30 Bananas a Day!

I KEEP FAILING...FEEL HOPELESS & TRAPPED IN OLD HABITS... REALLY NEED ADVICE...

I am so mad/frustrated/disappointed and confused with myself. Yet again, I fell off the wagon after only 1 day of doing this lifestyle 100%. Yesterday I did great. I exercised. Ate all fruit. Drank 3 liters of water. The whole deal.

Yet today, I wake up and go to the gym to do a 4 mile walk/jog and then I come home and eat breakfast of 3 bananas and 20 strawberries...and then a couple hours later...I find myself eating a slice of bread (100 calories) and whole bag of these carmel flavored rice cake chip things (330 calories in 1 bag).

What really frustrates me is that I am not falling off the wagon because of food temptations. I love fruit!! If I could know 100% that I could eat 2500 or more calories of fruit each day and not gain any weight I feel that this lifestyle would be super easy for me. BUT..What hinders me is that I am really afraid of gaining weight and feeling worse about my physical appearance. I am a floppy 5"3 116lb-ish and while I am for sure not overweight I weigh more than I ever have and feel really self conscious. As I have gained 8lbs in the last 6 months. My weight always maintained around 108-110lb while eating 1800-2000 calories of SAD cooked food (1800 calories on days with no exercise and 2000 on days with exercise). 

Right now I feel really self conscious about my body. For many years I restricted my calories and had an eating disorder, while as of today I have not restricted my calories for over a whole year I still have very disordered eating habits (i.e. I feel compeled to count my calories, have to know how many calories are in everything I eat, virtually only eat nutritionally empty and low calorie foods like popcorn so that I can eat a lot of a certain food item and feel that I have eaten a ton of food without taking in too many calories). I will seriously eat 3 large bags of light microwave popcorn and a pint of low calorie ice cream in one sitting on a regular basis. I only feel comfortable eating this much because I will know that total calorie intake was say 1000 calories and as long as I stay within 1800-2000 for the day I am not worried about how it will affect my weight. It it such a gross and horrible behavior and I am so ashamed of it.

On the days where I am really trying to do HCRV 100%, it's like I can get through my workout and breakfast and then !BAM! I am hit with all these fears about gaining weight and people judging my appearance and feeling worse about myself and people not wanting to be my friend because I eat "weirdly" or have gained weight and "let myself go" and then I just crack and eat cooked food for lunch or dinner, foods that I am comfortable with and know their calorie content. 

I also feel that I am addicted to eating my meals while watching television. For many years I have had this horrible habit of feeling like I have to eat my meals while watching mindless crapy on television. For my meals I will eat large amounts of low calorie completely nutritionally empty foods like light buttered popcorn, soy chips, etc. so that I can just sit in front of the TV and zone out while eating these foods that I know the calorie content of so that I won't have to worry about gaining weight. It's this sick cycle that I am in and I just feel really trapped in it. 

I believe I eat this way just to numb myself out from my daily stresses and bordom with my current life situation...I am about to graduate college in early May and I have been stuck for many years in a boring small town, in a college major I am totally uninterested in. I am someone who craves big cities, travel, adventure, art, etc. I have a love of art and fashion design and I have been completely unstimulated in my current studies and environment coupled with the fact that I have felt  unmotivated to purse my interests because of my depression, fatigue, feeling stuck in doing what's comfortable and safe regarding my eating and free time, and having constant fears surrounding my physical appearance, health and low self esteem).

Each day after eating these "safe" but empty foods in front of the TV, I am like tomorrow I will start my HCRV lifestyle!!...and then I get through one day doing it 100% or maybe even just half a day...because, BAM...I am hit with all these fears of weight gain and don't feel the numbing effect and safety of my old calorie counting, TV watching eating habits and so I cave and go back to my old ways.

I feel like a total failure. I know I am hurting my boyfriend and our relationship as well as myself and my health. I don't know why I can't fight through these fears and why the fear of weight gain is so debilitating for me. I see people like Freelee and DR and I feel so motivated but then I convince myself that they are doing more exercise then I have the time for (cycling for hours at a time each day), or it's because they take B12 shots and I can't afford them, and then I just feel lost and hopeless.

