme dietary measures jack your hormone levels around which can seem like temporary relief at times but leave you worse off in the end.
I know it’s kind of a given right? I didn’t mention the chronic insomnia. I get very little sleep so I’m usually so exhausted. My hormones are beyond messed up. Thanks paleo diet :) Thanks for the reminder of needing to move though. Once upon a time I was a very healthy girl who ate what she damn well pleased, worked out daily by choice, and slept soundly every night.
Oh, I forgot to mention – when I was a teenager and had terrible eczema I didn’t have acne. When I started all of the restrictive diets I noticed improvement in the eczema right away, especially from the most extreme fasts, but I developed acne that I’ve had ever since. The only thing that ever seemed to help with the acne is large doses of B vitamins, not restricting.
Yes extreme fasting can clear me right up. Last year I did twelve straight days without food. Definitely not sustainable though and there is nothing like sitting outside in July wrapped in a blanket because you are freezing ; )
That summarizes exactly the desired effect of all this babble of mine. Most people, when trying to get healthy, don’t eat much, have no energy because of it, and can’t sleep well. Hard to get the fitness, health, and body comp advantages of being a fit and trained individual when you don’t start with the foundation of fuel. But if you do fuel up, the rest has a tendency to fall into place.
Another thing that vanished when I was eating grain & dairy-free for about 6 months: My ambition, vocationally & creatively. Partly due to the enormous time sink of “hunting and gathering” the acceptable foods. But mostly, I think that I was just too tired & hungry … ambition is a higher-order activity, an activity of *civilization*. Gotta eat civilized foods to enjoy it, at least for me. My new jokey-not-really motto is “carbs make my life worth living.”
Refeeding is a good trick, but one that got to be done rightly. And since “right” tend to be different
from one to another , it all comes to self experimentation. But growing ass to some
major proportion isn’t what i call fun to watch.
Now, refeeding is the only realizable concept to annihilate cravings. And cravings are what i
call hell. Hell full of good intentions and terrible results.
I , personally have arrived to the conclusion that what makes me gain weight beside overeating is hunger and let say that craving is the capricious little sister of hunger.
I did refeed for half year. Got 8 kg pure fat. Lost cravings. Now i am losing the fat.
Half a way trough, without cravings return.
If i want to eat something like my daughter birthday strawberry cake yesterday i do, and if i want a second i do too;
I eat enough, good food, often restaurants cause i live in Paris and right now there is revival of small and sexy bistros, brasseries and such with new young chiefs that are full with ideas and aren’t greedy.. , do some sport, a bit of the potato stuff which finally worked for me..
I will get there soon ,one day or maybe never, yet the liberty and absence of tunnel thinking where food is concerned are bringing me back to my childhood love and pleasure of eating.
Which is kind of great.
Elina, Val, Jeff and others who deal with the difficulty in turning off to on switch-
It sounds like you are depending upon “will power”. From the Ancel Keys studies on starvation (see Matt’s articles), you’ll see that you’re fighting your brain. But luckily, there are terrific aids for this in Energy Psychology- EFT Tapping, and other techniques that you can self-administer to deal with cravings, binging, and negative self-judgment. You don’t have to suffer. Contact me in the link at the of end of the article for a complimentary strategy session, and you’ll see that there ARE fixes for these challenges.
Val and Jeff, have you tried homeopathy or Chinese medicine for your psoriasis/eczema issues? It can be due to internal issues. While diet may be a temporary fix, you’ll probably need to get to the root of the problem.
I have not tried homeopathy and only a very short stint with an acupuncturist. I have recently gone to a nutritionist who did food allergy testing and gave me herbal adrenal modulators. He wants me to go on a candida protocol that is stricter than anything I have ever done before because now there is a big list of allergy restrictions. Soon he wants me to take herbal anti fungals. I have been down this candida road before and I swear the antifungals like candibactin just tear your gut and intestines up. Therefore I want to put a stop to the madness. I decided to not follow this diet and I have stopped the herbal adrenal pills( which I feel we’re just making my p worse). I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t bear the thought of months or years on another restrictive diet. I think that’s why when I finally let go and gave up I’ve been on somewhat of a binge. I’m hoping it plays itself out. At the moment I am just completely frustrated with every natural doctor, normal doctor, website etc. that I have thrown money at trying to get better. I also think that it’s quite convenient for some of these people that ” candida” can’t really be tested for. There’s no way to prove you have it other than symptoms and if you don’t get better its your fault for eating a brownie three months into your candida diet.
Yeah, I hear you. Candida diets are probably the source of much diet pain, and I can understand your frustration with health practitioners. Sometimes it does help just to give it all up and do your own thing. If it makes you feel any better, the homeopathic view of skin conditions like eczema is that they’re actually pretty benign health-wise, and a healthy way for your body to express/detox inner imbalances. It’s only when you suppress them that health issues occur. The way to heal the skin conditions is to strengthen the inner health of the body, so it no longer expresses the eczema, etc. I would say this outlook is pretty accurate, and there are many ways to improve your inner health.
