The D Word

It’s Friday the 13th and tonight I’ve got the D word on my mind. That’s right: Diet. Today at work I was talking to a colleague who gave me a sample of her carb-free pancakes (bananas, almond butter, and eggs…delicious!) and told me about something called The Paleo Diet, which I had heard of in the past year. I listened with rapt attention, genuinely curious about the diet in which one tries to eat like our ancient ancestors did: whole foods like fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Few, if any, dairy or cereal grains like wheat and corn and no processed foods. My co-worker talked about the benefits she has experienced from adopting this diet (it seems more like a total nutrition makeover) and I told her, quite frankly, that I don’t like the word “diet” and that any food plan that requires me to avoid certain foods worries me, since I once had a long list of “forbidden foods”. They were so troubling to me and such a huge part of my binge cycle that I chronicled them in my book.

For some reason, though, I’ve been thinking about the D word, and The Paleo Diet in particular, all day. I went to the gym after work and was then craving (no doubt influenced by my co-worker’s pancakes) a peanut butter, banana, soy milk smoothie, so that’s what I made myself for dinner. It was delicious and wholly satisfying. BUT…this little (familiar and annoying) voice inside me whispered, “On the Paleo Diet you wouldn’t be able to make this smoothie with soy milk”. I ignored the voice and drank my smoothie happily. The voice continued: “You could just try this diet for a few days. Like a challenge. See if you could do it.” I distracted myself by turning on the TV to watch the baseball game. My team was already losing 3-1. The voice persisted: “Seriously. Just buy the book, or at least borrow it from someone and see what it has to say. There’s no harm in learning about it.” I grabbed a cat (I have five to choose from), plopped her in my lap and started petting her while doing my deep breathing exercises. I could feel my anxiety growing. This is supposed to be my night off and my inner critic was trying to take control. It was the last straw when I heard the voice say, “You know, you really shouldn’t have eaten that smoothie. It has so many carbs and calories. You’re gonna get fat.”

THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD IT. I ran upstairs and began sharing this story as soon as I could. I know that writing is my salvation whenever I’m ruminating on something. You’ve heard me talk before about the power of writing. So, I’ve now calmed myself down and am able to be realistic and healthy again. Here are the facts (not what my inner critic would have me believe):

I have gotten to the point where I can tune in to what my body needs and wants, nutritionally. When it craves red meat, I feed it (and mindfully enjoy eating) red meat. When my body craves yogurt or cheese, I feed it yogurt or cheese. When I crave dark chocolate, I feed it dark chocolate. My body daily craves vegetables and fruit and lean proteins. Whenever possible, I listen to my body’s cues. It really doesn’t steer me wrong. And just like tonight, when I felt a real physical satisfaction of my craving (likely for potassium & protein), my body felt at peace. So, I do not need to try a new diet. I am healthy, have good energy levels and I listen to what my body needs. And that is what’s best for me.

Peace, joy, and freedom from the D word,

Megan

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7 thoughts on “The D Word

  1. sexyflexi says:

    Good for you for listening to your body. I follow a modified version of the paleo diet myself… I used to be vegan so there are things like almond milk and tofu that I’m not willing to give up, but I have next to no grains and a LOT of protein (when I follow it…). The only time I find myself off track is if I have an urge to purge and that’s usually when I turn to sugar and carbs.

    • getoutofbedonedayatatime says:

      I wonder if it might be more like your body is craving the sugar and carbs (which I believe it needs in some small quantity) and you behaviorally associate sugar and carbs with purging so you think you’re having an urge to purge. Or maybe it really is an urge to purge. Good for you for not giving up things you enjoy like almond milk and tofu.

  2. Leslie Neshama says:

    Hi dear Megan. Thanks again for your courage. And for your willingness to be open and honest about your life. You touch my life, and I am grateful for You.

    The D word is, for me, toxic.
    Try as a might, it does not work for me.
    So, after many years of struggle, many years of self-negation, I, like yourself, come back to what works for me.
    I feel so strongly that Recovery from B.E.D., is in so many ways about Finding Your Self.
    It is very hard to do that in our society, in our world, especially when you are saddled with eating issues, when what you hear are almost non-stop commercials and ads and people talked Diets.
    I take heart, I take strength, from realizing that diets do not work for me. And I say to Me, “That is okay”.
    What works for me is Mindful Eating.
    Eating when I am hungry.
    Eating what I want.
    Stopping when I am full.
    I do NOT get this “right” every single day. But I go back to it, time and time again, because for me, this is the “ANTI-B.E.D.” way.
    Let me share…..
    Just yesterday, I met a friend who had lost a great deal of weight. My response?? Jealously, and plans to diet….that was my response……

    Megan, I weary of all the torture I put on My Self.
    So, here I am, saying clearly, saying loudly….
    My Journey is My Own.
    My Journey is to Celebrate My Self.
    My Challenges are mine.
    And I do not have to follow any other voices; all the voices of dieting and restricting, and denying – they do not help me, they do not work for me.

    So, I am rallying my forces.
    I am reaching out.
    Let us be who we are.
    Let us Be.

  3. Kathy says:

    Leslie, thank you so much from me also. I have copied and printed your reply. It is so inspirational to me. I will read it often.

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