Frustrated with Food

Lately, my yoga is amazing. I feel fantastic. I sleep through the night (this is HUGE, I have been running on 2-4 hours of sleep/day for the past 10 years). I can focus at work. And I eat food.

I feel like I eat a ton of food.

But I don’t think I’m doing it right. When I was super underweight, I drank the mass gainer shakes with a goal of 1200 net calories/day calculated by some iPhone app to gain. And gain I did! I put on tons of weight really fast, and reached “normal”. So, I used the same app and recalculated my goal to maintain… And it came up with 1200 calories, again! Just to see, I recalculated for weight loss… You guessed it, still 1200! Obviously, this is impossible, so I looked up some formulas on line, and did the math myself, adjusted the daily goal to 1000, and have stayed the same weight all week. But, I end up eating hollow, pointless, junk food just for numbers, and then feel crappy. Or I forget the goal and stop when I’m done. Then, I feel like I’m failing at normal, because normal people eat enough, and don’t accidentally starve themselves. At the same time, I’m also failing at anorexia, because I’m normal.

So. I adjusted the goal again, to 800, thinking that it’d give me enough calories to fuel my yoga, as well as feeling less overwhelming.

Today, I thought I had a pretty awesome food day. I are a big spinach salad with lots of beans and veggies with some Green Machine and a tangerine for breakfast. Protein shake with almond butter for a snack. Sandwich with peanut butter, spinach and dark chocolate chips for lunch. Then chocolate milk, more of the same salad I had for breakfast and an orange for dinner.

That’s a solid effort, from the girl who hates food… And even calculating at 800. All that leaves me 340.

Eating doesn’t seem this complicated for other people. I wish I knew how to do it 😦

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6 thoughts on “Frustrated with Food

  1. Perhaps… see if you’ve been eating any processed junk foods, then basically stop eating those and replace them with lots of high protein/fibre/water combination meals, or snacks that bulk up on the carbs and proteins naturally, without relying on the junk that you probably have the greatest aversions to…??

    I find also that it has helped me personally to have a set of go-to snacks that serve whatever purpose I want them to.

    Because my present efforts are for muscle gain and fat reduction, I have been creating my own trail bars, loaded up with various nuts/seeds, dates, honey, etc. I make a big one and then cut of bits to munch on whenever the urge takes me. I stopped counting the calories because I figured I’d burn off excess fat and gain muscle regardless of the numbers, provided I was eating plenty, and feeling satisfied after I’d eaten.

    I your case however, I’m not certain what satisfies you nutritionally in terms of quantities and substances. I am assuming that if you find a good balance of nutritious foods, it will work the same for you in reverse as it does for me, but the real issue for you is how to add bulk without getting bulky. I’m guessing that building good lean muscle would be the way to do it, and that will be made easier or harder for you based on what your own personal dietary choices and requirements.

    Have you thought of giving the SANE/Paleo dietary approaches a try (adjusted to suit your own needs of course)??

    • I’m not allowed to decide to limit my diet right now. I can stay veg because I have been forever. But vegan and paleo and juice diets and anything else I can think of are strictly off the table until I get better at just eating, without those kinds of constraints.

      • This answer right here is evidence that you are doing things correctly. As a formerly eating disordered person, it makes me cringe when I hear about people doing these crazy restrictive diets (and, yeah, eliminating all grains a la paleo is unnecessary for most of us), because to me it smacks of an eating disorder in disguise. It’s just trading in one neurosis for another. Good for you for being totally sane about recovery. (As an aside, and this may not work for everyone, but in order to get better, I had to totally forget calories and just relearn to eat. I have very little idea how many I consume in a given day. I mean, it’s more than 1000 and less than 5000, but a narrower range I could not honestly give.)

      • Thank you! I get so confused, and don’t understand what ok and not ok, atypical but acceptable, not ever acceptable. Really, until October, I didn’t even know there was anything wrong, or dangerous with the way I ate. Then, a friend was like “hey, you should talk to someone about this…” So I did, expecting to be laughed at. Never in a million years would I have considered myself anorexic, until right then.

  2. Are you talking about consuming 1000 calories a day (for example)? I probably consumer around 2000 a day, but I am also 5’8″ tall. I likely sometimes take in more. I just know I couldn’t function properly on less than 1500.

    You’re not failing. You’re learning. I am also on a diet learning curve right now, and sometimes I find what I thought would be enough food wasn’t. I like to take things slowly. Maybe you could start by focusing on one meal a day – dinner? – and put your efforts into doing that really well. Once you get that under control you could branch out to lunch. Then if you breakfasts or lunches are maybe a bit too processed, that might be ok for now. I don’t think we can do everything all at once. But I do think a bunch of little steps add up over time to make big, positive changes.

    • I’m little, without being anorexic, just 5 feet tall. Plus, 1000 net is a big change from 200 total. The net is like food plus (minus?) yoga. So more yoga = more food. I don’t like breakfast food, at. all. I usually eat the same thing for breakfast and dinner usually spinach with beans, veggies and citrus. Then, whatever I’m short I compensate with nut or seed butters. I need to stop that. It’s not a good habit! Today, I moved all if the hard from my desk out to my locker, so it’s not as easy to decide just to have almond butter instead of good fuel.

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