Also I struggle to enjoy my exercise. I have never really enjoyed exercise in my life. I have always done it avoid weight gain (while still knowing that it is super good for my health). About a week ago as I have been on and off trying to start this lifestyle I also started jogging/walking but have gotten really sore in my knees and ankles. Exercise is essential for me when I am trying to start this lifestyle as it helps to lessen my fears surrounding weight gain and keep me on track, but when my legs are sore and I know I am hurting myself by trying to jog, it is hard to stay motivated to exercise and then my thoughts seem to spiral into putting off doing 80 10 10 till a later date, because in order for me to try to give up my old habits and hit the fruit 100% I need to exercise. I would get a bicycle and ride outside but it is still cold where I live and I just personally hate being cold and I know I won't exercise on my bike if the weather isn't hot and sunny. 

I am SO SICK AND TIRED of all of this back and forth. I just want to be happy, healthy, fit, and confident. I am sick of starting, messing up, starting again, messing up again. I feel trapped in my safe, yet bad, habits.

I know I have shared a lot of really intense and disordered feelings and thoughts surrounding body image and food. Thank you for reading what I wrote. If anyone has any advice for me as to how to overcome my fears surrounding weight gain, get out of my bad habit of TV watching and eating SAD empt foods while calorie counting I would greatly appreciate it. Or if anyone has a personal story that is similar I would love to hear from you. Also, if anyone has thoughts on what I should do about getting sore with my jogging and overcoming that, or advice on exercise in general I would love to hear it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen. 

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My best advice is not to try to jump into it 100% again. Do it gradually! Maybe just replace breakfast with all fruit for a week. Slowly add in more raw meals as the weeks progress and don't beat yourself up for slipping once or twice, just pick yourself up and work on the next meal! It doesn't have to be a battle. =]

I am currently recovering from an eating disorder so I know what you mean about calories. I count compulsively. But recently, the more I look at food as FOOD and not a number, the easier it is to realize that another banana is only going to do me good. Just because it adds 80-110 calories doesn't mean it'll make me fat! 

Good luck!

I agree what what you say about "the more I look at food as FOOD and not a number, the easier it is to realize that another banana is only going to do me good." It is easier to deal with my fears surrounding eating too many calories when I am eating all fruits and vegetables, because I know that no matter what those foods are the best for my health. I also like what you say about "just because it adds 80-110 calories doesn't mean it'll make me fat!" I had a nutritionist once tell me that one item, one meal will not make you gain weight...it is about everything that you eat all together over a period of time. What my nutritionist said was really helpful to me as it made me realize that as long as I wasn't on a binge or restricting at a meal, whatever I ate wasn't going to determine whether I gained or lost weight.  


You said that you are recovering from an eating disorder with this lifestyle. Do you ever worry that your friends and family are going to think this is just another eating disorder? I deal with that fear. Part of me really doesn't like the social judgement that comes along with eating this lifestyle...a lot of people just don't get it, and so many social events happen at restaurants over food...and it just stresses me out that I could miss out on opportunities to grow friendships, etc. because of choosing to eat this way (which in no way is going to stop me from doing this lifestyle, but it is a negative factor). I want to be able to make friends with all types of people not just raw people...you know? Sorry, that got a bit off topic at the end, just came to mind.

Can not say that you fail until you stop trying to succeed. Even if you don't reach perfection overnight I am sure you are making progress toward reaching your goals. Go one step at a time, don't be too hard with yourself. Keep doing small changes, they all add up. In one year from now, you will be so proud of yourself when you compare with how you used to be.

One thing that really helped me to regain control over my life was to learn and practice meditation yoga. Now, everything just seem to fall right into it's place. The puzzle is solving itself on his own. Nothing is too hard anymore.

Thank you. Even though I am disappointed with myself often for my poor food/lifestyle choices, I do know somewhere in my heart and mind that I have not failed because each day I try again to succeed. Thank you for reminding me of this and I will try to take this notion to heart.

Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am saving what you said about "just make the decision and do it. Dont think shall i, can i, tomorrow, next week, because a year from now you will probably find yourself in the same situation." That is such a motivating statement and the type of kick in the rear that I need. I also really like what you say about aiming for 100% health in the moment. All life is, is successions of the present moment and if I always do my best in the present moment then I will be wonderful and not have to stress about why I made a certain choice or not, because I will always know I did my best. 