I worked at a hardcore indie health food store for 5 years. In that time I tried homeopathy, gobs of every vitamin you can imagine because we were loaded with samples, herbs, acupuncture, meditation, every variation of diet, cleansing, fasting, chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, read every book in our book section(100’s), used every cream, practiced EFT, astrology, stones, gems, practiced the “universal law”, religiously adhered to a sleep and wake time, and above all else was unnaturally strict about my eating, like nothing anyone had ever seen. It’s fair to say I’ve pretty much tried it all. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/839/ikrv.jpg/. Check me out in the height of my “crazy”. I weigh like 90 lbs and look at what I’m eating! This is actually classic, because I was traveling in Paris and insisted on eating all my own food. In friggin’ Paris! I cut off all my hair, and stopped wearing makeup, because I was so detached, and didn’t want anyone to find me attractive anymore.
Wow. Even with the short hair your are very attractive. Way to skinny in that pic but nonetheless very attractive. It’s amazing what a poor self image will do to us. What pain and suffering we will put ourselves through. I may not be ( insert favorite Hollywood hunk here) but I know that I am not a bad looking guy. Yet back when my psoriasis wasn’t even half this bad I would feel like everybody knew and thought I was some horrible monster. Back then I was probably the only one that knew it was there most of the time. I don’t think other people ever paid much attention to it and all of my friends and family accepted me for who I was yet I felt as if I were some kind of freak. Now with it twice as bad and now all over my hands etc. where I have to explain myself everywhere I go I wish I only had it like I did back then. Some how though I know my only way forward is to gain that self acceptance and release my anxieties so I can get back on the path of diet sanity. I’m sure even at 180 your still very attractive and still have that wonderful smile and are still loved by family and friends. I feel if you can come to a level of self acceptance and a better self image you’ll be able to slowly and sanely reach a good weight. Like Matt said 140 or 150 is a very respectable weight for a fit and healthy and most importantly happy person of your height. Good luck.
i think it’s important to be consistent with your eating. eating not enough one day then enough the next is of course gonna cause weight gain. i’m sick of people trying to trick their bodies reallyt we need consistant energy day in and day out. dont underestimate the importance of fresh food from supermarket. who knows what they put in fast food rancid oils and all sorts. i get my extra calories from icecream milkshakes with extra cream added and i feel amazing! i honestly don’t have the apetite to eat plates of food so i juust get ithe calories in my milkshakes. if you think apetite is the best way to get enough food then thats a bit wrong beause i can eat a plate of broccoli and be full for ages. for me i have to sneak the calories in with high density calories
This is what I struggle with, some days I eat too little and think that it’s okay, “I’ll eat it back tomorrow”. But I keep gaining and gaining! I struggle with low appetite and skipping meals makes it so much worse.
I had really bad eczema in high school and am seeing a new flare-up now, which responds to lavender essential oil and coconut oil. I know it’s not the same as psoriasis, but maybe it will help. I put the lavender on as soon as I get out of the shower and the coconut oil a minute or two after that. I don’t recommend putting lavender oil anywhere near your eyes, for obvious reasons, but the coconut oil can go pretty much everywhere in whatever quantities are comfortable.
I’m still itchy but it really helps sooth my skin and keeps the serious itchiness as bay for almost an entire day, plus they have anti fungal properties so you won’t be risking infection and it might give your skin time to bounce back. Comfrey might help as well- you just simmer the leaves in water until it’s dark greenish and soak your skin in it. You could make a comfrey tea spray with lavender oil in it to use throughout the day.
Stress is a huge trigger for my skin, as is diet. I have reason to believe that this recent flare up is due to last year’s dieting and overworking at crazy lengths, and now that the school year is over, it’s time to just let it all out, so to speak. Sleep has been helping a lot too.
Anyway, I hope this helps and it’s not repetitive advice.
Thank you. I do use coconut oil and it does help at least moisturize my skin. Unfortunately I’m haveing my worst flare up ever and not even things that helped in the past are helping such as sunlight. As you pointed out stress is a big trigger. The stress of the illness kind of creates a big feedback loop that feeds on itself as the condition gets worse. I believe that and years of restrictive diets have also led to adreanal burnout and poor metabolism which just feeds into the stress loop. I am in the process of trying to pull up out of this downward spiral. It’ll be a tough battle but there is no other real choice but to put one foot in front of the other. That’s why at this point I value all advice and insights that people can give me. Again thank you and good luck at keeping that stress at bay.
This message is directed to you. I just wanted to say that I can sort of relate to your post. I say sort of, because though I’ve been through some similarities in my path, everyone’s experience is so different. I don’t want this post to sound self-indulgent, but I thought perhaps my experience could help you relate and offer you some hope.
I also started playing around with my diet to heal a minor health issue, but at the time was driving me crazy. I had launched off a desire to control my diet that would follow me for a few years even though I ended up curing the issue with a grand-ma trick. Fast-forward a few years later I was too skinny, always passing out, not able to concentrate, paranoid, freezing, horrible digestion, just to name a few. Then, I came across this blog. I started eating more and started feeling better, but still had health issues and a tendency to be depressed. At some point, I decided to do the re-feeding. And with the same vigour that I starved myself, I ate as much as I physically could. It was uncomfortable, but I think at the time I was still not thinking clearly and was still in self-punishment mode. I definitely don’t think it’s an issue with Matt’s method, but my interpretation of it in a semi-starved body and screwed of sense of self.
