(Copying this post from my other account.... ) In my previous blog (this is the second blog I'm posting today) I mentioned that even during a crisis, I managed to continue eating according to my elimination diet. This because I knew that if I strayed from the diet, I'd not get any clear outcomes about my food intolerances and all the efforts I made until then would be 'for nothing'.
In august I stopped the elimination diet (after 5 months) because I had gotten the outcomes (and learned that gluten increases my pain complaints and gives me cravings and belly aches, while dairy and cheese have an impact on my mood, also giving me cravings, and peanuts don't seem to agree with me all that well, either... Thankfully SOY turned out to not be a problem for me, LOL).
Since then some of the struggles I have with handling food returned. Again I am very often tempted to overeat (be it not on junkfood or sweets most of the time). The old 'addictive behaviors and thoughts' seem to have returned: eating for reasons other than hunger, such as having strong emotions, habit, boredom, an association between eating and relaxation, and so on.
I've wondered how come I COULD manage to stick to a very strict diet even during a crisis, but cannot stick to a more reasonable / easy eating plan once the elimination diet stopped? And, are there ways in which I can be as good in sticking to my eating goals as I did while on the diet, now that I am done with the elimination phase?
One thing that I realized is that I might swap the argument 'If I go off plan now I will not get the outcomes/results / knowledge about my food intolerances and I'll undo all the efforts I made so far' for:
'If I go off plan now I won't lose weight and won't improve my health (not get the results that being thinner will yield)'. AND I am spinning my wheels gaining and losing the same few pounds (if not gaining), so I am in a way undoing the effect of the GOOD choices I am making, wiping out their effect by overeating at other times.
If I eat too much at night I am wiping out the effects of staying on track during the day.
If I 'spontaneously' choose to have nacho's when we're in a café, or a glass of port, or to eat out when we really weren't going to, I wipe out the outcome of other healthy choices I made, I wipe out weight loss that MIGHT have occured.
I read an article about this on the Judith Beck site, the other day. About a woman saying what I am (wrongly) telling myself often: 'I am not losing weight anyway so it won't matter if I eat this'.
"Actually, I am losing weight, but I keep losing the same two pounds that I gain. Eating extra dessert DOES matter because if I do, I’ll continue to spin my wheels and not make any downward progress. As soon as I get dessert under control, I’ll get to see the scale go down, stay down, and then go down some more."
"I hate feeling at the mercy of my cravings. There’s a false freedom in overeating dessert because all it does is rob me of my freedom from cravings and peace in my head. "
Another thing that comes to my mind is that I know that during the elimination diet, I felt that I was only making this 'extra-ordinary effort' for a few weeks (the diet was supposed to take no more than 6 weeks, but because of the belly aches I kept having, it took longer for me and I ended up doing it for 5 months). I sort of knew that 'it will be over soon'. Probably like people who still believe in 'dieting' tell themselves they only need to 'suffer' for x weeks and then they'll be thin (only to go back to their old ways and regain the weight).
So I am wondering now: can or should I tell myself that I 'only need to make a special efforts for a limited amount of time'? Would that help me to stay on track and push on?
Of course, it's not TRUE that I can just make efforts for a few months, (or more), lose weight and then 'go back' to the way I ate before.
That said, this was not true for doing the elimination diet either. That diet showed me that if I eat gluten (wheat) my footpain returns (and I could not walk for more than 10 minutes, before I cut gluten out). It showed me that dairy is not my friend and influences my mood and gives me cravings. It taught me that my psoriasis spot gets worse if I eat peanuts.
So, while I am no longer cutting out ALL dairy (I have some milk in my cappucino which I drink outside the house once or twice a week and I'll have a small amount of cheese once in a while when I eat out), I am not having it daily any more, the way I used to. I am doing my best to avoid gluten alltogether. And I swapped peanut butter for sunflowerseed butter and other nut butters.
So I did NOT go back to my old ways - only, I did not know that back then. But now that I found out the GREAT benefits of eating in the new way, it's easier to keep on. And, also, now that I've done it for 5 months, it's become easier to eat like this, I found tricks and ways to make this eating style less difficult.
So maybe it'd be the same if I told myself to make the effort to REALLY stay on track, allowing myself to not go off track (not indulge, or a lot less) for say 5 months...?
It might become easier and I might get such great benefits that it'll be easier to keep on?