Hey Jennifer. I completely relate to you.  I cam into this lifestyle from a few months of disordered eating habits (anorexia related) because i wanted to be thin and in the best shape ever, i figured less calories in, exercise every day.  it worked, but i didnt feel my best.  all that does is burn you out and hurt your body.  you should be so proud of yourself that you found this lifestyle and that u are moving towards being able to eat as much as u want and lose weight in the process.  they do stress on here that it is not a quick fix scheme, and that because u have come from a restrictive caloric intake, once you start eating adequate calories, you usually will gain weight because your body goes into the mode of "oh no i need to store weight because she could starve me again".  you know what i mean? your body holds on to the weight in the beginning as a sort of defense mechanism because it thinks you will starve it again and needs to hold on to weight.  I asked Freelea over a phone conference how long it took for her to start seeing body changes after she came from disordered eating and she said it took about a year.  So, even though it seems like a long time, and everyone is different so people might take longer and shorter amount of time for their body to stabilize and trust them again, you MUST remember that once you lose that weight if u initially gained, it will never come back!!! as long as u stay 100% on 811!  i have been struggling myself.  i go back to crap food because i go to food for comfort because of medical issues and pain.  I like you was worried about weight gain in the beginning, i was in my best shape ever, and now i am in my worst shape ever because i fell off the wagon so many times and like u said "i'll start tomorrow!" would last a day, then go back to eating something horrible.  We just need to learn to relax and realize that we shouldnt be freaking out over food so much, cuz once you stress about it, stress will lead u to eating more crap, and its a vicious cycle!   Make a pain/pleasure list and pull it out every time you are thinking of eating bad food.  i used an index card. One side list everything good about being on this lifestyle and everything it will help you achieve, on the other side right everything that is bad about not staying on the lifestyle, and what you dont want to happen to you.  It is definitely helpful.  Another thing that is helpful is to make sure you eat enough calories, use cronometer, and then you will not crave the yuck foods at all or as much because you will be getting enough calories.  

As for exercise, i workout at home! right in my living room.  I use DVD workout systems and i love them and they sure work.  Beachbody.com is where they are from, and the 2 systems i have are INSANITY by Shaun T and ChaLEAN EXTREME by Chalene Johnson.  What i love about these systems is they compliment each other.  The only equpiment u need for insanity is a yoga mat to help if your on a wood floor with floor exercises.  as for chalean extreme, i got some dumbbells from walmart because its a weight system.  As for your jogging, i know jogging is extremely hard on your leg joints naturally, but maybe your trying to do too much too soon and thats why they are bothering you so badly? i avoid jogging because i have some tendonitis in my knees, and i know it definitely aggravates it.  the insanity system has a little jogging in place and jumping stuff, but i find my knees dont nearly get affected as much as if i was to jog.   

i hope i helped you out!  just remember, as chris randall told me, every decision you make can be a good one, so make the right one! one decision at a time :) <3

oh and you are NOT a failure, that mindset is not good and will not get you anywhere, trust me, negative thinking brings negative energy, and you dont want that! its a LEARNING process what you are going through, a bump in the road doesnt mean you have failed, it means you are learning, and growing :)

Thank you for taking so much time to respond to me. I really appreciate it. It is just really frustrating for me to keep trying this lifestyle and then stopping not because of cravings or lack of calories, but because I am afraid of weight gain. I wish my brain didn't operate this way, and what is frustrating but empowering is knowing that it is in my power to change this way of thinking. It has just been really hard for me since I have had these disordered thoughts and behaviors surrounding food, weight, and body image for 8 years now. I feel like I have just wasted 8 years of my life and my youth, but yet I continue to do this to myself. I want out of this horrible cycle and I will not stop striving to overcome it until I am successful. 

If you don't mind, can I ask you a few personal questions? It is always nice to hear from another woman what their experience on this lifestyle has been like...How long have you been doing this lifestyle? Do you follow HCRV 100%? Did you start this lifestyle with the aim to lose/gain/or maintain weight, and how long did it take for your weight to stabilize (i.e. did you gain/lose at first)?

Thank you again for sharing your story and advice with me. It is comforting to know that other people that have had an eating disorder past have been able to overcome their fears surrounding calories and body image through this way of eating. Do you feel like you are totally over those issues now due to this lifestyle or is it still a process for you? 