I kept that up for a while, gaining a total of about 80 lbs from my lowest weight. It was traumatizing to say the least. When all of your life, you are used to an athletic body and all of a sudden, you are on the high end of the BMI scale trying to explain to your perplexe doctor at your yearly appointment what happened is really hard on your sense of identity. The first summer, I literally hid. But then, I had to go to work. I trucked through with a really low self-esteem. My entire personality changed from outgoing, extremely sociable to quiet, shy. At times, I did force myself to go out with friends, but the dread of bumping into people I knew who didn’t know what happened was intense and made me very uncomfortable.
BUT, over the course of a few months, I started to miss my friends, and my depression was in part due to my longing of social interactions. Telling them about it made me feel so much better and accepted. And slowly, things started to get better. Another big bonus was that I was forced to move around for work. It helped immensely. When I isolated myself, I was so depressed. But I can’t emphasize how hard it was emotionally…something about totally losing a stable sense of image and physical identity in our day and age. I realized that new people I met had no problem with my weight. They treated me with kindness, respect, and I started to allow* myself to be more like the old me, in a different body :P. It took months to develop the skill of stopping holding back, and it’s still a work in progress, but it was working.
As I started to have more and more courage to get out, trying hard to focus on my experience rather than what people might think, things started to fall into place. I started eating in a way that was better for my body: eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full. I was ready for that. I had also stopped all exercise for a while, and decided I was going to start that up again. In a way, I had always loved to move. I exercised here and there, usually for very short periods of time (it felt VERY difficult at the beginning, I was extremely winded after about 20 secs of exertion) and kind of sporadically. No going to the gym everyday and training for half-marathons here. More like a gentle walk here and there, a bike ride here and there, and some weights here and there. Over the course of a few months, my fitness level started to get better.
And so forth goes time and I realized last week as I weighed myself that I lost over 30 pounds without realizing how I did it. I still ate baked goods from the local bakery sometimes every day. The thing is, I don’t need to lose all the weight I gained. At this point, I’m about 155lbs. I also started near you, my highest being 189 lbs. Considering I’ve been much leaner all my life, it still feels quite curvaceous, but I truly think that a weight of 140-145 would be great for me and I’m certain I can get there by keeping up what I was doing. I mean, my new boobs are taking up some of that weight now and I realized that I like the curves!
I think a turning point in my weight was that ocasional exercise. It was little, but I think that once you start moving around, your body does sense a need to adapt, as it is designed to do. I highly encourage you to keep eating in a way that feels good and supports your needs, and do some moving. It doesn’t matter what or where but over time, I can promise you will feel much better.
I personally had a mini-relapse for a month due to another health issue that I thought I could manage with diet (ugh, brain programming), which did not even amount to a significant weight loss. If I forgot to mention it, up to this point, I was feeling fantastic in terms of energy and even getting there with body confidence. At this point, restriction is not working. I am working on eating enough again. Without that, I don’t have energy to exercise. Exercising when you’re well nourished is so pleasant.
I hope my slice of life can give you hope that things will get better from here. For some reason, I am sure things will eventually fall into place for you :). You’re a beautiful woman and you deserve to live fully. A facebook group that really helped me was Eating the Food. You can look it up. It is an awesome group that supports each other in eating enough to fuel exercise and fosters a very safe place for positive body image, no matter the size. I’d be willing to chat as well if you’d like. Best xoxo
Also, Matt, you might not have time to read my novel-sized post here above lol, but we’ve talked in the past on the phone twice. First was when I needed help re-feeding, then, when I was worried about the weight, about 9 months ago. You had predicted that in about a year of ‘eat hard, play hard’, I might find myself at about 145-150 lbs from my weight of 185 lbs after re-feeding. Well, you were almost freakishly exact, as 9 months later, I’m at 155lbs. Regaining my fitness is still a work in progress, but at this point, I see no reason it is not a possibility to get my fitness back 100% in time.
Commendable patience! Glad to hear you are doing well and have successfully completed the process full circle. You are one of the few that have had the cajones to see it through to completion.
Wow Lucie it does sound as if you know EXACTLY what I’m going through. In our society so much weight(no pun intended) is placed on a woman’s looks, and it IS especially hard to have the excess weight when you’ve spent your whole life being athletic without weight problems. I feel like I’m paying for some horrible crime which I didn’t even commit! I appreciate your support and would love to chat if you ever have some time. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to everyone on here for words of encouragement.
Hi Val, I’m glad you saw my message. You are absolutely right, it’s very problematic in my opinion the fact that women (and men) feel so much pressure surrounding the way they look. This experience definitely opened my eyes and increased my ability to be more compassionate towards all kinds of different people. I’ll send you an email right now! Let me know on here if you didn’t receive anything!
Your team in the Get Help section (and the simple fact that it’s there) is the most progressive and promising thing I’ve seen in the world of health. The expansion of 180 Degree Health was a bold but overall excellent choice.