Hey Jennifer, well i myself have been struggling some on the lifestyle, but when i first started i was 100% for about 2 months.  im trying to get back on, im looking around for places to buy wholesale fruit because i was getting sick of bananas and it wasnt helping me get back on 100%, so im gonna try other fruits for meals to help me along in the first rough weeks of getting off crap food.  i started the lifestyle to maintain my weight.  the only reason my weight has gotten to its worst is because i havent been back on 100% and have been eating horribly, not exercising, but i have also switched medications for a disease i have and i think it has something to do with the weight gain (birth control that messes with hormones usually does).  all i know is i came on this lifestyle so i could eat as much as i want and stay healthy/stay slim. it doesnt happen overnight, but if you keep that in mind, it will help.  you cant be afraid of weight gain because coming from restrictive eating past it WILL happen.  around cals/body image, as of right now because i have gained about 30lbs since last summer...i cant say im happy with my body.  its my own fault, too many crap food binges and nights of saying "this is the last time i'll eat this crap".  This lifestyle wont work unless you do it 100% and put the weight out of your mind.  i think aout my weight a LOT.  but i know 811 will help me not have to think about it so much because everyone gets slim on this liefstyle.  like DR says, there are no long term fat fruit eaters.  when he says long term he doesnt mean a few months, it might take up to a year.  so this is still a process for me.  i know once i get back on the fruit wagon again, i dont want to come back off.  

When i did this 100% for the 2 months, i never felt better.  i hope that gives you motivation to know that even if you just last 2 months youll feel LOADS better.  depression thoughts were non existent and i wasnt focused on my weight also, i was so happy and felt so good weight didnt bother me.  

Thank you for sharing this with me. I need to keep reminding myself like you said that everyone gets slim on this lifestyle and that there are no longterm fat fruit eaters. Thinking about that should help me get through the beginning ups and downs. I am really excited to experience the positive mood and metal changes that you experienced just after two months. Good luck to you as well to get back on the fruity lifestyle!

Thank you for sharing your similar experiences. I have been on and off vegan, vegetarian, and a little meat eating here or there for many years and it is so taxing on the body. I too looked healthier at one point when I started eating animal products again, but similar to you it was just because I had poor nutrition and lack of calories before that. All of the salt and other crap they put into dairy and meats in the store makes me feel sick and bloated. Those foods are starting to slowly not even look like real food to me. It is inspiring for me to hear that this lifestyle has worked for you so far even though you are not 100% raw at this time, which according to DR is totally fine. I think it is nice that you can be flexible with yourself and not too rigid as long as what you are doing is working for you and making you feel healthier. You said that you eat as much as you care for, so do you eat the suggested minimum of 2500 calories a day? Or do you consume less or more?

It isn't about being perfect, or keeping count. Right now I've given myself a 70-day challenge (time period when I'll be at home and not traveling). On day ONE I messed up a little in the evening. But instead of thinking "wow, I screwed it up on day ONE - I should just give up now!" I focused on how I had eaten properly for 90% of the first day! Wow! Ninety percent! And then I thought about what had led to the 10% and how to fix it for the next day.

Ninety percent is still better than giving up for a week - or a month - or a lifetime. Life isn't about perfect. It's about how well you can do TODAY, right now. So you had a candy bar for breakfast - how well can you eat for the rest of the day? Or just the next meal? I'm really working on starting well each day, and see how far I can make it each day. And focus on what holds me back each day, what causes me to stumble.

I don't know how to explain how to make this adjustment - from strict little boxes and perfection to  acceptance of yourself & life as a fluid, not a straight line. Living outside of America in a very fluid-thinking country has helped me a lot.

This lifestyle is a little like a snowball rolling downhill. Getting started takes a lot of momentum. But it builds on itself- the newfound energy, the feeling good- it builds on itself little by little.

I'll bet freelee messed up a lot in the beginning, too.

Every day is a brand-new day.

You are so right that I need to focus on the positive things I have done in a day instead of the things that I deem "failures" or ways in which I could see improvement. I even feel like I am messing up sometimes when I am eating a meal of all fruit, but it isn't mono. I start doubting if this lifestyle will work for me if I am not always mono or slip up. I need to really readjust my thinking to focusing on my successes rather than the things that need improvement. I am just such an all or nothing type of person. I see things in extremes, very black and white thinking. In some ways this can be helpful as I can see all animal products as BAD and fruit and vegetables as GOOD. But this type of thinking also produces a lot of fears for me and negatie self talk. Thank you for your words of inspiration! 

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